Inside No. 9 (2014) s06e02 Episode Script

Simon Says

Hello? Mr McGuire? Can you hear me? Just wanted to say I saw what happened and it wasn't your fault.
If you want me to go to the police, I'd be happy to make a statement.
Maybe I should just do that.
Hello? Sorry, who is this? My name is Simon.
I saw the incident tonight outside of your club.
Well, I filmed the whole thing.
You'd better come up.
- Let me take a photo of you! - Read my lips I don't get why you're being so - I don't care! - Get off right now! You can see, he's the one that touches you first, and all you did was push him back.
It was an accident.
Oh, definitely.
He just came up to me and started yelling.
- Did you recognise him? - No.
Never seen him before in my life.
You have actually met him a dozen times at various conventions.
His name's Gavin.
- Well, he could've had a knife, or anything.
- Oh, yes.
And that's why you had to smash his head on the cobbles.
- I didn't do that! - I know.
Like you said, it was an accident.
Is that the National Television Award that we won for season three? "We"? Well voted for by the fans.
Can I touch it? They're heavy, aren't they? Smash someone's brains in with this! Listen, Simon, I'm thinking it might be best to get rid of this.
Better not to have it on record.
You see what I'm saying? Oh, but it proves that you're innocent.
Even so I think I should delete it.
Oh, no, I Oh, well.
- So, do you think he'll want to press charges? - Who? This Gavin chap.
I shouldn't think so.
He's dead.
What? Yeah, I checked on him after you'd ran off, and he wasn't breathing.
Oh, God! Don't worry.
I sorted it for you.
No-one will ever know you even touched him.
I have to say, though, he did have a point.
What do you mean? Well, what he was saying about season seven.
Not this again.
Well, some people did think the ending was We always knew the ending was going to be deliberately low-key.
- Or boring.
- It wasn't boring! It was diminuendo.
Ninth Circle was always a very cerebral show.
Very dialogue-led.
Anyway, now's not the time to be debating this! What did you mean when you said you've "Sorted it"? - I moved him.
- Why? Well, so he wouldn't be found outside your club.
All the fan community know that you go there, especially after award ceremonies.
I'm sorry you didn't win, by the way, but that was hardly a surprise, was it? I don't think they should've booed you, though.
- You moved the body? - Yeah.
I dragged him down to Embankment and threw him in the Thames.
So, now he'll just be another drunk that fell off the bridge in the middle of the night.
Why would you do that, Simon? You've tampered with a crime scene! You ran off! I did it for you, Mr McGuire.
Nobody saw me.
I was only trying to help.
What were you doing skulking in the shadows videoing me, anyway? I have a podcast.
- 'Course you fucking do.
- It's called Circum Venting.
I was hoping to catch you and ask you a few questions maybe.
I mean, sometimes, after you've had a few drinks, you do actually talk to the fans.
Obviously, you weren't in the mood tonight - - as poor Gavin can testify.
- He was the one who attacked me! Well I can see you've got a bit of clearing up to do.
Maybe I should be on my way.
Can I have my phone back, please? Let me give you some money for a black cab.
It's the least I can do.
- Where do you have to get to? - Sunderland.
Not sure it'll take me that far.
I'll make me way to King's Cross, and I'll sleep on a bench.
I hope the police don't question me.
I'm not very good under pressure.
It's lovely to meet you, anyway.
Listen, Simon.
All things considered, it might be best if you stay here tonight and leave first thing in the morning.
You can sleep in the guest room.
Is that where you keep the severed head of Thaxos from season two? - It is, yes.
- Oh, my God.
I can't believe it.
Thank you, Mr McGuire.
The fans are going to be so jealous.
Did you sleep well? Not really.
How about you? No.
I was too excited.
Well, maybe you should be making a move.
I made you a coffee, by the way.
Black with two sugars, isn't it? Yes.
Thank you.
I looked for a grapefruit, cos I read in Empire that's part of your breakfast routine, but I couldn't find any.
I only do that when I'm writing.
I know.
That's why I wanted it.
When you were approached by Gavin, he was brandishing this notebook.
- Do you remember? - Vaguely.
Well, last night, I shoved it in my bag and I forgot all about it, but I took it out and I started to read.
He's written a whole alternative finale for Ninth Circle.
And Spencer Can I call you Spencer? It is brilliant.
Fanfiction? Well, no, it's more sophisticated than that.
He clearly knows his stuff.
For example, we actually get to see who lights the Flame of Aurora.
Nobody lights the Flame of Aurora.
It's extinguished in the flood.
I know, literally a damp squib.
