Sunday, April 18, 2010

War of the Worlds, the series - Vengeance Is Mine script changes

Note: there are many, many differences between the aired version of Vengeance Is Mine and the original script. Friend of the blog The Sultan of Sarcasm has shared some of them with us.


Cole was originally to be less antagonistic, a bit more sympathetic:

NT. MARTIN'S BASEMENT- DAY

Martin has Ironhorse propped up on the cot, with cushions behind him, although Ironhorse is still bound. Martin is feeding Ironhorse some oatmeal with a spoon.

MARTIN
That enough?

IRONHORSE
Yes. Thank you.

MARTIN
I don't want you dying of malnutrition.

Ironhorse watches as Martin takes the bowl to a sink and washes it out- very meticulous.

IRONHORSE
If you're not an Alien, why aren't you--?

Martin spins around violently, knocking dishes everywhere.

MARTIN
Stop it with this Alien business! You're not
skating out of this by pretending to be crazy!

IRONHORSE
All right, you're not an Alien. Who are you?!

Martin looks at him.

MARTIN
Yes. Time you knew.

Martin pulls a chair in front of Ironhorse, sits and talks to Ironhorse as if he were verbally attacking him, his face twisted in anger and torment.

MARTIN
(continued)
Two weeks ago, you were on the campus of Wescott
University. I saw you there. I didn't know who you were
at the time and I still don't. All I know is that you shot
and killed an innocent young woman, Sarah Cole.

IRONHORSE
How do you know that?

MARTIN
It was my business to find out. Sarah Cole was my wife.

Even Ironhorse cannot hide his shock.

MARTIN
(continued)
When I heard that there'd been a shooting, I was one
of the first at the police barrier and I saw a body being
loaded in the ambulance. I didn't know it was Sarah. I
saw you, with the Uzi, holding the IV bottle. Then a man
took you away. One of the people you live with.

IRONHORSE
How do you know...?

MARTIN
I've been watching! In the grief of Sarah's death, I
forgot about you. But then, at the funeral, there you
were. Everyone else was a friend of Sarah's, except you.
What were you doing there? I had a camera in my car.
After the ceremony, I took your picture as you were
leaving. And wrote down your license plate.

IRONHORSE
That doesn't prove anything.

MARTIN
Shut up! I took it to the police, who'd already been
very secretive about what was going on. When I gave
them the picture and the plate number, they politely
told me to mind my own business. Something wasn't
right. I went to the newspaper and the local t.v. stations.
At first, they were very interested. Then a few hours later,
they would call back and tell me, sorry there's nothing we
can do. Nothing they could do! My wife, who had never
harmed a soul in her entire life, who was one of the most
loving, giving people I have ever known- 23 years old, dead,
killed in cold blood- and on one would help me find her killer!

IRONHORSE
But you found me.

MARTIN
I have a friend, a computer genius and something of a hacker. Our
local police department's computer system isn't that sophisticated.
But it can provide access to a great deal of useful information,
Colonel Ironhorse. And it helped me find the man who killed my wife.

IRONHORSE
If you think I'm guilty, why don't you turn me over to the authorities?

MARTIN
Because they won't do a thing! The state has no intention of bringing
you to justice! Why, I don't know. But it doesn't matter. I'll provide the
justice, myself. It would be more poetic if I had your Uzi, but this will
do well enough.

Martin holds up Ironhorse's pistol and smiles.

MARTIN
(continued)
Or maybe something that would be even more painful. I'm still
thinking about it.

IRONHORSE
You're going to kill me?

MARTIN
You murdered my wife, didn't you?

IRONHORSE
It was a mistake. I thought she was someone else.

MARTIN
Oh, really? And who was the woman who deserved to die?

IRONHORSE
She-- Forget it, you're not going to believe me.

MARTIN
Try me.

IRONHORSE
I thought she was an Alien creature.

MARTIN
A space monster?!

IRONHORSE
A member of hostile group of extraterrestrials who are
trying to destroy the human race.

MARTIN
This is ridiculous! Although, I suppose since Prestroika,
you've had to replace the evil Communists with somebody.

IRONHORSE
Have you ever killed someone in cold blood?

MARTIN
No, but I don't expect any problems.

IRONHORSE
Then why am I still alive?

MARTIN
I wanted you to know why you were dying. That you
weren't going to get away with snuffing out the life of a
beautiful, innocent person and not pay the price!

IRONHORSE
It's not easy to kill someone.

MARTIN
Doesn't seem difficult for you.

