Cobra (2020) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

1 Mayday, Mayday, Mayday.
Alpha 075.
I'm declaring a fuel emergency.
Alpha 075, what's your current fuel status? - - 295 souls on board.
Current fuel status is half an hour.
We spent too long over France.
We won't make Newcastle.
They've had avionics issues since the storm hit.
And then the situation at Charles de Gaulle.
Where is he now? Approaching Northumberland but we keep losing him.
- Try Newcastle.
- He doesn't think he'll get there.
OK, Alpha 075, we're sending you to RAF Coningsby.
We won't make that.
We need to land.
MAN: That's exactly what I said to them.
We don't have the officers Jesus Christ! A plane just went over really low but I can't see any lights.
- No! - Why can't you vape? - Real men don't vape.
Where's your protection officer? Risk is part of smoking.
Take that out, what have you got? Lymph nodes! I called James.
He's just coming.
So can I go to the party? As long as we can video you millie-rocking.
- You think I don't know what that is.
- He doesn't.
We don't really do parties anyway.
- Really? What do you call them now? - A few friends coming round Yeah.
For tea and biscuits.
Well, enjoy yourselves.
You deserve it.
I love you.
Call me later.
Bye, Georgia.
MAN: Fascist scum! Sutherland! Resign! - Yes, make that move.
- Bye, Mrs Sutherland.
WOMAN: Are you sure? It's been a long time coming.
What about the other issue? Still waiting for an update from Fraser.
- OK.
I'm on my way.
- OK.
I'll call you as soon as I hear anything.
Dan? I want an immediate update if there's any sign of panic buying at the petrol stations.
You didn't answer my letters.
They didn't deserve an answer.
Mum? Please go.
You don't even want to know what happened.
Mum, who's this guy? Is he hassling you? He's just going.
Come on.
Come inside.
Come on.
And another one.
I'll let them know.
- Multiple X5s.
- Right.
Do we know? - That's all we've got.
But we've gone from moderate to significant threat and we're informing all goal commanders.
I'll tell the Prime Minister.
- Multiple X5s.
We've gone to significant threat.
They could be heading our way.
Convene a full COBRA for the morning.
Strange, but I don't need space from you And every single thing you do I like And I've been chased Maybe I'm too wide awake for you So, shall I be Mum? I've never done it like this before.
It's cool.
I might just drop a couple of downers.
Babe, honestly.
Trust me.
It's like you're riding down a river on a swan.
It just takes the edge off everything.
- Dominic Knight's on the way.
- Great.
Hey, Anna.
You wanted to see me.
- It wasn't me.
- It was you.
- I didn't.
- You did.
I did an interview a while back/ "What's the most important function of being the PM's Chief of Staff?" Do you know what I was tempted to say? Knowing where the nearest toilet is at all times.
There's the strategic input, diary management, controlling access.
But really it comes down to making sure he always has somewhere to take a piss.
You don't get to choose your level of loyalty when you work at this address.
We have a COBRA on the solar threat at 11.
And you have until the end of the day to draft your resignation letter.
Can I? That is outrageous.
You're quite right.
You don't need all day for such a short letter.
Two hours should be plenty.
Have it done by lunch.
The civil servants are waiting.
We should go.
Oh, and Dominic.
You can leave by the public entrance.
Queen takes Knight.
We should expect a counter-attack.
Don't worry.
Got the next move all planned out.
Peter will brief the press the threat level's been raised to significant.
All the petrol stations seem to be working.
There's no sign of panic yet.
Because people don't know what to panic about.
- Morning, Archie.
- Fuck that! Have you just sacked Dominic Knight? Shouldn't it be, "Fuck that, Prime Minister?" You should have talked to me first.
I really don't think that's part of my constitutional obligations actually.
You know how it looks.
Dom's closely identified with me.
Don't go there, Archie.
Or I'm gonna be forced to ask, "Who gave him the nod to brief against the policy he helped devise?" They're ready for us now.
