INT.COUNCIL ESTATE FLAT.NIGHT
A two-room council flat in Grimsbury, Banbury. OSCAR HART,
an eccentric man of seventy-seven, is getting dressed to
go out. His clothes are unwashed but used to be smart
once. As he dresses we can see the numerous photos and
newspaper clippings on his wall, starting with the ROSWELL
DAILY RECORD from 1947 with the headline: RAAF CAPTURES
FLYING SAUCER ON RANCH IN ROSWELL REGION.
Oscar stands before a dirty mirror. He places a hat on his
head with a shaking hand. We can see an old photo of Oscar
with family in the corner of the mirror: his daughter and
her baby. Oscar sees the reflection of a photo of a UFO in
the mirror and is momentarily distracted.
EXT.SCHOOL CAR PARK.NIGHT
IAN INCH, a mousey schoolboy of fourteen, waits
impatiently as cars are pulling in. Hoards of bustling
parents swarm past him into the school, boasting about
their children. His hair is poorly combed and uniform
shirt is too large. He checks his watch.
(mumbling to himself)
Lights up, full stage. First
scene. Shift to red at twenty
seconds on audio cue.
INT.COUNCIL ESTATE FLAT.NIGHT
We follow Oscar through the flat, seeing the mess of
uncleared plates, supplies of food and odd inventions.
Audio track 1 on first character
Oscar starts humming as he reaches the hallway.
Audio track 2 plays at sixteen
seconds and track 1 cuts
There is a CRASH from outside. Oscar stops humming and
stares at the door nervously. We can see half a dozen
locks on the door.
Silence. 5 seconds.
A beat. Oscar moves towards the door and slowly unlocks
Main spotlight up on
A small light flashes through the letterbox. Oscar gasps,
and then quickly puts his hand over his mouth. The door
starts to rattle.
C’mon… the show’s gonna
Oscar falls back as the door is struck with a loud BANG.
Oscar panics as the bangs get louder and locks the door
again. He flees to his bedroom, throws his hat aside and
hides in a den built from his bedding, clutching a mop.
CLOSE-UP ON LETTERBOX
A letter falls through.
EXT.SCHOOL CAR PARK.NIGHT
ARTHUR INCH arrives, dressed in work clothes. He is
unconcerned at his late arrival and stands apart from the
bustle of the other parents. Ian runs over to him.
Dad! You had me worried for a
sec. I thought you’d been called
to fix Hell’s frozen pipes.
Cute. What if I’d been pickin’
flowers to throw onstage at the
end of your magnificent technical
performance? A pretty bundle of
lilies for the lighting guy? I
think I’ll just leave ’em in the
car now that my feelings are so
hurt and all.
Good thing I have hayfever then,
A beat. Ian’s smile fades.
You get hayfever?
The parents start moving inside. Arthur makes to move, but
Ian is still watching the car park.
No sign of Granddad.
Mum definitely said he’s coming
Did she now? Well, you can tell
her off this weekend if you like.
Maybe he actually got abducted or
somethin’ this time. Maybe they
came back for him, would explain
his microwaved brain. C’mon, you
can’t be late. Got it all
Down to the second.
Ian follows him in. Sound of APPLAUSE from inside.
Ian is walking across the tarmac in his uniform with a
backpack on and a camera in his hand. He is watching video
of the performance from last night and counting seconds
out loud, smiling every now and then at the timing. He
passes a group of older boys in hoods, who stop laughing
as he approaches and stare at him. Ian anxiously puts the
camera in his bag and moves on. He climbs the stairs to
the second floor of flats and notices the boys are still
watching him from below.
We can see the milk and newspapers that have piled up from
no one answering the door. Ian knocks on Oscar’s door
three times. There is no response.
Hello? Granddad? You there?
He knocks again.
Mum asked me to drop by. It was
the show last night. Can you hear
Ian? … Ian, m’boy?
Hey Granddad, can you let me in?
Ian! … What’s the password?
Dad’s not here.
That’s the best password I’ve
Ian waits as Oscar unlocks the door slowly. Oscar opens
the door a crack first, sees Ian and opens it full. He is
wearing a dressing gown over his pyjamas and looks
agitated. Oscar checks both sides of the door and glances
down the street.
Hello. Long time no see-
He slams the door shut before Ian can move. Ian stands
confused. The door swings open again.
What’re you doing, m’boy? C’mon,
Oscar heads inside. As he turns we can see that he has a
cushion covering his rear, tied on with the dressing gown.
