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Transcript: Christmas Special (Molokai)

This, I hope, is an accurate written rendition of the wonderful Christmas special. Miraculously, I am still not at all bored with it (although I believe my family are with a certain re-interpreted Christmas carol I haven't been able to stop singing since Chri-i-i-i-istmas Day). If anyone knows what the Russian in Mr. Alyakhin's conversation with Andre is, apart from 'spasiba', or spots any mistakes, do let me know.

DOUGLAS: Air-con?


DOUGLAS: Anti-collision light?


DOUGLAS: Fuel pump switches?


DOUGLAS: Dasher?


DOUGLAS: Dancer?


DOUGLAS: Prancer and Vixen?

MARTIN: On. Comet?


MARTIN: Cupid?


MARTIN: Donner and Blitzen?

DOUGLAS: To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!

MARTIN: Dash away!

DOUGLAS and MARTIN: Dash away! Dash away all!

OPENING CREDITS - This Christmas, Molokai!

OCEANIC ATC: Thank you, Golf Tango India. Continue as cleared.

DOUGLAS: Golf Tango India, continue as cleared. Thank you, Oceanic, and merry Christmas.

OCEANIC ATC: I’m a Shinto Buddhist.

DOUGLAS: And may you be a merry one. (There is a distinctly Arthurian trumpeting sound.) Ah, Arthur’s awoken. Brace yourself.

MARTIN: What for?

DOUGLAS: Oh, is this the first time you’ve flown with Arthur on Christmas morning?

(Flight deck door opens.)

ARTHUR: ♪Get dressed, you merry gentlemen! Let nothing you dismay! For it is Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas Day!♪


ARTHUR: ♪It’s Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas Day!♪

MARTIN: Arthur –

ARTHUR: ♪It is Chri-i-i-i-istmas Day, Chri-istmas Day! It is Chri-i-i-i-ismas Day!♪

DOUGLAS: Are you finished?

ARTHUR: Not necessarily! I know other verses.

MARTIN: No, you don’t! You don’t even know that one.

ARTHUR: With respect, Skip, I absolutely do know that one. It goes ♪Get dressed, you merry gentlemen -♪

MARTIN: No, no, it doesn’t. It’s not ‘get dressed’ – it’s ‘God rest’. God rest you merry gentlemen.

ARTHUR: No, it’s not.

MARTIN: Yes, it is! Why would you be telling them to get dressed?

ARTHUR: Because it’s Christmas!

MARTIN: What, so they’re naked?

ARTHUR: No, they’re in bed! It’s saying ‘come on, you merry gentlemen – it’s Christmas! Up’n’at ‘em! Get dressed. Let’s do our stockings!’

MARTIN: No, it’s ‘God rest’.

ARTHUR: Well, that makes no sense. God rest, you merry gentlemen? What’s a God rest?

DOUGLAS: Somewhere to put your god?

MARTIN: Not God rest you merry gentlemen. It’s God rest you, merry gentlemen!

ARTHUR: Well, that makes no sense either!

DOUGLAS: Actually, it’s neither. It’s God rest you merry, gentlemen. As in 'Happy Christmas, gentlemen. I hope God gives you a restful and merry one and doesn’t accidentally shut you in a flying cupboard with a pair of idiots'.

ARTHUR: Oh, cheer up, Douglas! We’ll be back in Tokyo in no time, and then we’ve got the rest of Christmas off. What are you going to do?

DOUGLAS: Go back to the hotel, bit of sleep, ring my daughter, and then go out and ingest a quite heroic quantity of festive sushi.

ARTHUR: How about you, Skip?

MARTIN: I don’t know. I’ll probably sit by the pool, read a book.

ARTHUR: Oh, Skip! That’s not very Christmassy.

MARTIN: Well, I’m not that big on Christmas.

ARTHUR: Well, if you change your mind, you’re both welcome to join mum and me. We found this brilliant Japanese restaurant called The Auspicious Pig and Whistle Old England Style Happy Pub, and we’re having turkey and Christmas pudding and presents and carols and stockings and silly hats and mulled wine.

