UFO Script for
"Conflict"

​​SYNOPSIS: Flying debris in space presents a grim hazard to spacecraft - but even more so when an alien satellite uses it as a cover for attacks.

      Ed Straker is worried about the dangers of flying debris in outer space. Discarded rocket boosters, in particular, can be a hazard to orbital space flights and Straker also feels that they could be a cover for alien activity. But attempts to persuade the International Astrophysical Commission to clear the debris meet with fierce opposition from General Henderson, of the Commission, even after the deaths of two S.H.A.D.O. spacemen in what Straker believes might have been a re-entry collision with an item of space junk. James L. Douglas (later changed to Henderson), however, thinks it was a pilot error and orders all orbital flights to be grounded pending an investigation.

      Space pilot Paul Foster is so convinced that the dead men were not at fault that he disobeys the order, and flies the same route. He comes perilously close to meeting with the same fate, but lands safely with proof that an alien satellite is using a burned-out rocket stage as cover. Henderson is still unshaken and accuses Straker and Foster of rigging the evidence, but Straker now has enough data to realise that the satellite is a decoy - a red herring to put S.H.A.D.O. off the real danger. The alien satellite has a bigger objective than spacecraft - S.H.A.D.O. HQ itself.

      The danger looms closer, but Moonbase has been ordered to close down. And General Henderson, in the S.H.A.D.O. Headquarters with Straker, realises at last that Straker's fears were justified. Something must be done to clear the debris . . . if they survive the attack of the UFO that is homing-in on them . . .

THE SCRIPT FOR THE UFO EPISODE
“CONFLICT”

Original title: “AMBUSH”

by

Ruric Powell


© Century 21 Pictures
Stirling Road,
SLOUGH,
Buckinghamshire.

CAST LIST:

SPEAKING PARTS

CREWMAN
OFFICER
JAMES L. DOUGLAS
STRAKER
MADDOX
FREEMAN
PAULA HARRIS
DESICA
STEVENS
MISS EALAND
OPERATOR (SHADO Control)
SECOND OPERATOR
STEINER
KARLIN

SET LIST:
INT. SPACE SHIP (STUDIO)
INT. DOUGLAS’ OFFICE (STUDIO)
INT. LEISURE SPHERE (STUDIO)
INT. MOONBASE CONTROL (STUDIO)
INT. LUNAR MODULE (STUDIO)
INT. STRAKER’S CAR (STUDIO)
INT. STRAKER’S OFFICE - OUTER (STUDIO)
INT. SKYDIVER CONTROL (STUDIO)
INT. UNDERGROUND OFFICE (STUDIO)
INT. SLEEP SPHERE (STUDIO)
INT. SHADO CONTROL (STUDIO)
INT. STRAKER’S INNER OFFICE (STUDIO)
INT. SKY 1 (STUDIO)
INT. STRAKER’S BEDROOM (STUDIO)
EXT. COMMISSION H.Q. (LOCATION)
EXT. OFFICE ENTRANCE (LOCATION)
EXT. STRAKER’S CAR (LOCATION)
EXT. HARLINGTON-STRAKER STUDIO (LOCATION)

TIMINGS:
Studio: 41 mins 13 secs
Loc. and Library: 2mins 0 secs
Special Effects: 5 mins 10 secs
TOTAL: 49 mins 10 secs

SPECIAL EFFECTS SETS:
EXT. SPACE (1st Rocket and Spaceship)
EXT. SPACE (2nd Rocket and Spaceship)
EXT. MOONBASE
EXT. RECEPTION SPHERE
EXT. MODULE IN SPACE (1 and 2)
EXT. ALIEN ROCKET
EXT. SKYDIVER (Underwater)
EXT. STRATOSPHERE
EXT. INTERCEPTORS
EXT. U.F.O.
EXT. SKY 1

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

1 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 12 SECS

THE BLACKENED HULK OF A BURNT-OUT ROCKET STAGE MOVES IN ORBIT AROUND THE EARTH. THE ROCKET CARRIES RUSSIAN MARKING.

ESTABLISH, THEN AS THE ROCKET HULK MOVES AWAY, WE TAKE:

ANOTHER ANGLE

A SPACE-SHIP MOVES UP TO FILL THE FRAME. IN CONTRAST TO THE BLACKENED ROCKET SECTION WE HAVE JUST SEEN THIS VEHICLE GLEAMS SILVER AGAINST THE BLUE/BLACK SPACE SKY.

CUT TO:

2 INT. SPACESHIP. (STUDIO) 17 SECS

THE CREW OF TWO IN THE COMMAND MODULE OF THE SHIP. BOTH WEAR IDENTICAL SILVER COVERALLS, EXCEPT THAT ONE OF THEM IS WEARING SHOULDER FLASHES THAT INDICATE HE IS THE SUPERIOR OFFICER. EACH COVERALL CARRIES THE “UNITED SPACE” SYMBOL THAT HAS BEEN USED SINCE 1980 WHEN HE NATIONS OF THE WORLD COMBINED THEIR SPACE PROGRAMMES. THE CREWMAN IS IN HIS LATE TWENTIES, THE OFFICER A FEW YEARS OLDER.

THE OFFICER BENDS OVER A GALACTIC CHART ON A SMALL STAND THAT PROJECTS FROM THE BULKHEAD WALL WHILE THE CREWMAN MONITORS THE VARIOUS GUIDANCE AND DETECTION INSTRUMENTS IN THE MODULE. THE HUM OF THE SHIP’S ATOMIC ENGINES CAN BE FAINTLY HEARD.

THEN:

SOUND OVER: A THIN, HIGH-PITCHED BEEPING.

ANOTHER ANGLE

AS THE CREWMAN SWINGS TO THE RADARSCOPE AND CHECKS THE SWEEP ARM.

CREWMAN
Sighting at radius vector 1096, sir.

AS THE OFFICER LOOKS UP FROM HIS CHART, WE:

CUT TO:

3 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 6 SECS

A LONG SHOT OF THE BURNT-OUT RUSSIAN ROCKET, WITH THE SPACESHIP CLOSING ON OT.

CUT TO:

4 INT. SPACESHIP. (STUDIO) 7 SECS

THE OFFICER IS AT THE RADARSCOPE BESIDE THE CREWMAN.

THE TWO MEN STARE INTENTLY AT THE SCREEN.

OFFICER
Alter course, 4.31 degrees.

AS THE CREWMAN BEGINS TO EXECUTE THE ORDER, WE:

CUT TO:

5 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 7 SECS

THE SPACESHIP VEERS TOWARDS THE BURNT-OUT ROCKET AND OPERATING ITS JET VENTS, SLOWLY MOVES TOWARDS IT. AS IT COMES CLOSER, WE CAN SEE A MUCH LARGER VERSION - ON ITS SIDE - OF THE “UNITED SPACE” SYMBOL THE CREW WEAR ON THEIR UNIFORMS.

CUT TO:

6 INT. SPACESHIP. (STUDIO) 20 SECS

THE OFFICER HAS GONE BACK TO HIS CHART AND IS BENDING OVER IT ONCE AGAIN.

OFFICER
Confirm bearings.

ANOTHER ANGLE

ON THE CREWMAN

AS HE CHECKS THE RADARSCOPE’S SCREEN

CREWMAN
109.6 Orbital altitude
306.2 miles.

ON THE OFFICER

HE OPERATES A BUTTON WHICH BRINGS A SLENDER PERISCOPE COLUMN DOWN IN FRONT OF HIM. HE LEANS FORWARD TO THE EYEPIECE.

OFFICER (VO)
Vostok II, launched June 13, ‘65…

CUT TO:

7 INT. SPACESHIP. (STUDIO) 14 SECS

CREWMAN
Record sir?

OFFICER
No - this one’s had its day -
(a beat)
Record and destroy.

THE CREWMAN MOVES TO A LARGE CONTROL PANEL, THEN LOOKS BACK EXPECTANTLY AT THE OFFICER.

OFFICER
Fire limpet.

AS THE CREWMAN BEGINS TO MANIPULATE SEVERAL DIALS ON THE CONTROL PANEL, WE:

CUT TO:

8 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 15 SECS

ON THE SPACESHIP

A PANEL SLIDES BACK IN THE BELLY OF THE SHIP AND A SMALL SPECIAL PROPULSION SYSTEM ROCKET ENGINE IS REVEALED.

WITH A BURST OF FLAME FROM THE ROCKET ENGINE THE LIMPET MOVES OUT OF THE BELLY HOUSING.

ANOTHER ANGLE

ON THE LIMPET AS IT MOVES ACROSS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE SPACESHIP AND THE RUSSIAN ROCKET HULK.

WE FOLLOW THE ENGINE AS IT IS MANOEUVRED TOWARDS THE ROCKET, THEN:

ON THE HULK

AS THE LIMPET ATTACHES ITSELF ELECTRO-MAGNETICALLY.

CUT TO:

9 INT. SPACESHIP. (STUDIO) 12 SECS

THE CREWMAN IS CLOSELY WATCHING THE DIALS ON THE CONTROL PANEL, WHILE THE OFFICER WAITS FOR HIS REPORT.

CREWMAN
Re-entry angle, 3.58 degrees.
4.7 burn. Service propulsion system go, sir.

OFFICER
Right.
(a beat)
Activate.

THE CREWMAN PRESSES A BUTTON ON THE CONTROL PANEL.

CUT TO:

10 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 24 SECS

C.U. OF LIMPET ENGINE. THERE IS A BRILLIANT BURST OF FLAME FROM THE NOZZLE EXTENSION SKIRT OF THE ENGINE.

NOW PULL BACK TO SEE THE WHOLE OF THE ROCKET HULK WITH THE SPS ENGINE ATTACHED.

THE ROCKET REMAINS STILL FOR AN INSTANT, THEN SHUDDERINGLY STARTS TO MOVE DOWN INTO THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE.

IT QUICKLY PICKS UP SPEED UNTIL IT IS ALMOST A BLUR. WE FOLLOW THE ROCKET AS IT FALLS THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE, GLOWING RED, THEN WHITE HOT.

SOUND: THE ROAR OF FRICTION-HEAT AND DISINTEGRATING METAL.

11 EXT. SKY. GROUND TO AIR SHOT. (VE) 4 SECS

AS IT ARCS THROUGH SPACE LIKE A FIERY COMET TAIL, WE:

CUT TO:

12 INT. SPACESHIP. (STUDIO) 11 SECS

THE OFFICER IS AT THE RADARSCOPE.

CLOSE ON HIS FACE AND TAKE:

OFFICER’S POV:

THE BLIP OF THE FALLING ROCKET MOVES SLOWLY ACROSS THE SCREEN, GROWING SMALLER AND SMALLER, UNTIL IT FINALLY DISAPPEARS. THEN:

RESUME THE OFFICER

THE OFFICER GIVES A SATISFIED NOD.

WE TRACK BACK TO SHOW THE CREWMAN.

OFFICER
Resume course.

CUT TO:

13 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 5 SECS

THE SPACESHIP MOVES SLOWLY AWAY FROM THE AREA WHERE IT DESTROYED THE ROCKET. WE FOLLOW THE SHIP FOR A MOMENT, THEN:

CUT TO:

14 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 7 SECS


ON A PARTICULARLY BATTERED ROCKET IN ORBIT. THE REMAINS OF AMERICAN MARKINGS CAN JUST BE MADE OUT.

ESTABLISH, THEN:

ANOTHER ANGLE

AS THE SPACESHIP COMES INTO SHOT.

CUT TO:

15 INT. SPACESHIP. (STUDIO) 10 SECS

THE OFFICER AND CREWMAN ARE BACK WHERE WE FIRST SAW THEM, THE OFFICER STUDYING HIS CHART AND THE CREWMAN OPERATING THE GUIDANCE AND DETECTION DEVICES.

SOUND OVER: THE HIGH-PITCHED BEEP FROM THE RADARSCOPE.

THE CREWMAN EXAMINES THE SCREEN..

CREWMAN
Sighting at radius vector 1520

CUT TO:

16 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 6 SECS

AS WITH THE RUSSIAN SPACE JUNK, THE SPACESHIP CLOSES SLOWLY IN ON THE BURNT-OUT ROCKET. WE FOLLOW FOR A MOMENT, THEN:

CUT TO:

17 INT. SPACESHIP. (STUDIO) 10 SECS

ON THE OFFICER

AS HE BRINGS DOWN THE PERISCOPE… HE PEERS INTO IT.

OFFICER
Apollo 8, December 21st, 1968. United States.

CUT TO:

18 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 6 SECS

THROUGH THE PERISCOPE.

ON THE AMERICAN ROCKET AS IT HANGS IN THE SPACE SKY.

OFFICER (VO)
Orbital check only - she shouldn’t give trouble for a good year or two yet…

CUT TO:

19 INT. SPACESHIP. (STUDIO) 8 SECS

ON THE CREWMAN

CREWMAN
Record?

OFFICER
(nodding)
Check complete. Resume course.

AND WE:

CUT TO:

20 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 20 SECS

THE SPACESHIP VEERS SLOWLY AWAY FROM THE ROCKET AND BEGINS TO LEAVE THE AREA.

AS IT MOVES OFF, WE TRACK IN FOR A C.U. OF THE ROCKET, PANNING PAST THE AMERICAN MARKINGS TO A LARGE, JAGGED HOLE IN THE ROCKET’S BASE.

