BU Film School

Thursday, October 13, 2005

FT 540 Reading: Edge of Darkness

Screenplay info
Written by: Troy Kennedy Martin
Film info: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0090424

Synopsis
IIF freight train -- passes sign for radioactivity.

Meeting at British Legion Hall. 2 cops watching outside. Raining. Shots of them spotting lurker intercut with shots of conference inside of Godbolt, Craven, Ross. Godbolt wins delay of inquiry into election fraud. Lurker disappears.

Craven at home. TV news -- possible miners' strike. Pope warning of nuclear war. Jones to Craven -- more exposition. Craven picking up Emma. Craven leaves, someone calls, gets machine, long silence before hang-up.

Craven goes to teachers' training college. Politician discusses siege mentality, threat of nuclear strike.

Craven picks up Emma. "The whole world's falling about your ears and you don't even care." She mentions she's got someone he wouldn't like.

Arrive at house. Gunman. Emma runs between, hit by both barrels.

Manhunt. Craven insists on no men being left at house. Takes out shotgun, loads it. Flash to -- funeral, young Emma, hospital corridor.

Craven goes to Emma's room. Pokes through drawers. Finds box marked Gaia with rocks, maps, stones, Geiger counter. Finds gun in drawer.

Pendleton (Whitehall) calls West Riding police -- taking interest.

Godbolt, chief constable Ross -- Craven given spot of leave. Inquiry on hold.

Craven at HQ. Jones printing out people Craven had put away. Craven not sure it's relevant.

Craven goes to mortuary, IDs Emma. Snips hair. Interior dialogue.

Craven goes to college, takes things from locker.

Craven, Emma voiceover instructs him on laundry. Craven finds radiation badge in bag of clothes. burns overalls, rope, trainers, badge. Tests hair with Geiger counter, it's radioactive.

Craven tells Ross he'll go to London -- gets address of Terry Shields, latest boyfriend (left-wing agitator).

Craven drives, "talks" to Emma. Exposition -- wife being treated for breast cancer.

Police HQ. Officers listen to Craven's statement. "Don't tell" her last words.

Craven pulled over, cries.

Craven arrives London -- associates it with cancer. Tells Dingle not part of investigation, not giving interviews.

TV on, Thatcher arguing about Trident (nuclear sub). "The nuclear deterrent is there to deter war -- and it has." Pendleton calls, Craven goes to meet him in car. Craven's car, phone bugged. Pendleton: "She was some sort of terrorist, wasn't she?" Question -- after her or after Craven? Pendleton mentions file on Emma. His interest -- safety of the realm.

Ross calls Craven -- getaway car found, with Lowe's prints -- 5th on list of Craven's arrests. Sending Jones to make arrest.

Craven leaves, tailed by plain-clothes cop. Craven loses him in tube station.

Craven takes gun to Carlisle, wants prints, excluding Emma's. Asks Carlisle about Pendleton -- latter had wanted gun tested for radioactivity. Meanwhile, Craven looks up Shields on computer -- no access to record (informer?).

Craven goes to Shields' house. Asks if Emma was coming there -- Shields says they talked about it. Shields jibes. He's part of Socialist Advance. Emma committed to Gaia, Shields not forthcoming with details. Craven -- "Don't tell" or "Don't! Tel!"? Craven glimpses nightie on bed, van down street. Shields gives him Emma's things, writes "Azure" on mirror (room bugged). Gives Craven obit he wrote.

Craven, Emma voiceover -- Shields a bastard.

Craven explains police intelligence terms, including R2. Emma -- Gaia stuff there.

Craven, Pendleton meet. Pendleton takes him to Harcourt, who questions Craven about Gaia, mentions break-in at Northmoor led by Emma. Everyone connected with raid vanished or dead. Produces gun Craven found in Emma's room. Craven: "You want me to help you, but you won't tell me what all this is about." Harcourt's deal -- will return gun without comment and won't hinder Craven's inquiry if he helps them. Harcout plays tape of Godbolt, who has a close relationship with Northmoor folks.

Craven at Scotland Yard. Calls Carlisle, who says they were on to him before Craven left.

Dingle -- where the hell was Craven? Elham -- wants Craven there when Lowe is nabbed. TV interview.

Craven at BBC. Discusses incident. Watches himself on TVs in store.

Craven gets call -- Jedburgh. Goes to Tiberio. Meets Kelly and Merryweather (there for the ride). Mike from Austin, home of country music. Waylon Jennings. Jedburgh, Craven sing "The Time of the Preacher." Preacher = gun. "And just when you think it is all over, it is only begun."

