The War Machines
By Ian Stuart-Black
1, INT: WAREHOUSE
(The technicians stop tinkering with the War-Machine and stand away. It wheels around, its glowing "eye" swivelling about taking in its
surroundings. (And changing number from 9 to 3 at odd intervals, despite appearing to be the same machine.) Its lights continuing to blink repeatedly on and
off, then trundles across the warehouse floor crashing into a stack of boxes and palettes. It raises its mallet and smashes them to smithereens, then turns and
trundles off straight through a high stack of crates knocking them aside as if they were mere orange boxes. The machine begins to burble to itself as if it had
just found a sixpence, and it revolves and aims its guns. Slowly it advances. Caught in the harsh glare of the light from the War-Machine's "eye", Ben
scrambles backwards; but his fate is sealed as any escape route he might have taken is blocked by an impenetrable wall of boxes each marked with a familiar W.
The War-Machine stops and Major Green walks over and examines a readout on its side. Taking his opportunity, Ben rushes towards the door and struggles with the
lock desperately trying to get it open.)
GREEN: This is a warning! Danger! There is a stranger! He must be found and eliminated at once! Stop your work and start searching immediately!
He must be found.
2, INT: ANTE-ROOM
(Ben manages to open the doors and squeeze through, but runs straight into Polly.)
BEN: Polly what are you doiní here?
POLLY: I came to look for you.
BEN: What, did the Doctor tell you where I was?
(She swiftly walks through the door Ben has just come through.)
BEN: Look, be careful! Don't go in there!
BEN: Well it's incredible! I must get back to the Doctor and report to him.
POLLY: What is incredible, what have you seen in there?
BEN: I can't tell ya now Duchess...
(She turns again, but he stops her again.)
BEN: Look keep back Polly, I'm telliní ya, come on!
BEN: Because the people in there have gone mad! Well they seem as though they've been hypnotised or brainwashed!
POLLY: What else did you see?
BEN: There was a mechanical monster! And it moved...it just killed someone! Come on we must get out of here!
(Polly just stands and stares.)
BEN: Look Polly COME ON!
3, INT: WAREHOUSE
(The radar atop the war machine turns as it continues to burble its alert. Technicians rush about the warehouse knocking aside barrels and boxes sweeping
methodically through every conceivable hiding place.)
GREEN: The stranger is beyond that door, bearing two-hundred and fifteen degrees. He must be taken at once! He is a threat to the security of
the War-Machines! On no account must he escape!
4, INT: ANTE-ROOM
BEN: POLLY MOVE!
(She just stands there.)
5, INT: WAREHOUSE
GREEN: Lock all the outside doors he must not leave the building!
6, INT: ANTE-ROOM
(Polly walks stiffly over to the door.)
BEN: That's it girl, now lets get out of it.
(Polly closes and firmly locks the exterior door with a large padlock.)
BEN: Have you gone mad?! What are you doing? Look for Pete's sake Polly open it!
POLLY: I have my instructions.
BEN: Polly what's happened to you?
POLLY: You are not to escape.
BEN: Look I've gotta get out of here! Come on, get out of the way!
(Ben tries to get to the door but Polly wrestles with him.)
BEN: Look Polly I've gotta get away.
POLLY: You are not to escape!
(Polly manages to disentangle from Ben and falls against a crate.)
(Several Technicians rush into the room, grab Ben and drag him into the main warehouse.)
BEN: Aiigh! Polly you dunno what you're doing! Go and get the Doctor before it's too late!
7, INT: WAREHOUSE
(Major Green stands with War-Machine number 3.)
GREEN: Bring him here. The machine will deal with him.
(Still struggling, Ben is brought before Green.)
BEN: Polly GO NOW! GO AND GET THE DOCTOR POLLY!
GREEN: Bring him! The stranger has been spying!
(The technicians holding Ben come to a halt. He looks fearfully forwards and sees Green who is accompanied by his pet War-Machine.)
8, INT: ANTE-ROOM
(Polly walks through into the main warehouse.)
9, SUMMER'S OFFICE
(The Doctor looks at his fob watch in concern.)
DOCTOR: Oh deardeardeardeardear, hmph!
SUMMER: Well take my advice Doctor, it's no good upsetting yourself.
