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The Terraformers

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Episode 6: A Tale of Deliverance

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First aired: The Signal: Season 5, Episode 11
Credits
Written by Helen Eaton
Starring Miranda Thomas as Taya Ray Parsec
Starring Kari Haley as Sarah Brunel
Featuring Nick Edwards as Mister Spall
Edited by Wayne Hutchinson
NARRATOR
Starring Kari Haley as Sarah Brunel.
SARAH
Another day, another delivery. (with heavy sarcasm.)'' The excitement of terraforming is just too much to bear sometimes.
NARRATOR
And Miranda Thomas as Taya Ray Parsec.
TAYA RAY
At least we know where we are this time. I don’t think Mr Spall is going to accept another space pirates excuse.
NARRATOR
And featuring Nick Edwards as Mr Spall.
MR SPALL
One more screw-up free day and then you two’ll be back on regular duties.
NARRATOR
Episode number 6 – A Tale of Deliverance

Conversation takes place inside the van as it driven along. We don’t hear the noise referred to by Sarah in the first line.

SARAH
(intonationà laNathan Fillion.) What was that?
TAYA RAY
(Innocently.) What was what?
SARAH
I heard something in the back of the van.
TAYA RAY
(Covering.) Oh, you know this old van, it was probably just something falling apart. (With a sigh.) I miss the other van, with the fancy swish-swish doors.
SARAH
Yes, I rather gather that Mr Spall wasn't entirely convinced by our story about the space pirates. In consequence, we find ourselves coaxing this dilapidated excuse for a jalopy to move at greater than five miles an hour across this crater-strewn excuse for a planet.
TAYA RAY
I guess you’re right. That's probably why we're driving this old van, too.
SARAH
Well, anyway, here we are. Last drop of the day.

Van stops and engine is turned off.

TAYA RAY
Are you sure we’re in the right place? There’s nothing here!

Following sound effects overlap with next two lines: Sound of two doors opening and shutting again and then the back door of the van being opened (traditional, manual sounds.) The sound outside is just wind blowing in the desert, which continues for the rest of the episode. There are no birds or animals, no leaves to rustle in the wind.

SARAH
(With heavy sarcasm.). That is of course the point. Taya Ray, you did take Terraforming 101 I take it? I’ve double-checked the coordinates. The planting team will be here this afternoon, we’re just supposed to leave the crates for them. Come on, the quicker we do this, the quicker we’re out of here.

Musical cue to indicate passing of time.

TAYA RAY
(Panting a little with the exertion.) That’s the last one.

Sound of crate being put on ground and then back door to van is slammed shut.

SARAH
Okay, hand me the keys. Mr Spall will be checking in any moment now.
TAYA RAY
What keys?
SARAH
The keys to the van, of course!
TAYA RAY
I don’t have them.
SARAH
Well, one of us must have them, and since I don't that leaves... (Beat.) Oh no! I don’t believe it! I can see the keys – they are inside the van, in the ignition. We’re locked out.
TAYA RAY
It’s okay. We just need to smash a window.
SARAH
(Increasingly exasperated.) Well I could try breaking it with your head, I suppose. (Beat.) Taya Ray, this place is as barren as a spinsters’ day out in Isis Canyon. Can you see a rock anywhere? (In despair.) I give up. (Bitterly sarcastic.) We’ve finally hit rock bottom. We might as well face facts, Taya Ray: we'll be out of a job before you can say "Jack Robinson".
TAYA RAY
Are you sure, coz I can say "Jack Robinson" very fast. Oh wait! Maybe there’s something in these crates we could use?
SARAH
(Flatly.) They’re full of genseed. (Sarcastically.) By all means, do make the attempt to smash a window by throwing seed at it. At least it will provide me with some entertainment.
TAYA RAY
(Catching Sarah’s despair now.) No, I guess that won't work. (Beat.) Hey, I’ve got an idea though. Well, a confession, and then an idea. (Sheepishly.) You, uh, remember the squirrels?
SARAH
How can I forget? They’re the ones that started us off on our slide down the slippery slope to delivery duty hell!
TAYA RAY
(Confessing.) I, uh, have some in the back of the van – that was the noise you heard earlier.
SARAH
(Incredulously.) You what? Why?
TAYA RAY
I kinda felt sorry for them after we blew up their trees. I rescued a few and took them home. I’ve been trying to find them new homes since. I thought maybe they could settle here, but I didn’t realise there wasn’t going to be any trees.
SARAH
Biodiversity distribution readjustment Taya Ray-style, huh? (Beat, calmly.) Well, let’s move right on past the part where we talk about the (Next two words said very animatedly) utter craziness! of that scheme and ask what your idea is.
TAYA RAY
Maybe if we shake some seed at the window, we can get the squirrels to come up front and one of them might step on the button to open the window.
SARAH
(Beat.) You know, crazy as it sounds, that just might work. Let’s open up one of the crates.

Sound of crate opening and seed being poured from one hand to another.

TAYA RAY
Now come on little squirrels, time for a snack!

Occasional sounds of seeds being poured from one hand to another or maybe shaken, over following conversation.

SARAH
Oh, I see one! It’s coming to the front. That’s it. Come over here. Come on.

Sound of the van’s indicator lights flicking on and off.

SARAH
Okay, well, it’s almost got the right idea.
TAYA RAY
Come on, just a little to the left!

Sound of van’s horn going off.

SARAH
(Slightly exasperated now.) Confound these wretched rodents! (Beat.) Yes, that’s it, come on, you’re nearly there…

Sound of an electric window being wound down. Overlaps with next two lines.

SARAH
Yay!
TAYA RAY (At same time as Sarah’s line.)
Woo hoo! Squirrel girl saves the day!

Following line fades in as the window is wound down.

MR SPALL (Over com.)
Brunel, Parsec! Do you copy? Brunel, Parsec! What are you two playing at?

Click as Sarah reaches in through the window to answer the com.

SARAH
(Very cheerily.) Brunel here. Sorry, Mr Spall, we were just distracted by a, uh, thing.
MR SPALL (Over com.)
You sound very bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, what’s been going on?
SARAH
(Suppressing giggles.) Nothing much. We’ve finished the last delivery and are about to head back to base. We’ve just been going a little nuttyon account of having been stuck in the van for so long.
MR SPALL (Over com.)
Well, you’ll be back on regular duties from next week. Let this whole experience be a lesson to you! Do your job properly, don’t blow things up, keep track of time zones and we’ll all be happy.

Faint sound of a squirrel chattering in the background in between the two sentences of Sarah’s next line.

SARAH
Yessir. (Suppressing giggles again.) We won’t let you down.
MR SPALL
(Over com, intonation à la Nathan Fillion.) What was that?

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