THEN SUDDENLY WE PICK UP A BRIGHT SHAPE NESTLING IN THE ROCKET’S INTERIOR. WE TIGHTEN ON IT UNTIL IT BECOMES IDENTIFIABLE AS A SMALL, GLEAMING SATELLITE, PERFECTLY SMOOTH EXCEPT FOR A LARGE LENS APERTURE ON ONE SIDE AND FOUR ANTENNAE THAT ROTATE IN WIDE ARCS. SOFT LIGHT BATHES THE SMOOTH SURFACE. WE ARE LEFT IN NO DOUBT THAT THE INSTRUMENT IS OPERATIVE AS MUSIC STINGS.

ANOTHER ANGLE.

THE SPACESHIP MOVES ACROSS THE SPACE SKY AWAY FROM THE BURNT-OUT AMERICAN ROCKET.

MAIN TITLES

FADE OUT

SPONSOR’S MESSAGE

FADE IN


21 EXT. COMMISSION H.Q. DAY. (STOCK) 5 SECS

ESTABLISHING SHOTS OF A HUGE IMPOSING BLOCK OF OFFICES - AS MODERNISTIC A BUILDING AS POSSIBLE.

CUT TO:

22 EXT. OFFICE ENTRANCE. DAY. (STUDIO) 7 SECS

TRACK IN, THEN TIGHTEN ON AN IMPOSING SIGN BESIDE THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE BLOCK OF OFFICES. IT READS: “INTERNATIONAL ASTROPHYSICAL COMMISSION”. HALF OF THE SIGN IS TAKEN UP BY THE “UNITED SPACE” SYMBOL.

CUT TO:

23 INT. DOUGLAS’ OFFICE. DAY. (STUDIO) 124 SECS

C.U. DOUGLAS

JAMES L. DOUGLAS IS A STERN-FACED AUTHORITATIVE FIGURE IN HIS EARLY FIFTIES - A MAN WHO GIVES AN IMPRESSION OF PHYSICAL AS WELL AS INTELLECTUAL POWER. HIS OFFICE IS FURNISHED SIMPLY, BUT THE FITTINGS ARE OBVIOUSLY EXPENSIVE. BEHIND THE DESK IS A LARGE, MULTI-COLOURED GALACTIC ASTRONOMICAL CHART. NEARBY, ON A SMALL STAND, IS A DETAILED MODEL OF A COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM SATELLITE, DESIGNED TO CARRY A PERMANENT CREW.

TIGHTEN ON HIS FACE AS THE WORDS ARE PUNCHED AT THE CAMERA:

CUT TO:

DOUGLAS
Cost… time… personnel… resources. You want reasons… why not? I can give you a hundred!

NOW ANGLE TO SHOW STRAKER, TIGHT-LIPPED, FACING HIM:

STRAKER
(controlling his anger)
Listen Douglas - every item of space junk could be cleared in a matter of weeks if the Commission gave its full support.

STRAKER LEANS FORWARD AND HIS TONE BECOMES JUST A SHADE MORE CONCILIATORY.

STRAKER
As for the cost, I admit it would be high, but safety factors would justify it.

DOUGLAS
Safety factors.

STRAKER
My organisation uses space more than any other. My pilots take more risks in a month with that junk than…

ON DOUGLAS
(cooly)
My men do in a year… ?
(a beat)
No… we’d need facts, Straker, details, statistics… And you just don’t have them.

ON STRAKER

STRAKER
Don’t I?

ANGLE ON DOUGLAS’ SUDDENLY CONCERNED FACE.

DOUGLAS
Of course you don’t.

STRAKER
I have my report…

DOUGLAS
(dismissive)
Ah… your report…

HE WAVES IT AWAY WITH HIS HAND.

STRAKER
You promised that the Commission would not make a final decision on the clearance programme until the report had been considered.

DOUGLAS
And so it won’t… however...
(he smiles thinly)
I must confess I don’t think it will have that much influence.

ON STRAKER
WHO HAS NOW RESUMED HIS CHARACTERISTICALLY IMPASSIVE MANNER. BUT UNDERNEATH IT IS APPARENT THAT HE IS STILL SEETHING AT THE TREATMENT HE IS GETTING.

STRAKER
If that’s so, Douglas, then it must be because you have already swung the Commission against it.

ANOTHER ANGLE

DOUGLAS
Look, Straker, we’ve just completed the annual clearance of all items of space junk we consider a menace to navigation. The cost was more than double that of last year’s operation.

STRAKER
And worth every penny!

DOUGLAS
(angrily)
Do you realise what a full clearance programme would cost!

STRAKER
I’m not going to swop dollar signs with you. Men’s lives are involved. I want that junk cleared… Every last piece.

CLOSE ON DOUGLAS. WE HEAR THE BREATH DRAWN IN THROUGH HIS TEETH.

DOUGLAS
What we say goes no further than this room - O.K.?

ANGLE TO INCLUDE STRAKER. HE NODS CURTLY.

So let’s get down to the infighting. You’ve been a thorn in my side for years, Straker. Consistently excessive demands for the diversion of resources to your organisation… Now you’re saying a total clearance programme.

STRAKER
Right.

HOLD A COUPLE OF BEATS BETWEEN THEM, THEN.

DOUGLAS
(slowly)
And I’m saying that while I’m running this Commission I’ll fight you every inch of the way.

HE STABS AT A DESK BUTTON AND THE DOORS SLIDE OPEN BEHIND STRAKER IN AN ABRUPT DISMISSIVE GESTURE.

ON STRAKER’S REACTION, WE:

24 EXT. MOONBASE. DAY. (VE) 6 SECS

THE SILVER SPHERES OF MOONBASE GLINT IN THE DAZZLING BRIGHT SUN. ESTABLISH, THEN:

25 INT. LEISURE SPHERE. DAY. (STUDIO) 115 SECS

ESTABLISHING SHOTS OF VARIOUS MOONBASE PERSONNEL RELAXING IN THE LEISURE SPHERE. MOST ARE IDLY CHATTING, BUT IN ONE CORNER, TWO ASTRONAUTS ARE DEEPLY INVOLVED IN A THREE-DIMENSIONAL CHESS GAME.

THE CHESS PIECES ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE IN USE NOW. BUT THE SQUARES OF THE “BOARD” ARE AT MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS, SO THAT THE SET RESEMBLES A MODERN ABSTRACT SCULPTURE. HOLD ON THE GAME FOR A MOMENT, THEN TAKE:

ANOTHER ANGLE

FREEMAN IS AT A TABLE WITH STEVE MADDOX, ONE OF THE MOONSHIP’S SENIOR PILOTS, DRINKING COFFEE.

MADDOX IS YOUNG MAN IN HIS EARLY THIRTIES, FIT, COMPETENT LOOKING, WITH AN EASY GOING MANNER.

THE TWO MEN ARE TALKING AND LAUGHING TOGETHER IN A WAY THAT INDICATES THEY ARE OLD FRIENDS. MADDOX IS JUST FINISHING A STORY OF A RECENT FLIGHT, ILLUSTRATING SOME OF HIS POINTS WITH HAND GESTURES.

MADDOX
...and when the oxidizer valve malfunctioned, I thought we’d had it, but I got the duplicate going with about two seconds to spare.

FREEMAN
Straker’ll pull your licence next time.

MADDOX SMILES AND TAKES A SIP OF HIS COFFEE, THEN LOOKS AT A LIGHTWEIGHT PLASTIC BRIEFCASE FREEMAN HAS ON THE TABLE BESIDE HIM.

MADDOX
Sure…
(a beat)
What brings you up here, Alec?

FREEMAN
One of Straker’s projects.

MADDOX RAISES AN EYEBROW.

FREEMAN
It’s a beautification campaign.

MADDOX
I won’t deny you could use one…

FREEMAN GRINS, THEN GETS SERIOUS.

FREEMAN
Space junk. Straker wants it all cleared.

MADDOX
What for? The Astrophysical Commission destroys any junk with hazard potential.

ON FREEMAN

FREEMAN
Straker has an idea that it could be used by the Aliens to crack our defence system.
(he pauses and eyes his briefcase)
I’m beginning to think he maybe onto something.

ANOTHER ANGLE

MADDOX CONSIDERS WHAT FREEMAN HAS JUST TOLD HIM, THEN:

MADDOX

If your report shows it’s a possibility - surely the junk gets cleared. So what’s the problem?

FREEMAN
James L. Douglas is the problem.

MADDOX
Douglas?

FREEMAN
He figures that Straker should be taking orders from him, and Straker…

MADDOX
(amused)
Let me guess.

FREEMAN
(grinning)
Sometimes all my sympathies are with Douglas.

MADDOX GRINS BACK AT FREEMAN, THEN TAPS HIS EMPTY COFFEE CUP WITH HIS FINGER.

MADDOX
Your turn to buy.

ANOTHER ANGLE

FREEMAN GRIMACES, THEN GETS UP AND PLACES THE TWO EMPTY COFFEE CUPS ON A NEARBY TROLLEY.

WE FOLLOW AS HE WALKS OVER TO THE SIDE OF THE SPHERE AND STOPS IN FRONT OF A GLASS-IN CONTAINER THAT IS BUILT INTO THE WALL. HE PRESSES SEVERAL BUTTONS, THEN INSERTS A PLASTIC ID CARD IN A SLOT. A SMALL PLATFORM SLIDES OUT, WAIST HIGH, ON WHICH THERE ARE TWO FRESH CUPS OF COFFEE.

FREEMAN WALKS BACK TO THE TABLE, CAREFULLY BALANCING THE CUPS. AS HE REACHES IT AND SETS THE COFFEE DOWN, A CALL COMES OVER THE INTERCOM:

NINA (VO)
Colonel Freeman - report to control, please.

FREEMAN FROWNS, THEN STARTS TO LEAVE FOR CONTROL, CALLING BACK TO MADDOX OVER HIS SHOULDER.

FREEMAN
Mine’s with two sugar’s.

AS FREEMAN HURRIES FROM THE SPHERE, WE:

CUT TO:

26 INT. CONTROL ROOM. DAY. (STUDIO) 103 SECS


A MEDIUM SHOT OF DESICA SEATED AT THE REVOLVING CONSOLE IN THE CONTROL ROOM. PAULA AND NINA ARE MANNING THE INSTRUMENT PANELS AND TRACKER CONSOLES.

STRAKER’S GRIM FACE CAN BE SEEN ON THE TV MONITOR ATTACHED TO DESICA’S DESK.

NOW CLOSE ON THE MONITOR.

STRAKER
(distort)
(impatiently)
Well, where is he?

ON DESICA.

WHO GLANCES QUICKLY TOWARDS THE WALKWAY ENTRANCE.

DESICA
On his way, sir.

ANOTHER ANGLE

FREEMAN ENTERS THE CONTROL ROOM AND CROSSES TO THE CONSOLE. HE LOOKS BRIEFLY AT DESICA, WINKS, THEN DOWN AT THE TV MONITOR.

FREEMAN
Freeman here.

STRAKER
(distort)
Alec - I want you back with the space clearance report.

ON FREEMAN

WHO IS SURPRISED BY STRAKER’S ABRUPT ORDER AND IS MOMENTARILY AT A LOSS FOR WORDS. THEN:

FREEMAN
But I just got here… and there’s still data missing. I can wrap the whole thing up in about twenty-four hours…

ON STRAKER

STRAKER
(distort)
(curtly)
I don’t care what’s missing. It looks like Douglas’ Commission have already decided against a major clearance programme. We’ve got to convince them otherwise.

ON FREEMAN

FREEMAN
Give me twenty-four hours. It can’t make a difference to you. But it could make one heck of a difference to the report.

CUT TO:

27 INT. SHADO CONTROL. DAY. (STUDIO) 15 SECS

STRAKER IS SEATED AT HIS DESK LOOKING INTO THE TV MONITOR IN WHICH FREEMAN’S STUBBORN FACE IS FRAMED.

STRAKER IS CLOSE TO LOSING HIS TEMPER COMPLETELY.

STRAKER
Alec, I want that report. I don’t care what shape it’s in. Just get it here!

STRAKER LEANS FORWARD AND SNAPS A SWITCH, BREAKING CONTACT. HE SITS DRUMMING HIS FINGERS ON THE DESK, THEN HIS ANGER SUBSIDES. HE FROWNS, A LOOK OF DEEP CONCERN SETTLING OVER HIS FACE. WE HOLD ON STRAKER FOR A MOMENT, THEN:

CUT TO:

28 INT. MOONBASE LEISURE SPHERE. DA. (STUDIO) 41 SECS

FREEMAN APPROACHES THE TABLE AND PICKS UP HIS COFFEE, HIS EXPRESSION ONE OF DOGGED STUBBORNNESS. MADDOX IS LOOKING UP AT HIM WITH SOME CONCERN.

MADDOX
What is it?

FREEMAN DOESN’T ANSWER, BUT SINKS SLOWLY INTO HIS CHAIR, FROWNING AT THE HIS BRIEFCASE ON THE TABLE. THEN, AS HE RESIGNS HIMSELF TO THE FACT THAT HE HAS NO CHOICE.

FREEMAN
I’ve got to leave.

MADDOX
Straker?

FREEMAN
(nods)
He wants the report right away.

MADDOX
I thought it still needed work?

FREEMAN
Another twenty-four hours and I’d have it buttoned up.

MADDOX
Can’t you radio it ahead?

FREEMAN
(shaking his head)
It’s classified material

A PAUSE, THEN:

MADDOX
I’ve got an All-Secrets security clearance.

FREEMAN LOOKS AT HIM… CLICKS HIS FINGERS

FREEMAN
And tomorrow you go on leave. Right?

MADDOX
Right. So if you want a mailman… ?

