The Shadow of the Tower (1972) s01e11 Episode Script

The Strange Shapes Of Reality

(Drum roll) My name is Perkin Warbeck.
I was born in the town of Tournay, son of John Warbeck and Katherine de Faro, his wife.
Grievously and wickedly, I have claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, second son of King Edward IV.
On my oath, I do now declare that all these claims and pretenses are nothing but sinful lies.
May God have mercy on my soul.
(Drum roll) Lady Catherine Gordon? Yes, my Lord.
Catherine.
What can I say? Nothing.
All your words are lies.
No.
They let me watch from a window in the Tower.
I heard everything you said.
Your confession.
Do you then despise me, Catherine? Despise you? No.
How could I? You are a stranger to me.
It would be most uncharitable to despise a stranger.
If only we could be alone together for a few short minutes.
I see no one.
Well, your cousin King James of Scotland.
- Where? - Well, he surrounds us always.
How? Well, he brought us together.
He wants us to marry.
And so? I wish I knew your heart.
You think I am merely obeying a king? I am not such an expert dissembler, my Lord.
It was not of my doing, Catherine.
Then who is to blame? The King of France, Spain, Margaret of Burgundy? I was thrust forward, much against my will.
And lied and deceived.
- But not to you.
- Yes, to me most of all.
- How can you say that, when I love you still? - Who loves me? - I swear I - Richard of York or Perkin Warbeck? Why should it matter? It was not more than five score.
Five hundred were counted dead upon the ground.
Oh, don't talk of these matters, Catherine.
They're beyond your concern.
Truth is my concern.
Then be assured I love you, in truth and forever.
Oh, Catherine, why were these burdens heaped on our shoulders? Why were we not left in peace? Never before.
Never.
Either you're a man of great weakness or great wickedness.
Which I cannot tell.
- Catherine.
- No, please do not touch me again.
- I'm still your husband.
- In name alone.
- Is that what you wish? - It is what King Henry wishes.
We may speak together but not lie together.
Ah, well, he fears me.
Henry Tudor fears me.
- What do you mean? - He fears a child, a continuance of my claim.
- But you have confessed.
- Words, that is all.
Easily spoken, easily denied.
Trust me, Catherine.
I shall find a way.
No King of England shall keep us apart.
- What is it, Catherine? Don't you believe me? - Oh, yes.
I will bribe the guards and they will admit you to my chamber.
Then, my dearest Catherine, we shall have a son.
Edward.
Yes, Edward.
A lusty son.
A child of my deep love and your sweet body.
If I bore your child, I would pray that it were born dead.
Oh, Catherine.
This world has rogues enough.
One day he might be king.
He might very possibly.
Oh, Richard! There, I knew it, you love me still.
- Pity, not love.
- Pity? You are a victim of your own deceit, and that is a most pitiable circumstance.
No, I will escape.
There are plans.
I shall be free.
You will never be free of your lies and false dealings.
Surely we should forget the past.
The past will die.
- No, not for a minute.
- Why? You can forget by inventing new lies.
I cannot do that, nor would I ever wish to.
- Catherine, please, you must not leave me.
- If only you had spoken the truth.
It was politics.
Don't you see? I was forced.
You deceive yourself at every breath! I swear to God, my love is true.
How can there be love without trust? - Well, then, trust me.
- Too late.
- Trust me, Catherine.
- I cannot.
Do you hate me, then? (Sighs ) Once I loved you.
Now I pity you.
I will never hate you.
(Drum roll) Grievously and wickedly have I sinned.
I have lied and said false things, claiming to be Richard, Duke of York, second son of King Edward IV.
Let it now be known that my name is Perkin Warbeck, son of John Warbeck, controller of the town of Tournay.
Most humbly I beg forgiveness and mercy for my many offenses.
(Drum roll) Edward, Earl of Devon.
- Your Majesty.
- We are glad to see you, Devon.
- You're welcome to court.
- Thank you, sire.
Is your family well? We're all in excellent health, sir, thank you.
Good.
I'm told that you have heard the French lad's confession.
This morning, sir, in Cheapside.
He does it well, does he not, speaks loudly and with much conviction? Much apparent conviction.
The people believe that he is Perkin Warbeck and not the Duke of York.
