BakkUp – Selected Scenes.
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…is a four part TV mini-series which is currently undergoing proofing and revision before being submitted to the relevant companies. The following scenes come from early episodes and should give you a sense of the feel of the piece without giving too much away.
The Peters' Mansion. The room is dominated by a three piece suite in silver. It is tastefully up-lit, with minimal decoration, and glass topped tables. It is futuristic, but not in a kitch Barbarella way. Again, we are reminded that this is a family of such wealth that they see no need for vulgar displays. Mrs Peters is sitting with her back to us, watching the screen which we can now see is set into the wall.
As the next advert begins, the doorbell sounds - a single soft tone - and the words Entry Req. flash at the centre bottom of the screen. Mrs Peters stands, takes a deep breath, and exits to the hallway. The screen continues to the next Ad. We are in a graveyard, immaculate and ordered. Simple white headstones stretch as far as the eye can see on a perfect green field. In the foreground stands Dr Bakk in a black suit, again immaculately presented. He looks straight at us out of the screen and smiles.
Dr Bakk: Strange though it seems to us now, to our ancestors this landscape was a place of finality. A place of loss. A place where we could come to terms with an end - our own end. I'm Dr Edwin Bakk, and thanks to my technology, these places, these Graven Yards, have been forever confined to the past.
He flicks his fingers. The grave stones shoot upwards, metamorphosising into the many magnificent pillars of the entrance hall of the Bakk Centre for Care and Resurrection. It is a cross between a hospital and a place of worship.
Dr Bakk: This is the Bakk Centre for Care and Resurrection, but you probably know it as the BakkUp Centre. Here, amid the chaos of our modern age, we have created a place of hope. A place of -
Mrs Peters re-enters the room, followed by Dr Bakk, and Mr Peters, the man we saw die in scene one. He looks a lot better now; more healthy, less dead. He looks around him as he enters the room.
Mrs Peters: Screen fade.
The television obligingly cross-fades, becoming an aquarium. Beautiful fish swim slowly and gracefully on the screen. There is no sound.
Mr Peters: You've re-designed.
Mrs Peters: You always say that.
Mr Peters: I do?
Mrs Peters: Yes, darling.
Mr Peters: I don't like it.
Mrs Peters: You always say that, too, and then it grows on you.
Mr Peters: How old are you?
Mrs Peters: Fifty three.
Mr Peters: You don't look a day over forty. No, thirty.
Mrs Peters: That's another thing you always say. Tea, Dr Bakk?
Dr Bakk: No thank you, unless it's....
Mrs Peters: Of course it is.
Dr Bakk: Oh well, in that case...
Mrs Peters: I'll fetch it.
Mr Peters: What happened to the M.D.?
Mrs Peters: It... it died. I decided not to replace it.
Dr Bakk: How very authentic.
Mrs Peters: I like to do the odd thing.
Mr Peters: Where's
Mrs Peters: At the learning centre. She'll be back at half-seventeen.
Dr Bakk: How is she taking it?
Mrs Peters: She's fine. This time.
Dr Bakk: I'm glad to hear that.
Mr Peters: I can't wait to see her.
Mrs Peters: She's all grown up now. You could pass her on the walkways and not know her.
Mr Peters: Is she...?
Mrs Peters: Very beautiful, darling.
Mr Peters: Anything else I should know?
Mrs Peters: I'll get the tea. Excuse me, Doctor.
Mr Peters: When did she stop liking you?
Dr Bakk: Somewhere around the forth or fifth time.
Mr Peters: Fourth or fifth? How many times have I stopped?
Dr Bakk: This is your thirteenth.
Mr Peters: Thirteen?!?
Dr Bakk: Yes.
Mr Peters: (thinking to himself) Thirteen times. In ten years?
Dr Bakk: Eleven.
Mr Peters: Well, that explains it.
Dr Bakk: Explains what?
Mr Peters: Simone. She looks, I don't know, more... jaded than I remember.
Dr Bakk: She's strong. But these things take their toll, even in the strongest hearts.
Mr Peters: And your prognosis this time?
Dr Bakk: Perhaps we should wait for Mrs Peters.