DOUGLAS: All quite low key then, is it? (There is a bing-bong.) Oooh, ♪Bing-bong merrily on high! In heaven, the phone is ringing.♪

MARTIN: Hello? Captain Crieff.

CAROLYN: Martin! Tokyo calling. Merry Christmas! Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men – even pilots. How was Hong Kong?

MARTIN: Are you all right, Carolyn?

CAROLYN: Perfectly, thank you, but, more importantly, are you all right? Sleep well? Nice and well rested, are you?

DOUGLAS: Martin, don’t –

MARTIN: Yes, thanks. I –

DOUGLAS: It’s a trap!

CAROLYN: Good! Now then, my festive fliers, you remember that friendly little chat we had about working at Christmas?

DOUGLAS: No, I don’t. I remember an enormous argument, when you announced that you’d booked us to fly Japanese golfers back and forth all through Christmas week without asking us.

CAROLYN: Well, I’m sorry, but Christmas wasn’t on the wall chart.

DOUGLAS: Christmas was on the wall chart. It was written on the wall chart by the makers of the wall chart. And I remember us finally, very graciously, agreeing to do it, on the strict understanding that our last Hong Kong run would be on Christmas morning, and we’d be back in Tokyo with the rest of the day to ourselves by midday precisely.

CAROLYN: Yes, well, I’d like to propose a very minor tweak to that arrangement, by which you can still get back into Tokyo at noon.

MARTIN: Yes...?

CAROLYN: And there you pick up me and a Russian yacht broker, and fly us on to Hawaii.

MARTIN: Hawaii?

CAROLYN: Hmm, the island of Molokai, to be precise, which Mr. Alyakhin either owns a beach resort on or quite possibly just owns – it’s not entirely clear.

DOUGLAS: So you want us to spend another seven hours of Christmas Day in an aeroplane?

CAROLYN: Look, this is in all our best interests. Mr. Alyakhin is a huge charter firm user, and if we can get on his list, then our ridiculous business (the survival of which is already as astonishing as when you go into a motorway service station and see they’ve still got a Wimpy) might just continue into the New Year.

ARTHUR: But, but mum? What about our Christmas? At the Auspicious Pig and Whistle? With the turkey and pudding and stockings and a tree and mulled wine?

CAROLYN: Yes, don’t worry - we’ll still do all that, but in sunny Hawaii. It’ll be exactly the same, but with less sake and more hula.


CAROLYN: Ooh, and Arthur? This is a very important client, so we’ll be giving him our very best customer service, okay?

ARTHUR: Absolutely, mum! I’ll pull out all the stops.

CAROLYN: Ah, no, no, no. Our very best customer service.

ARTHUR: Oh, right. I’ll hide in the galley and let you do everything.

CAROLYN: Good boy!

DOUGLAS: Post ruddy take-off checks grudgingly completed, Captain. By a First Officer who should, by all natural laws, be just tucking in to his seventh hosomaki.

MARTIN: Douglas, I’m sure they'll have sushi somewhere on Molokai.

DOUGLAS: I’m sure they won’t. They’ll have Chicken Santa Burgers. And pretzels.

ARTHUR: So, so twelve plus seven is nineteen, and nineteen o’clock is – don’t tell me! One o’clock is thirteen. Two o’clock is fourteen. Three o’clock is fifteen –

MARTIN: Seven o’clock, Arthur.

ARTHUR: Oh, okay, so we – we still get Christmas evening?

DOUGLAS: Plus the five hour time difference.

ARTHUR: Eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve – oh.

MARTIN: Sorry.

ARTHUR: No, I – I don’t really mind. We’ll just have our Christmas on Boxing Day. That’s - that’ll be almost as good. Pretty much. Nearly as good. In some ways. Anyway, I’m not all that bothered about Christmas. I think it’s been over-commercialised.

MARTIN: Do you?

ARTHUR: Yes, I do.

DOUGLAS: That’s an interesting opinion.

ARTHUR: It’s one I’ve long held.

DOUGLAS: What does ‘over-commercialised’ mean?