Anyway, Gavin's fixed that.
And we finally get a proper ending for the whole Dante/Carter relationship.
What relationship? They don't have a relationship! Oh, that's not fair.
You were baiting us in that direction - since the Pantheon episode.
- No, I wasn't! The scene in the desert where he's sucking his arm.
That was to get the snake venom out! It's one of the seven trials! Well, anyway, they finally get together, and it's really satisfying.
They're two heterosexual men.
Besides which, Carter died in the series six finale.
Yeah, and that was another mistake.
Gavin's brought him back.
Just read it, please.
I can't read it.
My agent would never allow it.
Well it's funny you should say that, cos she's actually on her way over to have a meeting about it.
And, contrary to what you might think, she sounded really keen.
What do you mean, she's on her way over?! Please don't be mad, but I used your phone when you were in the shower.
- What?! - Just thought it was worth putting in a call and sounding her out about it.
She loves the idea, and she's delighted you've relented.
I haven't relented! This is just a fantasy world, Simon.
- I think you should go! - Well, II can't go.
I said I'd stay here and take notes at the meeting.
There isn't going to be a meeting.
But what about my podcast? I'm not going to do your stupid fucking podcast.
- Do you know how many times a week I get asked to do podcasts? - No.
Well, let me tell you, it's a lot! And it gives me great pleasure to say "No" to every single one of them.
Oh, well, I'm sorry.
At least I've got some video footage of you from last night.
Maybe I could put that up instead.
Come up.
Was that a threat? Are you threatening me? I deleted that footage, remember? From the phone.
It's still in the Cloud.
Don't look at me like that, Spencer.
I'm on your side, remember? Hello.
Loretta Lamb.
- You must be Simon.
- That's right, yes.
Lovely to meet you at last.
I've been telling Spencer for ages to get himself a PA.
Hello, darling! What a lovely surprise! Sorry about the awards last night.
It's all meaningless, as you know.
Except when one of my clients wins, in which case, it's absolutely the right decision.
Did you have a late night? Er, no, no, I-I just came straight back home.
Eddie said he saw you at your club.
Well, I had a swift one, obviously, but He wanted to be fresh for today's meeting.
- It's exciting, isn't it? - Yes.
I have to say, I'm very shocked.
Why the U-turn? You said you'd rather cut your own dick off and sit in vinegar than go back to Ninth Circle.
Did you really say that? Well, I've been working on this show for 12 years.
Which is why I'm so surprised you wanted to bring it back! I thought you wanted to have a crack at something a bit more Jimmy McGovern-y.
You know, all that yearning and Universal Credit.
Something to dampen the gussets of the awards panels.
Oh, sounds a bit grim.
I think doing a proper ending for Ninth Circle is much more appealing, wouldn't you say, Spence? Well, I certainly don't want to rush into anything.
I just want to know what my options are.
Well, the good news is, I put in a quick call to Mitch at AMC, and he's thrilled with the idea.
And the fans would be very excited, I'm sure.
I wouldn't be doing it for the fans.
I'd be doing it for my own personal reasons.
Which is exactly as it should be.
So, can I tell them any details? Is there an outline? What stage are we at? We have an outline.
Some very exciting plot developments.
Characters doing things they should've done in the first place.
Just so I've got this right, would this be a replacement for the controversial series seven finale? - No.
- Yes.
- Well - Yes and no.
I haven't really thought it through yet.
'Course you have! Don't be so modest.
To give you an example, Loretta, guess who lights the Flame of Aurora? Oh, I've no idea, darling.
I haven't seen it.
All that Dungeons & Dragons stuff leaves me cold.
- It's not Dungeons & Dragons! - Well, you know what I mean.
Well, anyway, it's Calculus.
- Calculus?! - Yeah.
Calculus is a baby! Yeah, he crawls towards it and takes it in his little fist.
The whole thing is inadvertent.
The whole thing is fucking stupid.
It's not stupid.
It's the way it should be.
The previous ending was all Dante's dream.
- That's how we're squaring it.
- Oh! Like Dallas.
I'll get you some biscuits.
Well, I'm so pleased you've changed your mind, Spencer.
I didn't want to say anything at the time, but the original script was hated by pretty much everyone.
Everyone? The actors hated it, the execs hated it.
Even the caterers hated it, and half of them can't even read.
Well, that's nice to hear, coming from my own agent.
Oh, come on.
You know it's my job to shield you from anything harmful.
And that's my job, too.
So, Loretta, when do you think we should get the announcement out? Wait, wait! This is all moving too fast.
It's just that I know someone that runs one of the fan sites, and I'm sure he would be willing to help out.