Mr Peters: Yes. Yes. Of course.
They sit in silence.
Mr Peters: Tell me, does James James still do that late night talk show?
Dr Bakk: I'm afraid not. He acts now. In dramas.
Mr Peters: Oh. Pity. I saw it live once. Twenty years (correcting himself) thirty years ago.
Dr Bakk: He's really very good. In the dramas.
Mr Peters: I'm sure he would be. All the same though. I like that show. I suppose things change.
Dr Bakk: Yes. The future never stops coming, Mr Peters.
Mr Peters: You look exactly the same. How do you do it? You haven't aged a day.
Dr Bakk: I'm a very successful man. And medicine also marches forwards.
Mr Peters: But not enough to...?
Dr Bakk: Like I say, we should wait for Mrs Peters.
Enter Mrs Peters carrying a tray with three mint teas in improbably small glasses. She passes one to her husband and one to Dr Bakk. She places the tray on the table and arranges herself on one of the chairs. Dr Bakk picks up his glass and smells the tea. His eyes close in joy.
Dr Bakk: Real mint. How ever did you get it?
Mrs Peters: You're not the only one here with friends in high places.
Mr Peters: Shall we begin?
Dr Bakk: If Mrs Peters is ready?
Mrs Peters: Of course. Why not?
Dr Bakk: As you are aware Mr Peters you have finished thirteen times in the last eleven years. On each occasion we have restarted you at this point, as requested by your pre-documentation. Each time, we have attempted different treatments for your... problem. Each of them has failed to realise the desired result.
Mr Peters: What's worked best?
Dr Bakk: Well, we have had a number of different periods of optimism. In fact, Dr Munir and I are confident that a new therapy from the mainland, a combination of Crystore technology and the application of electro-neuron stimulation may lengthen your present version's applicability until -
Mrs Peters: It won't work Simon. It won't work. It'll cost a fortune. It won't work. You'll suffer and then you'll die and then -
Dr Bakk: Come come Mrs Peters. Dr Munir and I have every -
Mrs Peters: Don't ever interrupt me Dr Bakk. You lost the right to do that a good many years ago and I shall not be re-instating it. Need I say more?
Dr Bakk: No. Not at all. Please, accept my apologies.
Mrs Peters: Good. Then perhaps I may be permitted to speak to the core of the matter.
She pauses, collects her thoughts; this is going to be difficult for her to say.
Mrs Peters: Simon. Simon, my dear dear Simon. I just... I can't keep doing this. I can't keep watching you die.
Dr Bakk: We prefer the term finish. To die implies an ending. And as we can clearly see, Mr Peters is by no means at an end. He has not experienced (grimacing at the word) death.
Mrs Peters: But I have. I've seen you die twelve times Simon. And I just... I don't think I can do it any more.
Mr Peters: What's brought this on? Simone?
Mrs Peters: I went walking yesterday. In one of the Nature Parks. And I walked for hours, through each of the Seasons. And do you know what I saw? Death. Death and rebirth. A cycle. This plant dies and it becomes the fertile ground for the next. And nature doesn't re-boot. Nature doesn't use Bakkups. It... it accepts. It continues. Like we used to.
Mr Peters: So what are you suggesting?
Mrs Peters: I'm suggesting. Oh God, I'm sorry Simon, I'm suggesting that we let nature take it course. No more re-boots. No more getting stuck here, repeating the same miserable eight months again and again and again.
Dr Bakk: Excuse me Mrs Peters, but are you suggesting what I think you may be? Because if you are, I have to warn you that the Bakk Centre will not... cannot sanction the permanent cessation of life.
Mrs Peters: I'm not asking you to kill him Dr Bakk. And I would love it if you could help him live. But the current situation is... it's unacceptable to me.
Dr Bakk: Perhaps you should look at other arrangements. Perhaps it is possible for you to move on with your own life without condemning your husband to -
Mr Peters: No. I won't divorce from Simone.
Mrs Peters: And I won't leave him. Not after this long. I have a daughter to consider.
Dr Bakk: (Outraged) Indeed you do. And how will she feel when her mother denies her a father?