Oh, I'm sorry, Lady Macbeth.
I didn't spot you lurking there for one delightful moment.
That might work if I was his wife.
Never too late.
So which virtue-signalling ponce has been lined up to replace him? I have a couple of ideas.
Francine Bridge was one thought that occurred to me.
We'll have to have a chat about that one.
Now, as you are already aware, this morning, the threat from Extreme Space Weather was raised from moderate to significant.
There is some uncertainty as to the impact zone but the UK is certainly at risk.
I'll now hand over to the Chief Scientific Officer.
Yes, as I briefed the Director of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat last night, the Met Office has been seeing fairly significant activity on the eastern side of the sun.
But we planned for all this though.
There was the seminar you did at the Home Office.
What was it called again? The last bad one, a couple of centuries back.
The Carrington Event.
And a few telegraph operators got singed eyebrows, right? The point is though, Home Secretary, as I'm sure you'll recall from my presentation, that our technologies are much more sophisticated now.
The impact of a similar-sized storm will be considerably worse.
OK, but it's not a great big meteorite or the sun suddenly blowing up.
It's neither of those scenarios.
I shall make the Press very aware of that later.
Be great if we could all stay on message on this one.
Well, I have a bottle of Lagavulin with the Foreign Secretary, this will all go the way it normally does.
I am sure we are all hugely reassured by that, Archie.
Now perhaps you could pick up the threats in terms of practical implications just in case the shark actually is in the water like the last time.
Of course, Prime Minister.
Stage One of a bad solar storm would knock out satellites, potentially destabilising all transport and navigational systems.
I understand that aviation is the biggest concern.
There are real worries over flight safety after a serious particle blizzard.
But Stage Two is potentially the most disruptive part.
The storm will almost certainly release several blasts of plasma into space.
And if one of these reaches Earth it could cause huge damage to the power supply through voltage instability and transformer damage on the network.
Some areas could be without power for months.
The National Grid begs to differ.
They think it could be restricted to a couple of remote areas.
And it could.
We just don't really know and neither do they.
But even one day without power is enough to drive most people insane and do huge damage to the economy.
Think of the impact of weeks or even months.
When are we gonna know whether all or any of this is gonna happen? We expect to see more large flares on the visible face of the sun.
The Met Office are monitoring for plasma launches.
But even then, it would have to come our way and even then there would still be one critical variable left.
Does the incoming plasma field have a north or south magnetic orientation? - Which is the one we don't want? - Hot South bad.
Frozen North harmless.
The probability is absolutely 50:50.
The plasma eruption could have very little impact at all or it could be extremely serious.
When do we know? For certain.
So once released it could take up to two days to cover the 90 million miles from sun to Earth.
But we'll only know if we're Hot South when it passes our satellite at the L1 point.
That's about one million miles from Earth.
Do the math, Archie.
Last time I tried that in public, Eddie Mair made a bit of a twat out of me.
- Half an hour.
- Correct.
There will be just 30 minutes before we know if this storm will fuse a few kettles or send us back to the Stone Age.
Archie's face was a picture when you told that brilliant joke about Francine Bridge as the new head of the policy unit.
Great timing as well, just before we go into the briefing room, leaving him no time to respond to your hilarious quip.
I believe that expression is called, "What the actual fuck?" by the young people who've abandoned our party in their droves.
- You weren't joking, were you? - No.
- What the actual fuck? - She's brilliant.
She's unemployed.
Did I mention young people? - She was a Labour MP.
- Yes, but Why does everybody assume all people under 20 are transgender vegans who only care about tuition fees? If you only ever take one piece of advice from me, it is never make jokes about gender.
People literally lose their shit over it.
How about vegans? Stick to what you know.
Can we not just start moving replacement transformers in advance? Have you ever seen a transformer? They're not small, you know.
- OK.
In awe at the size of - Absolute unit.
The sun is not going to explode.
