Series 2, Episode 15: Semaphore
VOICE OVER Michael Palin
HEATHCLIFFE Terry Jones
CATHERINE Carol Cleveland
Voice Over : And now for the very first time on the silver screen comes the film from two books which once shocked a generation. From Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ and from the ‘International Guide to Semaphore Code’. Twentieth Century Vole presents ‘The Semaphore Version of Wuthering Heights’.
(Caption on screen: ‘THE SEMAPHORE VERSION OF WUTHERING HEIGHTS’ Film: appropriate film music throughout. Heathcliffe in close-up profile, his hair is blowing in the wind, he looks intense. Cut to close-up Catherine also in profile, with hair streaming in wind. As if they are 1ooking into each other’s eyes. Pull out to reveal, on very long zoom, that they are each on the top of separate small hills, in rolling countryside. Heathcliffe produces two semaphore flags from behind him,
and waves them.)
SUBTITLE: ‘OH! CATHERINE’
(Pan across to Cathertne who also produces two flags and waves.)
SUBTITLE: ‘OH! HEATHCLIFFE’
(Heathcliffe waves flags again.)
SUBTITLE: ‘OH! OH! CATHERINE’
(With each cut they are further and further away from each other. Catherine waves flags again.)
SUBTITLE: ‘OH! OH! HEATHCLIFFE’
Cut to her husband at front door of early Victorian manor house, looking stern. He waves two flags.
(Cut back to Catherine on hilltop.)
SUBTITLE: ‘HARK! I HEAR MY HUSBAND’
Cut to husband with two enormous flags.
(Cut to intertor of the early Victortan manor house. Close-up of a cradle. Suddenly two little semaphore flags pop up from inside the cradle and wave.)
SUBTITLE: ‘WAAAAAGH! WAAAAAAGH!’
(Pull back to reveal a nurse who walks over to cradle and waves flag
(The nurse points across the room. Cut to shot of old man asleep in chair with head slumped forward on his chest. He has two flags which he waves.)
SUBTITLE: ‘ZZZ . . . ZZZ . . .’
(Cut to front door again. Exterior. Husband is waiting. Catherine comes up the path towards him. As she approaches he flags.)
SUBTITLE: ‘YOU’VE BEEN SEEING HEATHCLIFFE’
(Catherine waves frantically.)
SUBTITLE: ‘YES! YES! I’VE BEEN SEEING HEATHCLIFFE, AND WHY NOT? HE’S THE ONLY MAN I EVER LOVED. HE’S FINE. HE’S STRONG. HE’S ALL THE THINGS YOU’LL NEVER BE, AND WHAT’S
MORE . . .’
(Caption on screen: ‘MONDAY FOR 7 DAYS’ Stock film of a Roman chariot race.)
Voice Over: From the pulsating pages of history, from the dark and furious days of Imperial Rome we bring you a story that shattered the world! A tale so gripping that they said it could not be filmed. A unique event in cinema history! Julius Caesar on an Aldis lamp!
(Superimposed caption on screen: ‘JULIUS CAESAR ON AN ALDIS LAMP’ Close-up of Caesar walking in Roman street. Soothsayer pushes his way up to him wild eyed and produces Aldis lamp and starts flashing:)
SUBTITLE: ‘BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH’
(Some steps at the foot of a statue. Caesar is stabbed. As he falls he brings out a really big Aldis lamp and flashes to the assassins around him.)
SUBTITLE: ‘ET TU BRUTE’
(A Western street. Two cowboys facing each other with morse buzzers.)
Voice Over: From the makers of ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral in Morse Code’.
(Superimposed caption on screen: ‘GUNFIOHT AT THE OK CORRAL IN MORSE CODE’ They buzz a bit.)
(Cut to a Red Indian making smoke signals.)
Voice Over: And the smoke-signal version of ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’.
(Superimposed caption on screen: ‘AND THE SMOKE-SIGNAL VERSION OF GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES’)