Series 4, Episode 44: Mr. Neutron
VOICE OVER Michael Palin
MRS. ENTRAIL Michael Palin
MR. NEUTRON Graham Chapman
MR. ENTRAIL Terry Jones
CAPTAIN CARPENTER Eric Idle
COMMANDER Michael Palin
The sketch:(A train stops at the station. The train doors open and out steps Mr Neutron. He looks like an American footballer, with enormous shoulders, tapering to a thin waist. He has very regular features and piercing eyes and is most impressive. He stands at the door of the train for a moment. The words Mr Neutron are written in bold diagonally across his chest. He carries a Sainsbury shopping bag.)
Voice Over: Mr Neutron! The most dangerous and terrifying man in the world! The man with the strength of an army! The wisdom of all the scholars in history! The man who had the power to destroy the world. (animation of planets in space) Mr Neutron. No one knows what strange and distant planet he came from, or where he was going to!… Wherever he went, terror and destruction were sure to follow.
(Cut to Neutron’s garden. He has three little picnic chairs out and is having tea with Mr and Mrs Entrail, a middle-aged couple. The lady, a little overdressed dominates. Mr Entrail sits there rather sourly.)
Voice Over: Mr Neutron! The man whose incredible power has made him the most feared man of all time… waits for his moment to destroy this little world utterly!
Mrs Entrail: Then there’s Stanley … he’s our eldest … he’s a biochemist in Sutton. He’s married to Shirley…
Mr Neutron: (in a strange disembodied voice, grammatically correct but poor in intonation) Shirley who used to be the hairdresser?
Mrs Entrail: Yes, that’s right, I think she’s a lovely person. (indicates her husband) My husband doesn’t … he thinks she’s a bit flash.
Mr Entrail: I hate ‘er! I hate ‘er guts.
Mrs Entrail: And they, of course, they come down most weekends, so you’ll be able to meet them then.
Mr Neutron: l’d… love… to. Hairdressing is very interesting.
Mrs Entrail: And very important, too. If you don’t care for your scalp, you get rabies. Then there’s Kenneth, he’s our youngest. Mind you, he’s a bit of a problem… at least my husband thinks he is, anyway.
Mr Entrail: Nasty little piece of work, he is, I hate him!
Mrs Entrail: Mind you, the one we hear so much about nowadays is Karen. She married a Canadian – he’s a dentist – they live in Alberta – two lovely children, Gary who’s three, Leslie who’s six. They look like the spitting image of Karen. D’you want to see a photo … ?
Mr Neutron: Oh, yes please.
Mrs Entrail: All right.
(She goes to get a photograph.)
Mr Entrail: They’re a couple of little bastards. I hate ’em. They’ve got eyes like little pigs, just like their mother. She’s a disaster… a really horrible-looking person, she is. I thought that one would stay on the shelf, but along comes this stupid dentist git. He’s a real creepy little bastard, he is. I hate ‘im.
Mr Neutron: This is a nice area.
Mr Entrail: It’s like a bloody graveyard. I hate it.
Mr Neutron: It’s handy for the shops and convenient for the West End.
Mr Entrail: If you like going to the West End. I think it’s a stinking dump.
(Cut to a well-guarded American government building, with the letters ‘FEAR’ on a board outside.)
Voice Over: Meanwhile in Washington, at the headquarters of ‘FEAR’ – the Federal Egg Answering Room – in reality a front name for ‘FEEBLE’ – the Free World Extra-Earthly Bodies Location and Extermination Centre… all was not well.
(A high-security operations room – maps, charts. monitor screens. A message comes chattering over the teleprinter. A teleprinter operator rips it out and takes it over to Captain Carpenter who sits at a control desk.)
Carpenter: Good God! (he grabs a red flashing phone) Get me the Supreme Commander Land, Sea and Air Forces, immediately!
(Cut to a large room, empty apart from a very large desk with a large American eagle emblem above it. We hear American military music. There is nothing on the desk, except for a very futuristic, dynamic-looking intercom. Behind the desk the supreme commander sits. After a moment, slowly and rather surreptitiously, he sniffs his left armpit inside his jacket. Then, with a quick look around to see that no one is watching, he smells the other armpit. He sits up again, then cups his hand in front of his face to smell his breath. He looks worried still. He reaches down slowly and takes his shoe off. He has just brought it up to his nose when the intercorn buzzes loudly and a light flashes. The music stops. He
jumps, and quickly takes his shoe off the desk. He presses a switch on the intercom.)
Voice: This is Captain Carpenter sir, from FEAR.
Commander: You mean FEEBLE?
Voice: Yes, sir…
Commander: What is it?
Voice: Mr Neutron is missing, sir!