ARTHUR: It means it’s too much, um, it’s over – it used to be under, but now it’s – I don’t know! Terry on the fire crew said it, and it sounded really grown up. But I love Christmas! It’s my equal favourite time of year with my birthday, summer, Easter, mum’s birthday and Lent.

DOUGLAS: Oh, cheer up. It’ll be round again before you know it.

ARTHUR: Yeah. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t really matter. ‘Scuse me, chaps. I’m just going to go sit in the galley for a bit. ♪You better not pout. You better not cry.♪

MARTIN: Douglas?


MARTIN: I was just thinking about poor old Arthur, missing out on his big Christmas, you know, his turkey, pudding, presents and silly hats and so on.


MARTIN: Well, well, I – I was just thinking, if we wanted, we could probably sort of do some of those things here, couldn’t we, in the flight deck?

DOUGLAS: I thought you said you were glad to be missing Christmas?

MARTIN: Oh, I am! No, completely, but for Arthur’s sake.

DOUGLAS: And how do you propose to cook a turkey dinner at thirty-five thousand feet?

MARTIN: I don’t know, but we’ll think of something, and the others seem quite doable.

DOUGLAS: Of that list, as far as I can see, all we’ve got are hats.

MARTIN: Yeah, and they’re not very silly ones.

DOUGLAS: Yours is quite silly.

MARTIN: I keep telling you! I didn’t ask for extra - it’s just the standard amount of gold braid they put on a captain’s hat these days.

DOUGLAS: In the Democratic Republic of Congo, maybe.

MARTIN: Well, anyway, what do you think? Fancy a flight deck Christmas?

DOUGLAS: I think it’s an utterly stupid idea for two reasons: one of which is obvious, and the other of which is that Arthur is twenty-nine years old.

MARTIN: Pass the time, though.

DOUGLAS: Oh, go on, then.

(Intercom beeps.)

MARTIN: Arthur, could you step into the flight deck?

CAROLYN: So what exactly is it your company does, Mr. Alyakhin?

MR. ALYAKHIN: We sell yachts.

CAROLYN: Oh, what sort of yachts?

MR. ALYAKHIN: Massive yachts.

CAROLYN: To whom?

MR. ALYAKHIN: To people who do not have massive yachts – or more often to people who do have massive yachts but who would now like another yacht even more massive. Or newer. Or less sunken.

CAROLYN: And do you use a lot of private air travel?

MR. ALYAKHIN: Every spring, we are more or less constantly flying clients out to Antibes.

CAROLYN: Well, I do hope this spring you’ll consider MJN Air.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Ah ha ha ha ha. I’m sorry. Ha. You are very good to support your employers, but my clients – they expect a little more than, you know, a minibus with wings.

CAROLYN: Well, actually, I am the CEO of this company.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Really? But also the stewardess?

CAROLYN: For our most important clients, yes.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Hmm, this is perhaps one small thing in your favour. Most of the firms we use, the stewardesses are very young, very beautiful, and the clients, of course, they like this, but sometimes it causes – hm – problems. You, I think, would not cause these problems.


MR. ALYAKHIN: No. You are more like, uh, old babushka.

CAROLYN: Am I really?

MR. ALYAKHIN: You know this word ‘babushka’?

CAROLYN: Yes. Yes, I do. Thank you.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Yes, it’s not really a compliment.

CAROLYN: No. So will you – will you consider us?



MR. ALYAKHIN: Seriously, no. Now, what wines do you have?

CAROLYN: Well, I gave you the wine list earlier.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Yes, I read that. It was very funny. What wines do you have?

CAROLYN: Those are our wines.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Ah, very well. Luckily I did a little bit of shopping in Tokyo. Serve me this, please, babushka.

MARTIN: Yes, Arthur, but aircraft don’t have chimneys.

ARTHUR: Why not?

DOUGLAS: Shall we move on?

MARTIN: Because –

DOUGLAS: Next – presents.

ARTHUR: Well, I’ve got you all presents, but they’re in the hold.

MARTIN: Oh, we could do a Secret Santa!

ARTHUR: Oh, great!

MARTIN: I write each of our names down on four slips of paper. Now we all take one.

DOUGLAS: Mine says ‘Martin’.

