HJA 437 Scenes 2-4

2.   INT.   THE HORSEFIELD’S LIVING ROOM.   DAY

ROSE IS LOOKING OUT THROUGH THE WINDOW. FROM HER POV WE SEE GEOFF AT THE ROADSIDE ENTHUSIASTICALLY POLISHING THE ZEPHYR ZODIAC WITH THE HELP OF YELLOW DUSTERS AND A LARGE TIN OF WAX. HE STOPS FOR A MOMENT TO WIPE HIS BROW AND TO ADMIRE HIS HANDIWORK. ROSE CATCHES HIS EYE. HE SMILES AND WAVES HIS YELLOW DUSTER AT HER. SHE WAVES BACK, WITH A FAUX SMILE WHICH SHE WIPES OFF IMMEDIATELY THE MOMENT GEOFF TURNS HIS ATTENTION BACK TO THE CAR, THEN TURNS AWAY.

CUT TO

3.   EXT.   OUTSIDE THE HORSEFIELD’S HOUSE.   DAY.

THE HOUSE IS A MODEST BRICK-BUILT SEMI-DETACHED IN THE SUBURBS OF MANCHESTER. A SMALL GARDEN AT THE FRONT AND A GARAGE AT THE SIDE. THE FRONT DOOR IS IMMEDIATELY NEXT TO THE FRONT DOOR OF THE ADJOINING SEMI.

GEOFF SETS TO POLISHING THE CAR AGAIN.JANET, THE HORSEFIELD’S NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR, COMES OUT OF HER FRONT DOOR. SHE IS AGED ABOUT THIRTY AND IS HEAVILY PREGNANT. SHE SEES GEOFF AND CALLS OUT.

JANET:

Morning Geoff.

GEOFF:

(LOOKS UP AND ACKNOWLEDGES HER) Janet.

JANET:

Lovely car.

GEOFF:

It’s a Zephyr Zodiac.

JANET

Well it’s very nice. Is Rose in?

GEOFF:

She was. The door’s open.

JANET:

See you then.

JANET PUSHES THE HORSEFIELD’S FRONT DOOR OPEN.

JANET:

(STEPPING IN) It’s only me, Rose.

GEOFF DISCOVERS A MINUTE PAINT CHIPPING ON THE BONNET OF THE CAR AND FURIOUSLY TRIES TO POLISHES IT OUT.

PETER, A NEAR NEIGHBOUR, SAUNTERS UP. HE LOOKS ADMIRINGLY AT THE CAR.

PETER:

So this is it.

GEOFF:

Oh, hiya Pete. Yes, this is the Zephyr Zodiac. (HE STOPS POLISHING AND STEPS BACK TO ADMIRE THE CAR ALONG WITH PETER)

PETER:
Very nice. Very nice.

GEOFF:

Like new isn’t it.

PETER LOOKS IN THROUGH THE WINDOWS.

PETER:

Oh I like the upholstery.

GEOFF:

It took the skins of three leopards to make that.

PETER:

Go on.

GEOFF:

Three leopards.

PETER EXAMINES THE UPHOLSTERY MORE CLOSELY.

PETER:

You can’t see where they’ve sewn the holes up can you.

GEOFF:

What?

PETER:

Their arseholes, the leopards’ arseholes. You can’t see where they’ve sewn them up.

FOR A MOMENT GEOFF THINKS PETER IS BEING SERIOUS UNTIL PETER’S GRIN TELLS GEOFF THAT HE IS WINDING HIM UP.

 GEOFF:

(SMILES) Bloody idiot.

EVEN SO GEOFF LOOKS IN THROUGH THE WINDOWS, CHECKING THE UPHOLSTERY FOR HOLES.

CUT TO

4.   INT.   THE HORSEFIELD’S KITCHEN.   DAY.

ROSE LEADS JANET INTO THE KITCHEN.

 JANET:

I thought I saw Geoff polishing your new car yesterday?

ROSE:

You did. He polished it the day before too, the day we got it.

JANET SITS DOWN AT THE KITCHEN TABLE WHILE ROSE PREPARES COFFEE.

ROSE:

(CONTINUING) So how long have you got now, Janet? About four weeks isn’t it?

