Script by John Finnemore
Transcript by Ariane DeVere
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ARTHUR: Hi, Tiffy, it’s me! Look, I’m really sorry but I might be a bit late to watch you do your horse dressing. ... Er, dressage, yeah, yeah. ... No, no, I’d love to. It’s just that I have to drive an ice cream van full of pilots to a scrap yard. ... No, literally. ... Well, it’s a long story. ... Oh, would you? Great! Well, it started when Skip – um, you remember Skip? Martin? One of my pilots? The captain. ... No, the other one. ... Well, they both have hats, but ... Yeah, that’s him. Er, yeah, anyway, Skip got offered this great job at Swiss Airways but he explained to us he wasn’t gonna take it so MJN could stay together. Except then Mum explained to him that actually he was going to take it and you can’t expect a fairytale ending but that we’d all be fine, even me. Er, oh! And that was when Skip gave me his van! And I bought some amazing brake pads and a thousand ice lollies and painted Goofy on it and now I’m an ice cream man guy! Er, but that’s not the main thing. The main thing is that then we had to sell GERTI. So we took her to auction but no-one would buy her except a scrap metal guy. Except then my dad, who used to own her, turned up and bid a quarter of a million pounds! ... Well, yeah, kind of great, only I sort of maybe thought it would be a good idea if he didn’t buy her, so I bid ten million pounds. ... No, you’re quite right. I don’t. No, Mum spotted that as well. Yeah, but luckily, she persuaded the scrap metal guy to buy GERTI after all! Except then, Douglas came back from talking to Dad and said it was really important we buy her back again! So we’re doing that now! Douglas is phoning the scrap metal guy and then I’m gonna drive him, Martin and Theresa to rescue GERTI before Dad gets her.
(He pauses, panting for breath.)
ARTHUR: Theresa? Er, she’s the princess of Liechtenstein. ... No, still literally. ... Ah, well, that’s a long story as well. You see, it began when Mum and Herc ... Yeah, no, no, good point, Tiffy. I’ve probably told you enough.
DOUGLAS: Okay, he’ll take twelve thousand for cash.
CAROLYN: Twelve thousand?! He only paid ...
DOUGLAS: Speculate to accumulate, Carolyn. But we’ll have to meet him at his airfield. When’s Herc getting here?
CAROLYN: Half an hour.
DOUGLAS: Okay. Then you wait for him here, Carolyn. We’ll have to go in ...
MARTIN: Oh, no.
THERESA: In what?
(Sound of a van approaching and the horn being blown as it pulls up.)
ARTHUR: Okay, guys, get in!
THERESA: Oh! The Nachzehrer!
MARTIN: The what?
THERESA: Oh, that’s the monster that eats children, from the old folk tale. Why is it on your van?
ARTHUR: It’s Goofy!
DOUGLAS: All right, come on, get in.
ARTHUR: Oh, hang on, there’s only room for three.
DOUGLAS: Martin, you’ll have to get in the back.
MARTIN: I can’t ride in the back!
DOUGLAS: What – because you’re the captain?
MARTIN: No – because I get travel sick if I can’t see out. You ride in the back.
DOUGLAS: I’m not riding in the back! I’m masterminding the plan!
MARTIN: You can do that from the back!
DOUGLAS: No I can’t!
MARTIN: Yes you can!
ARTHUR: I’ll go in the back. Sounds fun!
DOUGLAS and MARTIN (simultaneously): You’re driving!
THERESA: Would it help you boys if I rode in the back?
MARTIN: Oh, oh. Well, I mean, if you, if you really don’t mind.
DOUGLAS: It’s terribly good of you.
THERESA (laughing): For sure!
(Back door opens and closes.)
DOUGLAS: Okay, Arthur, first we need to go to my bank.
MARTIN: Douglas, wait. You-you really think GERTI’s valuable?
DOUGLAS: I’m sure of it.
MARTIN: But how can she be? If there was anything hidden on her, we’d have found it long ago.