ON FREEMAN’S NOID OF ACCEPTANCE, WE:

CUT TO:

29 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 9 SECS

ON PAULA HARRIS AT ONE OF THE CONSOLES:

PAULA (change to Joan)
S.H.A.D.O. lunar module 32 cleared for takeoff at 14:21.34. Stand-by.

CUT TO:

30 EXT. RECEPTION SPHERE. (VE) 5 SECS

ESTABLISH THE LUNAR MODULE.

CUT TO:

31 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 6 SECS

THE LUNAR MODULE OF MOONSHIP HAS A CREW OF TWO.

MADDOX IS AT THE GUIDANCE SYSTEM, CLOSELY ATTENDING TO THE PRE-FLIGHT CHECK. THE CREWMAN STEVENS IS COMPLETING SIMILAR PROCEDURES AT THE OTHER INSTRUMENT PANELS.

MADDOX
Roger, Moonbase. Is T.E.T. correct?

32 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 10 SECS

PAULA (change to Joan)
Affirmative. Trans-Earth trajectory GREEN.

PAULA AT ONE OF THE INSTRUMENT PANELS, FOLLOWING THE MOVING NEEDLE, THEN:

PAULA (change to Joan)
Lift off, 32!

CUT TO:

33 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 10 SECS

THE ROAR OF THE ATOMIC ENGINES FILLS THE LUNAR MODULE. MADDOX AND THE CREWMAN ARE NOW SEATED, BRACED FOR LIFT-OFF.

ON MADDOX

C.U. OF MADDOX’S FACE AS HE CLOSELY WATCHES THE DIALS. THE ROAR OF THE ENGINES BECOMES ALMOST DEAFENING.

CUT TO:

34 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 8 SECS

THE MODULE ZOOMS UP, SOARING HIGH ABOVE MOONBASE.

WE FOLLOW UNTIL IT DISAPPEARS ACROSS THE TERMINATOR (THE LINE THAT DIVIDES THE DAY AND NIGHT HEMISPHERES OF THE MOON).

35 INT. LUNAR MODULE. SPACE. (STUDIO) 25 SECS

MADDOX
Check delta coordinates.

STEVENS
Coordinates correct, sir.

STEVENS CHECKS ANOTHER READING.

STEVENS
Earth Orbit Insertion, 2 hours 13 minutes, 8 seconds, sir.

MADDOX
Right.

MADDOX STRETCHES HIMSELF AND CONCENTRATES ON THE INSTRUMENTS A LITTLE MORE CLOSELY. HIS MANNER INDICATES THAT EVERYTHING IS GOING EXACTLY AS PLANNED, ALMOST TO THE POINT OF BOREDOM.

NOW CLOSE ON HIM AS HE LOOKS DOWN AT THE BRIEFCASE RACKED BY HIS LEFT KNEE, AND:

CUT TO:

36 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 5 SECS

A MEDIUM SHOT OF THE LUNAR MODULE COURSING THROUGH SPACE. TO ONE SIDE OF THE FRAME THE BRIGHT WHITE, BLUE AND BROWN LIMB OF EARTH CAN JUST BE SEEN.

HOLD FOR A MOMENT, THEN:

CUT TO:

37 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 12 SECS

WE TRACK IN ON THE BATTERED AMERICAN ROCKET WE SAW IN THE TEASER.

THE GLEAMING ALIEN SATELLITE CAN NOW BE SEEN IN THE INTERIOR DARKNESS OF THE ROCKET, IT IS OPERATING AS BEFORE. THE ANTENNAE MOVE STEADILY IN THEIR ARCS.

ANOTHER ANGLE

AS THE SATELLITE SUDDENLY INCREASES ITS ACTIVITY, THE ANTENNAE ROTATE MORE SWIFTLY AND A DIM, BLUISH LIGHT CAN BE SEEN IN THE LENS APERTURE.

CUT TO:

38 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 13 SECS


MADDOX AND STEVENS ARE PREPARING FOR RE-ENTRY.

MADDOX
Contact SHADO and Moonbase. Tell them we’re going for EOI…
(check instruments)
...in 43 minutes, 29 seconds.

STEVENS
Right, sir.

CUT TO:

39 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL ROOM. (STUDIO) 32 SECS

DESICA IS AT THE REVOLVING CONSOLE, AND MOONBASE PERSONNEL ARE CARRYING OUT THEIR NORMAL DUTIES. FREEMAN LOOKS ON:

PAULA (change to Joan)
32 Reports Earth Orbit Insertion at 13:08.21, sir.

DESICA SWIVELS ROUND IN HIS CHAIR, IMMEDIATELY ON THE ALERT.

DESICA
Contact SID. Tracking procedure green.
(a beat)
Has SHADO H.Q. been alerted?

PAULA (change to Joan)
Yes, sir.

AS DESICA SWIVELS BACK AROUND IN HIS CHAIR.

FREEMAN
So everything’s great.

DESICA HITS HIM WITH A LOOK.

DESICA
Straker’s not going to think so. He’s expecting you.

FREEMAN
Maybe. But the way I look at it there are times when I have to buck even Straker.

DESICA
And this is one of them?

FREEMAN
This is definitely one of them.

ON FREEMAN’S DETERMINED LOOK, WE:

CUT TO:

40 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 12 SECS

ON THE ROCKET HULK

THE ALIEN SATELLITE HAS MARKEDLY INCREASED ITS OPERATIONS. THE ANTENNAE MOVE RAPIDLY UNTIL THEY ARE ALMOST A BLUR, THE BLUISH LIGHT IN THE LENS APERTURE PULSATES MORE POWERFULLY.

THE SATELLITE MOVES SLOWLY THROUGH THE JAGGED OPENING IN THE ROCKET’S BASE, THEN IT HOVERS FOR AN INSTANT AS IF CHECKING ITS BEARINGS, AND AS IT ZOOMS AWAY, WE:

CUT TO:

41 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 20 SECS

MADDOX AND STEVENS ARE NOW FULLY ABSORBED IN MANOEUVRING THE SHIP INTO THE RE-ENTRY CORRIDOR. MADDOX, HIMSELF, IS HUNCHED OVER THE CONTROLS OF THE GUIDANCE SYSTEM.

MADDOX
Re-entry angle 6 decimal 58 degrees.

STEVENS RAPIDLY MAKES THE NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS ON THE INSTRUMENT PANELS.

MADDOX
E.O.I. … 4 minutes, 12 seconds.

ON THE GUIDANCE PANEL

SEVERAL DIALS OF THE GUIDANCE PANEL. THE NEEDLES OF THE DIALS ARE ALL SLANTED AT THE SAME ANGLE AND MOVING TOWARDS A REGISTRATION OF 6.58 DEGREES.

RESUME MADDOX

AS HE DELICATELY ADJUSTS THE CONTROLS TO ENSURE THAT THE RE-ENTRY ANGLE IS CORRECT. THEN:

CUT TO:

42 EXT. SPACE.SKY. (VE) 12 SECS

ON THE MODULE MANOEUVRING TO ACHIEVE THE CORRECT ANGLE OF ENTRY.

ANOTHER ANGLE.

AS THE ALIEN SATELLITE MOVES IN BEHIND THE SHIP, STEADILY DECREASING THE DISTANCE.

CUT TO:

43 INT. LUNAR MODULE (STUDIO) 21 SECS

MADDOX AND STEVENS ARE NOW FULLY OCCUPIED WITH THE CONTROLS. THEN:

STEVENS
(urgently)
Sighting at 70:35, sir!

MADDOX LOOKS UP, PUZZLED. HE CHECKS HIS INSTRUMENT PANEL.

MADDOX
That’s in behind us! Confirm sighting!

STEVENS
Affirmative, sir… and it’s closing fast!

MADDOX GLARES AT STEVENS, HALF UNBELIEVING BUT UNABLE TO LEAVE THE GUIDANCE SYSTEM TO CHECK FOR HIMSELF.

MADDOX
Contact Moonbase!

CUT TO:

44 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL ROOM. (STUDIO) 18 SECS

DESICA IS INTENTLY WATCHING THE CONSOLE RADAR SCREEN ON WHICH THE BLIP OF THE MODULE’S RE-ENTRY CAN BE SEEN. THEN :

PAULA (change to Joan)
32 reports unidentified sighting.

DESICA JERKS UP… THEN A FRACTIONED GLANCE AT FREEMAN.

DESICA
Signal red alert.

AS THE ALERT CALL GOES OVER THE INTERCOM, DESICA’S EYES FIX ON THE ILLUMINATED SPACE CHART ON THE WALL. OPPOSITE HIM. TAKE:

DESICA’S POV:

A MOVING LIGHT INDICATES THE MODULE’S FLIGHT AS IT NEARS THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE.

CUT TO:

45 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 13 SECS

A MEDIUM SHOT OF THE MODULE, WITH THE ALIEN SATELLITE ALMOST DIRECTLY ON IT.

ANOTHER ANGLE.

AS THE SATELLITE MANOEUVERS ONTO THE SHIP AS THE ELECTRO-MAGNETS ATTACH IT TO THE SHIP, A NOZZLE EXTENSION SKIRT SLIDES OUT… EMITS A 3/4 SECOND BURN.

CUT TO:

46 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 15 SECS

ON MADDOX

AS HE DESPERATELY ADJUSTS THE CONTROLS. THE WHOLE CABIN SEEMS TO SHUDDER AS WE TAKE:

HIS P.O.V.:

THE NEEDLES ON THE RE-ENTRY ANGLE INDICATORS ARE WAVERING CRAZILY.

RESUME ON MADDOX

MADDOX
Angle of entry too steep. Pitch actuator, 1 decimal 3 burn.

ON STEVENS

AS HE FRANTICALLY CARRIES OUT MADDOX’S ORDER.

CUT TO:

47 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL. (STUDIO) 24 SECS

THE SPHERE IS ALIVE WITH ACTIVITY. DESICA IS GLUED TO THE DIALS OF THE DESK RADAR SCREEN. THEN HE TURNS SWIFTLY AND YELLS OVER AT PAULA.

DESICA
His re-entry angle is too steep. Tell him - correct angle of re-entry.

PAULA QUICKLY FLICKS SEVERAL SWITCHES, LISTENS FOR JUST AN INSTANT, THEN TURNS TOWARD DESICA, HER FACE GRIM,

PAULA (change to Joan)
Loss of signal, sir.

DESICA LOOKS DESPAIRINGLY AT PAULA, THEN OVER AT THE ILLUMINATED SPACE CHART. TAKE:

DESICA’ S P.O.V.

THE LIGHTED TRACK OF THE MODULE ON THE BOARD SHOWS THAT IT IS JUST ENTERING EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE.

PAUL (VO)
Earth orbit insertion, now sir.

RESUME DESICA

SEE HIM LOOK SLOWLY, GRIMLY TOWARDS FREEMAN, AND:

CUT TO:

48 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 11 SECS

THE MODULE IS ENTERING THE ATMOSPHERE - BUT AT FAR TOO STEEP AN ANGLE. FIRST THE HEATSHIELD FLAMES AND BEGINS TO DISINTEGRATE - THAN AS THE CRAFT HITS THE DENSER ATMOSPHERE THE BULKHEAD PLATES BUCKLE AND MELT… GLOWING HOT UNTIL THE WHOLE SHIP BECOMES A FLARING HEAT-BALL AS IT RACES ACROSS THE SKY.

THEN IN A FINAL GIGANTIC EXPLOSION OF THE SHIP’S ATOMIC PILE AND A BRILLIANT CLOUD OF SMOKE, WE: 

FADE OUT

END OF ACT I

- - - - - SPONSOR’S MESSAGE - - - - -

ACT II

FADE IN

49 EXT. THE IMPOSING OFFICE BLOCK. NIGHT. LOCATION. 8 SECS

ESTABLISH THE OFFICE BLOCK AT NIGHT. THEN SEE STRAKER’S CAR PULL INTO THE FORECOURT…

CUT TO:

50 INT. STRAKER’S CAR. NIGHT. STUDIO BACKING. 9 SECS

THE CHAUFFEUR STARES IMPASSIVELY AHEAD WAITING FOR STRAKER’S NEXT MOVE.

STRAKER SITS TAPPING THE RIM OF HIS DARK GLASSES MECHANICALLY AGAINST HIS TEETH. THEN HE THROWS THE GLASSES INTO THE CORNER OF THE SEAT AND:

STRAKER
O.K. - Roberts. Let’s get it over with.

WE SEE NO MOVEMENT FROM THE CHAUFFEUR BUT THE GULL-WING DOORS FLY UP AND WE IMMEDIATELY:

CUT TO:

51 EXT. THE IMPOSING OFFICE BLOCK. NIGHT. LOCATION. 14 SECS

STRAKER (DOUBLE) GETS OUT OF THE CAR AND HURRIES TOWARDS THE ENTRANCE OF THE BUILDING.

HOLD ON HIM FOR A FEW BEATS UNTIL HE DISAPPEARS INTO THE LOBBY THEN ANGLE SLOWLY UP THE FACE OF THE SKYSCRAPER BLOCK PASSING STILL-LIGHTED WINDOWS UNTIL WE ARRIVE AT THE PENTHOUSE OFFICE SUITE.

THEN ZOOM IN ON THE LARGEST OF THE PICTURE WINDOWS AND:

CUT TO:

52 INT. DOUGLAS’ OFFICE. NIGHT. STUDIO. 68 SECS

C.U. DOUGLAS - HE IS SEATED, RELAXED, CONFIDENT BEHIND HIS DESK.

