MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
John Collee & Peter Weir
1. THE OCEAN - DUSK
From blackness, a pattern slowly emerges - shimmering,
abstract lines form into waves cresting above steep-sided
valleys of water.
Finally the picture settles into a high, wide shot of the
ocean and an adjacent coastline.
In a corner of the screen, the last rays of sunlight touch a
small, dark shape causing it to glow in the gathering
darkness: A three-masted sailing vessel.
2. THE SHIP - DUSK
[ ] She passes close enough to touch: hawsers as thick as a
man's trunk, massive black-painted timbers, muzzles of her
great guns projecting from every gun-port.
As the ship glides past and away from us, her name is
visible, picked out in dull gold on the transom - Surprise.
3. ANOTHER ANGLE - DUSK
The ship in silhouette - RUN CAPTION:
Armament: 28 guns Crew: 197 souls.
Location: Coast of Brazil, November 1806
Mission: Intercept and destroy French
5. THE GREAT CABIN - DUSK
CAPTAIN JACK AUBREY, with his back to us, bends over the
table, studying charts.
His servant, KILLICK, a pig-tailed, ear-ringed man of
indeterminate age, refills the glass at his elbow.
JACK drinks. The glass catches the setting sun as it drops
below the great casement windows.
KILLICK lights a lamp, places it next to his captain and
(Absently) Thankee Killick
4. THE CHARTS:
a beautifully drawn chart of the South American coastline.
Jack's hands place a second chart on top of the first,
bringing the north-east coast of Brazil into view. Then
another, each one enlarging the view of the preceding one.
On the final chart we can read navigational symbols and
detailed information in fine copperplate script:
6 fa. Shoals suddenly to half fa. Rocks
(exact position unknown). Hidden reef.
6. BELOW DECKS - NIGHT
Another lamp illuminates 1st lieutenant TOM PULLINGS, his
pleasant open face marred by a diagonal sabre scar running
from brow to chin.
He is making a final tour of inspection before lights out.
7. THE DOCTOR'S CABIN - NIGHT
Dr STEPHEN MATURIN, a keen naturalist, sits at his desk
surrounded by specimen jars, books and scientific
TOM PULLINGS glances in as he moves past the cabin door, but
the doctor, placing weights on some finely-balanced
structure, is too engrossed to notice him.
8. MIDSHIPMAN'S BERTH - NIGHT
In the quarters for the 'young gentlemen', boys trained from
an early age to become officers, four lads play at marbles.
PETER CALAMY (16) and LORD BLAKENEY (13) are arguing about
whether a marble was inside outside the circle as their berth
mates BOYLE (15) and WILLIAMSON (14) wait for the game to
In. It was here. The line is in.
It was there. It was out. Out
In. Tell him Boyle. It was in I say.
The lamp moves on, illuminating a fifth midshipman, much
older than the rest. This is HOLLOM, aged 24. He's a
sensitive-looking fellow, idly strumming a guitar, glancing
up briefly as TOM PULLINGS passes.
9. GUN-DECK - NIGHT
By the galley stove at the forward end of the gun-deck a few
of the foremast hands enjoy a last smoke and a mug of grog.
Faster Doudle passes his mug to Higgins who guzzles it down
One man, BECKETT, sits shirtless while another, AWKWARD
DAVIES, brow furrowed with concentration, tattoos the first
link of what will be a great chain round BECKETT's waist.
JOE PLAICE, at 45 one of the oldest men on board, stops in
the middle of a story as PULLINGS passes, everyone knuckling
their foreheads in deference to the officer.
10. BETWEEN TWO GUNS - NIGHT
Boys no more than eight or nine years old play a game of
'jacks' with some sheep bones. ADDISON, RYE and SWIFT are the
powder-monkeys who ferry powder from the hold to the guns
11. BERTH DECK - NIGHT
A hundred hammocks swing like strange pods, close packed
under the immense beams. Most of the occupants are already
asleep: here an arm, there a lolling head
On the bosun's command, the last of the off-duty men climb
into their hammocks.
The last lights are extinguished. Only PULLINGS' lamp
remains, moving up the ladder to...
12. WEATHER DECK - NIGHT
The uppermost or weather deck consists of two parallel
gangways linking the forecastle (forward) to the quarterdeck
The lead is dropped from the bows. As PULLINGS walks aft to
the quarterdeck as each man lets go his coils of the deep sea
Watch there! Watch
Somewhere a bell sounds and the silent figures of the watch
call from their stations.
- Lifebuoy all's well!
- Starboard gangway all's well!
- Starboard bow all's well!
Over this, the splash of the lead and the repeated cry of
"Watch there! Watch!"
13. QUARTERDECK - NIGHT
Pullings has joined the officer of the watch, 2nd Lieutenant
MOWETT, a short tubular man in his early 20s.
JACK climbs up a ladder and we see him properly for the first
time: a heavy-set man in his thirties, thick blonde hair
clubbed at the back
At the binnacle, by the ship's great wheel. The helmsman,
BONDEN - a London cockney with a boxer's face - gives JACK
their current course.
JACK nods, then moves to the gunwale with PULLINGS. Jack
sniffs the air and speaks in a low voice.
How I do hate a lee shore
You think we'll have long to wait?
Intelligence reports had her leaving
Boston on the 12th, that should put us at
least a week ahead.
She'll be in for a surprise, Sir.
The pun on the name of their ship was unintentional, but JACK
lets out a great hoot of laughter, shattering the tense,
In for a "Surprise". Now that's wit. "In
for a Surprise". 'Pon my word I shall
have to tell the Doctor.
He leaves, still laughing. Those on the quarterdeck are more
amused by JACK's unique sense of humour than by the feeble
Don't put her on the reef, Tom.
I'll try not to, Sir.
13A INT. STEPHEN'S CABIN
Jack looks around the door
What do you have there, Stephen?
He enters. Stephen has wired together the thorax of a bird's
skeleton and is suspending lead weights from it
The breastbone of a frigate bird. Do you
remark its prodigious strength.
Jack bends forwards into the candle-light, sharing his
friends keen interest in this strange assembly
I do and I am not in the least surprised,
for it reminds me of nothing so much as a
ship under sail. See here the bowsprit.
Here the mast, and here the backstays
(adds another weight)
Ten pounds sixteen ounces. I am preparing
a paper for the Royal Society.
Jack straightens, moving with care between the bottled
specimens, open books and brass measuring instruments
I was thinking when our business here is
finished, we will have to put in to
Recife for provisions. You may care to
take a tour round the forests of Brazil,
botanizing and collecting specimens. An
anaconda or two. A giant cassowary.
I should like it of all things, Jack.
14. WIDE ON THE SURPRISE - NIGHT
Time passes. The fog intensifies. White coils of mist drift
and eddy over the glassy sea, RUN FINAL TITLES as the ship
moves slowly through the night.
15-16 (ADDED TO SC 12)
17. IN THE GREAT CABIN, LATER - NIGHT
The chronometer ticks. The coffee-pot swings on its gimbals.
JACK lies awake in his hanging cot. Finally he gives up
trying to sleep.
Killick! Killick there! Strong coffee,
and light along my topcoat.
18. ON THE QUARTERDECK - NIGHT
JACK on deck again.
Six bells and all's well.
A hint of daylight to the east. The mist beginning to shift
as an offshore breeze picks up.
90 fathoms, white shelly sand.
Four knots, Sir.
BONDEN is still at the wheel.
Oi reckon as she's liftin' Sir, if you
feels like putting your éad down.
JACK takes his advice and goes below again.
19. - THE SHIP (TIMELAPSE)
The sky a shade paler. A wind coming up.
20. ON THE STARBOARD GANGWAY - DAWN
The lookout, VINCENT, peers into the mist.
Starboard gangway ahoy.
HOLLOM, the oldest of the midshipmen, whose watch it now is,
appears at his shoulder.
What is it, Vincent?
I heard something. A bell.
HOLLOM peers out into the fog, then turns.
Native fisherman perhaps.
(shouts) Mr. Calamy!
Midshipman CALAMY comes running forward.
The lead, if you please.
Young CALAMY takes the lead, scrambles into the chains at the
bow of the ship and throws out the lead line.
HOLLOM takes up a telescope and searches through the eddies
Over HOLLOM's P.O.V. we can hear CALAMY sounding the depth.
Sixty fathoms, white sand!
Hollom folds his telescope
Well. It can't have been a reef marker.
CALAMY, unconvinced, checks through his own telescope
False alarm Mr CALAMY
CALAMY ignores him, still scanning
21. TELESCOPE POV
The telescope pans. A dark shape in the distance. The mist
parts a little. A ship. Coming straight toward them.
Close on CALAMY as he turns to camera, screaming -
Enemy on the larboard bow! Beat to
22. JACK'S SLEEP CABIN
JACK instantly awake, piling out of his bed, still dressed.
23. BERTH-DECK - DAWN
A drum blazes as the off-duty watch tumble out of their
hammocks and run to their battle stations.
24. COCKPIT, ORLOP DECK
Rows of wicked-looking instruments are hastily thrown on the
operating table by PADEEN, MATURIN's servant - saws,
retractors and knives glistening in the lamp-light.
DR. MATURIN hurries in blinking sleep out of his eyes as he
ties on his black apron - behind him, HIGGINS, the assistant
25. POWDER MAGAZINE
Little ADDISON and his team of powder-monkeys run with their
boxes of gunpowder to the...
As LAMB, NAGEL and the other carpenters bash down cabin
partitions, transforming the entire gun-deck into a single
continuous space, from the bows to the Captain's Great Cabin
in the stern.
As the crews swarm about their guns, grotesque shadows are
thrown on the walls and ceiling by the numerous battle-
lanterns arriving to illuminate the scene.
JACK and PULLINGS stride the length of the deck toward the
bow [ ] . They pass crews manning the carronades while
others swing the ship's small boats out and over the side to
be towed behind the ship.
JACK and PULLINGS join HOLLOM.
CALAMY points forward and a little to the left of the
Not two miles distant, Sir.
JACK and PULLINGS stare through telescopes into the fog,
which is beginning to lift. JACK lowers his telescope.
I saw nothing, nor heard anything either.
Shall I ask them men to stand down?
JACK steps closer to the bow, and again lifts his telescope.
29. TELESCOPE P.O.V
A slow pan across the sea, past a darker patch of fog. What
was that? The lens pans back toward the darker area to see a
series of flashes.
30. CLOSE ON JACK
He turns and shouts to the crew -
Lie down! Everybody lie down!
His words are underscored by a series of distant explosions,
followed by a deep rumble, then a tearing, howling sound.
31. ANGLE ON THE SKY
Chain shot and grape, bar and canister shriek through the
air. A blizzard of iron.
32. ON THE DECK
The crew hit the deck, the last to drop is BONDEN hanging
grimly to the wheel.
33. MIDSHIPMAN BLAKENEY
Close, as he tries to bury himself in the deck timbers.
The broadside hits the bows and a cloud of splinters and
metal scythes the length of the deck at head height. This is
rapidly followed by billowing smoke from a small fire now
burning on the forecastle.
CALAMY is working at putting the fire out as JACK issues a
stream of orders.
Run out the guns! Marines to the tops,
and get that wounded man below!
He pulls a gold watch from his pocket and checks the time.
36A. GUN DECK
Hollom is nervously supervising a gun crew which includes
DAVIES and his mates.
...C-cast loose now... Um swab. That's
right. Run out your guns.
The men work as a team, largely ignoring Hollom's hesitant
instructions. The shot rack is empty
Shot. There's no shot!
37. QUARTERDECK (CONTD)
As red-coated marines led by Captain HOWARD climb into the
rigging JACK calls to his clerk -
Note the time Mr. Watt.
An anxious TOM PULLINGS appears.
She's out of our range, Sir!
JACK calls to his sailing master, ALLEN.
Closer, Mr. ALLEN. You must lay me
alongside her at pistol-shot.
ALLEN purses his lips. He knows what he's doing and slightly
resents the instruction
Mr. Pullings - bow-chasers to fire as she
38. P.O.V. ENEMY SHIP
She's crossing their bows, about a mile distant.
39. ON DECK
PULLINGS is racing up the larboard gangway to the forecastle,
past men stacking hammocks as blast protection.
40. ON THE FORECASTLE
Gun-captains stand ready, the slow-match burning in the tubs.
Fire on the uproll.
The little drummer's huge eyes are fixed on PULLINGS' face.
The ship rolls.
The drum-roll is all but drowned by the blast of the guns.
The smoke clears, the gunners look on baffled as their balls
bounce harmlessly off the side of the enemy ship.
Never seen the like of it
Damn and blast you! See to your guns!
Fire high! Fire for the masts and
As the enemy's murderous long guns run out again.
41. WIDE ON THE ENEMY SHIP
Her French ensign clearly visible as she swings broadside on
to the approaching Surprise - again her side lights up in a
series of red flashes.
42. IN THE COCKPIT
By the dim light of a battle-lantern STEPHEN struggles to
hold a wounded man on the table, his feet slipping in pools
of blood on the deck.
More sand on the floor, Mr. Higgins!
The slightly hung-over HIGGINS reaches for the sand bucket
and is thrown over by the awful jarring shock as the
Acheron's third broadside hits home.
43. IN THE GREAT CABIN -
The Captain's crockery smashes to the deck. KILLICK, cursing
freely, stows what he can.
44. IN THE ORLOP
Shards of timber implode, followed by a great spout of water
knocking the massive AWKWARD DAVIES sideways as he runs for
the ladder carrying two cannon-balls.
A second explosion, a second jet of water and DAVIES, finding
his feet, starts yelling for the carpenter.
Wood and Lead! Mr Nagel! Mr Lamb!!
Follow DAVIES as he runs up to the gun-deck with the shot
under his arms past the powder-monkeys ADDISON and SWIFT,
canisters of gun-powder slung over their shoulders, then he
sees MR. LAMB, the carpenter.
Orlop! We're holed!
As LAMB dives for the ladder.
46. ON THE GUN-DECK
DAVIES arrives to find a gaping hole opposite where his own
gun once stood. Its crew lie scattered, horribly wounded or
The dismounted gun and twelve pound shot are rolling around
dangerously. HOLLOM, the sole survivor, is backed against
the bulkhead, cradling an injured arm.
CALAMY emerges from the smoke, meets DAVIES's horror-struck
gaze and takes command.
Davies! Get those bodies overboard!
Mr. Hollom sir!
HOLLOM sits immobilized by fear. CALAMY grabs the poulterer,
JEMMY DUCKS, who has been rescuing the ship's goat, Aspasia.
Jemmy - leave the damned goat and take
Mr. Hollom below.
The ship heels as she turns.
Midshipman BLAKENEY, Calamy's rival in the game of marbles,
turns to see the dismounted gun rolling free. He throws a
hammock net under it, stopping its roll before it crushes
CALAMY against the bulkhead.
CALAMY shoots him a brief look of gratitude and runs aft.
BLAKENEY carries on shouting to the powder-monkeys -
More shot! More cartridge!
47. HULL OF THE SURPRISE
In the great jagged hole on the gun-deck where the gun was
destroyed, JACK stands framed, a wrathful soot-stained
figure. He glances back at his men, hunched and ready,
itching to fire.
Steady... Wait for it!
48. WIDE ON THE BATTLE
to see the two ships about to pass abreast, the Surprise
heading south as it were, the enemy ship, north.
The French vessel is clearly the bigger ship, and from both
come the sounds of shouted orders and the thunder of drums.
They will pass broadside to broadside, 500 yards apart.
49. GUN-DECK, SURPRISE
JACK watching the enemy, judging the moment.
...wait WAIT! And FIRE!
The great guns go off all together. The cannons leaping back
between their crews. JACK snatches a powder-monkey, ADDISON,
out of the way of the lethal recoil.