DOUGLAS: Not necessarily. It might be really tiny. Diamonds, for instance.
(Banging on the wall between the front and rear of the van.)
MARTIN (loudly): Yes, Theresa?
THERESA (muffled): But you said in St Petersburg that time, Gordon and his engineers had GERTI all to themselves for hours and hours. If it was something small, why didn’t he take it then?
DOUGLAS: Ah. Actually hadn’t thought of that.
MARTIN: So it can’t be anything small or he’d have taken it, and it can’t be anything big or we’d have found it.
ARTHUR: What if it’s something so big you can’t see it?
ARTHUR: The Great Wall of China.
DOUGLAS (slowly): The Great Wall of China.
ARTHUR: Yeah. You know, famously the Great Wall of China is so big, you can only see it from space.
MARTIN: N-no, Arthur.
DOUGLAS: Er, what you’ve done there, Arthur, is you’ve taken a fact that’s famously wrong, and you’ve got it wrong.
ARTHUR: Oh, right.
DOUGLAS: And yet, in doing so, you haven’t made it right ...
MARTIN, ARTHUR and DOUGLAS (simultaneously): Yellow car.
DOUGLAS: Impressive, even for you!
ARTHUR: You mean you can’t see it from space?
MARTIN: No, but you can see it from the ground. It’s thousands of miles long.
ARTHUR: Then why can’t you see it from space?
MARTIN: Because it’s only a few feet wide.
MARTIN: Look, it’s very big along, but very small across, so ...
DOUGLAS: Arthur, there’s the bank.
(Screech of brakes. Theresa cries out.)
ARTHUR: Sorry, Theresa! New brake pads. Are you all right?
THERESA (painfully): Yes, fine!
DOUGLAS: Right, I’ll be as quick as I can. Wait here.
(Door opens. Footsteps recede. Martin blows out a breath.)
ARTHUR: Ooh, I know. Um, maybe the fuel tank is full of fine wines.
MARTIN (slowly): The fuel tank is full of fuel.
(There’s a tap on the window. The window is lowered.)
ARTHUR: Oh, hello.
POLICE OFFICER: Is this your van, sir?
ARTHUR: Yeah. Isn’t it great?
MARTIN: Erm, is there a problem, Officer?
POLICE OFFICER: I hope not. But when three men in a van emergency-brake in front of a bank and one runs in while the others wait ...
MARTIN: Ah. Yes. No, no, no, I’m so sorry, but ...
POLICE OFFICER: And when the van has some sort of demon ...
ARTHUR: It’s not a demon! It’s Goofy!
POLICE OFFICER: I see. Would you mind telling me what you’ve got in the back, sir?
ARTHUR: Oh yeah, of course.
MARTIN: Arthur ...
ARTHUR: A thousand strawberry lollies and the princess of Liechtenstein.
POLICE OFFICER: All right, everybody out.
(A car approaches and comes to a stop.)
HERC: Carolyn! Hello!
(He honks the horn.)
CAROLYN: Where were you? You’re late. I’ve been waiting ages.
(She gets into the car.)
HERC: I am in fact ten minutes early.
CAROLYN: Well, nevertheless.
HERC: No, not ‘nevertheless’. You’re thinking of, ‘Oh, of course! I do apologise, Herc. How silly of me.’
CAROLYN: I am never ever thinking that.
HERC: So I have discovered. Well, how did you get on?
CAROLYN: Er, there were ups and downs.
HERC: Did anyone bid on her?
CAROLYN: Oh yes, very much so. In fact I cannot off-hand think of anyone who did not bid on her.
HERC: So you sold her.
CAROLYN: ... and no.
HERC: All right, here’s an idea: why don’t you just tell me what happened?
(A mobile phone ringtone sounds (‘Questa o quella’ from Verdi’s Rigoletto), then there’s a beep as the phone is answered.)
CAROLYN: Theresa? ... Pick you up? From where? ... Why have they left you there? ... Well, why were you in the back?