DOCTOR: Oh yes that boy, that boy should be back here ages ago!
SUMMER: Well you know what young people are. He's probably been distracted by something.
DOCTOR: Well he seemed quite a responsible young lad. I suppose if he hasn't phoned it's because he hasn't been, er...well he has not been able to.
SUMMER: Well what d'you suppose stopped him?
(He looks at his watch.)
SUMMER: Oh I must say, we've given him four hours.
SUMMER: Perhaps it is time that I asked the... Police to investigate?
DOCTOR: Ah, no Sir Charles I don't think we should allow the Police to intervene at the moment. Otherwise we might drive this threat further underground
or wherever it is.
(Sir Charles tuts.)
SUMMER: Ah, precisely. Whatever it is. Oh damn it man, you've got no evidence. We simply cannot let rumour upset the big switch-on.
DOCTOR: Well unless I'm very much mistaken we're going to have a lot more than rumour to contend with. Oh dear me, where is that boy? Hmph!
10, INT: WAREHOUSE
(The Major is standing triumphantly before a miserable Ben who is being held either side by two goons. Behind Green, the bulk of the machine burbles to
GREEN: You tried to warn human authority of our work in this building. You are an enemy of mechanised evolution! Nothing must be allowed to prevent
the machines taking over. They are the next stage in the growth of life force of Earth. All obstacles will be swept aside - including you!
BEN: Are you all mad?! It'll be your turn next!
GREEN: We are needed by WOTAN. WOTAN will decide our fate.
BEN: You are mad! All of ya!
(Polly steps forward.)
BEN: Look, Polly can't you see what's happened to you?
(Green regards Polly casually.)
GREEN: What does the girl want?
POLLY: I trapped him - I did not let him escape.
GREEN: That is true.
POLLY: WOTAN requires all the labour we can find. It is too soon to destroy this stranger. Let him work and destroy him later.
GREEN: How do you know what WOTAN wants?
POLLY: I have just come from Professor Brett. These are his orders and the orders of WOTAN.
GREEN: Very well, let him live Ė he will work for us. We must all work! Go back to your work.
(As Green strides away the technicians move off to their jobs again. The War-Machine glides away after Green like a faithful puppy. Ben wanders over to
Polly, but she remains still as if pondering what she had just done.)
BEN: Strewth! That was a close one, thanks girl. Well, you really played them along - you even had me fooled!
POLLY: You have been spared. Now you must work hard for the success of this great new cause.
BEN: Eh? What cause?
(Polly regards him coldly.)
POLLY: The victory of the War-Machines!
11, EXT: POST-OFFICE TOWER
(The exterior of the General Post-Office Tower.)
12, INT: BRETT'S LABORATORY
(Brett and Krimpton move to communicate, but neither faces the other as if such things as non verbal communication are a waste of time. They fire off rounds
of conversation at each other in efficient machine-like blasts of information exchange.)
BRETT: All War-Machines will be ready to attack by noon tomorrow.
KRIMPTON: Machines have been programmed to destroy any form of human life that opposes them. The order to attack must come from WOTAN alone.
BRETT: None are fully completed yet. The Covent Garden Machine is now on itís final tests.
KRIMPTON: The programming of these Machines is near completion.
BRETT: All machines must be disciplined - they must attack simultaneously.
KRIMPTON: Object of attack: to take over strategic centres and assume control of all human authority!
13, INT: WAREHOUSE
(War Machine 3 glides across the room and Green approaches a group of technicians.)
GREEN: Faster! All human-beings who break down will be eliminated!
(He notices a slow worker, with a swift karate-chop to the neck the unfortunate man slumps to the floor.)
GREEN: There is no time for rest. You must follow the example of the machines!
(The War-Machine nudges the corpse with itís base, and it the rolls the body over and over until it comes to rest in a dark corner out of the way of the
workers. In another section of the warehouse Ben and Polly are loading boxes. Polly looks the worse off of the two, and as she places her box down she stumbles
against the boxes, almost falling over.)
BEN: Are you okay, ducks?
POLLY: Why do you speak?
BEN: Well look at you, youíre nearly on the ground!
POLLY: Iím very well. I am happy to work for the success of the Machines.
(She wobbles on her feet again, and Ben catches her.)
