Series 3, Episode 37: Dennis Moore Rides Again
VOICE OVER Michael Palin
GRANTLEY Michael Palin
BUCKINGHAM Terry Jones
FIRST LADY Carol Cleveland
DENNIS MOORE John Cleese
MALE PEASANT Michael Palin
FEMALE PEASANT Terry Jones
(Fade up on a picture of Queen Victoria)
Voice Over: Just starting on BBC 1 now, ‘Victoria Regina’ the inspiring tale of the simple crofter’s daughter who worked her way up to become Queen of England and Empress of the Greatest Empire television has ever seen. On BBC 2 now Episode 3 of ‘George I’ the new 116 part serial about the famous English King who hasn’t been done yet. On ITV now the
(sound of a punch) Ugh!
(Music starts. Picture of Royal crest.) SUPERIMPOSED CAPTION: ‘GEORGE I’
(The word ‘Charles’ below the crest has been crossed out and ‘George I’ written above it.) CAPTION: ‘EPISODE 3 ‘ THE GATHERING STORM’
(This looks very dog-cared and thumb-printed. Cut to studio set of an eighteenth-century ballroom. Some dancing is going on. A fop is talking to two ladies in the usual phony mouthing manner. They laugh meaninglessly.)
Grantley: Ah! ‘Tis my lord of Buckingham. Pray welcome, Your Grace.
Buckingham: Thank you, Grantley.
Grantley: Ladies, may I introduce to you the man who prophesied that a German monarch would soon embroil this country in continental affairs.
First Lady: Oh, how so, my lord?
Buckingham: Madam, you will recall that prior to his accession our gracious sovereign George had become involved in the long standing Northern War, through his claims to Bremen and Verdun. These duchies would provide an outlet to the sea of the utmost value to Hanover. The Treaty of Westphalia has assigned them to Sweden.
Grantley: In 1648.
Grantley: Meanwhile Frederick William of Denmark, taking advantage of the absence of Charles XII, seized them; 1712.
Second Lady: Oh yes!
First Lady: It all falls into place. More wine?
Grantley: Oh, thank you.
Buckingham: However, just prior to his accession, George had made an alliance with Frederick William of Prussia, on the grounds of party feeling.
Grantley: While Frederick William had married George’s only daughter.
First Lady: I remember the wedding.
Buckingham: But chiefly through concern at the concerted action against Charles XII…
(There is a crash as Moore swings through the window on a rope. Everyone gasps and screams. He lands spectacularly.)
Moore: Stand and deliver.
All: Dennis Moore!
Moore: The same. And now my lords, my ladies … your lupins, please.
(General bewilderment and consternation.)
Buckingham: Our what?
Moore: Oh, come come, don’t play games with me my Lord of Buckingham.
Buckingham: What can you mean?
Moore: (putting pistol to his head) Your life or your lupins, my lord.
(Buckingham and the rest of the gathering now produce lupins which they have secreted about their several persons. They offer them to Moore.)
Moore: In a bunch, in a bunch.
(they arrange them in a bunch) Thank you my friends, and now a good evening to you all.
(He grabs the rope, is hauled into air and disappears out of the window. There is a bump, a whinny and the sound of galloping hooves. The guests rush to the window to watch him disappear.)
Grantley: He seeks them here… he seeks them there… he seeks those lupins everywhere. The murdering blackguard! He’s taken all our lupins.
First Lady: (produring one from her garter) Not quite.
(Gasps of delight.)
Buckingham: Oh you tricked him!
Man: We still have one!
(they all cheer)
(Cut to a similar montage as before of Moore galloping through forest, clearings and tiny villages. Song as follows.) Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore,Riding through the night.Soon every lupin in the landWill be in his mighty handHe steals them from the richAnd gives them to the poorMr Moore, Mr Moore, Mr Moore.
(Towards the end of this he arrives at the same peasant’s cottage as before, dismounts and runs to the cottage door. He pauses. From inside the cottage we hear quiet moaning. Cut to inside the cottage. In this rude hut, lit by a single candle, the female peasant lies apparently dying on a bunk. Lupins are everywhere, in the fire, on the bed, a large pile of them forms a pillow. The female peasant is moaning and the male peasant is kneeling beside her offering her a lupin. Moore enters slowly.)
Male Peasant: (dressed largely in a lupin suit) Try and eat some, my dear. It’ll give you strength.
(Dennis Moore reverently approaches the bed; the male peasant looks round and sees him) Oh Mr Moore, Mr Moore, she’s going fast.
Moore: Don’t worry, I’ve… I’ve brought you something.
Male Peasant: Medicine at last?
Male Peasant: Food?
Male Peasant: Some blankets perhaps… clothes… wood for the fire…
Moore: No. Lupins!
Male Peasant: (exploding) Oh Christ!
Moore: (astonished) I thought you liked them.
Male Peasant: I’m sick to bloody death of them.
Female Peasant: So am I.
Male Peasant: She’s bloody dying and all you bring us is lupins. All we’ve eaten mate for the last four bleeding weeks is lupin soup, roast lupin, steamed lupin, braised lupin in lupin sauce, lupin in the basket with saut~ed lupins, lupin meringue pie, lupin sorbet… we sit on lupins, we sleep in lupins, we feed the cat on lupins, we burn lupins, we even wear the bloody things!
Moore: Looks very smart.
Male Peasant: Oh shut up! We’re sick to death with the stench of them.
(sound of a miaow and then a bump) Look. The cat’s just choked itself to death on them.
(we see a dead cat with lupins coming out of its mouth) I don’t care if I never see another lupin till the day I die! Why don’t you go out and steal something useful!
Moore: Like what?
Male Peasant: Like gold and silver and clothes and wood and jewels and…
Moore: Hang on, I’ll get a piece of paper.
(Cut to a montage of shots of Moore riding away from the hut over which we hear the song.) Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore,Dumdum alum the night.Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore,Dun de dun dum plight.He steals dumdum dunAnd dumdum dum deeDennis dun, Dennis dee, dum dun dum.
(Cut back to the ballroom to find the same people discussing British history.)
Buckingham: This, coupled with the presence of Peter and his Prussians at Mecklenburg and Charles and his Swedes in Pomerania, made George and Stanhope eager to come to terms with France.
Grantley: Meanwhile, a breach had now opened with…
(Moore swings in as before.)
Grantley: Oh no, not again.
Buckingham: Come on.
Moore: Stand and deliver again! Your money, your jewellery, your … hang on.
(he takes out a list) Your clothes, your snuff, your ornaments, your glasswear, your pussy cats…
Buckingham: (aside to the first lady) Don’t say anything about the lupins…
Moore: Your watches, your lace, your spittoons…
(Cut to a montage pretty much as before but with Moore riding through the glades dragging behind him a really enormous bag marked with ‘swag’ in very olde English lettering. This bag is about twenty feet long and bumps along the ground behind the horse with the appropriate sound effects to make it sound full of valuable jewels, gold, silver, etc. Song as follows.) Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore,Riding through the woods.Dennis Moore, Dennis MooreWith a bag of things.He gives to the poor and he takes from the richDennis Moore, Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore.
(As he arrives at the poor peasant’s cottage they run out. They all open the bag together to the peasants enormous and unmeasurate joy.)
Moore: Here we are. SUPERIMPOSED CAPTION: ‘THE END’