JANET:

(TOUCHES HER LUMP) Yes. The twenty first of next month. Unless I go over, then it will be a Gemini. I hope not because our Beryl’s Colin is a Gemini and he’s a little sod.

ROSE:
Oh I don’t think you’ll go over Janet, you look big enough now.

JANET:

Just think Rose, you’ll be able to go all over the place now.

ROSE:

What?

JANET:

In your new car.

ROSE:

Oh. Yes.

JANET:

It’s ever so posh. Have you had a ride in it yet?

ROSE:

No, not yet.

JANET:

You have that to look forward too then. Geoff will have been out in it?

ROSE:

Only has far as Halfords for another tin of polish.

JANET:

Perhaps he’ll take you somewhere in it this weekend. Where do you fancy going?

ROSE:

I don’t know. I shall have to think.

JANET:

You don’t seem to go out a lot together? You and Geoff.

ROSE:

We never go out together, Janet. It must be five years. And we used to. A lot. The pictures, museums, stately homes, walks in the country. Especially walks in the country. Get the bus to somewhere. No, we seem to have got out of the habit of going out, somewhere along the line. (IT OCCURS TO HER) We seem to have got out of the habit of doing a lot of things.

JANET:

Well he hasn’t bought the car for nothing, has he. He’s probably planning to take you somewhere this weekend.

ROSE:

Well he could be I suppose.

JANET:

If it was me I’d ask him to take me that safari park thing that opened not long back. Knowsley Safari Park. Kath went the other week, Kath Hibbert. She was saying how good it was. Apparently while you’re driving through monkeys jump up onto the bonnet of your car and tap on the window and get up to all sorts.

ROSE:

They wouldn’t stay long on the bonnet of our car once they saw the upholstery, they’d be back up the trees before you could say Jack Robinson.

JANET:

Or anywhere else you fancy. I mean now you’ve got a car the world is your oyster.

FADE TO

HJA 437 Scene 1

Refer to the Feb 5 post before reading this. 

1.   EXT.   SECOND HAND CAR SALES OUTLET.   DAY  

IT IS 1972. WE ARE LOOKING AT THE FORECOURT OF A SECOND HAND CAR SALES SHOWROOMS IN MANCHESTER. GEOFF HORSFIELD, AGED ABOUT FIFTY, IS GIVING ONE OF THE CARS FOR SALE THE ONCE OVER. HE IS OBVIOUSLY IN LOVE WITH THE CAR, WHICH IS A BLACK 1966 FORD ZEPHYR ZODIAC IN MINT CONDITION, REGISTRATION NUMBER HJA 437. WRITTEN ON THE CAR’S WINDSCREEN IN WHITE IS ‘1966 LOW MILEAGE. ONE OWNER. £899 ONLY. HP ARRANGED’. GEOFF’S WIFE ROSE, THE SAME AGE AS HER HUSBAND, TRAIPSES BEHIND HIM, NOT ENTIRELY UNINTERESTED, AS HE CIRCLES THE CAR, LOOKING AT IT FROM ALL ANGLES, BENDING TO LOOK UNDERNEATH IT AS BEST HE CAN A COUPLE OF TIMES. WHEN THEY HAVE CIRCUMNAVIGATED IT ROSE STOPS WHILE GEOFF CARRIES ON.

GEOFF:

(TURNING TO HER) It’s very……. (HE SEES THAT SHE IS NO LONGER FOLLOWING HIM. THIS ANNOYS HIM) Try to show an interest Rose.

ROSE:   

I’ve been round twice, Geoff.

GEOFF:

Well I don’t want to miss anything, do I. You can’t be too careful when you’re buying a second hand car. I think we’ll be all right with this though. (HE GIVES THE CAR ANOTHER ADMIRING LOOK) Very clean isn’t it.

ROSE:

I should hope it is for that price.

GEOFF SHIELDS HIS EYES TO PEER IN THROUGH ONE OF THE WINDOWS. WE LOOK IN WITH HIM. THE UPHOLSTERY IS LEOPARD SKIN.

GEOFF:

It’s absolutely spotless inside.

ROSE:

(INCREDULOUS) Spotless? It’s nothing but spots.

