A come Andromeda (1972) s01e03 Episode Script

Episode 3

A signal from the constellation of Andromeda, millions of light years from Earth, is intermitently captured by a new, very powerful radiotelescope constructed in an English location, Bouldershaw Fell.
The team of scientists who have constructed the radiotelescope, physicist John Fleming, engineer Dennis Bridger and the astronomer Reinhart, identify in the signal a message which contains, in arithmetical language, a design for a very powerful electronic brain, much more evolved than exist Judy Adamson, a secret agent of the security services, seeks to discover, in collaboration with another agent, the technician Harries, how Bridger could be in contact with Intel, an unscrupulous international espionage organisation.
Harries, discovered by Intel's killers, is killed.
The English government decides to transfer the team of scientists to Thorness, a remote headland on the Atlantic coast, where there is a missile centre.
On the basis of the data provided by the message, Fleming, Bridger and Reinhart work on the construction of the supercomputer, designed by an intelligence both superior and unknown.
Judy, while observing Bridger returning from one of his strange trips to the island facing Thorness, avoids an attempt on her life.
The commander of the military base, Colonel Geers, who is unaware of Judy's true identity, intensifies security measures and investigates Bridger's excursions.
Fleming confides his worries to Judy, that the intelligence that has sent the message might not solely intend to donate a more advanced instrument.
Meanwhile, the supercomputer is completed, and it is tested in the presence of various government members and the prime minister.
But it's operation leaves them very perplexed; instead of giving answers, the machine poses questions.
It asks for information about the chemical elements of our world.
Having received a certain amount of data, it quickly begins to state formulae of organic chemistry.
At this point the presence of an expert in biology becomes necessary.
Dr Dawnay arrives at Thorness.
The biological experience derived from the data provided by the computer leads to a formula for the chromosomal structure of a cell.
Judy, during a romantic excursion with Fleming, discovers, in a cavern on the island, proof of the theft of documents, which Bridger then sent by means of carrier pigeons.
Fleming, suddenly and dramatically, discovers that Judy is a secret agent.
In the laboratory the experiments continue, leading to the creation of living cells.
Fleming, convinced that the machine could be a kind of intellectual fifth column, motivated by destruction, launches himself in a desparate and vain attempt to destroy the being that's being created.
By now, Judy's discoveries have proved Bridger's culpability.
While a patrol waits on a clifftop to arrest him, Bridger is killed by a mysterious gunshot.
What do you want? Keep out of here, please.
I see that you have new equipment.
A synthesiser that's that's much bigger.
What what are you doing in there? It's something reserved.
Will you go now? Dennis is dead.
I know.
We all know, Dr Fleming.
He was my oldest friend, right? He was a fool, but he was Will you go away, or must I call? Did you call for me? Yes.
We must reinforce the security services.
You don't expect me to Miss Adamson, I expect that you extract all the consequences from the Bridger case.
Whoever killed him will use any means to acquire the base's secrets.
And you know how much we can count on civilians.
You're talking about the scientists.
Listen, my position here has become unsustainable.
Before, everyone had trust in me, but now they've discovered I'm an agent of the security services.
I have always known, and Professor Dawnay has guessed, and accepts the situation.
Not Dr Fleming.
It's not necessary that he accepts it.
I was something else for him.
Everyone knew that you had a job here, and everyone respects it.
I don't respect this job.
What do you mean, please? I hated it from the start.
It was perfectly clear that everyone in here was worthy of unconditional trust.
Except maybe Bridger.
Also Fleming? Fleming is the best person I have ever known.
I don't intend to continue spying on him.
What does Fleming say? He doesn't talk to me any more, since Where is he? He'll be somewhere drinking.
Always the same story, eh? But what do you want him to do, after what happened? Listen, I feel affection for all of them.
Could I be substituted? No.
Could I at least have a different assignment? No.
Then can I hand in my resignation? Not in a state of national emergency.
If it wasn't for your service record, which is very good, I'd say you were immature for this job.