There are no fireballs or meteorites.
It is an invisible geomagnetic storm that could disrupt things.
We have measures in place.
Please, please, please, please, please Pretty fucking please, report this responsibly.
So what time exactly does the sun explode? I will brief you again if the threat level moves to serious.
Move the security meeting with the Crab back to 11:30, please.
Well, they stockpiled CS gas and baton rounds for the last false alarm.
Wait, Ed.
Don't hang up.
I've got Dom Knight calling.
Dom? Oh, for God's sake.
Are you there, Dom? Good.
Never trust this "hold and accept" malarkey.
Oh, you bet we'll meet later.
Don't worry.
I'm not taking this lying down.
My daughter spends most of her time signing petitions on social media.
And my son sings that stupid lefty chant in the bath.
To them we're still the nasty party.
We hate animals and refugees whilst favouring tax dodgers.
Our party does contain people like that.
We can't just wish them away.
Or Archie would not be Home Secretary.
Which brings me to Francine Bridge.
She isn't a member of her party any longer.
She even resigned her seat in Parliament.
OK, but there's still a massive problem.
- I know what you're going to say.
- No, you don't.
You're going to say none of this matters because she won't accept.
That is what I was going to say.
It's a problem but not an insurmountable one.
Leave it with me.
I'm meeting her for a drink later.
Met Office has just seen a massive solar flare with multiple plasma launches.
We need to raise the threat level to serious and recall COBRA immediately.
So having analysed the data, we can now confirm that a high-speed plasma eruption is heading straight for us.
When does it arrive? It depends on whether it maintains current speed so we can't say for certain.
They're currently estimating some time late tomorrow afternoon with a margin for error of about five hours.
In the meantime we do already have an immediate impact on planes.
We're getting reports of avionics issues like false warnings and autopilots suddenly disconnecting.
Isn't that why we still have real pilots on board? It is, Home Secretary.
Although when an Air France crew faced a similar scenario some years ago, they hit the ocean 15 minutes later.
The glide paths at two French airports have failed.
They need to divert traffic our way.
Can't they go to their pals in Germany? You voted to leave the EU, Archie, not the human race.
Well, it's fairly obvious what the issue is here.
Do we ground all flights? That would have a very high cost, both human and financial.
Department of Biz is opposed.
I trust you all remember the ash cloud.
If the situation in the air is manageable and it's Frozen North, then this is as bad as it gets.
In which case, we should just wait until morning.
Grounding all flights has real human impact and indirect danger to life.
This is a hard decision but we do have to decide as there's no middle ground here.
Flights will remain operational until we have more information.
It's the right decision.
- Keep me updated on the plasma eruption.
- Will do.
I'm gonna stay here until we know if it's North or South.
You guys should probably just We'll stay too.
We'll take it in turns to sleep.
We could be here for a while so I need to pop out for an hour.
Need to make sure Mabel's OK.
It's my dad's dog.
Staying with me while he's in the care home.
How is the old man? Well, he thinks the Home Secretary should leave the country so possible early-stage dementia.
I need to speak to the hospital social worker but I haven't had a second.
Do you need anything? I'll get some food in a bit later.
- Pizza or curry? - Pizza.
Something with loads of anchovies.
- I thought for a minute he was - Me too! - Did you ever meet his ex wife? - Uh-uh.
More Doberman than cockapoo.
He's better off with Mabel.
(MUSIC PLAYING) So will you do it? Of course I won't.
Doesn't have to be Policy and Research.
You can have any job title you please.
- Chief Advisor to the Duchy of Narnia.
- (LAUGHS) What do we really disagree on? Corporation tax, public services.
The unquestionable superiority of Western values.
I've seen the alternative.
- Also, you're not your party.
- And you would answer only to me.
I can't.
I got badly burned in the split.
I just want what all normal people want.
And a bit of help with the school fees, of course.
Universal credit doesn't cover that, right? You are such an operator.
