The Book Group (2002) s01e05 Episode Script

Dark Alley

Do your mum a favour and bring me those cherry tomatoes.
Great.
Good boy.
Now bring me the taramasalata.
Can l give you a wee hand, Janice? No, thank you.
- All right, son? - Fine.
- How's training going? - lt's all right.
Janice, Jackie and l are having a bite to eat, do you want something? You're not eating the poppy seed cake? Janice, don't worry, there's plenty left.
(Gasps) Jackie! - There's plenty left, Janice.
- You sliced it.
l was gonna put it on the table and people could take their own slices.
lt's been sliced! lt was meant to be all together.
Well, you could just slice all of it and then it'd look pre-sliced.
That's a good idea.
Sit down, Rab.
Oh, God! (Exhaling) What's going on tonight? There's that players' night at the Corinthian.
- Oh, aye.
Can l come? - You've got the book group.
Aye.
Thing is l never really fancied the book much this time.
So what does that mean? That l'll have to come with you.
- You're welcome.
- Brilliant.
- Hi.
- (Dirka and Fist) Hi.
- Do you rent towels? - Aye.
- Free to you.
- Great.
Shampoo? Got the wee sachets if you want to wash your hair.
No, thanks.
What else would l do in the evenings? (Both) Yeah! lt's Barney from the book group.
Yeah.
That's why l'm calling.
l can't make it tonight, l have a deadline for my thesis.
lt's pretty near.
(Sniffs) Yeah, yeah, OK.
Thank you.
So will you say hi to everyone for me? OK, great, thanks a lot.
Bye.
(Rapping) # All them pedigree bitches can't get enough of me Because l took it to the hilt Built like a Staffordshire bull Left them foaming at the mouth (lmitates scratching) - Bye, guys.
- Bye.
Claire, we were gonna go for drink before we go to Janice's.
- You coming? - l'm not coming to book group.
- Claire.
- lt's your book group.
I know.
I just feel like I might be coming down with something.
- Mmm.
- Mmm.
The pool's not good for that.
You getting a cold? No, no.
l'm just l'm, you know, playing it safe.
Gee, thanks.
(Doorbell) Hi.
You look great.
who's, ermwho's home? Jackie's left for his players' night, wee Jackie's at his cousin's and the others aren't here.
Janice - Yes? - Has anyone told you what they think of my book? l thought if you were here as people arrived No l can't talk to a group of readers.
No way! - Martin - ls the meeting here? - Yes.
- l'll be up there.
Don't you want to meet everyone? Yeah, well We'll see how it goes.
Erm This is a big night for me.
Really? - That's Jackie McCann! - (All shouting) (Doorbell) (All) Hi! Welcome to Casa McCann.
- How are things, Fist? - She's staying with me now.
- Great house, Janice.
- Thank you, Kenny.
Entrez-vous.
Wow.
- Help yourselves.
- l won't eat anything.
- l lost another kilo.
- Did you? l'm so jealous.
How did you do that? - l never eat after six o'clock.
- Oh.
- No, thanks.
- No, thanks.
Barney rang to say he couldn't come.
We were gonna tell you.
Claire's not well so she's not coming.
(Fist) We're just waiting for Rab.
(Photographers shouting) Jackie! Here, Jackie! l don't think Rab's coming either.
Well There we go, eh? (Woman on TV) 'So, when were you gonna tell me, Johnny?' (Man) 'What are you doing with that?' 'All that time you said you were in Florida 'but really you were right here with her.
' 'Baby doll, put the gun down.
' - 'You missed me, didn't you?' - 'Course l did, Kim, 'but this isn't how we're meant to be.
' 'How are we meant to be, Johnny? Like everybody else? 'Johnny, we're different.
' 'ln the whole universe there ain't another me.
' 'l know that, doll.
' - 'There ain't another you.
' - 'Oh, baby.
' 'That's why l can't let her have you, Johnny.
' - 'No, baby doll!' - (Gunshots) 'Goodbye, Johnny.
' - (Kenny) l thought it was good.
- You liked it? Aye.
l mean, nothing special but it kept you turning pages.
- Did you make this, Janice? - Why, yes, l did.
You're one hell of a cook.
l like these wee black things.
l thought it was pepper! - Pepper! - Pepper - Maybe l try some cake.
- Dirka.
- Go for it.
- She has no self-control.
- You are always eating.