MARTIN: And we don’t say who we’ve got.

DOUGLAS: I bet they all say ‘Martin’.

MARTIN: No, they don’t. And now we think of a present for whoever we’ve got.

DOUGLAS: Like what?

MARTIN: Anything. For instance, you could give your person – whoever he might be – first crack at the cheese tray for a month. Or do the walk round for him next time it rains. Or simply pay him a nice compliment about what a fine commanding officer he –

DOUGLAS: This can be Carolyn’s slip. Give me another one.

(Door opens.)

CAROLYN: Douglas, what are you doing in the galley?

DOUGLAS: Searching for turkey.

CAROLYN: Well, I think there’s an old chicken sandwich in the door of the fridge.

(Fridge is opened.)

DOUGLAS: Aha! Oh, by the way, I’m supposed to tell you we’re having a Secret Santa.

CAROLYN: What fresh hell is this?

DOUGLAS: One of those things where you’re given a slip with someone’s name on it and you get them a present. You’ve got Martin.

CAROLYN: Look, tell him I’m sorry but I just don’t have time to – oh! Unless...does he like red wine?

DOUGLAS: Martin? I think so, yes.

CAROLYN: Fine. I’ll give him this then. Mr. Alyakhin just gave me this bottle to serve him. It’s nothing too special, is it?

DOUGLAS: Oh! Petrus 2005. That’s rather nice actually.

CAROLYN: Oh, well, it’s Martin’s lucky day then.

DOUGLAS: And what are you planning to serve Mr. Alyakhin?

CAROLYN: Well, what do you think? The same wine box Chateau Gatwick we give everyone.

DOUGLAS: What happened to ‘our very best customer service’?

CAROLYN: Well, firstly, everyone’s palate is shot at thirty-five thousand feet, and he’ll never notice, and secondly, he calls me babushka.

DOUGLAS: And yet he lives.

MARTIN: Hmm, now what about a tree? Any ideas?

ARTHUR: Hmm. If we had a bush, we could put it on a stick.

MARTIN: Any ideas that don’t rely on us having a bush?

(Flight deck door opens.)

DOUGLAS: Gentlemen, I have in my hand a chicken sandwich.

ARTHUR: Oh, well done, Douglas! So we just need to fish the bits of chicken out, and, I don’t know, somehow make them a bit more like turkey.

MARTIN: How do we do that?

ARTHUR: Um, can we make them drier and sort of not as nice tasting? But in a good way!

DOUGLAS: Certainly we can. Leave it to me. Next – Christmas pudding. How on Earth are we going to do that?

MARTIN: Well, I suppose it’s basically just a cake with dried fruits and cream on top –

ARTHUR: And brandy poured over it and set fire to!

DOUGLAS: You realise that might be a tallish order in an aircraft flight deck?

ARTHUR: All right, I’ll let you off that one.

DOUGLAS: But I will check my coat pockets for chocolate raisins.

ARTHUR: Hooray!

CAROLYN: How are you finding your wine, Mr. Alyakhin?

MR. ALYAKHIN: Mm, superb.

CAROLYN: So glad. Now listen. I admit we may not be the fastest or slickest aircraft in the skies –

MR. ALYAKHIN: I think you more or less lost that race when the Wright brothers took off.

CAROLYN: But it’s owned and run by someone who will fight harder for your money, and not only that but will fight for much, much less of it. This much less. (Produces MJN’s quote with a flourish.)

MR. ALYAKHIN: Ah, now that is very interesting argument, but could you really handle three or four flights a month from us?

CAROLYN: Certainly! I mean I won’t pretend we’re not a small company, but –

MR. ALYAKHIN: Ah, that in itself is not a problem. I mean so long as there’s a crew and relief crew, theoretically, even if you employ just four pilots, we would consider you.

CAROLYN: Oh, interesting.

MR. ALYAKHIN: How many do you employ?

CAROLYN: Well, ha ha, as it happens, the bare minimum of, as you say, four.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Yes, you see the danger with really tiny firms is that you tend to cut corners and bend rules just to survive, and this leads to little problems.

