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Around the 'Verse in 80 Days

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Londinium

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First aired: The Signal: Season 5, Episode 8
Credits
Written by Jill Arroway
Starring Kevin Bachelder as Martin Hammond
Featuring Nick Edwards as Sergio Borolis
Featuring Helen Eaton as Linda Corfu
Edited by Jill Arroway
MARTIN
I'm in New Cardiff, and it's raining. What a surprise.
MARTIN
Well, hello everyone. I'm Martin Hammond. You probably know me from the Gardening Show, but the good folk at YKC have decided to send me off around the microverse to take a look at the various peoples and cultures who make up this solar system of ours. The only problem is, they didn't give me a space ship, so I'm having to make the journey on public transport. And, just to make things interesting, they said I had to get the whole round trip done in just eighty days.
MARTIN
New Cardiff is the largest city in Londinium. It's where parliament sits. But, perhaps more importantly from our point of view, it's the oldest city in the 'verse. At least, that's what the locals here believe, and who am I to argue with them? My guide here is Linda Corfu, and she's about to tell me just what's so appealing about New Cardiff.
LINDA
Well yes, this is the oldest city in the 'verse, and in fact, Londinium was the very first planet to be terraformed.
MARTIN
Really? I always thought that Sihnon and Londinium were both terraformed together.
LINDA
Yes, they were, but the robots arrived on Londinium one hour before other robots arrived on Sihnon, and so technically we do hold the record, at least for the start of the process.
MARTIN
Since this is such an old city, it must presumably have a lot of history.
LINDA
Yes, very much history. Londinium was colonised just one year short of three hundred years ago; in fact, we'll be celebrating the tricentenial of humanity's arrival in the verse next year, and there is much work going on now to prepare for that. We are expecting a big increase in tourism, and we have many events lined up. In fact, I would say there hasn't been a celebration on Londinium this big since Unification Day, so yes it's very important. And New Cardiff, as the biggest city, the capitol city, we expect it to play a very important role. And it's important, you know, that we remind ourselves that we are all one people, that we all come from the same origin, because there has been a lot of discord recently. As you know, we had a change of government last year, and the circumstances were very difficult for everybody concerned, but we think now is the time to put all that behind us and move on, and what better reason than the tricentenary?
MARTIN
Well, my little jaunt is supposed to take eighty days, so hopefully I'll be back in time. So, what kinds of things are you planning? Will there be fireworks?, parades?
LINDA
All of those things, yes, but also traditional things. We are the oldest city, on the oldest planet, and so if anyone deserves to have their own traditions, it's us, and one of the traditions that we have on Londinium, and New Cardiff in particular, that goes back a very, very long time is the tradition of Cutthroat Kate. Cutthroat Kate was a pirate - a fictitious pirate, I hasten to add, created by the author John Moss, who was born here in this very city, and she would travel through space fighting all sorts of giant monsters, and of course her arch nemesis the King of Londinium, and so every year, we re-enact many of her most famous stories. Of course she never wins; she always is defeated at the very last minute by something going wrong with her plans, which is good because, it wouldn't do to have the bad guys win, but she is very popular here; a very popular literary figure.
MARTIN
Yes, I can see she appears on postcards and mugs, and even towels. She's clearly good for business. Very nice.
MARTIN (Studio)
As pleasant as it was chatting with Linda, it was time for me to move on. The ship I was to travel on - that's an actual ocean ship, not a space ship, was due to leave in just a few hours time, and it wasn't going to wait for me. It was a passenger ferry, which turned out to be called the Spirit of Unity. My race to meet the ferry may have been a bit rushed, but once there, I had several days to relax on board, as the ship slowly made its way across the sea to Gloucester Docks for the next leg of my journey.
MARTIN
This is Sergio Borolis. Sergio moved here to Londinium, along with his family, just after the outbreak of the War for Unification, and he's invited me to join him.
SERGIO
Yes, I move here when war start. Very bad in border, so I come here. You see, my great great grandfather, he born on Londinium, so I have roots here. I not want to be involved in fighting, because, I support unification. When humans first arrive on 'Verse, we unified then. Why people want to be independent now?, I not know. So now, my family, they live in New Cardiff, and is peaceful. Then we have big upset last year; many people unhappy because of Reavers. So now we have new Prime Minister and everything good again. I look forward to next year. Will be three hundred years. Three hundred years since humans set foot in verse. Very big number. Very long time. So now we have festival. You sing?
MARTIN
No, no. I don't sing.
SERGIO
Not to worry. You play instrument. If you not play instrument, we give you tambourine. You can join in with tambourine. We make many musics. We drink vodka.
MARTIN
This is all in preparation for next year then, I take it?
SERGIO
Next year yes, but never too early to practice. I play music on boat for passengers. Is good money. I play for you now, yes?
MARTIN
I would very much like to hear that, thank you.

Sergio starts playing music

MARTIN (studio)
And so went my journey to Gloucester Docks. So much for a restful journey. All in all, I ended up rather merry by the time we arrived. But we arrived in good time to buy a ticket, and now I'm just waiting for my flight. Next stop, Ariel.

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