SCRIPTEASE The Fades
The Reduced SFX company revisits BBC Three’s supernatural chiller in one stripped-down script, by Jayne Nelson
OVERALL SYNOPSIS OF SHOW
Schoolboy PAUL is a GEEK who is really an ANGEL. He’s the only person capable of defeating the EVIL FADES [these are actually GHOSTS but nobody is allowed to call them that]. Even though this is a BBC SHOW, there is SEX and SWEARING and lots of GROSS BODY HORROR. Not that we are COMPLAINING, mind.
PAUL and his COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC are pissing about in an ABANDONED MALL.
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: Star Wars! Star Trek! X-Men! Batman!
PAUL: I don’t like this abandoned mall. It’s creepy.
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: Spider-Man! Inception! Joss Whedon is my god!
PAUL: Yeah, yeah, okay, we get the point. You’re a geek and you’re talking geek-talk at me.
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: I’m also pretty wicked on a bike. Watch me pull this wheelie! Wheee! The Force is with me!
PAUL wanders off into the DARK and sees a WOMAN fall to her DEATH after being ATTACKED by an EVIL CREATURE.
NEIL: Wotcha, kid.
PAUL: Who are you?
NEIL: I’m an Angelic, and so are you. In fact, you’re our Chosen One.
PAUL: You mean I’m Buffy?
NEIL [shiftily]: Uh, actually I didn’t mean to say “Chosen One”, sorry. That’s a cliché. And we’re avoiding clichés by the cunning ruse or renaming them. You’re just… special. Yeah, that’s it. Special.
PAUL: Are you coming on to me?
NEIL: What, in those trousers?
It’s TRUE, because PAUL is wearing horrendous PURPLE TROUSERS. This is because he is a GEEK and GEEKS have NO FASHION SENSE, apparently. We would BEG TO DIFFER, but what could we know, being GEEKS ourselves?
PAUL and MAC are at SCHOOL. They are being BULLIED.
YOUNGER SCHOOLKIDS: Ha ha, you guys suck!
PAUL: I don’t get it. Why does everyone hate us?
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: Because you’re wearing purple trousers and I’m wearing a coat from 1983 that wasn’t even fashionable back then. Avengers assemble!
PAUL: My life sucks. Even my sister hates me.
PAUL’S SISTER, ANNA, arrives.
PAUL’S SISTER: I ****ing hate you!
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: Hello, Anna. How are you today? I quite fancy you.
PAUL’S SISTER: **** off, you ****ing geeky piece of ****!
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: She loves me really. Klaatu barada nikto!
MEANWHILE, the WOMAN who died, SARAH, is back as a GHOST. Sorry… we mean FADE.
SARAH: Hello, Neil. I didn’t ascend. I’m going to be stuck here forever and ever.
NEIL: Sucks to be you. But who cares? There’s a war on and I’m a soldier! I don’t care about anybody, not even myself! That’s why I get injured every week and just carry on as normal. What are a few gaping wounds when you’ve got a world to save?
SARAH: You’re a bit weird, you are.
NEIL: I’m so tough I can have eye surgery without even blinking!
SARAH: Maybe you should leave me alone now.
NEIL: And as for baths, who’s got time for that nonsense? Soldiers don’t have to smell nice! Do you think I’ve got time for that crap?
SARAH: Seriously, Neil, piss off. Go stalk a schoolboy or something.
SARAH visits her HUSBAND, MARK, who unfortunately can’t see her and SHAGS ANOTHER WOMAN.
SARAH: I’m going to stand here and watch despondently because I have nowhere else to go.
THE AUDIENCE: You’re a ghost. You can walk into your local cinema and watch films for free now, you know.
The CREATURE that killed SARAH is a FADE who has found a way to BECOME HUMAN AGAIN. He kills more PEOPLE. MARK becomes a SUSPECT because the POLICE are running around like HEADLESS CHICKENS and he’s as GOOD A CANDIDATE as any.
SARAH: I know – I’m going to become human again, and that way I can have my husband back, clear him from blame and work to bring down the ghosts… sorry, Fades from the inside. How’s that for a plan?
NEIL: Great! You just drink my blood and lie in this bath of hideous gloop for a few hours, then.
THE AUDIENCE: This is pretty effed up right here.
BIRDS keep falling out of the sky, but nobody GIVES A DAMN, probably because they already saw it in FLASHFORWARD. This is SILLY, because in REAL LIFE this shit makes headlines. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12105157)
PAUL: La la la, I may be an Angelic and ghosts are real and birds are falling from the sky and the world is going to end – but I don’t care!