Still getting flak for going private? Yes.
I didn't change my principles, Anna.
He got threatened with bloody acid by kids who weren't messing about.
You don't have to convince me.
I believe in choice, remember? But I don't really.
Plus, it's not choice.
It's purchasing power.
That's part of choice once you've paid your tax.
See? I don't need us to agree on everything.
I just want somebody who's not an arsehole and that I can trust.
Ever think you might have chosen the wrong career? No.
Don't be fooled, Mabel.
I hate and despise you.
The sooner I'm on my own again, the better.
Heather, it's me.
You'll have seen in the news about the possible power complications.
Take them seriously.
Get yourself a wind-up radio Plenty of food and water.
Extra fuel for the car.
In spite of your successful attempts to destroy my relationship with the kids, I love them very much.
It may be difficult for the next few weeks so prepare yourself.
The situation is Paris is causing chaos.
They're sending more and more our way.
We're running out of slots.
A couple of flights have declared fuel emergencies.
(DISTORTED FEMALE VOICE) I don't know where I am.
They're still getting false alerts and losing comms.
Some are getting so confused, they don't know where they are anymore.
Try and prioritise.
It's all we can do.
We are treating this as a rising tide level of emergency in so far as we have a level of advance warning of the threat involved.
But at the same time, I'm afraid we have very little guidance from London as to what, if anything, is actually going to happen tomorrow.
If the worst does happen, and we are without power for a lengthy period of time, I'll chair and host Gold Command from the Royal Northumberland Hospital near Hexham.
Our main priorities will be maintaining healthcare, ensuring protection for the vulnerable, safeguarding key sites and essential fuel supplies, while maintaining law and order.
Perhaps our biggest challenge will be getting vital staff to their places of work.
Now, you all have a copy of the civil emergencies guidelines but I imagine you also have some questions.
- (ALL TALK AT ONCE) - One at a time, please.
How real is the threat from the solar storm? Oh, it's real.
They've convened my local Resilience Forum for the morning.
It might only cause minor disruption.
A good chance of nothing at all.
So a funny thing's happened.
Funny ha-ha or funny peculiar? When I was reporting in Bosnia, there was a local translator working for the UN forces around Tuzla.
His sister was in Visegrad and when the local Serbs took that town .
that was not a good place to be a young woman.
- Nowhere is during war.
- Visegrad was hell.
Stuff went on there that It's why I can't tolerate people who take what we have for granted.
So what happened? He went to look for her and he just vanished.
I never saw him again.
- Until now.
- He's turned up? - Literally on my doorstep.
- Did he find his sister? I don't know.
We haven't spoken properly.
But you're going to, right? It was so long ago.
Oh, come and work with me.
What larks! Yeah.
That is not going to happen.
There will categorically be no larks.
Yes, there will! I want a secure videolink to all police Gold Commanders.
We also need to ensure that all essential staff can be brought to places of work I'll get back to you.
Air Traffic Control are reporting a Mayday from a diverted flight from Malaga to Oslo.
Up until ten minutes ago it had contact but now they've lost all comms.
Well, where was the plane re-routed to? Newcastle.
They're assuming it's close to Well, let's not make assumptions when it comes to large metal objects full of jet fuel.
That's the problem though.
It's not full of jet fuel.
They think it's running on fumes.
Get me Bob Jones at NATS.
Patch him over to the briefing room.
Alpha 075, do you want to divert? Please respond, Alpha 075.
I am declaring a fuel emergency.
I repeat.
A fuel emergency.
Alpha 075.
How many souls do you have on board and what is your fuel status? 295 souls on board.
Current fuel status is half an hour.
We spent too long over France.
We won't make Newcastle.
Believe me, Dominic.
I did everything in my power.
I begged him not to do it.
I told him it would come back to haunt him.
It will.
Served deep frozen.
And that total bitch Anna Marshall.
Well, they were both in the Tory Reform Group at Balliol.