 

GEOFF:

What? (REALISES) Oh, you mean the leopard skin upholstery. Classy that.

ROSE:

Well that’s one word for it I suppose. Not the one I’d have chosen.

GEOFF CONTINUES WITH HIS INSPECTION. A SALESMAN HOVES INTO VIEW GIVING A FAIR IMITATION OF A VULTURE DESCENDING ON ITS PREY. AS PART OF HIS INSPECTION GEOFF GIVES ONE OF THE TYRES A GOOD KICK. THE SALESMAN WINCES.

SALESMAN:

Nice motor isn’t she.

GEOFF:

(TURNS TO HIM) Ah. Yes, very nice.

THE SALESMAN UNLOCKS THE DRIVER’S DOOR AND OPENS IT WIDE.

SALESMAN:

Take a look inside if you like. Only one owner as you can see.

ROSE:
Who was it, Jungle Jim?

SALESMAN:

What?

ROSE INDICATES THE SEATS.

SALESMAN:

Oh, the upholstery you mean. Class that. It takes the skins of three leopards for every car.

GEOFF:
(IMPRESSED) Go on.

SALESMAN:
Or so I am reliably informed by the Ford Motor Company.

GEOFF:

Hear that Rose? It takes the skin of three leopards to make the seats.

ROSE:
Am I supposed to be impressed?


GEOFF:

I thought you liked animals?

ROSE:

I do when they’re walking about. Not when they’re chair covers. It’ll be like living in a zoo

SALESMAN:
(TO GEOFF, WHO HAS IS HEAD IN THE CAR LOOKING AT THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER ) So what do you think then?

GEOFF:

(TURNS TO THE SALESMAN) Is this mileage ……?

ROSE:

It’ll be like living in a zoo.

GEOFF GIVES ROSE A DIRTY LOOK THEN TURNS HIS ATTENTION BACK TO THE SALESMAN.

GEOFF:
Is this mileage genuine? 22,000?


SALESMAN:

Can’t be anything Squire, you can’t turn the clock back on a Zodiac, it’s part of the in-car security arrangements.

GEOFF:
(CLEARLY IMPRESSED BY THIS BLATANT LIE) Well that just about settles it then.

SALESMAN:

(STETCHES OUT AN ARM IN THE DIRECTION OF THE OFFICE) Shall we get the paperwork over and done with then?

THE SALESMAN TURNS TO GO, GEOFF MAKES TO FOLLOW HIM.

ROSE:

Geoff? (GEOFF TURNS TO HER) You are sure about this are you?

GEOFF:

You’re not going to be awkward about this are you? What have we been saving up for for the last three years for?

ROSE:

I know all about that, but……

GEOFF:

(CUTTING IN) Well then. You know I’ve always wanted a car.

ROSE:
It’s such a lot of money, all at one go. Couldn’t we buy something a bit cheaper?

GEOFF:
No. It has to be this one. I’ve always wanted a Zephyr Zodiac ever since I first set eyes on one when they first came out in 1962. And you don’t see too many of them for sale, they don’t make them anymore, they only made them for four years.

ROSE:

Well they probably ran out of leopards.

GEOFF:

And stop going on about leopards will you, you’re liked a bloody gramophone record. (TO THE SALESMAN) Lead on, Macduff.

THEY HEAD FOR THE OFFICE. ROSE SHRUGS HER SHOULDERS AND STARTS TO FOLLOW THEM, BUT WITHOUT MUCH ENTHUSIASM.

FADE TO

2.   INT.   THE HORSEFIELD’S LIVING ROOM.   DAY


 

HJA 437

I have an idea for a six part television comedy drama series. It will be about the life of a 1966 Ford Zephyr Zodiac car from when it is bought second hand and in mint condition in 1972 until it meets its demise in a car crusher some thirty five years and six owner later. The idea is that at the start of every episode the car passes on to its new owner.

I will be posting what I write of the first episode in the hope that it might be of use to anyone who may be considering writing something for television but isn’t sure how to set it out on the page. I will also welcome comments from anyone reading it who maybe has suggestions that might improve what I have written. Don’t be afraid to criticise it, I won’t be upset.

First post tomorrow

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