No more is necessary.
My Lord, there are some who think you behave too leniently with this traitor.
- Some? Are you of that number, Devon? - Yes, my Lord, I am.
- You would prefer to see him dead? - He marched against you in open rebellion.
Your subjects, your loyal subjects, were killed.
I know, I know.
And now he lodges like an honored guest.
- No bars, no jailer.
- Not true.
He's watched night and morn.
Even so, my Lord, and with respect, it is not enough.
We think it sufficient.
The city of Exeter is full of mourners.
Wives newly widowed.
Mothers robbed of sons.
Brother of brother.
And all because of this one man.
- That is Exeter.
This is London.
- And your meaning? The passions of grief do not necessarily dictate the best policies.
To put him to death would be to imply that I fear him, that I recognize him as a potent threat to my crown.
Far better to let him live, discredited and disgraced.
There can be no glory for him in that.
These ten years have changed you.
- Are you surprised? - Yes, to be frank.
You're not the same man you were on Bosworth Field.
- Bosworth is 12 years ago, not 10.
- Then you had passion.
Now you're cold.
- Well, I was 12 years younger.
- Yes, but you know that what I say is true.
Do I? Why else would you parry words like this? Yes, yes, perhaps you're right.
Oh, pity the man cursed with perceptive friends.
Then you admit that you've changed? - I must appear to have changed, that is all.
- My Lord When Warbeck was brought to me at Taunton, I wanted to strike him.
But this I considered to be foolish, unthinking, and a wise king should avoid foolish acts.
- The people would have loved you for it.
- Ah, yes, no doubt.
But then I am little loved, Edward.
Little loved, but much respected.
If the people knew you as I know you, then they would love you.
Youyou withhold too much.
You should show yourself a man as well as a monarch.
Only a great king dare betray his weaknesses and act from instinct and caprice.
Only he dare let his passions rule his judgment.
That is what makes a great king great.
- I've learned to recognize my limitations.
- Oh, come now.
No, don't play the courtier, Edward, when you know I'm speaking the truth.
I may not be great.
But I am secure.
What I have achieved, I have achieved through careful consideration and much thought.
Like a dull fortress with thick walls.
I would withstand a long siege.
The louder they jeer at me, the more hopeful I become.
It will take but one turn of fortune to change their jeers into cheers.
- Jeers into cheers.
- Yes, my Lord.
What's more, Henry Tudor knows it.
He's frightened, John.
He knows that if I were executed, the whole of England would rise up against him.
Why else would he have spared me thus? Higher, John, higher.
Ah, a man who fears like Henry Tudor, he's already halfway to defeat.
Yes, my Lord.
Ah, poor blind John.
"Yes, my Lord," he says, "yes, my Lord", while I talk and talk and talk.
Yes, my Lord.
When I've won his throne, I shall put out his eyes.
I shall say to him, "For John.
"This is for John.
" (Knock at door) - Who is it? - Food and wine.
Oh.
The door is unlocked.
- Do you have no names? - What? Well, every day you come here.
You knock.
I say, "Who is it?" "Food and wine," that's your only reply, "food and wine.
" - What more do you want? - Well, a name perhaps.
A brief glimpse of humanity.
We're not paid for extras.
Are you not? Here, John.
- Here's some wine.
- Thank you, my Lord.
Is your pay inadequate, then? What? - Well, you said, "We're not paid for extras.
" - No more we are.
From which I conclude that you're not paid enough.
- Who is? - Who is? Yeah.
Of course, if you enjoy your work, then money is unimportant, I suppose.
Enjoy it? You think we enjoy it? - Well, don't you? - Would you? - No, but - What? Well, if I didn't like my work, I'd do something about it.
Easier said than done.
Well, that depends.
How do you mean? I am no ordinary prisoner.
Ha-ha.
We guessed.
Shut up.
Sir? I don't have money here, but I can get some.
- How much? - Fifty sovereigns.
Sixty, maybe more.
No, not enough.
There's one thing more useful than money.
Powerful friends.
Remember that.
Heh.
So where are yours, then, eh? They're waiting.
Why aren't they helping you out of this place? Well, they must wait for the proper time.
Yeah, and when's that? Very soon.
I do not forget those who help me.
One day I will be the most powerful man in this realm.