Smoke clears to reveal holes in the enemy's foretopsail, a
bowline hanging loose, but again many of her balls have
failed to penetrate the enemy timbers.
By all that's holy what is that ship made
His question coincides with a third full broadside from the
Frenchman. The Surprise's wheel shattered. BONDEN thrown
aside, MR. WATT jerked back to the taffrail, the mizzenmast
A rope sheers and JOE PLAICE is smacked on the skull by a
Midshipman BLAKENEY, running up on deck, goes to help PLAICE
and is struck down by a flying splinter - a shocking wound to
his upper right arm.
JACK is half-way up the ladder when he falls, scored across
the forehead by a musket-ball.
Eyesight blurred. Hearing gone. He is dimly aware of small
arms cracking above his head, and someone trying to lift him.
Belay there ye poxed son of a whore!
You must go below, Sir, you must let me
help you below!
JACK puts a hand to his bleeding forehead and drags himself
back up the ladder.
52. IN THE TOPS
A furious exchange of fire between CAPTAIN HOWARD's marines
and the sharpshooters in the enemy's rigging.
Howard, a big red-faced man, is in his element, laughing
madly every time he scores a hit.
JACK emerges into bloody chaos: screams of the wounded all
around, the enemy ship moving astern in mist and gun-smoke.
He wipes blood from his eye as he raises his telescope.
54/55. TELESCOPE P.O.V.
As the ship passes, her name is visible on the transom -
Jack lowers his telescope. Pullings' expression spells
It's the rudder.
56. STERN OF THE SURPRISE
Grim-faced, JACK hobbles to the shattered taff-rail, sees
BONDEN soaked, having climbed down onto the stern-post.
It's shot away below the waterline!
STEPHEN, up to his armpits in blood, operating on a wounded
man, looks up to see three more seriously injured men
He pauses, aware of some change.
Why are we not firing?
Spirals of drifting smoke. Blackened bleeding men, their guns
pointing at nothing
We're fish in a barrel
59. HIGH SHOT
The fog has rolled back, like a great curtain, to reveal the
The badly damaged Surprise, drifting rudderless.
The Acheron, most of her sails intact, beginning the turn
which will put her in position to finish off the Surprise.
JACK is joined by ALLEN as the enemy vessel starts crossing
He's coming about, Sir.
Should I strike the colours?
All eyes on Jack, poised on the brink of awful defeat.
I'm afraid there's nothing else for it.
JACK looks from the wall of fog to the three little boats
they are towing astern.
Damned if there ain't. We'll tow her.
61. STERN OF THE SURPRISE
Sudden feverish activity, running and shouting as men
scramble down into the boats. DAVIES settles himself beside
NAGEL in the cutter, turning to look at the approaching
His P.O.V.: puffs of smoke from its bow-chasers.
Sail trimmers away, Warley, make what
sail you can!
Stern-chasers to fire when she's in
62. STERN OF SURPRISE
Gouts of water from the enemy gunfire rise not fifty yards
from them, acting as little needed encouragement for the
boats to get clear of the stern and pull around towards the
Men scramble up the ratlines, and through the shattered
65. THE GREAT CABIN
Two long brass nine-pounders set up through the open windows
of the Captain's day cabin, open fire on the approaching
WARLEY, captain of the maintop, directs his men about the
mare's nest of rigging, getting a tattered top-sail to fill
with what little breeze there is.
Sharp now with that fancy-line! To the
clew line from the reef points, Cully,
double up and run her back again!
Through PULLINGS' telescope: the enemy ship coming straight
at them, her guns now getting the range of the Surprise.
She's gaining on us.
Start the water, carronades over the
67. ANGLE ON THE QUARTERDECK
Crewmen furiously at work cutting the ropes securing the guns
on the quarterdeck.
68. ANGLE ON THE STERN
Water spouts from the pumps, while at the same time the
quarterdeck guns tumble into the ocean.
(NOTE: they only abandon guns on the quarterdeck, not their
main armament on the gun-deck.)
JACK races to the bows. Towlines strain as the three small
boats pull the great ship toward the curtain of fog and
cloud. He yells to the straining oarsmen -
Pull! Pull for your lives.
70. ANGLE FROM THE BOATS
The men heave on their oars, faces bathed in sweat, the
towlines taut behind them, dragging the Surprise toward the
safety of the fog-bank.
to see the Surprise slipping into the cover of fog and low
cloud, only her top masts visible, before they too disappear.
JACK joins his officers looking back into the white-out, in
the direction of the enemy.
Quiet now. No calls, no shouts. Mr.
ALLEN, signal the men in the boats to
head due east.
ALLEN hurries toward the bows, as behind them the fog is
momentarily illuminated by flashes of gunfire from their
73. THE LEADING JOLLY BOAT
CALAMY, in the prow of the jolly-boat, sees ALLEN on the
ship, signalling the turn to eastward.
CALAMY signals to BONDEN in the stern of the jolly-boat.
Starboard haul. And stroke! Stroke!
One side stops rowing and the boat turns.
74. THE SURPRISE
A low angle, the ship coming slowly toward us.
Beyond, the rowers strain at their oars, the great ship
rearing out of the mist above them, as though carried on
75. QUARTERDECK OF THE SURPRISE
Somewhere astern and to the left JACK can hear shouting on
the Acheron. Flashes of cannon fire, directed away from them.
He's beating inshore.
76 MASTS OF THE SURPRISE, (TIMELAPSE) - NIGHT
The tortured sounds of exhausted men rowing as skeins of mist
drift away to reveal a dim, yellow moon. On the horizon the
battered ship in silhouette, lines stretching ahead to her
three small boats.
77 QUARTERDECK OF THE SURPRISE - NIGHT
Some of the wreckage has been cleared aside, the wounded
moved below. We can hear their moans, and the constant
creaking of the bilge pumps.
JACK and his officers scan the moonlit sea through
JACK's telescope POV: A long slow pan along the dark horizon.
I believe we've lost her, Sir.
JACK collapses his telescope.
Pass the word to ship oars
78 IN THE JOLLY BOATs. - NIGHT
The rowers slump forwards in their seats, their hands raw and
79 STAIRWELL - NIGHT
JACK moves down a ladder past LAMB coming up from below,
soaking wet and exhausted with his mate Nagel.
Three feet of water in the hold, Sir, but
the pumps are keeping it from gaining.
Very good, Mr. Lamb.
The constant creaking and sloshing of the pumps becomes
louder as he continues down past men handing up food and
powder from the flooded levels below.
Stephen, his face spattered with blood, is adjusting the wick
of a lantern when Jack arrives beside him
What's the butchers bill?
Six dead, thirteen wounded.
He notices the gash on Jack's forehead
Your head ...
(Brushes him away)
STEPHEN raises his lantern to reveal groaning bloodstained
men close-packed in the gloom.
Together they make the rounds, passing men propped upright by
their mates, pale with shock or tense with pain, some
struggling to breathe, some barely alive.
JACK clasps hands, whispers encouragement.
A bandaged head swims into the glow of the lamp, streaked
with blood and deeply unconscious.
Who's this - Joe Plaice?
A severe depressed fracture of the
skull. I am not sure he will see out the
Moving on to another barely recognizable face: young
Blakeney, pale and sweaty, breathing hard from the pain and
the blood loss.
Just a broken arm, Sir.
JACK looks at STEPHEN, whose expression is grim, but he says
nothing, steering Jack forward to the foot of the ladder
where they can speak more privately
I will do everything possible. I know you
were close to his father.
Jack nods, defeat weighing heavily, and makes to go. Stephen
puts a restraining hand on his shoulder.
One moment Jack let me look at that brow
Its a scratch.
I will tell you if its a scratch or not.
Jack submits meekly, and sits on a lower rung while Stephen
puts a bandage round his forehead
How did he find us Stephen?
Seven weeks sailing and he happened in
darkness on our exact position. Its
uncanny. He really is a phantom
Unless she was alerted to our presence,
and looking for us.
Tosh. How could that be?
The French have their spies, in Britain
You're saying there are traitors in the
I am saying do not imagine it was a lone
privateer who did this to us. He is
working for Napoleon himself, with access
to all that tyrant commands, overtly and
covertly. So do not let defeat weigh too
heavily upon you.
82. THE GREAT CABIN - DAWN
Wan dawn light reflects off the ceiling onto the bloody,
bandaged officers, conducting an angry post-mortem as KILLICK
...Call her a frigate? Ha! You ask me
she's no more a frigate than a painted
Dutchman. More like a ship of the line, a
two-decker more'n a frigate.
MOWETT is trying to staunch a persistent nosebleed.
One does wonder what manner of hull she
has. Our balls seemed to bounce right off
Jack enters, his head newly bandaged. He walks past the
seated officers and stands looking out through the stern
windows. The officers continue their conversation, though
their words are intended for Jack
She had the weather-gauge and long
eighteens which could hit us beyond our
effective range. That's the sum of it
And 40 guns to our 28, I counted the
It was an unfair match, no dishonor in
defeat no dishonor at all.
Jack still has his back to them. He puts his hand in his
pocket and finds something there - the shattered fragments of
his gold pocket watch.
Well, we can patch up our main and mizzen
the foresail is too far gone so we'll
bend our spare.
Jack finally turns.
Mr. Allen is confident, with basic
repairs, we can get home as we are...
allowing for a stop in Jamaica.
At Port Royal we can haul her into dry-
dock, and hopefully get her home
We're not going home.
An expectant hush. KILLICK is all ears, as he picks up the
coffee cups and places them carefully on a silver tray.
What is our purpose here gentlemen? Why
were we sent? To punish a blackguard
privateer who has decimated our Atlantic
whaling fleet and now threatens to do the
same in the pacific. Are we to leave
those ships to his mercy and slink back
into Portsmouth - another defeat to add
to the list. Is that what we draw our
wages for? I say we pursue her and pay
her back with interest
With respect, Captain, she could be half-
way to Cape Horn by the time we're
repaired and underway.
Then there's not a moment to lose.
83. OUTSIDE THE GREAT CABIN
KILLICK exits the cabin with the tray of coffee cups. As he
passes them to his mate, BLACK BILL -
KILLICK (a whisper)
We're for the Horn.
84. THROUGHOUT THE SHIP - DAWN
Word passes like lightning from the wounded in the orlop, to
the beak of the ship
MUTTERED VOICES AD LIB
- The Horn you say?
- Never! In this condition?
- Eh? What news mates
- Heading for where?!
85. FORECASTLE - DAWN
A few of the old 'Surprises' have gathered for a smoke, all
of them men who've sailed with JACK before: Jittery alcoholic
Higgins, loyal Nehemiah Slade, sharp-faced tobacco-chewing
Faster Doudle, and the big Welshman Awkward Davies, still
shaken by the loss of his gun-crew.
We're for hell in a hand-barrow if you
ask my opinion
I'm game. If the captain says we can take
her we can take her.
Can we catch her is the question.
And if we do what's different? She'll
just hold us off with them long eighteens
til she sends us all to the bottom. All
I'll tell you for what, matey. She's a
privateer, loaded with all the gems of
Araby. Think of the gold. Think of the
Hoi there! You men jump to it!
86. WAIST OF THE SHIP - NOON
The gratings are hauled aside and light floods down into the
87. GUN-DECK - DAY
Part of a huge tree-trunk - spare timber for repairs - is
manhandled by a dozen crewmen.
Heave. And heave. Handsomely now. One
long pull. Belay!
88. QUARTERDECK - DAY
Crewmen labour at the capstan.
Two six heave! Two six heave!
The huge log rises from below and hangs suspended from its
gantry. JACK shouts down from the quarterdeck -
Have her placed along the gunwale for
now, Mr. Hollar, and the guns moved to
that side also.
89. ABOVE JACK'S HEAD
Men are hanging in the rigging throwing down damaged sections
All clear below!
90. QUARTERDECK - DAY
JACK dodges the falling rope, moving back, past NAGEL and his
men who are cutting out damaged sections of the gunwale with
saws and adzes, prizing up decking and wrestling with the
wrecked steering mechanism.
91. THE STERN - DAY
JACK looks down to where PULLINGS and others have lifted the
broken rudder from its hinges.
92. WIDE SHOT - DAY
The ship swarming with men, cutting, splicing, hammering and
hauling. Every able-bodied soul hard at work.
93. QUARTERDECK - DAY
An optimistic breeze has picked up, fluttering the tattered
The deck is now sloping at a forty-five degree angle. KILLICK
hands a sandwich to Pullings who passes it down to JACK.
Damn this wind, Mr. Pullings! The Acheron
will be making a hundred and fifty miles
a day in this.
Aye, but hugging the coast, and stopping
to board the odd merchantman
JACK smiles at this and bites into his sandwich.
To the uphill side, carpenters are erecting a scaffolding
over the side of the ship.
94. THE SHIP - DAY
The ship's copper-plated keel is partly revealed as the men
clamber and slip about on the steeply-sloping side erecting
scaffolding. The tropical heat resounds with shouts, curses
95. SIDE OF THE SHIP - DUSK
Carpenters working inside the scaffolding, are fitting new
sections of wood into the holes low in her hull.
Down. Down. Stop.
The new piece of wood is an almost perfect fit. MR. LAMB
marks the places where it is jamming.
Then he begins to work on it with his rasp.
96. UNDERWATER - DUSK
Among tropical fish, a diver, a Greek crewman, 'OLD
SPONGE' (father of YOUNG SPONGE) a hammer at his belt, plugs
a few smaller holes with hemp fibre, then surfaces to...
97. THE SIDE OF THE CUTTER - DUSK
The smaller bit. No. That bit there.
YOUNG SPONGE passes him a piece of lead and some nails and
OLD SPONGE dives again.
Our P.O.V. descending into the sea as...
98. WAIST OF THE SHIP - NIGHT
Roaring flames, flying sparks, the clang of metal on metal. A
forge has been set up. Powder-monkeys sweat on the bellows.
The ship's blacksmith is churning out iron bolts, pintles and
gudgeons, which are snatched away by NAGEL with tongs and
thrown into a bucket of water to cool.
A few yards away, wood chips fly from LAMB's adze as the
ship's massive new stern post takes shape.
The new rudder is laid out flat, already cut to its final
shape and being strengthened with great nails and iron bands
which NEHEMIAH SLADE and AWKWARD DAVIES are nailing into
The hammering travels through the ship to...
99. THE SICK BERTH - NIGHT
BLAKENEY with his splinted arm jerks awake, feverish and
No. No. Not through my nose!
Its alright. William. You were dreaming.
Blakeney looks around, disoriented and finds Calamy by his
Joe Plaice told me when you die they sew
you up in your hammock with the last
stitch through your nose... to make sure
you're not just sleeping
You know old Joe, always telling [ ]
Is it true though? [ ] About the last
Come on, you'll be stitching me in mine
Not through my nose. You'll tell them.
Nor any other part of you.
Trying to make light of it, though he fears BLAKENEY is
100. SICK BAY, LATER - NIGHT
CALAMY has fallen asleep by BLAKENEY's side. He wakes to find
STEPHEN sniffing BLAKENEY's wound.
Is it mending, sir?
No, I'm afraid it will not do.
101. THE COCKPIT - NIGHT
BLAKENEY is lowered onto the table, delirious. CALAMY holds
his head and PADEEN, MATURIN's giant manservant, his legs,
which are lashed together.
No. Mamma. Mamma.
It is the laudanum speaking. You will be
a regular Nelson.
He tests the edge of his knife with his thumb.
CALAMY places the leather gag between BLAKENEY's teeth.
Padeen mumbles a Gaelic prayer. STEPHEN turns and grips
BLAKENEY shattered arm.
A sharp, grating noise as STEPHEN works out of shot, cutting
off the arm.
Close on STEPHEN, lips compressed, utterly focussed.
He puts down the bloody knife and reaches for the spatula in
the pail of hot tar.
