Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Escape
Show: The Time Machine
Date: Oct 22 1950

ANNOUNCER:

Tired of the everyday routine? Ever dream of a life of romantic adventure? Want to get away from it all? We offer you...ESCAPE!

(MUSIC)

 

ANNOUNCER:

Escape! Designed to free you from the four walls of today, for a half hour of high adventure.

F/X:

CYMBALS CLANG

ANNC:

Escape with us now, to the year one-hundred-thousand and eighty; and a world where beauty and terror live side-by-side. As H.G. Wells describes it in his immortal story, "The Time Machine".

(MUSIC)

 

FILBY:

When I met Professor Dudley, I thought him as having one of those intellectual minds that was tragically too brilliant. Whether it was due to the pressure of trying to outdo himself or out of complete frustration of being constantly misunderstood or just out of utter boredom? no matter what the cause, I was quite certain he was mad.

FILBY:

And I wasn't alone? That's how his guests talked about him behind his back. They would politely smile and understandingly nod their heads during his monthly dinner parties, secretly grateful more for the food than for the company or conversation.

FILBY:

I was honored to have been invited more than a few times, knowing that his guest list usually included renowned university professors, independent scholars and other men of distinction. However, one night, as it did on quite a few occasions, the conversation involved time travel, A subject that Professor Dudley was more than passionate about? This would make most of this guests uncomfortable and caused them leave earlier than usual?

SOUND:

Door Slam.

FILBY:

Well Professor? I suppose I should be off as well?

DUDLEY:

Suit yourself? Filby, Thank you for coming?

FILBY:

No thank you sir? I'm grateful to be included on your guest list?

DUDLEY:

Yes, (underbreath) I suppose you are? Goodnight then.

FILBY:

Yes? (PAUSE) Um? Do you really believe it sir? Do you really believe that one can travel through time?

DUDLEY:

It's been done!

FILBY:

Sir?

DUDLEY:

I've done it? and so have you? we can't avoid time travel? it's our normal state of being.

FILBY:

(laughs) Of course? but traveling back and forth in time like you suggested tonight? do you believe THAT's possible.

DUDLEY:

Filby my friend? It's a certainty. If your mind isn't as tightly sealed as my other guests? you should come with me? and see what I've been working on for the last three years?

FILBY:

All right?

SOUND:

Footsteps / DOOR OPENS and shuts

FILBY:

You have an impressive laboratory Professor.

DUDLEY:

Thank you? (pause) now look here? what do you think?

FILBY:

It looks like one of those horseless carriages? but (pause) where are the wheels? and what's that huge crystal disk in the back? is that a new kind of engine?

DUDLEY:

It's a time machine.

FILBY:

Dudley, you are mad! A Time Machine?

DUDLEY:

Yes, my friend, a time machine.

FILBY:

This thing?

DUDLEY:

This very thing.

FILBY:

This contraption? This framework made of quartz and bronze and ivory? With its levers and its dials, and seats in the middle?

DUDLEY:

I promise you, Filby, that on this machine, a man can go wherever he likes in time. By working these levers he can choose his century, his year, his very day.

FILBY:

Oh for. . .really, professor.

DUDLEY:

Like I told you tonight? Time is only a kind of space. If we can move about in all the other dimensions of space, why not in time too?

FILBY:

Oh, you can't just ride back and forth through time? it's impossible

DUDLEY:

Well, what of the journeys I've already taken on this little contraption?

FILBY:

I'm afraid you've been having a bad dream.

DUDLEY:

Very well, you shall have proof, my friend.

FILBY:

How?

DUDLEY:

Just climb on, Filby. Sit in the seat beside me, face these ivory dials, and I'll take you for a little ride through time.

FILBY:

Well, you, you mean right now?

DUDLEY:

Right now.

FILBY:

In case this thing should take off like the flying red horse are there any, um, any. . .

DUDLEY:

Any preparations? No Filby. You won't need any luggage on this trip, not even a toothbrush. You'll be back here in my laboratory in less than a minute.