- Yeah, one day.
- Oh, leave him.
- Do you doubt me? - Well, look at you.
Look at that.
I am what I am, not what I may appear.
But you've said you're not Richard.
I heard you.
But surely you did not believe me? Ah.
To me you're just another prisoner.
Very well.
Look.
We'd need more than 50 sovereigns, wouldn't we? - What? - We'd need more than that.
You don't mean you You wouldn't let him go? - Why not? - But we can't.
- Who's to know? - Everyone'll know.
Everyone.
A door left unlocked by mistake? Nothing they can prove.
They might.
Not a chance.
Fifty sovereigns apiece.
We'll do it for that.
(Laughing) Burnt.
All his treasures, his beloved treasures.
(Laughing) - My Lord? - No, please don't get up.
I had no wish to disturb you.
- I'm only sewing.
- Yes, most skillfully, it seems.
Thank you.
Yes, yes.
Most skillfully.
I was sorry to hear that so many of your tapestries had been destroyed in the fire.
Yes, many fine things.
Tapestries, books, furniture.
The Palace of Shene is no more.
Is nothing left? A few charred timbers and some blackened stones.
Little else.
I had much affection for that place.
- Too much perhaps.
- Why too much? Is it not foolish to become overly fond of things, places, man-made objects which can burn away and leave nothing behind? Men themselves can disappear, die or change beyond all recognition.
If you are afraid of loss, then it is better not to love at all.
That is a sad philosophy, Lady Catherine.
Perhaps all loving ends in sadness.
Therefore one needs a sad philosophy.
Will you rebuild the palace? I think so.
One should always rebuild, no matter what the risk of further loss.
- (Birdsong outside ) - That way lies hope.
There, listen to that bird.
It's hard December and still she sings.
- A thrush? - Aye.
And through her we look forward to spring, rebirth and trees full of blossom.
We are too melancholy, Lady Catherine.
Let us learn from nature, for in nature there's always hope.
I am not without hope, my Lord, nor without gladness in my heart.
Then I am content.
For a few short months, I loved a man with all my soul.
To me, that man is now dead, and, like most widows, I rejoice in the happiness that once I knew, regretting nothing, for there is nothing to regret.
Save the passage of time.
Yes.
- Do you still see him? - When he requests it.
And how often is that? Very rarely.
Just once in the last six weeks.
Does he still hope for a reconciliation? Not any more.
He wanted money.
- Money? - To repay a debt to a faithful follower.
- How much? - One hundred sovereigns.
- You gave him that? - It was a debt of honor, so he said.
You should not squander your money thus, Lady Catherine.
If he asks for more, you must come to me.
- And you would pay his debts? - If they are just and proper.
- But he is your enemy.
- Was.
And you know, one can feel a curious bond of sympathy for a man who was one's enemy.
- How very strange.
- You think so? In your place I could feel nothing but hatred and the desire for revenge.
Oh, such rigorous emotions are rather exhausting, I find.
- Besides, I - Yes? Sometimes, you know, I find myself observing my own life like a spectator.
People, events, places pass before my eyes and I observe them with the greatest interest.
But they do not touch my heart.
Thus I am able to pardon enemies and forgive misdeeds, and to rule, with a gentle detachment.
I fear I'm often thought to be cold and unapproachable, but this is not so.
There is a distance between the Crown and me.
Perhaps because I am still amazed at having achieved this high estate.
You are a good man, my Lord.
And you a good lady much misused.
This has been a most pleasant conversation.
Please regard me as your friend, Lady Catherine.
My Lord, there is, I suppose, no chance that he might be what he says? The Duke of York? King Richard IV? He is a false pretender and there is no substance in his claim.
- A liar? - A weak man, cruelly misled.
Some say his mother is Margaret of Burgundy.
Yes, I've heard that rumor.
Bastard son of Margaret and the Bishop of Cambrai.
- Could it be true? - It could, but it seems very unlikely.
He said Margaret promised him armed support.
Like many others, she was deceived.
Then he's plain Perkin Warbeck.
I have no reason to think otherwise.
And yet he was so like a prince.
Sweet Lady Catherine.
One hundred gold sovereigns.
Fifty apiece.
That's your price.
(Keys jangle ) - Have patience, and I shall return.
