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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 Two

Written by Bruce Stewart

Vera is gently watering her small plot of vegetables when a group of raggedly dressed children enter the village. Vera asks one of the boys how they have done. One of them, Paul, replies that it gets harder every day and shows her a poor collection of foraged vegetables and fruit. Vera tries to cheer him up and shows him the small crop of cabbages she has been tending which appear to be doing quite well. Paul looks up to the sun as it beats down.
Inside the art room, Beth is still laughing at the image of 2957. She turns the video screen off and says that he'll be here soon. Simon, still shocked at the revelation of his future self, asks why he is just known by a number. Beth reveals little in her flippant answer other than the fact that 2957 is a "Controller". Liz points out that the other Beth was always angry with her. This Beth is always laughing! The comments go over the new Beth's head. She has never heard of the Ice Box and the other Beth and dismisses the fact that she could ever be a scientist. In a moment of clarity, Beth tells Liz that when people laugh a lot, then it is sometimes because if they didn't, they'd probably cry.

 

Beth heads outside where the village children are preparing the food they have gathered. On seeing Simon and Liz, Paul lunges for Simon and gets him into a headlock calling him and Liz "Outsiders". Beth calmly tells him they are her friends whilst Vera explains that they wandered into the village and she thought they were misfits. Paul isn't impressed and continues to hold onto the struggling Simon. The village can't take anymore misfits, he protests. Beth manages to talk him into releasing him. In the bushes and unseen to the group, Controller 2957 watches. He removes a document from his inside pocket and looks at the legend written on it: "Ministry of Forward Development Permits & Licensing Section." He puts it back and moves towards the village. He stops again, uncertain whether to go on. He turns and leaves.

Later Beth is explaining to Liz about the community as Simon brings up the rear. She founded the group herself to look after the children who are called "misfits". They are children with nowhere to go for whom the authorities have made no provision when they have re-developed areas of the country or places become uninhabitable through their mistakes.... like Liverpool! Beth further reveals the country is now ruled by a "technocracy" who are supposedly making things bigger and better. As she comes the end of her diatribe, a rumbling sound fills the air, which rises to a roar as everyone in the village clutches their ears and heads for what limited cover they can find. Once the sound has gone, Simon slowly looks up and sees the face of Controller 2957 staring back at him. Liz asks what the sound was. Beth tells her it was thunder... she said everything was bigger and better now! She notices Simon and Controller 2957 staring at each other. 2957 asks Simon who he is? He's never seen him before but for a moment..... Before either of the two can ask or answer any further questions, Beth chimes in. 2957 says that he wanted to see her and acknowledges how dangerous it is to do so. Beth quickly and with obvious delight introduces him to the community's newest recruits: Simon and Liz. The Controller is dumbfounded and doesn't believe it is true. He walks off. Beth joins him. He makes a comment about the heat and continues to explain to Beth about the fact that "the overall European plan allows for a temperature of 100 degrees over the British Isles..." Beth isn't impressed. 2957 is here to help Beth... He says he feels obliged to despite the risks to him. They are joined by Simon and Liz who watch as 2957 pulls the document out from his jacket pocket and tries to hand it to Beth. He tells her it's a licence for the community. If she and the children are discovered, it allows blame for them to go right back to the Ministry and the central computer as an administrative error. For the first time, the children see Beth loose her temper. She tears the licence up and tosses it back at him. She won't be an administrative error for him, and for old time's sake! As Simon and Liz start to take the sides of their respective elders, they all hear the sound of an electronic gun going off. 2957 says it's hunters. He mustn't be found here. The community's children rush out of the huts and prepare to defend the village. Beth says that they'll protect 2957. They don't care who they protect from the technocrats. As the group disperses, Simon is left alone with his thoughts.

Later, as dinner is cooking, Beth explains to Liz about the hunters. All food is created scientifically now and all wildlife is considered a nuisance. The hunters go out on occasion to keep the bird population down. As Simon and Controller 2957 talk quietly in the corner, Paul warns Beth and Liz that the fish he is cooking might be the last. Pollution from the technocracy is now finding it's way into the side streams and the fish are dying out.
Just outside the village boundary, Vera is sleeping against a tree. Unknown to her, a hunter walks past just behind her moving towards the village.

Inside the hut, Controller 2957 still doesn't believe who Simon really is and is shocked that he doesn't know anything of "The Master Plan". He explains that it is the road to technological efficiency and that ever since the Russians melted their sections of the polar ice caps, the face of Europe has been changed. It was a pity about Liverpool though!
Outside, the hunter sees the sleeping Vera. He glances briefly at her and moves into the village. Vera awakes and sees him. She lets out a gasp of horror.

Inside the hut, 2957 and Simon continue their conversation. Simon asks why he has a number and not a name. 2957 tries to make his excuses to leave. He asks again who Simon is... Their talk is interrupted by the sound of Vera's scream.
The hunter has raised his weapon but is cut down by a blow from Paul. Controller 2957 is furious with everyone. Beth accuses the panicky Controller of only being scared for himself. He quickly checks a number on the arm of the hunter: 362 Delta. As Beth comforts a sobbing Vera, he suggests they dump the concussed hunter somewhere in the jungle. Hopefully, he won't remember a thing. He adds that he'll put in a computer order for him to be transferred to Scotland first thing in the morning. As the community children drag the body away, 2957 moves to Beth. He tells her she's an outsider now and that it's a different world to when they were young... better organised... He stops, realising his error in trying to convince her. Quickly he moves off back into the jungle. Simon calls after him and follows. Liz joins Beth still clutching Vera.