FILBY:

Oh?

DUDLEY:

Oh? before you climb aboard? Please tell me, what time is it?

FILBY:

It's, um, just half past ten in the evening.

DUDLEY:

Good? be so good as to leave your watch hanging on that coat rack?

FILBY:

Over here?

DUDLEY:

Yes, now let's get ourselves seated.

F/X:

footsteps, clanking, someone climbing into machine.

FILBY:

Alright, I'm on. Now what?

DUDLEY:

Hold tight, it sways a good deal, I'd hate to lose you.

FILBY:

Heh, I can't be frightened, Dudley.

DUDLEY:

Then you're braver than I am.

FILBY:

Um? yes.

DUDLEY:

Before we start I want to adjust this control a bit.

F/X:

Hi pitched squeal, clanking.

DUDLEY:

Hmm

FILBY:

Is, um, is everything ship-shape?

DUDLEY:

Tell me, did you notice anything, just then?

FILBY:

Only a noise, a humming noise, nothing else.

DUDLEY:

And what time is it?

FILBY:

You just asked me professor? and you told me to leave my watch over there on the? (pause) that's odd, my watch says quarter to nine? but? but it was just after 10 a moment ago? There must be something wrong with it.

DUDLEY:

It's only that I touched the lever to test it, and we've gone forward a full day. Twenty two and a quarter hours, at any rate.

FILBY:

Yes, but, Dudley. . .

DUDLEY:

(INTERRUPTING) finished scoffing, Filby?

FILBY:

Yes, yes, I believe I have.

DUDLEY:

Then hold tight, this will be the real article.

FILBY:

I'm ready Dudley.

DUDLEY:

Good man. Well, say goodbye, Filby.

F/X:

High pitched humming begins again and continues on.

DUDLEY:

Say goodbye to nineteen-hundred and two.

F/X:

Bang

F/X:

Wind begins and continues on.

FILBY:

We went off with a shattering jolt, with the machine swaying under us. The walls of Dr. Dudley's laboratory suddenly fell away. Night was speeding after day like the flapping of a huge bird's wing. I saw the sun, hopping across the sky. Leaping swiftly across it every second. And every second marking a day. I saw the moon spinning through her quarter like a ball, from new to full, all in a twinkling of an eye. Trees grew and blossomed like puffs of smoke, and then passed away. All for the while we were going faster. Now our pace was a year a second. So that second by second the white snow flashed across the world, and was followed by the bright, brief spring. And still we went on, into the future.

DUDLEY:

(YELLING OVER NOISE) How do you feel, Filby?

FILBY:

Very weak, very dizzy.

DUDLEY:

Don't let go, don't fall off!

FILBY:

Where are we? How far have we come?

DUDLEY:

We're in one-hundred-thousand and fifty-and sixty-and seventy!

FILBY:

That's enough! Stop it! I can't stand it any more. Stop it!

F/X:

Wind and hum die down until silent.

DUDLEY:

FILBY, you alright?

FILBY:

Yes, I. . .I believe so. No broken bones. What happened.

DUDLEY:

Not sure, must have stopped too suddenly.

FILBY:

Where are we, Dudley?

DUDLEY:

Look around for yourself. A wide lawn, a beautiful, vast garden. . .

FILBY:

I meant, geographically.

DUDLEY:

Just where we were when we started. Where my laboratory stood.

FILBY:

And the year, Dudley? What is the year now?

DUDLEY:

One-hundred-thousand and eighty.

(MUSIC)

 

FILBY:

It seemed absolutely incredible. A dream. And a pleasant one, for the garden in which we found ourselves was beautiful and summery, with an unexpected perfume about it, almost like platine. At some distance we could see a large and imposing building, and everything was quiet and peaceful. But almost too much so. And a sense of strangeness, an incredible strangeness sent a shiver up my spine.

DUDLEY:

One-hundred thousand and eighty. Filby, do you, want to go back?

