African Incident Script
Transcribed John Koster Apr 2003
Native girl Cécile Chevreau
Captain/Lieutenant Neddie Seagoon Harry Secombe
Major Dennis Bloodnok Peter Sellers
Private Willium "Mate" Cobblers Peter Sellers
Major Spon Peter Sellers
Commandant Von Guttern Spike Milligan
Eccles Spike Milligan
Little Jim Spike Milligan
Count Moriarty Spike Milligan
Lieutenant Pluck Spike Milligan
Announcer Wallace Greenslade
GREENSLADE: We present: those friends of royalty: the Goons!
GRAMS: SCRATCHY FANFARE AT VARYING SPEEDS, STOPS SUDDENLY WITH A MUSICAL RASPBERRY.
ORCHESTRA: TATTY CHORD.
SECOMBE: Yes folks and now it's time for ME!
SECOMBE: Stop, stop!
FX: APPLAUSE STOPS IMMEDIATELY.
GREENSLADE: This week our story is set in the year 1914. England is at war and the script has been censored.
GRAMS: INTRODUCTORY MUSIC AT VARYING SPEED.
SELLERS: The German colony in East Africa under its brilliant commander, Von Guttern, was attacking the British forces with great success.
LIEUTENANT PLUCK: (blasé) Yes. My name is lieutenant Terence Pluck M.O. I and my unit had been captured on the first day of the hostilities. We were all marched to a German prison camp, five hundred miles, two inches deep in the heart of the jungle. It was a comfortable camp and we were well treated. Trouble started the day as a batch of new English type prisoners were brought in. Strange lot....
FX: MARCHING (DOUBLE SPEED) UNDER...
CAPTAIN SPON: Keep up men, don't lag, feet in line with the seats of the underpants.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: That was major Spon, B.O.
MAJOR SPON: And that was captain Seagoon, our C.O., a brilliant soldier. When the Germans attacked Fort Blun, he rallied his men around the white flag.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Yes. Rather then surrender, we gave ourselves up.
MAJOR SPON: And so we marched into the naughty German prison camp.
FX: SLOW MARCHING UNDER...
MAJOR SPON: That's it men, show 'em were still soldiers. Left, left, left, left, left,... and... what's next?
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Right.
MAJOR SPON: Right. Company... halt!
FX: MARCHING GRINDING DOWN TO HALT.
LIEUTENANT PLUCK: Gad, what discipline, I thought.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Eyes front!
MAJOR SPON: Eyes are always at the front, mister Seagoon.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Here comes the German camp commandant, and what luck Sir, look, he's shorter then I am.
COMMANDANT: This camp will keep you occupied until the war is over. Tomorrow you will all start work on a railway bridge over the river Kapatee.
MAJOR SPON: Uhm, did you say work?
MAJOR SPON: But we're English.
COMMANDANT: I makes neine difference, you must work.
MAJOR SPON: My dear fellow, according to article three, etcetera, etcetera, of the Geneva Convention, it states categorically that officers must not work.
COMMANDANT (strained): You, you refuse?
MAJOR SPON: Yes.
COMMANDANT: Zen you vill be shot!
MAJOR SPON: A well then, that's much more reasonable.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Major, I..I'd rather work then die.
MAJOR SPON: Mind what you're saying.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Yes, I speak the same language. Gad! They're pointing machine gun at us!
MAJOR SPON: How rude. Pretend we have not seen them.
COMMANDANT: I vill count up to vone, zen I vill fire. A quarter, a half, three quarters, a fortieth...
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: If you kill us, we'll refuse to stand up!
COMMANDANT: Very well, I changed meinen mind, but I'll also want you change yours. (Gives orders in German)
FX: SHOUTING OF TROOPS.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: We were forced into a corrugated iron hut, one foot tall, by three inches wide.
MAJOR SPON: No food, no water, and the temperature inside was a 130 degrees in the shade.
FX: FRANTIC BANGING ON DOOR OVER...
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Let me out! I can't stand it any longer! We'll die! No water, no food, I, I can't stand it! Let me out you devils, ha, ha, ha! (sobs)
MAJOR SPON: (Banging stops) Steady, steady, we've only been in here 30 seconds.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: There's a limit to what a man can stand.
