The Essex Serpent (2022) s01e01 Episode Script

The Blackwater

1 Forgive me.
Forgive me for sinning with Samuel Dowsett.
It was the serpent who tempted me.
Our secret, Naomi.
Morning, Doctor.
How's the patient? Anything I should know? Just do what he says.
I came as soon as I could.
"Remember me when I am gone away " "Gone far away into the silent land When you can no more hold me by the hand.
" Sir, may I examine you? Mmm.
It's progressing.
But if I operate immediately, it's a very simple procedure.
I intend to leave the world as I entered it.
If I don't operate, he will die.
His throat is constricted.
With your consent, I could give him a strong sedative.
What Operate without his permission? I'm so sorry.
Can I stay with you? Of course you can.
You need to rest, Cora.
You're trembling.
Your father's died.
Are you sad? But you're not crying.
I'm so sorry, Frankie.
Dear Cora, I'm so sorry.
Let me know if I can do anything.
I will.
Thank you, Charles.
Thank you for coming, Dr.
I'm afraid I'm empty-handed.
- We should go.
- Hmm.
I'll get you a cab.
I don't want to go in a cab.
Shall we walk? I want to go on the Underground.
Shall I take him home? Come.
What I'd really like is to go for a very long walk.
Will you come with me? Of course.
You know, we're following the course of the river.
It's right beneath our feet.
The eels used to swim upstream all the way from Sargasso Sea.
They'd come here to breed.
Now instead of mud and reeds, all they find is iron and concrete.
Nothing wrong with iron and concrete.
What? Natural history is my passion, Dr.
You can hear the river.
My husband was was always buying me jewelry.
I wish you'd let me operate.
How does it feel to cut into a living body? No, I'm-I'm I'm curious.
That's all.
It's exciting.
Every operation, a leap of faith.
It's a high-wire act, Mrs.
It sounds fascinating.
I'd love to learn more about it.
How are you feeling? Odd.
All of Michael's friends I went for a walk with Dr.
We talked and talked.
Was that wrong? No.
You're free now, Cora, to make new friends, explore.
We've been shut away for too long.
I saved you this.
Thought you might be interested.
Hmm? I'll check on Frankie.
Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! you showed such a keen interest in my work that I wonder if you'd like to watch me operate at the medical school? The patient was trampled by a horse.
- Uh, madam.
- Excuse us.
- There'll be a lot of blood.
- with a compound fracture of the tibia.
- Luke Garrett will be operating.
- Yeah! - Whoo! Whoo! - Silence! Silence! Silence! Luke Garrett will be operating, assisted by George Spencer.
- Yeah! Whoo! - That's my boy.
Come on now.
- Ooh! - Oh, God.
I'd rather bleed to death in the street.
I can't see.
Here we are.
My rooms are upstairs.
I expect you've never been south of the river before? I'm very happy to be here, Dr.
Do you always assist, Dr.
Spencer? Well, of course I do operate.
An ingrown toenail or a bladder stone.
I do a perfectly good lithotomy.
But Mr.
Garrett is at the cutting edge, Mrs.
Please, call me Cora.
So what edge do you hope to cut into next, Luke? The heart.
- How? - Well the main challenge is keeping the patient alive once I open the chest cavity.
Just need the right patient.
You're an animal.
The hospital board agree with you.
No idea why.
We can all be skeptical about new ideas.
- Oh, no.
I'm all for progress.
- Martha's a socialist.
A socialist and a naturalist? - And what of it? - Nothing.
It's delightful.
It's delightful? Is your heart surgery delightful? More of a vocation.
Well, if we were welcomed into the professions, we might have vocations too.
Well, perhaps we were not welcomed either.
We must all follow our passions.
I couldn't agree more.
What is it? Nothing.
You said she went off to Maldon.
So she'll be in Maldon? Unless there's something you're not telling me.
If she's been with that boy, tell me.
She hasn't.
Then she'll be home soon.
Is Mrs.
Seaborne in? Yes, come in.
Thank you.
- Cora? - Uh Luke.
What a surprise.
Brought you something.
- Wow, it's beautiful.
- Mmm.
- What is it? - A slice of human heart.
From the operating theater? No, no.
Uh, I got it from the mortuary.
Research cadaver.
It's the oddest present I've ever received.
Thank you.
I'll take it to Essex.
We leave tomorrow.
- Essex? - Yes, Colchester.
A sea creature's been spotted.
Oh, that.
I read about that.
- I've done some research.
- Into a mythical beast? Not mythical.
I think this serpent could be some sort of plesiosaur.
As Darwin says in The Origin, there may well be species that have been insulated from the usual competitive pressures.
- I mean, surely, you've come across - No.
- You haven't? - Cora, no - What? - Don't Essex.
Don't go.
I thought I should follow my passions.
Yes, of course.
But from a medical point of view, you're grieving.
- Cora - I can do what I want now he's dead.
News from Essex! All the latest.
Monstrous serpent returns! Look, it's not so bad.
It's witch-burning country.
News from Essex! All the latest.
Monstrous serpent returns.
What can you tell me about the serpent? What can't I tell you, madam? Have a look at that.
