100yrs – The Seance (Episode 01)

100yrs
FADE IN
SUPER CREDITS:
INT. HOUSE – DAY
Views of a house built the turn of the century. Ornate tiling travels up the wall over the stained glass front door. Flowers sway in the breeze and from inside we can hear half muffled voices.
INT. HOUSE – NIGHT
Close up: a shot a pair of womans hands, nails painted
black places the ornate board on the table.
LIZABETH
(O.C.)
I was expecting something else.
ANSLOW
(O.C.)
A crystal ball no doubt.
LIZABETH
(O.C.)
Perhaps.
ANSLOW
(O.C.)
What the focus of her attention actually IS does not matter; it merely matters that there IS one.
MEDIUM
It is called a Talking Board…
WIDEANGLE: There are three people, two women and a man. The man is THOMAS ANSLOW, he is dressed in clothes that may have been fashionable ten years ago, he holds a newspaper before him. Then theres LIZABETH HAMILTON, a lady of genuine refinement dressed and perfectly coiffed. Finally there is THE MEDIUM, who is a Gothic version of LIZABETH, her face is half covered in a lace veil.
The decor and dress are all typical of the early part of the last century.
LIZABETH
Marvellous! I have heard of these.
ANSLOW
They ARE all the rage. More wine?
LIZABETH
How presumptuous you are Mr Anslow. Charlotte? Bring Mr Anslow more wine.
MEDIUM
If I make take a moment. My energies much be summoned.
LIZABETH
(Excitedly)
Certainly… certainly.
ANSLOW
Shocking isn’t it?
He turns the newspaper so the front headline shows. A huge liner is emblazoned across it with the headline “1,500 to 1,800 die”.
ANSLOW
“Scantily clad women and many children were found floating in freezing waters.” Grotesque.
He looks up and sees that LIZABETH is watching the MEDIUM.
He continues speaking while he watches her.
ANSLOW
To see those bloated corpses filling the ocean would have been… Oh, Mrs Hamilton, I’m terribly sorry…
LIZABETH turns to him blankly.
ANSLOW
With your own poor husband barely… gone, and here I am…
LIZABETH
(feigning distress)
No, no Mr Anslow. Its perfectly all right.
ANSLOW
(changing the subject)
Well, I did hear that there was talk on creating a contraption based on those brothers…
LIZABETH
Why Mr Anslow, am I to believe you think that flying contraption was no more than a hoax?
ANSLOW
Its been said that a passenger flight should be available within the year. Far safer and quicker than sea travel.
LIZABETH
(disbelieving)
Really Mr Anslow, really…
The MEDIUM smiles slightly to herself and then places the planchette in the middle of the board.
MEDIUM
The spirits are ready…
Excitedly LIZABETH moves closer to the board, her eyes wide. Her fingers are raised and she looks back and forth questioningly.
MEDIUM
We are engulfed in spirits, they wander around us aimlessly… We are at a crossroads…
ANSLOW
(whispering to Lizabeth)
Fingertip on the planchette… like this.
He demonstrates and the planchette twitches under his finger.
LIZABETH follows suit and the planchette moves again.
LIZABETH
William? Is William there?
MEDIUM
There are many… He wonders why… why did it happen?
LIZABETH
Who?
The planchette begins picking out letters.
MEDIUM
W.. I.. L.. William…
ANSLOW watches LIZABETH’s eyes grow wide in wonder.
MEDIUM
Why are you here William, what is it you wish to say?
The planchette moves across the board. P.. O.. I..
LIZABETH
Poison?
MEDIUM
Poison. You were poisoned?
The planchette moves to the YES printed on the board.
MEDIUM
By whom?
The planchette makes little circles in the middle of the board.
LIZABETH
What does that mean?
MEDIUM
He doesn’t know.
ANSLOW
What of the poison? What was it? Who administered it?
MEDIUM
One question at a time.
LIZABETH
Who did it? Who killed my husband!
The planchette moves quickly, pointing out three letters.
Y.. O.. U..
