Series 2, Episode 23: Scott of the Sahara
VOICE OVER Michael Palin
OATES Terry Jones
SCOTT Michael Palin
EVANS Carol Cleveland
ANNOUNCER John Cleese
(Cut instantly to sky. CAPTION: ‘SCOTT OF THE SAHARA’)
Voice Over: Booming out of the pages of history comes a story of three men and one woman whose courage shocked a generation.
(Blinding sun. Pan down to Paignton beach. Scott, Evans, Oates and Bowers wearing furs crossing sand on snow shoes. With sledge pulled by motley selection of mongrel dogs, badly disguised as huskies.)
Voice Over: From the same team that brought you… (the names come out superimposed) ‘Lawrence of Glareorgan’… ‘Bridge Over the River Trent’… ‘The Mad Woman of Biggleswade’ … and ‘Krakatoa, East of Learnington’… comes the story of three people and a woman united by fate who set out in search of the fabled Pole of the Sahara and found… themselves. See… Lieutenant Scott’s death struggle with a crazed desert lion.
(The four are walking along. Suddenly they stop, stare, and react in horror. Scott steps to the front to defend the others. Intercut, non-matching stock shot of lion running out of jungle and leaping at camera. Scott waits poised and is then struck by cornpletely rigid stuffed lion. Montage of shots of him wrestling, firstly with the stuffed lion, then with an actor in a tatty lion suit. The lion picks up a chair, fends Scott off, smashes it over his head. Finally Scott kicks the lion on the shin. The lion leaps around on one leg and picks up a knife. Scott points, the lion looks, Scott kicks the knife out of the lion’s paw. He advances on the lion, and socks him on the jaw. The lion collapses in slow motion. After a pause, phoney blood spurts out.)
Voice Over: See Ensign Oates’ frank adult death struggle with the spine-chilling giant electric penguin…
(Oates looks up in horror, a shadow crosses him. Reverse shot of model penguin (quite small, about a foot) which lights up and looks electric. The penguin is close to the camera in the foreground and appears huge. Oates looks around desperately then starts to undress. Shot of penguin throwing tentacle. Half-nude Oates struggles with it. Intercut a lot of phoney reverses. Oates by now clad only in posing briefs sees a stone. He picks up the stone, then camera zooms into above-naval shot; he removes his briefs, puts the stone in the briefs, twirls it like a sling, and releases stone. The penguin is hit on beak, and falls over backwards.)
Voice Over: … See Miss Evans pursued by the man-eating roll-top writing desk.
(Miss Evans is running along screaming. Shot of desk chasing her (phoney desk with man inside). The roll top goes up and down, emitting roars, and displaying fearsome white teeth inside. As Evans runs, her clothing gets torn on each of the three cactuses. These are well spaced apart so that
there is a lot of trouble to get near them. When she is practically nude,
she runs out of shot revealing the announcer.)
Announcer: And now for something completely different.