You were at Christ Church, weren't you? No, I was at Oriel.
Rumours they had a bit of a thing once.
I mean, let's be fair.
She's a handsome woman.
I mean, you definitely would.
So, who are they replacing me with? She mentioned Francine Bridge.
You've got to be fucking kidding me.
I'd be surprised if even Robert lets her go ahead with that one.
When are you going to make your move, Archie? Well, you know what they say about shooting the King.
We've picked him up again.
He's over Lincolnshire.
He won't make it to Newcastle now.
There must be some way, Command.
One of the RAF bases.
- Coningsby if necessary.
- How about Coningsby? Alpha 075, I have new vectors for you.
Sending you to RAF Coningsby.
We won't make that.
We need to land.
That's exactly what I said to them.
We don't have the officers Jesus Christ! A plane went over really low.
I can't see any lights.
Oh, my God.
I think he's crashed into the motorway.
This is Chief Constable Collier.
We've got an emergency on the A1 just past Newton Aycliffe.
A plane has crashed on the road.
We need to declare a major incident.
(CALLING AND CRYING) Sir, help is on its way.
OK? Help's coming.
Help is coming.
Help is on its way, OK? - My baby! I can't move.
- Your baby? Wait there.
Don't worry.
(BABY CRIES) (WOMAN CALLS IN DISTRESS) Where is she? Do you know? I'll find her.
Don't worry.
Don't worry.
I'm gonna find her.
OK? It's gonna be OK.
I can hear her.
I can hear her.
It's OK.
I can see her! It's OK.
I've found her.
She's OK.
(SCREAMS) My baby, please! She's here.
Where in Portugal? That's good of you.
I really appreciate it.
What does Tuzla mean? Tuzla.
In Bosnia.
Yeah, just you go ahead.
- Not bad.
- This was my favourite thing.
That tastes of being young.
So is the sun going to blow up? No! Dad's flight's been diverted to Portugal.
Then what? Then I don't know, he'll have to wait until it's safe to fly again, I suppose.
Funny how it all happens when you lot fall behind in the polls again.
Hello to you too.
Actually, it's because we're about to invade Venezuela.
You won't read about that in the mainstream media.
- They've got oil.
- They're also eating dead cats.
Look, I might have to stay up in town a few nights this week.
- (PHONE RINGS) - Just until this fake news blows over.
Spoon! Yep.
Oh, God.
- Are there any survivors? - Dad? It's fine.
It's not his plane.
Go on.
So, they're bringing the rest of the planes into the nearest available landing points.
So far no further incidents.
If only we'd grounded the planes.
It would have made no difference at all.
The plane was already in the air.
It crashed because the sun took out the glide paths in France or it would've landed safely.
You made the right decision.
For the right reasons.
Funny feeling that's not how others will see it.
We're not others though, are we? We're the ones that have to make the decisions.
While others talk about them in pubs.
Keep me updated on casualties.
(PHONE RINGS) Hiya, darling.
It's Georgia.
I'm at the hospital.
They can't bring her round, Mum.
She's not breathing.
It's a nightmare.
Ellie, just calm down.
Calm down.
What happened? We've been up all night, Mum.
We were taking stuff.
What are you on about? What kind of stuff? Oh, God! Mum, it's all my fault! It's all my fault.
Robert! Ellie, listen to me.
You need to keep it together.
And I don't want you to speak to anyone.
- OK.
- Sweetheart, I love you.
I'll be there as soon as I can.
I love you.
What's happened? Ellie's friend Georgia is in a coma.
- What? - Drugs.
They've been up all night doing drugs after the graduation.
- She's OK though? Ellie's not - She's in bits.
God, poor kid.
(PHONE ALERT) The Met Office say the CME's trajectory is faster than anticipated.
I don't have a fucking clue what that means.
It means I have to reconvene COBRA.
Our daughter is in trouble, Robert! Look.