FILBY:

Yes. I rather think I do.

DUDLEY:

Alright? and maybe now we'll got to 1066 or a 1 million BC!!

F/X:

high pitched moan begins is heard frequently

FILBY:

Dudley? did you hear that?

DUDLEY:

From over there, in the bushes.

FILBY:

It sounded human.

DUDLEY:

Come on!

F/X:

footsteps running in gravel.

FILBY:

Why, it's a child! Seems to be a very small girl!

DUDLEY:

There's been a beast here of some kind of struggled with her--look at the marks on her arm.

FILBY:

Now, my dear, you'll be alright now, you won't be harmed. Of course she wouldn't understand English.

DUDLEY:

She's motioning us to go with her.

FILBY:

What about the animal? Did you see it?

DUDLEY:

No, not a glimse. Too fast for us.

FILBY:

Perhaps we'd better go back, Dudley. The girl seems to be alright now.

DUDLEY:

Leave her like this?

FILBY:

Yes, yes, I've had enough.

DUDLEY:

Well they haven't, Filby, because they're here, all around us.

(MUSIC)

 

FILBY:

They had crept up on soundless feet to surround us. The little people of this era. And the girl we'd saved was not a child, but a full grown woman. They all stood four feet high in simple tunics. Beautiful creatures, but terribly frail with a plump and soft kind of frailty. They were like eerie figures in a dream. And all we could here was the rustling of their clothes as they circled happily around us, their faces weaved in smiles.

F/X:

rustling, small noises

FILBY:

Why, they're not savage at all. They're very loving and gentle little people.

DUDLEY:

Yes? but there's something terribly wrong with them.

FILBY:

Well how do you mean?

DUDLEY:

They seem to have the minds of five year olds.

FILBY:

Well how do you expect them to be?

DUDLEY:

Far ahead of us, of course. Incredibly ahead of us in knowledge and science. Look at them, children.

FILBY:

They seem to be happy, in this huge garden of theirs. Uh, Dudley, I've changed my mind. Let's stay. Maybe we should enjoy spending a few days with our little friends.

(MUSIC)

 

FILBY:

The little people led us home, into their valley. They lived in colossal buildings. Sleeping all together in one huge hall, eating in another, playing and frolicking in the sunshine. And we lived with them for days, in utter contentment. One afternoon, Dudley and I walked along the banks of the great river.

DUDLEY:

Filby, Have you noticed that the little people all wear the same clothes, they have the same soft, hairless skin, the same feminine roundness of limbs.

FILBY:

I wonder if it's because they're all vegetarians.

DUDLEY:

They're vegetarians because they have to be. You haven't come across any horses, or dogs, or cattle of any kind, have you?

FILBY:

No Professor, now that you mention it?

DUDLEY:

With good reason, all extinct by now. Just as the dinosaur is with us. Such a strange and different place our earth has become?

FILBY:

Yes? I actually prefer it in some ways? less noisy? more pastoral?

DUDLEY:

With little sheep for people?

FILBY:

Pardon?

DUDLEY:

You know what I'm talking about Filby? As a scientist, I want to learn all there is to know about them and their culture -- but I find myself frustrated at their lack of? well?

FILBY:

Humanity?

DUDLEY:

Yes, exactly? with the exception of that girl we rescued -- any time I try to communicate with them -- they all break out into laughter.

FILBY:

(laughs) I was trying to teach some of them English? but I began to feel like an unpopular schoolmaster amidst children?

DUDLEY:

Very disinterested children? One moment they come up to us with eagerness, and the next they wander away to something else.

FILBY:

You sound as if you're disgusted?

DUDLEY:

Perhaps? It seems to me that we've happened on mankind upon the wane. It's sunset, if you will.

FILBY:

What makes you say that?

DUDLEY:

Strength is the outcome of need; security sets a premium on feebleness. We come from a time when we're trying to make life more comfortable with electricity? connected with telegraphs and wires? and more secure and convenient with the power of steam? all these things are making our lives better? a true civilizing process.