IRONHORSE
It's my job. I'm a soldier.... and we're at war.

MARTIN
Well, this is my war. And you, Colonel, are about
to become the next casualty.

FADE OUT.

END ACT THREE




Also, there was a completely different plot about the aliens robbing banks. They would have used a human bank robber, and would have captured Harrison and Suzanne. Only Ironhorse's quick thinking in front of Cole would have saved them, while showing him what kind of split-second decision-making was necessary in his line of work.

ACT ONE


FADE IN:

INT. ALIEN CAVE H.Q.- DAY

CLOSE ON a lazer gun, in size and weight like an AR14. It is being passed from hand to hand.

ADVOCATE #1 (V.O.)
We located another special cathode ray tube in
the Seattle area. It will be here tomorrow.

The CAMERA PULLS BACK to REVEAL the three ADVOCATES passing the gun one to the other.

ADVOCATE #2
When will the lazer gun be completed?

ADVOCATE #1
All we need now are the lenses.

ADVOCATE #3
Well?

ADVOCATE #1
There are three facilities which do such work.
But we cannot get inside. Their security is too
heavy, even for us.

ADVOCATE #3
We must obtain those lenses!

ADVOCATE #2
We will, comrade. But another way.

ADVOCATE #3
What is that?

ADVOCATE #2
We let the natural greed of these humans do
the work for us.

ADVOCATE #3
We need this weapon now!

ADVOCATE #1
The humans are very greedy. It won't take long.

A Woman Alien bursts into the cave. She is the one from the first scene, who escaped in the car.

WOMAN ALIEN
Comrades, I am here to report!

ADVOCATE #1
On your failure!

WOMAN ALIEN
They were waiting for us! It was a trap!

ADVOCATE #3
This is not the first time the humans have anticipated our
actions.

ADVOCATE #2
True. We must learn the identities of these humans.

ADVOCATE #3
As soon as we have the lazer gun, we will stop
them all.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EXT. WAREHOUSE- NIGHT

Three ALIENS, Two men and a woman, sit on boxes in a small pool of light in the middle of a large space. Suddenly, four men, all armed, appear out of the dark on all sides- they are surrounded. Startled, they get to their feet.

CANARIS (O.S.)
Do not be alarmed.

Out of the dark another man, older, refined, but dangerous- CANARIS, the arms dealer.

CANARIS
It is only I, Canaris.

1ST ALIEN
Four bodyguards?

CANARIS
Most people want insurance for when they are
dead. I prefer it while I'm alive.
(takes paper out of pocket)
So, I have studied your request. This is optical
equipment. I am an arms merchant.

2ND ALIEN
You have a reputation for obtaining that which
cannot be gotten through normal channels.

CANARIS
Such as these lenses. I am surprised that the
Soviet Union does not already possess this
technology.

The Aliens look at one another and smile. Why not?

1ST ALIEN
You have no objection to selling to Russians,
do you?

CANARIS
The price for these lenses is six million
dollars. If you have the money, I don't
care if you're from outer space.

Canaris LAUGHS at his little joke, and when the Aliens realize he has no idea how close he is, they join in.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


INT. COURT HOUSE CORRIDOR- DAY

A Bailiff opens the courtroom doors and People begin to stream out, including Reporters surrounding GEORGE BENNETT, a hardened criminal, and his DEFENSE ATTORNEY.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Ladies, Gentlemen! My client has something to say.
He has been found innocent by a jury of his peers and
we will let the verdict speak for itself.

BENNETT
Yeah, you want any more, you'll have to buy a copy
of my book.

Bennett LAUGHS, then notice another Man, the DISTRICT ATTORNEY, walking by him.

BENNETT
Hey, Mr. D.A., tough luck. But you can't win 'em all.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY
You skated this time, Bennett, but I know you killed those
two guards. And you'll get yours.

BENNETT
You bet I'll get mine. And if you're not careful, I'll get
yours, too.

Bennett LAUGHS, turns and walks away.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Bennett, still laughing to himself, walking down the corridor, sees the Men's Room and enters.


INT. MEN'S ROOM- DAY

As Bennett enters, there is a man at the sink, washing his hands. He turns to look at Bennett and we see that his face is ravaged with radiation. Bennett notices, too:

BENNETT
Whoa! You are one scary looking dude.

MAN
(smiling)
Not for long.