INT.COUNCIL ESTATE FLAT.CONTINUOUS
Oscar shoos him into the living room. Ian sits at the
plastic table by the window and looks around at the photos
and newspaper clippings on the walls. The floor is covered
in rough drawings, strewn paper and bits of rubber bands
or cloth. Oscar stands awkwardly.
A beat. Neither know what to say.
You get that nice wagon I sent
you for Christmas? Little red
(smiles, a little confused)
Haven’t used that for awhile,
it’s been a few years since I was
Years? … Really?
Listen, I’m glad you’re here,
very glad, m’boy. Exciting things
are afoot, oh, yes. Here, here,
y’know the drill.
Oscar gestures at a bicycle helmet on the table covered in
tin-foil. Ian sighs.
Well, I was kinda hoping that
you’d like to see footage of the
play last night…
Ian pulls the camera out of his bag and offers it to
Oscar. Oscar takes it upside-down and stares at the
screen. A beat. Ian turns the camera back over for him.
Oscar nods and clears his throat. A beat. Ian presses
play. Oscar jumps as sound comes out of it.
Oh Heavens, what is this? No, no.
No, I don’t like that, I don’t.
Oscar hands back the camera to a deflated Ian.
C’mon, boy, on with it!
Ian grudgingly places the helmet on. Oscar leans in close.
Ian looks curious at how serious he seems.
I’ve made contact!
Ian slumps and smiles wearily.
Ah. Did they pop around last
night? Was that why you were too
I’m afraid so, m’boy. Contact!
We’ve actually communicated! Can
you believe, that after all these
years, they chose to come to me?
Of all people? They must think
I’m something special!
Oscar bustles around the room. Ian looks at the pillow on
his rear openly.
Do you want to see?
(through gritted teeth)
You know I normally can’t make
heads or tails of their …
’communications’, Granddad. Look,
… when was the last time Mum or
Aunt Mo came around to see you?
Oscar is rummaging through his dressing gown pockets.
Oh, quite awhile ago, I’m afraid.
Get phone-calls from your mother
though, she’s a sweet thing.
Busy, though. Aha!
Oscar hands Ian the letter. It is now very crinkled.
Before unfolding it Ian looks at Oscar carefully.
Read the note, m’boy, go on.
Ian opens the letter. We can see, in cut-out letters from
newspapers, the words: TWO DAYS. WE ARE COMING.
They … they left you this?
That one’s from last night just
as I was getting ready to leave.
Oscar pulls three more out of his pockets: FIVE DAYS, FOUR
DAYS and THREE DAYS. Ian turns each one over and stares at
the crudely-cut letters.
Listen, Granddad, these are… I
think you should call someone
about these. Do you even know
what these are counting down to?
It could be something dangerous.
Maybe … maybe we should call
Ha! When Hilda had her accident
they just wanted everything to go
so smoothly so they could get
home. Wanted to believe the
easiest story. They’d never think
it was real. No, don’t worry,
I’ve been waiting for this,
m’boy. I think- in fact, I (MORE)
believe, it’s a test. To see if
we can talk at peace.
Granddad. Listen to me. You need
to call someone. Call Mum. Lemme
Frustrated, Ian goes to take his helmet off. Oscar
whimpers suddenly and sets it back on Ian’s head, smiling
nervously. Ian is taken aback by the change.
She wouldn’t believe me, Ian. She
liked the stories when she was
younger but- No, it wouldn’t do,
Ian shifts awkwardly in his seat. A beat.
What’s the pillow for, Granddad?
Counter-measure, my boy. Do you
know what a probe is?
Ian waves and shuts the door. We can hear Oscar locking
up. Ian stands deep in thought. The same boys from before
can be heard kicking a ball around below. Ian unzips his
bag, takes out his camera and hides it above the door. We
can see the view from the camera as Ian secures it.
Camera starts fastforwarding.
In the dark and grainy footage lights start flashing back
and forth rapidly a way off. As they get closer it is
clear they are torches. Three hooded youths appear at the
door and start kicking at it violently. They are
recognisable as the boys Ian passed earlier. One slides
another letter through the letterbox.
One day to go, s’gonna be
They throw a brick through the window.
EXT.COUNCIL ESTATE.NEXT DAY
CLOSE UP: ON IAN AS HE STANDS OUTSIDE DOOR.
Ian watches the footage on his camera. He is horrified.
ZOOM OUT: STOP TO SEE WINDOW BEHIND HIM HAS SHATTERED AND
FRONT DOOR IS BADLY DAMAGED.
Arthur can be heard shouting from below. Ian hurriedly
throws the camera into his backpack. A police car’s SIREN
can be heard briefly. Arthur speaks loudly and with
Police wanna ask you some things,
Ian. Since you were here
yesterday and all. Make it quick.