LIZABETH stand and takes a step backward. The chair spills over. LIZABETH looks horrified at the board.
The planchette is still for a moment. Then it begins moving again, spelling out LIZABETH.
MEDIUM
Mrs Hamilton? Please sit down.
For a moment LIZABETH doesn’t respond then she begins to sit slowly with ANSLOWS help.
LIZABETH
It is simply not true. Why would he say such a thing?
She looks at the MEDIUM suspiciously.
LIZABETH
Someone here is making it say such things.
The MEDIUM does not reply, but stares ahead, hidden under her veil.
ANSLOW places his finger on the planchette again and it instantly moves and spells out LIZABETH again. LIZABETH’s suspicious gaze moves to ANSLOW.
ANSLOW looks back innocently and shrugs.
ANSLOW
I really wouldn’t know…
The planchette spells out PINS.
ANSLOW
Pins? What does that mean?
The planchette spells out POISND.
The planchette spells out SEWNG.
ANSLOW
Mrs Hamilton, do you sew?
The planchette moves to YES. LIZABETH takes her finger from it and moves back slightly and ANSLOW follows suit. The planchette begins to move in its slow circle.
LIZABETH
I’m certain that would be no concern of yours Mr Anslow.
ANSLOW
(gently)
Perhaps it would be of concern to the authorities.
LIZABETH
Mr Anslow, really. First this nonsense about flying contraptions and now this…
The planchette moves it its circle.
ANSLOW
(gently)
Mrs Hamilton, really, do you sew?
LIZABETH
All well raised ladies sew Mr Anslow, but I fail to understand the significance of the fact.
ANSLOW sighs.
ANSLOW
Neither do I Mrs Hamilton. Neither do I; but someone does…
He looks at the board between them.
The planchette begins to move, building up speed.
ANSLOW
F.. A.. T.. H.. E.. R..
The planchette continues to move.
LIZABETH
Father? Why is he saying that? What does that mean?
ANSLOW looks confused.
The planchette keeps repeating the single word.
LIZABETH
Stop. STOP.
The planchette stops. Theres a pause.
ANSLOW
Father. What of the father? Do you have children Mrs Hamilton?
LIZABETH
Certainly not.
ANSLOW
The perhaps your father?
The planchette moves to YES.
LIZABETH
Your father William?
The planchette moves to NO.
LIZABETH
My father..?
The planchette moves to YES.
ANSLOW looks at LIZABETH, his eyebrows raised in a question.
LIZABETH
I… I…
She is lost for words.
The planchette moves it its circle.
ANSLOW
What significance is the father?
The board does not respond.
ANSLOW
Why were you killed?
Again no response.
ANSLOW
(to Medium)
Is he still present?
The MEDIUM does not answer for a moment.
MEDIUM
I believe he is gone.
EXT. HOUSE 1912 – NIGHT
The frosted glass on the front door is illuminated from inside. With a click the door opens and the MEDIUM exits followed by ANSLOW. They walk to and through the front gate.
ANSLOW looks into the sky.
MEDIUM
Would you accompany me?
The stars are incredibly bright above them.
ANSLOW
A walk?
MEDIUM
A Walk, yes.
ANSLOW
Allow me.
He takes a small case from her hands (presumably the case in which she keeps the Ouija board), and they begin to walk down the quiet street.
They begin to walk away from the camera.
ANSLOW
Perhaps we could stop and see the work being done on the new infirmary? I have been meaning to
see it.
MEDIUM
As you wish to, Thomas; but I do not want to stay long… Have you considered…
ANSLOW
What?
MEDIUM
There is only one place where someone may obtain any unusual medication… or poison.
ANSLOW
Ahh, yes… What would I do without you?
As they walk the casually MEDIUM hooks her arm through his.
INT. HOUSE – NIGHT
MRS HAMILTON sits alone in the sitting room. She looks distraught.
LIZABETH
Charlotte? Charlotte? Bring me some tea please.
She looks around the room and then upward as if beseeching God.
LIZABETH
William? Why?