- You have lovely figures.
Aye.
- l lost another kilo this week.
- Don't go too far.
You must eat if you're training.
Your husbands know.
- Bart was not my husband.
- Was he not? Dirka's married.
l'm not married.
Wellhave a piece of cake anyway.
l think if you eat properly prepared food (Mouths) - What? - What did you think? Properly prepared food? ls that how you're skinny? She doesn't eat it, she cooks it.
- That's not true.
- l'm just saying l've noticed.
- (Doorbell) - Oh.
Oh, Claire! The others said you weren't coming.
Yeah.
Well, l l changed my mind.
- l'm glad you did.
- Are you? Yes! You're the backbone to this group.
Am l? Magic.
You made it.
Hi, guys.
Wow.
Are you having a party after? - Just tuck in, Claire.
- Oh.
No, thanks, l've eaten.
lt's really good cake.
Sodid anybody actually like the book? (Chatter, piano playing) l know you? Aye.
l'm in your wife's book group.
Oh, that's right! - Brilliant game on Wednesday.
- You saw the Sweden game? We get the Eurosport at Jackie's.
lt's tonight, the book group? Aye, but l didnae fancy the book much this time.
lt's brilliant.
- We get a book, right? - Uh-huh.
And before the meeting, we read the book, right? Then we go to the meeting and we talk about the book.
- Oh.
- Wow.
(Claire) Why the obsession with the dead partner? Sure, he misses the guy but he doesn't consider having a significant relationship with Maria.
Maria? ls she the lady officer? (Dirka) She's the missing guy's sister.
The Mexican girl with the incredible brown eyes? - She's just the love interest.
- But why is she so insignificant? All he thinks about is the dead partner.
Like he's looking for a father figure.
He probably knew his partner really well.
The guy trained him, he dies in front of his eyes.
- l don't remember that.
- lt was in the first book and he had a wee flashback in chapter seven.
He misses him and feels guilty.
He doesn't trust Maria because she's beautiful, Just because she's beautiful doesn't mean he can't love her.
- No - You know, So why should l care if he finds Maria's brother or if the police chief fires him or if he's gonna crack up over his dead partner? Do you have to like a character to get something from a story? An author shouldn't need you to be sympathetic to your main guy.
He's not a nice man, he's a bastard.
But you get involved.
- Maria had too few lines.
- Lines? She doesn't say enough to get to know her.
What's to know? She's the sex object.
lt's kind of a sublimated homoerotic longing.
Gay guys always like to dress up as police officers.
- Martin! - He has a father, they get on marvellously, they go fishing in my second book! Are you the writer? Cool! Great to meet you.
Have you been listening to us? at the end of a 14-hour night shift.
lt was Harley's call, Romanowski didn't have to die! lmagine the guilt! l thought he'd be American.
Such a mistake to put all this Ugh! This relationship stuff into the way you read it.
This is a book about responsibility.
A man weighed down by his sense of right and wrong! He's a policeman, for God's sake! Aye, well, l think you've written a cracking book and it's a great honour to have you here at the book group.
You've misunderstood everything.
(Whispers) He's the guy Janice is having an affair with.
- l thought you'd be American.
- Me too.
Why do you set all your stuff in New York when you're English? Who wants to read about the mean streets of Basingstoke? l'm so glad you could join us, Martin.
So's Kenny but he doesn't have a pusher yet.
Publisher.
- Where's Barney? - Oh, he had a deadline.
Of course some books you understand straightaway and others take a bit of time.
lt must depend on your background.
But you can pick up a book and think, ''l'd never read this, ''why have they given me this?'' Then you read it, and sometimes you quite like it.
- Who's Kenny? - The leader of the group.
No, l wouldnae go that far.
There's no leader as such.
Sometimes one person'll talk more, sometimes that's me.
Sometimes it's Kenny.
- He's training her? - Aye, that's right.
- Big guy? - Oh, aye.
More like Bart or more like me? Difficult to say, really.
He doesnae play football, Kenny.
- What's his sport? - Wheelchair racing.
- Wheelchair racing? - Aye, he's in a wheelchair.
- Ohhh - So he's a cripple? - Aye.
- (All) Ahhh.
Oh, yeah, sure.
''Lovely guy''! Why can't you write a woman that you can imagine existing? But Maria's based on a Portuguese au pair.
Look, look, look.