CAROLYN: Oh, not us though, absolutely not. We are sticklers at MJN. We...stickle.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Well, let me ring my CFO, and we shall see.

CAROLYN: Drivers, I’m bringing – why does it smell of chicken in here?

MARTIN: Because Douglas has hung strips of chicken all over the air conditioning ducts.

CAROLYN: Arthur, why on Earth –

MARTIN: Not Arthur – Douglas.

CAROLYN: Oh, good Lord, it’s catching! And what are you doing, Martin?

MARTIN: I am, for the benefit of your son, shelling these chocolate raisins.

CAROLYN: Shelling them?

MARTIN: Yes. There’s no chocolate in a Christmas pudding, so I’m rolling them between finger and thumb until the chocolate crumbles off.

CAROLYN: Of course you are. Well, if I could just ask you to pack away your various charming handicrafts for now, I’m bringing Mr. Alyakhin up to use the sat-com. So, Arthur? Get in the locker.

ARTHUR: The locker? Mum! Can’t I just hide in the galley?

CAROLYN: He has to come through the galley to get to the flight deck, idiot!

ARTHUR: Well, I won’t say anything to him! I’ll just be like, you know, the man in the galley. Okay?

CAROLYN: No! It’s not okay. When a very wealthy business man hires a private plane, he doesn’t assume it will come with ‘a man in the galley’. Now get in the locker!


(Locker rocks noisily at the sudden invasion of an Arthur.)

CAROLYN: All right. Back in a minute, and you two? Try to look like pilots. You know, real pilots.

(Flight deck door closes.)

DOUGLAS: Martin?


DOUGLAS: While Arthur’s shut away in a small tin cupboard, can I ask you, in the Secret Santa, did you happen to get me?

MARTIN: Well, I – I don’t think I should tell you, should I?

DOUGLAS: Not if you’re upholding the strictest principles of Santa-ly Secretiveness, no, but just between us?

MARTIN: Yes, as it happens I did.

DOUGLAS: Excellent. Can I swap with you?

MARTIN: But then you’d get you.

DOUGLAS: I know.

MARTIN: Why – why would you want yourself?

DOUGLAS: Well, call it a harmless whim.

MARTIN: This is a scheme, isn’t it?

DOUGLAS: A scheme? Me? On Christmas Day? What sort of a person do you take me for?

MARTIN: What are you after this time?

DOUGLAS: Oh, nothing that would interest you. Will you swap then?

MARTIN: Who’ve you got?

DOUGLAS: Arthur.

MARTIN: Ooh! I could give him a stocking. Okay then.

(Slips are swapped.)

DOUGLAS: Thank you.

MARTIN: Now, do you have an orange on you?

DOUGLAS: An orange? Orange. (Change jingles, as DOUGLAS makes absolutely certain he isn’t concealing a satsuma about his person.) Let me just check my citrus pocket. No. And my emergency citrus pocket?

MARTIN: Yes, all right!

DOUGLAS: Why do you want one?

MARTIN: Well, there’s always an orange in a Christmas stocking! And chocolate coins and a sugar mouse. Everyone knows that!

DOUGLAS: I see. This is definitely all still for Arthur’s benefit, is it?


DOUGLAS: Just checking. How are you going to make chocolate coins?

MARTIN: Well, I’ve the chocolate I peeled off the raisins. I just need to...put it on some coins.

(Flight deck door opens.)

CAROLYN: Mr. Alyakhin, this is Captain Crieff.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Pleased to meet you.

DOUGLAS: And you, though actually –

MARTIN: I’m the captain.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Are you?


MR. ALYAKHIN: I’m sorry. I thought you were the – uh – what do you call him?

DOUGLAS: Captain’s Little Helper?

MARTIN: No, I – I am the captain.

MR. ALYAKHIN: He doesn’t look like a captain. I fear our clients would not be impressed. Perhaps, when welcoming them aboard, this one could wear the captain’s hat?

MARTIN: No, he couldn’t! Sorry, no.

DOUGLAS: No, I agree. You see Captain Crieff here has assiduously built up his neck muscles by constant wearing of that hat. Whereas I fear the sheer weight of gold braid would snap mine like a dry twig.