FX: DOOR OPENS
MAJOR SPON: Who the devil are you?
LIEUTENANT PLUCK: It's alright, you can put your hands down, I'm British.
MAJOR SPON: So are we, you can put your hands down.
LIEUTENANT PLUCK: Thank you. I'm lieutenant Pluck, I'm the camp M.O. I've had a word with general von Guttern. He's agreed that the English officers need not work.
FX: OFFICERS CHEERING.
MAJOR SPON: For the next three weeks the officers did nothing, but gad, we did it magnificently.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: We did it magnificently folks, hello folks, hello folks, hello folks!
FX: JUNGLE SOUNDS, BIRDS, FROGS.
GREENSLADE: It wasn't long before escape committees were organized.
MAJOR SPON: Now, gentlemen, before we start, are there any questions?
ECCLES: Yer (smacks lips) I want to know how I became a Field Marshal.
MAJOR SPON: Wouldn't we all. Now, I have studied the jungle around this camp and I find it's impenetrable.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: One of the men is determined to escape sir.
MAJOR SPON: Escape from this place? Is he mad?
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: He has a certificate.
MAJOR SPON: It means certain death.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Yes, it's a death certificate.
MAJOR SPON: No, I won't agree to it. He will die out there, die for sure. Who is he?
ECCLES: Er, me!
MAJOR SPON: Goodbye and good luck to you.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Well said sir. It's the duty of every English soldier to try and escape. I've done it myself twice.
MAJOR SPON: Oh, where from?
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Aldershot!
ORCHESTRA: DRAMATICAL ORIENTAL LINK.
FX: SNORING, LIP SMACKING, CRICKETS.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Psst, doc, doc, are you awake?
LIEUTENANT PLUCK: Yes, that's why I'm standing up.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: What's the time?
LIEUTENANT PLUCK: Let's have a look at your wrist watch. Ah, it's nearly midnight.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: By dawn I should be well clear of the camp.
LIEUTENANT PLUCK: Ah, good. Now listen. If ever you get to the stage where there is no help, swallow this little black capsule.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: What, what is it?
CAPTAIN PLUCK: Concentrated liquorice. It gives a man something.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Thanks doc. And here to take my place is prisoner Max Geldray.
MAX GELDRAY AND ORCHESTRA - "Don't get around much anymore"
ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC LINK.
GREENSLADE (through megaphone): Hello folks. Take your seats for part two of the wireless play African Incident. Long live the miracle of sound wireless broadcasting.
FX: RIVER FLOWING
MAJOR SPON: Gather round chaps. I'm glad to say we seemed to have scored a moral victory.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Oh, good show.
MAJOR SPON: The German commandant has asked me to take charge of the building of this bridge over the river.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Jolly good news sir!
MAJOR SPON: Aah, I thought you'd escaped?
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: I did, but I came back for lunch, ha, ha, ha.
MAJOR SPON: Jolly good. Than you can help. Just stand in this hole and read the statistics on the river.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Well, sir the river's two thousand miles long.
MAJOR SPON: Two thousand miles? How wide?
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Three yards.
MAJOR SPON: Well, that settles it, we'll build the bridge across it. General?
MAJOR SPON: When is this bridge supposed to be completed?
COMMANDANT: It must be finished by April ze first.
MAJOR SPON: What's the date today?
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: April the forteenth.
MAJOR SPON: So it's not er, it's not going to be easy, is it?. If we wait for April the first to come 'round again it will be over a year.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: Well, let's work backwards, then it's only a fortnight away.
MAJOR SPON: That's a very good idea. Field Marshal Eccles, have you any knowledge of trees?
ECCLES: Yoah, I was born in one.
MAJOR SPON: Good, good. Well, see those wooden ones on the opposite bank?
ECCLES: Ehm, oh, yeah, yeah.
MAJOR SPON: Do you think you could chop them down?
ECCLES: Ehm.... not from here.
ECCLES: Ow, ow, ow ow..
ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC LINK.
FX: JUNGLE SOUNDS, BIRDS, CRICKETS, FROGS.
CAPTAIN SEAGOON: That night I made my second attempt to escape. I succeeded by walking a thousand miles and swimming the Bay of Tunis. I managed to get to Gibraltar, where I am now recovering from hospital treatment.