BLAKENEY has not uttered a sound, though he is shaking
uncontrollably and his face is wet with tears. CALAMY has
tears in his eyes also.
STEPHEN finishes his work, breathing hard, a gentle smile to
There. I have never seen a braver
102. SICK-BERTH - NIGHT
An exhausted CALAMY keeps vigil by BLAKENEY's cot. The boy
wakes, and looks for CALAMY in the darkness.
Peter? Is that you? I dreamed they cut my
Then he realizes, with sudden horror, that it wasn't a dream
You would have died else.
Blakeneys eyes brim with tears and he turns away
Come. You can still sup your grog with
your left. And I shall take your turn at
103. MIZZEN TOPGALLANT - DAY
MOWETT stands in the cross-trees, making a final check on the
lashings round the new mizzen top. Below him the great work
is nearing completion, men swarming like ants over every part
of the hull.
MOWETT climbs down past FASTER DOUDLE who has one leg looped
through the shrouds and is splicing a rope with both hands
and his teeth.
Farther down, a patched sail is being furled up tight in its
Beyond that, at the base of the main-mast a fascinated group
of men have gathered to watch the Doctor trepanning JOE
104. BASE OF THE MAINMAST - DAY
STEPHEN's drill carves out a neat disc of bone to reveal a
purplish mass which he starts spooning from the cavity.
A small crowd of crewmen pause in their work, watching the
doctor with morbid fascination as he drops the purple stuff
in a dish.
Is them his brains, Doctor?
No, that is just blood. These are his
Exposing them to view. Several of the crew move in for a
closer look. The armourer hands STEPHEN a flattened coin,
which he begins to screw in place over the cavity as the old
hands whisper his praises to the men who have never seen
Stephen at work.
Physician he is, not one of your common
Cured Prince Billy of the marthambles and
the strong fives, wouldn't look at you
for under ten guineas on land.
[ ] Knows his birds and beasts too
boyo, show him a beetle and he'll tell
you what it's thinking.
105. THE SURPRISE - DAY
A wind causes the ship to turn on its moorings, stirring
impatiently, like a racehorse ready to be off as...
106. QUARTERDECK - DAY
...JACK jumps down from the mizzen ratlines.
Let us be off, Mr. Allen!
Weigh anchor! All hands to make sail. Mr
107. ON DECK
Barefoot men are suddenly running to their stations, racing
above and below, running out along the bowsprit, up the
ratlines, along the yards.
A small group, supposed to be assisting Hollom, are
contrasting slow off the mark
Bear a hand there you fellows!
The men he is addressing, shoot him a look of distaste which
unsettles Hollom slightly, then they assist him pulling on a
108. QUARTERDECK - DAY
Up and down Sir, thick and dry for
109. WAIST OF THE SHIP - DAY
Men strain on the capstan bars.
110. BOWS - DAY
The anchor bursting up out of the sea.
111. MASTS OF THE SURPRISE - DAY
The shrouds darken with climbing figures, framed against the
Trice up. Lay out.
112. QUARTERDECK - DAY
HOLLAR staring up as the sails unfurl and fill with wind.
Cheerly there in the foretop, our
Hands to the braces!
Men slide down ropes from high amongst the shrouds, then
swing out and drop down to the deck like monkeys, pulling
ropes and sails tight with the weight of their bodies.
113. WIDE SHOT - DAY
The ship spreading its wings. A sudden cracking of canvas as
she turns and runs directly downwind.
114. QUARTERDECK - LATE AFTERNOON
The sun has sunk lower. BONDEN, solid as the rock of
Gibraltar is back at the helm, the wind stronger and directly
Speed, Mr. Boyle
BOYLE heaves the log clear of the ship's side. The log line
races out on its reel. BOYLE checks the run, pulls the pin.
Ten and a half knots, Sir.
JACK makes no comment but the news seems to please him.
115. CLOSE TO THE WATER - DUSK
The great hull powers past us.
117. OUTSIDE THE GREAT CABIN - NIGHT
KILLICK prepares toasted cheese in his small serving-area.
From inside the cabin, the sound of a violin and a cello
tuning up. KILLICK glances irritably at the door and elbows
his mate, BLACK BILL.
Here we go again: scrape, scrape,
screech, screech and never a tune you
could dance to, not if you were drunk as
118. INSIDE THE GREAT CABIN
JACK and STEPHEN are both keen amateur musicians - JACK,
violin, STEPHEN cello.
As Stephen completes his tuning, Jack experiments with a
Is that one I know, or are we breaking
I am trying to remember that air they
played all those years ago at the
Governors house in Port Mahon. You
remember When we first met.
Corelli if I'm not mistaken.
He plays another riff
If that is your "A" you are very much so.
This is A.
Jack corrects his A string, plays another few bars
Or Locatelli. pom pom pom pom
All I remember is you being unable to sit
in your seat the entire performance.
Aye and you practising apon that poor
bishop with your "puddings athwart the
starboard Gumbrils" or some such arrant
No. That was off Toulon, during the
blockade. At our first meeting they
He plays a short refrain
No. No. Entirely off the mark. pom-pom-
POM I have now
He plays another variation
(enjoying the game)
Or was it something like this....
Cello answers violin, as they hand it back and forth,
improvising freely now with an infinity of variations,
sometimes playing together, sometimes separately, suddenly
hitting it, the music soaring and continuing over
119. A HIGH POINT OF VIEW, TIME LAPSE - DAY
The tiny ship on the vastness of the ocean. From its side,
cotton-wool puffs of smoke.
120. GUN-DECK - SAME TIME
A rippling broadside, the crews sweating over their guns.
And pitch 'em up! It's spars and rigging
MOWETT timing the gap between each broadside.
Three minutes ten, Sir.
Not good enough! We must fire three
broadsides to her two. Again!
Turning to BLAKENEY, who though much recovered, still looks
pale and a little unsure of himself.
Mr. Blakeney? Think you can supervise a
As you will. Sir.
'Spitfire', hop to it.
BLAKENEY takes command of the gun. To one side CALAMY is in
charge of 'Beelzebub', on the other side HOLLOM is now
directing 'Sudden Death'.
Once again the orders are given, and the crews, now competing
with each other, go through the sequence: 'Out Tompions',
'Cast loose your guns', 'Cartridge. Ball. Prime. Run out your
gun. Prime. Aim. Stand clear... Fire!!'
121. AND AGAIN - DUSK
As another broadside shakes the deck, STEPHEN hauls his
collecting net on board and empties out a glistening array of
sea creatures - shrimps, squid and minnows, glinting like
opals in the pink light.
Two minutes five, Sir.
122. AND AGAIN - NIGHT
It's a race. JACK's orders are just a formality, the sequence
having become so automatic now.
Out Tompions... Run out your guns...
Seconds ticking away on MOWETT's stopwatch, barrels float on
the sea a hundred yards out.
JACK (CONT.) (CONT'D)
As she bears, from forward aft. Point
your guns... Fire!!
123. THE OCEAN AT NIGHT
The black ship spouting tongues of flame, the water around
the target barrels erupting in great spouts.
Two minutes dead.
124. THE GUNPOWDER ROOM
Boom! Another splendidly coordinated broadside resounds
through the ship as the powder-monkeys come racing down
through the dreadnought screens to the magazine and back with
For them too it's a race, little ADDISON just ahead of SWIFT,
RYE hot on his heels.
125. STEPHEN'S CABIN - NIGHT
The sound of the guns is faint down here, at least when heard
from STEPHEN's perspective - his ears are stuffed with wax.
He is surrounded by his specimen bottles, and he looks from
his microscope to his ledger where he is documenting the
array of aquatic life-forms. He removes his ear-plugs, but
the noise of the guns is deafening and he hastily replaces
126. ON THE GUN-DECK - NIGHT
MOWETT watches the second hand of his stopwatch, glancing up
as he notes -
The concentrated fury of the men swabbing, ramming, heaving
in, heaving out, firing at a raft this time.
And he stops the watch as the first gun fires.
One minute forty-nine, Sir!
His voice is drowned by the firing of the other guns in close
succession entirely demolishing the raft, the sound mixing
with cheering and the frenzied hammering of Nagel and his
mates as the gun-deck partitions are cheerfully re-erected.
127. IN THE GREAT CABIN - NIGHT
The table is dragged back into place and settings laid for
JACK enters, his face flushed with victory.
Killick? Killick there.
What do you have for us tonight?
Which it's, Soused Hoggs-Face.
Aah! My favorite.
128. MAIN DECK - NIGHT
The sky a great canopy of stars, the ship racing onwards
through the warm night.
Crew men and the recovering wounded have come up on deck. Now
they sit around in groups, supping their grog. Someone
produces a jaw-harp, someone else a drum.
A guitar is passed from hand to hand, stopping with BLACK
BILL who sings a ballad in an African dialect.
There's an effortless integration of race and rank, of age
and nationality - bonds forged by battle and hardship.
OLD SPONGE gets up and dances a Greek dance: obviously a
favorite among the crew. Cheering and cat-calls. Lanterns
coming up from below. More dancing, insults in many
languages, and a song.
That red-faced son of an old French fart
Hey ho, stamp and go
Stamp and go, stamp and go
Hey ho, stamp and go
129. THE GREAT CABIN - NIGHT
The singing mixes with the end of a lively dinner given by
JACK for his officers, including a special guest, young
With your permission, Sir, Mr. Mowett has
composed a short poem in honour of our
Let's hear it, Mr. Mowett.
Reactions around the table, glasses re-filled in
anticipation. MOWETT stands and declaims with a number of
precise airy gestures, like a conductor.
Our brotherhood, some old, some new.
In blood baptized, in strength renewed.
In purpose unified and true.
All thoughts of home forsaken.
Where duty leads us, there we go.
Nor rest nor comfort shall we know.
Until the unrepentant foe, is boarded
sunk or taken
(raising their glasses)
Aye! Capital! Well said! Hear him, hear
him! 'Sunk or taken'...
Aye and when we do take her we shall give
her to Tom Pullings as his first command.
If he don't die before then. Bumpers up
'To wives and sweethearts'.
They raise their glasses -
'To wives and sweethearts'.
And may they never meet.
Amid the laughter someone bumps Blakeney's stump. He winces,
then puts a brave face on it
BLAKENEY (to JACK)
I believe you knew Nelson, Sir?
Lord Nelson? Yes. I had the honour of
serving under him at the Nile.
Mr. Mowett, the bottle stands by you,
(as the bottle moves on)
In fact I dined with him twice, and he
spoke to me on both occasions.
The table goes quiet. BLAKENEY is wide-eyed, though partly
from his strenuous efforts to appear sober.
JACK (CONT.) (CONT'D)
The first time he said to me - 'May I
trouble you for the salt, sir?' I have
always tried to say it as close as I
could [ ] The second time someone had
offered him a boat-cloak on a cold night
and he said no, he was quite warm - his
zeal for his king and country kept him
Amid the general agreement - 'Hear him, hear him', etc.
STEPHEN is noticeably silent.
It sounds absurd, I know, and were it
another man you would cry out, "Oh, what
pitiful stuff" and dismiss it as mere
enthusiasm, but with him you felt your
(raising his glass)
To Lord Nelson.
[ ] Stephen joins on the toast, but JACK knows that his
friend deplores such overt patriotism and seeks to draw him
back in with a joke.
You see those two weevils, Doctor?
He points at a faint movement amongst the crumbs of a ship's
Which would you choose?
The table tenses with anticipation of one of the Captain's
'jokes'. STEPHEN concentrates.
There is not a scrap of difference. They
are the same species of curculio.
But suppose you had to choose?
Then I would choose the right-hand
weevil, it has a perceptible advantage in
both length and breadth.
There I have you. You are completely
dished. Don't you know in the Navy you
must always choose 'the lesser of two
He thunders with laughter, the rest joining in, breathless
with mirth, tears of laughter streaming down their faces
'Pon my life. He who would pun would pick
a pocket. Dýe not smoke it doctor?
Sure there would be some poor thin barren
minds that would catch at such a paltry
Then he too cracks a smile and joins in their laughter
130. MAIN DECK - NIGHT
The crew continue with their own celebration.
The excitement penetrates JOE PLAICE's stupor. Never having
woken since the trepanning he suddenly opens his eyes and
"...And the righteous shall inherit the
The men around him stare in amazement.
You hear that. He said something. Joe
spoke! Say something else Joe
Handy with that gasket
(shouts up to the quarterdeck)
He spoke doctor. Joe plaice spoke
The officers have appeared on deck with their coffee and
Stephen raises a hand in acknowledgment.
132. IN THE RIGGING - NIGHT
Midshipmen CALAMY RYE and BOYLE are eating from a bag of
broken biscuits ('ships nuts') as they sit perched up in the
On seeing JACK, they break into their own song.
Our captain was very good to us.
He dipped his prick in phosphorus.
It shed a light all through the night.
And steered us through the Bosphorus.
JACK pretends not to have heard, but he can't hide his smile.
Beside him in a chair sits BLAKENEY, his empty jacket sleeve
pinned to his front 'Nelson' style, laughing incredulously at
the older boys cheek.
From somewhere on the forecastle, WARLEY and his top-men
Farewell and adieu you fine Spanish
ladies Farewell and adieu to you ladies
The older midshipman, HOLLOM joins in, his fine voice soaring
effortlessly over the others, hijacking their roistering
ballad and converting it to something much more poignant.
For we've received orders to sail for Old
Perhaps we shall never more see you again
His singing is appreciated by STEPHEN on the quarterdeck.
What a wonderfully true voice Mr. Hollom
134. IN THE WAIST - NIGHT
KILLICK and NAGEL are less than impressed with HOLLOM and
sing over him, led by ORRAGE the cook.
Come all you thoughtless young men,
A warning take by me,
And never leave your happy homes
to sail the raging sea.
135. OCEAN - NIGHT
The Surprise sailing away from us, the chorus drifting across
135a. OCEAN. DAY
The colours are changing, from the rich hues of the tropics
to the cold muted colours of colder, more southerly climes.
Still the surprise sails on
136. THE GREAT CABIN - DAY
Fingers trace a course down the east coast of South America.
Another, more detailed chart is placed on top of the first.
This one's by Colnett, Sir. He travelled
with Captain Cook and carried a pair of
JACK finds their position and marks it with pencil. A knock
on the door. Officers and crew are now dressed according to
the change in climate
Couple of the men to see you, Sir.
(without looking up)
Show them in.
The door opens to reveal NAGEL and WARLEY carrying something.
A scale model of a ship, 15 inches long, perfect in every
detail. Jack takes it, delighted, the name picked out in gold
on the stern - Acheron.
It were Warley's idea, Sir.
I thought she were familiar like, then I
remembered where I'd seen her - in
Boston, during the Peace.
[ ] In Boston?
Yes, Sir. She's Yankee built. I seen them
working on her, something right strange
about her scantlings. Then I seen them
balls bounce off her an' I got to
If you look here, Sir. One side opens up.
He pulls a side off the model, exposing its construction.
Mister Nagel here done it just like I
seen her - a third layer 'tween the
outer and inner ribbing - diagonal
Just like the U.S. Constitution - our 12
pounders couldn't penetrate except at
He passes the model to ALLEN.
Killick. Killick, there.
An extra ration of rum for these men,
from my private store.
(shaking his head)
Which I was saving for Saluting Day, Sir.
Rouse it up, Killick, and a bottle for
Mr. ALLEN and me. Let us live whilst
KILLICK goes to get the bottles
JACK hunkers down to bring his gaze level with the ship, as
though studying its tiny occupants.
He's vulnerable here.
He taps the stern windows.
Cross her stern, rake her with a
broadside through her length. But how to
get close enough? Past those long
eighteens. That's the devil of it.
136b SURPRISE QUARTERDECK DAY
The Surprise has stopped level with a Spanish merchantman,
which lies three hundred yards away, headed in the opposite
The two boats have hove to and are communicating by
megaphone, Stephen translating the Spanish captains words,
He says they were chased for three days
till they finally our-ran her. Forty gun
French privateer headed due south.