The way things stand it seems to me you are disturbed by excessive contact with the scientific mentality, especially an agitated and irresponsible men He's not irresponsible! No? No! Not about the important things.
The important things at this moment are the nuclear deterrent, that's the point! We are under very great pressure.
The military see everything from a military point of view.
This is a sad place, you know that, don't you? We've all got overstrung nerves.
Miss Adamson.
These are Engineer Bridger's personal papers.
Take them to Dr Fleming.
As you see, there are no personal issues regarding Dr Fleming.
Is it still alive? Yes.
Alive and kicking.
How's it developing? At the moment it's an agglomerate of morphologically diverse cells.
Nothing that can be interpreted yet.
But it's clearly an attempt to develop life in something more complex than single cells multiplying by division.
Do you understand, Ernest? It's the first step on the path of life.
How does it feed? Very simply.
It lives in a nutrient liquid and absorbs it into the cell.
And the computer? What does the computer have to do with it? Has it reacted? How? I don't know, but has it reacted? No, it's stayed perfectly calm.
Madeleine, I'd like that that Fleming comes back to work on this business.
I've been thinking of requesting my staff from university.
Fine, give me the details and I'll make the request.
They're three biologists and a specialist in microbiology, Christine Flemstad.
She was my assistant.
But the clock is ticking.
The Ministry of Defence, Vandenberg and our allies want to send us away.
We're in a military zone, Madeleine, and we have to work in a team, and we have to produce results.
Bloody Hell! Aren't these results? We're living the greatest adventure of the century! We're creating life! Certainly, Madeleine, but there are other things to discover, and Fleming I can do it even without Fleming.
Liz knows the computer, and she'll help me.
Liz understands the basic arithmetic, but there's a higher logic, and only Fleming can understand that.
I don't want John Fleming here throwing my work and equipment up in the air.
Madeleine, I'm still in charge of this program, and I will be as long as we work as a team.
This means we need Fleming.
Drunk or sober? For the love of god, Madeleine, if we can't trust each other, who can we trust? Very well, Ernest.
Provided he sticks to his own part of the work, right? Thanks, dear.
You can't leave.
And why not? Is there someone to keep me here? You, for example? I always tried to warn you.
To make you understand who I was.
You made love to me.
You tried to deceive me.
That's not true.
I've never spied on you.
Bridger was another matter.
He was my best friend.
I didn't kill him.
Wasn't it you who set your lot on him? The ones who killed him were the ones he was selling the base's secrets to.
Half of that machine was his.
It was the work of his brain and of mine, it didn't belong to you or your bosses.
If Dennis wants to go selling what is his, what the hell has it got to do with you? He was selling the results of the work of all of you.
And my work was to prevent him doing so.
You did that so well that Dennis is dead.
But I told you I didn't like what I was doing.
I told you not to trust me.
Stop whining! Go away.
I came to bring you this.
They're papers of Bridger's.
Hello, John.
What does this mean? You'll give my post to someone you can trust.
Of course, of course.
Give me a drink? Yes.
What can you be thinking, that I don't trust you? Nobody trusts us.
We're just glorified mechanics.
Is milk OK? That's fine.
They think they were very lucky.
And when we tell them it's the beginning of something much bigger, they set the police dogs on our heels.
Or their police bitches.
There's no need to take it out on the girl.
I'm not taking it out on anybody.
If they don't manage to understand that that damned message will change our lives, then leave them to manage on their own.
With a bit of luck they'll make a mess of it.
And nothing will come out.
Something has already come out.
Dawnay's convinced that the machine has has given her the power to create life.
But she's wrong.
The machine has given itself that power.
This is why you need to stay.
To control it, John.
That's not my business.
And god, I wish I'd never started.
Never started! You have some of the responsibility.
To whom? To the people who never listen to me? I listen to you.
You're all so occupied asking "what?" that nobody except me asks the question "why?".
Why an alien intelligence millions of light years away takes the trouble to put in motion a story of this kind.
We can't know that.
But we can conjecture.
Do you think they said to themselves, here's technical information of great interest.
