In the spring of 2000, hoping to capitalise on my "success" with the Christmas Gig, I and Ian Fellowes-Gordon wanted to do something. The first thing we found was a short film contest, to write a five minute film for screening in local cinemas before the main feature. I forget most of the details, but this is the result. It never got made - it would have taken a miracle for us two, at that time, to organise all the equipment, time, and people, despite the fact that the script only called for me, Ian and my flatmate in the cast, it could be filmed on QMUC premises and at the flat by the cast, we could sign-out the equipment (camera, tripod, tape) from the media department, and could do any editing there as well, and all it required in terms of costume was stuff we already had, and some painted cardboard.
A montage, showing BRIAN fencing, riding his motorbike, and reading historical novels; IAN reading old books, talking to BRIAN, etc; pictures/illustrations of the medieval chivalric era - all intercut. Last few images are BRIAN asleep, dreaming - the dreams are the pictures of knights we've just seen.
BRIAN and IAN are sitting somewhere on QMUC grounds talking.
Ian [Fading in] ... there's not really all that much that's still left over. It's just, a co-incidence.
Brian But, it is still a fact, yeah? I mean, you are the head of a Scottish Clan, right?
Ian Technically. Well, a branch of it, anyway, yes.
Brian That's still cool. But you don't have to do anything, right? I mean, you don't have to go round demanding fealty from your lesser relatives, or something?
Ian Nah. They'd laugh if I tried, anyway. We tend to be very grounded, our family.
Brian I'll bet. [Pause] You've still got the powers, though, right?
Ian Powers? What powers?
Brian I dunno? Droit de seingeur? Only you can hunt on certain lands? Hey - knighting! You can knight people, right?
Ian Knight people?
Brian Yeah. It's one of those things that's never been repealed, y'know, like being able to shoot a Welshman with a longbow from the walls of Chester, and London cabs having to carry a bale of hay. Nobility has the right to make someone a knight, and so do other knights.
Ian I suppose so, if all the other bits and bobs of it are still around, I suppose I can knight people if I wanted to.
Ian So, what do you need to do to knight someone, anyway? I mean, you're the one who reads stuff like Ivanhoe, aren't you, how's it supposed to go?
Brian Well, the one to be knighted has to spend the night before in 'is armour praying, then you just touch them on the shoulders with their sword, and - dub them.
Ian So, fairly straightforward, then?
Brian I think so. Hey, shall we try it?
Brian Shall we try it? You knight me, then I can knight you.
Ian [Laughs] Yeah, right! It won't mean a thing!
They get up and start wandering off
Brian Yeah, but so what, eh? We can spend the night watching Python, 'stead of praying, and we can use my fencing gear.
Ian Hunh! Alright. A laugh, yeah. When?
Brian This weekend?
Another montage sequence, showing IAN and BRIAN watching something hilarious on an unseen TV, collecting together fencing gear, clearing the room they were watching TV in. Ends with BRIAN kneeling before IAN, IAN holding a fencing sabre, BRIAN wearing a fencing jacket. Backing music is something grandiose and uplifting.
SHOT: BRIAN's head and shoulders as he is knighted.
Ian [Off] I charge you to uphold the principles of honour and chivalry, and to protect the weak and innocent and so on, and I dub thee Sir Brian!
IAN is standing outside CHERRY's door, talking to her.
Ian So you've not seen him?
Cherry Not for the last couple of days. Not that I see much of him anyway, he keeps odd hours, doesn't he?
Ian He does a bit, yes. Thing is though, we've got an assignment to do, and last I saw him, he was acting a bit - odd.
Cherry Odd? For him, or just generally?
Ian For him. He kept using "thee" and "ye", and okay, I know he's from Yorkshire, but still...
There is the sound of someone running up stairs
Cherry That sounds like him coming now.
They turn. CAMERA angle reverses: IAN and CHERRY are still in shot. BRIAN comes into shot from the stairwell. He wears a large coat, has a motorbike helmet in his hand, and has a fencing sabre in a tie-scabbard across his back.
Brian What ho, what ho! How goes it with you all this merry morning?
Ian [To CHERRY] See what I mean?
Cherry I'll leave you to it.