(In the van)
DOUGLAS: Arthur, this is it. Turn in here. ... No, stop, quickly!
ARTHUR: That I can do.
(Screech of brakes. Cries of pain from some of the passengers.)
DOUGLAS: Martin, get out.
MARTIN: What? Why?
DOUGLAS: You were the one bidding against him, and I don’t want him remembering you.
MARTIN: Oh, he barely saw my face.
(Grumbling, Martin gets out.)
DOUGLAS: Sorry. Can’t take the chance.
(The van drives on.)
DOUGLAS: Mmm. It’s quite a sight, isn’t it?
ARTHUR: Yeah. It’s like an elephants’ graveyard.
ARTHUR: But with aeroplanes. I don’t like it. Why do none of them have wings?
DOUGLAS: Where they’re going, they don’t need wings.
(The van pulls up.)
DOUGLAS: Oh, I think that’s him – the guy with the dogs.
(The dogs bark as the boys get out of the van.)
BRUCE: Er, can I help you?
ARTHUR: Wow, what big dogs!
BRUCE: Don’t mind them.
ARTHUR: Are they friendly?
BRUCE: No. Just don’t mind them. Who are ye?
DOUGLAS: I ...
ARTHUR (talking over him): We’re the guys who rang about buying the plane.
BRUCE: Oh, aye. Which ones?
ARTHUR: Which ones? What d’you mean?
BRUCE: Well, I had two offers on her before I’d even landed the thing! There was a posh guy, somebody Richardson, offered me twelve grand, and then an Aussie ten minutes later offered me fourteen. Which are you?
ARTHUR: Oh, I’m just Arthur, but this is ...
DOUGLAS (in an Australian accent): Gordon Shappey. It’s good to meet you.
(Arthur makes vague confused noises.)
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): This is my boy Arthur. You’ll have to excuse him. He’s very shy, doesn’t talk much.
BRUCE: Really? Seems like he talks a lot.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): No, it often takes him like that. He’s all talkative when he first meets someone, and then suddenly he clams up and ... (pointedly) ... he doesn’t say a word. Which means I have to do all the talking for him. It’s a chore, but there you go. So, this plane, then: you had a couple of us interested in it, then?
BRUCE: Yeah. I told you that on the phone.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): You did. You certainly did and I’m just, er, repeating it now conversationally. Well, just as well we got in second, then. I’ve got the cash right here and, er ...
BRUCE: Okay. Have you got any ID?
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Oh. Er ... look at that. I left it in my hotel.
BRUCE: Then off you go and get it, and she’s all yours.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Hmm. Thing is, though, the hotel’s a way away.
BRUCE: Sooner you go, sooner you’ll be back.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): ... Right.
ARTHUR (slowly): It’s all right, though ... Dad.
DOUGLAS (normal accent): Arthur ...
ARTHUR (slowly): ... because I’ve got my ID.
DOUGLAS: Arthur, Code Red.
ARTHUR: No! Not Code Red! Listen: because if you’re Gordon Shappey, and I’m your son ... which I am, and ... oh, no! Er, wait! Um ...
(He breaks into his mangled Australian accent.)
ARTHUR (Australian-ish accent): ... what I’m tryin’a say is this: I’ve got my droiving licence roight here, sport. Er, here’s my name on it, er, ‘Arthur Gordon Shippee’ and if I say that he’s m’dad, surely ...
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Oh yeah! Er, there you go, then, that’s my son’s ID and he vouches for me. That do you?
BRUCE: Yeah, fine. Er, why is he talking like that, though?
ARTHUR (Australian-ish accent): Like what?
BRUCE: I don’t know – all weird.
ARTHUR (Australian-ish accent): Now, look here, Bruce. This here’s my accint, Bruce, and if you don’t like it, you can ...
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Ah, don’t mind him. He likes to tease his old dad.
BRUCE: Oh, I see.
ARTHUR (quietly, normal accent): What?