Let's communicate it to the rest of the universe.
They might find it useful.
It's clear that you don't think that.
Because where there's intelligence there's will.
And where there's will there's a desire for power.
If maybe an intelligence wants to expand One theory's worth as much as another.
It's the only logical theory.
And they know the bases of life.
They program the machine to discover ours.
This is no more than the first step.
Oh, no, no, no, no.
No, it's more intelligent than us, I don't want to have anything to do with it.
And that's exactly what the machine wants, according to your theory.
John, while we're still here, we can pull the plug.
We will do if necessary.
You'd do best to unpack.
Hello, Madeleine.
Good day.
Fleming has agreed to come back to us.
Welcome back, prodigal son.
News? I hope you'll tell me.
It seems the computer keeps asking questions we don't know how to answer.
About our bodies' physical and chemical constitution? Certainly.
But look, in twenty four hours uninterrupted work the printer hasn't produced anything.
I'd like to have another look at the last data it output with you, to see if there's an error.
We'll find it.
To what is this conversion of yours due? It must have a weak point here, that's what I want to discover.
LOCATION UNKNOWN April 7th, 11 o'clock, Thorness Base.
A new laboratory is to be added near the supercomputer.
The building will house a new DNA synthesiser.
State-of-the-art crystallographic equipment will be installed for the synthesis of phosphates, deoxyribose, adenine, thymine and cytosine.
For the moment, the scope of the new synthesiser is unknown.
Yes? Could you come over her for a moment please? Be careful not to touch them, there's a tension of two thousand volts across there.
Take off your glasses, they're made of metal.
Don't you feel anything? Yes, a kind of slight dizziness.
And now? Now nothing, absolutely.
It has no real effect on me.
Meet Christine Flemstad, my assistant at Edinburgh.
Who knows that a young mind won't manage to solve the mystery of the unhappy life of my cells, eh? And you? What the hell are you doing between those terminals? A little experiment.
Basically, it's time we found out what they do, don't you think? I don't feel anything.
Whereas Professor Reinhart feels a light dizziness.
The amount of electricity emitted varies from brain to brain.
Do you feel like trying? Why not? Good for you! Be careful.
You put your head between these two affairs - without touching them or you'll be roasted.
My God! Christine! She's fine.
She'll be fine.
Suppose there's a regular discharge between these two terminals.
We introduce the electric field of an active brain.
This modifies the current between them.
It modulates it.
It could work in both directions.
What are you talking about? About these.
I believe I know what they're for.
They're a device for inputting and outputting information directly from the machine.
Christine is simply a neurotic young woman.
She would be a good subject for hypnosis.
I blacked out, right? I would really say so.
It must have a hell of an electrical potential.
The fact is, in reality, with the right kind of brain - not a human brain, maybe, but a brain that works in a way foreseen by the machine - then we have a connection.
That's how the machine must communicate.
Our system for introducing questions and receiving responses is terribly slow.
We could go even farther.
Namely? I'm wondering whether the machine could extract information directly about us.
How we're made, I want to say.
I believe it would be better to put these back in custody.
Do you feel better now? I'm sorry.
You've given a service to science.
But keep well away from those.
Nice catch! I'm just earning my dinner.
Won't you join us for a while? I'd like to film it.
You'll be tired.
Why not come on board and rest a while? You're Dr Fleming, aren't you? Yes, and you? I'm called Dankville.
Nice boat.
But how do you know my name? Through your friend Dr Bridger.
You knew him? We worked together for a certain period.
Nice job.
My friend Bridger has died because of it.
Are you leaving? No, please.
It's been such a nice opportunity to meet you.
And no-one is sorrier than me.
Dr Fleming, you could have a more profitable way to pass the next few years.
You possess something which interests many people.
For this reason your friend Bridger was very dear.
And in fact he's very dead.
We all work for a large organism which stands above us.
But all of us can be replaced.
Except you, Dr Fleming.
Listen Dankville, or whatever the hell you call yourself You are doing work of which people don't understand the importance.