Capital. Thank him and let us be off.
The Spanish captain, already making sail, waves and shouts a
greeting, which Stephen calls back to him.
What did he say there?
A Spanish farewell. "May no new thing
arrive." New things being generally by
their nature bad.
137. STEPHEN'S CABIN - NIGHT
Stephen is with Blakeney, re-bandaging the younger man's
stump. Blakeney looks away, his eyes moving over the doctors
collection of books, learned texts in French Spanish, Greek
Do you have a manual of exercises sir.
Physical exercises, to make the left arm
as powerful as the right once was.
I think that will happen with usage, at
least to a certain extent.
But not completely. I will never be whole
again, will I?
No but you will adapt to your new
The natural world shows us any number of
examples of how that is possible.
Blakeney bites his lip
You know my father was a great fighting
captain. It was always his expectation I
would follow in his footsteps. I worry
that with this arm I will now be good for
nothing but book learning and philosophy.
Ah. Like me you mean.
I cannot use a sextant, cannot tie a knot
or climb the rigging. Cannot even dress
myself. What chance to I have now of even
making first lieutenant.
You have every chance. You hear me every
chance. Only the other day I heard the
captain singing your praises. Your
courage, your fortitude in battle, your
skill at logarithms and double elevations
whatever they may be. And when you are
rated lieutenant you shall have someone
to tie your bootlaces for you. Aye and
help you with your jacket. Here take my
handkerchief. I believe we are summonsed
139. MAIN MAST - DAWN
The maintop captain, WARLEY, shouts to the deck, his breath
forming in the frosty air -
Sail on the larboard bow!
140. GREAT CABIN/LADDER
JACK throwing on a heavy boat-cloak, running for the ladder,
KILLICK behind him trying to get a scarf about JACK's neck
and a cap on his head.
141. THE RIGGING - DAWN
Follow JACK as he runs up the ratlines, over the futtock
shrouds, then up the topmast shrouds, finally arriving at the
very top of the mast, to join WARLEY and PULLINGS.
Hull down, two points off the larboard
JACK takes the telescope.
142. TELESCOPE P.O.V.
Just the tips of masts, the hull below the horizon.
She's a frigate all right, but no way of
knowing if she be the phantom.
Beyond the distant ship, a line of black clouds.
143. RIGGING - DAWN
JACK and PULLINGS slide to the deck on parallel back-stays,
as careless as a couple of midshipmen.
144. QUARTERDECK - DAWN
JACK shouting -
Set studdingsails and top gallants. Then
wet the sails and have the idlers placed
along the rail.
PULLINGS and HOLLAR bark out their orders. Men race to obey.
JACK steps up on the gunwale, spying out the distant ship.
BLAKENEY, nearby, rests his telescope on CALAMY's shoulder,
focussing with his left hand.
Is it him, Sir?
Touch wood, Mr. Blakeney. And I fancy
she plans to out-run us. Ask Dr. Maturin
to join us, he loves a good chase.
BLAKENEY goes below. Above, the topmen release more sail
which is tightened by the men on deck hauling on cables.
Those not working sit on a row along the windward gunwale,
like the crew of an ocean racing yacht, to counterbalance the
pull of the sails.
145. WEATHER-DECK - DAY
Their speed is so great green seas are now sweeping the
forecastle. A man falls and rolls into the scuppers.
Lifelines fore and aft!
Speed, Mr. Calamy?
CALAMY heaves the lead and reads the log line, then shouts
back to JACK -
Twelve knots, Sir!
146. THE SURPRISE - DAY
Heeled over under a great press of sail, her copper showing
as she clefts the waves.
147. FORECASTLE - DAY
Lined up along the starboard rails, the crew look back at
their captain riding the ship like a charioteer, one eye
aloft on the creaking topmost spar.
We're cracking on, eh?
We'll be cracking off presently if he
doesn't watch it.
No, he knows this ship. He knows what she
He touches wood, just the same and looks at Joe Plaice who
gives a meaningful roll of his eyes.
Ahead, the bank of storm clouds loom gunmetal grey.
148. GREAT CABIN - DAY
PULLINGS knocks and enters, with an anxious looking MR. LAMB,
with whom he has been arguing a point.
We can just see her topsails. She's made
her turn westwards.
I can't vouch for the mizzen Sir, not
round Cape Horn.
I'll not lose her now. Set a course
Both men accept this and leave.
149. QUARTERDECK (TIMELAPSE) - DAY
The wind has increased considerably, the deck sloping like
the roof of a house, the masts bending like coach-whips.
PULLINGS and LAMB are looking up at the mizzenmast which is
making ominous creaks and groans.
Mr Hollar, rig preventer backstays. Warps
and light hawsers to the mastheads.
JACK stares ahead to the darkening sky as they move across a
switchback landscape of massive rolling waves.
Better get below, Mr. Pullings!
Better get some food in you. Before it
150. OCEAN - DAY
Wide to see the two ships. The Surprise and the Acheron with
a mile of sea between them. It's like some great ocean race,
with neither prepared to take in canvas despite the appalling
151. QUARTERDECK - LATER, DAY
They are running fast before a dangerous, following sea: a
landscape of hills and valleys, the whole thing in terrifying
The forecastle now vanishes in foam with every plunge, rising
each time with water pouring over the waist and spouting from
KILLICK comes up with the coffee pot inside his jacket. JACK
drinks from the spout, peering ahead into the murk. A wild
unruly part of him is loving this.
Above him, more top-men struggle up the rigging, with the
mast drawing crazy figure of eights on a rushing sky.
152. BELOW DECKS
The dog watch are wolfing their food, mugs and dinner plates
sliding over the table. Crewmen walk up hill to the grog
barrel, down their ration and head up top again.
You reckon Captain will keep chasing him
'round the Horn with every stitch of
I reckon he'd chase him to the gates of
hell if he has to.
And that's where we're all going if he
doesn't take in sail.
Since his injury, Joe Plaice's startlingly random
pronouncements have acquired the quality of an oracle.
153. ON DECK
The wind rising from yell to shriek. Waves blown flat by it,
the ship travelling at a drunken sideways angle across a
raging expanse of white foam.
Four men on the wheel, lashed to it, with the air around them
full of water.
In the distance a tower of black rock on the rim of the sea,
distant rollers breaking against it and surging up to a
JACK looks up at the great press of canvas as he paces the
quarterdeck, the officers glancing from the sails back to
Strike the topgallants.
Men gratefully rush to the ratlines and begin climbing to the
STEPHEN staggers up onto deck. JACK calls to him, pointing at
the black rock.
Cape Horn, Doctor!
STEPHEN stares across at the legendary Cape. He's struggling
with his pocket-glass when a lurch of the ship sends him
tumbling. As men help him below, WARLEY, the maintop captain
reports to the bosun.
HOLLAR (to WARLEY)
Help them with that mizzen topgallant!
You go too, Mr. Hollom!
HOLLOM looks desperate as he follows WARLEY up the ratlines
of the mizzen.
154. MIZZEN TOPgallant MAST
WARLEY works frantically. He's out on the yardarm high above
the raging sea. He shouts for HOLLOM to join him, but HOLLOM
is still in the top, some twenty feet below, unable or
unwilling to climb any higher.
155. THE SURPRISE - DAY
Wide to see the ship. WARLEY working on the swaying mizzen.
The bow swinging a couple of points further south.
156. QUARTERDECK - DAY
Wood and rope straining as they wrestle to turn. Then a
tremendous crack as the mizzen-topmast splits and flies
backward into the sea, carrying WARLEY along with it.
Sail and cordage falling over the men at the wheel. A loose
block and tackle swinging murderously in the gale.
JACK fights free from the tangle of ropes as WARLEY vanishes
in the foam. The mizzenmast is acting as a sea-anchor
dragging the ship's head northwards toward the black rocks.
JACK grabs a speaking-trumpet as WARLEY briefly reappears.
Swim for the wreckage, man!
Then to PULLINGS.
As crewmen scramble frantically into the rigging, JACK turns
back to see WARLEY desperately swimming toward the trailing
wreckage, his mates shouting encouragement over the howling
With sails reduced the ship perceptibly slows, but the
dragging wreckage is swinging the ship broadside on to the
PULLINGS runs to JACK, pointing to the trailing mass of ropes
It's acting as a sea-anchor! We must cut
it loose, Sir!
WARLEY still struggling to reach the wreckage but going under
with each wave. JACK, agonized, makes his decision.
AWKWARD DAVIES scrambles up the ladder with an axe, but loses
his footing and falls sprawling over the quarterdeck.
JACK grabs the axe and attacks the ropes. He's joined by
NAGEL who has run to assist before realizing that the man
overboard is his friend Warley.
Set to then. Set to!!
NAGEL's face is a mask of horror, but he obeys Jacks orders
and starts chopping. He and Jack work shoulder to shoulder,
matching blow for blow [ ]
The prow keeps turning, wave after wave coming at right
angles to the ship.
157. ON THE GUN-DECK - DAY
A hatch cover is torn off by the force of water, a sudden
mighty deluge pouring down into the lower levels drenching
the men and swamping the guns.
HOLLAR (yells below)
All hands to the pumps!
158. QUARTERDECK - DAY
JACK and NAGEL [ ] keep hacking at the tangle of ropes.
Knocking chips off the railing in their urgency to cut free
the dragging mast.
Finally they succeed. The last of the ropes [ ] whips away,
the broken mizzen disappears aft and the ship swings
southward, away from the rocks.
The wreckage is swept away by the next wave, leaving WARLEY
struggling, his last chance of getting back to the ship gone.
Then another wave breaks over him and he is gone.
NAGEL is bereft. JACK lowers his head.
159. OUTSIDE THE GREAT CABIN - NIGHT
KILLICK and BLACK BILL.
He's been at it again.
Who's that then?
160. THE GREAT CABIN - NIGHT
JACK sits at his desk. The model of the Acheron that WARLEY
helped make sits accusingly in front of him.
STEPHEN pours him a glass on wine, and one for himself.
The deaths in actual battle are the
For my own part - those who die under the
knife or from some consequent infection:
I have to remind myself that it is the
enemy who killed them, and not me.
Warley was a casualty of war, as surely
as if a French ball had taken him.
JACK nods. Obviously the death still weighs on his
conscience. [ ]
(offering the wine)
At the same time....
He breaks off
At the same time, what?
Stephen hesitates, aware that he has to proceed carefully
You know that I wear two hats on every
voyage. I am the captains particular
friend and supporter, but also I am the
ships doctor in which later capacity I am
He catches a steely glint in Jacks eye and breaks off.
You don't want me to continue.
On the contrary. I insist on it.
There is talk below decks of turning
back. Or rather that we should have
turned back some weeks ago. Of course the
men would follow "Lucky Jack" anywhere,
and usually in the confident expectation
of victory. But that of course is the
What is the problem?
That you are not accustomed to defeat
Jack. That you have taken it too
personally. That chasing this larger,
faster ship, with its long guns, is
beginning to smack of pride 'which goeth
It's not pride nor anything like it, it's
a question of duty.
'Duty', ah yes. The naval signal for end
You can be as 'satiric' as you like,
Stephen, but I have my orders. She is
attacking our whalers. For why? Without
whales we have no boot polish, nor any
soap, nor oil for our lamps, not to oil
our sabres and muskets. Destroying our
whalers could win the war for Napoleon.
Which is why we must catch this Acheron.
As a man of learning surely you can see
At whatever the cost?
Any whatever cost I choose to pay. And I
will calculate that myself, Stephen
without reference to your friends in the
An icy wind whips at the men working on the temporary mizzen
Hollom, half way up the rigging is relaying instructions
between the men in the rigging and the men on deck
The new yard flails around on its pulley, bashing dangerously
against the mast. Almost claiming Nagel
Belay. Sorry. Sorry.
PULLING craning upwards. The topmen's shouted commands are
whipped away by the gale.
JACK joins him, still smarting from the conversation with
We'll have to go further south, get
around this bloody west wind.
How far south?
As far as is necessary, Mr. Pullings. The
sixtieth parallel if need be.
162. THE SHIP - DAY
Tacking southwards. The sun, a pale anaemic disc, gradually
disappearing behind layers of cloud.
The wind is a constant shrill whistle through the rigging, a
sound like some infernal drill which rises and falls but
DISSOLVE TO -
163. QUARTERDECK - DAWN
The sun rising in a clear sky which turns a sapphire blue.
White ice-islands lie all around them, some a pure, rosy
pink. Others bright ultramarine.
And still the wind howls, driving them further south.
MOWETT passes his telescope to STEPHEN MATURIN. As STEPHEN
studies some seals on an ice-beach, MOWETT launches into
verse, shouting against the wind -
Then we upon the globes last verge shall
go to view the ocean leaning on the sky
from thence our rolling neighbours we
and on the hidden world securely pry!
He is interrupted by a bundle of guns clattering on board
from one of the small boats. They are followed by Mr Howard
clad in several thicknesses of sealskin and carrying a brace
of dead penguin.
164. THE SHIP AT NIGHT
The ship scudding onwards, soundless at this distance, but
for the chilling high pitched whistle of the wind.
An iceberg passes in foreground, fantastic shapes of ice,
like a Gothic cathedral, sculpted by the elements.
165. BERTH DECK - NIGHT
Hanging stoves provide some feeble warmth. Men huddle close
to them, their breath condensing, or lie shivering in their
bunks, unable to sleep for the cold.
HOLLAR appears with a lantern.
Rise and shine! Show a leg there, tumble
up, tumble up - sleepers awake!
As the previous watch arrive downstairs, numb and dazed from
the cold, the next watch emerge from their hammocks and
dress. No-one speaks.
166. THE GREAT CABIN - DAY
The officers take their places at dinner. Once again it's
PULLINGS comes in, with an unexpected smile on his face and
whispers something to JACK.
Praise be. At last.
The others seem to know what's going on, all except STEPHEN
who looks baffled.
Pray what is there to celebrate?
JACK holds up his hand for silence. A series of creaks and
groans from the ship. The coffee pot tilts on its gimbals.
We have made our turn northward, Doctor.
We are headed back toward the sun...
The officers give a slightly ragged cheer.
...in anticipation of which. I asked
Killick to prepare something special.
Killick. Killick there.
KILLICK comes in with his usual exasperated expression,
bearing a tray with a silver tureen lid on it.
Which I was just coming.
He lays it on the table.
Gentlemen, I give you... our destination.
He whips off the lid to reveal a strange glutinous mass, a
pudding cut in the oddest of shapes. Everyone stands to get a
The Galapagos Islands.
'Pon my word so it is. Look: here's
Narborough, Chatham and Hood...
That's where the whalers are, ain't it Mr
Allen. So that's where the Acheron will
The mood is now taken over by the glee of recognition, as the
officers marvel over the pudding.
Mr. Pullings, if you'll permit me, a
slice of Albermale. For you Doctor,
There's a tiny man-of-war made of icing, between the islands.
JACK picks it up in his spoon.
And, with a fair wind behind us the
Acheron for me.
167. OPEN OCEAN, DOLDRUMS - DAY
Slow pan over a glassy expanse of water. JACK's head suddenly
breaks the surface, close to camera.
As he swims he brings the Surprise into view. The ship is
utterly becalmed, wallowing in the swell, her sails hanging
limp. A 'painted ship upon a painted ocean'.
JACK swims around the ship, which currently presents a less
than warlike picture with washing hanging from every part of
He calls up to PULLINGS -
Best bowers chipped... Lot of rust on
these forechains... black strake needs
JACK comes aboard, takes a towel from KILLICK and looks about
The men are holystoning the deck and polishing the
brightwork. They look thin and exhausted and burnt dark-brown
by the sun and wind.
