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Episode Guide

Story One...
The Wrong End Of Time

  Part One
Part Two

  Part Three
Part Four

  Part Five
Part Six

Story Two...
The Time of the Ice Box

  Part One
Part Two

  Part Three
Part Four

  Part Five
Part Six

Story Three...
The Year of the Burn Up

  Part One
Part Two

  Part Three
Part Four

  Part Five
Part Six

  Part Seven
Part Eight

Story Four...
The Day of the Clone

  Part One
Part Two

  Part Three
Part Four

  Part Five
Part Six




 

The Year of the Burn Up - Part One

Written by Bruce Stewart

Simon and Liz exit the time barrier and find themselves back in the Ministry Field in 1970. As the two make their way back home, Simon reluctantly finds himself thanking Liz for returning to find him. Liz says that she didn't. Simon tells her that they must prevent the future they have seen from happening.

 

At the Skinner's home, Jean answers the telephone.
In the living room, Frank Skinner is trying to understand Simon and Liz's incredible story. He reels off the incidents they have related including the fact that he was frozen in a block of ice in 1990 and that Liz met her future self! He makes light of it but Simon and Liz remain adamant about the future.

In the hallway, Jean is arguing with the person on the other end of the phone line and tells them they can't go over her head in the matter... She slams the phone down.
Simon challenges Mr. Skinner with the fact that he thinks they've made the whole story of the Ice Box up. Skinner agrees in a way and adds that he thinks they may have just had a nasty dream. Jean enters and points out to Frank that they've been warned about the future and should possibly take it further. She is certainly more open-minded and reminds Frank about a conversation he had with her recently about how business last month hadn't been good. Frank makes light of it and asks when he is due to go broke! This upsets Liz. Frank wants to put an end to all the business with the time barrier. So does Jean but she reveals that she has just spoken to Commander Traynor on the phone. Frank reveals that Traynor has been calling them non-stop since the children re-entered the time barrier. Jean states that Traynor wants to see Simon (just Simon) in Whitehall immediately. Jean has refused him permission but Traynor threatened to make the request official. She also says that the Commander has started to frighten her! Simon and Liz exchange worried glances.

 

In an office in Whitehall, Commander Traynor is studying a document of maps relating to transport and power systems. He takes a phone call, which turns out to be a summons from a minister. He places the document on his desk and hurriedly leaves the office.

Outside his office, a secretary shows Simon Randall in through another door perplexed why the Commander isn't there. The secretary thinks Simon is thinking of joining them and she tells a mystified Simon "this is where the action is!" Simon points out that the only reason he's here is because the Commander sent for him. The secretary leaves Simon in the company of a collection of science magazines. Simon is more interested in the document folder on Traynor's desk. "Project A/TH/4 - Technological Master Plan, Section 3, Ecology and Development". He has barely read the first page when Traynor re-enters the office. He gently accuses Simon of having an enquiring mind as he takes the file from Simon and places it out of sight inside the desk drawer. Simon apologises but Traynor dismisses it and says he's glad to see him again. He offers him a chair and tells his secretary, Miss Stebbins to hold his calls for the next twenty minutes. He apologises for having made Simon come to see him for a change but he's very busy at the moment since "a long cherished dream" has recently become reality. He reveals that he has been invited to form a new ministry. Simon, failing to understand the importance of this, half-heartedly congratulates him. Traynor quickly moves onto the subject of the Ice Box. Simon begins to explain about Liz's mother and father's involvement in the base but Traynor isn't interested in those sorts of details. Simon then details the personnel and events of the Ice Box to a partially bemused Traynor. Simon also explains that Morgan C. Devereaux was there. Traynor reminds Simon that his friend and colleague died in 1969. Simon solves the mystery when he reveals that Director Devereaux was a genetically engineered clone of the original Devereaux. Things are starting to fit into place for Traynor. He seems to forget Simon is in the room for a moment but suddenly re-awakens from his thoughts, to remind Simon firmly that the icy future he saw was only one of many possible outcomes. He changes the subject to the longevity drug. Simon admits that he failed to get hold of the formula for it. An angry Traynor doesn't believe him and accuses Simon of holding back. Traynor says he now has a position of power. Simon explains that Devereaux never wrote the formula down and intended to pass on the secret through a new clone. Both died when the Ice Box froze over. Traynor reluctantly admits he has no choice but to believe his story. He then tells Simon that the information he now possesses could be regarded as classified. He warns the boy to stay out of scientific matters and to remain on "this side of the time barrier." An angry Simon reluctantly agrees. A patronising Traynor offer him tea...

At the Skinner's house, Liz runs down the stairs towards the front door. She stops for a moment to think before leaving the house.
Simon is in the Ministry field walking near to the location of the time barrier. He looks up at the sign ordering the public to "Keep out" and ignores it. He stands looking through the fence as the familiar electronic sound of the time barrier warns him he is close to it. Behind him is Liz. She watches him for moment. Simon raises his hands to feel for the barrier. Seeing this, Liz calls out to him warning that he'll only get himself into trouble again. Simon is surprised to see her and she explains she followed him here. Simon tells her that he wants to go back through the barrier because Traynor warned him not to. Last time, he was pleading with him to go, this time..... the opposite. Simon also reveals how his opinion of Traynor has changed. The two children argue. Simon is adamant that he will go through the barrier alone in order to see what Traynor doesn't want him to see. Liz pleads with him not to. With a cheery "See you in jail then", Simon re-enters the time barrier and vanishes. As Liz turns to leave him to his fate, she hears him cry out and the sound of a splash. Calling out to him, she feels for the barrier. She too disappears through it.... followed by the sound of her surprised scream and another splash.