MR. ALYAKHIN: What does your other captain look like?

MARTIN: What other captain? I’m the captain!

CAROLYN: Out of the two of you, yes, but obviously, we have other pilots at MJN Air.

MARTIN: Do we?

CAROLYN: Yes, of course!

DOUGLAS: Remind me, if you would, of the names of the others.

CAROLYN: Well, there’s uh – there’s Nigel, and, um, and Noel!

DOUGLAS: Noel! Christmassy name.

CAROLYN: Yes...yes, he was born on Christmas Day.

DOUGLAS: Oh, really? I never knew that about old Noel.

CAROLYN: Well, now you do.

DOUGLAS: Is that why he didn’t have to fly today, because it’s his birthday?

CAROLYN: No! He doesn’t have to fly today, like Nigel, because they’re senior to you two and get to pick their trips first, because they’re so much better.

DOUGLAS: Oh, I see. Is that why you’re stewardessing today as well? Rather than our usual stewardesses - Holly and Ivy and Carol? And Mary Christmas?

MARTIN: Yes, and Bert!

DOUGLAS: Yes, dear old Bert, the stewardess. Eighty-six today and still less grumpy than certain of his colleagues.

MARTIN: Ei-ei-ei-ei-eighty-six today, did you say?

DOUGLAS: That’s right! He shares a birthday with Noel – and the little baby Jesus.

CAROLYN: All right, that will do! Mr. Alyakhin, the sat-com.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Thank you, thank you. (Sat-com beeps, and MR. ALYAKHIN commences conversation in Russian.)

DOUGLAS: Um, by the way, Carolyn, sorry to bother you, but I've just realised I’ve got myself in the Secret Santa. Can I swap with you?

CAROLYN: What? Yes, yes, for all I care. Oh! No, no, no, no – wait! I was going to give Martin that wine.


CAROLYN: Well, I can’t give it to you, can I? You don’t drink.

DOUGLAS: Oh, don’t worry. I have friends who drink. I’ll pass it on.

CAROLYN: Oh, all right then. Here’s the slip.

(Slips swap once again.)

MR. ALYAKHIN: Harasho. Spasiba, Andre. Spasiba. Okay, I have finished. Babushka, let us return.

MARTIN: Babushka?

CAROLYN: Say nothing.

(Flight deck door closes.)

MARTIN: So, your scheme then?


MARTIN: Was to get hold of that bottle of wine?


MARTIN: Expensive bottle of wine, is it?

DOUGLAS: Oh yes.

MARTIN: Really expensive?


MARTIN: Hundreds of pounds?

DOUGLAS: Couple of thousand, probably.

MARTIN: You’re going to sell it?

DOUGLAS: Certainly am.


DOUGLAS: Don’t feel bad for Carolyn. She nicked it in the first place.

MARTIN: Christmas really brings out the best in you, doesn’t it?

ARTHUR: Er, chaps? Can I come out yet?

MARTIN: Oh, God, sorry, Arthur! Yes, of course.

(Locker door opens.)

ARTHUR: Ah. Oh, that’s better. Um, whose is this umbrella? I’m afraid I might have...stood on it a bit.

MARTIN: Oh, Arthur! That’s mine, and it’s new!

ARTHUR: Sorry, Skip. Still, it is a green umbrella.

MARTIN: Yes, so?

(Umbrella rustles in process of being stood on end.)

ARTHUR: Christmas tree!

DOUGLAS: Ah yes, just like the carol: #Deck the halls with Martin’s brolly.#

MARTIN: Douglas!

DOUGLAS: #Fa la la la la, la la la la!#

MR. ALYAKHIN: I am sorry, babushka. I don’t think it will work. You, I like, and I believe I can see how we could sell your terrible aircraft as ‘retro experience’. But your captain - he does not inspire confidence, I’m afraid he looks to me like exactly the sort of rule-bending chance-taker I was talking about.

CAROLYN: What? Martin? You’re rejecting us because you think Martin might not be enough of a stickler? Right! Come with me.

ARTHUR: Aw, it’s beautiful.

MARTIN: All right, who wants to put the star on top?