The Man quickly shoots out a hand, grabs Bennett by the throat and possesses him.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



ACT TWO

FADE IN:

INT. BANK LOBBY- DAY

The CAMERA PANS ACROSS the floor, REVEALING Men, Women and a few CHILDREN, lying on the floor.

MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Lie still and keep quiet. Do as we say and you
won't be harmed.

The CAMERA PULLS BACK to REVEAL the People are all being held at gun point by two ALIEN BANK ROBBERS.

In the teller's area, another ALIEN ROBBER is filling a large bag with cash from the teller's drawers.

From out of the vault, Bennett appears with another Man, also carrying a large, full bag.

BENNETT
We're fat! Let's hit it!

Bennett, his Accomplice and the Robber at the teller's drawers all rush toward the front door, passing the two Men holding the People at gun point. Bennett stops as the other two hurry outside.

1ST ROBBER
(indicating People on floor)
What about the humans?

BENNETT
They all have to die sooner or later. Might as well
be sooner.

The two Robbers smile, then turn the weapons on their prisoners and OPEN FIRE. People try to get up and run or escape in any way they can, but none do. It is a massacre. Bennett watches and enjoys.

EXT. WATERFORD 1ST NATIONAL BANK- NIGHT

The bank is closed. The street is empty. Except for a car parked in a lot across from the bank.

INT. CAR- NIGHT

Bennett sits in the front passenger seat. The DRIVER and TWO HOODS in back are members of his gang. All Aliens.

One of the Hoods in the back seat leans forward, explaining the situation to Bennett.

1ST HOOD
See the Insurance Office two doors to the left?
Closed for the weekend. We already shorted out
their alarm, we'll be inside in five minutes.

BENNETT
But how about the cleaners in between? Won't
they hear us digging tomorrow?

1ST HOOD
If we start digging in an hour, we'll be deep enough
by the time they open so they won't hear a thing.
Then we tunnel under and up and we should be
inside by Sunday noon.

BENNETT
What about the vault?

DRIVER
It's on a timer. We'll have to blast.

BENNETT
(looking around)
Church across the street. Lots of people around here
Sunday. I don't like it.

1ST HOOD
But this joint is loaded.

BENNETT
Yesterday I would have agreed with you. But
possessing this human's body, seeing things as
he saw them, with his corrupt and devious- but
very clever- mind....there is a lot we can learn from
these humans, especially how to destroy their own
species.

The CRACKLING SOUND of a radio transmission, then THE SOUND OF ALIEN SPEAK over the radio. Bennetttakes a mike out of the glove compartment and, in ALIENSPEAK, responds.

ADVOCATE #1 (V.O.)
We have heard from Canaris. He has the lenses
and is on his way from Geneva. He will deliver
them Sunday at noon. Do you have the money?

BENNETT
(on transmitter)
Not yet. But we will by then.

ADVOCATE #1 (V.O.)
You must not fail us.

BENNETT
I have no intention of failing. Tell him the meeting
is on.

Bennett replaces the transmitter.

1ST HOOD
Sunday at noon! We'll never make it!

BENNETT
I don't like this plan, anyway.

DRIVER
Then, how?

BENNETT
Perhaps an inside job.

The others stare at him, not knowing what he has in mind. But Bennett, smiling, does.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

INT. BANK CORRIDOR

The Uniformed Guard, followed by MR. ROSS, the bank president, Harrison, Suzanne, and a Second Uniformed Guard.

MR. ROSS
How long is this business going to take?

HARRISON
Mr. Ross, as president of the bank, I'd think
you'd be more interested in the security of your
funds than a Saturday morning golf game.

MR. ROSS
Since when is golf a game? It's a way of doing
business without being bothered by phone calls.
And if you two aren't F.B.I., who are you?

SUZANNE
Let's just say, friends of the F.B.I...

MR. ROSS
Well, I don't mind telling you, I don't like this.
Having to drag two guards down here on Saturday,
at double time, screwing up my golf game with out
largest depositer, and proving to two mystery people
that nobody's busted into our vault!

HARRISON
If they haven't already, we have reason to think that
they might.

Mr. Ross has the vault door unlocked. He swings it open. Then he unlocks the iron grill door behind it.

MR. ROSS
There. See for yourself.

Suzanne, Harrison and the Two Men from Omega Force step through the grill door and the CAMERA FOLLOWS THEM as they check out the huge vault room.

SUZANNE
Seems okay.

MR. ROSS (O.S.)
I'd say it's perfect.

There is a LOUD CLANGING NOISE behind them. They turn.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Mr. Ross has slammed shut the grill door, and he and the two guards are on the outside.