SELLERS: Then suddenly Lieutenant 1) Seagoon was summoned to British Hind Quarters at Aden.
ORCHESTRA: BLOODNOK THEME, FAST.
FX: RATTLING OF DOOR, DOOR OPENS.
SEAGOON: Lieutenant Seagoon reporting from the front, sir.
BLOODNOK: Pull up a chair man and sit down.
SEAGOON: I'd rather stand.
BLOODNOK: Well stand in a chair then. We respect these old Welsh idiot customs, you know. Now, this man in the shredded vest is our French ADC, Count Moriarty,..
BLOODNOK: ...ex actor and has played the male lead in over fifty postcards.
MORIARTY: Ah, mon pleasure, mon ami, ahw, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ma, haha ha ha ha, oooh. (Milligan cracks up)
BLOODNOK: Yes yes, we want you to take a raiding party and destroy that bridge they're building. Boom, boom, boom, crash, thud, bang..., ehm, eh, bang, bang, boom, thud, crash. One of those combinations should prove fatal.
SEAGOON: I've only just escaped from the place, it's, it's to dangerous. Apart from which, I'm a married man.
BLOODNOK: I'm ordering you to go.
SEAGOON: Oh well, ...can't I see my wife before I go?
SEAGOON: But I love her.
BLOODNOK: So do I, that's why I'm sending you.
SEAGOON: Ehm, alright, I'll go, but one last favour. If I don't come back could you give this to my father?
BLOODNOK: Oh, your chequebook.
SEAGOON: Yes. He always wanted it.
BLOODNOK: Don't worry, I'll get it to him, even if I have to cash every cheque in it myself.
MORIARTY: Now come Seagoon, we leave at dawn tonight by legs on feet on ground.
ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC LINK.
GREENSALADE: Meantime, a hundred miles away in the German camp a soldier lies dreaming on a palm leaf.
ECCLES: (Unintelligible singing ...Melody devine...) I can't stand this singing and I wish I'd escaped with lieutenant Seagoon. I wonder if he's got back to the base.
SEAGOON: Yes I did.
ECCLES: Oooh, where are you den?
SEAGOON: I'm a mere six hundred miles away.
ECCLES: Oh goodie. Cos I wont tell anybody.
BLOODNOK: Seagoon, you fool, stop talking to that man six hundred miles away.
SEAGOON: It's alright sir, he's one of ours.
BLOODNOK: I know, and I wish he wasn't. Now then, according to British intelligence, April the first is only three day's away.
SEAGOON: Gad! How do those chaps get the information?
BLOODNOK: They captured a German calendar - alive. Well men, forward!
ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC LINK.
FX: HACKING THROUGH JUNGLE.
GREENSLADE: (through megaphone): For a hundred miles, Bloodnok and his party hacked their way through the jungle that ran alongside the arterial road. En route they had managed to enlist ten Mabootu women, to help carry their supplies.
BLOODNOK: We were just good friends, you understand, nothing more.
MORIARTY: Nevertheless it was a mistake to take women porters. On the second day of the trek, lieutenant Seagoon became terribly amorous.
GRAMS: HAWAIAN GUITAR MUSIC.
SEAGOON: You very beautiful, ehe, ehe, ehe, ehe, ehe, ehe, I've seen lots of girls in my time, but you - much prettier than any white girl.
BLOODNOK: I know I am and it gets very embarrassing at times, I can tell you. Where is Moriarty?
SEAGOON: The native gils were having a bathe, and he is guarding their clothes.
BLOODNOK: It was my turn for that. Where's my binocolars?
MORIARTY: Binocalucalu! Ah sapristi sonaucoleur paracalu. Zere is a patrol of German colonial troops coming zis way.
SEAGOON: We're must stop them. No shooting now.
MAJOR SPON: Meantime back at the camp - the German POW camp...
MAJOR SPON: ...thats an abbreviation of prisoner of war. I say POW so it saves the necessity of saying prisoner of war. Its much shorter. Takes less time. At this camp we were having a party. We'd completed the bridge and all the lads were having a sing-song to celebrate.
GRAMS: MASSED MUSIC HALL SINGING OF "BLIGHTY IS THE PLACE FOR ME" SPED UP. QUICK BURST OF APPLAUSE.
SERGEANT MAJOR: Right men. Settle down! Now, here from Major Spon.