We aren’t staying?
Look, your mum asked us to come
here and sort it out. If she
can’t get on a train for a couple
of hours for her own dad, I don’t
see what she expects us to do
about it. I’ve got the window
sorted, but your granddad won’t
even talk to me. No point me
bein’ here. Sorry.
I’m sure he’s glad you fixed the
Just make it quick, alright?
We’ve still gotta drop all your
stuff off at home. I don’t like
bein’ in this neighbourhood with
a trunk full of lights, those
things must cost a bomb.
We see Arthur walk away towards his van, the back doors of
which are open and filled with lighting equipment and
speakers for sound production.
Ian turns to see the door is slightly open. Oscar watches
Arthur walk away.
Hello, Ian, m’boy.
You get that little wagon I sent
Sure did. Thanks. Awhile ago.
Your mother isn’t coming, eh?
Oscar stares off. He looks smaller than ever and a little
That’s okay. They are coming. I
have them to see.
Granddad, this is getting really
dangerous. Let’s just go down to
the cars and-
Don’t tell them. Don’t tell them
about the letters. It’s what the
last one said- that is, the one I
got last night. ’Don’t tell
anyone’, it said. ’Or we won’t
But they- ! Granddad, how can you
want them to now?
Because they must come. They
must. After all this time, they
said they would … They must …
Oscar shuts the door and leaves Ian on the doorstep. Ian
turns away and looks towards the police with a frown. He
opens the bag steadily and pulls out the camera. He
fiddles with it, unsure.
Ian puts the camera away.
Ian finds his old red wagon in the back garden, covered in
dirt. He sweeps a few handfuls off of it.
Arthur is asleep in front of the TV. We can see Ian pass
by the window, the wagon trundling behind him full of his
theatre equipment covered poorly by a rug.
Ian walks carefully onto the estate, looking out for
trouble. The place is quiet. We can see that it is empty.
He pulls back the rug.
Oscar is stood in front of the mirror in his best outfit.
He looks again to the photos in the corner. His hands are
shaking from nerves.
We see the boys arrive. We follow them slowly from ground
level, focusing on the bricks and torches in their hands,
up the steps and across the walkway. They hush as they
reach the door.
INTERCUT BETWEEN INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR
Oscar hears a GRATING SOUND from outside. He turns quickly
as lights flood through the broken window.
The youths reel around to face the lights which have
sprung on behind them. We can see it is a spotlight fully
exposing them but cannot see the source. The lights flash
and change colour as ATMOSPHERIC SOUNDS boom around the
estate from large hidden speakers.
Oscar shields his eyes and approaches the window, in
The boys yell and drop their weapons, fleeing in terror.
Bloody hell! Leggit!
Oscar starts laughing. He runs to the door, pulls the
locks free and pulls it open. He stands in the doorway in
awe, but does not leave the flat. Eventually the lights
and sounds fade.
We hear the locking of the door.
EXT.COUNCIL ESTATE.THREE DAYS LATER.DAY
A tired Ian knocks on the door to Oscar’s flat. We can see
one of the boys down below, watching as Oscar opens the
Ian, m’boy! You get that little
wagon of mine? How’s it holding
We see the boy yell and run away in the background. Oscar
does not notice. Ian smiles.
It’s doing great, actually.
Getting some good use out of it.
Dad hates it.
Oscar and Ian are sitting around the table. Ian is playing
the video on the camera of the show for Oscar. Oscar is
watching intently but seems unable to focus. He makes no
fuss this time. We see the screen go black. Oscar does not
It’s finished, Granddad.
Brilliant! Marvelous! Ah yes,
it’s like magic, isn’t it? It’s
wonderful to sit in the audience
for these things, I don’t know
how you can stand knowing all the
A beat. Oscar eventually gestures at the tin-foil helmet.
Ian slowly puts it on. Oscar frowns and looks strained.
I’ve had no word, you know. Not
since they appeared.
Does that matter, Granddad? You
made contact, after all this
time, like you thought you would.
You’ve been talking about them as
long as I can remember, and they
were here, just for you.
Oscar gives him a funny look as if for a moment he knows
something. Ian tenses, but the moment passes.
I’m too old to be finding
answers. I’m at the age where I
don’t want to catch the things
I’m chasing. I don’t want to know
what happens when I stop.
Oscar looks to the photos on his wall. Ian shuffles in his
What makes you think they aren’t
coming back? They came all this
way to see you, after all.
They can take that lump of a
father of yours, next time.
Sure thing, Granddad.
© Danny Dourado 2012-2013