BEN: Look, come off it love, you can hardly stand up!
POLLY: That is not important...
BEN: Oh yeah, sure.
(She strains to lift another box.)
POLLY: Must not stop... All work must be complete by tomorrow noon.
BEN: Well why by noon?
POLLY: The attack is to begin.
POLLY: The takeover of London by the War-Machines.
BEN: Oh that... And youíre looking forward to it, eh?
POLLY: Of course.
(Ben looks across the warehouse.)
BEN: Yeah, weíre all so keen theyíve even taken the guard off the door.
POLLY: Naturally, none of us wish to leave. We all wish to stay for the moment of victory.
BEN: Oh yeah, victory, thatís right. And weíll all be here wonít we?
(In another part of the warehouse technicians are labouring.)
GREEN OOV: All explosives to be collected here.
(The technicians pass boxes of equipment containing artillery and rifles across and stack them neatly. Ben watches Green from behind a stack of boxes, then
ducks away as a technician walks past. He looks around from hiding and sees Polly staring at him vaguely as if trying to remember something. Reaching a
decision, she ignores Benís escape attempts, and returns to her box stacking. Taking a last look at Polly, Ben seizes his chance to hurry away to the exit
again. Green stands in the centre of the floor like a bizarre kind of suited overseer.)
GREEN: All explosives to be examined and primed ready for use by noon tomorrow. Work! Work! The success of the War-Machines depends upon us!
(Ben throws caution to the wind runs across the back of the warehouse, he is unseen this time.)
14, INT: ANTE-ROOM
(Ben moves to the door, but finds that it is bolted and padlocked. Frantically he looks around for some means of getting the door open. He locates a crowbar
at the back of the room. After a great deal of effort he eventually manages to prise the lock off the door, and throws it wide open. With relief he gasps out
into the cold night air beyond the doorway.)
15, INT: SUMMER'S OFFICE
(The Doctor is seated at a table tapping impatiently. Coming to a decision, he gets up and moves towards the door. Summer makes an attempt to pursue him.)
DOCTOR: Well, I shanít wait any longer. I must take a look for myself.
SUMMER: But Doctor!
DOCTOR: After what happened to Dodo, my dear sir, we should never have let those youngsters out of our sight!
(The doorbell rings.)
DOCTOR: That might be Ben now! Hmph!
SUMMER: Iíll see.
(Summer goes to open the door.)
DOCTOR: Ah come in my...here...
(A bedraggled looking Ben tumbles through the doorway.)
DOCTOR: Good heavens! Whatever...
(Summer helps Ben in and helps him to sit him down in a chair.)
DOCTOR: My dear boy! Whatís happened to you, lad, Mm?
SUMMER: Are you alright?
(Ben gasps for breath.)
BEN: Yeah, Iím...Iím alright.
DOCTOR: Now take your time, take your time... Now whereís Polly?
BEN: Sheís still there Doctor - theyíve got her! Sheís-sheís one of them now!
DOCTOR: What do you mean theyíve got her, where is she?
BEN: Sheís in warehouse...
BEN: A warehouse in Covent Garden, and thereís a machine, a killer machine! And if we donít stop it itíll kill Ďalf London!
(Summer looks at the Doctor with a startled expression. The Doctor straightens up and glares regally into space with his nose in the air as if he were
showing his concern as a Roman Emperor might.)
16, INT: WAREHOUSE
(Green writes on a clipboard, the ever-faithful machine humming softly in the corner, never more than a few metres from the Major. As Polly walks zombie-like
across the path of the machine, she hears the emotionless tones of Green.)
GREEN: Where is he? You are responsible for the stranger, where is he?
(Polly turns and walks towards Green.)
GREEN: Do you know what has happened to him? Answer!
POLLY: He escaped.
GREEN: How do you know?
POLLY: I saw him.
GREEN: You saw him and you did not give the alarm?
GREEN: Why not?
(She opens her mouth to answer, but no words come, after a pause she speaks.)
POLLY: I...donít know.
GREEN: You are working for the machines, you are an instrument only. You have no friends, no will of your own!
(Polly looks confused again.)
POLLY: Friends... He was my friend...
(Green walks over to the machine in the background, then wheels around to look at Polly who is still rooted to the spot awaiting further instructions.)