Killick is with NAGEL and others tarring the ratlines as he
looks back at HOLLOM, patrolling the gangway.
KILLICK indicates him with a tilt of the head.
That engagement off Recife: his whole gun
crew killed and him not a mark on him.
Soon as he went up the mizzen mast Warley
falls. And whose watch was it when we
lost our wind?
HOLLOM sees them looking at him.
170. THE SCUTTLEBUTT, SHIP'S WAIST - DAY
A marine sentry, TROLLOPE, stands guard by the ship's water-
barrel - the level is very low. STEPHEN ladles some water
into a phial.
One glass per man, sir, Captain's orders.
STEPHEN straightening, irritated by the challenge.
A mere thimbleful, Corporal, for
scientific purposes only.
171. STEPHEN'S CABIN - DAY
In the gloom of his cabin, STEPHEN angles the mirror of his
brass microscope toward the window, and places a slide
containing a droplet of water under the lens.
172. MAINMAST-TOP - DAY
JACK climbs into the top. He adjusts his telescope, studies
173. JACK'S TELESCOPE P.O.V.
He pans across the empty sea.
174. STEPHEN'S MICROSCOPE P.O.V.
An assortment of mobile, transparent micro-organisms rotating
My God, Padeen, a veritable zoo.
PADEEN takes a look, amazed then greatly amused.
175. THE GREAT CABIN - NIGHT
Charts are spread all over the table, STEPHEN poring over
them when Jack comes in
Show me where these Doldrums lie?
JACK joins him.
Stephen. Will we never make a sailor of
you? The doldrums is a condition, not a
region. But you tend to strike 'em
...between the trades, and the
sou'easterlies. I hope the Acheron is
having it as bad as we are.
STEPHEN considers their current position on the chart, the
tiny Galapagos Islands to the north and the vast emptiness to
the west of them.
Assuming he is heading for the Galapagos,
and not some other point in all this
Come. I'd have thought you'd be delighted
to go there. It is said to be a natural
In truth I'd be delighted with the merest
guano stained rock provided it didn't
sway beneath my feet
Well, we'll take on food and water once
we're there, and as compensation for not
having put ashore in Brazil I pledge that
during that time, several days at least,
you can wander at will, catching bugs and
beetles to your heart's delight. You will
be the first naturalist to set foot on
the islands. That is my solemn promise
I accept, provided the men have not
mutinied and thrown us all overboard
before we get there.
Mutiny? No. They are already counting
their share of the prize money.
Another week of this and they shall
gladly give it up for a glass of clean
Ach, Stephen. Stephen. Pray stop your
bellyacheing. We shall have rain
presently, and if not we shall damned
well tow ourselves out of this.
176. JOLLY BOAT - DAY
Disgruntled, under-slept men, in boats towing the ship.
NAGEL and DAVIES look back darkly at HOLLOM who sits in the
I heard he were on the Fair Marion as
foundered off Tresco. And he were on the
Zephyrus what exploded at Trafalgar.
HOLLOM has heard this, as DAVIES intended, but he looks away
choosing to ignore them.
177. FIGHTING TOP - DAY
A view from above of men towing the ship. Over this an
unpleasant scraping sound - chalk on slate.
STEPHEN is writing words on a slate then offering them to
BONDEN whom he is teaching to read.
STEPHEN nods and scratches another word on the board. As
BONDEN struggles to decipher it there's the sound of a musket
shot and a seabird falls out of the sky.
HOWARD, the captain of marines, reloads his smoking musket
Is that man completely mad?
Mr. Howard, a petrel is not good eating!
HOWARD looks up towards them, a broad smile on his red moon
of a face.
Were you never a man for sporting,
Doctor? Why you could shoot all day in
these waters with two men loading!
178. GUN-DECK - DAY
The midshipmen and powder-monkeys have assembled for weapons
practise, armed with cutlasses. CALAMY and WILLIAMSON divide
the group into two teams, choosing sides as for school-yard
(the final choice)
All right, come on Addison.
Little ADDISON joins CALAMY's side, trailing his too-large
sword. WILLIAMSON tosses a coin.
It's tails. We attack.
CALAMY's side retire to a defensive position made of tar
barrels at one end of the deck. From here they are suddenly
aware of Jack idly watching their mock-fight from the
WILLIAMSON's team give a yell and charge at them.
It's serious fighting. Heads are struck, fingers are rapped.
BLAKENEY, trying gamely with his left arm but frustrated by
his own ineptitude, goes down under the rush of attackers.
Ow ow ow!
Let go of him.
CALAMY can't drag the bigger boy off. He whips a pistol out
of his belt and fires it at WILLIAMSON's head.
WILLIAMSON is blasted sideways, clutching his face and
yelling in pain. The other boys separate, horrified.
It's just powder. There wasn't a ball in
it, just powder.
He helps BLAKENEY to his feet.
Are you all right?
Angrily shaking free of him, he looks to where Jack stood,
but the captain is no longer watching.
What's wrong? I saved you.
I didn't need to be saved.
179. ON DECK - DAY
Tar bubbling under the heat of the sun. Cannons fizzing and
steaming as they are washed.
There's been a change of crews in the long-boats, and HOLLOM
and his men are now back on board. NAGEL is approaching from
one end of the narrow gang-way, HOLLOM from the other. NAGEL
pushes past, deliberately bumping HOLLOM, who stumbles,
clutching for the gunwale.
180. QUARTERDECK - DAY
JACK sees this outrageous act of indiscipline and yells out -
Master at arms! Take that man below and
clap him in irons. Mr. Pullings,
defaulters at six bells.
181. THE GREAT CABIN, DOLDRUMS - DAY
JACK stands behind his desk, brow like thunder. From outside
the sounds of the muster. HOLLOM stands in front of him,
twisting his hat between his hands.
The man pushed past you without making
his obedience. And yet you said nothing.
No, Sir, I intended to but the right
words just didn't...
'The right words'? He failed to salute
you. It's deliberate insubordination.
HOLLOM looks at the floor, mumbles -
They don't like me, Sir.
They what? Speak up, man!
HOLLOM raises his head and looks at JACK, his eyes shiny with
tears and when he opens his mouth the words tumble out in a
I've tried to get to know the men a bit,
Sir, be friendly like, but they've taken
a set against me. Always whispering when
I go past, giving me looks. But, I'll set
that to rights, be tougher on them from
You can't make 'friends' with the
foremast jacks, they'll despise you in
the end. Nor do you need be a tyrant.
It's leadership they want, strength,
I'm very sorry, Sir.
You're what twenty-three, twenty-four?
Twenty-five next Friday.
You've failed to pass for lieutenant
twice. You can't spend the rest of your
life as a midshipman.
I'll try harder, Sir.
KILLICK helps JACK on with his full-dress uniform.
Well, it's an unfortunate business,
Hollom. Damned unfortunate.
KILLICK seems to endorse this by placing the captain's hat
emphatically on JACK's head.
Jack turns and strides out of the cabin, HOLLOM following
slowly after him.
182. QUARTERDECK, DOLDRUMS - DAY
The entire crew has been mustered. The uniformed officers
line the quarterdeck as JACK reads from the Articles of War.
'Article Thirty-Six. All other crimes not
capital, committed by any person or
persons in the fleet... shall be punished
according to the laws, and customs, of
(then, to NAGEL)
Mr. Nagel, you're an old man-of-war's man
and yet you failed to salute an officer.
You knew what you were doing. Have you
anything to say in your defence?
NAGEL looks at the deck.
Have his officers anything to say for
DAVIES and KILLICK scowl across the deck at HOLLOM, who looks
wretched but says nothing.
Seize him up.
NAGEL is spread-eagled to the grating, his hands tied.
Seized up, Sir.
One dozen. Bosun's mate, do your duty.
The mate takes the leather cat-o-nine tails out of its red
FADE TO BLACK
FADE UP ON -
183. THE GREAT CABIN - DUSK
JACK stands alone, tuning his fiddle. No matter how much he
turns the peg the top string always sounds flat. He tunes
some more and breaks it.
184. QUARTERDECK - DUSK
...and bloody death!
Every word is plainly audible to the men on watch, who
pretend to hear nothing.
185. THE GREAT CABIN - DUSK
JACK is fitting a new string. Widen to reveal STEPHEN sitting
opposite with his cello.
I was merely remarking that you have
always prided yourself on not being a
flogging captain and this...
I am not a "flogging captain". I have not
once rigged the grating on this voyage,
not once in twelve thousand miles.
Besides, I wager you will find a deal
more brutality on land.
Tightening the new string. The note escalating as he turns.
I'm not a party to it on land.
Well you are party to it on my ship.
Men must be governed. Often not wisely I
grant you, but there are hierarchies even
in nature, as you've often said yourself.
Hierarchies. That is the excuse of every
tyrant in history. Of Nero. Of Boneparte.
(trying to call a halt)
Yes. Fine words I'm sure
...We are not animals and I for one am
opposed to authority, that egg of misery
Very fine words Stephen, but In these
current circumstances, hard-work and firm
discipline is what keeps our little
wooden world together.
And grog I suppose.
Of course. What of it? Of course they
have their grog!
STEPHEN (sits) (CONT'D)
You know Nagel was drunk when he insulted
Hollom. And Higgins is never sober. Even
The men will have their grog Stephen. It
is part of the immemorial tradition of
Well a shameful tradition it is too. To
have them pressed from their homes, kept
in a permanent state of dull inebriation.
...confined for months in a wooden
prison, Never more than a few hours sleep
and flogged when drunken idleness drives
...Stephen! I warn you that friend or no
I will not have you talk of the service
I am stating plain facts
Well I will not hear them! From you or
anyone. You understand! Things are as
they are for good or bad whether or not
they have a place in your damned papist
philosophy. If you are here to make music
then sit down and play. If not be gone,
for you have come
to the wrong shop for anarchy!
In stony silence Stephen puts down his cello bow and leaves
past Killick, who is lurking as always by the door.
186. SCUTTLEBUTT - DUSK
Something disturbs the dark surface of the water as HOLLOM
dips the ladle and fills his cup.
A sense of someone moving up behind him. HOLLOM turns
abruptly. It's the marine sentry, moving in the shadows. He
stares at HOLLOM as he backs away toward the ladder and
187. BERTH DECK - DUSK
To reach his quarters he is obliged to walk the length of the
berth deck, past HOWARD obsessively cleaning his pistol,
another man whittling with a knife, DAVIES adding another
link in the tattooed chain about BECKETT's middle.
No-one speaks as HOLLOM runs the gauntlet of their stares,
acutely aware of his own breathing. It now seems universally
to be held that he is the author of all the ship's
Nagle pointedly turns his back, the scars from the flogging
gleaming wetly in the lamplight
Hollom's breath quickens. He stumbles on someone's dunnage,
almost trips but is caught before he falls. It's one of
188. MIDSHIPMAN'S BERTH - DUSK
HOLLOM comes in, wild-eyed and goes to his berth, breathing
hard. CALAMY, BLAKENEY & BOYLE look up from a tense game of
Are you all right, Hollom?
HOLLOM shakes his head miserably, hyperventilating.
He's not sick. He's useless. He's just
Oh shut up Calamay. What do you know
CALAMY glares at BLAKENEY.
189. INT STEPHEN'S ROOM - DUSK
A shot from the deck above.
STEPHEN looks up from his book "Di Consolazione Philosophae".
Then the sound of bare feet approaching, followed by a knock
at the door.
Its Joe Plaice, looking agitated.
Beg your pardon, your honour, but Mr.
Howard just shot a sea-monster!
190. GANGWAY - DUSK
STEPHEN and PLAICE stride along to where the marine captain,
HOWARD, peers down into the water with one of his men.
Doctor! The very man.
STEPHEN moves to the rail, looks out.
[ ] I wished you'd seen it for
yourself, Doctor. The crew never seen
anything like it.
On the glassy sea, a smudge of blood and some ripples
It was prodigious like a human, though
bigger, might have been a sea-elephant,
it had a calf with it - I didn't mean to
hit the calf, I missed my mark.
Mr. Howard, let me beg you, if the men
can't eat it or I can't dissect it,
please do not shoot every creature you
STEPHEN stares back down at the ripples spreading over the
191. THE SURPRISE - NIGHT
Wide, on the troubled ship, small yellow patches of light
visible from the gun-ports.
192. BELOW DECKS - NIGHT
The men are lying in their hammocks when, from somewhere
outside, there comes an ungodly howling. It stops, then comes
again, exactly human in its pitch.
The crew look at one another. This is like no sound they've
The howling stops then comes again, from another direction.
193. THE GREAT CABIN, EXTERIOR - NIGHT
KILLICK and BLACK BILLY listening.
What did I tell you? The ship's accursed.
194. QUARTERDECK - NIGHT
JACK comes up from below.
What is that abominable noise, for God's
I have no idea, Sir.
You don't think it's the Acheron, Sir?
The enemy cannot come on us without a
wind, Mr. Mowett.
He looks about at the terrified faces of the crew. The
wailing sound now rises to a shriek, as STEPHEN joins the
What do you make of it, Doctor?
I'm sure I've never heard the like.
The crew overhear this and pass it among themselves as
another anguished howl fills the night.
Perhaps it's the mother of the creature
Mr. Howard shot.
[ ] Creature?
[ ] A manatee. A sea-elephant possibly.
Though I have never known one with a cry
A glance along at HOWARD on the gangway, as terrified as
Bosun. Fire off some flares.
195. WIDE ON THE SHIP - NIGHT
Three flares soar and burst with a ghostly glow, making a
pool of blue light around the ship, the sound continuing to
echo and re-echo from somewhere beyond.
196. QUARTERDECK - NIGHT
The light illuminates the half-hour glass, its top-half empty
of sand. Like everyone else, the duty sergeant stands frozen
to the spot. Jack rounds on him.
Sergeant, what the devil are you thinking
of? Turn the glass and strike the bell.
Roused, the duty sergeant turns the glass and time resumes
Two bells are hesitantly rung and the crew regain the power
of motion, their limbs still spastic with fear. And when the
sound comes once more they all freeze.
JACK joins MOWETT at the taffrail. The thing is somewhere out
there, whatever it is.
Perhaps some poor shipwreck?
He shouts, a slight nervous catch to his voice.
Ahoy! Is anyone there?
Part of him knows it's crazy and of course there's no reply.
The sound constantly shifting position, now in the water, now
in the sky.
JACK turns to see a white face, frighteningly close to his
own. It's PADEEN, mouth agape, face unnaturally white,
staring into the gloom as though drawn to whatever horror
lies out there.
Padeen. What are you doing on the
He looks down at the press of men who have gathered at the
bottom of the ladder, some with weapons.
Below! All of you men below!
Tell the bosun those off-duty may sleep
with their lamps on.
197. LOWER DECK - NIGHT
Several crewmen huddle close together their faces lit by a
battle-lantern. Joe Plaice grim. Doudle wide-eyed. Higgins
with his alcoholic tremor more pronounced than ever.
Duppies make that noise.
KILLICK (indicating BILL)
See. They know all about this in Africa.
What's a duppie?
That Warley. Swallow by a fish. Spirit
can't get out. Him duppie now.
Captain don't even know what that noise
General nods of agreement.
Doctor neither, and he knows everything.
Joe here's got the most experience in
these matters, and new brains to boot,
let's hear it from Joe.
All eyes on JOE PLAICE. He speaks from the shadows.
It's the Jonah causing it. That howling
thing is a signal to the Phantom-Ship.
He's calling it up, don't you see? Every
time he's on watch the ship appears. You
wait and see, the ghost-ship will appear
any time tonight, and take us all
straight to the hot-place.
Another shriek, closer now, seems to confirm JOE's bizarre
198. MIDSHIPMEN'S BERTH - NIGHT
The boys sit together. None of them look at HOLLOM, who sits
pale and wretched in a corner of the room, clutching his
199. STEPHEN'S CABIN - NIGHT
As the howling continues, STEPHEN looks through a number of
books on sea-creatures searching for a reference to what
As JACK looks over his shoulder, his eye is caught by a
picture in one of STEPHEN's books.