FILBY:

How can that be bad? What happened? were did we go wrong?

DUDLEY:

Come now Filby? The work of ameliorating and improving the conditions of life must have gone steadily on to a climax. One triumph of a united humanity over Nature had followed another. Things that are for us? mere dreams had become projects deliberately put in hand and carried forward. And the harvest is before us? in these playful? grown up children... devoid of ambition! What a waste!

FILBY:

I can't put my finger on it Dudley, but it doesn't add up? there's something strange here, something hidden away. Silent. The year one-hundred thousand and eighty may look pretty -- but I can't help feeling that we're being? spied on.

DUDLEY:

(laughs) We think alike Filby? see this?

FILBY:

Those are the control levers of the time machine?

DUDLEY:

I took the precaution of removing them and putting a master padlock on the main switches. I don't much fancy the idea of someone riding away with it into another century and leaving us here for the rest of our lives.

FILBY:

That makes me feel a little better... (breathes in) The city is so completely different now? I can make out a few geographical landmarks? an ancient building from our time here and there? but even the river seems to be miles from where it used to flow.

DUDLEY:

Yes... quite extraordinary. Come on then... let's head back to the little people's shelter, and gather our things? I've seen enough of this (disdainfully) paradise.

FILBY:

I'm inclined to agree with you... Wait Dudley, do you know where we are?

DUDLEY:

Yes, of course... this is near where we landed.

FILBY:

I thought so. I wasn't sure. . .

DUDLEY:

Why did you ask?

FILBY:

I can't see the machine anywhere...

DUDLEY:

What?

FILBY:

The machine's not here...

DUDLEY:

They've taken it away! They've stolen it!

FILBY:

(panic) This is where it was, right? It was right here.

DUDLEY:

Look! Filby! Tracks! Look here... where they've drag it... Over here! Come along!

F/X:

SCURRYING / RUNNING

DUDLEY:

(out of breath) Down this path! Look! Right there! The monument... they took it to the monument...

FILBY:

(out of breath) The tracks... stop... at those brass doors on the base...

F/X:

POUNDING

DUDLEY:

(out of breath) Open up... you little thieves!!!

FILBY:

(out of breath) The doors? they're locked! (pause) Dudley, did you hear that???

DUDLEY:

(whispers) Something's behind the doors... sounds like movement... and... faint laughter? but? (pause)?

FILBY:

But what?

DUDLEY:

Nothing? (pause) The machine must be in there!

FILBY:

Yes!

DUDLEY:

Inside! Let's go? look for something to pry the doors open or break them down? We must get in there! Come on?

FILBY:

How... how can we? What can we use?

DUDLEY:

Here, use the ladders!

FILBY:

Alright, (efforts) I'll try...

DUDLEY:

Break them down on Three? one... two? THREE

F/X:

CLANGING

FILBY:

It's no good, Dudley! They're solid! We'll never break through!

DUDLEY:

Never? Never!? There's GOT to be a way! There's always a way?

FILBY:

The doors are solid?

DUDLEY:

I spent the last three years building that machine? I am not going to let a simple door stand in the way of our only way home?

FILBY:

Oh... I just realized... We may never go home again!

DUDLEY:

(Breaking up)? Why take the time machine? why!!! Why? Why!!! (fades)

MUSIC:

DRAMATIC UP AND OUT

COMMERICAL BREAK

MUSIC:

UP AND UNDER

FILBY:

