(As a modular spaceship glides through space, a young man and woman kiss.)
TANYA: Come on.
(A familiar brown-haired woman is standing beside a tent in a desert.)
BROWN: I can't stay here. I've got to go.
(The morose man in the tent does not answer.)
BROWN: I'm going.
(A white-faced conjurer in top hat and cape produces a playing card for a man, and his audience applauds.)
(And produces a ball from another man's ear.)
CONJURER: What have we here?
(Three coloured handkerchiefs fastened together are pulled from a top pocket.)
CONJURER: Now, my friends, something that could mean a great deal to you
for your future. Hey presto! (a metal circuit board or similar) Who will find one of
these for me, eh? You?
(He offers a pocket mirror to Tanya.)
CONJURER: It could be yours. Who will come with me this
(The villagers all leave except for the young man and woman.)
CONJURER: No takers? (to Tanya) Ah, you'll come with me, won't you? You want
what I offer.
CONJURER: (to the man) Ah, ah, ah, ah. She's made her choice, of her own free will. Leave her.
(The conjurer plays his penny whistle and the young woman follows him.)
BROWN [OC]: I've got to go.
(Miss Brown puts her half-eaten sandwich in her pocket and enters the
garden of a large house, full of spring flowers. She smiles. There is a
party going on.)
MAN: Well, are you all enjoying yourself? Enough champagne?
MAN 2: Admiring your flowers.
MAN: You couldn't have picked a better time of year to see them. I mean, look. What the?
(Miss Brown walks up to them.)
MAN: Ah, hello. I say. Now, we'll have to get you some proper clothes.
MAN 2: And prepare a room. (gives her a glass of champagne.)
MAN: Yes, thank you. Let's see now. What can we find for you in here?
OLD MAN: Your move.
young man stamps his foot to attract the attention of two older men in
rough sackcloth clothing who are playing some kind of board game, then starts communicating by gestures.)
OLD MAN: We know, Dane. We can do nothing for her. She's made her own choice.
INTERPRETER: He's prepared for your reply. He wishes for a guide into the wilderness.
OLD MAN: Why?
INTERPRETER: He wants to challenge the illusionist. He says he will try to enlist the help of the man who appeared.
OLD MAN: The man who appeared is not one of us. He lives in the
wilderness because he wishes to be alone. Although he has certain
skills, he wishes no contact with us. We can give you no help in this
enterprise. [OC] This stranger has been an unknown factor too long.
(aloud) But we cannot stop you.
(The young man knocks over their board, makes a rude gesture, and runs off. He gets a sketch of Tanya from another man.)
[Outside a ruined building]
(Various people are searching through rubble.)
CONJURER: This is it, Tanya. This is where you must search. Find the
little things I want, the mechanisms I've lost. They are as I've
described them to you. The work is hard. You will either earn merit or
you will not. Tanya, find me just one part, and you will have your
all that you desire. Take it. (a mirror) When you have something for me,
you'll find me.
(The conjurer leaves. Tanya goes to another one of the searchers.)
TANYA: Can you help me? I don't know what I'm supposed to do.
(But the man just turns away.)
(In the wilderness, Dane arrives near the man's tent, where he is whittling staves, and collapses.)
has started digging in the rubble for whatever she is meant to be
looking for, when she notices a woman throw down her mirror and run off.
The conjurer notices too.)
(The man gives Dane his cloth satchel back.)
STRANGER: Food and drink. Go home.
(Dane drops the satchel and puts his hands in his pockets.)
(Miss Brown emerges in a sleek little black dress and high heels, and her host drapes a fur jacket over her shoulders.)
CONJURER [OC]: One has escaped.
MAN: Ladies and gentlemen, a chase!
(The party heads off through the grounds in pursuit of the escaping
woman. The host is hiding around a corner and trips her up by a garden
MAN: Well done. But we have to work for our privileges.
(The rest of the party-goers arrive to laugh at her. Then the man shoots her, twice.)
STRANGER: Listen, I don't know who you are, but you are disturbing my
contemplation. I no longer have any interest in human affairs, do you
understand? I'm a pilgrim. I ask nothing of the people of this planet
and I give nothing back.
(Dane gestures that he is deaf.)