He picks it up.
Close on the picture - it's an engraving of a giant squid,
its tentacles wrapped around a ship.
Back on JACK holding the picture up to STEPHEN.
You don't think...?
There is a knock on the cabin door and BLAKENEY enters,
BLAKENEY (to STEPHEN)
It's Mr. Hollom, sir, you better come
200. MIDSHIPMEN'S BERTH
HOLLOM writhing in agony on the floor, STEPHEN trying to calm
him, shouting for assistance from the midshipmen and then
Mr Hollom. Sir. Try to contain yourself.
Hold his head. Mr Hollom. Padeen
201. STEPHEN'S CABIN - NIGHT.
Stephen is writing some case notes in his journal, when Jack
puts his head around the door.
Stephens POV: The lamp, lighting his face from below and to
one side, gives a strange lopsided twist to Jacks smile
There's nothing physically wrong with
him. He thinks he's been cursed by the
Then he probably has been. Sailors will
abide a great deal, but never a Jonah.
It's like a white crow - the others peck
it to death.
A 'Jonah'? My God, you believe it too.
I desired to save you the trouble of
looking for a cure. No doubt it will all
be sorted by the morning.
202 FORECASTLE, LATER - NIGHT
BLAKENEY stands near the bows peering out into the night. A
figure approaches from behind and lays a hand in his
BLAKENEY nearly jumps out of his skin.
Mr. Hollom! You gave me such a start. Are
you better now?
HOLLOM's breathing does indeed seem easier.
Much better, thank you.
I think the creature is going away.
I am sure of it.
He reaches down, picks up a 12 pound cannonball.
You've always been very kind to me.
With a sudden movement he's on the gunwale, then he jumps
over the side the cannonball in his arms.
BLAKENEY looks down with shock to see HOLLOM's pale face
receding from him into the depths. It's a moment before he
gathers his wits to shout -
203. QUARTERDECK - DAWN
The ship's company are mustered on deck. JACK stands at the
sword rack lectern. KILLICK hands him a Bible open at the
story of Jonah.
JACK looks, then hands it back to KILLICK.
The fact is, [ ] not all of us become
the men we once hoped we might be. But we
are all God's creatures. If some of us
thought ill of Mr. Hollom, or spoke ill
of him, or failed him in respect of
fellowship, then we ask your forgiveness,
Lord, and we ask for his.
Close on the faces of the crew - KILLICK, HIGGINS, NAGEL,
CALAMY, BLAKENEY and finally Stephen who is staring oddly at
Jack, as though holding him partly responsible for this
CREW (mumble ashamedly)
The men on deck remain standing, heads bowed, observing a
minute's silence, as the sky begins to pale, and the white
disc of the sun appears above them.
FASTER DOUDLE is the first to look up, followed by others -
the terrible sound has gone and a small puff of wind is
stirring the mainsail.
204. HOUR GLASS
The sand runs out of the half-hour glass.
Strike eight bells.
QUARTERMASTER (to the marine sentry)
Turn the glass and strike the bell.
The glass is inverted. The bell tolls.
205. SURPRISE AT SEA - DAY
The ship moves through a tropical squall. Men rig a sail to
catch the water, others appear with barrels and tubs,
anything to catch the precious rain.
DISSOLVE TO -
206. THE SURPRISE - DAY
Sea birds swarming over a shoal of fish in the foreground as
the cry of the distant lookout carries faintly across the
207. GANGWAY - DAY
BLAKENEY runs along the gangway, past STEPHEN, en route to
Give you joy, sir! We have raised the
208. MONTAGE oF TELESCOPE VIEWS, GALAPAGOS - DAY
There's a primeval quality to the landscape, a feeling of a
world just born. The wild creatures that inhabit the lava
flows and coral beaches confirm this - the giant tortoises,
iguanas, sea-lions and penguins, a teeming profusion of
exotic animals and plants.
209. QUARTERDECK/FORECASTLE/TOPS - DAY
The ship fairly bristles with telescopes.
A small group of familiar faces share a pocket telescope.
Can't see any wimmun. Just lots of ducks
DOUDLE takes the telescope.
Wot? There must be wimmun. T'ain't
STEPHEN and BLAKENEY side by side. From both their faces we
sense their wonder at seeing these remarkable creatures for
the first time.
He's looking at a group of unremarkable black seabirds
waddling about on a rock, flapping short, stumpy wings.
A species of cormorant. But apparently
flightless, by all that's Holy. I believe
that is unknown to science.
BLAKENEY dwells briefly on the strange rock-climbing birds
then drifts back to the iguanas.
The dragons don't seem to bother 'em.
They are a type of iguana I should think,
and therefore vegetarian.
His telescope remains focussed on the cormorants. BLAKENEY is
wholly absorbed in the iguanas.
Will you catch one?
Yes. Most certainly. And if we can, some
I mean the great lizards.
Recognizing how superficially dull the birds are to
BLAKENEY's untutored eye, by contrast with giant lizards.
I should think a pair of them. Then you
can present one of their offspring to the
Ha! There's one going for a swim.
No. Iguanas are land animals.
Not these ones.
The prehistoric-looking creatures, as if suddenly awakened,
begin diving into the water.
By Jove Bonden you are right! Two new
species in as many minutes.
He breaks off, suddenly aware of a shouted exchange between
the lookout and the quarterdeck.
What is all that confounded bellowing?
All hands about ship!
BLAKENEY dashes off and STEPHEN is elbowed out of the way by
hands rushing to get at the sails.
By your leave sir, by your leave.
Helms a'lee - off tacks and sheets -
As the ship turns a distant whaleboat appears with six men
aboard, pulling out from one of the neighboring islands.
212. IN THE LEE OF THE SHIP'S HULL (TIME-LAPSE) - DAY
The whaleboat has come alongside.
Men swarm down the boarding nets and the whalers are helped
aboard, hoarse and exhausted from rowing and shouting.
God bless you. Thank you, shipmates.
213. QUARTERDECK - LATER, DAY
HOGG, the senior whaler, sits with his mates, relating his
story to JACK and the officers.
We was coming back for fresh lines, hid
in that inlet, yonder. Black-three
master. Bit beamy and raised in the
Meaningful looks among Jack and his men. Its definitely the
Acheron he's describing [ ]
Hogg meanwhile takes a pint mug of water, gulps it down, and
passes it back to BLAKENEY for a refill.
Hundred thousand pound of good whale oil
they stole. Then the bastards...
No swearing on the quarterdeck.
(waves ALLEN away)
...Then they burnt our bloody ship and
headed off, bunch of fugging pirates.
Looking pointedly at Allen
And her course?
Maybe a point south of west. Following
the rest of the whaling fleet.
Mr. Mowett, these men to be entered on
the ship's books. Mr. Allen, lay a course
As ALLEN hurries away shouting orders -
Should we not take on fresh supplies,
Sir? Those tortoises...
JACK (overlapping, impatient)
There's not a moment to lose, Mr.
He leaves the quarterdeck and goes below, STEPHEN following.
214. IN THE GREAT CABIN
JACK has taken his jacket off and is already unfurling his
charts. STEPHEN hurries in.
Have you forgotten your promise?
(not looking up)
Subject to the requirements of the
service, Stephen. I could not in all
conscience delay for the sake of an
iguano or a... giant peccary -
interesting no doubt, but of no immediate
How can you dismiss, out of hand, the
bounty of nature? Knowledge that... that
will help to progress...
I can see nothing on shore that will
progress our mission.
But how can we possibly know what lies
[ ] on these islands, perhaps some
knowledge that may save life, that...
I will tell you how to save lives
Stephen. Inform me how to guide this
ship, undetected, under the nose of a 40
gun frigate. That is the job in hand sir.
STEPHEN swallows his indignation and tries for a compromise.
Well perhaps there's an opportunity to
serve both our objectives. As I
understand it you mean to go round the
end of this long island, then start your
voyage. I could walk across it, be on the
other side long before...
JACK shakes his head.
I would walk briskly, pausing only for
important measurements and almost
certainly making valuable discoveries...
If wind and tide had been against us I
should have said yes. They are not and I
am obliged to say no.
STEPHEN is livid. Betrayed.
I see. So after all this time in your
service I must simply be content to form
part of this belligerent expedition,
hurry past inestimable wonders, bent
solely on destruction...
...you forget yourself, sir.
No Jack, You have forgotten your self.
You once believed in the rights of each
individual man no matter how useless or
lowly. But it seems to me now that the
long exercise of power has brought you to
the point where even a solemn promise...
The promise was conditional.
...a promise to a friend of ten years
standing who has stood by you and
I command a King's ship, not a private
...across half the worlds oceans often at
risk to his own life
...and we have no time for your damned
"Hobbies". So that is JACK's honest view of STEPHEN's
lifetime of work in science. He bows slightly, then leaves.
215 QUARTERDECK - DUSK
STEPHEN stands alone at the taffrail watching as the islands
recede in the distance.
News of the violent argument has spread and there is many a
sympathetic glance, which further humiliates STEPHEN.
BLAKENEY approaches him carrying something carefully in the
palm of his hand.
Sir, I found a curious beetle walking on
He opens his hand - close, on a very plain little brown
I think it's a Galapagos Beetle, sir.
I'm sure of it.
Were you to have walked all day on the
island, you might never have come across
That is more than likely, sure.
BLAKENEY passes it to STEPHEN.
You can have it.
Thank you, Mr. Blakeney.
BLAKENEY hovers for a moment, unsure of further conversation,
216 IN THE GREAT CABIN - NIGHT
JACK sits alone at the table. KILLICK enters with toasted
cheese for two.
No music? That's a shame
He sets down the toasted cheese.
I'll just leave the one plate then, if
himself won't be joining.
Yes, Killick. Just the one.
JACK cuts himself a portion, scowling at STEPHEN's cello
which seems to watch him reproachfully as he eats.
217. STEPHEN'S CABIN - NIGHT
STEPHEN takes a dropper, carefully measures twenty drops of
laudanum to a glass of water, and drinks.
218. LOOKOUT - DAY
The lookout leaning out from the cross-trees.
On deck there. Object fine on the
219. THE SHIP LYING STATIONARY - DAY
A barrel is being lifted aboard from the skiff and passed up
the side of the ship.
220. IN THE WAIST OF THE SHIP
JACK comes down, accompanied by ALLEN, the acknowledged
expert in these matters.
Others gather round, including HOGG the whaler, inspecting
the stencilled markings.
No, this here's from Boston. I was
married there once.
Any road, it's a Yankee barrel.
What they call a Bedford Hog in New
MOWETT (to JACK)
The Acheron touched at Boston.
And it's not been in the water more than
One can't say with any accuracy but...
Yes you can. There's no sea chummer on
it, and the dowels is sound.
221. ON THE QUARTERDECK - DAY
JACK returns to his post.
Continue due west, Mr. Bonden.
TOM PULLINGS watches him. There has been a change amongst the
officers and crew toward JACK. His relentless driving after
the Acheron has reached the point of obsession, an obsession
not shared by his exhausted men.
He is a lonely, haunted figure as he now steps up on the
gunwale, one hand on the ratlines, scanning the empty sea,
sensing his enemy is out there, just beyond the curve of the
DISSOLVE TO -
222. LADDER (TIME LAPSE) - DAY
A wild wind humming through the rigging as STEPHEN goes
223. FORECASTLE - DAY
He finds various hands making the boats secure.
Have you seen the bird, doctor?
I have not - no bird these many days.
What kind of a bird?
A sort of albatross I believe, or perhaps
a prodigious great mew. He has been
following the ship since... there he is,
crossing our wake!
224. ON THE GANGWAY - DAY
STEPHEN runs along the gangway to get a clearer view,
checking himself when he sees JACK on the quarterdeck.
Their eyes meet. The quarterdeck is JACK's domain now, and
STEPHEN avoids it.
Then, behind JACK, the great bird suddenly appears.
It's huge, with at least a fourteen foot wing-span, and
flying very close to the ship, drifting and soaring on the
gusting wind, appearing and disappearing between the sails.
STEPHEN is mesmerized by it. He lets go of the rail, leaning
forward to get a better view.
At the same time across from STEPHEN on the opposite gangway,
HOWARD and two or three marines open fire on the bird. The
bird drops low, flying right by STEPHEN.
Again a crackle of gunfire, but the bird is apparently
uninjured, and it banks away, skimming the surface of the
STEPHEN sags to the deck. A shout. People running. Blood
spreading across the white of his shirt. HOWARD there by his
My God, man! I'm so sorry. The bird
dropped low. I didn't see you there!
JACK is there, shouting -
Calamy! Get Higgins!
(then turning to BONDEN)
Padeen, Davies, carry the Doctor below.
STEPHEN gets slowly up, hands reaching to help him, HOWARD in
the background distraught, explaining to anyone who'll listen
It's all right, I am quite capable of
He tries to stand, crumples.
225. STEPHEN's CABIN - DAY
HIGGINS presses clumsily around the wound as STEPHEN lies on
the bed, his abdomen rigid, his breathing laboured. JACK
watches from the door.
You will just make it worse... by
prodding, Mr. Higgins, it cannot be got
at... except by opening me up.
A violent pitching of the ship makes it obvious how
impossible this will be under sail.
As STEPHEN lapses into unconsciousness, HIGGINS looking
alarmed, approaches JACK.
HIGGINS (a whisper)
The bullet took a piece of shirt in with
it. Unless it is removed it will
suppurate and fester.
Are you equal to the task?
I'll need to read up on the Doctor's
books, like. Study some pictures he has,
get my bearings. Be better on land, but
I'll manage somehow.
JACK looks away from the alcoholic HIGGINS back to STEPHEN.
226. OUTSIDE THE CABIN
JACK passes an anxious crowd of the ship's company: BLAKENEY,
JOE PLAICE, KILLICK and HOWARD.
You men get about your business.
There are dark looks in JACK's direction as he retreats to
227. THE GREAT CABIN - DAY
JACK throws a chart on the table.
With his protractor he marches out great strides west into
the Pacific from the Galapagos Islands and marks the ship's
position - they are maybe a hundred miles from the Galapagos,
ahead, open sea until the Marquesas.
228. INT. STEPHEN'S CABIN - DUSK
Lying on his bed, in some pain, STEPHEN hears thudding feet,
In his weakened state, the sounds tend to merge. His
pitching cabin keeps swimming out of focus.
There's a knock on the door and JEMMY DUCKS appears with a
mug of soup and some biscuit.
...sail on the horizon, sir. Hull down,
running west. It may be a couple of days
before we can catch her.
STEPHEN nods, all he wants is quiet.
JEMMY DUCKS retreats, as STEPHEN swigs from a little bottle
of laudanum, which for a moment brings peace, effectively
blocking out the noise from above.
A smile to PADEEN, like a farewell, and he closes his eyes.
229. FORECASTLE - DUSK
JACK, telescope to his eye, studies the distant ship as
PULLINGS jumps down from the ratlines to the deck.
It might be the Acheron. If we put on
more sail we'd come up with her before
JACK lowers the telescope, turns his back on PULLINGS,
(to his back)
Do you wish me to set the topgallants?
A long silence. Then JACK walks away.
PULLINGS stares perplexed from JACK's retreating figure to
the distant chase.
DISSOLVE TO -
230. INTERIOR STEPHEN'S CABIN - DAWN
Early morning light on the interior of the cabin. PADEEN is
asleep, holding a Bible, in the doctor's chair.
STEPHEN himself lies motionless with his eyes closed and his
mouth open, no colour in his face.
The sea is relatively calm. From outside the sound of the
bosun's orders, over rattling blocks and pulleys.
...Clap on now! Every rope an end...