Mrs Peters: She has no father already. She has had no father for eleven years. Since she was eight all she has had is a man who repeatedly demonstrates the frailty of life. Is that what you want for Charlotte, Simon?
Mr Peters: No, of course not.
Dr Bakk: But this is so... final.
Mrs Peters: Yes. Isn't it.
Dr Bakk: Mrs Peters... Mr Peters... Simon. I implore you to think. There must be another method, another solution. I cannot accept that this is the only way.
Mrs Peters: Then you had better come up with something quickly Dr Bakk. Because my mind is made up. And I believe, given time, my husband will come to agree with me. He loves me, you see? Not that I expect you to understand that. Now, if you have nothing new to add to this situation, I suggest you leave.
Mr Peters: One moment Doctor. Tell me - and I want the truth - what are the chances of me living until, say, a year from now?
Dr Bakk: (blustering) Well, of course, that depends upon a number of factors...
Mr Peters: The truth, Doctor. I pay you sufficiently well that you can provide me with that.
Dr Bakk: Based on all previous experience, and assuming that there are no new medical breakthroughs - which is a dangerous assumption in today's progressive climate - but assuming all of this. Your chances are... are as close to zero as makes no difference.
Mr Peters: Thank you Doctor. I appreciate your candour.
Mrs Peters: Leave us now.
Dr Bakk: I shall visit again on Friday. Perhaps by then you will have changed your mind.
Mr Peters: Perhaps.
Dr Bakk: I hope so. Sincerely, I do.
Mrs Peters: (cynically) Oh yes, you're very sincere.
Dr Bakk: I'll see myself out.
Mr Peters: That seemed unnecessarily cruel.
Mrs Peters: I'm sure it did. To you.
Mr Peters: Is it really that bad?
Mrs Peters: How many times could you watch me die?
Mr Peters: I don't know. I just... I don't know.
Mrs Peters: I love you, Simon. I always have.
Mr Peters: You know, this re-design is starting to grow on me.
An advert. We are in a room whose walls are a rotating kaleidoscope of colour and pattern. Enter James James in a smart black suit. He talks to camera, removing props from his inside breast pocket as necessary.
James: Just like everyone else, I like my party time enhanced. Now we all know that if you're going on the town you should always go UpTown, but those boffins at HighLabs don't like to rest on their laurels, so that's why I, James James, in conjunction with Enhancement Technologies - the better buzz - want to show you these...
He removes two heart shaped pink pills from his pocket and shows them to the camera.
James: These are LoveTowns, and they only ever come in pairs. Just like you will.
He winks at the camera.
James: Here's how it works. The two pills each contain UpTown, LongLove, and BetterTouch in pleasing combinations, so, as you can imagine, they're tailor made for a romantic night. But, as we all know guys, sometimes it doesn't go that way... even for a solar star like me.
He puts the pills in his outer pocket and pats the pocket.
James: Not any more though. You and your date drop one each at the start of the night. The pills are DNA coded to only want each other. As you sweat, the chemicals sense each other and trigger neurons that make you desire each other more and more. Eight hours after you drop these babies not even the security forces will keep you apart. But that's not all. When you do finally retire somewhere private, the same randy little chemicals prolong the action until they have fully blended - usually a couple of hours - and then release you both into full multiple orgasm simultaneously. Finally, a light mix of EasyDown and PillowMind ensures you get a restful sleep and wake up fully refreshed. So remember: LoveTowns. Always come in pairs.
The company logo appears. A completely different voice starts speaking quickly.
Voice Over: Available at all respectable chemists. Remember: No CryStore, no credit.
Finn's flat. Finn and Char sit wrapped around each other on a comfy sofa, Fran is at their feet, lounged on the floor, blissed out. Finn passes her what looks like a souped-up athsma inhaler and she takes a hit. Her head rolls back as she exhales. There is no smoke. She starts to laugh.
Fran: Oh yeah.
Finn: You always have guests. Wipe it babe.
Fran: Yeah, wipe it.
Fran: You are so not today.
Fran: Wipe it.
Finn: So bring him here.
Finn: Hey! The porn's not for me babe.
Fran: Oh yeah Finn, that's right, you just sell it, don't you darling?
