Draft script for HH4, Episode 2: Gold Fever
by Nereus

Part the second (and last I'm afraid) of the New Adventures!
Same disclaimers as before

Warning: Someone dies (it's an HH series, *of course* someone dies!)

 

Episode Two - Gold Fever

[Opening shots of Pellew being rowed out to the Atropos and getting
a full Admiral's welcome. The entire crew are present. Pellew
accompanies Hornblower to the Captain's quarters below decks]

Pellew: Good gad, man is this space all you get?

Hornblower: It is standard on a fifth-rated ship, sir.

Pellew: Well, yes, but this is *you* we're talking about. I'll
just have to get you promoted again double quick. Which brings us
nicely to this week's storyline. Some time ago a ship containing a
number of British navy pay chests sank off the coast of Turkey.
Since the navy's only competent captain - me- was needed elsewhere,
there was no effort made to recover them at the time. However we've
now decided to make another effort to recover them, and, there is,
of course, only one man currently on the post-captain's list whom
we'd consider making use of for a secret mission.

Hornblower: And who would that be, sir?

Pellew: Really, Hornblower, all this modesty is getting beyond a
joke. You will sail for Turkey as soon as I've managed to supply
you with the expert overseas divers specially imported from a remote
island. You'll have to make your own arrangements for the fact that
they're cannibals. [Hornblower looks alarmed] No, no just my
joke. Do try and enjoy a bit of a break while you're there. You've
been looking very peaky lately. [Hornblower looks blank]

* * *

[On the deck of the Atropos. Hornblower bounds over to Bush and
slaps him on the back.]

Hornblower: We sail for Turkey, William. And may I say how glad I
am to have you along!

Bush: Look, sir, would it be possible to cut down on the general
effusiveness?

Hornblower: I know it's not according to Forester, but the fans
seem to like it.

Bush: That's my point. You know it doesn't take much to set the
slash writers off.

Hornblower: Oh, well if you put it that way... Perhaps you ought to
stand a bit further away?

* * *

[Captain's cabin on the Atropos. Bush enters.]

Bush: Sorry, sir, it's time for the Obligatory Crew Crisis.

Hornblower: Oh. Well it was too much to hope we'd get away with it
two weeks running. What is it? [Bush speaks in a low tone.
Hornblower looks startled]

Hornblower: Really? Send him in.

[Two marines escort a man in. It is Matthews. ]

Hornblower: Is this true, Matthews?

Matthews: Yes, sir.

Hornblower: You were found drunk and dancing in a public fountain
whilst singing an obscene song about King George, the Prime Minister
and a baboon?

Matthews: Yes, sir.

Hornblower: Wearing a sarong?

Matthews: Yes, sir. I'm don't know what came over me, sir.

Bush: Sounds like a severe case of departure from character in the
interests of an angst ridden plot line. Happens to the best of us.

Hornblower: [without emotion] Keel haul this man.

* * *

[For reasons of budget and insurance the actual keel hauling isn't
shown. Instead we get a lot of shots of Hornblower looking stone-
faced. Finally, a dripping Matthews is dropped on the deck.]

Matthews: [wheezing] I'm very sorry, sir. [Hornblower stalks off]

Styles: Blimey.

Bush: Now, Styles, you know it's not really his fault. Every now
and then Grieves and Benson get these 'back to canon' fits and
remember in the books he's supposed to be famous for not showing his
feelings. Don't worry, Matthews, you know it'll all have been
forgotten by the next scene. [{And indeed it is}]

* * *

[Atropos arrives off the coast of Turkey. Hornblower introduces
himself to the local Head Honcho. The wreck is located. There are
a lot of scenes involving diving. At one point something
mysteriously goes wrong making it necessary for Hornblower to take
his shirt off and dive overboard. {Well, it had to happen. Feel
free to insert own drooling here} Paychests are brought up.
Hornblower accepts invitation to dinner from Head Honcho and departs
with a boat crew that includes Matthews]

Head Honcho: I continue to regret you did not wish to pay more for
our hospitality, Captain.

Hornblower: My duty to the navy would not allow it. [{He can be a
bit of a prig sometimes can't he?}]

Head Honcho: The reason I regret it is you obliged me to accept a
better offer.

[Man in French uniform enters, Matthews dives under the table]

Hornblower: Er...should I know you?

Frenchman: Naturally, I am Colonel De Vergesse whom you met during
your period as a prisoner-of-war in Spain [{Yes, I know we remember
this, but he has to explain for the benefit of new viewers}]

Hornblower: Of course. Every episode needs to reintroduce at least
one old character.