DOUGLAS
Another forty-eight hours?

NOW ANGLE TO INCLUDE STRAKER IN SHOT.

STRAKER
I can have a summary of the completed report on you desk by then.

DOUGLAS SETTLES BACK IN HIS CHAIR. TAPPING THE TIPS OF HIS FINGERS TOGETHER.

DOUGLAS
You know I can’t hold up the Commission any longer. Why don’t you let me tell them you’ve decided to withdraw your proposal?

STRAKER IS SILENT.

DOUGLAS GLANCES UP AT STRAKER.

DOUGLAS
It’d get you off the hook.

ON STRAKER

WHO LOOKS ICILY BACK AT DOUGLAS.

STRAKER
I wasn’t aware I was on one.
(a beat)
I intend to hold you to your word to consider my report before making a decision on the clearance programme.

ANOTHER ANGLE

DOUGLAS
Alright STRAKER - I think I’m reading you. You want an alibi for that pilot who killed himself and his crewman... ? You want me to blame it on the presence of uncleared junk.

STRAKER
I want your word, Douglas.

DOUGLAS
(hard)
On one condition.

STRAKER
Is this what you meant - every inch of the way?

DOUGLAS
Partly. You consider your spacecraft was involved in a re-entry collision with an item of space-junk?

STRAKER
It’s a possibility.

DOUGLAS
A possibility. Yes.
(a beat)
So I want you to suspend all lunar flights until we’ve fully investigated the accident.

STRAKER
D’you realise what you’re doing?

DOUGLAS
Yes, Commander I’m proving to the Commission that your organisation in its present form is an expensive and unnecessary luxury!

ON STRAKER’S FACE REACTING, WE:

CUT TO:

53 INT. STRAKER’S OUTER OFFICE. NIGHT. (STUDIO) 48 SECS

ON MISS EALAND

WORKING ON A COMPUTER FILE. HER HEAD COMES UP AS THE DOOR OPENS AND WE ANGLE TO SEE STRAKER ENTER. BUT HE IS WITHOUT A GOOD DEAL OF THE BOUNCE AND AGGRESSIVE VIGOUR WE NORMALLY ASSOCIATE WITH HIM.

HE DROPS INTO A SWIVEL CHAIR… SPINS IT A COUPLE OF TIMES… THEN:

STRAKER
Another late night?

MISS EALAND
(amused)
I always work late. Sometimes you notice.

STRAKER GRINS BRIEFLY. THEN AGAIN HIS FACE SETS… HE SPINS THE CHAIR, COMES TO REST BACK TO HER.

STRAKER
(facing away)
D’you know the code word Washington Square, Miss Ealand?

SHE STOPS FILING… LOOKS TOWARDS HIM.

MISS EALAND
(slowly)
...not without looking it up in the cypher book. It’s not one we use regularly.

STRAKER’S BACK IS STILL TOWARDS HER.

STRAKER
It’s one I thought we’d never use.

MISS EALAND
(quiet)
What does it mean, sir?

STRAKER
Washington Square?
(a beat)
It means close down… cancel lunar flights… it means the virtual isolation of Moonbase.

HOLD A PAUSE AS, SLOWLY, HE SPINS THE CHAIR ROUND TO FACE HER.

STRAKER
Send it.

54 UNDERWATER SHOT. SKYDIVER. (VE) 5 SECS

ESTABLISH SKYDIVER: AS IT MOVES BELOW THE SURFACE AND:

CUT TO:

55 INT. CONTROL. SKYDIVER. (STUDIO) 13 SECS

ON KARLIN

AS HE STOPS WORK ON A CHART AND LOOKS UP AS THE RADIO/INTERCOM SYSTEM CRACKLES.

OPERATOR (COVER)
To all unit Commanders - Washington Square.

ON KARLIN’S FACE

HE CLEARLY KNOWS THE MEANING OF THE CODE-WORD.

OPERATOR (OVER)
I say again - Washington Square, immediate compliance.

AND WE:

CUT TO:

56 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL. (STUDIO) 8 SECS

PAN THE TRACKERS FACES MOSTLY PUZZLED AS:

OPERATOR (VO)
Immediate compliance - Washington Square.

THEN THE CAMERA COMES TO REST ON (PAULA: change to Nina) NINA’S FACE. SHE BENDS FORWARD, FLICKS A SWITCH.

PAULA (change to Nina)
Colonel Freeman!

AND WE:

CUT TO:

57 INT. THE LEISURE SPHERE. (STUDIO) 34 SECS

DESICA AND FREEMAN ARE AT A TABLE. BOTH MEN ARE LOOKING TOWARDS THE LOUDSPEAKER.

PAULA (change to Joan) (VO)
...Sorry to disturb you, sir. Code message from SHADO. Washington Square… I’ll check the cypher book right away.

DESICA IS UP WALKING TOWARDS THE LOUDSPEAKER.

HE FLIPS THE TRANSMISSION SWITCH STRAIGHT AWAY.

DESICA (change to Foster)
PAULA (change to Nina) there’s no need to. It means shutdown.

ON FREEMAN

REACTING

FREEMAN
What!

HE CROSSES TO WHERE DESICA IS STANDING.

DESICA (change to Foster)
More specifically it involves a complete ban on all orbital flights.

ON FREEMAN

FREEMAN
I’ve got to speak to Straker.

DESICA GESTURES TOWARDS THE DOOR LEADING TO CONTROL

DESICA (change to Foster)
Feel free.

AND AS FREEMAN CROSSES RAPIDLY TOWARDS THE DOOR, WE:

CUT TO:

SCENE 58 DELETED

59 INT. STRAKER’S UNDERGROUND OFFICE. (STUDIO) 41 SECS

STRAKER IS SITTING ALONE AS THE OPERATOR’S VOICE COMES OVER.

OPERATOR (VO)
Colonel Freeman for you, sir.

STRAKER DIVERTS HIS ATTENTION TO THE MONITOR WITH AN OBVIOUS EFFORT.

STRAKER
Uh-huh? Put him on.

THERE IS A CLICK AND FREEMAN’S FACE FILL THE SMALL SCREEN.

FREEMAN
(on screen)
What gives?

STRAKER
Look up the cypher book.

FREEMAN
(on screen)
But why?

STRAKER
I’ll tell you the next time I see you.

FREEMAN
(on screen)
What about the report?

STRAKER
Forget it. The commission are going to believe the report’s simply an attempt to blame space junk for the Maddox crash.

FREEMAN
When in fact you think it was…

STRAKER
(brusque)
Maddox himself. Pilot error.
(a beat)
Take a rest, Alec… Enjoy the scenery up there. I hear it’s great.

HE FLICKS OFF THE MONITOR AND REMAINS STILL.

HOLD HIS FACE A BEAT… GET COME SENSE OF THE IMPACT ON HIM OF RECENT EVENTS.

CUT TO:

60 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 92 SECS

FREEMAN LOOKS FROM THE MONITOR TOWARDS DESICA.

DESICA
(bitterly)
What’s Straker trying to do?

FREEMAN
I don’t know.

DESICA
He doesn’t usually take a thing like this lying down.

FREEMAN
Yeah, you couldn’t call it typical.

DESICA
And then there’s Maddox. We just forget about what happened to him, do we?

FREEMAN LOOKS SYMPATHETICALLY AT DESICA, BUT HE CLEARLY THINKS THAT DESICA HAS GOT THINGS OUT OF PROPORTION BECAUSE OF HIS OWN INVOLVEMENT.

ON FREEMAN

FREEMAN
What else can we do? Any pilot can make a mistake… and you’re only allowed one!

ON DESICA

HIS BASIC STUBBORNNESS VERY MUCH IN EVIDENCE.

DESICA
(hard)
Maddox didn’t make any mistake! He was too experienced for that.

RESUME TWO SHOT

FREEMAN
Anyone can make a mistake!

DESICA
Not Steve Maddox.

FREEMAN STRATS TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THE ARGUMENT.

FREEMAN
Alright, what caused the re-entry error?

DESICA IS NOW COMPLETELY AROUSED.

DESICA
Maddox reported an unidentified sighting just before loss of signal!

FREEMAN
The Trackers couldn’t pick up anything!

DESICA IS STYMIED BUT HE REFUSES TO ADMIT IT.

DESICA

(slowly)
There must have been… something! An item of space junk…

FREEMAN SHAKES HIS HEAD, AWARE THAT THE ARGUMENT IS HOPELESS. HE IS SILENT FOR AN INSTANT, THEN HIS SYMPATHY FOR DESICA RETURNS.

FREEMAN
Maybe.

DESICA NODS, STILL UNWILLING TO DROP THE SUBJECT.

DESICA
Maybe! And in the meantime we sit back and do nothing?

FREEMAN
No. We make sure it doesn’t happen again.

ON DESICA

AS FREEMAN’S WORDS STRIKE HIM, THEN:

DESICA
You know Alex
(a long beat)
I believe you’re right.

HE TURNS TO PAULA (change to Nina)

DESICA
Will you get me 32’s electronic log?

PAULA (change to Nina)
Captain Maddox’s flight?

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
That’s right.

FREEMAN
What are you doing?

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
Taking your advice. Making sure it doesn’t happen again.

AND WE:

FADE OUT

END OF ACT II

- - - - - SPONSOR’S MESSAGE - - - - -

ACT III

FADE IN

61 INT. SLEEP SPHERE. (STUDIO) 20 SECS

FREEMAN TAKES OFF HIS JACKET IN A ONE-WAY MIRROR SECTION OF THE SLEEP SPHERE.

HE LEANS FORWARD, STICK HIS TONGUE OUT AT A MIRROR SET INTO THE WALL AT HEAD HEIGHT… GRIMACES. HE TAKES OUT A CIGARETTE, LOOKS FOR A LIGHTER BUT CANNOT FIND ON. HE COMES OUT OF THE CUBICLE (CUTTING AS IN PILOT SCRIPT).

ON FREEMAN

HE LOOKS AROUND, CANNOT SEE HIS LIGHTER.

REACTS AS HE SEEMS TO REMEMBER WHERE HE LEFT IT AND WALKS OVER TOWARDS THE DOORWAY TO GO OUT.

CUT TO:

62 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 45 SECS

ON FREEMAN

HE COMES IN.

FREEMAN
I think I left my lighter…

THE WORDS DIE AS HE LOOKS AROUND -

FREEMAN
What’s going on… ?

WIDER ANGLE

FREEMAN MOVES QUICKLY ACROSS THE CONTROL SPHERE TOWARDS PAULA (change to Nina)

THERE IS TIME TO NOTICE THAT EXCEPT FOR FREEMAN’S MOVEMENTS THE AREA IS EERILY STILL.

ON PAULA (change to Nina)

AS FREEMAN WALKS INTO SHOT AND LOOKS AT THE MONITOR.

FREEMAN
What the hell is going on?

ON MONITOR

WE SEE A LUNAR MODULE ON THE RECEPTION SPHERE - THE ROCKET MOTORS ARE AT THE EARLY IGNITION STAGE OF FIRING.

RESUME SCENE

FREEMAN
Who’s in that Module?

PAULA (change to Nina)
Colonel Desica (change to Foster)

FREEMAN
Why the devil didn’t you let me know?

HE SWINGS ROUND.

FREEMAN
Any of you?

NO-ONE ANSWERS, FREEMAN GLARES BACK AT PAULA (change to Nina)

PAULA (change to Joan)
Colonel Desica’s (change to FOSTER’S) orders. On no account were we to inform you until take-off was imminent.

FREEMAN
And irreversible!

HE GRABS A HAND MIKE, SPINS A FREQUENCY PRE-SELECTOR SWITCH AND:

FREEMAN
Franco (change to Paul)... cut your engines!

CUT TO:

63 INT. LUNAR MODULE. NIGHT. (STUDIO) 10 SECS


IDENTICAL TO THE ONE MADDOX FLEW.

DESICA IS ACTIVATING THE VARIOUS INSTRUMENTS. HIS MOVEMENTS ARE QUICK AND PURPOSEFUL. AS WE SEE HIM CHECK EACH PANEL, IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT HE IS THE ONLY ONE ABOARD. THE NORMAL COMPLEMENTARY CREWMAN IS MISSING.

DESICA MAKES SOME FINAL ADJUSTMENTS ON A PANEL, THEN GLANCES AT SOME TABLES OF FIGURES AND CALCULATIONS HE HAS PLACED ON A SMALL STAND BY THE CONTROLS.

FREEMAN (VO)

Franco (change to Paul) - I said, cut your motors!

CUT TO:

64 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 3 SECS

ON FREEMAN

FREEMAN
Listen Franco (change to Paul) - this won’t help.

CUT TO:

65 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 4 SECS

DESICA (change to FOSTER) CONTINUES WORKING THROUGH HIS CHECK-LIST.

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
What won’t?

CUT TO:

66 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 5 SECS

ON FREEMAN

FREEMAN

Taking out a module.
(he stops)
If you’re doing it for the reason I think you are.

CUT TO:

67 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 4 SECS

ON DESICA (change to FOSTER)

I’m going to fly the same course Maddox did.

CUT TO:

68 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 7 SECS

FREEMAN
Under precisely the same conditions.

ON DESICA (change to FOSTER)
Right.

FREEMAN
You’re crazy! What will that prove?

CUT TO:

69 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 15 SECS

ON DESICA (change to FOSTER)

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
For one thing, that Maddox wasn’t responsible for the loss of his ship.

HE FINISHES HIS CHECK.

FREEMAN (VO)
If you do get through, it won’t mean much.