Jolly-boat away... Slowly, Jenks! You
MOWETT comes in, sees STEPHEN, and takes him for dead.
Two big men come in behind him. PADEEN wakes, confused and
pushes them away, moving protectively to the doctor's side.
The commotion disturbs STEPHEN. His eyes open. Like a dead
man just come back to life.
Doctor. You're still with us. Can we move
you onto a stretcher?
STEPHEN swallows uncomfortably and tries to make sense of
231. A GALAPAGOS ISLAND - DAY
A giant iguana watches as a small procession trudges up the
At its head, STEPHEN is carried in a litter up to where a
tent has been set up above the high-water mark.
His P.O.V. as JACK appears in the blue sky above him.
Tell me this wasn't on my account?
No. It was because of Higgins.
Can't have him poking around in your
belly without a solid platform to work
He ducks as they enter -
232. THE HOSPITAL TENT - DAY
In the creamy light, they lay STEPHEN down on a recently-
constructed wooden operating table.
HIGGINS squats on the ground, rummaging through various large
sharp surgical instruments which he has emptied onto a piece
All set, Higgins?
STEPHEN grabs JACK's sleeve.
Not Higgins. I do this with my own hand.
Jack frowns, unsure what he means by this.
EXT. THE TENT - NIGHT
PADEEN stands, arms crossed at the closed tent-flap, keeping
at bay a crowd of well-wishers, and the merely curious.
INT. THE TENT - NIGHT
STEPHEN sits pale and sweaty, propped up on a series of
chests, his back against a coil of rope. In front of him,
suspended by pulleys, LAMB and NAGEL have set up a large
Beside him, on a white tablecloth, some small scissors and
[ ] You are sure you have a head and a
stomach for this kind of thing?
My dear Doctor, I have seen blood and
wounds since I was a little boy.
Then hold my belly, pressing firmly when
I give the word.
STEPHEN begins first with the knife, then the probe - the
grind of metal on living bone.
You will have to raise the rib, Higgins.
Take a good grip with the square
retractor. Up. Harder, harder.
Snip the cartilage.
The metallic clash of instruments, perpetual swabbing.
Now, Jack, a steady downward pressure.
Good. Keep it so. Give me the davier.
Swab, Higgins. Press, Jack, press.
JACK closes his eyes. STEPHEN draws in his breath, arches his
back, and it's done.
There she is.
He pulls out the bullet, and with it, a fragment of his
Is that all of it?
The bloody piece of shirt is handed to HIGGINS who matches it
to the hole in STEPHEN's old shirt.
Aye, she'll patch up nicely, sir.
Easy away, Jack. Handsomely with the
retractor. Higgins, look to the Captain,
while I swab.
HIGGINS helps JACK into a chair, pressing his head down
between his knees. After a moment, and a few deep breaths,
JACK looks up. STEPHEN smiles at him. A hint of surly
FADE TO BLACK
FADE UP ON -
235. STEPHEN'S TENT - DAY
Through a gap in the door of his tent STEPHEN can see the
distant ship at anchor. Repairs are underway, guns being
unloaded, stores and fresh water being ferried aboard.
BLAKENEY comes in, followed by PADEEN with a some numbered
boxes hung round his neck.
My goodness, what is this?
BLAKENEY starts rolling up the sides of the tent as PADEEN
unloads his boxes, each with a beetle and a piece of
vegetation in it.
Well sir, Padeen and I have been doing
some collecting for you. The beetles each
come with a specimen of plant they were
found on. Ooops. Catch him, Padeen! There
He finishes rolling up the tent sides to reveal a collection
of cages, with native wildfowl in them, being fed by the
poulterer, JEMMY DUCKS.
The birds were snared by Jemmy Ducks.
Captain says we can keep them in the
Then, producing a notebook -
And I made a few notes if you want to see
STEPHEN flips the pages:
No 22. Large square black beetle with pincers. Found under
rock. Eats earthworms.
'Pon my word you have the makings of a
BLAKENEY is flattered but unsure.
Well sir, perhaps I could combine them,
and be a kind of Fighting-Naturalist,
Stephen smiles at this description as he levers himself into
a sitting position.
Shall we take a tour of your aviary?
BLAKENEY looks doubtfully at the doctor's bandaged abdomen.
Should you really be up?
PADEEN puts the escaped beetle in his mouth for safe keeping
and offers STEPHEN a hand. STEPHEN pulls himself painfully to
his feet and starts buttoning his shirt.
How long does the Captain intend that we
stay here, do you know?
ON THE BEACH - DAY
JACK is watching those of the crew not on duty play cricket
on the shore, with a canvas ball and stumps made of
Oh, a week perhaps. There is no great
But surely, we must make haste for the
It may not have been the Acheron that we
sighted. Nor can we be sure of her
No, I think we shall go home now, before
peace breaks out with France, God forbid.
He's making light of what has been a huge and far-reaching
But how will it sit with the Admiralty?
To have spent six months in a fruitless
pursuit and then come home empty-handed?
"Empty-handed"? Not a bit of it. What
about these plants and animals which
Blakeney has been collecting? The British
museum will need an entire new wing for
STEPHEN regards him gravely, shaking his head.
I fear, Jack, you have burdened me with a
debt I can never repay.
He is absolutely sincere about this, to JACK's great
Tosh. Name a shrub after me. Something
prickly and hard to eradicate.
A shrub? I shall name a giant tortoise:
237. SURPRISE CAMP - DAWN
STEPHEN, BLAKENEY and PADEEN leave the camp on STEPHEN's
first day of exploration. They are armed with nets, baskets
and a day's supply of food and water.
STEPHEN walks slightly stooped, leaning on a walking stick.
238. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY
A strange and wonderful landscape lies before them, with its
organically-shaped lava flows and alien-looking flora and
Everywhere STEPHEN looks there are creatures unique to the
islands. He is in his element, collecting specimens which
PADEEN carefully stores in the baskets.
BLAKENEY has his telescope trained on some distant humps.
Doctor, would you think it very
unscientific of me to ride on the back of
one of those tortoises.
No, Mr. Blakeney. I would think it an
experiment of absolutely vital
importance. But afterwards, I do desire
to find that flightless cormorant,
assuming that is what it is, and that I
still have strength enough to catch it.
239. A VALLEY - DAY
BLAKENEY gets astride a giant tortoise and burns his bottom
on its scorching hot shell.
240. LAVA BEDS - DAY
STEPHEN with his telescope taking notes on bird-life.
241. LOW SCRUB - DAY
The huge, strangely balletic figure of PADEEN chasing after a
butterfly in evening light.
242. A HEADLAND - DAY
Wide to see another aspect of the countryside - a hint of
distant sea, a rocky headland rising from the plain.
The group is widely scattered. STEPHEN at the base of the
headland, BLAKENEY half a mile further inland. PADEEN coming
up slowly behind, laden with the fruits of their expedition.
243. BASE OF THE HEADLAND - DAY
STEPHEN rests a moment. Some stones rattle down from the
hillside. He looks up to see a flash of black feathers near
the crest - the cormorant.
On his shirt a red smudge has appeared. His wound has begun
to bleed again.
Ignoring this, Stephen pushes on after his quarry.
244. THE ROCKY SLOPE
Near the top, STEPHEN pauses to catch his breath and glances
Again the bird, moving higher, as if leading him on.
STEPHEN gets down on all fours, crawling cautiously to the
crest just above him.
245. TOP OF THE HEADLAND
A clearing. There is movement in the bushes.
STEPHEN slowly rises, climbs the few paces to the hilltop and
enters a clearing.
He searches amongst the bushes. Nothing.
He turns and looks back down the hillside to see BLAKENEY and
PADEEN far below, then sits to get his breath back again.
STEPHEN'S P.O.V: on the ground between his feet, a beetle. He
picks it up.
Close, on his hand. It is the same type of beetle BLAKENEY
gave him aboard the Surprise.
Smiling at the coincidence STEPHEN raises the tiny creature
to eye level.
His P.O.V.: the beetle, the creature in sharp focus, behind
it the sea, and on the sea, a black shape.
The focus shifts to the background - a ship at anchor in a
The beetle flies away as STEPHEN stares out at the ship. It's
the Acheron, and they are weighing anchor.
246. COUNTRYSIDE - DUSK
BLAKENEY urging STEPHEN to hurry as they make their way
through the darkening landscape. All kinds of creatures are
appearing around them, and every few yards STEPHEN pauses to
Sir, you must hurry!
A moment! You're a worse tyrant than any
He's breathing hard, exhausted.
You must carry him, Padeen!
PADEEN looks at the collection of baskets he carries.
Leave them! We must get back to the ship.
STEPHEN raises his hand in protest, but BLAKENEY is already
divesting PADEEN of his load.
247. COUNTRYSIDE - LAST LIGHT
PADEEN carrying STEPHEN 'piggy-back', BLAKENEY out ahead
urging them on.
247a THE DISCARDED COLLECTING BOXES
A variety of small bugs and animals crawling free
248 STEPHEN'S CABIN - NIGHT
STEPHEN gingerly lowers himself into his 'elbow-chair',
gripping the table and BLAKENEY's good arm for support.
Sighing, he begins emptying his pockets of various small
items collected during the day - some leaves, rocks and
insects - and places them in ordered piles around his
All about them can be heard the urgent sounds of departure -
the anchor rattling up, shouted orders and the drumming of
bare feet on the deck above.
He holds up a stick in a specimen-jar, and is examining it
with his magnifying glass when JACK enters.
I forgot to ask you - did you see your
STEPHEN's eye grossly enlarged through the lens.
I did not. My greatest discovery was your
Indeed it was, I'm sorry...
(waving the magnifying glass)
Not a bit of it. William and I made a
Handing JACK the jar and magnifying glass.
Tell him, Mr. Blakeney.
It's a rare phasmid, Sir.
JACK inspects the stick. It winks at him.
It's an insect disguised as a stick.
JACK stares at the creature.
In order to confuse a predator.
JACK looks up at STEPHEN.
249. BAY, GALAPAGOS - NIGHT
The Surprise alive with crewmen on the deck and in the
rigging. Shouts and commands drift across the water as she
turns and heads out from the bay.
249a GANGWAY - SAME TIME
JACK strides along the quarterdeck towards the forecastle
issuing a stream of orders -
Mr. Hollar, rouse up all the yellow paint
we have. I want six men with brushes
slung over the side.
JACK hands him a piece of paper with a sketch on it.
Get your sail makers working on this.
Sixty yards by five yards with an eyelet
every seven feet.
He shouts to HOGG who, with a few men, is manhandling a large
metal cauldron from the ballast to the gun-deck.
Have Nagel patch it up and light a fire
Once we're underway, replace some of the
sails with the oldest, most patched set
They'll be in the afterhold, Sir. I'll
need some men to move all the clutter.
Good. Spread it around the foredeck. The
more mess the better.
249B. SIDE OF THE SHIP,. NIGHT
The ship powers ahead as men swing in harnesses above the
racing water, painting out the Nelson chequer.
249C. ON DECK. NIGHT
NAGEL positions the great cauldron amidships as men come up
from below with old barrels and bits of rope.
On the gangway, Men under CALAMY's instructions haul on
ropes, pulling up the old patched sails.
The sails lead us up to
250. CROSSTREES - NIGHT
JACK, PULLINGS and the whaler HOGG scan the dark horizon.
There, Sir. A mainmast toplight.
JACK has to use a telescope.
You've got good eyes, Hogg.
Shouts down to the helm -
Mr. Bonden, set a course west-south-west.
We'll drop below the horizon and come up
on the other side of him, let him think
he's seen us first.
251. SURPRISE - DAWN
First light reveals the results of an overnight
transformation - from a naval warship to a shambolic-looking
The gunwales are painted an untidy ochre and the gun-ports
hidden behind broad strips of canvas.
The sails are patched and ragged, the forecastle cluttered
with barrels. Smoke billows from a cauldron amidships.
On deck and in the rigging, there's a quarter of the normal
complement of men, all of them dressed in purser's slops.
252. QUARTERDECK - DAWN
A bemused STEPHEN looks about him as he approaches JACK.
I see. A wolf in sheep in sheep's
A phasmid, doctor. It was you what gave
me the idea.
I'm not sure a phasmid can be a predator.
No? Well this one is.
253. BERTH DECK - DAWN
HOWARD and his marines change out of their smart uniforms,
into the oldest most ragged clothes on board the ship, much
to the amusement of the passing sailors.
CREW MEN AD LIB
Very fancy. Blue to match your eyes. Is
there a skirt comes with it?
254. GUN-DECK - DAWN
Men are checking the breechings of the great guns and
chipping cannonballs to make them more perfectly spherical,
The armourer is at his grindstone sending out showers of
sparks, a group of seamen round him relaying one another at
the crank, stacking newly honed cutlasses and boarding axes
at their feet.
Another team check and load pistols by the score.
254. MIDSHIPMEN'S QUARTERS - DAWN
Alone, BLAKENEY awkwardly draws his dirk, left-handed from
its scabbard. It glints momentarily in the lamp-light.
CALAMY enters, face aglow, abruptly trying to cover his joy
when he sees BLAKENEY.
BLAKENEY [ ]
It's all right. Permission to boast.
You're to lead the boarders from the
You'll make lieutenant out of this.
The others come in.
He already has. 'Acting' 3rd Lieutenant
Oohs and aahs from all.
Then I'll see you at the forecastle,
That's not your station.
BLAKENEY looks from CALAMY to the others, who avoid his eye.
But naturally I'll board with you?
I'm sorry, Will. Captain's orders.
BLAKENEY is devastated.
Rye bursts in, in a state of high excitement.
She's seen us!
256. QUARTERDECK - DAWN
JACK raises his glass, focuses on the Acheron, plainly
visible in the distance, with a line of signal flags running
up her backstay.
She's asking us to heave to. Shall I give
No, make a show of fleeing upwind, but
panicky and disorganized, like a whaler
Allen smiles at this unintended slight
No offence, Mr. Hogg.
257. WIDE ON THE SHIPS - DAY
A show of chaos on deck as the Surprise veers upwind, away
from the Acheron. As she presents her stern we see her new
258. QUARTERDECK OF THE SURPRISE - DAY
Through his telescope, JACK looks back at the Acheron in
pursuit, a dark figure on her foredeck.
Run up Portuguese colours.
(then down to the gun-deck)
Load, Mr. Pullings. Triple shot 'em.
BLAKENEY comes onto the quarterdeck and salutes, looking
flushed and angry.
May I speak with you, Sir.
No saluting, Mr. Blakeney, we're whalers
Mr. Calamy says I am not in the boarding
party, I wanted to say -
I know what you want to say and my answer
is no. I promised your mother I would
return you in one piece and I have
already failed her on that score. You
will command a gun and then retire to
defend the quarterdeck here with Dr.
But sir -
JACK (cutting in)
Go to your station, Mr. Blakeney.
BLAKENEY begins to salute, doesn't, and retires, tears
burning his eyes.
A moment later there's a flash of orange astern as the
Acheron opens up with her bow-chasers. An 18 pound shot
screams past the side of the Surprise to land with a column
of spray just off their bows.
Good shooting. Remind me to press her bow
gunner, Mr. Pullings.
The second ball takes down some rigging.
Start the water and throw some barrels
He goes below.
259. WAIST - DAY
Barrels go overboard and pumps spout streams of water over
the side as JACK runs down to
260. THE GUN-DECK
The great majority of men are gathered here, more than a
hundred of them crammed together with their muskets and
sabres, listening to the odd thump from topsides as another
ball from the Acheron hits home.