Jedburgh drives Craven to his apartment. "I really believe that God is a golfer." Jedburgh confirms that he works for the CIA. He tells Craven Emma's file is in living room in desk.

Craven reads report. Marsh inquiry, Northmoor -- sold to IIF, Gaia mission.

Flash to scene with Emma -- she says Marsh dead, had ID'd Northmoor as contamination source. She says only way to find out for sure is to go down there, Craven says not to. "It's the most dangerous business in Britain."

Craven reads -- CIA makes priority to find out plutonium source, purpose. Craven reads Emma's bio -- mentions team was trapped, Shields suspected informer. Mentions Craven may have known, why didn't stop? White House calls, Craven takes message.

Craven back in room. Reads Shields' obit. "Comrade." Emma: "Poor old Dad."

Shots of Lowe waking up, mouthwash, etc. with police closing in, Jones trying to locate Craven, who returns report to Jedburgh. "Your daughter was a terrorist, Craven. You might as well get used to it." Craven defends her.

Neighbor sees detectives. Her cry alerts Lowe. Police storm his flat.

Jedburgh, Craven drive. Jedburgh tells hima bout Gaia -- dangerous, put trees and flowers before people.

Craven, Jedburgh arrive --- Lowe jumped from 6 floors up. Hospital -- Craven reminded of Ann and her operation (voiceover). Voiceover -- remembering interrogation of Lowe -- soft approach. Shared Lowe's torment back then (travail with Ann). Craven again interrogating Lowe.

Restaurant -- Jedburgh meets Harcourt and Pendleton. Talk about Intelligence budget cuts (Harcourt -- funding through other agencies), Lowe (dropped off 6th floor), Craven (read report, still defends daughter), Grogan (going to buy IIF). Jedburgh: "Trouble, right here in River City." ("Music Man" allusion)

Grogan, Bennett as former arrives. In few more days, can get into the chamber.

Craven gets name from Lowe -- McCroon, another guy Craven had put away. Craven thinks McCroon was paid, but Ross discounts. Craven to Elham: "You've just killed the chief witness." Police drive away from hospital. Craven gets out of car, walks. Conversation with Emma -- what the hell was she up to? He buckles. "You've got to be strong -- like a tree -- don't break ..." Craven -- who let you in there? She disappears.

Craven back at hotel. Shields there, they talk. Shields confirms is informer. He had told police Emma thought there was a hot cell down in Northmoor.

Craven calls Ross -- should sort out alternatives. Ross -- McCroon print matches that on gun, wants Craven to go back with him. Craven -- wants to stay on couple more days. Ross reluctantly agrees.

Craven visits Mac, former cop, in nursing home. Mac injured in Northern Ireland. Craven tells him about Emma -- wants to get into Registry. "I can't just sit back and watch them making all the wrong moves."

Craven goes back to hotel, Jedburgh's there watching Godbolt and clergymen debate on TV. Godbolt about Emma: "It's just that mistakes sometimes happen." History can't make mistakes. Jedburgh -- Godbolt trying to tell Craven something. Craven tells Jedburgh about hot cell, mentions Shields. Jedburgh gives envelope from Harcourt, says Craven is to meet Harcourt at 10:00 at Commons.

Pendleton, Jedburgh go to Shields' home. Operator in van shot. Shields electrocuted in bath.

Outside House of Commons. Grogan, Bennett are interviewed by reporters about IIF bid. Jedburgh smiles at Grogan, salutes him.

Craven at House of Commons. Meets Clementine, friend of Jedburgh's. Pendleton arrives, little verbal jabs at Clementine, she goes off. Pendleton introduces Polly -- member, Shadow Energy Spokesman. Polly -- they're brought in to muddy water. Craven watches Bennett, Grogan. Bennett, Craven stare at each other. Rumor Craven's there to give evidence. Pendleton, Harcourt pleased.

Craven -- brought here to upset Bennett? Harcourt -- wants Craven as witness -- cover for real sources. Craven refuses.

Committee inquiry opens, starting with Bennett.

Grogan goes to car. Jedburgh gets in too. They talk. Jedburgh warns Grogan he's stirring up the natives.

Craven leaves with Clementine. Jedburgh says for her to look after him, drives off.

Inquiry. Bennett gives company philosophy -- storage of low-grade waste. Has full support of government agencies, generous grants.

