Here are some extracts from the script for "Mission To The Planet Bob", by Andrew Bawn.
If you would like to see the full script or enquire about a production licence, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The astronauts begin to wake. They are initially groggy from sleep, and their movement is hampered by stiff joints. They start to remove the pipes and cables connecting them to the suspended animation system.
AMY: What the...? Katie? Is that you?
KATIE: Amy? What happened to your face?
AMY: My face? Your face! You look... old.
KATIE: So do you.
AMY: Ed! Oh my goodness! This is terrible!
ED: (groggy) What's going on?
AMY: The suspended animation system hasn't worked! We've aged during the flight!
KATIE: But that system was tested so many times before we left Earth.
AMY: I know, but you can't deny what we're seeing.
ED: I'm not seeing much. You're both quite blurred... which improves your looks, actually.
KATIE: Your eyes may have deteriorated with age.
ED: Oh great! And the nearest optician is ten billion miles away. So how do I look? Have I matured like a fine wine?
KATIE: No, you’ve matured like a pint of milk kept next to a radiator.
ED: Thankfully I’ve never had to rely on my natural good looks because of my sparkling personality.
AMY: Right, we need to let Mission Control know what has happened.
ED: Let's face it, we aren't getting back to Earth without that suspended animation system.
AMY: I know, and the team back home will find a solution.
KATIE: Is there anything we can do by ourselves to fix it?
AMY: Nothing that comes to mind. We should wait for advice.
ED: Maybe I’ll consult the Oracle Of The Toilet.
KATIE: The what?
ED: The Oracle Of The Toilet. I often have my best ideas sitting on the toilet. Don't you?
KATIE: Not really.
ED: It’s essentially time away from things to think.
AMY: So you wouldn’t actually have to sit on the toilet?
ED: Not in theory, but in practise it seems to work better.
AMY: Is that why all your ideas are crap?
ED: Very funny. You should be on the stage. Did I ever tell you that when I first joined the space programme my nephew was fascinated, as you would expect, but his only question was, “How do you go to the toilet in zero gravity?”
KATIE: Would you please stop talking about the toilet.
ED: Okay. The point I was making is that we need to fix that suspended animation system. If we can’t fix it, I think we should find a nice little planet to settle down and live out the rest of our lives. Preferably one populated by lobsters.
AMY: We have found a nice little planet, but that isn't the mission.
ED: But everything has changed! We're pensioners in space! I should be retired by now.
KATIE: Only if you had spent the last 40 years working.
ED: Do I have to work until I’m 100 now? What is this, a new government scheme to save money on pensions?
ED: So much for my idea to populate a new planet.
AMY: What do you mean?
ED: We're too old now, aren't we?
AMY: To reproduce? That was never the mission! And what makes you think I would...?
KATIE: Ed, you wanted to populate Planet Bob with one of us?
ED: Thank you for calling it Bob.
KATIE: Well? Did you?
KATIE: What then?
ED: It would be more effective with both of you.
KATIE: I don't believe this! There is no way, even if you were the last man on the planet.
ED: Which I am.
KATIE: You're incredible!
KATIE: That wasn't a compliment!
ED: Look, it was just a thought I had. Come on, it must have occurred to you?
AMY and KATIE glance at each other.
AMY and KATIE (together): No!
KATIE: The procedures tell us to refer decisions like that to Mission Control. But I don’t suppose you’ve read the procedures?
ED: Of course not, they’re about as interesting as an architectural tour of Cumbernauld… in the dark. Well, I just hope they make the right decision. Can you imagine if we find aliens there? What would you say to them?
AMY: We are the aliens, Ed.
KATIE: It doesn’t matter what we’d say because they wouldn’t understand.
ED: Okay, assuming they have technology that can translate what we say.
KATIE: I’d say, “We come in peace”.
ED: Very original.
KATIE: Okay then, can you do better?
ED: I’d ask them for some beer.
KATIE: What?! The first contact with aliens and you’d ask for something you can get at home?
ED: Hey, I haven’t had a beer for 40 years!
KATIE: Sometimes I wonder why you joined the space programme.
KATIE: Thank goodness you're okay.
AMY: I'm fine. I'm not so sure about the ship though. It seems like yesterday we launched, but the ship is 40 years old with 10 billion miles on the clock. It's been bombarded with cosmic rays, dust, and goodness knows what else for all that time. Frankly, the exterior is looking its age.
ED: (looking at AMY and KATIE) In common with a lot of things around here.
AMY: The hull is scorched and scratched, but what worries me more is the damage to the solar panels. That limits our electrical power. We may find that we can’t operate everything at the same time. We should conserve power.
ED: I'll switch off my hair straighteners.
AMY: I'm serious, Ed.
ED: Okay, the trouser press as well.
AMY: That's an incoming message from Mission Control!
MILTON KEYNES: Thank you for contacting the Mission Control Centre Museum. There is nobody here to take your call at the moment. Please leave a message after the tone.
ED: Oh wonderful! What do we do now?
KATIE: We’re still in the same galaxy, but the worm-hole moved us a considerable distance, and now we’re further away from Earth.
ED: Terrific progress, well done.
AMY: So what year is it?
KATIE: The ship's chronometer isn’t working.
AMY: Can’t we calculate it from the stars?
KATIE: No, nobody has seen them from here before.
ED: Can’t we calculate it from today’s newspaper?
KATIE: We could look at the position of the planets in our solar system, which we can see on the scanner. (She points to her screen) The planets take different lengths of time to orbit the sun, so their positions relative to each other take a long time to be repeated.
AMY: How long?
KATIE: About 5000 years.
AMY: And how long will it take you to calculate the year in this way?
ED: About 5000 years.
KATIE: I'm almost done, actually. Just checking it over... oh... crap.
AMY: What is it?
KATIE: Do you want the good news or the bad news?
AMY: Just tell us!
KATIE: Well, the worm-hole plan seems to have worked, and we have gone back in time. However, we overshot slightly. The year isn't 2121 anymore. It's…... 1985.
ED: Oh great, the 1980s. The decade that style forgot.
AMY: Ed, that's the least of our worries!
ED: Frizzy perms, mullets, shoulder pads, Duran Duran... need I go on?
KATIE: No, you really don't need to.
ED: Leg warmers!
AMY: Katie, are you sure?
KATIE: Well, as I said, I could be 5000 years out because the position of the planets would look the same.
ED: So are you telling us that if we get back home we can expect to find either Frankie Goes To Hollywood or Tutankhamen building a pyramid?
KATIE: Actually, Tutankhamen didn't build the pyramids, he was buried in.... (she realises she's being irrelevant) ... sorry... that's not important.
AMY: If it's 1985, at least there's a space programme. However, they won't be able to fix the suspended animation system. It hasn't been invented yet.
ED: Can't we go through the worm-hole again?
AMY: No, this end is a white hole, forcing out matter, not a black hole sucking it in. It's strongly repellent.
KATIE: Rather like Ed's laundry basket at the end of the week.
AMY: The point is we can't get anywhere near it.
KATIE: As I said, it's rather like Ed's laundry...
ED: (interrupting) Okay, okay! So we're stuck in deep space in the 1980s.