INT. APOTHECARY – DAY
Bottles line the shelves and dark corners are everywhere. Theres a FRANKENSTEIN quality to the scene, a hunched man sorts through bottles and fills some from a large jug.
He looks around him furtively and takes a swig from the bottle of greenish liquid. He grimaces as the door chime sounds.
He turns directly into the silent and impassive MEDIUM. He splutters a little, green fluid dribbling from his mouth. Theatrically he holds his hand to his chest.
HAROLD
Oh, its you… Your grimoire hasn’t arrived…
ANSLOW
(o.c.)
You should be addressing me…
HAROLD
Oh, well. Terribly sorry sir…
ANSLOW
Anslow’s the name. I need to ask you a question or two; so you can drop the act.
MEDIUM
Harold, don’t be bothersome…
HAROLD stands up straight and we can tell he is neither small nor hunchbacked.
HAROLD
What would you like to ask Mr Anslow?
ANSLOW
The Hamiltons, Lizabeth and William.
HAROLD glances between the MEDIUM and ANSLOW. The MEDIUM takes a step closer to him and he seems visibly flustered by this.
HAROLD
Yes, yes. I know them…
ANSLOW reaches into his pocket and draws out a handful of coins. HAROLD’s eyes brighten at the sight of them.
ANSLOW
Another question: do you think its rather odd that we have 240 pence in a pound? A round, whole number would be better I should think. What do you think Harold?
HAROLD
That would leave you with four bob left over…
ANSLOW
That would require a home, yes…
Harold, eyes fixed on the shiny metal in Anslow’s hand, edges forwards.
HAROLD
I’ve met the Hamiltons. Doc Hamilton sometimes orders the odd thing.
ANSLOW
“Doc” Hamilton?
HAROLD looks confused.
HAROLD
Hmm, whats his name? Bill? They live midway up Stafford Street…
ANSLOW
So when was the last time you saw Doctor Hamilton?
HAROLD makes his was behind the counter and opens a ledger, flicking through the pages her finds an entry. The MEDIUM follows around the counter and takes the book from him, he does nothing to stop her (he clearly has some fear of the woman).
ANSLOW looks at the book, in a confusing scrawl we can make out “Hamilton” and the date (12/04/1912) followed by something indecipherable. ANSLOW points to it.
ANSLOW
What was this?
The MEDIUM looks through the books entries as HAROLD looks under the counter and produces a small vial of clear liquid.
ANSLOW takes it and looks at it.
MEDIUM glances up.
MEDIUM
What is it? Is it legal?
She glances at HAROLD when she says “legal” obviously thinking it isn’t.
ANSLOW
Surprisingly yes… Though deadly…
MEDIUM
Theres more.
She shows him the ledger, Hamiltons name appears again and again.
ANSLOW
I do hope you gave “Doc” Hamilton discount Harold.
MEDIUM
Such a fine customer deserves no less.
EXT. MARKET – DAY
ANSLOW and the MEDIUM wind their way through a marketplace. Pausing at a pig roast they purchase food.
ANSLOW
It seems that the “Doctors” varied unwholesome practices could make him a victim of anyones anguish.
MEDIUM
He was confused during the session, not angry, something else…
ANSLOW
Hmm..?
MEDIUM
..nothing, it was a particularly unusual session.
ANSLOWS looks as though he wishes to press the matter, though he doesn’t. He watches one of the stall holders for a moment, lost in thought.
ANSLOW
Theres something I must check, and then we must speak to the widow’s father.
INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY
ANSLOW has a book open in front of him we think at first. Closer inspection proves us to be wrong, its a morticians report.
A sheet of yellowed paper shows a rudimentary image of a mans figure. Here and there are handwritten notes over the page.
ANSLOW pours through the pages, reading little bit and pieces to himself.
We see snippets of these notes written in almost illegible text.
“Heart Failure perhaps a result of accidental overdose or poisoning”, “Contusion on right side of face due to contact with a hard surface (perhaps a fall)”, “Abrasion on back of neck (cause unknown)”.
ANSLOW leans back in his seat for a moment, abruptly he closes the file in front of him and stands.