- Aye.
As king.
Then all shall be happiness, John.
No moreno more pain.
- When? - Soon.
I have many friends.
They will help me.
- You'll not forget? - I promise.
To send word? Be comforted.
I shall not forget.
(Knock) - It is time.
- Very well.
May God protect you always.
And you, my Lord.
(Door creaking) (Door clunks ) - (Horse galloping) - (Man ) King Richard, King RichardI Long live King Richard IVI King Richard IV! (Crowd) Long live King Richard IVI (Horse galloping) Nothing can stop me now! (Horse galloping) Your Majesty.
I confess to the many grievous injuries I have done you and throw myself upon your most gracious mercy.
Nothing! (Horse galloping) (Horse galloping) (Horse galloping) (Crowd) Long live King Richard IVI Long live King Richard IVI - How long has he been gone? - No more than an hour, my Lord.
- Send riders in pursuit.
- And when he is captured? - Take him to the Tower.
- It shall be done, sire.
Put him in a cell where he can see neither sun nor moon.
Imprison him in such fashion that he will never, with God's help, play such another trick again.
My Lord.
(Chains jangle ) (Groans ) His Lordship the Bishop of Cambrai.
We are pleased to welcome you to our court, my Lord Bishop.
Your Majesty is most gracious.
His Highness the Archduke Philip of Burgundy commands me to assure you of his continuing friendship and hopes that the alliance between our two countries may be further strengthened by an expansion of commerce and trade.
His Highness deeply regrets the various disagreements that have arisen during recent years, and was deeply disappointed when the conference at Bruges failed to produce a lasting settlement.
I am therefore instructed to seek agreements upon import duties and to discuss means whereby English merchants may resume trade with Antwerp and Brabant.
We share the Archduke's desire for an expansion of trade, my Lord Bishop.
May your present mission be rewarded with a lasting settlement between the merchants of your country and ours.
(Click) Who's that? Who's there? Madam.
You may go.
The King thinks very highly of you, Lady Catherine.
Did you know that? His Majesty has always showed me much kindness.
Yes.
It's surprising, at least I find it so, that the King should bestow these favors on a Scottish girl, the wife of a traitor, the wife of a man who led an army against the English throne.
I will confess I was disturbed when I heard that you were to be given the freedom of the court.
Well, more than disturbed.
I was alarmed.
And with good cause.
What if you were plotting the King's overthrow? What if you were as devious as your wretched husband, Perkin Warbeck? - Madam, I - Remember, Lady Catherine.
I am the King's mother.
Nothing is closer to my heart than his safety and wellbeing.
Ha.
Yes, an uneasy business, watching for his safety.
And your presence here seemed to threaten us all.
Madam, I am no danger to the King, I swear it.
No, I do not think you are.
- Then why do you - Oh, I was speaking of my first impressions.
Now that I have observed you closely, I believe that the King was right to trust and favor you.
- There is, however, a certain ambiguity.
- Madam? You should sever your connections with the traitor more openly.
Abandon all memory of him.
Let your name be Lady Catherine Gordon as before.
Let your mistaken marriage be quite forgotten.
The fact that you may still love him is a sadness that will quickly fade.
- Please forgive me, madam.
- Oh, shed no more tears for Perkin Warbeck.
No.
Be loyal and faithful Lady Catherine Gordon and you will be much rewarded.
Madam.
(Dripping water) - Well? - Three month.
Are you sure? I asked one of the guards and he said you were brought here 12 week ago 'morrow.
Three months? And it's summer? Aye.
I felt the warmth on my face.
I'm as blind as you, dear John.
(Tuts ) Together in darkness.
And we had planned such glory.
- (Chains clink) - What is this? Oh, what the rats refuse, they feed to us.
I'm told that you wish to see the traitor Perkin Warbeck.
If you have no objections, my Lord.
How could I object? He's an old friend of yours, after all.
I would hesitate to contradict a king.
Oh, an old acquaintance, then, if you prefer it.
Yes, that is a more comfortable phrase, sir.
Friendship suggests an emotional involvement, a fondness.
He was too arrogant and too unreliable.
The Dowager Duchess presumably thought otherwise.
Margaret of Burgundy welcomed him because he represented a forgotten hope, a fantasy, if you will.