Finn: (cold, to Fran) That's right. I don't need any sick shit to get me going, right babe?
Char and Fran both start laughing. Finn has no choice but to join in.
Finn: Well, if you're going I'm gonna get some work done. I'm not staying in with this wasted slut, I got better things to do.
Fran: You wish.
Finn: Get your skinny body off my floor and out my door.
Fran: You know you want me.
Finn: Baby, I can't afford the shots.
Fran: You coming?
Fran exits. Char and Finn kiss passionately, running their hands over each other's bodies. He reaches into his pocket and hands her a handful of pills.
Finn: Uptowns. In case this guy isn't as bad as you think.
Finn: You owe me.
Finn: I told you, I don't like to talk about it.
Finn: You think a Shoemaker tries on every pair of shoes that leave the factory? I watched a couple, once, and it didn't do anything for me.
Finn: All sorts of stuff.
Finn: You're so interested, take a few.
Finn: Yeah, that's what I thought. Besides, you already know more than enough for a girl of your tender age.
Finn: Oh yeah, babe, you know it.
They kiss again. He starts to remove her clothes. She breaks away.
Finn: That's cruel.
Exit Char. Blackout.
We are watching a charitable appeal advert. Images of the four people described appear and then draw back into a two by two grid.
Voice Over: Nigel is 34. He's meek, humble, and unimpressive. Sue is in her early twenties and, as you can see, is fat. Derek has a stammer and is poor. And Gina? Gina is plain ugly. None of these people has experienced intercourse in years, and it's unlikely that they ever will again. Unless YOU help.
The logo for the appeal spins in. It is, of course, all pink and throbbing.
Voice Over: This Friday is Sexual Compassion Day. It's your chance to give a little back. It will cost you nothing to have intercourse with any of the needy and yet to these poor sad people it really can make all the difference. Just listen to Harry, who was one of last year's many recipients.
Harry is silhouetted to save his identity. He speaks with the manner of the ex-junkie.
Harry: Yeah, well, you know, I'd sort of given up on ever getting brained again. I wasn't much to look at, well, I wasn't much of anything really. So anyway, I went to the local Charity Dome and, you know, put my name down. And within about twenty minutes this beautiful girl comes up to me, introduces herself, and, you know, takes me into one of the booths. It was one of the best days of my life. The next morning I felt so confident I applied for three work-positions. Okay, so I didn't get them, but you get the idea. I was a changed man. I haven't seen her since of course, but I'm always looking. Turns out she gave me a false name - I checked all that when I was trying to find out where she lived. One day, though... I'm gonna find her. And then I'm gonna... I'm gonna thank her. She's given me a purpose. I don't think about how useless I am any more. I don't think about how boring my life is. I just think about her.
We are back at the four-shot of our charity cases.
Voice Over: So you see, giving really can make a difference. Harry has a reason for living now. Wouldn't you like to help a Harry? Well this Friday, at any Charity Dome, you can. Please... give a little of yourself to make the world a happier place.
An ident plays. Our four subjects all smile at the camera. The words It costs nothing and means everything grin out from the image.
Simon: Nice tree.
Jean-Paul: They used to be everywhere.
Simon: So I've heard. I didn't take you for a nature nut.
Jean-Paul: Life is life.
Simon: Is that right?
Jean-Paul: You're in a bad mood.
Simon: Oh, its just... oh, you know, I can be a real jerk sometimes.
Jean-Paul: We all can.
Simon: Yeah, but I've got this thing about pissing in my own bed that just won't let up.
Jean-Paul: It obviously does.
Simon: Why do you all think I'm going to end up like him?
Jean-Paul: Well, two of us are qualified doctors, and the other two live in denial.
Simon: You're a doctor?
Jean-Paul: Of course.
Simon: Oh. It's just. Well, I thought you must be a nurse or something. Dr Bakk's lackey. No offence.
Jean-Paul: None taken. And you're right. About me being a lackey. But I'm a fully qualified Doctor lackey.
Simon: Still, how do you deal with it.