We were caught in the year one-hundred-thousand and eighty. The time machine was gone. The brass doors of the monument held. Our retreat was cut off. The thin line by which we could make our way back home. Back to our own time. Our own people. Back to nineteen-0-2 was broken. And the little people's language was still a mystery. Anytime we tried to communicate with them, it was met by howls of laughter. But it wasn't hostile. They weren't taunting us? their attitude was innocent. They were more like simple wondering children. Only one, the young woman whose life we had saved on the first day became really friendly and was able to tell us her name? it was Wena. She always kept close... she went with us wherever we walked, and slept near us at night in the hall. She'd always make us garlands and bring us flowers, which she would sometimes drop in our pockets, the very thing being somewhat of a mystery to her, along with grass or whatever she fancied at the time? I was pleasantly surprised that Dudley wasn't furious at her for this? I suppose the main thing was -- we had a friend? And as time went on we were able to teach her a few words in English. Now that we could some ideas... redoubled our efforts like men racing against the clock, so that we might speak to her and discover the secret of our immense loss. We were talking to her one night after the others had gone to sleep.

WENA:

No... not we... Dudley... no.

DUDLEY:

How can you be so sure your people didn't steal the machine? Aren't there any thieves among them? Are they all perfect?

FILBY:

Not so loud, Dudley. You'll wake them. Besides, she doesn't understand.

DUDLEY:

(whispered) The thief must be sleeping somewhere in this hall. (loud) Wena? (as if pointing) They take machine?!

WENA:

No... Dudley... no!

DUDLEY:

Who then? Who took it Wena!?

FILBY:

We? are friends.

WENA:

Yes.

DUDLEY:

We? must? have? machine!

WENA:

Yes... Dudley... yes...

DUDLEY:

Who took machine? Other people? Not yours?

WENA:

Oth--er?

FILBY:

What about those doors, Wena? Doors, open?

WENA:

No! (fearful) No!

DUDLEY:

Wena, machine. In there, must open.

WENA:

(very scared) No! No! Not open! (cries) Not open? bad!!? bad!

DUDLEY:

Alright, nevermind... go to sleep. Get some rest.

WENA:

(sniffing -- calming down) Yes... Dudley... sleep now...

DUDLEY:

What's to become of us, Filby? Are we caught here in this century? To spend our lives with the little people and their secret?

FILBY:

We'll go back to the monument tomorrow. We'll find a way of breaking in. Goodnight Dudley. . . (PAUSE) Dudley?. . .Dudley!

DUDLEY:

(weakly). . .yeah?...

FILBY:

Did you just?... (pause - panic) There it was again!

DUDLEY:

What?

FILBY:

(whispered) Something on my face. Cold, filthy to the touch! On my face and in my hair! It's cold! It's death! Dudley!

DUDLEY:

You're right, there's something in here with us! Smells of the grave! What was it?

FILBY:

I don't know! But look at them! Look at the little people!

DUDLEY:

It's as though they've been stampeded! Let's get out of here! I want some fresh air.

MUSIC:

UP AND UNDER

FILBY:

We went quickly from the hall, and outside, away from the little people. (pause) The moon was full, just over-head, and it was close to dawning. There was a faint sound speeding close behind us. And we turned, our nerves ragged, our muscles tensed. But it was only Wena, coming swiftly to join us.

MUSIC:

OUT

WENA:

Dudley... I afraid! Dark!

FILBY:

Then there IS something.

DUDLEY:

What do you mean, Wena? Dark, what. . .

WENA:

Dark things! Dark place! Night!

FILBY:

Why should they be afraid of the night, Dudley?

DUDLEY:

It's not the night alone. Dark place, that's our clue.

FILBY:

Perhaps it's something underground!

MUSIC:

DRAMATIC UP AND UNDER

FILBY:

It was another day. We had wandered into a lovely, wooded place, about a mile from the community. Suddenly Wena screamed.

WENA:

(GASP) Filby!

FILBY:

(VO) We stopped short. A pair of glaring eyes were fixed upon us. As we stood there, petrified, the thing, a little ape-like figure rushed across our path and disappeared in the clearing about thirty yards away. (then in the action)

FILBY:

What was it?

DUDLEY:

I couldn't see it too well. It seemed to be a dull white thing, with white hair on its head and on it's back.

FILBY:

It looked like a small ape!

DUDLEY:

It was running on all fours. With its arms held very low.