DOUGLAS (quietly, normal accent): Definitely Code Red now.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Okay, so we ’ave the money in cash. Er, if you ...
BRUCE: Yeah, well, obviously I’m gonna have to wait for this Richardson bloke to turn up.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): What?
BRUCE: Well, he might make me a better offer.
DOUGLAS (normal accent): Bet he doesn’t. (Australian accent) I mean, er, we’re right here and, er ...
(Sound of approaching running footsteps.)
BRUCE: Well, it looks like he’s here too.
MARTIN: I know you said to wait, but Carolyn’s just phoned. Gordon’s ...
DOUGLAS (interrupting in his Australian accent): That’s right. Gordon. That’s me. You remember my name.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): It is you, isn’t it ... (pointedly) ... Douglas Richardson? We’ve met once or twice before. My name – as you said – is Gordon Shappey, and I’m afraid, Douglas, that I outbid you on that LM3-12.
BRUCE: Ah, yeah, hi, and I’m Bruce Fraser.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Oh, how rude of me. Bruce, this is Douglas Richardson. Douglas, this is Bruce.
MARTIN: Er, right! Yes, well ...
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): ... to whom, of course, you have already spoken on the phone.
MARTIN (deepening his voice and trying to sound like Douglas): Of course. How terribly nice to meet you.
BRUCE: Yeah, sorry about this. This guy called ten minutes after you. He offered me fourteen grand.
MARTIN (Douglas voice): Oh, how terribly disappointing. Drat my luck. Oh well, never mind.
BRUCE: Er, but, you know, if, er, you wanna make me a better offer, I’m listenin’.
MARTIN (Douglas voice): Oh, well, let me think. ... No, I rather think not. I, Douglas Richardson, have been bested yet again. What a loser I am.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Don’t be too hard on yourself.
MARTIN (Douglas voice): No, really, I am. I’m an absolute ...
DOUGLAS (Australian accent, interrupting): Anyway, I suppose we should get moving, just in case someone else turns up and tries to buy her.
(He laughs heartily, if somewhat falsely.)
MARTIN (normal voice): Oh God, yeah! Er, I mean ...
(He joins in with Douglas’ false laughter.)
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): So, here we are: twelve thousand pounds.
BRUCE: Er, no, no, no. That’s what he offered. You offered fourteen.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Ah, yes, but, y-you know, for cash ...
BRUCE: No, it’s fourteen thousand, or this guy can have it.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Right. Er, Mr. Richardson, I don’t suppose you could lend me two thousand ...
MARTIN (Douglas voice): As your business rival, I think that would be a trifle eccentric of me, don’t you?
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Okay. Then I’ll just nip back into town and get the rest of the cash.
MARTIN (drifting a little back into his own voice): I’d be surprised if you had time, though, do you, Mr. Shappey?
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Then what do you suggest, Mr. Richardson?
MARTIN (varying between his own and Douglas’ voice): Oh, well, it’s none of my business, obviously, but since you ask, I suppose you could always throw in your van.
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Your van?
ARTHUR: My van?
MARTIN (Douglas voice): No – your van, this one here.
(He pats the van.)
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): Ah well, if you’re sure ...
MARTIN (Douglas voice): Nothing to do with me.
BRUCE: Yeah, well, sorry, but there’s no way that van’s worth two thousand quid. Nice Goofy, though.
ARTHUR: Thank you!
MARTIN (Douglas voice): Are you sure, though? Even to a parts and spares man, because those look to me like brand new, top of the range carbon fibre brake pads.
BRUCE: Bloody hell! They are! Why’ve you put those on an old banger like this?
DOUGLAS (Australian accent): My son thought it would be an investment; and so – to be fair – it was.
(In the Mercedes)
CAROLYN: You’re very quiet.
HERC: I was just taking in the plan. I am right in thinking it’s entirely based on finding buried treasure? I’m not missing a subtlety?
CAROLYN: No, no, I know how it sounds but Douglas was very convincing.