GREEN: She has betrayed the WOTAN; she therefore must be sent back to WOTAN to be punished.
17, INT: SUMMER'S OFFICE
SUMMER: Donít tell me that you believe this fantastic story, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Well, Iím afraid I do.
SUMMER: What, that this machine made by man; that itís somehow come to life?
DOCTOR: Yes, I had suspected something of that sort.
SUMMER: Oh come on, the boyís been suffering some sort of delusion!
DOCTOR: Oh my dear Sir-Charles! How could you know that, mm?
SUMMER: Because itís impossible! Here, in the heart of London?
BEN: Look, Iím telliní you, it Ďas Ďappened! Donít letís waste any more time arguing!
DOCTOR: We are not wasting time my dear boy! We need Sir-Charlesí authority, his help! Without this we can do nothing!
(Ben rushes up to Summer.)
BEN: Look, Sir-Charles, every minute we waste is dangerous! They look as if theyíre preparing an arsenal to blow up L-London!
SUMMER: Well if this is so, why werenít the Police informed?
(Ben is going from panic to anger.)
BEN: Well Iím telliní you NOW, ainít I?! I nearly got done didnít I, what more díya want?! YOU inform them, if you donít
itíll be on yer own Ďead!
(Sir-Charles gazes coolly at Ben.)
SUMMER: I donít like your tone young man!
DOCTOR: I am quite prepared to accept the truth of this boyís statement.
SUMMER: Alright if you consider itís necessary Iíll have a word with the Commissioner of Police.
DOCTOR: No Sir-Charles, I think the police might find it too big for them to handle at the moment.
SUMMER: Well that is for them to decide.
(He turns to Ben.)
SUMMER: How many of them were there?
BEN: About twenty.
DOCTOR: And you say that they were...obeying this machine?
BEN: Yeah, they said something about: ďAll Machines must be ready by noon tomorrowĒ. Then they attack!
SUMMER: Ah, well we shall see... It should be a fairly simple matter to surround the building and arrest twenty people.
BEN: And whoíll do that the coppers?
SUMMER: That is what the Police are for.
BEN: But that machine will make mincemeat of them in twenty-seconds flat!
SUMMER: Then presumably theyíll send for the army and thatíll put a stop to this ďmachineĒ of yours!
DOCTOR: Iím afraid weíve got all our priorities mixed up. They might be able to destroy this machine, but in all probability there are others waiting
to attack us!
BEN: Well Iím sure there are!
DOCTOR: Exactly, and we donít know their location! And I doubt very much if we can find them all by tomorrow noon! No, I think we should strike at what
I believe to be the centre of this menace. WOTAN!
SUMMER: Oh now I hardly think thatíll be necessary, there is no evidence to link Professor Brett with this machine of yours!
BEN: No link up?! What about Polly?!
SUMMER: Iíve had quite enough from you, young man! I shall handle this affair in my own way.
(Summer marches off, and Ben moves to follow him but the Doctor holds him back.)
BEN: Well whatís he gonna do?
DOCTOR: Well I fear weíve riled him my boy! You see the official mind can only take in so much at a time. Ha-ha! However, we must keep our weather eyes
open. Come along!
(They exit the office.)
17, INT: SUMMER'S PRIVATE ROOM
(Sir-Charles is talking on the telephone in another part of the Whitehall building.)
SUMMER: Hello? Hello-hello...operator? I seem to have been cut off. Ah, is that you Minister? No? Well for heavens sake, call him out of the
conference man, this is an emergency! Whatís that? No, Iím not telling you again. ...Ah, ah, is that you Minister? Yes, yes this is very serious indeed.
Some kind of killer machine Iím told. Yes, like a tank...it has about twenty men with it. Yes, I should say this would call for firearms Ė just as well to
be prepared. ...What? What you think you might call the army? Well, just as you say, of course. No...no. Well, Iíve given your man all the details. Itís in
the Covent Garden area. Fine, right well Iím off down there right away. Goodbye Minister.
(He replaces the receiver.)
18, EXT: COVENT GARDEN MARKET
(A siren sounds and several soldiers run down a road. An army truck carrying the solders drives down the road. Somewhere a large red sign bearing the legend
ďALERTĒ blinks on and off. The truck comes to a halt and the back opens down.)