FILBY:

Wena, Wena what was it?

WENA:

Morlock! A Morlock!

DUDLEY:

Who are the Morlocks? What are they? Wena tell me!

WENA:

No, no!

DUDLEY:

Let's go over and see where it disappeared. Come along, Filby.

MUSIC

FILBY:

In the clearing we found a round, well-like opening. Dudley and I leaned over and looked down a deep shaft. A small white creature was retreating down a ladder in the well. Like a human spider, its large, white eyes watching us as it went swiftly down. Then it disappeared in the shaft.

DUDLEY:

Filby, did you see it? Like an ape!

FILBY:

Yes, but also like a man.

DUDLEY:

So there are two species of men in this world!

FILBY:

Yes.

DUDLEY:

The little people above the ground, and this obscene thing, this bleached monster below.

FILBY:

That white look. Common to animals that live in the dark. Like huge rats. Like worms that are cold to the touch. I know, because they've touched me.

DUDLEY:

Filby, you can feel the air being sucked down into the shaft?

FILBY:

Yes.

DUDLEY:

The earth must be tunneled enormously here under our feet. These monsters must live in the tunnels.

FILBY:

I think we know now who stole our time machine.

DUDLEY:

Yes, then...

FILBY:

Then we'll go down and have a look.

WENA:

No!... No... not go!

DUDLEY:

Why not, Wena?

WENA:

Morlocks! You never come back!

FILBY:

We must have our machine, my dear. You wait for us here.

WENA:

No! No!

MUSIC UP AND UNDER

FILBY:

And so we went down. Our heels ringing on the small, metallic bars that were meant for creatures so much smaller than us. Down we climbed. Down... down... ever in darkness. Ever it seemed, into the center of the earth... Into the core of the world...

MUSIC:

OUT

SOUND:

RUMBLING MACHINERY SOUND RISES SLOWLY KEPT UNDER

FILBY:

How much longer?

DUDLEY:

We won't know until we reach the bottom. Can't be much further. Do you hear that? Like machinery. We're almost there.

FILBY:

Thank heaven for that.

DUDLEY:

Alright Filby, I'm on the bottom. Come along, just a few more steps. Now, give me your hand, Filby. Good. We're here.

FILBY:

Yes, in the land of the Morlocks.

DUDLEY:

Do you have a match?

FILBY:

Yes, here.

F/X:

MATCH STRIKING

DUDLEY:

There seems to be a large vaulted chamber at the end of this passage.

FILBY:

What do you, suppose they'll do if they catch us?

DUDLEY:

I have no idea. Better take care not to be caught. Ah, another match.

F/X:

MACHINERY LOUDER / MATCH STRIKING

FILBY:

That? that throbbing noise. . .

DUDLEY:

Probably their ventilating system, pumping the air down. There must be thousands upon thousands of these Morlocks living under the earth.

FILBY:

We haven't seen any yet, except for our friend who came down ahead of us. Why do you suppose they wanted our time machine?

DUDLEY:

I think they wanted us. Not the machine.

FILBY:

And we've come to them.

DUDLEY:

We must! It's our only chance. (pause) You know something Filby, if that noise does come from air pumps...

FILBY:

Yes...

DUDLEY:

Why's it so stuffy here, so oppressive?

FILBY:

I noticed that too... Dudley, what's that strange smell?

DUDLEY:

Blood.

FILBY:

(whispered) Blood?

DUDLEY:

Light another match.

F/X:

MATCH STRIKING

FILBY:

Dudley, look straight ahead. On the white metal table...

DUDLEY:

It's set for a meal.

FILBY:

Yes... With a small haunch... Do you see?... meat!

DUDLEY:

We know that the cattle are extinct.

FILBY:

Then, what do they feed on, these Morlocks?

DUDLEY:

Don't you know?

FILBY:

Yes, I know.

DUDLEY:

Oh, another match!

FILBY:

Yes, right here. Dudley, I have no more. I've used our last match.