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
It depends on how I get through.

FREEMAN (VO)
And if you don’t make it?

DESICA SHRUGS HIS SHOULDERS.

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
I don’t…

CUT TO:

70 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 5 SECS

FREEMAN’S EXPRESSION HARDENS. HOLD ON HIM A LONG BEAT, THEN:

FREEMAN
I won’t permit the flight.

CUT TO:

71 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 9 SECS

DESICA’S (change to FOSTER’S) TONE IS ALMOST REGRETFUL.

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
I’m sorry, Alec, but there’s no way you can stop it.

HIS TONE CHANGES AS:

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
(crisply)
2-9, clear for take-off.

CUT-TO:

72 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 22 SECS

ON PAULA (Change to Joan)

HOLD HER FACE AS AGAIN WE HEAR:

DESICA (VO)
2-9, clear me for take-off.

PAULA (Change to Joan) SWIVELS HER CHAIR SLOWLY AWAY FROM THE SET. NOW CLOSE ON ON HER FACE AS SHE RAISES HER EYEBROWS QUESTIONINGLY, AND TAKE:

HER P.O.V. - FREEMAN

HOLD A BEAT AS HIS FACE TIGHTENS. THEN SEE HIM NOD BRIEFLY AND TURN IMMEDIATELY AWAY.

RESUME PAULA (Change to Joan).

AS SHE SPINS HER CHAIR TO FACE THE SET.

PAULA (Change to Joan)
(cool, efficient)
2-9 - clearance. I say again clearance 2-9.

AND WE IMMEDIATELY ZOOM ON TO THE MONITOR TO SEE THE LUNAR MODULE ROCKET MOTORS IGNITE AS THE SHIP MOVES UPWARDS.

CUT TO:

73 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 3 SECS

FREEMAN AND PAULA (Change to Joan)

PAULA (Change to Joan)
Lift off, sir.

CUT TO:

74 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 6 SECS

THE LUNAR MODULE BLASTS OFF INTO THE DARKNESS OF THE LUNAR SKY. WE FOLLOW IT FOR A MOMENT, THEN:

CUT TO:

75 INT. LUNAR MODULE. SPACE. (STUDIO) 8 SECS

DESICA (FOSTER) SITS CHECKING THE VARIOUS INSTRUMENTS. HE GLANCES OVER HIS CALCULATIONS ONCE MORE, REFERRING TO THE BANKS OF DIALS BEFORE HIM. AS HE SETTLES BACK IN HIS SEAT, WE:

CUT TO:

76 INT. SHADO CONTROL ROOM. NIGHT. (STUDIO) 33 SECS


THE OPERATOR AND A SECOND OPERATOR ARE SITTING QUIETLY AT THEIR POSTS. THEY ARE CARRYING OUT ROUTINE PROCEDURES BUT, BECAUSE OF THE BAN ON FLIGHTS, EXPECT TO FIND NOTHING, AND THEIR MANNER INDICATES THIS.

SUDDENLY, THERE IS A LOW SIGNAL FROM THE RADAR MONITOR.

ON MONITOR

HE JERKS TO ATTENTION, BEWILDERED, THINKING THAT HE HAS IMAGINED IT. THEN AS HIS GAZE SWINGS TO THE MONITORS WE TAKE:

HIS P.O.V.

C.U. OF THE RADAR SCREEN SHOWING A REMOTE BLIP.

RESUME OPERATOR

AS HE QUICKLY CHECKS THE SIGHTING.

WE TRACK BACK TO SHOW THE SECOND OPERATOR WATCHING CLOSELY. HE IS EQUALLY STARTLED.

SECOND OPERATOR
What is it?

OPERATOR
Sighting at… galactic latitude 43:17, longitude 14:53.

THE SECOND OPERATOR REFERS TO A NEARBY ASTRONOMICAL CHART, THEN DEEPLY PUZZLED, LOOKS AT THE RADAR SCREEN.

SECOND OPERATOR
But that’s Moonbase Operations Area!

OPERATOR
Right. Call Commander Straker!

AS THE SECOND OPERATOR FLIPS THE VIDEOPHONE, WE:

CUT TO:

77 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 5 SECS

THE MODULE IS NOW WELL OUT INTO SPACE, STEADILY FOLLOWING MADDOX’S COURSE.

HOLD A FEW BEATS, THEN:

CUT TO:

78 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 7 SECS

DESICA (FOSTER) IS AT THE CONTROLS OF THE GUIDANCE SYSTEM. HE MAKES A VISUAL CHECK OF THE OTHER INSTRUMENT PANELS, THEN REACHES FORWARD AND ESTABLISHES RADIO CONTACT.

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
2-9 calling Moonbase.

AS HE WAITS FOR ACKNOWLEDGMENT, WE:

79 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE. NIGHT. (STUDIO) 17 SECS

FREEMAN IS RECEIVING DESICA. AS HE SPEAKS HIS FACE IS TIGHT, PRETTY UNFRIENDLY.

FREEMAN
Everything under control?

DESICA
(distort)
So far. I estimate E.O.I. in… 2 hours, 38 minutes, 22 seconds.

FREEMAN
Roger.

FREEMAN LOOKS OVER TO THE ILLUMINATED SPACE CHART ON ONE SIDE OF THE SPHERE. WE TAKE:

FREEMAN’S P.O.V.

C.U. OF SPACE CHART SHOWING DESICA’S MODULE NEARING EARTH.

RESUME FREEMAN

FREEMAN
Have you contacted Straker, yet?

CUT TO:

80 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 5 SECS

ON DESICA (change to FOSTER)

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
(dryly)
I have an idea I’ll be hearing from him fairly shortly.

CUT TO:

81 INT. SHADO CONTROL. NIGHT. (STUDIO) 13 SECS

STRAKER MOVES ABOUT THE CONTROL ROOM… CHECKING SIGNALS, GLANCING AT CHARTS.

NOW CLOSE ON HIS FACE AND TAKE:

STRAKER’S P.O.V.

THE RADAR SCREEN SHOWS THE BLIP MOVING STEADILY, NEARER THE EARTH.

RESUME STRAKER

HE REACHES PAST THE OPERATOR FOR THE RADIO SWITCH. AS HE DOES SO, WE:

CUT TO:

82 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 7 SECS

C.U. DESICA (change to FOSTER) HUNCHED OVER THE RADIO.

STRAKER (VO)
(distort)
You’ll turn back right now!

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
(calmly)
E.O.I. one hour precisely. I’ve gone too far for that.

CUT TO:

83 INT. SHADO CONTROL. NIGHT. (STUDIO) 5 SECS

ON STRAKER

REGISTER THE CONTROLLED ANGER IN HIS EXPRESSION:

STRAKER
(quiet)
You’re right, Franco (change to PAUL) - much too far.

THEN AS STRAKER FLIPS HIS RADIO SWITCH WE:

CUT TO:

84 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 9 SECS

ON DESICA (change to FOSTER)

AS HE SLOWLY FLIPS HIS RADIO SWITCH.

STAY ON HIS FACE AND SEE HIM GRIMACE WRYLY.

THEN SHRUG AND RE-DEVOTE HIMSELF TO THE TASK OF FLYING THE SHIP.

FINALLY ON A C.U. OF THE DIALS WITH THE NEEDLES REGISTERING STEADILY WE:

CUT TO:

85 EXT. SPACE. SKY (VE) 14 SECS

MUSIC SINISTER - THE BURNT-OUT ROCKET FLOATING IN ORBIT.

TRACK IN TO SEE CLEARLY ITS AMERICAN MARKINGS.

THEN SLOWLY PENETRATE THE DARK INTERIOR OF THE ROCKET UNTIL WE REACH AND TIGHTEN ON THE ALIEN SATELLITE. IT IS OPERATING NORMALLY. WE HOLD ON IT FOR A MOMENT, THEN SEE THE PALE BLUE HALATION ON ITS SURFACE BEGIN TO INTENSIFY… THEN AS THE ANTENNAE BEGIN TO ROTATE MORE RAPIDLY AND THE BLUE LIGHT IN THE LENS APERTURE BRIGHTENS AND DIMS MORE POWERFULLY WE:

DISSOLVE:

86 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 5 SECS

DESICA (change to FOSTER) IS CONCENTRATING ON THE CONTROLS. HE MAKES A MINOR ADJUSTMENT, THEN TURNS TO THE RADIO.

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
Module 29 to Moonbase.

CUT TO:

87 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 17 SECS

ON THE SPACE CHART

THE ILLUMINATED SPACE CHART SHOWS DESICA’S (FOSTER’S) MODULE FAST APPROACHING THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE. THEN:

ANOTHER ANGLE

AS PAULA RESPONDS TO DESICA’S TRANSMISSION

PAULA (Change to Joan)
Go ahead 2-9.

DESICA (change to FOSTER)
Re-entry in 6 minutes, 9 seconds.

PAULA (Change to Joan)
Roger 2-9.

NOW ANGLE TO FREEMAN SITTING AT THE CONSOLE. HE SATISFIES HIMSELF THAT EVERYTHING IS IN ORDER, THEN LOOKS OVER AT THE ILLUMINATED SPACE CHART.

TAKE:

FREEMAN’S P.O.V.

C.U. OF SPACE CHART SHOWING DESICA’S MODELUE CLOSE TO EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE.

CUT TO:

88 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 12 SECS

THE ROCKET HULK AND AS WE TRACK IN THE ALIEN SATELLITE OPERATING AT FULL POWER.

HOLD FOR A MOMENT, THEN TAKE:

ANOTHER ANGLE

THE SATELLITE BEGINS TO MOVE TOWARDS THE JAGGED OPENING IN THE BASE OF THE ROCKET.

AS BEFORE IT HOVERS FOR AN INSTANT, THEN STREAKS INTO THE DISTANCE.

AS IT DISAPPEARS OUT OF FRAME WE:

CUT TO:

89 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 16 SECS

ON DESICA (FOSTER)

AS HE CLOSELY MONITORS THE CONTROLS OF THE GUIDANCE SYSTEM. TAKE:

HIS P.O.V.

THE NEEDLES ON THE DIALS MOVE STEADILY TOWARDS A REGISTRATION OF “5”

RESUME ON DESICA (FOSTER)

WITHOUT MOVING HIS EYES FROM THE DIALS, DESICA FLICKS THE RADIO SWITCH ON.

DESICA (FOSTER)
Moonbase

PAULA (Change to Joan) (VO)
(distort)
Receiving 2-9

DESICA (FOSTER)
E.O.I. in… 4 minutes, 3 seconds.

PAULA (Change to Joan) (VO)
(distort)
Roger.

CUT TO:

90 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE. NIGH. (STUDIO) 5 SECS

ON FREEMAN

AS HE CONCENTRATES ON THE RADAR MONITOR, WHILE SPEAKING TO DESICA

FREEMAN
Re-entry angle, 5.73 degrees. Confirm.

CUT TO:

91 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 10 SECS

DESICA (FOSTER) IS STARING SILENTLY AT THE RADIO.

FREEMAN (VO)
(distort)
2-9! Confirm re-entry angle!

DESICA (FOSTER) REMAINS SILENT, THEN:

ANOTHER ANGLE

AS DESICA (FOSTER) REACHES DOWN AND ACTIVATES A DEVICE TO ONE SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE SYSTEM.

ON THE DEVICE

IT IS A COMPACT, ADVANCED DETECTION DEVICE.

CUT TO:

92 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (STUDIO) 5 SECS

FROM THE TOP OF THE MODULE, A SMALL SCANNER SLOWLY EXTENDS. ESTABLISH, THE:

CUT TO:

93 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 9 SECS


FREEMAN STARING AT THE RADIO. A LOOK OF ALARM ON HIS FACE. A FAINT CRACKLE IS ALL THAT CAN BE HEARD - FREEMAN DOES NOT RESPOND.

ANOTHER ANGLE

FREEMAN TURNS TOWARDS PAULA (JOAN)

FREEMAN
Stay on 2-9!

AS PAULA (JOAN) SCANS THE DIALS, WE:

CUT TO:

94 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 6 SECS

THE ALIEN SATELLITE MOVES IN BEHIND DESICA’S (FOSTER’S) MODULE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THEM BEGINS TO DECREASE, WE HOLD FOR A MOMENT, THEN:

CUT TO:

95 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 14 SECS

ON DESICA (FOSTER)

AS HE ADJUSTS THE GUIDANCE SYSTEM. HE BREATHES MORE HEAVILY - A FINE SHEEN OF SWEAT CAN BE SEEN ON HIS FACE, THEN TAKE:

HIS P.O.V.

THE DIALS - AS THE NEEDLES PASS “5” AND MOVE TOWARDS “6”.

RESUME DESICA (FOSTER)

HE CONTINUES TO ADJUST THE SYSTEM. AGAIN TAKE:

HIS P.O.V.

THE NEEDLES ONE THE DIALS SLOWLY MOVE PAST “6” AND CONTINUE TOWARDS “7”.

96 INT. SHADO CONTROL. NIGHT. (STUDIO) 8 SECS

STRAKER IS AT HIS DESK, WATCHING THE MONITORS.

THEN, THE OPERATOR TURNS FROM HIS CONSOLE TO STRAKER, HIS VOICE URGENT.

OPERATOR
29’s re-entry angle, sir…!

STRAKER CUTS THE MAN OFF WITH AN ABRUPT SHAKE OF HIS HEAD, HIS ATTENTION RIVETED TO THE MONITORS.