STRANGER: You don't understand, do you. You can't hear and you can't
speak. And yet you're here, so far from anywhere. You're going
somewhere. You're on a journey. And the people of your village don't
approve, otherwise they'd have sent someone with you? You're looking for
something. You have a mission. No, it's me. You're looking for me.
(Dane grins) You need my help. No. Whatever you've heard about me, it's
not true, not any more. I, I, I misunderstood the nature of the universe.
(Dane shows him the picture of Tanya.)
STRANGER: Very nice. Who is she? A friend of yours. A very good friend.
(Dane drops the picture.)
STRANGER: And yet she's not with you. Now why not.
[Country House grounds]
(The party goers are picnicking beneath a tree. Miss Brown stands apart.)
MAN: Ah. Oh, you seem upset.
BROWN: Upset? Of course I'm upset. You just killed that girl.
MAN: She was a criminal.You have to earn privilege. You do get upset by
the smallest things. Still, I'm sure you'll come to understand us in
BROWN: No. I have to go.
MAN: I don't think there can be any question of that.
BROWN: Why not?
MAN: It'll soon be dark. We can't possibly let you go wandering off
alone, not while we've room for you here. Besides, I very rarely have
the company of one so
(Miss Brown ducks away and runs.)
(Night is falling.)
STRANGER: Now I'm alone. I had to send her away. This was no life for
her. I have to endure me, she has a choice. You see, I'm not a hero. I
make mistakes, and people die. You don't want my help.
(The Stranger walks away from the camp fire, and paces.)
MAN: You're not still angry with me, are you?
BROWN: You really have no idea, do you.
MAN: I'm sure our little customs will seem strange to you at first. These people have been through a lot, you see.
BROWN: You make me wish I'd stayed with
MAN: With whom?
BROWN: Oh, a friend.
MAN: And why did you leave your friend?
BROWN: Our lifestyles didn't agree.
MAN: What about our lifestyle? How do you like that? It can be
difficult, you know, seeing the same faces all of the time. Even with
all these people about me, I still feel somehow alone. Do you ever feel
CONJURER [OC]: This approach is insufficient.
MAN: If you'll excuse me, I'll retire now. You know where I am if you should need me.
(The Stranger stands by the sleeping Dane until he wakes next morning.)
STRANGER: Come on, then. Show me where she is.
CONTROLLER: (sounds like Davros) How long? Useless. Useless. Useless!
(It crushes a circuit board in its claw.)
[Near the dig site]
STRANGER: Your friend, in there?
(Someone points a gun at their backs.)
STRANGER: Right. The question is, how do we get in?
CONJURER: The gate is always open for those going in.
STRANGER: I've been looking for you.
CONJURER: And I you.
(He shoots Dane and wounds the Stranger, then drags him away after he collapses.
Tanya and a young man fight over a piece of tech. He tries to strangle
her and she hits him with a rock, then grabs the tech and runs.)
(The Stranger awakes.)
CONTROLLER: I surprise you?
STRANGER: Not really. That clown with the gun. Robot?
CONTROLLER: He is a part of me. An aspect of my mind.
STRANGER: And I suppose there are others. Other puppets.
CONTROLLER: Yes. Do not be deceived by his appearance.
STRANGER: Must weaken you, splitting yourself apart.
CONTROLLER: And do not be deceived by mine. You are an alien to this world.
STRANGER: Yes. And you are stranded here.
CONTROLLER: Never search for answers in a place where you will not find them.
STRANGER: You're using these people to try and find a means of escape.
CONTROLLER: You come from an advanced culture.
STRANGER: And you think I might have the technical skills to help you.
CONTROLLER: I may have the answers which you seek. My ship is in orbit.
It can wait forever. I cannot. My shuttle was destroyed on impact.
(Dane is there, apparently healthy. The Stranger holds out the sketch of Tanya.)
STRANGER: Where is she?
(The Stranger holds Dane back. Tanya hands over the piece of tech she found.)
CONTROLLER: Good. You are so lucky.
STRANGER: What's wrong with her?
CONTROLLER: The work is soul-destroying. Literally. They come to realise you can trust and care for nothing but yourself.
STRANGER: You control their minds.