Jean-Paul: The Bakk clinic is one of the leading medical institutions in the whole system. And I grew up here, near it. Dr Bakk may lack subtlety but he's a brilliant man. And the clientele of the Bakk centre are some of the most powerful and influential people I could ever hope to meet. Anyway, I'm young. I have time. And I want to learn.
Simon: Why is everyone here so keen on learning? Why don't you just download it into your CryStore and have done with it?
Jean-Paul: Close your eyes and touch the branch of the tree.
Simon: (after a moment) Okay.
He reaches out his right hand and places it against the tree. Then, he closes his eyes.
Jean-Paul: What can you feel?
Simon: The tree?
Jean-Paul: Is it warm? Cold? Rough? Moving?
Simon: Well, it's -
Jean-Paul: Ssssh. Don't tell me. Just take it in for a moment.
A long silence.
Jean-Paul: Okay. Now, don't open your eyes, I'm going to put your hand on something else.
He leads him carefully to the plastic bench and places his hand on that.
Jean-Paul: Okay, same again. Tell me when you're done.
A much shorter silence.
Simon: Okay, I'm done.
Jean-Paul: Okay, open your eyes. That's it.
Jean-Paul: You tell me.
Simon: I prefer the tree.
Simon: Because this is a piece of high tech shite and that is a living thing.
Jean-Paul: But you were only touching it.
Simon: Well, it was more complex to the touch.
Jean-Paul: How complex?
Simon: Infinitely, I suppose.
Jean-Paul: Have you ever heard of a soul?
Simon: Yeah. Saw something on the screen the other day about it. Why?
Jean-Paul: Because I put it to you that no matter how infinitely complex the surface I engrave or mould on this plastic. Even if it is a perfect plastic replica of the surface of the tree, you will still easily be able to discern which is which.
Jean-Paul: And I think, that the reason for this, is that this copy, although perfect in every physical sense, would lack something. And that something, my friend, would be a soul.
Simon: Interesting. And you really believe that?
Jean-Paul: Most people did until fairly recently, in historical terms.
Simon: Bit of a know-all, aren't you?
Jean-Paul: I was never confident enough to score with women on looks alone.
Simon: I hear you.
They both laugh.
Simon: We should talk about what happened this morning. I know there was more that you wanted to say. We should talk about it.
Jean-Paul: We already have.
Jean-Paul: See you next week. Dial me if you're bored in the meantime. I like walks, and bars.
Simon: And women.
Simon: You ever do enhancers?
Jean-Paul: Not unless I've synthesised them myself.
Simon: I'll dial you.
Jean-Paul: If you want to know more, about what we were talking about, I can recommend a couple of books.
Simon: Sure. That'd be good.
Jean-Paul: I've really got to go.
Simon: Sorry I was so late.
Jean-Paul: I know. I should have shown you a picture of an oak, shouldn't I?
Simon: Yeah. That would have helped.
Jean-Paul: I picked here because it's a good place to sit and think. There's so much stimulus around these days I like these little pockets of calm. You're lucky.
Simon: That right?
Jean-Paul: You don't have a job. You have time to think.
Simon: Too much time.
Jean-Paul: Stick with it. It'll get better.
Simon: Will it?
Jean-Paul: If you make it better. Of course it will.
Exit Jean-Paul. Simon sits under the tree and thinks for a moment. Then he reaches out again, and, closing his eyes, touches the tree.
James James sits in a comfy burgundy leather armchair. Next to him, on a small table, is a jug of clear iced water, next to which, a half full glass has been artistically placed. During the appeal, we slowly close in on his oh-so-sincere face as if we were watching Jerry Springer’s “Final Thought”. He talks directly to the camera, his eyes a picture of sincerity and caring.
James: It’s been decades now since the world passed the Tyson laws, allowing female victims of domestic violence to legally kill their husbands, and yet even today, med-staff have to deal with women like Yvonne.
The image changes. Yvonne is dimly lit, as if she wishes to remain anonymous. It hasn’t worked. We can clearly see her, but it’s all a bit dingy.
