by Daniel Love Peacock, January 1980.
JAMES THYROID GOITRE.
BOY IN GOITRE'S CLASS.
THE ARCH-ANGEL GABRIEL.
SIR HAMMOND WILTON.
DOORMAN AT THE ARCHDUKE FERDINAND
1. INT DAY. A LONG WHITE CORRIDOR.
Apart from evenly spaced doors, the
corridor is completely featureless.
At first we see only two pairs of feet
striding down the corridor.
We view them from an oblique angle, as though
they are moving from right to left.
Cut to the heads and shoulders of three
men, in profile, who appear to be coming
the other way.
Back to the feet which are marching a little
faster, striking the floor and setting it ringing.
The three men go faster as well.
They appear to be coming for a confrontation.
Now we see the feet from the front,
slightly faster again.
Cut to the three men's faces, again from
the front. The middle man glances angrily
at the other two.
The feet are almost running now.
The three men are running too. The middle
man is wriggling and breathing heavily.
The feet come to a sudden halt.
There is silence.
We cut to the three men, also standing
still, facing us.
Cut back to the feet and then pull back
slowly until we see a third pair of
feet dangling in mid-air, just below the
knees of the other two.
Pull back completely and we see that the
feet and heads belong to the same people
the middle-man's feet are clear of the
ground altogether and he is held up, wedged
between the other two.
The middle-man is Mr Goitre.
He is wearing a white straitjacket
The two men drop him to the ground and
knock at a door marked "Police Psychiatrist".
Voice inside calls "Come in. "
2 INT DAY. THE POLICE PSYCHIATRIST'S OFFICE
The psychiatrist is sitting down.
PSY: Well, well, I hope I've got your name right. You're, James Thyroid Goitre, yes ?
GOITRE: Don't call be James... call me "Sir".
Goitre's accent contains elements
drawn from a line joining Southampton,
Bristol and Dublin.
In speaking, his teeth hardly seem to
move at all, but seem to be welded
PSY: I'm very sorry, 'sir'. Please, sit down,
GOITRE: You don't mind if I sit down do you ?
PSY: Not at all. Would you prefer to lie down, on the couch ?
GOITRE: I'd rather sit thank you.
PSY: As you wish.
Goitre sits down.
PSY: That's better, now we can have a nice, cosy chat, eh ?
GOITRE: What about ?
PSY: I was rather hoping we could talk about you.
GOITRE: There's not much to say I'm afraid.
PSY: I wouldn't say that. The police find you a very
GOITRE: Well, they're very nosy little blighters aren't
PSY: Why don't you talk about it ?
GOITRE: (Angry) Talk about what ? Are you having me on? Talk about what, eh ? I ell, speak up.
PSY: Whatever you like, I'm here to listen.
GOITRE: If you think I'm going to go over the lesson again just for your benefit and hold up the whole class you've got another thing coming my lad... that's all I can say.
Where were you last week ?
PSY: I'm not quite sure I follow you. .
GOITRE: And where’s your homework ? Eh ? Was the dog sick over it ? Fell in the washing machine did it ? Your baby brother chewed it up did he ? Oh yes, I’ve heard all those excuses before... You'll have to do a lot better than that.
PSY: Mr Goitre, sir, please calm down...
GOITRE: Yes, sorry about that...
PSY: You’re not in the class-room, you're quite safe.
GOITRE: Got a bit carried away.
PSY: It's quite understandable.
GOITRE: I've been under a lot of pressure... from my pupils.
PSY: Why don't you tell me more about your pupils...
how well did you get along with them ?
GOITRE: You could say that the entente was not particularly Cordiale.
PSY: I see...
GOITRE: Most of the time you understand...
GOITRE: People... would take the Mickey of me...
GOITRE: And that's one thing I don't like.
PSY: Why do you think they do this ?
GOITRE: (Jumping the gun and mis-hearing the question)
Oh, I... I know they do it.
PSY: You KNOW they do this ?
GOITRE: I've caught them at it.
PSY: And what have you done ?
GOITRE: When ?
PSY: When you caught them, what did you do ?
GOITRE: Well, one little blighter... I knew
GOITRE: I remember the last time he did that … very clearly as a matter of fact.
PSY: Ah ha ...
GOITRE: Because he was in hospital...
PSY: Ah yes...
GOITRE: As a result.
PSY: Of course, I remember I saw the doctor’s report.
GOITRE: That's right.
PSY: Apart from breaking the kid’s nose in several places and causing severe lacerations...
GOITRE: Oh yes...
PSY: You also forced him to march, am I right ? "
PSY: Forced him to march up and down...
GOITRE: That's right...
PSY: Until he dropped with exhaustion.
GOITRE: I'm too soft on them.
PSY: Would I be right in saying that you felt threatened, Mr Goitre, sir?
GOITRE: You would.
PSY: You felt the world was out to yet you ?