Postcard? No, thank you.
- You here looking for the serpent? - Have you seen it? Oh, yeah.
Huge ridged back, wings.
- Serpents don't have wings.
- This one does.
Are there any photographs? Oh.
Well, livestock's been eaten.
And there's been a sighting recently.
- Where? - Aldwinter.
- Village out on the Blackwater.
- Mmm.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
News from Essex! Do you mind if I keep walking? I'll find you some treasure.
Don't be too late.
Damn you! Damn you! Stop! - Let me help.
- Go on, then.
She's stuck.
Get up! Up! Here, take my belt.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Watch its neck.
Watch its neck.
Now! Here.
Thank you.
- I should go.
- Where you headed? Aldwinter.
You've heard the stories.
You wanna go and have a look.
There's nothing to see.
Go home.
Take our sacrifice.
Bring my sister home.
Take this.
Bring Gracie back.
Bring Gracie back.
Henry? Father.
Any news on Gracie? You all right? Oh, it's nothing.
It was an accident.
Gracie? She went off to Maldon to sell lace.
She's never been gone this long before.
What does Naomi think? She's been listening to the rumors about the serpent.
Now you know as well as I do, it's a myth.
I reckon she stayed on in Maldon with a friend.
She's a lively soul.
No mother's eye on her.
I'm here if you need me.
I found these in the trap this morning.
Thank you.
She'll be back soon, Henry.
And I'll see you all in church on Sunday.
Thank you, Father.
- Did you read my letter? - As I keep telling you, if I was to take on the problems of every family in my constituency, I'd never get any work done.
- Who is this? - Charles.
What are you doing here? I heard you'd left London.
I was worried about you.
I'm here to research the sea dragon.
Couldn't you have found a hobby in town? Helped Martha with her campaigns? I promised Michael I'd look after you.
Well, Martha looks after me.
Will Ransome.
We offered him a safe seat.
Lost him to God.
He's got a parish near the coast.
He could keep an eye on you.
What, a vicar? I'll write to them.
Introduce you.
He lives in Aldwinter.
Aldwinter? "I have been digging down by the estuary, but no evidence of the plesiosaur yet " Very romantic.
"However, the countryside is beautiful, and the pub is charming.
I still have your heart.
Yours sincerely, Cora.
" Spencer.
What does that mean? She still has your present? No, I think she likes me.
She does, doesn't she? Mr.
You said I should come and find you.
I think we finally have the right case.
- A pericardial effusion? - I think so.
- Age? - Fifty-one.
Her heart rate is dropping.
Just be quick.
I suppose I'll see to your next appointment then? Hold the lung for me, Nurse.
Hold that.
Check the pulse.
Anything? I'm sorry.
Another dead body in my theater.
She had a couple of hours in her at best.
Anyone could see that.
You're a pioneer, Garrett, and I admire that.
But I have to think about our reputation.
I mean, here I am, attempting cardiac surgery for the first time ever! Our reputation? It wouldn't suffer, it would soar.
Doesn't he realize I am one of the No.
In fact, I am without a shadow of a doubt, the most innovative surgeon of my generation.
- What if someone else gets there first? - Is anyone else trying? Her body couldn't take the shock of the knife.
What I need is a strong heart.
Young and healthy.
I would do it in this room if I have to.
Let's take a few days off.
Hmm? Go away? To Essex.
Come in.
What is going on? Have we come to the lunatic asylum? Luke.
What are you doing here? You made Essex sound so enticing.
Well, it's very good to see you.
Come in.
Come in.
You remember Luke, Frankie? - 375.
- Mmm.
373 Ugh.
Don't you brush your hair anymore? Your hands are filthy.
- Good afternoon, Dr.
- Luke.
I'll sort your cases out.
Uh, do you need a hand? Of course she does.
Go on.
So, what are you really doing here? Uh.
I lost a patient on the table.
I'm sorry.
Ah, it happens when trying a new procedure.
What about you? Any sign of the beast? Not yet.
But I'm going to Aldwinter to find out more.
- Who from? - God knows.
Some boring vicar.
- Oh.
How awful.
- I know.
- He'll make you say grace.
- I'll refuse, and it'll be painful.
Well, you should just stay here with me.
Oh, should I? Well, it would be rude to leave me alone on my first night.
You've got Spencer.
But if the beast is calling you Well, I'll be back after dinner.
Is there something out there? No.
No, just the wind.
Come on.
Let's go and join the others.
Come on, pup.
Now, who has a pencil for Naomi? - What are you drawing, John? - The serpent.
- Shall we talk about something else? - Yes.
- Who's coming to dinner? - Hmm.
A friend of Charles.
A widow and her son, all the way from London.
She'll be old and wrinkled.
And she'll bore us all with the latest talk from society drawing rooms.
And her son? What do you think, Jo? Um, a young student? Down from Oxford? Yes.
He'll fall in love with me and then propose.
- Mm-hmm.
- And I will refuse and break his heart.
Will you stay? Join us for dinner.
P-Please do.
You'd be very welcome.
No, thank you.
I should go before it gets dark.
I don't want my father to worry about me too.
I'll walk you home.
- But you've got visitors.