Maybe we could announce it on his podcast? - Oh, let's not dredge that up again.
- Why, Spencer? What would you rather dredge up? I just mean, isn't it a bit cart before horse? I don't think so.
And I don't know if Spencer mentioned about a co-writing credit? No, news to me.
Spencer? Yes.
Simon's going to help me out with this project.
As a fan, he understands the Ninth Circle better than I do.
I know where all the bodies are buried.
So, welcome back to this incredible episode of Circum Venting, with me, Simon Smethurst, and my very, very special guest, Spencer McGuire! So, Spence, I have been digging through some of the old message boards from the series finale last year.
Palehorse92 said, "They ruined my show.
" "The writing was terrible from season four onwards.
" That's from Bruiserfan.
"I normally like McGuire's scripts, "but this really was a piece of ship.
" What do you think he means by that? I think he means "A piece of shit".
Oh, yeah.
Yeah, that would make more sense.
Er, how does it feel, Spencer, when you hear comments like that? Because presumably, you didn't set out to write a terrible ending? No, I certainly didn't.
We planned for a long time for the denouement, and aimed for something that would be true to the show's ethos, but would also be surprising.
But you do accept now that you failed to do that? Not necessarily.
I always trust my own instincts cos, without those, as a writer, where would I be? Well, maybe higher than a 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
I don't write for the people who vote in online polls.
Oh, so who do you write for? For myself, primarily.
Right, so you were pleased with the last episode? Yes.
And we got a five-star review in the Sydney Morning Herald, so I wasn't the only one.
So, you listen to the good reviews, just not the bad ones? No, I try to keep an open mind.
Right, well, where I think you've been very, very brave is you haven't just shut yourself off and said you know best.
You've listened to the fans and you've taken on board our opinions.
Because I know, with this new episode, you want it to be a collaboration with the fandom, don't you? Yes.
The show started out as an authored work, a singular vision that I created after many years of experience in the industry.
And, now, it's become a property that everyone is invested in, and it exists purely to be pulled in whatever direction the viewers decide.
Correct! Speaking of which, here's a question that just popped into my head.
Would you ever consider running a competition to give a fan a part in the new episode? Are you fucking serious? Oh, we're going to have to bleep that.
- Of course not! - But why? Well, because they'd have to be able to act, for a start.
Well, that's not hard, is it? "My family have been wronged, Dante.
"Is this nothing? "You call this nothing?! "For three winters now, our fields have remained fallow.
"And so I ask you - nay, I demand - where is your justice now?" And the first person to tweet me what episode that's from will get a Circum Venting badge and a wordsearch.
I don't think it's right to be auctioning off parts for fans.
And, yet, there is a role, in the new episode, of the Baron, who turns against his brother, kills him and, straight away, seduces his brother's wife - without giving away too many spoilers.
Oh, of course, you wouldn't want to do that.
And, when I read it, you know who I immediately visualised in that part? - Who? - Me.
Are you joking? No.
The way he manipulates the situation to get whatever he wants You don't think that's something I'd be good at? We only use professional actors.
Well, let's ask the Circlers.
Write in, let me know in the comments, and I'm going to set up a poll! Should Simon be allowed to star in the new episode, as well as co-writing it? Get voting, guys.
It's our show now! I just think you've let yourself down in these last few pages.
OK, fuck it! Get rid of it "my family, Carter.
Things will change on my return.
" "Carter stands in his tent" And the results are in, guys.
And you will not believe it.
87% of you said "Yes", they want to see me audition for the part of the Baron! I'm so pleased, and thank you so much for all of your thoughts.
I am going to be absolutely brilliant in the part, and I'm sure Spencer's going to be "Hi, Spencer, I forgot my key.
" Is this Mr McGuire? Yes.
Sorry to disturb you.
We met on the awards night? My name's Gavin.
Thing is, Mr McGuire, it was all Simon's idea.
He can be very persuasive.
I just wanted you to read my stories, but he just said you'd throw them away and never look at 'em.
That's probably true.
Had some fake blood left over from when we did The Walking Dead at Comic-Con.
Can't believe you didn't see me breathing.
You must've been very drunk.
I'm so nervous.
I'm such a big fan.
I've brought some things for you to sign, if you don't mind? Yes, of course.
I just need to make one phone call.
I've got a nice big silver pen for this, if you don't mind.
Can I speak to Loretta, please? I can't believe you're going to be making my episode! It's Spencer McGuire.
Yes, I'll hold.