INT. EVIDENCE LOCKUP – DAY
Over darkness we hear sounds, then the dragging of something as it is moved. A box is moved from in front of our view and we see that we are in a place filled with boxes with illegible labels pasted to the front of them.
ANSLOW digs through the box and drags out a handful of clothes carefully. He picks through the pockets and takes out a few random scraps of paper, a betting slip and a coin pouch and looks through them. He finds a off-white shirt and checks it carefully.
INT. BRIGADEER’S LIVING ROOM – DAY
A severe looking man sits in an overlarge chair. He has a huge handlebar moustache and looks the image of a turn of the century war veteran.
He sits in perfect still silence.
REVERSE ANGLE: ANSLOW and the MEDIUM sit facing him on a sofa. They are silent and still too and ANSLOW looks decidedly nervous in the severe mans presence.
This is GENERAL BRIGADEER REGINALD THOMAS HICKMAN-BARON.
BRIGADEER
Did he suffer?
ANSLOW
If it was what we believe, then yes… I’m afraid he did…
BRIGADEER
Good show, Anslow. Brandy?
ANSLOW
I… Err, yes thank you Brigadier.
The BRIGADEER waves broadly to the end of the room.
BRIGADEER
It’s over there, somewhere. Here…
He hands out an empty glass for refilling.
ANSLOW rises and takes it.
BRIGADEER
Useless man!
Both ANSLOW and the MEDIUM stare…
BRIGADEER
I wept the day William Hamilton wed my daughter. Me! Weeping like a woman! He married her for her purse and not her love…
MEDIUM
If I may Brigadier… Why would you consent to such a union?
The BRIGADEER visibly softens.
BRIGADEER
Why dear, have you met my daughter? Head strong, like so many women these days… Don’t know what the world is coming to…
ANSLOW
Changes are afoot Brigadier.
He hands the BRIGADEER the filled glass.
BRIGADEER
Humph… Not while I live and breath my boy.
ANSLOW
Did you see Mr Hamilton shortly before his death?
BRIGADEER
Are you asking me if I killed him?
ANSLOW
Well… As you mention the subject…
BRIGADEER
No I didn’t… Thought about it though. Considered taking him out on a hunting expedition and then shooting him in the head.
MEDIUM
No love lost for him then…
BRIGADEER
None what-so-ever my young lady. But to answer your escort’s question; I saw Hamilton the Sunday before his death, at church of all places.. the little heathen… not the place for such dealings.
ANSLOW
Dealings, sir?
BRIGADEER
Moneys were requested of me. I declined and Hamilton caused a scene… in church may I add… I extricated myself with due haste, apparently missing a stirring sermon on the sins of hedonism in the process. Hah, fitting really… Hamilton liked the horses you see…
EXT. RACECOURCE – DAY
The MEDIUM sits on a large thick blanket eating triangles of sandwiches from a basket. She raises tiny binoculars to her eyes and watches something. In her other hand she holds a parasol over her head, shielding herself from the bright sun.
MEDIUM’S P.O.V.: Horses hooves pummel the earth around a race track.
ANSLOW
(o.c.)
..He was here…
The MEDIUM drops the spy-glasses and watches ANSLOW approach and sit. He plucks a sandwich from the basket.
ANSLOW
..And it seems he incurred quite a debt with more than one shark in this pond.
MEDIUM
So perhaps one of them…
ANSLOW shakes his head.
ANSLOW
No, poison would not be in their best interest. They would prefer a more extravagant method I would think. Though this does prove money was an issue as the Brigadier suggested.
They watch the race in silence for a moment or two.
MEDIUM
Number nine has fine form. Rather handsome creature as well…
ANSLOW
I believe…
The MEDIUM looks at him and a smile plays over her lips.
MEDIUM
I know that look…
ANSLOW
I think I know what happened.
INT. HOUSE – EVENING
LIZABETH sits in a high-backed chair she has a large patchwork quilt in front of her and she is hand sewing a square onto it. She hums away to herself as she does, the tune is pretty and slightly haunting.