HERC: Yeah, all right. Supposing he’s right and there is a fortune on GERTI somewhere. What will you do with it?
CAROLYN: Well, re-start MJN, of course.
HERC: Of course.
CAROLYN: I’m sorry, Herc, but I really don’t want to move to Zurich, and I can hardly ask you to move back to Britain.
HERC: Why not?
CAROLYN: Well, why would you? And don’t say, ‘Because I love you.’
HERC: I won’t say it, but I shall think it really quite loudly.
HERC: Why do you hate me saying it so much?
CAROLYN: I don’t hate it so much any more but ... well, you do say it easily, Herc, to each of your four previous wives, for instance, and Lord knows how many girlfriends. What’s different this time?
HERC: Well, for instance, the colour of your hair.
CAROLYN: My what?
HERC: Your hair is white.
CAROLYN (dangerously): It is.
HERC: Would you care to guess how many of my four wives and – as you are right to imagine – countless girlfriends have had white hair? I’ll give you a clue: it’s none. A preponderance of brunettes, some blondes, the odd redhead, but you are absolutely the first whitehead.
CAROLYN: What a novel way you’ve chosen to end our relationship.
HERC: My point is that you are not remotely my type – and you’re right, you are not the first woman I’ve loved. But you are – to my complete surprise and frankly, at first, dismay – the first woman I’ve ever fallen in love with ... you know, like a teenager. It was on our second date – Rigoletto. It wasn’t the look of pure rapture on your face; it was the look of bored contempt you assumed when you saw me looking.
CAROLYN: Oh, Herc.
HERC: But I didn’t decide to marry you until the day you flew to Ireland to buy me a stuffed sheep just because you knew how much I would detest it.
CAROLYN: No-one decides to marry me. I decide to marry them.
HERC: Of course. And do you so decide?
(In GERTI’s flight deck.)
MARTIN: After-take-off checks complete.
DOUGLAS: Thank you, Captain. Arthur, you can talk again.
ARTHUR (bursting with excitement): It was so amazing! You were amazing, Douglas! And then you were amazing, Skip! And then I was ...
DOUGLAS: And you too, Arthur! Don’t forget the thing with the ID – you were amazing!
ARTHUR: I know! I was just being modest! And my Australian accent saved the day!
MARTIN: You-you-you didn’t actually need to do the accent.
DOUGLAS: And indeed you didn’t actually do the accent.
ARTHUR (pointedly): It saved the day.
MARTIN: Well, assuming that Douglas is right and GERTI is worth untold riches for some reason – which, now I put it like that, seems pretty unlikely ...
DOUGLAS: Ah, but if you just stop after ‘Assuming that Douglas is right,’ it sounds far more plausible. As soon as we land in Fitton, we’ll search every inch of her.
ARTHUR: Ooh, I’ll start now. Don’t worry, Skip – Douglas always saves us! Like remembering the brake pads.
MARTIN: That was me!
ARTHUR: Well, yeah, but you were being Douglas. See you!
(He leaves the flight deck.)
DOUGLAS: That’s true, actually, Martin. That was very quick thinking.
MARTIN: It was pretty good, wasn’t it?
DOUGLAS: Absolutely. You were calm, decisive, resourceful.
MARTIN: Yes, I suppose I was. It was easier, somehow, when I was, I was pretending to be you.
DOUGLAS: Well, there’s nothing to stop you doing that, you know. I don’t have a copyright on this shtick. Well, I do in this flight deck, but I’m prepared to license it for use in other countries – Switzerland, for instance.
MARTIN: Yes, but I can hardly spend the rest of my career pretending to be you.
DOUGLAS: Well, technically you’d be pretending to be Rory.
MARTIN: Who’s Rory?
DOUGLAS: Old EOAC captain I flew with when I started out. That’s where I got it from.
MARTIN: You mean you’ve just been imitating Rory all this time?
DOUGLAS: No, no – only the first couple of years. Then it just becomes part of who you are. That’s why you have to pick your model carefully. You, of course, have picked terribly well.