HARRISON
What the hell....?

The Two Omega Force Men draw their weapons, but they are GUNNED DOWN by the two Guards.

SUZANNE
Aliens!

MR. ROSS
How perceptive. And now we will not only
have the money we need, but we will be
able to learn how you know so much about
what we are doing before we do it.

HARRISON
There's no way you can make us talk.

MR. ROSS
Talk? We don't need you to talk. Our leaders
will borrow your brains and then everything you
know, we shall know.

Harrison and Suzanne react in horror as Ross slams the vault door closed and we:

FADE OUT.

END ACT FOUR


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FADE IN:

INT. BANK VAULT- DAY

The vault is open as are all the safety deposit boxes, which are scattered about, empty. Suzanne and Harrison are bound and on the floor, next to one another, while Bennett and his Hoods load the money and other valuables into plastic garbage bags. Ross and the Guards are helping.

SUZANNE
(to Harrison)
Look on the bright side. In a few hours, we'll know
more about the Aliens than we've ever known before.

HARRISON
But we'll also be dead.

SUZANNE
Kind of a "good news, bad news" joke, huh?

HARRISON
You're not laughing.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


INT. BANK- DAY

Ironhorse rushes in the rear door, his pistoldrawn, with Martin right behind him. As Ironhorse gets a view of the lobby, he sees something o.s. and freezes, as does Martin.

THEIR POV

Suzanne and Harrison lie bound and gagged on the floor. Mr. Ross, looking horror-stricken, is being held as a hostage-shield by Bennett.

BENNETT
Drop it! Or he dies!

MR. ROSS
Please! I don't care if he takes the money!

Ironhorse is frozen. He looks to Harrison and Suzanne but they can't help. He lowers the gun but doesn't drop it.

Bennett pushes Ross toward Ironhorse.

BENNETT
You heard him! Now do like I say, get rid of the gun!

By this point, Bennett has pushed Ross until they are standing directly in front of Ironhorse.

Ross extends a hand, to take the gun.

BENNETT
(continued)
Go on, give him the gun.

Ironhorse hesitates, then raises his gun as if to hand it to Ross. But at the last possible instant, he SHOOTS, two rounds, in rapid succession.

The first shot hits Ross, the second, Bennett. They both EXPLODE into body bagels.

Martin's mouth hangs open, as he witnesses what has happened. Ironhorse turns to Suzanne and Harrison.

IRONHORSE
You two okay?

Harrison and Suzanne both nod, yes. Ironhorse drops down beside Suzanne and starts to undo her gag. Martin does the same with Harrison.

MARTIN
How did you know he was an Alien?

IRONHORSE
He reached for my gun before the other Alien told him
to.

MARTIN
That's it.

Ironhorse nods, yes.

MARTIN
(continued)
You could've been wrong.

IRONHORSE
I know.

MARTIN
But if you hadn't, we'd all be dead now, instead.

Ironhorse nods, again.

MARTIN
(continued)
That's how you live your life?

IRONHORSE
It's my job.

MARTIN
Perhaps I owe you an apology.

IRONHORSE
No. No apologies. Listen to me, Martin.
What I did to Sarah is going to haunt us
both for the rest of our lives. And that's the
only way we can live with it.

Harrison and Suzanne exchange a look of relief. Their friend is on his way back.

EXT. LIGHTHOUSE- DAY

It appears abandoned.

EXT. LIGHTHOUSE- DAY

Canaris looks out to sea, surrounded by his Bodyguards. Then he checks his watch.

CANARIS
An hour late. We wait no longer.
(picking up package)
Come, we will find another buyer for our
precious lenses.

CANARIS'S AIDE
Who? The Japanese?

CANARIS
One cannot always be certain, but I think
that is who sold them to me.

As they start down the Lighthouse stairs, we:

FADE OUT.

THE END

It's hard for me to know if the changes from the script to what was aired would have been for the better or not. I like the idea of more time spent on the aliens, certainly.  Making Martin Cole more sympathetic, though, may have backfired. I do kind of like the idea of him seeing firsthand how difficult Ironhorse's decision was.

2 comments:

The Sultan of Sarcasm said...

I do like the angle with Canaris and the aliens holding Harrison and Suzanne hostage for delivery to the Advocacy. And the ending is a bit tighter as well in the script, but I prefer the menace that Denis Forest conveyed in the televised version.

Pastor Michael Henry said...

Do you have anymore scripts of this series in electronic format?