ANSLOW
(o.c.)
Mrs Hamilton?
She recoils slightly and then lets out a short cry. She raises her hand and a spot of blood is seen on her fingertip.
She dabs at it with a handkerchief as she looks up. Standing in the doorway is ANSLOW and the MEDIUM.
ANSLOW
Oh, I’m terribly sorry…
LIZABETH
Mr Anslow…
ANSLOW
Charlotte let us in and… it isn’t “Mr” Anslow…
LIZABETH raises an eyebrow.
ANSLOW
Its… Detective Inspector Anslow…
LIZABETH
Oh… How ungentlemanly…
ANSLOW
Yes, I know… I’m…
LIZABETH
I’m not particularly fond of this European style of policing Mr… Inspector… Whatever…
ANSLOW
And you are not alone in that thought Mrs Hamilton, but the process works quite well at times.
LIZABETH
So what is it you require of me?
AMSLOW
A question, Mrs Hamilton.
Again she raises an eyebrow.
AMSLOW
Did Doctor Hamilton ever frequent the Apple Street Apocathary?
LIZABETH
I’m certain I wouldn’t know what my Hus…
She stops mid word and looks at him slightly wide eyed.
LIZABETH
“Doctor” Hamilton… Hm… He is… was… no longer a doctor.
ANSLOW
He was struck off.
She flinches as if ANSLOW had slapped her.
ANSLOW
Certain… surgical procedures, fell foul of the board apparently. A brief discussion with various type of city folk has brought to light that he…
LIZABETH
So he had continued those procedures for certain… social types… I suspected as much.
She stops what she is doing and glares up at the still standing ANSLOW.
LIZABETH
How much of it was real? Your… medium friend.
She nods in the MEDIUM’s direction.
ANSLOW
Oh, shes completely real Mrs Hamilton.
LIZABETH
But I did not kill my husband, I swear it.
ANSLOW
Oh, you did Mrs Hamilton.
ANSLOW reaches into his pocked and plucks out a tiny item, a pin.
ANSLOW
With this.
LIZABETH shakes her head slightly, not understanding any of it.
ANSLOW
He knew that you knew Mrs Hamilton. Your father is a wealthy man is he not?
LIZABETH
Propriety forbids…
She stops a moment.
LIZABETH
Yes, I would suppose that he is.
ANSLOW
And your dowry…
LIZABETH
Was not an inconsiderable amount.
ANSLOW
Your husband tried to kill you Mrs Hamilton. He poisoned the pins you use thinking you would do just what you did when I startled you earlier.
She stares at her bloodied fingertip, shocked.
ANSLOW
I would not worry, the poison breaks down quite quickly into harmless components, that is why he chose it. It would be so hard to trace.
LIZABETH
But how..?
ANSLOW
You altered his shirt… and you left in a pin.
LIZABETHS shoulders drop and she seems sunken.
LIZABETH
So I did kill him…
ANSLOW
After a fashion… I’m so sorry Mrs Hamilton.
ANSLOW turns to leave, but LIZABETH quickly gets up to follow him.
INT. HOUSE – EVENING
In the hallway LIZABETH grabs ANSLOWS arm and turns him to face her.
LIZABETH
Is that it? I…
ANSLOW
Theres nothing to be done Mrs Hamilton. You were too tempting a victim for him, and knowing what you did and your obvious… distaste for it left him seemingly no choice. Besides, it would leave him a rich man.
He opens the front door and steps through. Behind him LIZABETH closes it without a word.
EXT. HOUSE – EVENING
For a moment ANSLOW stands and stares at the sky. The MEDIUM falls into step beside him and follows his gaze.
ANSLOW
Do you see the stars?
MEDIUM
Yes.
ANSLOW
I wonder what wonders they contain.
MEDIUM
Will we ever know?
ANSLOW
One day…
After a moment ANSLOW begins to walk away, the MEDIUM beside him. She hooks her arm through his and they disappear into the distance.
FADE TO BLACK
END CREDIT ROLL

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