CONJURER: I allow them to realise their desires.
CONTROLLER: And for that privilege they pay. These two can no longer
interact. She believes she has earned superior status because I allow that belief.
(The Controller leads Tanya away. The Stranger gives Dane the sketch back and goes to the Conjurer.)
STRANGER: What do you offer these people?
CONJURER: I give them clothes, trinkets, nothing of value. It's all an
illusion. I create within their minds the belief that they're entitled
to certain things, so these things become real.
STRANGER: So long as you are here to sustain them.
CONJURER: Mmm. There are things you want.
STRANGER: I want nothing from you. You will free these people.
(The Conjurer holds out a fan of playing cards.)
STRANGER: And your cheap tricks have no effect on me.
(He takes a card. It has an image of Miss Brown on it. The Conjurer
laughs. The Controller has taken Tanya to the gates of the Country
STRANGER: Where is she?
CONTROLLER: I could have her killed instantly.
STRANGER: Ah, but you won't.
CONTROLLER: No. Because you will help me.
STRANGER: Show me. Transporter. A little crude, but most of it's there. It won't work.
CONTROLLER: I know it won't work. Make it work.
STRANGER: And you will free these people?
CONTROLLER: Mmm hmm.
STRANGER: All of them.
CONTROLLER: When I leave, I will have no need of them. Start now.
It's no use coveting a Louis Quinze. You've nowhere to put it. I mean,
ridiculous. Ah, hello. Welcome. Well now, we'll have to prepare you a
TANYA: I'm not sure I really want to be here.
BROWN: You and me both.
MAN: Careful. You have taken a big step. You'll learn to adjust, or you won't.
(Working by oil lamp.)
STRANGER: Ah ha.
CONTROLLER: How long?
STRANGER: Well, it's hard to say. This is burnt out, I'll have to bypass that
CONTROLLER: How long!
STRANGER: It's hard to say.
CONTROLLER: You have the ability to complete it now. You are stalling me.
STRANGER: How can I be sure you'll keep your side?
CONTROLLER: The only thing you can be sure of is that I will kill your friend unless you finish the work now.
(Dane fingers a piece of tech.)
(Tanya emerges in a yellow dress, with her hair up.)
MAN 2: Very nice.
(Miss Brown takes her to one side.)
BROWN: Look, were you serious about wanting to get away from here?
TANYA: I don't know. It's not like I expected. I thought I'd be happier, somehow.
BROWN: There's something going on here. I don't know what it is, but they kill people.
BROWN: I don't know why. But I'm getting out of here, and if you've got any sense
(She sees the man marching away.)
BROWN: I wonder where he's going?
TANYA: The tip.
BROWN: Is that where you came from?
TANYA: That's where Dane is. And the man who appeared.
BROWN: Look, I'm going. Are you coming?
TANYA: I don't know.
BROWN: Come on.
(Sounds of humming and beeping.)
CONTROLLER: You have finished?
STRANGER: Yes. You must dissolve your illusions first.
CONTROLLER: I cannot do that until I am whole.
(The Stranger lets him sit in the chair. As he screams, the old man, the
man at the country house and the conjurer merge into him. He laughs,
then taps at a keyboard.)
STRANGER: We had a deal.
CONTROLLER: Which I choose not to honour.
(He crushes the Stranger's wrist.)
STRANGER: But if you leave without removing your influence, you'll burn out their minds. You'll kill them all!
CONTROLLER: When I activate, the area around me will become highly
charged. Stand back if you value your own life, because I do not.
(The Controller teleports away. But when the beam reaches the spaceship,
it explodes. The Controller's body returns, and dissolves.)
STRANGER: I don't understand. That machine was perfect.
(Dane is toying with a piece of tech. The Stranger gestures for him to leave.)
Country House and its gardens disappear. Miss Brown and Tanya are back
in their normal clothes as they arrive where the Stranger and Dane are
standing. Tanya and Dane embrace and leave, then the Stranger and Miss
STRANGER: I think I'm ready to go back now, if you'll come with me.
BROWN: No more contemplation?
BROWN: No more shutting yourself away from the universe?
STRANGER: It's not really me.
BROWN: I could have told you that.