RED DWARF Episode IV A NEW HOPE . . . WELL ALMOST

by Stephen Pitt Revised First Draft Started September 17, 2000, continued June 2,3, 2001

 May the farce be with you

1 EXT. SPACE

 

A long time into the future, in a galaxy far, far, far, far, far away...

A vast sea of stars serves as the backdrop for the main title. War drums echo through the heavens as a rollup slowly crawls into infinity:

It is a period of civil war. JMC spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Gelf Empire. During the battle, Canary spies managed to steal secret plans to the Simulant's ultimate weapon, Armageddon Star, an armoured space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet or a good curry. Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Kochanski races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy...

 

2 EXT. SPACE

 

An awesome yellow planet emerges from a total eclipse, her two moons glowing against the darkness. A tiny silver spacecraft, Red Dwarf firing lasers from the back of the ship, races through space. It is pursed by a giant Simulant starship. Hundreds of deadly laserbolts streak from the Simulant starship, causing an important looking part of the Dwarf to disintegrate.

 

3 INT. RED DWARF - CORRIDOR 159.

 

An explosion rocks the ship as two robots, a skutter (Bob) and Kryten struggle to make their way through the shaking, bouncing passageway. Another blast shakes them as they struggle along their way.

KRYTEN: Did you hear that? They've shut down the main reactor. Oh, we'll be destroyed for sure. This is madness!

The 'Canaries' rush past the robots and take up positions in the main passageway. They aim their weapons toward the door.

KRYTEN: We're doomed!

BOB makes a series of electronic sounds.

KRYTEN: There'll be no escape for Miss Kochanski.

BOB continues making beeping sounds. Tension mounts as loud metallic latches clank and the scream of heavy equipment are heard moving around the outside hull of the ship.

KRYTEN: Fry my optical transmitters and tickle my groinal attachment. What was that?

 

4 EXT. SPACECRAFT IN SPACE.

 

A larger Simulant starship has easily overtaken Red Dwarf. The Dwarf is being drawn into the underside dock of the giant Simulant starship.

 

5 INT. RED DWARF.

 

The nervous Canaries aim their weapons. Suddenly a tremendous blast opens up a hole in the main passageway and a score of fearsome armoured Simulants make their way into the smoke-filled corridor. In a few minutes the entire passageway is ablaze with laserfire. The deadly bolts ricochet in wild random patterns creating huge explosions. Simulants scatter and duck behind storage lockers. Laserbolts hit several Canaries who scream and stagger through the smoke, holding shattered arms and faces. An explosion hits near the robots.

KRYTEN: I should have known better than to trust the logic of a half-crazed service droid. . .

BOB counters with an angry rebuttal as the battle rages around the two hapless robots.

 

6 EXT. DESERT WASTELAND - DAY.

 

A death-white wasteland stretches from horizon to horizon. The tremendous heat of two huge twin suns settles on a lone figure, DAVID LISTER, a farm boy with no aspirations. A light wind whips at him as he adjusts several valves on a large battered moisture evaporator, which sticks out of the desert floor much like an oil pipe with valves. A beatup robot aids him with only one arm remaining and no head. The robot appears to be barely functioning and moves with jerky motions and grappling around blindly trying to find the right tools. A bright sparkle in the morning sky catches LISTER's eye and he instinctively grabs a pair of electrobinoculars from his utility belt. He stands transfixed for a few moments studying the heavens, then dashed toward his dented, crudely repaired three-wheeled bike. He motions for the robot to follow him.

LISTER: Hurry up! Come with me! What are you waiting for?! Get in gear! The robot turns a full circle, stops, starts running straight into a wall. Gets up and walks off in the wrong direction. Smoke begins to pour out of every joint. LISTER throws his arms up in disgust. Exasperated, he jumps onto his bike leaving the smouldering robot to continue his epileptic fit on the sand.

 

7 INT. RED DWARF - CORRIDOR 159.

 

The awesome, seven-foot-tall Simulant of the Sith makes his way into the blinding light of the main passageway. This is Djuhn'Keep, right hand of Doctor Langstrom. His face is obscured by his flowing black robes and grotesque breath mask, which stands out next to the fascist white armoured suits of the Simulants. Everyone instinctively backs away from the imposing warrior and a deathly quiet sweeps through the Canary troops. Several of the Canary troops break and run in a frenzied panic.