CUT TO:

97 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 6 SECS

ON THE DIALS

AS THE NEEDLES MOVE PAST “7”, THEN WAVER TO A HALT. HOLD FOR A MOMENT, THEN:

CUT TO:

98 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 7 SECS

FREEMAN WATCHING THE DESK MONITORS, A LOOK OF MINGLED DISBELIEF AND HORROR ON HIS FACE.

FREEMAN
(on radio)
FRANCO (PAUL) adjust re-entry angle - cut back to five…

CUT TO:

99 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 5 SECS

ON DESICA (FOSTER)

HIS FACE IS SET, IGNORING FREEMAN’S WARNINGS

FREEMAN (VO)
(distort)
Cut back to five, Franco (Paul), you’re far too shallow.

CUT TO:

100 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 11 SECS

FREEMAN AT THE CHART ILLUSTRATING WITH HIS HAND THE DANGER OF TOO SHALLOW A DESCENT.

FREEMAN
He must be crazy. If he doesn’t adjust he’ll bounce off the Earth’s atmosphere right out into space.

PAULA (Change to Joan)
The opposite of what happened to Captain Maddox.

CUT TO:

101 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 15 SECS

THE ALIEN SATELLITE CLOSES ON DESICA’S (FOSTER) MODULE

ANOTHER ANGLE

THE SCANNER ON TOP OF THE MODULE TRAINS ONTO THE ALIEN SATELLITE.

RESUME ALIEN SATELLITE

IT FASTENS ITSELF TO DESICA’S (FOSTER’S) MODULE. NOW SEE THE NOZZLE EXTENSION SKIRT SLIDE OUT.

THERE IS A THREE-SECOND BURN.

THE LUNAR MODULE BUCKS VIOLENTLY… CHANGING ANGLE.

CUT TO:

102 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 9 SECS

DESICA’S (FOSTER’S) FACE IS LINED WITH STRAIN, HIS EYES GLUED TO THE DIALS. TAKE:

DESICA’S (FOSTER’S) P.O.V.

THE NEEDLES ON THE DIALS ARE FLICKERING WILDLY… INEXORABLY FORCED DOWN THROUGH 6… 5… 4… 3…

CUT TO:

103 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 7 SECS

THE MODULE SEARS THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE, THE HEAT SHIELD GLOWING AND BEGINNING TO FLAME. BITS OF METAL BEGIN FLAKING OFF. WE FOLLOW FOR A MOMENT… SEE THE ALIEN SATELLITE FINALLY BREAK AWAY AND:

CUT TO:

104 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 9 SECS

DESICA’S (FOSTER’S) FACE IS DISTORTED WITH THE EFFORT TO WITHSTAND THE BUFFETING.

HIS P.O.V.

THE OSCILLATIONS OF NEEDLES BEGIN TO FALTER AND SLOW. THEN GRADUALLY THE NEEDLES STABILISE AND REMAIN STILL, ON A READING OF 5.

CUT TO:

105 EXT. SPACE. SKY. (VE) 11 SECS

THE MODULE ON ITS SHUDDERING RIDE THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE.

SUDDENLY, IT VEERS AND STRAIGHTENS COURSE. THE FLAME SURROUNDING THE HEAD SHIELD STARTS TO DIE AWAY AND THE SHIP BEGINS TO MAINTAIN A SMOOTH, STEADY DOWNWARD FLIGHT PATTERN.

WE HOLD ON IT FOR A MOMENT, THEN:

CUT TO:

106 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 6 SECS

ON DESICA (FOSTER)

AS HE BREATHES A DEEP SIGH OF RELIEF AND REACHES UP TO WIPE HIS FOREHEAD. HE SETTLES BACK, RECOVERING. THEN:

CUT TO:

107 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 8 SECS

FREEMAN IS STANDING BY THE ILLUMINATED SPACE CHART, FOLLOWING THE MODULE’S ROUTINE DECENT TO RENDEZHOUSE WITH MOONSHIP, HIS EXPRESSION IS AS RELIEVED AS DESICA’S. AS HE SHAKES HIS HEAD OVER THE NARROW ESCAPE, WE:

CUT TO:

108 INT. SHADO HQ. NIGHT. (STUDIO) 28 SECS

STRAKER IS STILL AT HIS DESK, HIS FACE IMPASSIVE. HE TOO IS WATCHING DESICA’S (FOSTER’S) RETURN ON THE MONITORS.

ANOTHER ANGLE.

AS STRAKER REACHES FORWARD, FLICKS UP THE RADIO SWITCH AND SPEAKS IN A PERFECTLY NORMAL TONE OF VOICE.

STRAKER
Colonel Desica (Foster)...

THERE IS NO RESPONSE FOR A MOMENT, THEN:

DESICA (FOSTER) (VO)
(distort)
Desica (Foster) here… I’m happy to say.

STRAKER
(dryly)
Congratulations.
(a beat)
But don’t let my delight at your survival blind you to the fact that we have a few matters to discuss.

HE REACHES FORWARD AND FLICKS OFF THE RADIO, THEN SETTLES BACK THOUGHTFULLY IN HIS CHAIR.

CUT TO:

109 INT. LUNAR MODULE. (STUDIO) 4 SECS

ON DESICA (FOSTER)

RELIEVED HE IS STILL IN ONE PIECE - NEITHER INCINERATED OR FLIPPED FAR INTO DEEP SPACE. WE HOLD ON HIS EXPRESSION FOR A MOMENT, THEN: CUT TO:

110 EXT. STRATOSPHERE. NIGHT. (VE) 19 SECS

AS THE LUNAR MODULE CONCLUDES ITS DESCENT THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE… MOONSHIP COMES INTO SHOT.

ANOTHER ANGLE

THE LUNAR MODULE DOCKS WITH THE MOONSHIP.. 

FADE OUT

END OF ACT III

- - - - - SPONSOR’S MESSAGE - - - - -

ACT IV

FADE IN

111 EXT. COMMISSION H.Q. DAY. (STOCK) 9 SECS

ESTABLISHING SHOT OF THE HUGE, MODERN OFFICE COMPLEX THAT HOUSES THE INTERNATIONAL ASTRO-PHYSICAL COMMISSION.

ANGLE SLOWLY UP THE MANY FLOORS TO DOUGLAS’ PENTHOUSE OFFICE, AND:

CUT TO:

112 INT. DOUGLAS’ OFFICE. DAY. (STUDIO) 114 SECS

DOUGLAS IS SITTING BOLT UPRIGHT BEHIND HIS DESK, GLARING AT STRAKER AND DESICA (FOSTER), WHO ARE SEATED IN FRONT OF HIM.

IN CONTRAST TO DOUGLAS’ FURY, STRAKER IS COMPLETELY COMPOSED AND LOOKS CALMLY BACK AT DOUGLAS. DESICA (FOSTER) IS HIS USUAL STUBBORN SELF, HAVING MUCH MORE DIFFICULTY THAN STRAKER IN CONTROLLING HIS ANGER.

DOUGLAS
(very hard)
You’ve gone too far this time!

STRAKER
I don’t see it that way.

DOUGLAS
You authorised a lunar flight.

ON STRAKER

STRAKER
(sharply)
I authorised nothing!

ON DOUGLAS

AS HE BRUSHES STRAKER’S DENIAL ASIDE.

DOUGLAS
I’m not going to argue with you, Straker. You’re responsible, whatever the circumstances.

RESUME THREE-SHOT

DESICA ANGRILY BEGINS TO REPLAY, BUT STRAKER MOTIONS HIM TO STAY QUIET.

STRAKER
I agree…

STRAKER LEANS FORWARD IN HIS CHAIR, HIS TONE VERY GRAVE.

STRAKER
But Colonel Desica (Foster) has proved there is Alien interference with our inter-orbital flights!

DOUGLAS
Has he?

ON DESICA (FOSTER)

DESICA (FOSTER) CAN CONTAIN HIMSELF NO LONGER, AND HE STARTS UP FROM HIS CHAIR.

DESICA (FOSTER)
Sure, And I almost got killed doing it.

DOUGLAS EYES DESICA (FOSTER) COLDLY.

DOUGLAS
So you say.

DESICA (FOSTER)
Yes I say.

STRAKER
Sit down, Franco (Paul). There’s no point in losing your head.

DOUGLAS
That’s good advice.

STRAKER TURNS TO DOUGLAS AGAIN, HIS TONE BRISK, FLAT AND OBVIOUSLY INSINCERE

STRAKER
I must apologise for Colonel Descia (Foster)... but he’s just been through a great deal.

ON DOUGLAS.

DOUGLAS
So everyone keeps telling me.

ON STRAKER

AS HE STIFFENS, THEN LOOKS COLDLY AT DOUGLAS WITHOUT SPEAKING FOR A MOMENT. FINALLY.

STRAKER
I think it’s about time we laid our cards on the table.

ON DOUGLAS

AS HE STARES SILENTLY AT STRAKER. THEN HE GRIPS THE ARMS OF HIS CHAIR, HIS KNUCKLES WHITE WITH THE PRESSURE. HIS VOICE IS LOW, BUT FILLED WITH SUPPRESSED DISLIKE.

DOUGLAS
Alright, I’ll tell you what I think of Colonel Desica’s (Foster’s) so-called proof.

ON DESICA (FOSTER)

AS HE REACTS TO DOUGLAS.

WIDE ANGLE

DOUGLAS
You knew the Commission was going to turn down your space junk clearance programme…

HE GESTURES TOWARDS DESICA (FOSTER)

DOUGLAS
So you instructed Desica (Foster) to make this flight.

STRAKER
Why should I do that?

DOUGLAS
Because you were desperate for evidence.

STRAKER
(quiet)
Go on…

DESICA (FOSTER)
You know what he’s saying. He’s saying I cooked the evidence.

A FLICKER OF AN EYEBROW FROM DOUGLAS ACKNOWLEDGES THAT DESCIA (FOSTER) IS RIGHT

DOUGLAS
But you won’t get away with it. The Commission convenes the day after tomorrow. By the time I get through, you’ll be out of a job!

ON STRAKER

WHO SEEMS TOTALLY UNRUFFLED BY DOUGLAS’ THREAT.

STRAKER
(quietly)
Is that all?

RESUME THREE SHOT

DOUGLAS DOES NOT REPLY, HIS GAZE RIVETED ON STRAKER.

STRAKER WAITS A MOMENT LONGER, THEN STANDS UP. DESCIA (FOSTER) GLARING WITH ANGER, GETS UP TOO.

STRAKER
I’ll see you at the Commission meeting.

ANOTHER ANGLE

HE AND DESICA (FOSTER)... TURN AND LEAVE THE OFFICE. WE FOLLOW THEM AS THEY GO, THEN:

ON DOUGLAS

WHO IS STARING STEADILY AFTER THEM, HIS FACE, GRIM.

DOUGLAS
(softly)
Indeed you will, Commander…

WE HOLD ON DOUGLAS FOR A MOMENT, THEN:

CUT TO:

113 EXT. OPEN ROAD. DAY. LOCATION. 7 SECS


STRAKER’S CAR COMES UP AND PASSED.

CUT TO:

114 INT. STRAKER’S CAR. DAY. (STUDIO PROCESS) 33 SECS


STRAKER AND DESICA ARE IN THE BACK SEAT OF STRAKER’S CAR. THEY ARE BOTH LOST IN THEIR OWN THOUGHTS/ THEN:

DESICA (FOSTER)
(hesitantly)
He can’t really do that, can he?

STRAKER IS LOST IN THOUGHT.

STRAKER
Do what?

DESICA
Ease you out of the job.

STRAKER DOESN’T LOOK AT DESICA (FOSTER), BUT HE NOW HAS ALL HIS ATTENTION.

STRAKER
(softly)
He can try.

DESICA (FREEMAN)
(angrily)
But our evidence! They’ll have to pay attention to that!

STRAKER TURNS TO LOOK AT DESICA

STRAKER
(scornfully)
Evidence! How will it look when Douglas claims we manufactured all of it… to achieve a total clearance programme.

DESICA (FOSTER) STARTS TO SPEAK, THEN STOPS. HE LOOKS AT STRAKER, FORCED TO AGREE WITH HIM. THEN EXPLOSIVELY:

DESICA (FOSTER)
But we’re right!

STRAKER SMILES WEARILY. THEN THE CAR SWINGS TO THE RIGHT:

STRAKER
Sometimes Franco (Paul) that isn’t quite enough.

CUT TO:

115 EXT. HARLINGTON-STRAKER. DAY. LOCATION 10 SECS

TO SEE STRAKER'S CAR GLIDE INTO THE FORECOURT… STOP. THE GULL-WING DOORS FLIP AS WE:

CUT TO:

116 INT. MOONBASE CONTROL SPHERE. DAY. (STUDIO) 23 SECS

FREEMAN STANDING IN THE CONTROL ROOM TALKING TO PAULA HARRIS, WHO IS HOLDING SEVERAL COMPUTER PRINTOUTS.

PAULA (change to Joan)
It’s all been processed, sir.

FREEMAN
Anything?

PAULA (change to Joan)
Not that we can see.

FREEMAN LOOKS AT HER

FREEMAN
We should have been able to pick up something!

PAULA (change to Joan)
There’s nothing on Colonel Desica’s (Foster’s) log except the record of his own manoeuvres.

FREEMAN FROWNS THINKING HARD, THEN SHAKES HIS HEAD RESIGNEDLY.

FREEMAN
Alright, send it down to S.H.A.D.O. H.Q.