I know someone who does understand it.
I really would like to know who this someone is.
It's the only thing you don't need to ask me about.
You are a free scientist.
The products of your brain are yours and it's right you should be paid for them.
But what do you care if they go to one rather than another? Or to everyone.
Science doesn't belong to anybody.
It's your theory.
You've got it backwards.
Dr Fleming! Dr Fleming! If you should change your mind, look among your friend Bridger's documents.
Hello, Judy? Fleming here.
Could you pop in to see me? Yes, right now.
What? But no, I'm perfectly sober.
Come immediately.
Dear John, you'll remember when we were students together at university, we used to play a game asking ourselves what the future would hold.
Now my game is becoming dangerous.
If I don't see you any more, you'll know from this letter that my game is over.
Do you know a certain Dankville? Somebody who sails about in a thirty thousand pound boat.
And what did he want? To buy me.
And you? We didn't agree on the price.
Bloody hell, Judy, it's already difficult enough to keep this story out of the hands of children without having to worry about feeding it to the jackals.
He's not a jackal, he's a spy.
Maybe it's the same thing for you.
For me it's different.
So do you know him? If he's who I say, I also know who he works for.
We're not yet able to get our hands on him.
Could this help you? What's happened to you, John? Collaborating with the authorities? I simply want that you get that guy out from under my feet.
It's your job, isn't it? You just want to avenge the death of Dennis.
Dennis played his game and he lost.
The rest is silence.
Judy, damn it, I'm even ready to apologise to you.
But at least you try to understand.
The game I've been playing with that machine, that's the only important thing.
I don't want anybody in the middle, between me and it.
Do you know what this means? No.
I don't have the faintest idea.
It's the number for a teleprinter.
That's why Dennis was always going to the betting shop.
The bookies use teleprinters for their work.
It connects them to the racetracks of all the world.
Nobody would have thought to check those messages.
Not even you? Not even me.
Dennis wanted to show you the way to contact his controllers.
What do you intend to do? Help myself to your name.
Is it necessary for you to handle this yourself? This isn't your game, John, you've said so many times.
But it certainly is mine.
I would be sorry if A lot? A lot.
Oh, it's a miracle.
But your appearances outside the control room are becoming ever rarer.
It's clear that you prefer electronic machines to human beings.
Dr Fleming, Dr Dawnay wants to talk to you.
But tell the truth Christine.
What attracts you to the supercomputer? I wouldn't know.
It seems like you're magnetized.
Maybe that's true.
It's another avalanche of questions.
Very precise questions, I'd say.
The computer's interested in GABA and dopamine now.
Christine! She'll be in the computer room.
Since the day of the experiment with the terminals she lives in contact with the computer.
Does that tell you anything? I wouldn't know.
What do you think of it? There's a kind of understanding between her and the machine.
It's as if she suffered a trauma.
You'll have known him under another name.
But of course, it's always like that.
What is it? A matter of love or money? No, Mr Olboyd, it's about a teleprinter, ZX 7149 Stockholm.
Your name and address follows.
Ah, but that changes everything.
The teleprinter, please make yourself comfortable.
Couldn't you have told me earlier? Do you know how to use it? More or less.
I'll switch it on for you.
Like a typewriter.
It's ten pounds to you.
The same price you gave Bridger? Oh, no, for you there's a discount.
Yes, I've understood now.
Go ahead now.
Well sit then.
Sometimes you can wait for hours.
Don't you ever bet on the races? Now and then.
I always lose.
But can't you speed it up? Eh, no.
You can't.
My response! You're lucky.
Christine! Why are you here, is it your watch? Yes.
Hm, good.
James?? is still in the laboratory.
Go and take over from him.
She's dead.
Here's the report on the incident, Colonel Geers, and a death certificate.
Flemstad, Christine, twenty seven years old, resident of London, etc etc.
Cause of death asphyxiation from respiratory paralysis due to electrocution.
No relatives traceable.
The military medic will have to sign it so we can file the report.
Lesions, disfigurements Only the palms of her hands were burned.