 

8 INT. RED DWARF.

 

A woman's hand puts a card into an opening in BOB's back hatch. BOB makes beeping sounds.

 

9 INT. RED DWARF.

 

KRYTEN stands in a hallway, somewhat bewildered. BOB is nowhere in sight. The pitiful screams of the doomed CANARY soldiers can be heard in the distance.

KRYTEN: Bob! Bob? Where are you? A familiar clanking sound attacks KRYTEN's attention and he spots little Bob at the end of the hallway in a smoke-filled alcove. KOCHANSKI stands in front of BOB. Surreal and out of place, dreamlike and half hidden in the smoke, she finishes adjusting something in BOB's open hatch, then watches as the little robot joins his companion.

KRYTEN: At last! Where have you been?

Gelf's and Simulants can be heard battling in the distance.

KRYTEN: They're heading in this direction. What are we going to do? We'll be sent to Silicon Hell or melted down and turned into photocopiers!

BOB scoots past his plastic and metal friend and races down the hallway. KRYTEN chases after him.

KRYTEN: Wait a minute, where are you going?

BOB responds with electronic beeps.

 

10 INT. RED DWARF - CORRIDOR

 

The evil Djuhn'Keep stands amid the broken and twisted bodies of his foes. He grabs a wounded CANARY by the neck as a SIMULANT runs up to him.

SIMULANT: Armageddon Star plans are not in the main computer.

Djuhn squeezes the neck of the CANARY, who struggles in vain.

DJUHN: Where are those transmissions you intercepted?

DJUHN lifts the CANARY off his feet by his throat.

DJUHN: What have you done with those plans?

CANARY: We intercepted no transmissions. Aaah....This is a mining ship. Were on a mission to bring materials mined from other planets to bring back to our home planet.

DJUHN: If this is a consular ship...were is your Captain? The CANARY refuses to speak but eventually cries out as DJUHN'KEEP begins to squeeze the man's throat, creating a gruesome snapping and choking, until the soldier goes limp. DJUHN tosses the dead CANARY against the wall and turns to his troops.

DJUHN: Commander, tear this ship apart until you've found those plans and bring me the CAPATAIN. I want him alive! The GELFs and SIMULANTS scurry into the hallways.

 

11 INT. RED DWARF - SUBHALLWAY.

 

The lovely young girl huddles in a small alcove as the GELFs and SIMULANTS search through the ship. She is KRISTINE KOCHANSKI, a Flight Coordinator. The fear in her eyes slowly gives way to anger as the muted crushing sounds of the approaching GELFs and SIMULANTS grow louder. One of the SIMULANTS spots her.

SIMULANT: Set for stun! KOCHANSKI steps from her hiding place and blasts a SIMULANT with her laser pistol. She starts to run but is felled by a paralyzing ray. The SIMULANTS inspect her inert body.

SIMULANT: She'll be all right. Inform Djuhn'Keep we have a prisoner.

 

12 INT. RED DWARF- SUBHALLWAY.

 

BOB stops before the small hatch of an emergency lifepod. He snaps the seal on the main latch and a red warning light begins to flash. The stubby robot works his way into the cramped four-man pod.

KRYTEN: Hey, you're not permitted in there. It's restricted. You'll be deactivated for sure. . . BOB beeps something to him.

KRYTEN: Don't call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease! Now come out before somebody sees you.

BOB whistles something at his reluctant friend regarding the mission he is about to perform. KRYTEN: Secret mission? What plans? What are you talking about? I'm not getting in there! BOB isn't happy with KRYTEN's stubbornness, and he beeps and twangs angrily. A new explosion, this time very close, sends dust and debris through the narrow subhallway. Flames lick at KRYTENand, after a flurry of electronic swearing from BOB, the lanky robot jumps into the lifepod.

KRYTEN: I'm going to regret this.

 

13 INT. SIMULANT SHIP.

 

On the main viewscreen, the lifepod carrying the two terrified robots speeds away from the stricken Red Dwarf.

CHIEF PILOT SIMULANT: There goes another one.

CAPTAIN SIMULANT: Hold your fire. There are no life forms. It must have been short-circuited.