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: Why’s that, then? Nanu nanu!
PAUL: I’ve got a hot girlfriend!
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: Whoa, so you have! High-fives all round, my man! But how come your purple trousers didn’t repel her?
JAY: My own sense of fashion is pretty skewed, so I don’t care. Also, Paul grows wings when we have sex. That’s, like, totally awesome.
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: That’s wicked! Now I just have to woo Anna and we’ll all be happy. Quick, to the Batmobile!
The LEADER of the GHOSTS… sorry, FADES is called JOHN. He wants to make all the FADES HUMAN again, but this means DRINKING HUMAN BLOOD. He takes over the town and KILLS LOTS OF PEOPLE.
NEIL: You have to stop this, Paul! You’re our only hope! You are the Chosen One… I mean… You’re special! Oh, sod it. You’re our Buffy, Paul!
PAUL: I don’t want to be the Chosen One! I want to be normal and snog my girlfriend and hang out with Mac and pretend none of this is happening!
PAUL’S SISTER: My ****ing boyfriend has gone ****ing missing. This is so ****ing unfair. What the **** is wrong with this ****ing town?
PAUL: Hmm. I suppose this is getting a bit serious now, so I’ll do what you say.
NEIL: Great, because you’re the only one who can kill John.
PAUL: I’m not a murderer!
NEIL: Oh shut up and kill him, you purple-trousered nerd.
But their PLANS are THWARTED when PAUL is SQUISHED by a car. He comes back as a GHOST.
PAUL: Wow, I’m a Fade!
Sorry, we meant FADE.
JOHN: Hello, Paul. I see you’re a Fade now. We need to talk, man to man. Follow me.
JOHN leads PAUL up onto a ROOF.
JOHN: Psych! Now you’ll be up on this roof forever and ever! Because you can’t open doors you can’t leave and you’ll be trapped here for all time!
PAUL: But I’m dead already, so why can’t I just jump off the roof? It’s not like I’d kill myself.
PAUL: You mean to tell me that no Fade ever in the history of Fades has thought of that, so you’ve all been stranded on roofs for years?
JOHN: Shut up.
SARAH is now HUMAN again, so she goes to see her HUSBAND and they HAVE SEX.
THE AUDIENCE: We hope she showered off all that hideous gloop. It must have gotten everywhere.
SARAH: I did, and my hair’s in fabulous condition now. That stuff’s done wonders for my split ends!
SARAH’S HUSBAND: You smell like raw burgers, darling. I think I’ll run away with the other woman I was shagging.
Elsewhere, COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC is kidnapped by NEIL, who has gone a bit DOOLALLY.
NEIL: Paul has to kill John, right? So I will take you as insurance that he’ll do it.
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: Great. I’m totally Robin to his Batman, aren’t I? I hate being the comedy sidekick. I want to be the hero, dammit. I want to get the girl for once! Up, up and awayyyy!
He gets IMPRISONED with PAUL’S SISTER.
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: Now’s my chance! Hey, Anna.
PAUL’S SISTER: **** off you ****ing **** it’s all your ****ing fault this is happening you ****headed piece of ****!
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: Methinks she doth protest too much. I’m in here.
NEIL has gone totally BATSARSE CRAZY and shoots JAY DEAD. It is SHOCKING and UNEXPECTED. As we grapple with this JAW-DROPPING TURN OF EVENTS, PAUL finally decides to confront JOHN in the BIG SHOWDOWN.
JOHN: I’m just an ordinary bloke, honest!
PAUL: No, you’re not. You kill people. You don’t have to, you know. Come on, be a good guy! Don’t make me hurt you!
JOHN: Bog off, like I need lifestyle advice from a guy in purple trousers.
They FIGHT. PAUL wins. His PURPLE TROUSERS are ruined. He also manages to EFF UP THE UNIVERSE, which we determine from the fact the SKY GOES A FUNNY COLOUR.
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: We’re free! Paul saved us!
PAUL’S SISTER: I’m so ****ing relieved I’ll let you touch my boob. Go on.
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: [Pokes boob]
PAUL’S SISTER: So?
COMEDY SIDEKICK MAC: I am a man now.
FADE TO BLACK
Sorry, we meant GHOST TO BLACK
Wait, hang on…
FADE TO BLACK
Script by Jayne Nelson