She closes her door. IAN advances to talk to BRIAN
Ian Where have you been?
Brian Yes, questing! Righting wrongs, slaying dragons, overthrowing evil! As a knight should be doing!
Ian Please tell me you're rat-arsed?
Brian Not at all, sir! I am of sound mind. I seek only to fulfil my obligations that you laid upon me at the weekend.
Ian What? I knighted you? Oh come on, it was just a laugh. You weren't supposed to take it seriously!
Brian But I do, sir, I do! Did I not swear on the holy echoes of John Cleese and Michael Palin? Of Terry Jones and Gillingham, of Eric Idle and Graham Chapman? I did! And I shall uphold my oath. As thou should, also.
Ian Upholding an oath is one thing, getting an assignment done is another. It's due on Monday, and we've not started yet!
Brian And I shall not start, sir! Not until I have fulfilled at least one part of my oath of knighthood!
Ian Is that where you've been these past two days? Trying to be a knight?
Brian Of course! Every morning I donned my armour, readied my blade, and mounted my fiery steed, in search of deeds to do, and godness to be done.
Ian Armour? Blade? Fiery steed? What are you on about?
BRIAN unzips his coat to reveal he's wearing his fencing jacket, and holds up his motorbike helmet
Ian Oh Gods! And where exactly have you been "questing"?
Brian Just around the college. I'm not completely mad, y'know.
Ian Wanna bet? So, you're not going to do any work until you've done a good deed - been a good knight?
Brian Something like that, yeah.
Ian Fine! Don't let me keep you from your mission, then. I've got an assignment to do.
Brian But of course, sir! I shall see you anon!
IAN turns to go, and BRIAN turns to unlock his door. IAN stops and turns back.
Ian Are you going to be riding your fiery steed up at the college tomorrow morning, then?
Brian Of course! Nine o'clock sharp! Once round the grounds, then a foot patrol. Back here for lunch, then back out again!
Ian Right. Great.
BRIAN goes into his room and shuts the door. IAN knocks on CHERRY's door. She opens it.
Ian There's a tenner in it for you if you help me snap him out of it.
Cherry What did you have in mind?
Ian He wants to be a knight.
Fade to black
Fade up to tracking shot of BRIAN riding his motorbike, with his sword across his back, through the car park on the perimeter road at college
Elsewhere on campus: a stand of trees next to the perimeter road. Tracked shot as we see BRIAN approach on his bike. As he passes the camera, he looks into the stand of trees. The camera looks over his shoulder as he sees CHERRY in a white dress tied to a tree at the far side of the stand, and IAN wearing cardboard wings and a cardboard dragon's head (probably made from an old shoebox). He has a fencing mask on under the dragon's head.
Cherry Help! Sir knight! Save me from this dragon!
BRIAN parks and dismounts. He takes his helmet and coat off and draws his sword.
Brian Never fear, fair maiden, I shall save thee from the ravages of this hideous beast!
Ian Oy, watch it, mate!
BRIAN squares up to "the dragon". He swishes the sword a couple of times, then lunges. IAN dodges. BRIAN swings, and IAN ducks. BRIAN chops down, and IAN dodges. BRIAN swings again, and IAN lets him knock the dragon head off. IAN dives to the ground.
Ian Aaargh! I'm dying! Take her and go!
BRIAN drops his sword, then unties CHERRY
Brian Fair maiden, I have saved you from the dragon. Perchance a kiss as reward for my hard work?
Cherry Not a chance! [Slaps him] Snap out of it!
Ian [Getting up, and removing the fencing mask] Yeah, come on, you've rescued a helpless woman and killed a dragon, now get back to what passes for normal.[He struggles out of the wings]
Long pause as BRIAN looks around, taking stock. The mad gleam fades from his eyes.
Brian Yes. Good idea. I think I probably owe you both a drink, don't I?
Ian Yes! A large one! But not until we've started that assignment! But we'll take the apology now, thanks.
Brian [To IAN] Sorry. [To CHERRY] Sorry.
Cherry [To IAN] And you owe me a tenner, too!
Ian All right, all right! Come on, let's get out of here before we get laughed at!
Fade to Black. Roll credits
© Brian Wakeling