You know, something I always wanted to ask you, Mr McGuire, if you don't mind? You know when Carter emerges from the swamp in season one episode four, and he looks up at the fruit - what was he thinking then? I don't fucking know.
It was ten years ago.
What's going on? Simon! This is Gavin.
I believe you two know each other? Like Carter, he seems to have come back from the dead.
What are you doing here, Gavin? You've ruined everything.
Couldn't help yourself, could you? You said I'd be able to have access to him.
"Eventually" I said "eventually"! I want some time with Mr McGuire.
It's not fair, you having him all to yourself that wasn't the plan.
Of course it was! You're supposed to be dead! Loretta, can you give me a call back as soon as possible, please? Something urgent I have to discuss with you.
I was waiting for him to sign a contract so he couldn't back out of it, dummy! Yeah, all the while living with him and doing podcasts with him! Set yourself up as the queen bee of the fandom! I've got an actual relationship with him, not some sort of fantasy world that's all made up! I'm his equal.
He respects me.
Don't you, Spencer? He doesn't even know you! Did you tell him you have Photoshopped pictures of him with no clothes on? They were DMed to you in private.
It was not for a public forum! All right, that's enough.
Now, I don't want to press charges, but, unless you leave my property now, I will go to the police.
Spencer the project.
What, did you really think I'd revisit my own work and overwrite it with this dogshit? I thought you liked it.
Well, I had to say that, didn't I? But you've got nothing over me now.
I'm not writing any more Ninth Circle.
Why would I? Because, for some people, it's more than just a TV show.
We only want to celebrate what you do.
Oh, get out! You should be flattered that we care so much.
Think you would've had seven seasons without a big fanbase? Oh, so suddenly you're the reason for my success, are you? Well, in part, yes.
We're the ones who spend all our money on DVDs and merchandise.
We're the ones who go to the conventions and pay, what, 60 quid for a selfie with Michael Maloney, because he was an advocate in season one.
We do it because we care.
We're a community of loyal friends that love each other very much.
And if you can't see that, Mr McGuire, then I pity you.
Come on, Simon.
How dare you! You call yourself a fan? What gives you the right to question this great man's integrity?! To think that this beautiful thing that he has created has become the sickening glue, the catnip, the flame that has drawn you insects together! Like a nest of wasps in an attic, it's given you a misplaced sense of agency.
There may be a lot of you, but you don't have a voice.
You don't! You're just pests.
You're pests who need fumigating! Simon What have you done? You said yourself - I had nothing over you.
Well, now I have.
Wh-what are you talking about? Think about it.
You've just delivered a draft script that you've stolen from a fan.
The fan finds out about it, comes to confront you - And you've killed him to shut him up.
- No No, I'm going to call the police.
I'm going to tell them the truth.
You make up stories for a living.
I've got the video footage of you fighting with Gavin and pushing him down.
I've got the notebook in his handwriting.
His fingerprints all over the place.
It doesn't look good, does it? Come on, Spencer.
You've already killed him once.
This just makes it more believable.
I really don't want to send you to prison.
But I would.
I just want us to be together.
You know it's the only option, Spencer.
Some things just feel right.
You make yourself comfortable.
Don't want him looking at us, do we? You see together, we're stronger.
We can rule this kingdom forever And ever and ever.
Sorry about the mess.
I hope it doesn't stain.
So, how did he get on? Did he get it? Get what? The audition! Killing me, seducing you It's the Baron's story arc.
He said you didn't think he was right for the part, so he wanted to persuade you.
I'm sorry for lying.
Oh, God! Did you like the big speech about the insects? I wrote that.
Yes, it was very convincing.
Before he comes back, can I get you to sign those things now? I'm so excited to be working with you, Mr McGuire.
I think we're going to make a great partnership.
Your stories are fantastic, but I always felt your dialogue was a bit weak.
That's that's Can you make this one out to? Five-star reviews across the board.
The Guardian says, "This has rejuvenated McGuire's career.
" Variety say, "Finally, we get the ending we deserved.
" - It's a triumph, darling.
- Good! Now, I spoke to Mitch last night, and he doesn't want to give you another series.
- Really? - No.
He wants to give you two more series! That takes us on to season nine.
I hope you've got plenty of ideas.
Oh, I'm sure I'll be able to think of something.
Jolly good.
And If you want any help, there's plenty of young writers out there who'd be happy being paid peanuts just to work with you.
Well, why pay them at all? I can always steal their ideas and then dump them in the Thames.
You are funny! Well, I'll let you get on and enjoy your morning.
Oh, and one last thing.
Did you have a short quote to give me for the press release? One line will do.
Just say, "I did it "I did it for the fans.
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