MAJOR SPON: Thank you men. Well, as you can see we taught our captors how we English can build a wooden bridge over a water river. So let us stand, raise our right legs and sing our national anthem.
BLOODNOK: Seagoon, over here. I can hear men in the camp singing the French national anthem.
SEAGOON: Nonsense, that's the British national anthem in disguise. They didn't want it captured.
BLOODNOK: Good lads.
MORIARTY: Psst. Information. The first German puff-puff goes over that bridge at dawn.
BLOODNOK: What? Action! Here's explosive, men. Off you go. I'd come with you myself if it weren't for this terrible hand-painted wound on my foot . Ahahaowowowow. Fishtoo, fishtoo.
SEAGOON: Then we'll need one more volunteer. How about you?
BLUEBOTTLE: Let go of me, man, let go of me! (audience applause and cheering) Let go, I'm not working this week. I'm on Christmas hol's. Doing a bit of carol singing. (Sings) Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the feast of Stephen
BLUEBOTTLE: Ahyyee! Right on my music stand.
SEAGOON: Lad, lad, little looney lad. Help, us, help us destroy that bridge and you can have this "Junior Rock-and-Roll" set.
BLUEBOTTLE: Cor, yess.
SEAGOON: Out of tune bakelite banjo and a pair of genuine Tommy Steele ear plugs.
BLUEBOTTLE: Cor, thank you, that will make me the center of attraction at the school party. Thinks: that Eileen Shoulders likes rocking and rolling. Let me try that for that Eileen Shoulders... (Sings feeble rock and roll over timid foot tapping.)
GREENSLADE: Now while Bluebottle is deliberating, Ray Ellington will play a melody divine in an anti-clockwise fashion.
RAY ELLINGTON QUARTET (no singing)
ORCHESTRA: EXOTIC JUNGLE LINK.
X: RIVER FLOWING.
SELLERS: In the darkening night, Seagoon and his saboteurs dived in and attched limpet mines to the bridge over the ice-cold river Kapatee.
SEAGOON: And there's nothing worse than a cold Kapatee.
ORCHESTRA: TATTY CHORD IN C, CIMBAL CLAP.
SEAGOON: Thank you, folks, thank you folks.
MORIARTY: Ssst. You fools, the German guards will hear us.
BLUEBOTTLE: It's alright, they don't understand English.
SEAGOON: Turn the wireless on and let's hear the rest of the show
FX: TUNING OF RADIO.
BLOODNOK: Ooohowaag, ohohohow. It's nearly dawn, well I wonder when Seagoon's coming back.
NATIVE GIRL: Oh, white man isn't really worried about them?
BLOODNOK: Ohow, no not really, you know. Ha ha ha, just that I don't want to be caught like this.
NATIVE GIRL: Is this what English call "embarrassing situation"?
BLOODNOK: Well, yes. Well, I mean, after all I mean me halfway up a tree, dressed as Timon of Athens and eh, you whitewashing the grass, well I.. no one would believe us you see.
NATIVE GIRL: Oh, come major, let us dance.
BLOODNOK: Yess. After all, even though we're in the jungle, we're still civilised, aren't we? I'll put this record on my portable military gramophone.
GRAMS: DANCE MUSIC ("STRANGERS IN PARADISE") UNDER...
BLOODNOK: What a strange sight it must have been. Me and the dusky beauty tangoing through the dense jungle, on foot.
NATIVE GIRL: I only had eyes for him and he only had eyes for me.
BLOODNOK: That explains why we fell over a cliff.
SEAGOON: Major! Major Bloodnok! Where are you?
NATIVE GIRL: He is here, with me.
SEAGOON: Great spondilikins. Well anyhow, we've laid the detonation cable.
SEAGOON: We're all ready to blow up the bridge!
ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC LINK.
GREENSLADE: Meantime on the bridge Major Spon walks across to make sure all is well.
FX: HOLLOW FOOTSTEPS UNDER...
MAJOR SPON: I' walking across the bridge to make sure that all is well. That's why I'm walking across the bridge, for Christmas.
COMMANDANT: Good morning eh, major Spon.
MAJOR SPON: Oh, good morning, Von Gutern. Cigarette?
COMMANDANT: Thanks, I, I have one.