Craven, Clementine chat about Jedburgh, who helped found Gaia.

Craven writes report for Ross. Jedburgh calls, going back to DC.

Emma's funeral. In sleeping car with young Emma.

Ross reads Craven's report -- will stay in his safe until Craven comes to his senses. Craven wants warrant for Northmoor, but it's out of the question. Deal -- if Craven sees doctor, Ross will take watch off house. McCroon won't come as long as it's there.

Craven cuts lawn. McCroon watches.

Shots of Craven writing checks, etc. intercut with shots of McCroon approaching house, flashbacks of Emma getting shot. Craven aims shotgun but lowers it.

McCroon in doorway -- former informer, abandoned. Craven -- who gave you gun, car, location? McCroon won't give name -- shot.

Craven at psychiatric hospital, talks to doctor. Emma no longer talks to him. He got angry -- she had allowed herself to be abused. Ross -- got McCroon before he got you. Craven -- was drawing name out of him. Ross -- closing the case.

Corpse in reservoir found -- radioactive.

Hospital. Doctor asks Craven about Ireland. McCroon one of informers -- dependency. After Craven left, informers let go. Out of Craven's hands.

Craven goes back to house. Sees flowers, spring where Emma died. Sees Emma, hears her singing about ratatouille. Goes to cookbook, finds list of stations in tube.

Craven drives to London. Newscaster voiceover about Grogan. Craven to Emma -- going to go in.

Jedburgh returns, back from Salvador. Craven there. Talk about his founding Gaia -- to stop Brits manufacturing plutonium (Carter wanted to stop spread of nukes). Then Cold War started, Jedburgh ordered to dismantle Gaia, but it went underground. Craven shows him list of tubes. Jedburgh -- find proper route, I'll go with you.

Harcourt gives report to Chilwell (inquiry chairman) -- call Craven. He's skipped hospital.

Craven, Toby Berwick, wife at computer room. They access info about Gaia, Northmoor, Emma. Intercut with shots of Harcourt, Pendleton watching break-in.

Cops locate terminal. Shots of them, Craven reading about Northmoor Security. Others run, Craven grabs map as it prints out and runs.

Harcourt, Pendleton -- need to get someone into plant. Craven obvious choice.

Craven escapes into theater. Clementine's there. They watch play (Toby had given Craven tickets). They go back to hotel -- he's under her protective custody.

Pendleton calls -- they know about break-in. Craven's again asked to be witness. "You don't say 'no' to the Commons, Craven, or they lock you up."

Craven can't sleep. He shuts fridge door that was open, sound wakes Clementine. He kisses her.

House of Commons. Bennett confronts Harcourt about Craven. Childs -- pathologist's report will mention radiation, but not source. Godbolt there too.

Inquiry examines pathologist. IDs corpse as having being exposed to criticality accident.

Craven waiting, Godbolt enters. "Lot of people down here got Northmoor in their sights." "I'm one of them." Craven has found out a lot. Godbolt tells him how he got involved -- Ministry of Defense needed miners to maintain storage facilities. MoD leased Northmoor to Bennett. "He needed me. He knew he'd never get another leader so compromised."

Jedburgh meets white House folk at softball game, given message: "Get into the ballpark and steal the ball."

More talk between Craven, Godbolt. Craven asks about TV show -- Emma killed by mistake. People who hired McCroon thought Craven had led Gaia team down. Pendleton -- inquiry ready for Godbolt. Godbolt reveals he led team down, leaves. Harcourt -- won't let Craven speak, psychiatric report could undermine testimony. Something better for him to do.

Craven, Jedburgh -- made up mind about trip? Pendleton calls Craven -- if Jedburgh gets out of hand, shoot him.

Godbolt shows Jedburgh old map of mine.

Jedburgh, Craven look at Emma's stream.

Grogan, Bennett. Grogan got call from DC warning of break-in.

Shots of Landrover, preparations for intruders (lay gas, flood levels -- danger of exposing flasks), three men approaching.

Harcourt to chairman -- keep Bennett on stand as long as possible. Harcourt, Pendleton, Grogan, Bennett. Grogan asks after Jedburgh, Craven -- they know about break-in.

Shots of three men going down, shots of Bennett being questions about Gaia raid. Informed MoD, since plutonium was their property.

Three men walk. Emma went through all that, never said a word. Jedburgh: "It's our capacity for deception that distinguishes us from the animals."

Various tunnels being flooded.

Guards find van, gas mask.