DUDLEY:

What ill planning... to think I didn't even bring a Kodak with us...

FILBY:

A lot of good it would do if we never make it back.

DUDLEY:

Of course... well, without matches we have no choice but to return to the surface. Come on...

FILBY:

Right behind you...

DUDLEY:

At any rate... we know the secret now. The Morlocks, living here under ground, they are masters of this age. And our friends up above are merely fatted cattle. Fed by the Morlox. Clothed, supplied and housed until the day when they're cut out of their herd and brought underground as food.

FILBY:

It's not the fading utopia...

DUDLEY:

No... This is the future you're looking at. This is our future...

FILBY:

DUDLEY!

DUDLEY:

What is it!

FILBY:

In this darkness.. I felt hands! Cold hands!

DUDLEY:

There are pipes along the walls... do you feel them... some are loose.

SOUND:

PIPE PRIED FROM WALL

FILBY:

Did you get one... give it to me...

DUDLEY:

Use it as a weapon! Lash out against the Morlocks!

F/X:

GROANS FROM MORLOCKS

DUDLEY:

Filby they're here beside me!

F/X:

YELLS FROM FILBY AND DUDLEY

DUDLEY:

Use the pipe I gave you... use the metal pipe, man!

FILBY:

They're all around us!

DUDLEY:

This way! Follow me this way, back this way.

MUSIC UP AND UNDER

FILBY:

We went back in that evil darkness. Fighting every step as we went. Back to those projecting bars. Kicking and clawing ourselves loose from their talloned grasping hands. And climbing up again. Up toward daylight and freedom. Away from their stench and the eagerness of their icy hands. And they did not follow, for daylight was their enemy, and their great fear. And we lived among the lush gardens of the little people like prisoners, like men without reprieve, like men who are dead but still walk the earth. For the time machine was locked away behind great brass doors. And we knew we could never force them open. Then one day, Wena told us of an old building, an ancient, sagging structure that had survived through many ages and was filled with many curious objects.

DUDLEY:

A museum! That's what it must be! A museum, Filby! Perhaps from some earlier time!

FILBY:

I'm in no mood to go looking at a museum.

DUDLEY:

Don't you see? Specimens are medically sealed in museums. Perhaps there are things, weapons, machinery. Something we can use!

FILBY:

Yes! Yes of course! If we could find some dynamite or gunpowder or something!

DUDLEY:

We could blast those doors! We could get in!

FILBY:

Where is this place, Wena? This old building that no one ever goes near?

WENA:

I take you, it not far.

FILBY:

A chance, professor! A slim one but a chance, nonetheless!

(MUSIC)

 

FILBY:

All day we wandered through the great ruined halls. The building had been deserted, unused for perhaps a century. The child-like men of that time had long since ceased to care about any thing but their own personal comforts. It was late afternoon and growing dark when we came upon the chemical section. We found nothing useful to us until then. Now came the worst disappointment of all.

DUDLEY:

And it's dust. All of it. It's been dust for countless centuries...

FILBY:

Another dead end.

DUDLEY:

It's hopeless. We were out of our minds to hope that nitrites would retain their form for a hundred-thousand years.

WENA:

We go now? If nothing here?

DUDLEY:

Wait, just a moment. There's something in this case.

FILBY:

Well you can break it with your lever.

DUDLEY:

Stand back a little.

F/X:

GLASS BREAKING

DUDLEY:

A box of matches. Medically sealed.

FILBY:

Wait, let me see it.

F/X:

SHUFFLING NOISE

FILBY:

Why they're perfect! Solid and sound... They're not even damp!

DUDLEY:

(mocking) What should we do with them? Burn down those brass doors?

FILBY:

Well you'd better keep them, you can't tell. . .

DUDLEY:

Filby!

FILBY:

What.

DUDLEY:

On the floor, you see them? Small, narrow footprints leading away into the darkness at the end of this gallery!

WENA:

Dudley!

FILBY:

We'd better go!