Controller 2957 is darting through the jungle. He stops to remove a stone from his shoe. Simon calls from behind him causing him to jump. As the Controller, bemoans his situation, Simon attempts to discover more about him. 2957 reveals that he is controller of a whole sector of geographical reconstruction at the Ministry of Forward Development. He then questions how people can live in a place like the jungle... Simon says that he's known Beth a long time, hasn't he? 2957 tries to evade answering. Simon asks if telling him his own surname would help... The Controller snaps a firm "No!" It's more than a controller in his position could cope with.... and besides, how would he get a permit for it!
Back at the village, Beth is tending to a still shocked Vera. Liz says to Beth, that she really likes 2957.... deep down. Beth quickly dismisses the notion as absurd. How can she like anyone who's doing what he's doing? She also dismisses his bringing of the license to her as a sham much to Liz's disappointment. She says he revealed what he really felt about her just before he left.

Controller 2957 cannot accept the notion of time travelling. The Master Plan has nothing to say on the matter so it cannot exist. Simon admits that the Controller is like him in many ways but in others.... He shakes his head. 2957 further extols the virtues of the Master Plan explaining that science is now the direction of the human race and the future. The norm... The Controller then tells Simon to meet him here the following morning and he'll take him by hovercraft to his office in the Ministry.

The following day, Controller 2957 is showing an amazed Simon the sight of Whitehall in 1990. The city of London is a changed landscape. Fixtures like the Big Ben clock tower and Nelson's Column remain but are now surrounded by vast featureless office blocks and clean (but strangely empty) streets. 2957 introduces Simon to a woman whom Simon recognises. He says that Simon is a potential new recruit from the North. The woman jokes and moves off. Simon says she reminds him of Miss Stebbins (Traynor's secretary in 1970). 2957 corrects him. She is Alpha 16. He shows Simon into room 209. Within the office, is a woman who is neither Alpha 16 nor Miss Stebbins but looks just like both of them. Simon is shocked. She runs off a report about pressure over the Atlantic sea curtain to 2957 revealing herself to be his secretary in the process. 2957 introduces her to Simon as Alpha 17. The door to the office opens. It is Alpha 16. She too has a report, which she relays to 2957. She tells him that it was 100plus in Eastbourne the previous day. 2957 dismisses it as a freak variation that even the Master Plan can accommodate. Alpha 16 and Alpha 17 share small talk and decide to "pop off" for tea. Once they have gone, a confused Simon reveals that a lot has changed since he first came to the Ministry... to see Commander Traynor. At the very mention of Traynor's name, 2957 suddenly warns Simon not to mention him there. Hastily changing the subject, he gets up from his chair and walks across to a large video screen set into the wall. 2957 has brought Simon to the Ministry to explain to him about the Master Plan. He flicks a switch to reveal a map of the British Isles showing the five main conurbations that the country is now being divided into: London, Cardiff, Manchester, Belfast and Glasgow. He then shows Simon another map detailing the transport infrastructure followed by another showing the geographic reconstruction of Britain (which includes the "filling in" of part of the Irish Sea!), all part of the European plan. A final map shows the Atlantic sea curtain (which appears to stretch from Florida to the tip of Spain). This project will enable the water pumped from the Northern hemisphere into the Southern Ocean to be held back, the excess water being a result of the melting of the polar ice caps. 2957's briefing is interrupted by the appearance of Alpha 4; a man dressed in the same sort of white suit that the Controller is wearing. He apologises for interrupting him. 2957 quickly introduces Simon saying that the boy is currently applying for controller status. Alpha 4 has a report on the Atlantic Curtain. Apparently, a computer check has revealed that the synthetic rubber sheeting for its construction has not begun manufacture despite 2957's assurances otherwise. Alpha 4 would have brought it to the Controller's attention the previous day, had the Controller been available. The delay has put the British section of the curtain behind schedule. Alpha 14 leaves. Simon asks why they are all called "Alphas". 2957 is evasive and asks Simon not to bother him with such things, which he wouldn't understand, adding cryptically that Alphas are "special people" within this society and called "clones". It is a word all too familiar to Simon.

Shortly after, 2957 shows Simon into the room housing the central computer for the Master Plan. As 2957 begins to explain the way it works, he is interrupted by a message from Alpha 4. There is a problem with the seabed cable that needs his attention. Leaving Simon to wait in the Computer room, 2957 heads off to deal with it. As Simon looks around the many spinning computer reels and consoles housed in the room, he fails to see a wall slide open. An old man stands in the darkened doorway. He is dressed in the same white suit as 2957 and Alpha 4 but his is grubbier and slightly torn. The old man steps into the Computer room ensuring that the secret door slides shut behind him. He removes a pair of scissors from his jacket pocket and proceeds to unravel one of the spools of tape on a nearby computer bank. He snips a section of the unravelled tape and pockets it before attempting to re-attach the two cut ends. Simon sees this and creeps up on him. As the old man continues with his apparent act of sabotage, Simon asks him what he is doing. The old man, startled, turns to face the boy. His face revealed to him, Simon can only utter the name of the man he recognises as Commander Traynor...

 

Complete cast for part two

Denis Quilley (Commander Traynor), Cheryl Burfield (Liz Skinner), Spencer Banks (Simon Randall), Mary Preston (Beth Skinner), David Graham (2957), Brian Pettifer (Paul), Merdel Jordine (Vera), Ian Fairbairn (Alpha 4), Teresa Scoble (Alpha 16), Lisa Scoble (Alpha 17).

Script editor Ruth Boswell
Scientific Adviser Geoffrey Hoyle
Designer Michael Eve
Director Peter Jefferies
Producer John Cooper

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