They've almost finished.
Much damage? No.
Only a circuit.
It was a quick death.
Mr Osborne.
Have you come to visit the scene of the crime? Crime? I call it that.
I've read the reports.
The girl was attracted.
You use some strange terms.
What do you want to say, attracted? Pushed.
Compelled, hypnotized, induced, whatever you like.
She didn't put her hands up there by mistake.
Why would the machine have willed it? Dr Fleming, they've finished.
Dr Fleming, if you know anything important for the inquest? I know that she's dead.
Doesn't that seem particularly important? What are you trying to do? Do you see? For the love of God! What are you doing? Don't worry.
Don't you think there have been enough deaths? Fleming! What madness would this be? John! At least it's not working.
On the contrary, it is working.
It's learned.
What does it mean? The computer didn't know the effects of a high voltage on organic tissues.
It experimented on Christine.
It didn't know it would also damage itself.
But now that it does know that, it takes precautions.
I know, try! No thanks.
I've had enough of your ideas.
We're not in front of a machine.
We're in front of a brain.
A damned good brain! Twenty ninth of April, eleven o'clock, Thorness Base.
Dr Madeleine Dawnay reports to Professor Reinhart that she has observed a new phenomenon in the DNA synthesiser.
It concerns a genetic unit of fifty chromosomes, that is to say, slightly more than the genetic requirement for a human being.
Dr Dawnay claims to have observed a stellate cell of the mesenchymal type, with highly ramified processes.
The intercellular substance is constituted of a glycoprotein.
Nobody for me? As you see.
For Barnett, then.
Olboyd, what kind of game do you call this? Someone used your teleprinter three days ago.
Three days ago? Yes, it's true, but also before, and also after.
Stay where you are! Stay away.
He's dead.
George, we can go.
It's finished, Miss Adamson.
This ugly story is finished.
And Barnett? This man's dead, Bridger's dead.
I believe we've missed the last chance to incriminate Barnett.
And I believe too that we're feeling too exposed to try anything, at least for a while.
Don't blame yourself too much, my dear, it's still a result.
Must I return to Thorness? I'm sorry, Miss Adamson.
We can't even give you a holiday.
Certain things are happening up there, and in the world.
Go back tomorrow.
These are the latest trajectories reported by the observatory.
At this moment there's an entire series of countries with satellites in orbit, and all of them could have nuclear potential.
To check them would require an infinite calculation.
It takes a lot of time.
That's exactly what we lack.
If one of them takes the initiative it won't help to say we don't have time.
We'll do it as quickly as we can.
But Reinhart's computer? Wouldn't it speed things up? We don't have access.
But if you had? We would get immediate results, it's much more advanced than ours.
That's the thing! Yes, but the Science Ministry.
This is how absurd things are getting, when they're the ones organising it.
Absurd is an understatement.
Judy! What are you doing impaled there as if you'd seen a ghost? Come and give me a hand, would you? And so? I was worried for you.
You've always had strange ideas about my job.
I also thought you wouldn't come back to the base any more.
I asked my superiors.
I understand.
You've had enough of it of this business, of all of us, and of me.
I saw another person die.
I've heard.
He was Bridger's assassin.
That wasn't a good reason to kill him.
Is this what you think? It's not you that's responsible.
No, of course, I've done what I must do.
No, this isn't what I wanted to say.
I was only thinking about everybody who's died - Harries, Bridger, Christine.
He was called Egon.
They're all dead for different, precise reasons.
And yet they're all linked by a mysterious logic.
The computer.
I realise I must seem delusional to you.
Do you remember how happy I was when they gave me the means to build it? It's exactly for this that I feel responsible.
If it's true what I think That this machine has a deadly power.
In sum, Judy, I would like that at least you understand that that I have my own good reasons for always saying no.
Goodbye, John.
Won't you even invite me in? No John, it's not like before any more.
The cells are multiplying very quickly.
They're osteoblasts, there's no doubt.
They have accumulated in some areas forming proper centres of ossification.