There he was, a handsome, self-possessed young man, claiming to be the son of her dead brother, Edward IV of England, her nephew.
Her womanly heart was stirred.
And she believed? Indeed she did.
And you? It was possible.
The young man had already convinced the King of France, and Charles is not easily deceived.
Besides, there is a distinct resemblance between Perkin Warbeck and his supposed father Edward IV.
And so he was acclaimed.
Scarcely that, my Lord.
He was recognized.
Did you ever believe that he would seize our throne? Personally, my Lord, I did not.
- But others - Others, yes.
Remember, sir, he had already been recognized by France, Denmark, Saxony and Scotland.
Potentially, he was in a very strong position.
Yes.
Why, then, did you disbelieve his claim? For one thing, my long experience in government and diplomacy has sharpened my judgment.
I have an instinct which is rarely at fault.
This instinct told me he was lying.
Is that all? Not entirely.
Like all accomplished liars, he carried the deception too far.
This story he told of being delivered to a gentleman who had orders to kill him but then took pity, and who had preserved and cherished him, mmthis story seemed too familiar.
Familiar? It is boyhood's common dream, surely, to be discovered as the long-lost prince and raised from poverty to a throne by some enchanted benefactor.
The young man allowed his imagination to wander too far from probability.
- And yet you still wish to see him? - Oh, does that surprise you, my Lord? I can think of no good reason why you should.
I am curious to see what is left when the pretense is stripped away.
Little more than a child frightened of the dark and clinging to a boy for comfort and love.
A boy? Well, well.
I thought the marriage would fail.
Would you like to see him now? The Lord Bishop has expressed a wish to talk to you.
I've told him how you lied to the Holy Father, to the King of France, to the Archduke, King of the Romans.
Indeed, to almost all the princes of Christendom.
Yet still he wishes to speak with you.
(Door shuts ) And so.
You deceived us all.
Well, Henry Tudor would have you think so.
Have me think so? I see.
One last attempt at deception.
No, Perkin Warbeck.
I'm afraid the game is over.
I'm still the same man.
I have many friends.
Not now, alas.
You are friendless and alone.
Help me to escape.
Get me to Europe.
- And then? - I'llI'll raise an army, invade.
You are much changed, young man.
But don't you see the people are for me? You look very ill, pale and feverish.
- It's nothing.
- I fear you have not long to live.
- Please will you listen to me? - There is nothing that I can do.
Youyou can speak to the King, intercede.
Let me make myself clear.
There is nothing that I wish to do.
But you said - Yes? - You promised.
The circumstances have changed.
You called me your son.
Your prince.
Words.
You said the whole of England would rise up and acclaim me.
It seems I was mistaken.
Yes, you were, you hypocrite.
Come now, let us behave like gentlemen.
Just because Henry Tudor has the upper hand.
A fairly strong upper hand, wouldn't you say? I can win.
I can still win.
No, Perkin Warbeck.
You call me that? It is as good a name as any.
As good as King Richard? I fear I must disillusion you further.
Never, not once, did I believe you had a lawful claim to the English throne.
- That's not true.
- I always knew you were an impostor.
- No! - Oh, yes.
Then why? Surely that is obvious.
To dispose of Henry Tudor.
Precisely.
Poor boy.
The game could have gone your way.
Indeed, it very nearly did.
And Margaret, my aunt? Your supposed aunt.
Did she ever believe? She was your greatest triumph.
I loved her.
Why did you abandon me? You made too many mistakes.
You were too arrogant, too flamboyant, too stupid.
Besides, I was wrong about King Henry.
Wrong? The people do not love him.
They never will.
I thought this weakened his position, but I was wrong.
His crown is undisputed because he commands respect.
I should have known that a nation of merchants would respect a merchant king.
And what of me? Do not fear.
He will let you live.
For how long? Yes, I wonder.
No, stop.
Well? - Suppose I really am the King.
- My dear boy - I could be.
- Oh, no.
- It's possible.
- Never.
Well, just suppose.
Margaret of Burgundy recognized me, after all.
- You think so? - Oh, yes.
And Charles, Philip, Maximilian.
You are Perkin Warbeck of Tournai.
Everyone knows that.
Ha.
Everyone? You are clever, you are shrewd.