ON FREEMAN: PUZZLED EXPRESSION, WE:

CUT TO:

117 INT. STRAKER’S OUTER OFFICE. DAY. (STUDIO) 7 SECS

DESICA (FOSTER) AND STRAKER MARCH PASSED MISS EALAND, DIRECTLY INTO THE INNER OFFICE.

MISS EALAND LOOKS UP AND IS ABOUT TO GREET THEM, BUT SHE SEES THE EXPRESSIONS ON THEIR FACES AND THINKS BETTER OF IT.

MIX TO:

118 INT. SHADO CONTROL ROOM. DAY. (STUDIO) 68 SECS

THERE IS AN ATMOSPHERE OF NORMAL ACTIVITY AT S.H.A.D.O., THE TRACKERS AND OPERATORS AT THEIR POSTS.

STRAKER AND DESICA (FOSTER) COME IN AND BEGIN TO CROSS THE CONTROL ROOM.

DESICA (FOSTER)
So what are we going to do?

STRAKER LOOKS MILDLY UP AT DESICA (STRAKER)

STRAKER
Any suggestions?

DESICA (FOSTER)
No. But we can’t just sit around.

STRAKER
I’ve solved quite a few problems by “just sitting around” as you put it.
(he paused)
Perhaps you should try it more often.

DESICA (FOSTER)… GRIMACES, THEN LOOKS GUILTY AS HE REMEMBERS THAT IT IS HIS ILLEGAL FLIGHT THAT HAS GOT THEM INTO THIS MESS.

ANOTHER ANGLE

AS AN OPERATOR COMES OVER WITH THE COMPUTER PRINTOUTS TRANSMITTED FROM MOONBASE.

OPERATOR
The tracking report on Colonel Desica’s (Foster’s) flight has come in from Moonbase, sir.

STRAKER
And… ?

OPERATOR
Nothing unusual, sir.

STRAKER AND DESICA (FOSTER) EXCHANGE LOOKS.

STRAKER
Alright.

THE OPERATOR RETURNS TO HIS POST.

DESICA (FOSTER)
That leaves it up to the MV3.

STRAKER
The detector you had on board?

DESICA (FOSTER)
Yes. The data is being processed now.

STRAKER
We haven’t had much luck so far. Maybe we’re due for a break.

DESICA (FOSTER) NODS, THEN WALK TO STRAKER’S OFFICE AND ENTER.

ANOTHER ANGLE

AN OPERATOR IS BUSY IN ANOTHER SECTION OF THE CONTROL ROOM ANALYSING THE DATA FROM THE MV3 DETECTOR IS IN FROM OF HIM. (SHADOWGRAPH)

HE MAKES SEVERAL FINAL CALCULATIONS, THEN HE GETS UP FROM THE DESK, TAKING THE MATERIAL WITH HIM.

119 INT. STRAKER’S UNDERGROUND OFFICE. (STUDIO) 73 SECS

STRAKER IS NOW WORKING AT HIS DESK.

DESICA (FOSTER) IS OVER IDLY WATCHING THE MONITORS. OCCASIONALLY HE SHOOTS A GLANCE TOWARDS STRAKER, THEN TURNS AWAY AGAIN. ESTABLISH, THEN TAKE:

ANOTHER ANGLE

AS THE OPERATOR WITH THE MV3 DATA COMES IN.

THE OPERATOR GOES OVER TO STRAKER’S DESK AND LAYS THE MATERIAL ON IT. AS STRAKER LOOKS UP, DESCIA (FOSTER) HURRIES OVER TO JOIN STRAKER.

OPERATOR
The MV3 data, sir.

STRAKER WAVES THE OPERATOR AWAY, AND HE AND DESICA (FOSTER) HUNCH OVER THE INFORMATION.

AFTER A MOMENT, DESICA (FOSTER) STRAIGHTENS UP, HIS EXPRESSION STILL SLIGHTLY PUZZLED.

STRAKER
It seems to be a small SPS rocket of some sort…

NB: An SPS is based on the Service Module Propulsion System (SPS), a liquid-fuel rocket engine used on Apollo spacecraft. ... Apollo astronauts used the SPS to steer the spacecraft toward the Moon, place it into lunar orbit, and propel it back toward Earth.

DESICA (FOSTER)
(thoughtfully)
...like the limpet rockets they use for junk destruction.

STRAKER
But it doesn’t make sense!

DESICA (FOSTER) REMAINS LOST IN THOUGHT.

STRAKER
Why would the Aliens go to the trouble of putting a device like this into Earth orbit.

DESICA (FOSTER) GLANCES OVER THE MATERIAL ONCE AGAIN.

DESICA (FOSTER)
It could be programmed to attack any moonship flights…

STRAKER
A blockade on moonbase, maybe… But why hasn’t our radar picked it up?

DESICA (FOSTER)
The space junk… it’s based in one of those burnt out rockets.

STRAKER AND DESICA (FOSTER) CROSS THE ROOM TO A WALL CHART SHOWING THE MAJOR PIECES OF SPACE JUNK IN ORBIT AROUND THE EARTH.

STRAKER
Assuming you’re right, which is the most likely…

DESICA (FOSTER)
Well considering Maddox and I flew practically identical flight paths, it would have to be…

HE POINT TO THE CHART.

DESICA (FOSTER)
...one of these two, or Apollo 8 here, or B47 here.

STRAKER
Four possibilities… I think we’re on to something.

MIX TO:

119A INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT. (STUDIO) 12 SECS

TIGHT ON STRAKER LYING ON TOP OF THE BED DEEP IN THOUGHT. HE PULLS SLOWLY ON A CIGARETTE THEN STUBS IT OUT IN AN ASHTRAY ON THE BEDSIDE TABLE. ZOOM IN TO THE BEDSIDE LIGHT.

MATCHING DISSOLVE:

120 EXT. MOON. (VE) 5 SECS

TO ESTABLISH

CUT TO:

121 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 18 SECS

ON FREEMAN AT THE CONSOLE.

FREEMAN
(into mike)
...Freeman

STRAKER (VO)
Alec… I’ve got an assignment for you. I want you to launch the interceptors. Mission… to destroy four pieces of space junk. Control will replay the co-ordinates direct to the astronauts.

FREEMAN
You mean space junk in earth orbit?

CUT TO:

122 INT. STRAKER’S UNDERGROUND OFFICE. (STUDIO) 34 SECS

STRAKER AT HIS DESK. DESICA STANDS NEARBY.

STRAKER
Right… and I mean use all three interceptors.

FREEMAN (VO)
All three.

STRAKER
I know, it leaves Moonbase undefended. Nevertheless, do it Alec… at once.

DESICA (FOSTER)
Now wait a minute. Have you thought what will happen if Douglas finds out about this?

STRAKER
Ah yes, Douglas…
(smiles to himself)
Why don’t you go and tell him Franco (Paul).

DESICA (FOSTER)
What? He’ll go berserk.

STRAKER
Yes… Take a slow drive over, give me…
(checks watch)
Half and hour.

DESICA (FOSTER)
I hope you know what you’re doing.

HE TURNS TO LEAVE.

CUT TO:

123 EXT. MOONASE (VE) 5 SECS

PAN TO THE CRATER

CUT TO:

124 INT. CRATER. (VE LIBRARY) 8 SECS


THE THREE INTERCEPTORS BURST INTO LIFE.

CUT TO:

125 EXT. CRATER. (VE LIBRARY) 5 SECS

THE INTERCEPTORS TAKE OFF FROM THE CRATER.

CUT TO:

126 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 24 SECS

FREEMAN AT THE CONSOLE

FREEMAN
Control to interceptor leader… steer programmed course to earth orbit… you will receive destruct details from Earth control… out.

HE TURNS AND WE WIDEN ANGLE TO INCLUDE PAULA. FREEMAN IS WORRIED.

FREEMAN
If we sight a UFO now…
(quick)
Sound a yellow alert.

PAULA (change to Joan)
An alert?

FREEMAN
Don’t ask me why, I’ve just a got a twitch in my gut.

TRACK IN ON PAULA (JOAN).

PAULA (change to Joan)
Yellow alert, I say again, yellow alert.

CUT TO:

127 INT. STRAKER’S OUTER OFFICE. (STUDIO) 69 SECS

MISS EALAND LOOKS UP AS THE SIGN ABOVE THE DOOR GOES OUT THE ELECTRONIC BOLTS OPERATE AS STRAKER COMES INTO THE OFFICE.

STRAKER
Miss Ealand.

MISS EALAND
Yes, sir.

STRAKER
When James Douglas calls, tell him I’m unavailable.

MISS EALAND GIVES HIM A KNOWING SMILE.

MISS EALAND
And when he arrives, sir.

STRAKER
Send him right down, the red carpet treatment.
(thrown away)
He’ an important man. Expect him at 3 o’clock.

HE TURNS TO GO BACK INTO THE INNER OFFICE.

MISS EALAND
If you can spare a moment, Mr. Straker.

STRAKER TURNS BACK.

MISS EALAND
Joe Steiner’s been trying to see you for about three days.

STRAKER
Steiner?

MISS EALAND
The film director.

STRAKER
Ah yes… Well I guess I am supposed to be head of this studio…

MISS EALAND
Just about the most elusive in the industry.

STRAKER
What does he want?

MISS EALAND
Final approval on his next script.

STRAKER
Has Coleman read it?

MISS EALAND
Yes, sir, he says its very good. And he’s approved the budget.

STRAKER
Good… alright, I’ll see him, give me fifteen minutes.

STRAKER WALKS TOWARDS THE OFFICE - STOPS AT THE DOOR.

STRAKER
Sometimes Miss Ealand, I think I should write a screen play myself.

MISS EALAND
Based on your… experiences.

STRAKER
Well they say that’s the best way to do it.

MISS EALAND
No-one’d ever believe it.

STRAKER GOES INTO HIS OFFICE.

CUT TO:

128 HARLINGTON-STRAKER STUDIO. LOCATION. 10 SECS

A CAR PULLS UP OUTSIDE, DRIVEN BY DESICA (FOSTER). JAMES L. DOUGLAS GETS OUT, MOVES FAST INTO THE FOYER. DESICA (FOSTER) FOLLOWS.

CUT TO:

SCENE 129 DELETED

130 INT. STRAKER’S OUTER OFFICE. DAY. (STUDIO) 20 SECS

DOUGLAS FOLLOWED BY DESCIA (FOSTER) CRASH IN, MISS EALAND LOOKS UP.

DOUGLAS
I want to see Straker immediately, and before you fob me off with some damn fool excuse I’m telling you I won’t take no for an answer.

MISS EALAND
(calm)
Of course you may see him, Mr Douglas, he’s expecting you. You’re to go straight in.

DOUGLAS IS TAKEN ABACK A LITTLE BY THIS LACK OF RESISTANCE.

DOUGLAS
Well… thank you.

CUT TO:

131 INT. STRAKER’S INNER OFFICE. DAY. LOCATION 55 SECS

STRAKER AT HIS DESK WITH STEINER. DOUGLAS AND DESICA (FOSTER) ENTER.

STRAKER
Ah, Douglas… you’re late… won’t keep you a moment… studio business.

FEATURE DOUGLAS IS SEETHING BUT HE CANNOT BREAK STRAKER’S COVER. STRAKER SIGNS HIS NAME.

STRAKER
There we are, cleared for shooting.

HE HANDS THE PAPERWORK BACK TO STEINER.

STEINER
You know, I like the way you operate…

STRAKER
You do?

STEINER
Yeah, your policy of non-interference. Some executives crawl all over you.

STRAKER
I can assure you, you’ll see very little of me, Mr Steiner.

STEINER
And I’ll give you a film the studio would will be proud of, thanks again.

HE TURNS TO LEAVE.

ON DOUGLAS

STEINER STOPS BY HIM AND PUMPS HIM IN THE CHEST.

STEINER
Great guy… mind like a steel trap.

STEINER EXITS. DOUGLAS WAITS FOR THE BOLTS TO SEAL.

DOUGLAS
Alright, Straker.

STRAKER OPENS THE CIGARETTE BOX ON HIS DESK. DOUGLAS THINKS HE IS OFFERING A CIGARETTE.

DOUGLAS
You know I never touch them.

STRAKER
Voice identification.

DOUGLAS BOILS

DOUGLAS
James Douglas.

A BEAT. WE HEAR THE WHIRR OF ELECTRONICS.

VOICE PRINT
Identification positive… Douglas… James L.

STRAKER
Shall we go down?

CUT TO:

132 INT. CONTROL ROOM. UNDERGROUND. (STUDIO) 8 SECS


DOUGLAS FOLLOWS STRAKER ACROSS THE CONTROL ROOM INTO STRAKER’S UNDERGROUND OFFICE. DESICA (FOSTER) STAYS IN THE CONTROL ROOM.

OPERATOR
(to Desica (Foster))
Trouble?

DESICA GRIMACES

CUT TO:

133 INT. STRAKER’S UNDERGROUND OFFICE (STUDIO) 67 SECS

STRAKER AND DOUGLAS WHO SPEAKS WITH CONTROLLED ANGER.

DOUGLAS
I tried to call you, Commander. I was told you were not available. Were they your instructions?

STRAKER
Yes…

DOUGLAS
I see. To say I’m flabbergasted would be an understatement… However… I have one more question.

ON DOUGLAS

DOUGLAS
Is it true you have ordered all three moonbase interceptors to destroy certain items of space junk?

RESUME SCENE

STRAKER
Correct…

DOUGLAS
You realise what you’ve done?

STRAKER
Tell me.

DOUGLAS
You’ve blatantly, openly defied the Commission… and left moonbase and the earth defenceless.

STRAKER
It was my decision. I realise the implications.