 

14 INT. LIFEPOD.

 

BOB and KRYTEN look out at the receding Simulant Ship. Stars circle as the pod rotates through the galaxy.

KRYTEN: That's funny, the damage doesn't look as bad from out here.

BOB beeps an assuring response. The lifepod shakes about as if travelling through turbulence.

KRYTEN: Are you sure this things safe?

 

15 EXT. DESERT WASTELAND DAY.

 

Heat waves radiate from the dozen or so bleached white buildings. LISTER pilots his Landspeeder through the dusty empty street of the tiny settlement. An old woman runs to get out of the way of the speeding vehicle, shaking her fist at LISTER as he flies past.

WOMAN: I've told you kids to slow down!

 

16 INT. POWER STATION - DAY.

 

LISTER bursts into the power station, waking PETERSEN, a rugged mechanic and his pot of beer.He grumbled as he races through the office, yelling wildly.

PETERSEN: Did I hear a young noise blast through here? It was just wormie on another rampage.

LISTER bounces into a small room behind the office where SELBY and CHEN, two tough boys about the same age as LISTER, are playing a computer pool-like game with TODHUNTER, a burly, handsome boy a few years older than the rest. His flashy city attire is a sharp contrast to the loose-fitting tunics of the farm boys. A robot repairs some equipment in the background.

LISTER: Shape it up you guys!.... Todhunter?

LISTER's surprise at the appearance of TODHUNTER gives way to great joy and emotion. They give each other a great bear hug.

LISTER: I didn't know you were back! When did you get in?

TODHUNTER: Just now. I wanted to surprise you, hot shot. I thought you'd be here...certainly didn't expect you to be out working. (he laughs.)

LISTER: The Academy didn't change you much...but you're back so soon? Hey, what happened, didn't you get your commission?

TODHUNTER has an air of cool that seems slightly phony.

TODHUNTER: Of course I got it. Signed aboard The Red Dwarf Mining Ship last week. First mate Frank Todhunter at your service...(he salutes)...I just came to say good-bye to all you unfortunate landlocked simpletons.

Everyone laughs. The dazzling spectacle of his dashing friend is almost too much for LISTER, but suddenly he snaps out of it.

LISTER: I almost forgot. There's a battle going on! Right here in our system. Come and look! PETERSEN: Not again! Forget it.

 

17 EXT. TATOOINE ANCHORHEAD SETTLEMENT POWER STATION - DAY.

 

The group stumbles out into the stifling desert sun. PETERSEN complains and is forced to shade his eyes. LISTER has his binoculars out scanning the heavens.

LISTER: There they are!

TODHUNTER takes the binoculars from LISTER as the others strain to see something with the naked eye. Through the binoculars TODHUNTER sees two small silver specks.

TODHUNTER: That's no battle, hot shot...they're just sitting there! Probably a freighter-tanker refueling. One like Red Dwarf.

LISTER: But there was a lot of firing earlier...

PETERSEN grabs the binoculars away banging them against the building in the process.

LISTER grabs them.

LISTER: Hey, easy with those...

PETERSEN: Don't worry about it, Wormie.

PETERSEN gives LISTER a hard look and the young farm boy shrugs his shoulders in resignation.

PETERSEN: I keep telling you, the CANARYS are a long way from here. I doubt if the SIMULANTS would even fight to keep this system. Believe me LISTER, this planet is a big hunk of nothing...

LISTER agrees, although it's obvious he isn't sure why. The group stumbles back into the power station, grumbling about LISTER's ineptitude.

 

18 INT RED DWARF - HALLWAY

KRISTINE KOCHANSKI is led down a low-ceilinged hallway by a squad SIMULANTS and GELF's. Her hands are bound and she is brutally shoved when she is unable to keep up with the briskly marching troops. They stop in a smoky hallway as DJUN'KEEP emerges from the shadows. The sinister DJUHN stares hard at the frail young Flight Coordinator, but she doesn't move.

KOCHANSKI: Lord Djuhn, I should have known. Only you could be so bold. The JMC will not sit for this, when they hear you've attacked a high-flying officer o...

DJUHN: Don't play games with me. You weren't on any mercy mission this time. You passed directly through a restricted system.