You learnt your lesson well.
Well, Henry Tudor still fears me.
He still does.
That I would dispute.
But there's a chance, you must admit.
If there is, it is too remote to consider.
Live out your days in peace.
Say your prayers, confess your sins, and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.
Send my love to my aunt, Margaret of Burgundy.
You may remove him.
I have finished.
Aah! Guard! Aah! I'm Richard IV, your lawful king! Seize that man and commit him to the Tower.
Long live King Richard IV! (Others ) Long live King Richard IV! Long live King Richard IV! Long live King Richard IV! Long live King Richard IV! He is, I think, confused in his mind.
Most probably.
An affliction of the spirit, possession.
Possession? Of a sort.
Is that possible? Oh, yes, most certainly.
- Is this a permanent condition? - Who can tell? - But how? - It is difficult to say.
An evil influence of some sort.
I see.
Tell me, my Lord, this servant of his, the boy he loves, who is he? A country lad who fought in Warbeck's rabble and was blinded.
That's all I know.
You think it would be wise to send him away? There is, after all, an evil influence.
Yes.
And for the good of his soul.
(Dripping water) - (Chains clinking) - Richard? My name is Perkin Warbeck.
Didn't you know? A sorry sight, is it not? You are ill.
With grief, lady.
And sorrow and sadness.
They say the King favors you.
Calls you a white rose.
Good, I'm glad.
- Glad? - That people love you, that you are happy.
I am leaving court for a while.
I shall never see you again.
I am to become a member of the Queen's household when I return.
I have given up the title that you gave me.
I am Lady Catherine Gordon again.
You have no wife.
I'm sorry.
Well, do not weep for me, my lady.
It is right you should do these things, right and proper.
I was sorry that they sent the boy away.
Well, yes.
He came to me.
- John? - Yes.
Whatwhat did he want? He was frightened, alone.
I gave him money.
- Money? - What else could I do? Ah, yes.
Nothing.
Thank you for being kind.
Richard, listen.
Perhaps I can help.
- Help? - The King does favor me.
If I asked him to send you somewhere else, - away from here - No, Catherine.
- .
.
I'm sure he would agree.
- No, no! - But I want - No, you must not beg for me.
- Besides, I am content.
- Here? I can think of no lodgings more suitable to my taste.
- How can that be? - I have my own kingdom at last.
No light, no air, nothing.
All the better.
The imagination's free to wander.
There are no distractions.
Oh, Richard.
You must not pity me.
How can I prevent myself? Then let me tell you What? The hundred gold sovereigns you gave me.
The debt of honor.
You remember? Yes.
It was to bribe the guards for my escape.
There was no debt of honor.
Again I lied to you.
How can you sensibly pity a liar and a cheat? Why do you do it? There is no need.
You are loved.
People love you.
Once, perhaps.
Yes, once.
Love you? I love you! Sometimes I think it's a compulsion.
A satanic urge to destroy myself and everything I hold dear.
There's no destroyer greater than deceit after all.
Yet there's more.
An escape, I suppose.
Like surrendering into the arms of a lover, losing all anxiety and drifting into peaceful fantasy.
There's much to be said for it, Catherine.
Lies may have destroyed part of my life.
But they've greatly enhanced another.
Sometimes I think I prefer my own false dreams to the strange shapes of reality.
In here, one does not grow old.
Then there is nothing you wish me to do? Perhaps one last embrace? I loved you very dearly, Catherine.
More than the boy? Ah, you are strong.
He is weak.
(Sighs ) I see.
It was an honest answer.
A lie would have been easier.
Then give me one more honest answer before I leave.
If I can.
Are you Perkin Warbeck? Or Richard of York? I have been both in my time, lady.
(Sobs ) (Catherine ) Guard, I'm leaving.
(Sniggers ) (Chuckles ) (Giggling) (Laughs ) (Drum roll) Grievously and wickedly have I sinned.
I have lied and said false things, claiming to be Henry VII, King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland.
- (Drum roll) - (Thwack) Open this door! Do you hear? Open, in the King's name! King Richard IV! - (Clicks ) - ( # Fanfare ) - King Richard IV.
- (Cheering crowd) (Cheering fades ) King Richard IV.
(Sniffs ) Oh, God.
If only (Sobs )