(Martin chuckles. The radio is turned on.)
DOUGLAS: Fitton Approach.
KARL (over radio): Yeah? Continue transmission.
DOUGLAS (sing-song): Guess who?
KARL: GERTI! (Mock-tearfully) Back safe from the vet’s.
DOUGLAS: With a waggly tail and a cold wet nose.
MARTIN: Both those things are really bad for an aeroplane.
DOUGLAS: Still, we work with what we’re given.
(Sounds of rummaging. Cabin door opens.)
ARTHUR: Hi, Douglas.
MARTIN: Any luck?
DOUGLAS: No. Whatever it is, it’s definitely not in the cabin.
ARTHUR: Oh. Ooh, have you looked under the seats?
DOUGLAS: Yes, Arthur.
ARTHUR: What about the overhead lockers?
DOUGLAS: I’ve looked everywhere I can think of, Arthur. Shall we just assume that includes everywhere you can think of?
MARTIN: Well, I’ve checked the hold, the undercarriage, the wiring channels, the avionics bay, the tanks, the engines ... Nothing.
DOUGLAS: Well, it’s got to be somewhere.
(A car horn sounds.)
ARTHUR: Oh, er, that’ll be Mum and Herc.
(Cabin door opens. Footsteps on the steps.)
ARTHUR: Hi, guys. Look, we got her back and ... (high-pitched) ... oh!
GORDON: Hello, Arthur.
ARTHUR (high-pitched and nervous): Oh, right, Dad, here. Okay, hi. I’ll go and get the others.
GORDON: Er, no, no, no. No need for that.
ARTHUR: No, no, of course not. Silly. Stupid. Sorry. Um ... I tell you what, shall I just get them anyway, so ...
GORDON (sternly): No. (More gently) No, can’t we just have a nice little chat, father and son?
ARTHUR: Well, I suppose we could. We just never have.
GORDON: No. Now, listen, Arthur. I just wanted to make sure you understood what your mum did for you at the auction today.
ARTHUR: Yes. She stopped you from getting GERTI.
GORDON: That’s right. She turned down a quarter of a million pounds for your sake. Now she’s in debt, her business just folded, but she turned down all that money to please you. Do you really think that’s fair?
ARTHUR: I-I didn’t ...
GORDON: I’d hate it if, later on, she started resenting you for it.
ARTHUR (nervously): Douglas says you’ve hidden something valuable on GERTI.
GORDON (chuckling): Oh dear, oh dear. Now-now listen, son. Douglas is a cheap swindler, so he assumes everybody else is. No, there’s nothing hidden on her.
ARTHUR: She’s not valuable?
GORDON: Not at all.
ARTHUR: You promise?
GORDON: Cross my heart and hope to die ...
ARTHUR and GORDON (simultaneously): Terrapins tickle me if I lie.
ARTHUR: So you do want her just to get back at Mum?
GORDON: No, no, of course not! Look, I’ll tell you the real reason.
GORDON: It’s her registration, GERTI. You see, that was my mother’s name: Gertrude. Everyone called her Gertie. And when she died, I bought this plane in her memory. That’s why I didn’t want your mum to have her. She’s all I’ve got left of my own mum. So what d’you say, son? Can I have her back?
(Arthur sighs shakily.)
ARTHUR: Oh. I suppose, if it’s really ... Wait a minute. Your mum’s name was Maud!
GORDON: Yeah, dammit, I forgot you’d met her.
ARTHUR (loudly): She was my gran! (Shouting) Douglas! Martin!
GORDON: No, no, no, no, don’t do that!
ARTHUR (loudly): You said you weren’t lying! You said, ‘Terrapins tickle me’!
(Cabin door opens.)
MARTIN: What is it, Arthur? Oh.
DOUGLAS: Ah, not you again.
ARTHUR: There’s definitely something hidden on GERTI!
GORDON: No, no, no, you don’t know ...