(Flight deck door opens.)

CAROLYN: I’m bringing him back. Arthur, in your locker!

ARTHUR: I’m going! I’m going!

CAROLYN: Come on through!

MR. ALYAKHIN: Gentlemen, sorry to interrupt again. Good Lord, what is that?

DOUGLAS: Nothing. Just an umbrella. It’s drying off.

MR. ALYAKHIN: You’ve...decorated it?

DOUGLAS: No, no. We’ve just dropped things on it. Strategically.

MR. ALYAKHIN: And you, what are you covered in?

MARTIN: Me? Oh, oh yes, I – I – I may have got a bit of, uh, chocolatey stuff –


MARTIN: Just a snack. Keep the blood sugar level up. It’s a long way from Hong Kong to Hawaii.

DOUGLAS: Martin!

MR. ALYAKHIN: From Tokyo...

MARTIN: Yeah, but we started in Hong Kong.


MR. ALYAKHIN: Do you mean to tell me that, before you flew me from Tokyo to Molokai, you flew from Hong Kong to Tokyo?

MARTIN: ...No.

MR. ALYAKHIN: No, you didn’t?

MARTIN: No, I didn’t mean to tell you that.

MR. ALYAKHIN: Then how can you possibly still be within your legal hours? I’m sorry, babushka, but this is precisely the sort of dangerous corner-cutting I was afraid of –

DOUGLAS: Er, if I may?


DOUGLAS: Before you go any further, there’s someone I think you should meet. (Opens locker.) Mr. Alyakhin, this is Noel. Say hello, Noel.

ARTHUR: Hallo, I’m –

DOUGLAS: No need to say anything else! Noel is our relief pilot, who has been swapping in and out with both of us throughout the two sectors, thus extending our duty hours in the CAA approved manner. Haven’t you, Noel?

ARTHUR: Yes, I –

DOUGLAS: That’ll do.

MR. ALYAKHIN: But why has he been hiding in locker?

DOUGLAS: Well, because...as you know, today’s his birthday, and we’re organising a surprise birthday party for him.

MR. ALYAKHIN: I see. And I suppose that explains the chocolate and decorations?

DOUGLAS: Oh, so it does! I mean yes, it does.

(Gerti drives to her stand.)

DOUGLAS: After landing checks complete and on stand at seven minutes to midnight precisely.

MARTIN: Arthur! We’re ready! In you come! (Flight deck door opens.) Okay, Arthur, your seven minute Christmas starts...now!

ARTHUR: Hooray! (Blows party whistle.)

MARTIN: Where did you get that from?

ARTHUR: Oh, I always carry one of these. You never know.

MARTIN: And off we go! Tree – look!

ARTHUR: It’s beautiful!

DOUGLAS: It’s a green umbrella with little milk buckets stapled to it.

ARTHUR: I think it’s beautiful!

MARTIN: Decorations – t’dah!

ARTHUR: Wow, I’ve never seen so many of the warning lights on before.

DOUGLAS: Yes. Yes, this is what happens if you tell a plane it’s flying when it’s actually parked. Poor old Gerti would like us to know she’s flying considerably too close to the ground and infinitely too slowly.

MARTIN: Turkey! Direct from the Air-Con Carvery. Here you go.

ARTHUR: Mm, lovely.

MARTIN: Seconds?

ARTHUR: Ooh, why not? It’s Christmas!

MARTIN: Christmas pudding! Now the trick here is it’s a bit like a tequila slammer. You take a raisin, dip it in custard-cream crumbs and then knock it back with coffee creamer. Ready?

ARTHUR: Ready!


(ARTHUR gulps, chokes and coughs his way through his shot of Christmas pudding.)

ARTHUR: Ah, oof, lovely!

(Flight deck door opens.)

CAROLYN: Success, my little Christmas elves! Mr. Alyakhin has agreed to give us a trial run in the New Year.

MARTIN: Carolyn! Great! You’re just in time for presents.

CAROLYN: Why are we doing it now?

ARTHUR: Because for the next four minutes, it’s still Christmas!


DOUGLAS: Carolyn, you first.