Jedburgh, Craven descend. Godbolt turns back.

Committee. Bennett thinks they're winning.

Craven, Jedburgh in Northmoor. Craven coughs (gas), Jedburgh pushes mask on his face. They hear rumble of water -- turns out that it floods level above them. Northmoor ops -- need everything you've got.

Craven, Jedburgh find chamber. Claret, Mozart. Jedburgh cooks, they eat. Place built in 1962. Jedburgh: "This is the Doomsday equivalent of Harrods."

Harcourt questioned by committee. What attracted his attention to IIF? What Fusion Corp. wanted with IIF -- ability to manufacture plutonium, illegally.

Craven, Jedburgh. Jedburgh's orders? Steal plutonium. Craven angry. They start to leave. What counts is that Grogan won't get plutonium.

Harcourt, more questioning. Marsh Report discredited, no prima facie evidence -- can't act on it. Pendleton's note -- they're in.

Jedburgh, Craven find dead bodies, hot cell. Jedburgh shoots camera. Northmoor op -- can survive 20 min. at the outside.

Jedburgh takes plutonium. Craven stands watch, lines up drums for barricade. Guards come. Gunfire. Jedburgh gets last of plutonium, he and Craven head for lifts. Craven unblocks door. Northmoor ops -- can't cut power because of backup system.

Craven, Jedburgh in lift. Jedburgh tells craven to get out, make run for it. He cocks gun. "You're the detective, find me."

Craven runs, is pursued. Exits covered by guards. Tries phones. Duty officer finally finds ringing phone. "Get me Pendleton!"

Craven sick from radiation poisoning. Tells Pendleton what happened.

Emma gives Craven black flower. Didn't tell him because he was on their side.

CIA officials inspect shootout scene. Jedburgh killed 4 CIA men, got away with plutonium.

Jedburgh in Scotland, golfs. Returns to guest house -- landlady complains he had left sandwich. Calls Kilmichael (to kill him).

Craven sneaks out of hospital. Clementine meets him, gives him clothes, he disappears. She calls Harcourt. Craven will get plutonium back, wants guarantee won't be hassled, knows is dying. Harcourt says to try Scotland.

Harcourt, Minister. Jedburgh mad. Minister knew about plutonium (small quantities, experimental laswer process). Americans became suspicious, Harcourt brough in to deceive them. Minister -- Harcourt's duty to get plutonium back.

Craven to Clementine -- report goes to Gaia, don't come after him.

Conference, Jedburgh there. Bennett calls Pendleton. Grogan enters, he and Jedburgh stare while Lawson continues introducing panel. grogan called to speak. Shots of him talking, Craven driving, being sick, talking to Emma about black flowers.

Jedburgh talks about despotism. Takes out two bars of plutonium. Audience panics, runs out. Grogan stands his ground, but falls when Jedburgh touches two bars together.

Meeting with Minister, Grogan, Bennett, Harcourt. Jedburgh still has 20 kilos in "explosive configuration". Leave it to Craven to find Jedburgh, plutonium.

Craven (with help from sticker on sandwich container) tracks down Jedburgh. Jedburgh -- own people were waiting for him. Grogan had concluded Inquiry would stop takeover, so decided to get plutonium another way. Plutonium at bottom of a loch, made into bomb. "It's limited in its application. It is not user-friendly. But as a vehicle for regaining one's self-respect, it's got a lot going for it." Jedburgh invited terrorist to kill him. Craven going to call Harcourt. Jedburgh warns will turn it right over to Grogan.

Craven calls for Pendleton.

Craven, Jedburgh sing, slightly drunk. Jedburgh doesn't believe in Gaia. Craven -- you're wrong.

Men coming.

Dinner -- Grogan, Bennett, Harcourt, Pendleton, Lawson, Minister. "... same old circus". Everything back to normal.

Jedburgh fires at people. Three men rush in, hold guns to Craven's head. Jedburgh shot. Men leave. "I am not on your side."

Harcourt writes to Clementine -- plutonium recovered. "It was an IIF show." Voiceover over recovery of plutonium. Harcourt writes about Craven staring down at loch, not long for this world. Wish could have told him good would prevail. Craven cries out: "Emma!"

Winter. Black flowers where Craven had stood.

My notes
-- Bronze Age -- search for answers drives Craven, establishment guy forced to question things
-- moves fluidly between reality and Emma reality
-- no happy ending -- Craven dying, Jedburgh dies, corporation gets plutonium

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