SOLDIER: Right, on the double!
(The soldiers disgorge from the truck and run along the road as another truck draws up and does the same. The soldiers stop for a moment behind cover,
checking the area. After a moment they move forward and set up positions at all exits to the warehouse area. A metal sign by the side reads ďDANGER KEEP OUT
MILITARY MANOEUVRE W*D.Ē Two soldiers approach Sir-Charles who is carrying a pair of binoculars.)
SERGEANT: These are the bearings Sir. They intersect here.
CAPTAIN: Yes this is the building isnít it, Sir Charles?
SUMMER: Yes thatís it.
CAPTAIN: Thank you Sergeant.
CAPTAIN: Weíve been taking bearings, thereís a good deal of radio and electrical activity there. Have you any idea whatís causing it?
SUMMER: Well Iíve been given to understand that there is a large amount of explosive in there and a new kind of War-Machine. Though how much truth there
is in that I dunno.
CAPTAIN: And the people inside?
SUMMER: We donít know how theyíll react yet.
CAPTAIN: Well they wonít get far. Weíve got a couple of platoons covering the back of the building, and my lads watching both ends of this road
watching the front.
SUMMER: Yes... Well, I think weíd better have a look inside, perhaps send some of your men in?
CAPTAIN: Thatís all arranged. Thereís a patrol standing by. Say the word and theyíll go in and have a look around.
SUMMER: This, er... Might be a little more dangerous than we think.
CAPTAIN: Donít worry Sir-Charles, my lads can handle it.
SUMMER: Alright then, when youíre ready go ahead.
CAPTAIN: Alright sergeant, stage one.
(The Sergeant speaks into a large field telephone.)
SERGEANT: Calling Orange Patrol, calling Orange Patrol. Your objective number one: reconnoitre and report. Go ahead, over.
19, EXT: WAREHOUSE DOOR
(A Corporal crouching by the door talks into a chunky green walkie-talkie.)
CORPORAL: Orange Patrol calling. Thereís no sign of anyone. Thereís a door here. Do we go in, over?
20, EXT: COVENT GARDEN MARKET
SERGEANT: Do they go in sir?
CAPTAIN: Give me that.
(He snatches the field telephone.)
CAPTAIN: Hello Orange Patrol? Search entire building, take your time and be prepared for anything.
21, EXT: WAREHOUSE DOOR
CORPORAL: Proceeding into the rest of the warehouse - out.
(He switches off the walkie-talkie, snaps down the aerial and hands it to a subordinate.)
CORPORAL: Take that, follow me and keep down. Letís go...
(Led by the Corporal, the soldiers pour in, three remaining on guard outside.)
22, INT: WAREHOUSE
(Major Green stands with a pair of slim metal headphones on desperately trying to tune a piece of equipment by twiddling a knob, but all he seems to get is
GREEN: Somethingís happening, weíre getting interference... There is a new source of electrical energy close at hand!
(By the internal doors the Corporal and his men creep inside and take positions out of sight. But the War-Machine has seen them as it glides across flashing
and bleeping wildly.)
GREEN: Warning-warning-warning! There are intruders, warning!
(The Corporal looks over in shock as he sees the Machine.)
GREEN: Attack! Destroy the intruders, they must not escape! Cover all the exits! Fire!
(The War-Machine shoots a jet into the gathered soldiers who retreat in a cloud of gas.)
SOLDIER: Look out, people!
(The Machine pursues them through yet another pile of orange boxes. The soldiers regroup and aim at the machine.)
(They try to shoot the Machine, but they are unable to. The soldiers thump desperately at their guns, but they have effectively jammed solid. The Machine
fires again, and the soldiers runs off through the doors, the Machine following.)
GREEN: No-one must escape!
(The technicians leap out and engage the soldiers in hand to hand combat. Just as the soldiers seem to be gaining the upper hand, the Machine draws up and
blasts one of them dead in a spume of gas. The others try to fire again, but the weapons are still jammed.)
SOLDIER: Come on lads, letís get out of here!
(They run for the exit the Machine pursuing and blasting after them.)
23, EXT: COVENT GARDEN MARKET
SERGEANT: Hello Orange Patrol, hello Orange Patrol. Corporal, can you hear me, over?