CALAMY and his gang of young tykes are squashed in there
somewhere, BOYLE, WILLIAMS, ADDISON and the rest, eyes
shining with nervousness and wild anticipation, as JACK
addresses his men, who shout encouragement, ad lib, in every
(plus the men ad lib)
We're a long way from home. (Right you
are, Captain!) A long way from anywhere,
(Too true!) But if Britain rules the
waves she rules these waves too. (Right
she does!) And the blow we shall deal for
his Majesty here will be felt just as
keenly (I'll say it will) aye - and
cheered just as loudly ('specially by the
wimmin!) - as any dealt at Trafalgar or
Cape St. Vincent.
The camera moves over the upturned faces, PLAICE, NAGEL,
DOUDLE, KILLICK, the midshipmen, the powder-monkeys, the
whole fellowship of the ship. And finally STEPHEN watching
JACK doing what he does best: transmitting his own
fearlessness into other men - the total warrior, the
I don't say it will be easy. She's twice
the men we have and they'll sell their
lives dearly. But every man here is worth
three of Boney's privateers, and I know
there's not a faint heart among you.
CALAMY pipes up -
Three cheers for the Captain.
Huzzah huzzah huzzah!
On CALAMY, cheering like a kid at a football match as...
261. QUARTERDECK - DAY
Another well-placed shot from the Acheron smashes through the
rigging, sending down a shower of rope and cordage.
JACK is back at his station by the wheel, the Acheron little
more than a half a mile astern, the figure of the captain in
his black coat clearly visible.
JACK studies the looming black vessel, then turns and crosses
to BONDEN at the helm. BONDEN nods, lifting his hands from
the wheel as JACK grips the curved timber decisively, taking
He feels the pulse of the ship through his fingers, looks up
to the sails then back to the Acheron. STEPHEN appears beside
him, casually smoking a cigar. He offers one to Jack, who
Another shot pierces the mizzen foresail above them, but
neither man flinches. KILLICK appears with two cups of
coffee, and in his belt a brace of pistols.
I took the liberty, Doctor.
[ ] Thank you, Killick.
JACK steers one-handed as he sips his coffee.
Mr. Mowett? [ ] A poem might be in
Another shot through the sails.
A poem, Sir?
(after a moment's reflection)
'Oh were it mine with sacred Maro's art,
To wake to sympathy the feeling heart,
A ball goes howling past the ship, MOWETT winces.
Then might I, with unrivalled strains,
Th'impervious horrors of a leeward
JACK smiles, nods.
'Transfixed with terror at th'approaching
...they were only people of the merchant
service, of-course, Sir.
262. P.O.V. ACHERON
She's now less than five hundred yards from their stern, and
JACK turns back to MOWETT.
We have her Mr. Mowett. Strike the
Portuguese colours and run up the Jack...
Mr. Pullings. Canvas off the gun-ports,
and run 'em out. Mr. Howard? Marines away
The British Jack rises to the masthead replacing the
Portuguese colours, as PULLINGS descends to the gun-deck.
264. SHIP'S SIDE -
The black muzzles appear with a low rumbling sound, as
JACK, with a wink to MOWETT, yells at the top of his voice
Helm's a lee!
....and spins the wheel hard to starboard.
266. THE SURPRISE
Wide, to see her swinging broadside on, across the path of
the oncoming Acheron.
267. POV ACHERON DAY
Confused shouts from the enemy's deck, chaos on her
forecastle, somewhere a drum beating.
268 + 269. DELETED
270. THE SURPRISE QUARTERDECK - DAY
JACK hands the wheel to BONDEN.
Run us down her larboard side then cut
across her wake!
(shouts down to the gun deck)
Hold fire Mr Pullings! Hold till we're
271. - THE SURPRISE AND THE ACHERON
Wide, to see the Surprise turning downwind, back towards the
Acheron, so they will pass broadside to broadside [ ] no
more than thirty yards apart.
272. QUARTERDECK/ GUN-DECK, SURPRISE
Through a furious exchange of musket fire JACK runs down the
ladder to the gun-deck-
Fire as she bears! Every gun to
concentrate on her mainmast!
Through the gunports the Acheron's great hull becomes
visible. Some of the Acheron's guns have run out, but the
crews are unprepared and disorganized.
On the uproll! Fire for the mainmast as
you sight her!
As the Surprise rolls and the upper deck of the Acheron
273. THE SURPRISE GUNS
Barking, leaping back one by one, great tongues of flame
spitting from their barrels, dense clouds of smoke rising.
274. VIEW OF THE ACHERON
With an almighty splitting sound their mainmast falls,
dragging yards and rigging with it, the whole mass falling
over their side, obscuring many of their gun-ports.
275. GUNDECK/QUARTERDECK, SURPRISE -
Cheers from the crew. Jack yelling up the companionway
Now Mr Bonden! Hard a'starboard!
276. THE SURPRISE AND THE ACHERON
The Acheron wallows, bought to a standstill by the enormous
dragging weight of their mainmast.
BONDEN wheels the ship across the enemy's wake, past the
exposed, vulnerable stern.
277A. GUNDECK, SURPRISE
Fire at will!
278. GUN-DECK, SURPRISE
In random sequence the Surprise's gunners pound it into the
Acheron's stern. Casement windows vanish in a cloud of wood
and glass, exposing the Acheron's terrified gun-crews, now
open to devastating fire as the Surprise glides past.
JACK climbs up on the gunwales, shouting to BONDEN -
Lay me alongside!
280. THE SURPRISE AND THE ACHERON
The bow of the Surprise lurches into the Acheron mid-ships,
spars interlocking, the Surprise guns firing into her at
The crew throw grappling hooks.
And he leaps to the enemy deck, a great tide of men following
CALAMY leads his own children's crusade from the bows and
forecastle: youthful but terrifying, screaming and swinging
An agonized BLAKENEY watches from where he stands beside
STEPHEN. JOE PLAICE is close by with some of the older men,
ready to ferry the wounded below.
284. ON THE ACHERON
As the Surprises pour onto the quarterdeck they face
withering fire from the enemy. A dozen men go down, some of
them fatally wounded. Among them are DOUDLE, BOYLE, ALLEN and
HORNER in quick succession.
The attack momentarily falters, and the Acherons surge back
JACK rallies his men and they charge again - the marine,
TROLLOPE, and NAGEL are blown backwards by grapeshot.
LAMB, enraged, surges past NAGEL's body, swinging his axe to
devastating effect, with HOLLAR by his side and JEMMY DUCKS
protecting their rear, a pistol in each hand, firing from the
JACK keeps pushing onwards, the centre of the milling,
swirling, hacking crowd, stabbing and pistolling each other
with barely room to fall.
The Acherons are gradually forced back across their
quarterdeck and down into the waist of the ship.
285. WAIST OF THE ACHERON
JACK crosses swords with a man in front of him, as an enemy
pikeman drives his blade into his left arm, tearing through
the sleeve. BONDEN fires a pistol by his ear, deafening JACK
and killing the pikeman.
To either side, privateers are trying to reach them,
shouting, swearing in English, French and Spanish.
Bullets and missiles rain down from above, killing friend and
KILLICK is in the thick of it, a pistol in either hand, and
from his lips a high-pitched blood-curdling scream.
AWKWARD DAVIES is foaming at the mouth as he swings a meat-
cleaver right and left.
286. QUARTERDECK, ACHERON
A commander of the privateers notes the poorly defended
Surprise, and leads a counter-attack over onto her
Look to our quarter-deck!
287. QUARTERDECK, SURPRISE
BLAKENEY, dirk in hand, turns to face them, as does HOWARD
and his men, but they are gravely outnumbered.
288. FORECASTLE, ACHERON
CALAMY sees the danger and leads his gang back onto the
Surprise, calling for others to follow.
This way! Follow me!
289. QUARTERDECK, SURPRISE
STEPHEN, PADEEN and JOE PLAICE appear from below. STEPHEN
picks up a pistol and with deadly accuracy shoots a privateer
lunging at CAPTAIN HOWARD. The man drops, a neat hole in his
forehead. A moment's astonishment from HOWARD at the Doctor's
CALAMY fights his way to BLAKENEY who is down on his knees
stabbing at the legs of the attackers.
290. WAIST, ACHERON
JACK, BONDEN and DAVIES are driving a wedge toward the stern,
the defenders falling back in disarray.
291. QUARTERDECK OF THE ACHERON
PULLINGS and MOWETT fight side-by-side.
A swivel-gun mounted on the taff-rail is swung to face them.
The gunner is about to fire when a perfectly-aimed musket
ball hits him, again fired by STEPHEN.
292. QUARTERDECK, SURPRISE/ACHERON
CALAMY, BLAKENEY and their group force the counter-attack
back onto the deck of the Acheron. The two boys fight as a
team as they move toward the stern.
292. SIDE OF THE ACHERON
Some Acherons jump overboard to escape the furious attack.
Others are thrown, grasping at woodwork as they fall.
293. QUARTERDECK OF THE ACHERON
JEMMY DUCKS turns the swivel on a group of Acherons, the
grapeshot blasting them up against the gunwale.
294. IN THE WATER
Oil burns. Men drown, others struggle to stay afloat,
clinging to the mass of wreckage floating by the hull.
295. WAIST OF THE SHIP
Cheering from the Surprises, demands to surrender in many
languages, some beg for mercy, others fight on.
296. BELOW DECKS
JACK moves alone, down to the berth deck. He smashes the
chain off a locked-door, releasing a dozen or more prisoners.
Everywhere signs of the lethal blast through the ship's
stern, bodies, guns upended, shattered timbers.
He makes his way through to the Great Cabin.
297. GREAT CABIN, ACHERON
Four privateers look up as JACK bursts in.
They have been looting their own ship's valuables, two of
them are too drunk to be scared.
Where is your captain? Ou est votre
One man leaps out through the shattered windows. A couple of
others raise their hands and start jabbering in French and
298. QUARTERDECK, ACHERON
It's all over for the Acherons as a French officer hauls down
A cheer from the Surprises - a few last shots fired. CALAMY
and BLAKENEY cheering, BLAKENEY holding aloft the captured
A dying Frenchman suddenly lunges at CALAMY with a sabre.
BLAKENEY steps in front of him and takes the blow.
299. IN THE SICK-BERTH, ACHERON
A doctor is working here, a callow-faced man in a bloody
apron, red-eyed from fatigue.
JACK enters, a fearsome sight, with his singed yellow hair
and blood-stained cutlass.
Le Capitaine? Where is he?
The doctor points at a body on the operating table.
JACK approaches, looks down at the dead man. He's [ ]
somewhere about JACK's age, fine-featured, with his black
coat draped over his body.
Il mávait prie de vous donner ceci.
Passing JACK the captain's sword.
300. QUARTERDECK, ACHERON
JACK picks his way through the dead and wounded to where
CALAMY sits nursing BLAKENEY.
He's dead, sir.
Gently, JACK picks up the lifeless body and walks slowly back
down the quarterdeck, the boy draped across his arms.
Friend and foe part silently in front of him as he crosses
the gangway to...
301. QUARTERDECK, SURPRISE
...then with CALAMY following, he goes below.
302. THE GREAT CABIN - DAY
JACK in wide shot, sitting alone on the bench running under
the stern windows. His hunched posture and red tear-stained
eyes give a glimpse of his familiar post-battle mood - a mix
of grief and depression, the old question, "Was it worth the
FADE TO BLACK
FADE UP ON -
303. ACHERON AND SURPRISE - DAWN
The two ships anchored close together on the ocean.
304. QUARTERDECK, SURPRISE - DAWN
As eight bells are rung for the change of watch we see a row
of canvas hammocks each containing the body of a fallen
DAVIES and PLAICE stitch the bodies into their hammocks,
BLAKENEY the last body in the line. As the men approach -
I'll do it.
JOE passes him the needle and twine, then they leave him
As CALAMY sews up the hammock, HOLLAR's voice is heard
distinctly from below.
Rise and shine, show a leg there. Tumble
up! Tumble up!
In close-up: the peaceful face of BLAKENEY
HOLLAR (O.S.) (CONT'D)
...as CALAMY's hands stitch the canvas closed.
305. WIDE ON THE SURPRISE - DAWN
The small figures of the crew assembled on the quarterdeck.
JACK's voice drifting across the water.
John Henry ALLEN...
Stephen Winston Boyle...
and Lieutenant William Blakeney
We therefore commit their bodies to the
deep, looking for the resurrection of the
body, when the sea shall give up her
The bodies in their weighted hammocks slide into the sea.
306. BOW OF THE SURPRISE - DAY
Wide on STEPHEN and BLAKENEY as they sit watching two
dolphins surfing the bow-wave, STEPHEN pointing out various
features of these magnificent creatures, doing his best to
take the boy's mind off the loss of his friend.
307. THE SURPRISE AND THE ACHERON - DAY
The two ships sail abreast - the Acheron, her shattered masts
308. QUARTERDECK, SURPRISE - DAY
JACK stands with LIEUTENANT MOWETT and the signals
midshipman, WILLIAMSON. They look across at the Acheron.
Signal... 'Parole prisoners
You mean Lieutenant Pullings, Sir?
No. Captain Pullings.
WILLIAMSON hurries to the signals locker, the signal book and
JACK's message in his hand.
309. TELESCOPE POV DAY
The line of colored signal-flags run up to the mast-head of
309A QUARTERDECK ACHERON
Midshipman Rye is reading the signal for Pullings
....then 'Rendezvous Portsmouth. God-
speed, Captain Pullings.'
A contented smile on Pullings face as his promotion is
confirmed. He waves across to JACK as the Acheron makes a
sharp turn away from the Surprise.
311. ABOUT THE SHIP - DUSK
Slowly the crew come back to life as old familiar habits and
routines reassert themselves.
· Acting First Lieutenant MOWETT walks the quarterdeck
composing a poem in memory of the battle.
· JOE PLAICE tells a story of witchcraft and haunted ships to
a small attentive audience.
· While AWKWARD DAVIES works further on the tattoo about
BECKETT's waist. The chain begun off BRAZIL now winds its way
around most of his torso.
· BLAKENEY and JEMMY DUCKS are feeding the assorted creatures
collected at the Galapagos, as...
· BONDEN reads his first book, 'Diseases of Seamen' by
Stephen Maturin, his brow furrowed, his lips moving silently.
· While the powder-monkeys skylark in the rigging
313. INTERIOR, GREAT CABIN - NIGHT
STEPHEN plays a note on his cello [ ]
Shall we begin?
JACK pauses, gazing into space.
Jack, brother, you're gathering wool.
Thinking about their captain. A great
seaman, whatever you may say of him. The
doctor said he was killed by our first
broadside. I'd have liked to talk to him,
face to face.
Maybe you did.
While I was tending the prisoners they
told me their doctor died of fever, two
weeks ago. There was no doctor on that
ship when we boarded it. And I doubt you
will find one there now.
JACK goes very still. A silence broken only by the sound of
water flowing gently past the hull.
He looks down at the captain's sword on the table, the
thought of a possible final deception flooding through him.
He starts to play, the deep booming sound of the cello
carrying through to ....
312. OUTSIDE THE GREAT CABIN - NIGHT
KILLICK, wearing an ostentatious bandage about his head, is
preparing toasted cheese with BLACK BILL.
That's the last of the cheese and like as
not they'll leave it seizing to their
plates with their tweedly tweedly
Killick? KILLICK THERE!
Which it will be ready when it's ready!
In the cabin, the violin joins with the cello. Rolling,
undeniable music, the music of the waves, resonating through
the great ship and filling the night. Stephens mind is far
away. Jack breaks off abruptly:
You're still missing your cormorant...
flightless eh...well then. It will still
be there when we come back
And he breaks into a merry jig
313. SURPRISE, EXTERIOR - NIGHT
Wide, to see the stern of the ship and a patch of surrounding
water lit by the great stern lantern. Through the casement
windows the two men can be seen playing.
Wider, to the vast dark sky and the heaving ocean all around,
with the stern cabin, a tiny orange light, still faintly
visible in the darkness.
314. FURTHER BACK
And further still. Until we see the curve of the earth, and
the planet spinning on its journey through space.