CAROLYN: Oh, well, yours is the wine, Douglas. Shall I get it for you?

MARTIN: No time! Douglas, what did you get for Carolyn?

DOUGLAS: You remember twenty minutes ago, when I brilliantly and singlehandedly saved your bacon with the yacht broker?


DOUGLAS: Well, merry Christmas!

CAROLYN: Thank you.

ARTHUR: My turn! My turn! This is for you, Martin. It’s one of just a couple of things you missed off the list, you see. A silly hat!

MARTIN: Oh...goodness. Is that my hat?

ARTHUR: Yes, but made silly!

DOUGLAS: Sillier.

MARTIN: How is all that staying on?

ARTHUR: Well, I’ve used a sort of framework of dry spaghetti to hold up the –

MARTIN: The cooked spaghetti, yes. Yes. Thank you, Arthur. It’s just what I, um, least expected. Now then, this is for you.

ARTHUR: Oh, an extra sock. Brilliant! Now I’ll always have a pair even when one’s in the wash.

MARTIN: The sock’s not the present - it’s a stocking!

ARTHUR: Oh, wow! Thank you, Skip! Oh, what have we got? Um, an orange – Tic Tac...

MARTIN: It’s the closest I could get.

ARTHUR: A sugar sachet with a - a rabbit drawn on it?

MARTIN: It’s a m-mouse! it’s a sugar mouse!

ARTHUR: Right, yep, and some 5ps that, um, with – what’s happened to the 5ps?

MARTIN: Because of the chocolate! They’re chocolate coins!

ARTHUR: Oh, brilliant! Thank you!

(Watch alarm sounds.)

MARTIN: And midnight!

ARTHUR: Aw, well, thank you, chaps – best Christmas ever!

DOUGLAS: Really? You did spend a fair amount of it in a tin box.

ARTHUR: Yeah, all right. Well, best this year anyway.

DOUGLAS: Not necessarily. What about next Christmas?

ARTHUR: Well, that’ll be next year.

DOUGLAS: Interestingly, no. You see, I have a little extra present for you, Arthur. And that is the information, which, of course, as a professional pilot, Martin will hardly have forgotten, that as you fly from Tokyo to Hawaii, you pass over a thing called the International Date Line.

MARTIN: Ohhhohhhhh!

DOUGLAS: At which point you put the clocks back twenty-four hours. In a way, that makes this 12.01 on Christmas morning.


DOUGLAS: So my present to you, Arthur, is that we are all of us about to have the whole of Christmas Day off – in Hawaii, some of us having had the benefit of a dry run.

ARTHUR: ♪Get dressed, you merry gentlemen! Let nothing you dismay! -♪

DOUGLAS: Yes, perhaps save the full rendition for tomorrow morning.

ARTHUR: Thank you, Douglas! Best present ever! Oh, and actually, that’s great, because I got an extra present for everyone. The other thing you left off my list, Skip.



MARTIN: Mulled wine...(Said beverage glugs out into glasses.) How lovely!

DOUGLAS: You...took my Petrus ‘05, and you...mulled it.

ARTHUR: Well, not properly. I don’t have the stuff, but, you know, I whacked in some fruit juice and some sugar and the rest of the orange Tic Tacs, and then I just blitzed it in the microwave. It’ll be close enough!


MARTIN: Of course, it’ll be close enough, and it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it, Douglas?

DOUGLAS: Absolutely. Thank you, Arthur.

ARTHUR: Oh, you’re welcome! Merry Christmas!

(Glasses clink, and all the boys have coughing fit.)

CAROLYN: That’s actually rather good.


P.S.: I was just watching Mock the Week, and this line from Ed Byrne made me laugh for reasons probably unintended: "In the event there is a loss of cabin pressure, your blood will literally boil, and your head will explode." I imagine that may well be the very effects hearing there would be no more would cause.

P.P.S: Now with added stickling. Thank you, trouble-spotters.


Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:48 am (UTC)
Wow, that is weird, because I can definitely hear "in the cabin" but three people disagree with me and you're the transcriber, so what you say most definitely goes!

*goes off in search of cotton buds*