DOUGLAS
Start packing Straker, when the Commission hears this, you’re through.

DOUGLAS TURNS TO GO.

STRAKER
Aren’t you interested in my reasons?

DOUGLAS
Let’s be kind, let’s put it down to a mental aberration, the strain of command… get those interceptors back on moonbase, Commander, while you can still give orders.

STRAKER
Sorry, Douglas… No.

DOUGLAS IS NEARLY SPEECHLESS

DOUGLAS
Straker. Don’t push your luck. If moonbase reports…

STRAKER
...a U.F.O. sighting…
(a beat)
...Stick around. I’m expecting it.

CUT TO:

134 EXT. SPACE. (VE) 6 SECS

A U.F.O. IN DEEP SPACE, THE MUSIC STINGS:

CUT TO:

135 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 21 SECS


FREEMAN AT HIS CONSOLE, PAN TO PAULA (NINA) AT HER TRACKER STATION.

PAULA (change to Nina)
Possible contact, 248-016 Red.

ON FREEMAN

HE REACTS.

FREEMAN
(to himself)
My God…

ON PAULA (NINA)

Paula (change to Nina)
Contact confirmed, U.F.O. 248-136 Red.

ON FREEMAN

FREEMAN
Red alert…

WIDE ANGLE

PAULA (NINA) LOOKS AT HIM.

FREEMAN
...get me SHADO H.Q.

CUT TO:

136 INT. CONTROL ROOM. UNDERGROUND. (STUDIO) 70 SECS


STRAKER, DESICA (FOSTER) AND DOUGLAS ALERT AROUND THE OPERATOR.

PAULA (NINA) (VO)
U.F.O. maintaining course. 248-204 Green.

STRAKER
Get the termination.

THE OPERATOR SPEAKS INTO MIKE.

OPERATOR
Request trajectory termination.

PAULA (NINA) (VO)
Predicted termination. I.F. 026 Southern England.

ON STRAKER

STRAKER
Close enough… its target is this Studio!

RESUME SCENE

DOUGLAS LOOKS AT DESICA (FOSTER)

STRAKER
Keep a visual countdown on termination.

OPERATOR
Yes, sir.

HE OPERATES A CONTROL.

STRAKER
Then carry out a general shut-down.

OPERATOR
Shut-down?

STRAKER
Everything! Radar, the computers, V.H.F., a complete radio silence.

DOUGLAS
Straker…

STRAKER
As you said… I can still give orders - total shut-down.
(to OPERATOR)
Do it…

ON OPERATOR

OPERATOR
Yes, sir.

HE BEGINS TO FLICK SWITCHES. LIGHTS GO OUT.

ANOTHER ANGLE

ANOTHER OPERATOR TURNS OFF THE COMPUTERS, ETC.

A SILENCE FALLS ON THE CONTROL ROOM.

ON OPERATOR

HE LOOKS UP TO A WALL CLOCK MARKING THE TERMINATION COUNTDOWN.

OPERATOR
(low)
Termination eight minutes 4 seconds.

ON DOUGLAS

DOUGLAS
(controlled)
Commander Straker, I’d like to speak to you… in your office. You too, Colonel…

WIDE ANGLE

STRAKER, DOUGLAS AND DESICA (FOSTER) WALK TOWARDS THE OFFICE.

137 INT. STRAKER’S UNDERGROUND OFFICE. (STUDIO) 120 SECS

THEY ENTER, DOUGLAS WAITS UNTIL THE DOOR CLOSES.

DOUGLAS
Straker, I’m relieving you of your command. Colonel Desica (Foster), you will take over, as of now.

ON DESICA (FOSTER)

CONFUSED. STRAKER’S ACTIONS HAVEN’T MADE SENSE.

RESUME SCENE

STRAKER
You can’t do it, Douglas. You require the unanimous backing of the commission.

DOUGLAS
And do you think I won’t get it?

STRAKER
Sure, I think you’d get it, but it would take time.

DOUGLAS
And this base is due to be attacked in eighteen minutes. Colonel Desica (Foster)... assume command.

ON DESICA (FOSTER)

DOUGLAS (VO)
Colonel!

A BEAT

DESCIA (FOSTER)
I’m sorry. I still take my orders from Commander Straker.

ON STRAKER
Thankyou Franco (Paul)
(hard)
Now for once in your life Douglas you’re going to listen. The aliens put a satellite into earth orbit using a piece of space junk as cover. Why? A blockade on moonbase? A logical reason, but obvious, too obvious, moonbase is self-sufficient for three months, in that time we would have located and destroyed it.

RESUME SCENE

STRAKER
So the satellite was a decoy, a red herring, for something bigger. An attack on this H.Q. They hoped the satellite would draw the interceptors away from moonbase.

DOUGLAS
And you fell right into the trap…

STRAKER
I acted as if the plan had worked.

ON STRAKER

STRAKER
It would take a U.F.O. of great destructive power to destroy this underground base. A special design… I didn’t want that hanging over our heads.

RESUME SCENE

DOUGLAS
All this guesswork doesn’t explain the shutdown.

STRAKER
Why make it easy. The U.F.O. is probably programmed to home onto our radio signals.

DOUGLAS
I don’t buy it, Straker. I just hope you’ve guessed wrong, because if you’re right… we’re all about to be killed.

STRAKER
There’s still time for you to leave.

ON DOUGLAS

HE LOOKS AT DESICA (FOSTER)... STRAKER HAS PUT HIM ON THE SPOT. HE DOESN’T MOVE.

RESUME SCENE

STRAKER
Alright, let’s just sit here and wait.

DOUGLAS
For what?

STRAKER
(thrown away)
A voice.

CUT TO:

138 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 12 SECS

FREEMAN AND PAULA

PAULA (JOAN)
Moonbase to SHADO Control… come in control.
(To FREEMAN)
It’s no good sir. It’s a complete radio shutdown.

FREEMAN
What the hell is Straker playing at?

CUT TO:

139 INT. CONTROL ROOM. UNDERGROUND. (STUDIO) 16 SECS

ON OPERATOR

OPERATOR
Four minutes to termination.

PULL BACK TO INCLUDE STRAKER, DESICA (FOSTER) AND DOUGLAS

DOUGLAS
Straker, if we contact the interceptors there may still be time.

STRAKER
No good, they can’t operate in Earth’s atmosphere… And the U.F.O.’s already in the stratosphere.

CUT TO:

140 EXT. SPACE. (VE) 5 SECS

THE U.F.O. ENTERS THE ATMOSPHERE. MENACING, SEEMINGLY UNSTOPPABLE.

CUT TO:

141 INT. CONTROL ROOM. UNDERGROUND. (STUDIO) 10 SECS

OPERATOR
Termination… one minute 20 seconds.

A LONG BEAT.

DOUGLAS
(resigned)
We’re sitting ducks.

STRAKER
Maybe.

CUT TO:

142 INT. STRAKER’S OUTER OFFICE. DAY. (STUDIO) 6 SECS

MISS EALAND LOOKS AT HER WATCH AND THEN WALKS TO THE WINDOW.

CUT TO:

143 EXT. SKY. DAY. (VE) 6 SECS

THE U.F.O. CONTINUES ON RELENTLESSLY. THE MUSIC STINGS.

CUT TO:

144 INT. CONTROL ROOM. UNDERGROUND. (STUDIO) 20 SECS

OPERATOR
45 seconds… 40… 35… 30… 25…

PAN ROUND GROUP AS HE COUNTS DOWN.

CUT TO:

145 INT. STRAKER’S OUTER OFFICE. DAY. (STUDIO) 4 SECS

MISS EALAND AT THE WINDOW.

CUT TO:

146 EXT. SKY. DAY. (VE) 4 SECS

A SOUND BEGINS TO BUILD. A CRAFT MOVES TOWARDS CAMERA.

CUT TO:

147 INT. STRAKER’S INNER OFFICE. DAY. (STUDIO) 5 SECS

THE SOUND BUILDS. MISS EALAND LOOKS SKYWARD. THE CRAFT SWEEPS OVER THE STUDIO AT ZERO FEET.

CUT TO:

148 EXT. SKY. DAY. (VE) 5 SECS

FROM MISS EALAND’S P.O.V.: SKY ONE IS IN A POWER CLIMB.

CUT TO:

149 INT. CONTROL ROOM. UNDERGROUND. (STUDIO) 16 SECS

THE INTERCOM BUZZES, STRAKER LUNGES AT IT.

STRAKER
Yes.

MISS EALAND (VO)

Sky One has just overflown the studio at zero feet.

STRAKER
Thanks, Miss Ealand.
(to operator)
Switch everything on… get me John Karlin.

STRAKER SMILES IN HIS MOMENT OF TRIUMPH. THE OPERATORS TURN ON THE CONTROL ROOM.

CUT TO:

150 EXT. SKY1. DAY. (VE) 4 SECS

TO ESTABLISH SKY ONE.

CUT TO:

151 INT. SKY1. DAY. (STUDIO) 13 SECS

KARLIN AT THE CONTROLS.

STRAKER (VO)
Nice timing, John. Go get it.

KARLIN
Roger control.

HE FLICKS A SWITCH.

KARLIN
Sky One to Moonbase. Request U.F.O. fix and attack co-ordinates.

152 INT. CONTROL SPHERE. (STUDIO) 10 SECS

ON PAULA (JOAN)

PAULA (JOAN)
Will relay direct to outward computer.

WIDEN ANGLE TO INCLUDE A SMILING FREEMAN.

FREEMAN
Why Straker, the sly old b…

PAULA (JOAN)
...fox?

CUT TO:

153 EXT. SKY1. DAY. (LIBRARY) 4 SECS

FLYING IN A CLOUDLESS SKY. (SCENE 132 FROM PILOT)

154 INT. SKY 1 COCKPIT. DAY. (LIBRARY) 8 SECS

KARLIN LOOKS AROUND, SCANNING THE HORIZON. HE TURNS HIS HEAD TO THE RIGHT, SCREWING UP HIS EYES AS HE STARES STRAIGHT INTO THE SUN. (SCENE 133 FROM THE PILOT)

155 L.S. SUN. DAY. (LIBRARY) 9 SECS

KARLIN’S EYELINE (SCENE 130 FROM PILOT)

WE HOLD THE SHOT FOR A MOMENT, THEN OUT OF THE SUN FLIES THE U.F.O.

156 INT. SKY1 COCKPIT. DAY. (STUDIO) 9 SECS

KARLIN SPEAKS INTO A MIKE.

KARLIN
Have visual contact… going in for attack.

KARLIN JAMS THE STICK OVER TO THE LEFT, THE COCKPIT SWINGS OVER TO ONE SIDE.

157 EXT. SKY1. DAY. (LIBRARY) 5 SECS

IT BACKS STEEPLY (SCENE 136 FROM PILOT)

158 INT. SKY1 COCKPIT. DAY. (STUDIO) 4 SECS

KARLIN STARES GRIMLY AHEAD.

159 EXT. U.F.O. DAY. (LIBRARY) 7 SECS


KARLIN’S EYELINE (SCENE 149 FROM PILOT)

WE SEE THE SAUCER CLIMBING RAPIDLY.

160 INT. SKY1 COCKPIT. DAY. (LIBRARY) 4 SECS

KARLIN PULLS QUICKLY ON THE STICK. (SCENE 150 FROM PILOT)

161 EXT. SKY1. (LIBRARY) 6 SECS (SCENE 151 FROM PILOT)

IT PULLS ROUND IN A TIGHT TURN AND FIRES ITS MISSILES STRAIGHT INTO CAMERA.

162 EXT. SKY. DAY. (LIBRARY) 7 SECS (SCENE 162 FROM PILOT)

KARLIN’S EYELINE.

THERE IS AN EXPLOSION. THE U.F.O. HAS BEEN HIT. IT HOVERS FOR A MOMENT THEN STARTS TO FALL.

163 EXT. U.F.O. DAY. (VE) 5 SECS

THE U.F.O. DISINTEGRATES IN AN EXPLOSION AS IT FALLS.

164 INT. CONTROL ROOM. UNDERGROUND. (STUDIO) 45 SECS

ON DOUGLAS -

HIS FACE HARD. THEN ANGLE TO INCLUDE STRAKER AND DESICA (FOSTER).

DOUGLAS
Well, Straker, I suppose I owe you an apology, you were right… I’m sorry.

STRAKER DOESN’T ANSWER.

DOUGLAS
You can take it the Commission will recommend a complete clearance of all space junk.

STRAKER
Fine…

DOUGLAS
Of course it will take time… The money has to be raised.

STRAKER
Call it the Maddox fund.

ON DOUGLAS

DOUGLAS
Maddox?

ON STRAKER

STRAKER
The pilot who died.

TWO SHOT

DOUGLAS
Ah yes… Maddox… Well, I’ll be on my way.

HE HOLDS OUT HIS HAND TO STRAKER WHO HALF TURNS AWAY

STRAKER
If you handn’t been so damned positive you were right.

DOUGLAS
Like… you…

THEIR EYES MEET AND HOLD A MOMENT, THEN DOUGLAS WALKS TOWARDS THE DOORWAY.

ON STRAKER

HE REALISES THE TRUTH OF THE REMARK.

STRAKER
Douglas…

RESUME SCENE

DOUGLAS STOPS AND TURNS

STRAKER
...I’ll walk you to your car.

ON DESICA (FOSTER).

HE SMILES AS WE HEAR THE ROUTINE CONTROL ROOM BACKGROUND NOISES RESUME.

END TITLES 

END OF ACT IV