MAJOR SPON: Ah, but von Gutern deserves another.... jolly English joke.
COMMANDANT: Yes... definate German silence. You're, you're early this morning.
MAJOR SPON: Well, there's an old English proverb...
MAJOR SPON: ...the early bird always catches the worm.
COMMANDANT: Ah, is that so. Please, I, eh, what's eh, what's the meaning of that?
MAJOR SPON: It means that I've had worms for breakfast.
FX: TRAIN APPROACHING, TRAIN WHISTLE.
COMMANDANT: Ah, gerblunden, I can hear the first puff-puff approaching. I must go and lay on the railway line in my combined chair.
MAJOR SPON: Goodbye. There he goes, poor fellow, little does he know Germany can't possibly win the war.
ECCLES: Oh, then I'd better take this German uniform off. Hahaha.
MAJOR SPON: Field Marshall Eccles, why did you leave your post?
ECCLES: It had wood worm in it and I didn't want to catch it!
FX: EXTREMELY FAST TRAIN WHISTLE
MAJOR SPON: Look down there..
MAJOR SPON: ...you see it, down in the river?
MAJOR SPON: Yes, but just above it - a cable.
ECCLES: I wonder who it's from?
FX: SLAPSTICK OVER...
ECCLES: Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh !
SEAGOON: Watching from the opposite bank, we all held our breath. As Major Spon went down to the river bank. We all asked ourselves the same question...
BLOODNOK/ECCLES/SEAGOON: ASKING DIFFERENT QUESTIONS AT THE SAME TIME.
SEAGOON: He spotted the cable!
BLOODNOK: He's got eyes like a hawk...
SEAGOON: ...and legs like a kangaroo. I wonder what he's gonna do.
BLOODNOK: Join a freak show perhaps.
SEAGOON: If he follows that cable it will lead him to private Mate who is waiting to press the dreaded plunger!
WILLIUM "MATE" COBBLERS: Aah, they will never find me, mate. In a master disguise, see I've got a little bits of twig stuck out all over me, me old plates 2) stuck in two lumps of grass - I looks like a perfect tree, there.
ECCLES: Ah, ooh, a perfect tree with boots on. Must be going somewhere.
WILLIUM "MATE" COBBLERS: Go away mate, go away, and keep that dog orf.
ECCLES: Deres no dog here.
WILLIUM "MATE" COBBLERS: Well you just watch what you're doing then, mate.
ECCLES: Ehm, what you, what oohwowow what's your name?
WILLIUM "MATE" COBBLERS: My name is Jim Coconut Tree.
WILLIUM "MATE" COBBLERS: Ohoow, stop, 'elp! Heeeeeeeelp! (fades)
FX: TREE FALLING DOWN OVER...
ECCLES (distant): Timber!
SEAGOON: Major, major, they've chopped Willium down! I must go and help!
FX: BOOTS RUNNING OFF.
BLOODNOK: I shall now keep the audience entertained.
ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC LINK.
GREENSLADE: And here's a brief résumé with piano accompaniment.
GRAMS: PIANO MUSIC UNDER...
GREENSLADE: Willium lays chopped down, Neddie on his way to assist, Eccles eating coconuts, Major Spon approaching the felled Willium and suddenly...
SEAGOON: Hands up, Major Spon!
MAJOR SPON: You?
SEAGOON: Yes, it's me, you, or, you me, it's me. We've come to blow the bridge up.
MAJOR SPON: You can't, it's got a puncture.
SEAGOON: Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha, Willium, press your old plunger!
WILLIUM "MATE" COBBLERS: Yes, mate.
FX: HEAVY EXPLOSION, FOLLOWED BY TWO SPLASHES.
LITTLE JIM: They've fallen in the water.
??: Thank you.
MAJOR SPON: I don't know how we'd do without that lad.
SECOMBE: Well that's the lot for this week innit? Come on lads, back to the old brandy, there! Come on!
FX: BOOTS RUNNING AWAY AT SPEED.
GREENSLADE: It's all in the mind, you know.
ORCHESTRA: "OLD COMRADES MARCH" UNDER...
GREENSLADE: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded program featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan and Cécille Cheverau, with the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stevens. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The program produced by Roy Speer.
ORCHESTRA: PLAY OUT.