- It's fine.
They'll still be here when I get back.
Can I ask you a question about the Scriptures, Father? Of course.
Why does the serpent tempt Eve? Uh.
Well, it's an allegory.
The serpent is really the devil.
That's what I thought.
There is no serpent in Essex.
I promise you, Naomi.
There's nothing here.
- Thank you.
- Of course.
Henry, what's this? Naomi skinned them this afternoon.
To scare the beast away.
It isn't real, Henry.
You have to tell her.
There is no beast.
Protect us.
Keep us safe.
You're too young to be a widow.
And so beautiful.
I feel a little overdressed.
I expected dinner at the vicarage to be more formal.
Have you got Mr.
Burns, the butcher? Not at home.
We're so sorry.
For him to lose his father at such a young age.
Actually, he's always been a bit different.
He's His own person.
That's all right.
Will should be back in a minute.
He's walking home one of Jo's friends.
Everyone's a little on edge at the moment.
There he is.
Yes, I have Uh, I need to work on my sermon.
Try and calm everyone down.
- Can I just join you later? - Absolutely not.
And they're nice.
You're the vicar? Pleased to meet you, Mrs.
John, do you remember the day I I cut my face? She's the strange lady from the marshes.
I'm I'm sorry.
I-I was rude.
I don't know what I would have done without you.
You were a monster.
I'm-I'm sure I was.
- Hello.
- Martha.
- Martha.
Pleased to meet you.
- It's nice to meet you.
I'm hungry.
Could we eat? What a good idea.
- So you're here to look for fossils? - Mmm.
Cora is obsessed with the serpent.
Well, the only serpent here is on a pew in church.
It's been there for 200 years.
- And now it's come back to life.
- Jo.
Why do you think that? Because it's been seen on the marshes.
And now Well, lots of people think the Jo.
That's enough.
The serpent is not real.
But what if it is? Do you know the work of Charles Lyell? - Yes, of course.
- Will reads everything.
Who's Charles Lyell? He wrote about animals that escaped evolution.
Perhaps your serpent's one of them.
No, the serpent is an invention.
It's a a symptom of the the times we live in.
Well Exciting times.
Of great change that bring real fears with them.
So you're against progress? You're determined to see me in a very narrow light.
Maybe I fear your judgment.
Perhaps I'm an outcast At least in the eyes of your church.
- Jesus was an outcast.
- Once upon a time.
Uh, but these days, he's very establishment.
I'd rather believe in a creature people have actually seen than an invisible god.
Is that blasphemy? You won't get Will to judge you.
No matter how hard you try.
But speak to my curate.
He'd happily condemn you to hellfire.
Well, none of you are as I expected.
- Father said you were going to bore - If you could stay the night, you could see the pew at church in the morning.
Well, I should get back to my friend, but I'd love to see the serpent.
- Yes, please.
- But I hate church.
- Oh.
- You stay.
We go.
We'll head back tonight then, shall we? Please do whatever you want.
You'll stay? That's settled then.
Henry! Henry! - What is it? - I just got back from Maldon.
Gracie? She never turned up.
Stay here, where you're safe.
Gracie? Gracie! Gracie! Father! The Essex serpent here in the heart of your church.
A myth carved in oak.
I saw a bloodied sheep's head on the marshes this morning.
- Killed by the creature? - Carrion for an eel trap.
One of the fishermen must have dropped it.
How can you be so sure? If I were to let in any doubt, how would I look after my flock? - Philip.
Good morning.
- Good morning, Father.
- Morning, Edward.
- Morning, Father.
You know Gracie Banks is still missing.
So Well, what will you say now? Uh.
This is my curate, Matthew Evansford.
This is Mrs.
Cora Seaborne.
Pleased to meet you.
Father Ransome needs to get ready.
Take a seat, Mrs.
Not in that pew.
Not today.
I-I'm sorry.
He's taken all this to heart.
Sit wherever you like.
Go and get help.
Go! Gracie! Gracie! Every one of us lives with doubt and fear.
Even me.
That is where God lives.
In our uncertainty and in love.
And now is the time for us to come together.
For my part, I will listen to your fears, and I'll try my hardest to understand them.
Don't be scared.
It's when we're most lost that the source of light is closest.
Please stand.
Abide with me ♪ Fast falls the eventide ♪ The darkness deepens ♪ Lord, with me abide ♪ When other helpers ♪ fail and comforts flee ♪ Help of the helpless ♪ Oh, abide with me ♪ I fear no foe ♪ Jonah.
What is it? It's Gracie.
Henry sent me.
He needs help.
Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! Keep moving, come on! Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! - Gracie! - Go on.
Gracie! - Gracie! - Come here.
Gracie! - Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! - Come on, keep up! Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! Gracie! No! No! No.
Here! Here! She's over here! Will! Will! This way! This way! My Gracie.
I'm so sorry.
The devil.
The devil has come.
Not now.
Please, Matthew.
"Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
By the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander " Matthew's right.
The serpent has come.
"Come to the assistance of men whom God has created to His likeness and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil.
Pray therefore the God of Peace to crush Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive and do injury to the Church.
Offer our prayers to the Most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us, take hold of the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan "
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