'''Harley,' she whispered.
'''lf any man can find Esteban, you can.
' ''She moved towards me slowly, her eyes as deep as inkwells.
''She smelled of violets.
At least, l think they were violets.
'' lt's like all she ever does is, you know, smell.
She's a threat to him, she could be luring him into a trap.
Like l've never read that plot device before.
lt's true.
Beautiful women have a tremendous power over men.
- Did you sleep with the au pair? - Janice.
You never said you had children.
They weren't mine, they were my ex-wife's.
So your ex-wife had an ex-husband and they had children.
- Yeah.
- Right.
does that mean she is untrustworthy? ls that what you're saying? My character doesn't trust women, he's been hurt.
- lt's a formula.
- A genre! Not a formula! lt's a smashing book, you've got millions of readers.
Well, thousands.
235,000.
You must be rich.
- ls it good being a writer? - Well - Yeah.
Beats the civil service.
- The what? The civil service, the people who run things.
Do you get up in the morning and write, just like a normal job? Twenty pages a day.
l start at nine every day, six days a week, it's the only way.
l used to wait to be inspired, wait for the big idea but now l just write and the ideas come.
But you know, the surprising thing is - Five million quid?! You're a donkey! - A donkey! - Hello, everyone.
- All right, guys.
- Sorry l missed the group.
- Jackie, this is Martin Logan.
Good on ya, Martin.
Martin, this is my husband Jackie.
- How do you do? - l do all right.
Excellent.
- Did you go to players' night? - Aye.
Lars is still there.
lt's a piss-up.
Martin, l couldnae finish your book.
- Never mind.
- l mean, it was all right, it's just been a very busy week for me.
- What you been up to, Rab? - l'm working for Jackie.
(Kenny) Oh, it's football now? (Rab) Aye.
Did you score? Rab is Jackie's new secretary.
Personal assistant, Janice.
- Didn't know you could type.
- Ah, well Erm, l'd better be going.
Great to meet you, Mr Writer.
Martin.
He's famous, Jackie.
Aye, well.
No great reader myself but good on you, Martin.
Can l have a wee word, Martin? Sure, sure.
Oh, God, l didn't realise.
l thought that chair was - part of the furniture.
- Aye, well.
Martin, l was wondering if Say no if you mean no.
l was wondering if l could send you some pages of my book.
Yeah, of course, course! Yeah, yeah, l'd love that.
Here's my address.
Good for you! - l'll speak to you tomorrow, Martin.
- Yeah.
Um Janice - l can write women.
- Of course you can.
l don't pander to popular ideas of how women see themselves.
They liked the book.
- You heard them.
- Yeah.
Oh, yeah - l'll call you.
Where did you meet him, Janice? Are you referring to Martin Logan? Aye.
l met him whilst he was giving a lecture at a book shop.
Good for you, darling, you are right in there.
Um, are we done? l'll take you home, Claire.
- We were going to drive you.
- Och, no.
Claire and l will get a taxi up the road.
Cheers, guys.
- There's a good film on in a minute.
- ls there? Cannae remember the name of it but She's so ordinary looking.
- She doesn't wear make-up.
- And her energy's so - Heavy.
- Yeah, but she is American.
He always liked American girls.
They'll have sex with anything.
No inhibitions.
She's such a prickteaser.
- You all right, Claire? - Yeah.
l don't know.
Sometimes l kind of wonder what l'm doing here.
Not working out? l don't know.
- Great meeting that writer.
- Yeah.
- How's your writing? - Fantastic.
lt's really coming together.
l'm gonna send Martin my stuff and he's gonna read it.
Great.
How's your book going? Up and down.
There's, um, a character based on you in it.
- Really? - Yeah.
Guy in a wheelchair? - Yeah.
- Good-looking? Yeah.
Too right.
Excuse me, where's the police station? - What's the trouble? - l need a policeman.
I'm a policeman - Can I see yourbadge ? Sure you can.
l'm gonna have to see your lD.
'Oh.
Uh 'l don't think l brought my wallet.
' - 'Am l gonna have to search you?' - 'Guess so.
' 'Get over here, perp.
' (Panting on TV) (Grunting on TV) - 'ls that your weapon l can feel?' - 'Ready and loaded, baby.
' (Moaning on TV) (Dripping) Somewhere lt's written in a book that l've read Sometime lt's written just the way that you said The book that l read