On the other side of the time barrier, Liz is now standing waist deep in the water of a jungle creek. She is helped out of it by an equally wet Simon. He tells her to go back home and get some dry clothes. Liz's fascination with their new location causes her to ignore his complaints as he tells her to "Get lost!" She comments on the flowers, which she has never seen before and the fact that it is hot. Suddenly the two hear the sound of what appears to be electronic gunfire. Simon pulls Liz to the ground. Out of the jungle steps a man in safari gear. He has a futuristic backpack on and is firing some kind of gun into the trees. He is unaware of the hiding children. After firing off a couple of shots, the man disappears back into the jungle. Simon and Liz crawl out of hiding. Simon wants Liz to go back home but Liz is fascinated by their new location. She thinks they are in the tropical jungle and wanders off to explore. Simon raises his eyes to the sky in disbelief...

In another part of the jungle, there is a clearing with a collection of roughly made dwellings. A parrot is perched on one of the roofs whilst other animals are in small cages. A tall black woman is struggling to dig at the dry hardened ground with a gardening trowel. She stops and turns her face to the hot baking sun. She carefully pours a little water from a large jug over the area she was digging at. The jug emptied, she walks across the village and disappears into one of the dwellings. Shortly after, Liz and Simon enter the village. Liz is excited at discovering a native village. Simon is more cautious. The woman returns having filled her water jug. Liz and Simon duck out of sight. Liz wants to talk to her but Simon pulls her back. Despite his protests, Liz moves across and tries to introduce the two of them to the woman. As Liz struggles to communicate in broken English, the woman just stares at the two children. After a moment, the woman introduces herself and much to the children's surprise, she speaks in perfect unaccented English. She thinks Liz and Simon might be tired after their journey through the jungle believing they have come "...all the way from the urban complex." Her name is Vera and English is her native tongue. She wants them to "check in" with the "group mother". Another woman's voice is heard and Vera indicates that the group mother is now in the art room.

The art room is in one of the jungle dwellings and is littered with pieces of art both painted and carved. At its centre is a long-haired woman, chiselling away at a large stone statue. Stepping back from her handiwork, she tells herself to "find the form" before returning to her chiselling. Behind her, the drape over the entrance way is pulled aside as first Simon, then Liz gingerly enter the hut. Simon asks the sculptress if she's the group mother. Without turning the woman says she is. She asks them their age and sex... Simon is 16 and male. Liz is 16 and female. The woman pauses to admire and comment on the sculpture she has created. As she turns, Liz immediately recognises her face. It's Beth. The woman says she is Beth. Liz wants to know what she is doing here. Beth tells her that she lives here and that she actually runs the place. She doesn't recognise Liz or Simon and wants to know what THEY are doing here. Liz mentions the Ice Box. Beth doesn't know what she is talking about. She thinks the children may have had a "nasty experience at the hands of the technocrats." Liz explains that they are Simon and Liz. At first Beth treats them as two strangers whom she has just learnt the names of. As she turns away, it suddenly dawns on her who the children really are - Liz Skinner and Simon Randall. She stares at them both for a moment... before bursting out laughing. Simon thinks she's hysterical and calls upon Liz to get some water.

Nearby, a white suited, bespectacled man is cautiously making his way through the jungle. He hears the sound of the electronic gunfire and ducks for cover.
Inside the hut, Beth is still laughing as she drinks some water tended by Vera with Simon and Liz looking on. Beth reveals to the children that she gave up messing around with the time barrier years ago. She says she "probably couldn't even do it these days." Simon asks what the year is. Beth states that it is 1990. He asks where they are. Much to his surprise, she tells him that it's England. "Darkest Buckinghamshire!" A klaxon is heard and Vera indicates that a signal is coming through. She goes across to a glowing screen set into the hut's wall. Beth explains that the video scanner is the only technology that is allowed in the village. It's there for their own protection... Beth further explains to Liz that the village is a school for "misfits". The video screen reveals the white suited man skulking through the jungle. Vera isn't impressed that it's him again. She asks Beth if she can make him stay away. Beth starts laughing uncontrollably again and asks whom he thinks the man outside is. Simon smiles, but hasn't a clue. A wholly amused Beth then tells him the "best part of the joke".... that the man outside is him... "1990 style". She also reveals he no longer has a name.... only a number. 2957. The smile wiped off his face, Simon removes his glasses for a closer look at his future self.
Out in the jungle, the figure does the same...

 


Complete cast for part one

Cheryl Burfield (Liz Skinner), Spencer Banks (Simon Randall), Iris Russell (Jean Skinner), Derek Benfield (Skinner), Denis Quilley (Commander Traynor), Mary Preston (Beth), David Graham (2957), Teresa Scoble (Miss Stebbins), Merdel Jordine (Vera).

Script Editor Ruth Boswell
Scientific Adviser Geoffrey Hoyle
Designer Gerry Roberts
Director Ron Francis
Producer John Cooper

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