Yvonne: Clive’s always had a temper. I mean, to be fair to him, I knew he was that way before I married him. We’d already had some nasty fights, but, you know, I thought if I could just love him enough I could, you know, heal that angry side. But it hasn’t worked. I know, under the Tyson laws, I could just take the kitchen knife and plunge it into him while he’s snoring in front of the screen, and believe me, I’ve stood there with it in my hands a fair few times, but, I suppose I’m just not a killer. And, when he’s right there in front of me, well, he’s my husband. I love him.
Back in the studio James looks ultra-concerned.
James: There are many women like Yvonne, women who, I suppose, just love that little bit too much. Until now, there has been no way for Yvonne to escape the unspeakable evil of violence against women, and the monsters who perform, and even enjoy this blackest of sins. But now, with your help, there is a way out. Rescue is a new charity which uses your donations to employ professionals to help people like Yvonne out of their cycle of violence.
Back to Yvonne who sounds more optimistic now, less muted.
Yvonne: A good friend gave me the number of Rescue, and one morning, after a nasty fight the night before, I rang them while he was out at work. They took my number and half an hour later, called me back. They said they’d arranged dinner for me at a top restaurant with a celebrity, and that I was to be there at eight. It was the best night of my life, and when I got home the people from Rescue had taken care of Clive for me. There was no blood to clear up, or anything messy. In fact, the doctor said there were no visible signs, so that can’t be bad.
Snap back to the studio, where James’ concerned face now almost fills the screen.
Finn’s Flat. Enter Fran.
Fran: Hello darling! I’m home!
She steps into the main room and we can see that Finn is gagged and tied to a chair, a healthy sized bruise across his face from his encounter with the iron bar the previous day, and a set of headphones over his ears. The Screen is on and facing him but no image is playing. Fran crosses to the screen and ejects five crystals.
Fran: Damn! I thought they’d last you all night! Hope you didn’t get too bored.
She turns and looks at him.
Fran: You look tired babe.
She picks up a device from the table and forces it up his nose. She pumps it a couple of times and his eyes immediately widen as he springs artificially awake for another few hours.
Fran: (as if talking to a child) I hope you haven’t been grabbing a sneaky snooze.
She crosses to the table and drops the crystals she removed from the screen in a glass bowl which already contains seven or eight. Next to the bowl on the table are Finn’s coloured boxes.
Fran: Now then, let’s see, one from the blue, one from the… red, and, hey! Here’s an idea! Let’s have one from the spooky black box.
She takes the crystals and waves them in front of his nose.
Fran: Oooh! Spooky!
He swears at her through the gag. It is unintelligible.
Fran: What was that, babe?
She removes the gag and headphones. Behind the gag he has a rag stuffed in his mouth. She pulls it out and he coughs, gasps, and splutters.
Finn: (with a dry mouth and throat) water… please… water…
Fran: Of course, babe. Can’t have you dying on me now, can I?
She goes to the kitchen and brings back a glass of murky water.
Fran: It’s from the tap… I hope you don’t mind.
She pours it into his mouth. He coughs a bit and it makes him retch but he manages to keep it down.
Fran: Better? Good. Now then, let’s try this again shall we Finn babe… where do you get the movies?
Finn: You know, when I get out of here I’m going to fuck you up.
Fran: Big talk for such a vulnerable man.
Finn: Fuck you.
Fran: Unlikely. So tell me… is sir going to talk or would sir prefer an afternoon triple feature.
Finn: Fuck you.
Fran: And there was me thinking Char was attracted by your devastating wit. Now, open wide.
She picks up the rag and gag. He clamps his mouth shut. She raises her eyebrows and holds his nose. He takes short breaths through a tiny gap in his lips. She removes her stiletto, shows it to him, and jams it hard into his leg. He cries with pain, the rag is stuffed in, and the gag and headphones replaced. She goes to the screen and inserts the three crystals.
Fran: See you later then, gorgeous. Play in order.
The screen starts to play the vids. We can’t see the screen but the look on Finn’s face tells us all we would want to know. We can hear the male grunts and laughs, and the female screams of pain from the headphones. It is obviously very loud. Finn tries to keep his eyes closed, but he is wired. As he fights, a tear rolls down one cheek. Fran picks up a couple more crystals from the black box, pops them in her pocket, and leaves without looking back. Fade Out.
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