(He turns to the Captain.)
SERGEANT: I canít raise them, sir.
24, INT: WAREHOUSE
(Inside the warehouse the battle between the technicians and the soldiers is still raging amidst a smoky atmosphere. (Curiously, Green doesnít seem to have
joined in the fighting.) Every so often the burbling War-Machine swivels, the panel of lights winking on itís side as it mercilessly uses itís lump-hammer
arms to club men to the ground. It sprays jet after into the fighting humans indiscriminately, but either the power must be failing or it must be too far away
as they continue to fight...)
25, EXT: COVENT GARDEN MARKET
(The Doctor walks over to Sir-Charles and the army men, his long cloak swirling.)
DOCTOR: What is happening Sir-Charles?
(Summer lowers his binoculars.)
SUMMER: Ah, we donít know yet.
(Summer raises the binoculars again.)
DOCTOR: And what is in there?
CAPTAIN: Itís one of our patrols.
26, INT: WAREHOUSE
(The Soldiers limp off helping their injured comrades out.)
GREEN OOV: They must not escape!
(The soldiers turn and flee out of the warehouse doors one after the other in quick succession.)
CORPORAL: Look out! (Still in his corner by the apparatus, Green barks at the Machine.)
GREEN: They must be destroyed!
(The last of the soldiers gets through the doors, and they run down the road. The War-Machine continues to pursue them, itís re-enforced metal body
smashing through the doors like balsa-wood. The soldiers continue to fall back and take up positions further back as the machine glides out.)
27, EXT: COVENT GARDEN MARKET
(A petrified Corporal runs over to the Captain.)
CAPTAIN: Whatís the matter Corporal?
CORPORAL: Itís no use sir, they wiped us out!
CAPTAIN: Who did? What are you talking about?
CORPORAL: The Machine, sir!
CAPTAIN: What Machine?
CORPORAL: Itís over there!
(They look into the distance.)
28, EXT: COVENT GARDEN
(The War-Machine trundles down the road. The soldiers from their positions try to fire again, but they guns are still jammed. The Machineís way is blocked
by a cart piled with boxes, and with a jet of gas the cart explodes into flames and stands burning and the Machine moves further out. Itís ďeyeĒ scans
around as it increases itís pace forward, moving through clouds of gas and burning tarmac firing itís weapons wildly.)
29, EXT: COVENT GARDEN MARKET
SUMMER: Captain, tell your men to hold their fire.
CAPTAIN: CEASE FIRE!
SUMMER: Lend me your loudhailer. Now listen to me, you are completely surrounded! Stop the machine and come out! If you try any tricks we shall open fire
28, EXT: COVENT GARDEN
SERGEANT OOV: Alright chaps, around this side. Seek and confine the enemy - in your own time... FIRE!
(As the machine advances the soldiers try to shoot it, but fail again. The immense metal bulk knocks over a cart, spilling New-Zealand apples all over the
road. The War-Machine continues forward squashing the unfortunate fruit flat as it carves a path down the road. Two soldiers throw a grenade each at the machine
and fall back, but there is no explosion. One of the soldiers tries to fire a large machine gun at the approaching monstrosity, but it refuses to work like
CORPORAL: Itís coming here sir!
SERGEANT: Fire! Fire, man!
(The Sergeant rushes to take the machine gun, but has no more success.)
SERGEANT: Itís no use sir, itís jammed! All the guns are jammed! It must be that thing!
CAPTAIN: I donít think it can be stopped, sir. Weíll have to evacuate this place and quick.
SUMMER: But we canít leave now! We canít let that thing loose over London!
CAPTAIN: Itís no good sir, the weapons are jamming.
SERGEANT: Look out sir!
(The machine rolls forward with one of itís mallets outstretched and maliciously knocks a pile of boxes over.)
CAPTAIN: Right, everybody back under cover!
(All the people scurry away apart from the Doctor who rigidly stands his ground, hands on his lapels as the machine slowly advances. The Doctor steps forward
a few paces until his face is lit up by the glow from the Machine-creatureís ďeyeĒ....)
Sir Charles Summer
Title music by
Ron Grainer and the
Based on an idea by
(C) BBCTV 1966