ARTHUR: Yes I do! You said there wasn’t and you were lying. And now Douglas is gonna do something clever and find it!
DOUGLAS: Yes, thank you for the build-up, Arthur, but I’m not sure ...
ARTHUR: Oh, come on, Douglas! Just find it!
DOUGLAS: Did you hide something on the plane, Gordon?
GORDON (before he even finishes the question): No.
DOUGLAS: Too fast. You did, didn’t you?
GORDON: No. I’m not a smuggler.
DOUGLAS: That’s true. So why else might you hide something? What was going on back then? You were getting divorced, of course ... Oh. Or did you suspect you were going to get divorced ...
DOUGLAS: ... because if you did, then suppose you could make your plane a lot more valuable than it looked? Then, come the divorce, you could let Carolyn take the house and the car and - indeed – the son, so long as you got the plane.
GORDON: No, if I’d done that, even you clowns would have found it by now.
DOUGLAS: Not if it was too small for us to find.
GORDON: Well, then I’d have taken it in St Petersburg.
DOUGLAS: Yes. So, it must be something that’s somehow big and small at the same time. What’s big and small at the same time?
ARTHUR: The Great Wall of China!
DOUGLAS: Ooh! Of course!
ARTHUR: Ah, finally. About time.
DOUGLAS: Thank you, Arthur! Look!
(Sound of a panel being opened.)
DOUGLAS: The wiring channels.
MARTIN: The wiring channels? I told you: I searched them. There’s nothing there.
DOUGLAS: Yes there is. There’s the Great Wall of China!
MARTIN: What are you talking about?
DOUGLAS: Big and small at the same time. Very very long, but very very narrow. Just like ...
(Sound of the wiring being wrenched out.)
DOUGLAS: ... these!
MARTIN: Some wires?
DOUGLAS: Not some wires; all the wires. Think of all the wiring on GERTI. Every instrument, every light, every generator – all connected from nose to tail, from wing-tip to wing-tip with miles and miles of electrical wiring.
MARTIN: But the wires have to be copper.
DOUGLAS: No. They have to conduct electricity. And what conducts electricity even better than copper but looks ... (sound of him stripping the wire) ... like this?
MARTIN (awestruck): Gold.
GORDON: Oh, spit.
CAROLYN (approaching): We’re back at last. We ... Gordon? What’s going on?
ARTHUR: Hi, Mum, Herc, Theresa! Dad dropped in. He’s off now, probably. Oh, and you know you said we couldn’t expect a fairytale ending?
ARTHUR: It turns out GERTI’s partly made of gold.
CAROLYN: Is she indeed?
DOUGLAS: Ah, hi, Carolyn. Yes, it turns out that just as Arthur kept his expensive brake pads wrapped up in a cheap van, his father kept his hoard of gold looped up and down a cheap aeroplane.
THERESA: But, Douglas, gold’s much heavier than copper.
MARTIN: Yes! So if you replaced all the copper with gold, surely the aircraft would become sluggish.
MARTIN: I mean, just generally very difficult to fly ... Oh my God!! All this time I thought I was a lousy pilot, I was flying a notoriously hard plane to fly! Which had been deliberately made harder to fly by ...
DOUGLAS: ... being partly made of gold!
CAROLYN: And all this time I was constantly at my wits’ end how to avoid being bankrupted by a plane ...
DOUGLAS: ... that was partly made of gold!
ARTHUR: And every time I brought you coffee ...
ARTHUR: ... there was gold in the plane!
DOUGLAS: Yes! Though I’m not sure I catch the irony.
ARTHUR: I thought we were just saying things we did in the plane.
GORDON: All right, all right. Look, I-I’ll give you a deal.
CAROLYN: Gordon, I’ve said it before and I expect never ever to have to say it again. Get off Our Jet STILL.
MARTIN: Are you sure, Theresa?
THERESA: Of course. It’s completely your decision.
(Portacabin door opens.)