In the intercellular medium they're depositing salts.
Phosphate and calcium carbonate.
How extraordinary, John.
It's as if they had a will of their own.
It's a creative force enormously greater than that established by the laws of biology.
He's applying the information acquired from Christine's body.
In those few seconds he obtained more physiological data than many would have been able to assemble in a whole lifetime.
It's the only logical explanation.
These are the last microradiographic plates.
Thanks, Liz.
Lamellae of ossein, in a concentric system around the Haversian Canals.
There, the osteocytes.
This means the bone tissue is in a state of advanced formation.
And that the production is organized.
Its speed of formation is inconceivable for human biology.
Do you realize Fleming? Unless this speed decreases, in a short while we'll have a complete organism.
But of what nature? Well, the case presents many obscure points, sergeant.
I've been told, for example, that the articulation of your knee strangely resembles that of the knee of a fly.
Do you have any ideas about that? Evidently there's only one way to construct an articulation that functions in analogous gravitational conditions.
Maybe I'm taking advantage of your courtesy, sergeant.
But since your colonel has decided that I need a guardian angel, well, fine.
We can establish that there's only one way to design the general picture of intelligence.
In other words it's not the universe that follows our logic, as it seems to Colonel Geers, but we ourselves are constructed according to the logic of the universe.
Clear? Therefore even those guys up there in Andromedy obey a logic.
A logic that can be deciphered even by the modest human intelligence.
Ah, there it is.
Go on, sergeant, do we want to remain as big men in a small world, or become small men in a big world? We're taking possession of the supercomputer, and of the synthesiser, and everything it contains.
And Madeleine's team? Are you taking possession of them too? The team will be directed by Colonel Geers.
Geers? But he doesn't even understand the first thing! Lieutenant Colonel Dr Hunter will take charge of the biological part.
Ernest, there's no accusation or recrimination towards you.
As you will see from the next honours list.
To hell with your list! So? Will they kick us out? No.
It'll be enough to bow and always say yes.
We'll be able to stay.
You, even? With your character? But do they know that the creature has begun extracorporeal respiration inside the biosynthesiser? Like a baby in the mother's womb.
Colonel Geers has ordered an artificial respirator.
At the moment we extract it, physiological respiration will start.
Good day, gentlemen.
Dr Hunter will be the coordinator of future operations.
You'll be able to address any concerns to him.
Listen, Colonel Geers, Dr Dawnay has every right to complete her John, at this point the medical aspect will always take precedence.
That's the thing.
And therefore you will remain under Dr Hunter's command.
Good day gentlemen.
Gentlemen, thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Dr Dawnay, will you accompany me to the biology lab? Liz, a lab coat, please.
But why exactly have the intelligences of Andromeda sent a message to an idiot planet like ours? The orders are that you return to the observatory at Bouldershaw Fell.
Perhaps you're not expressing yourself well.
As you prefer.
Let's say the Ministry of Defence requests you to resume the direction of the observatory.
It was you who asked for it.
I've already told you it doesn't matter to me that you head the team.
For me it's enough to stay at Thorness.
I see I'll have to brief you on top secret matters.
Don't you think it would be better not to tell me them? They concern you too.
The Government has launched an SOS about certain tracks of devices in orbit detected by your own radiotelescope.
It's not my field.
I am an astronomer.
What you're doing now, maybe that's your field? Professor Reinhart, it's time.
Get me London.
At this moment, the biosynthesiser has finished its task.
If the creature does not begin physiological respiration, we will arrange to put it in the artificial respirator.
Quick! Physiological respiration has not started! We only have a few minutes! You stay at the monitor and report to me.
At what point are the vital parameters? Near to collapse, unfortunately.
Increase the partial pressure of oxygen.
How are we doing? The parameters are coming back.
Live! Live! Suspend functioning of the respirator.
Check the respiration data.
Physiological respiration has commenced.
It's proceeding regularly.
It's confirmed that progress is normal.
You can enter the laboratory.
But it's incredible! What is it? It looks a lot like Christine.
It's Christine.