DUDLEY:

Pick Wena up and carry her. We're going to have to make a run for it!

FILBY:

Now, don't be frightened, my dear!

F/X:

MORLOCK GROANS BEGIN

FILBY:

It'll be alright.

DUDLEY:

Go on! Run!

(MUSIC)

 

FILBY:

We came out of the gloom of that place into the deeper gloom of dusk, and suddenly we saw. We were trapped! All around us were the Morlocks. They were there by the thousands! Surrounding us, and coming closer. The long even line of deathly white, their eyes blinking in the half light their tiny mouths alive with appetite.

DUDLEY:

Filby! The matches!

FILBY:

Yes... I have the matches.

DUDLEY:

Light a fire here in this dry grass. The forest around us is dry. Hurry man! We'll have an inferno here in a minute! Our little friends don't like light, or heat.

F/X:

FIRE CRACKLING

FILBY:

The fire leaped high to the heavens and the country side was ablaze. The Morlocks turned in fear, blinded by the glare. Some of them plundered into the raging flames and the rest faded away like a fog. Dudley had left a narrow passage way for our retreat and we fled down a long corridor of leaping flames and blistering heat. We fled toward safety to the community of the little people. As we ran, we passed the huge monument with its great bronze doors that were locked tight in our time machine. And suddenly, in the glare of the distant fire, we saw something that stopped us short.

DUDLEY:

They're open! Filby -- the doors are open!

WENA:

No! Not go in! Dudley, no!

FILBY:

It's a trap! They're waiting for us inside!

DUDLEY:

Waiting or not, we're going in!

FILBY:

Dudley, it's suicide!

DUDLEY:

It'll take me one minute to screw the levers on again, then I touch them and we're away!

FILBY:

Alright, I'll try to give you your one minute.

DUDLEY:

Good man!

WENA:

No! No go! Not leave me!

FILBY:

Now you, you my dear, you hold tight around my neck. You're coming home with us.

DUDLEY:

Alright. Let's go! Wait. Look the machine! They haven't harmed it!

FILBY:

My goodness... it looks like they've cleaned and oiled it.

DUDLEY:

(laughs) It's a trap alright... they'll be around us any moment...

FILBY:

I don't see them, yet.

DUDLEY:

Come on now, quickly!

F/X:

METAL CLANG

FILBY:

The doors, Dudley! They're closed! It's pitch black again...

DUDLEY:

Just, get in the seat. I'll be ready in a moment.

FILBY:

I waited for the hum that would signal our departure. There in the darkness the Morlocks were finally upon us. Cold, persistent fingers swarmed over my body. Tugging at me and pulling me away from the machine. I held tight to Wena as any man would hold fast to life. I tried to kick them away with my feet.

WENA:

(panic) Filby, Filby!

FILBY:

(efforts) Hurry, Dudley, hurry!

DUDLEY:

(efforts) I must fix these levers quickly or we're done!

F/X:

HUMMING BEGINS

DUDLEY:

(out of breath) There, Filby, we're away, we're gone!

FILBY:

(out of breath) Yes, yes, we made it!

DUDLEY:

Are you alright!

FILBY:

I'm alright!

DUDLEY:

Good... And Wena?

FILBY:

Wena (long pause) isn't with us, professor.

DUDLEY:

What happened?

FILBY:

They tore her from my hands. At the last second they got their filthy cold talons around her. I tried to save her, I couldn't. I still have a piece of her tunic here in my fist. A little piece of her tunic, Dudley. Nothing else.

(MUSIC)

 

FILBY:

And so we came home again. Back into the very minute in which we had left. Back into twelve noon, October sixth, nineteen 0-2. We were in Dudley's laboratory again, motionless. Sitting on the ridiculous contraption, which he has called "Time Machine". Was it all a dream? Did any of it happen? Could any of it happen? Of course not. How stupid. Then what of this? What of this piece of thin, green silk I hold in my hand?

(MUSIC)