CAROLYN: Well, the nice man at the brokerage has given me an estimate on the gold.
CAROLYN: Put it this way: there shall be buns for tea. A really very large number of absolutely top-quality buns. For instance, Martin, if you insist on hanging around here where you’re not wanted, I find I am in a position to match your starting salary at Swiss Airways.
MARTIN: Yes – or, I was thinking, now MJN is safe, you could use that to hire another captain.
CAROLYN: Oh, what an excellent decision, Martin.
ARTHUR: Are you going to Zurich, then, Skip?
MARTIN: I think so, Arthur. You understand, don’t you?
ARTHUR: Of course I do. You’re Mowgli.
ARTHUR: You’ve got to go to the human village, which is Zurich, with the girl with the water on her head, who’s Theresa, leaving behind Bagheera, who’s Mum, and Baloo ...
DOUGLAS: No-one is Baloo.
ARTHUR: I wanted to be Baloo.
DOUGLAS: Oh, fine! You’re Baloo.
CAROLYN: I shall advertise for a new pilot in the morning.
HERC: Well, given our recent discussion, Carolyn, and assuming you haven’t revised your opinion about stupid Zurich and its stupid clocks, I suppose I should be looking for a job in this country.
CAROLYN: But Herc, I can’t possibly match your salary, not even close!
HERC: No, no, but as discussed, I love you, and will do anything to be with you, so you have me rather over a barrel there. Besides, you can’t put a price on the fun I shall have being Douglas’ captain.
DOUGLAS: Oh, God.
CAROLYN: I love you, Herc; but Douglas will be captain.
(In a flight deck.)
MARTIN (sounding smooth, professional and altogether Douglas-like): Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is First Officer Martin Crieff, and it is my very great pleasure, on behalf of Captain Loutre and myself, to welcome you aboard this short Swiss Airways flight from Lyon to Zurich.
MARTIN (in a perfect French accent): Bonsoir, mesdames et messieurs. Je suis le Premier Officier, Martin du Creff ...
(In GERTI’s flight deck.)
DOUGLAS: Okay: People Who Ought To Have Been Arch Enemies.
HERC: Ah! Donna Summer and Anna Wintour.
DOUGLAS: Very good! Vivienne Westwood and Clint Eastwood.
(Flight deck door opens.)
CAROLYN: Drivers. Now look: Arthur made them, but he’s busy in the galley. This does not count as me bringing you coffee.
(Sound of her putting the mugs down.)
DOUGLAS: Thank you, Mrs. Ship...
CAROLYN (interrupting): Don’t you dare.
HERC: Wayne Sleep and Rick Wakeman.
CAROLYN: What’s this?
DOUGLAS: Arch Enemies.
CAROLYN: Oh! Erm ... Ruby Wax and John Wayne.
(Flight deck door closes.)
DOUGLAS (into radio): Colombo Centre, good evening, this is Golf Tango India from OJS Air, joining you flight level three one zero, destination Addis Ababa.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (over radio): Roger, Golf Tango India. Maintain three one zero, turn right, heading two seven zero.
(GERTI’s engines change pitch briefly.)
DOUGLAS: Oh, rats.
DOUGLAS: Well, look. Flying due west at seven p.m. We’ll have the sun in our eyes the whole way. I hate flying into the sunset.
HERC: Oh dear. Long trip, too. Tell you what: I know another game that’s rather fun on passenger flights. What you do is get a piece of fruit or something, then you take turns hiding ...
DOUGLAS: Yes, yes. I believe I know that one, actually.
HERC: Shall we do that, then? It does pass the time.
DOUGLAS: Why not?
ARTHUR (over intercom): Yes, Skip?
DOUGLAS: The lemon is in play.
Footnote: chitarra10 informed me that the name of Martin’s new captain, Loutre, translates to ‘otter’ in English. So Martin ended up with a live otter in the flight deck ...
And with that, your transcriber wipes away the tears from her eyes. Thank you for flying with CallieAriane Transcripts!