GOITRE: That as well, yes.
PSY: Would you say that this was a major contributing factor to the stress you felt at the time of the... er...
GOITRE: Well, it wasn’t only stress from my pupils —
oh no... from the headmaster as well.
PSY: (Looking at his notes) Ah yes, Mr Reg Gaby.
3 EXT DAY. THE SCHOOL CAR PARK.
We see Gaby locking his car.
He is a somewhat pudgy man,
He is slightly balding.
As he fumbles with the lock of the
car he drops papers, briefcase, etc.
PSY: (Voice over) Was he an easy man to get along with ?
GOITRE: (Voice over) He was... reasonable.
4 INT DAY. THE PSYCHIATRIST'S OFFICE.
PSY: You have known worse I take it.
GOITRE: Ah, now then, if I may...
Might I mention one person ?
PSY: Go ahead.
GOITRE: The History master...
PSY: How that would be...
GOITRE: Mr Hopper.
PSY: Eric Hopper, ah yes... (excited)
5 EXT DAY. THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE SCHOOL
We see Eric Hopper.
He is young, with long hair and
a beard and moustache.
He wears a suede jacket which is
cut into little tassels along the
seams like a lino-strip doorway
in a chip-shop.
He has a sweat-shirt which beers a
coat of arms and the words
"KING'S COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE".
He wears a badge which reads
"Legalise Cannabis. "
His personal habits include picking his
nose, scratching his backside and yawning
loudly in mixed company.
The young girls in his history class often
find him leering down their
blouses and pinching their bottoms.
We see him approaching the front door
of the school at the same time as Gaby.
They collide and Gaby gets elbowed out of
PSY: (Voice over) I believe you had some trouble with him.
GOITRE: (VOICE over) Well, quite a bit as a matter of fact.
6 INT DAY. THE PSYCHIATRIST’S OFFICE.
PSY: What kind of trouble ?
GOITRE: If you must know, he was a bit cheeky... fancied
himself as a great wit... the lowest form of wit.
PSY: He was sarcastic ?
GOITRE: He liked to think so... yes.
PSY: He was a strict disciplinarian, wasn't he ?
GOITRE: Not as much as me.
PSY: Hmmm. Was there any conflict between you ?
GOITRE: How do you mean?
GOITRE: PHYSICAL conflict you mean?
PSY: Yes, if you like.
GOITRE: Well, not at first.
PSY: What about the mental conflict - then ?
GOITBE: He was plotting against me, you know.
PSY: I didn't know...
GOITRE: Oh yes... him and that milksop of a headmaster,
the two or them together.
PSY: Do you know why they were plotting against you?
GOITRE: Well, you may find this a bit hard to credit,
but, to be perfectly frank with you, they'd got it into their heads that I was a bit barmy.
PSY: The two of them together ?
GOITRE: Oh yes! They were as thick as thieves... and, if I might say, as thick as two short planks. Thought they could put one over on me... yes, they soon got a bit of a surprise.
PSY: They certainly did. But what brought matters to a head ?
GOITRE: Well, I remember he gave me a phone call at home.
PSY: Who ? Not Mr Hopper ?
GOITRE: No. Well, he DID ring up from time to time... but he never actually, said who he was... said a lot of other things though... I knew it was him.
PSY: But this particular call... ?
GOITRE: Came from the headmaster.
PSY: I see.
7 INT DAY. THE HEADMASTER'S STUDY.
We see Eric Hopper just leaving the room.
Gaby is dialling a number on the telephone.
8 INT DAY. MR GOITRE'S PRIVATE STUDY AT HOME.
Goitre's house looks like a tip.
Mr Goitre is seen indulging in his favourite leisure-time activity which involves putting his head into a crudely adapted printer's hand press, which resembles a Mediaeval head-vice, and tightening it up.
Experience has taught him to keep the telephone within arm's reach.
He answers, in the throes of self-inflicted agony.
GOITRE: Mr Goitre here. Yes I'm perfectly all right thank you head master.
9 INT DAY. HEADMASTER'S STUDY.
GABY: (Into mouthpiece) Fine. You weren't available after classes, so I thought I'd ring you at home. There’s going to be an important staff meeting tomorrow, about the extensions to the school. You will be there ?
10 INT DAY. GOITRE'S ROOM.
GOITRE: Have you been talking to Mr Hopper?
GABY: (Voice on telephone) Why do you ask ?
GOITRE: You been having a crafty word with him ?
GABY: (Voice) As a matter of fact he's just left. How did you know ?
GOITRE: Is he going to be there tomorrow ?
GABY: (Voice) Yes.
GOITRE: Yes, I'll have a wander over then. What time ?
GABY: (Voice) Mid-morning break... there will be coffee.
GOITRE: I'll be there. Bye-bye.
He puts the telephone down.
He then give the vice another turn of the screw.