We've had a plane crashed on the A1.
We have a solar storm that could wipe out our power supply.
I just don't have time for this! OK, I'll go and get her.
Leave it with me.
Go on.
I'll text you with any news.
I'll have Peter Mott come first thing in the morning.
- He has to be across this.
- That would be a really good idea.
Leave it with us.
It'll be OK.
It'll be OK.
Accident investigators are at the site of yesterday's tragedy on the A1.
There has been speculation that the crash was caused by a particle blizzard, associated with a solar storm and fears are mounting that it is just the start of the full-blown chaos OK, so we're going to set up the strategic command centre at the hospital.
Lot of ghouls are trying to get to the site and blocking B roads.
What's the status with the survivors? The pilot did pretty well and saved the majority.
Current fatality count is 25.
Expected to rise but not significantly.
We have 17 in intensive care, six of them are touch and go.
The rest are mostly multiple fractures.
We have three burns victims from cars the plane hit.
I er I picked a baby out of the wreckage.
- The dad is in an induced coma.
- (PHONE RINGS) The mum is about to have an operation on her back to see if they can stop her from being paralysed.
It really wouldn't be a great time to lose power right now.
OK, Stuart.
OK, first things first.
Tell her not to say a word until I've spoken to her.
- Going the wrong way, aren't you, Peter? - Always, Archie.
I'm on my way.
Stuart Collier's the police gold in Hexham? He's good.
Young but level-headed.
The main problem is getting the medical staff around the road blockage caused by the plane.
Where's the Prime Minister? He's on his way over from No.
A word to the wise, Anna.
As you know, I have the highest admiration for you.
Get on with it.
I don't care how far you two go back or how much you feel the party needs a makeover.
Put Francine Bridge in the policy unit, even making the coffee, and I will give you a lesson in payback you will not forget in a hurry.
Thanks, Archie.
And in a similar spirit, get your hand off my arm and back the fuck off.
I'm not some little volunteer you can get handsy with on the battle bus.
You just crossed a line, Anna.
When he goes, which will be sooner than you think, he will at least be able to do some lucrative after-dinner speaking.
You won't be able to get yourself arrested.
I am feeling both positive and patriotic this morning.
I've got a feeling I'm going to be a bottle of Scotch to the good by the end of this meeting.
Better find out, hadn't we? There are two possible impacts on the grid when the storm hits.
The first is voltage instability.
Now, we need that to stay running at 50 Hertz.
If it goes a couple of points above or below we'll start getting trips.
The other problem is burn-out damage to transformers if the power from the storm surges into the network.
OK, Prime Minister.
We're pretty close to getting the orientation now.
We're getting the data from the satellite position at L1.
I'm afraid the news is not what we were hoping for, Prime Minister.
We can expect a massive geomagnetic stormsurge in the coming hours.
It's Hot South.
There goes my Lagavulin.
- Upgrade threat level to critical.
- Here comes the sun.
TANNOY: A major incident has been declared in this hospital.
We are receiving multiple casualties.
Non-urgent cases will not be seen.
Await instructions on transfers to other sites.
Thank you for your patience.
That's not good.
The emergency generators are detecting the voltage instability.
Do we have a direct link to the National Grid command centre? I think they're a bit busy down there right now.
OK, er, early evidence is that coastal areas have taken a massive hit and this is just the start.
The surges will just keep coming like tsunamis.
- What about the rest of the world? - No clear picture as yet.
Although early reports say that France and Spain are almost totally blacked out.
Three transformers are out already and that is set to rise.
The entire system is on the brink of collapse and blackouts are now imminent across all major cities.
I am sorry to say that the power of this storm is far worse than even our most pessimistic forecast.
I will now speak to the Palace so that Her Majesty can authorise the necessary powers under the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act.
This is now a national emergency and COBRA will remain active until its conclusion.
(MUSIC PLAYING) Anna, it's me.
I've been giving it some thought.
Call me back.
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