De Vergesse: [confidentially] As a matter-of-fact they wanted
Edrington but Sam West would only do it if they promised not to kill
him off. [reverting to business] Order your ship to surrender,
Captain.

Hornblower: Never.

De Vergesse: Then tomorrow my ship will attack yours and your men
will die.

Hornblower: My ship will be long gone by then, Colonel. [He kicks
Matthews under the table. Matthews makes a hasty get-away]

* * *

[The deck of the Atropos. Mathews is explaining matters]

Matthews: I'm sure he meant you to take the ship and leave at once,
sir.

Bush: I'm sure he did, but what's that got to do with anything? Get
Styles and anyone else with a speaking part and put together a
rescue party.

Matthews: What about the ship, sir?

Bush: What about it? Nothing's going to happen while all the
important characters are away, it never does.

* * *

[Rescue party sets out. There is a dramatic, but extremely
confusing, night-time sequence with a lot of running around. Rescue
is successfully accomplished.]

Hornblower: How dare you? You should have sailed at once! The
safety of the ship must always come first!

Bush: Be reasonable, sir. What else could we do? You're the only
character who is not allowed to be killed off under any
circumstances.

Hornblower. Oh, all right. Just don't do it again. Not in this
episode anyway.

* * *

[They return to the ship. Atropos hastily sets sail. Several days
pass]

Hornblower: We will reach Malta within the day.

Styles: [To Matthews] No sign of the Froggie ship yet. Do you
think we've got away with it?

Matthews: Doubt it. They'd never end the episode that way.

Styles: 'Ere look! Boat ahoy!

[In fact it is not a boat but an Admiral's barge, bearing Sir Edward
Pellew, who is inevitably welcomed aboard.]

Hornblower: [Trying not to look horrified by the sudden appearance
of his boss.] This is an unexpected pleasure, sir.

Pellew: Well, my flagship was in Malta for repairs, and I decided
to have a quick row out and see if there was any sign of you yet.
[Sentimental look] I worry about you when you're away you know.
[Hornblower looks blank]

Styles [to Matthews] He's doomed.

Matthews: You think so?

Styles: Definitely. Contrived and ill-explained appearance, can
only be in the interests of killing him off. Bet you a guinea.

Matthews: Gambling's against regulations.

Styles: I won't tell if you won't.

Matthews: Done.

Styles: Sir Edward has been.

Another seaman: SHIP AHOY!

[Naturally it is De Vergesse's ship. Battle ensues. Officers
shout 'Fiyah' a lot. A lot of people without names get killed. De
Vergesse's ship blows up. A lot of splinters fly about. One of
them land directly in Pellew's chest.]

All: OH MY GOD THEY'VE KILLED PELLEW!!!

Hornblower: [Kneeling beside Pellew] Sir!

Pellew: I'm done for!

Hornblower: How can this be? The real Pellew lived until 1833.

Pellew: Thing is, Robert Lindsay really didn't want to do this
series. Said it was enough having to make one series of 'My Family'
per year, without Pellew being used as walking sentiment. He would
only agree if they promised him a death scene. Now, where was I?
[declaims] Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...

Hornblower: I think you've got the wrong speech, sir.

Pellew: You're right, as ever. Wretched scriptwriters. [Dies]

Hornblower: Oh, captain, my captain!

[All remove hats. {Well, that can only be an improvement, can't
it?} Matthews silently hands Styles a guinea]

* * *

[Atropos approaches Portsmouth. There is a flag draped coffin on
the deck {for the benefit of any viewers with short memories}]

Bush: Another successful mission to report, sir. The Admiralty will
be pleased.

Hornblower: Another successful mission, yes. But at what cost?

Bush: Well, I believe the budget for this episode-

Hornblower: That's not what I meant!

* * *

[Portsmouth. Hornblower is making his report to
Admiral 'Dreadnought' Foster {rushed in at the last moment after the
makers realised they needed a senior officer for the rounding off
scene}]

Foster: Mission successfully accomplished, I see, Hornblower.

Hornblower: Thank you, sir.

Foster: Shame about Admiral Pellew, though.

Hornblower: Who, sir?

Foster: Pellew. Man who got killed on your quarterdeck.

Hornblower: Oh, *that* Pellew. I'd forgotten.

Foster: I can't help thinking you were a bit overly reckless on
this mission, Hornblower. However you were successful, and as a
reward you will have a bigger ship in the next series.

Hornblower: Well, that's the important thing, isn't it, sir?

* * *

[Outside Foster's HQ. Bush is waiting]

Hornblower: Well, that went all right.

Bush: Glad to hear it, sir. Oh, by the way, have you been home yet?

Hornblower: Bother. I knew there was something I'd forgotten.

[Credits roll]