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TOP TEN MIKE OLDFIELD-RELATED ACTIVITIES


1: Phone your local radio station and get them to play the whole of Amarok as a dedication.

2: On a sunny day, climb up a hill and listen to the whole of Hergest Ridge on your personal stereo at full volume, and become at peace with the world.

3: Play 'spot the quote from a previous album'.

4: Go to websites about him, and print out all the pictures and stick them on your bedroom wall.

5: Listen to Incantations, then come out of your room looking really freaky to spook your family into thinking it's taken over your mind by invoking the devil into the house.

6: Sample some drum loops and use them in your own music.

7: See him live.

8: Set fire to your parents.

9: Oops, meant to say "Try and get hold of some remixes. Except the Timewriter one, it's crap", but it came out all wrong.

10: Buy as much as you can on vinyl. It'll be worth something one day, and you'll probably get some extra limited edition things as well.


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1:

A BAFFLING CASE FOR INSPECTOR GEEZER



"I suppose you're wondering why I called you all here today," murmured Inspector Geezer as he sucked at his pipe and directed Franklin the butler to draw the curtains of Crampton Manor's famous library.

"You're no doubt aware that the local press has been running a series of stories on a mystery killer of door-to-door encyclopedia salesmen (volumes A-C and H-I). The stories do not contain the entire facts of the case. With the aid of a newspaper baron we have managed to conceal the fact that the victims are not door-to-door encyclopedia salesmen (volumes A-C and H-I) but goalkeepers. There is no need to maintain this deception any longer.

"Ladies and gentelmen, with the aid of the redoubtable Constable Aaarghh, I have been working on this case since the beginning, and after a thorough examination of the few clues this particularly clever killer overlooked, I have come to the conclusion that these murders were committed to conceal the true crime - also, that the killer is in this room." The Inspector's gaze swam briefly out of focus, but he shook away the peculiar feeling of déjà vû. "I shall now describe how I solved the case. Aaarghh." The constable switched off the lights and started the slide projector.

"The first victim", said the Inspector, "was plucky Eric Knabbs of Dorchester United. We received a call from the stadium and arrived to find Dorchester had lost 4-1 to arch-rivals Newtown. It appears that Knabbs had been poisoned at half-time and had died somewhere between goals two and three."

"It was barely a week before the murderer struck again," continued the Inspector, rapping at the makeshift screen with his pipe. "This time we received a tip-off from Constable Wretch, who was watching Upminster City play away to Westwick and noticed that Upminster's Gareth Buggs seemed peculiarly off-form, but arrived too late due to traffic."

"Murder number three," said the Inspector, gesturing to a blurry photograph on the screen, "Richard Oaf of the Fiveside Reserves, on their home ground. Again, we were alerted by a tip-off, but once more we arrived too late due to my misreading of the map and consequent direction of Constable Aaarghh to take the incorrect trunk road."

"This murder, for me, was the turning point of the case. I could see a pattern was now definitely emerging."

Again, the Inspector gestured toward a blurry photograph on the screen, and the others craned their necks in order to get a better view. "A very nasty murder, this one. Wendy O'Wendy, shot with a blow dart coated with curare - the poison of the South American Indians. With the aid of a famous cartographer, we reached the stadium in time, but assumed we were too late and left, at which point the killer struck."

"The final victim was wealthy industrialist and eccentric costume dramatist Sir Henry Crampton, stabbed through the heart with a paper knife as he read his broker's stock reports in the study. Constable Aaarghh and I were on the scene within minutes and therefore able to make several shrewd investments in tin."

The lights snapped back on, and the Inspector turned to face the room. "It was a baffling case," he said, lifting a decanter to replenish his glass of F-Max, the lightly sparkling fish drink. "From the first I suspected that the wholesale elimination of goalkeepers might not have been the killer's true motive, but it wasn't until the fifth murder that his purpose became clear." He gestured to Constable Aaarghh, who moved discreetly to cover the door.

The Inspector pointed a finger at Henry Crampton Junior, now fabulously wealthy son and heir of Sir Henry. "Henry Crampton Junior, now fabulously wealthy son and heir of Sir Henry - j'accuse."

"You must be mad," said the now fabulously wealthy son and heir of Sir Henry. "You have no evidence."

"On the contrary," said the Inspector icily. "You made one fatal mistake. We have several fingerprints from the paper knife and goalkeepers."

"You lie," growled Henry, "for I -"

"You wore gloves and disguised yourself as an elderly flower seller, disposing of the costume in a bin outside the Italian restaurant of Giuseppe Verdacci, successful immigrant? I think, sir, that confession seals your fate."

"You damned interfering jackanapes!" exploded Henry, leaping for the Inspector's throat. But Constable Aaarghh was ready, and a swift truncheon blow brought the killer crashing to the ground with well-deserved injuries.

"I believe that wraps up that case, Constable," smiled the Inspector. "And if we hurry, we'll just be in time to catch the local football match."

"Yes, sir," grinned the trusty bobby. "And I'll wager it will be a far fairer contest with the likes of Sir Henry Crampton Junior safely behind bars. Ha ha ha."


THE END


2:

BEETHOVEN - BADGE 417


CUE TITLES: Fast-cutting establishing shots of 19th century Munich. Words drift lazily down to centre of screen as title: Beethoven - Badge 417. Words become pellucid as title sequence unfolds behind. Throughout, red crosshair target slides purposefully across screen, trying to draw a bead on Beethoven's head. Fast cuts: Beethoven skidding across bonnet of car, gun in hand; Beethoven in street, directing tourist with huge map; Beethoven pounding away on piano; Beethoven diving to catch dropped phial of deadly virus; Beethoven dancing furiously in strobe-lit nightclub; Beethoven conducting 80-piece orchestra, turning to wink at girl in front row; Beethoven jumping for the skids of rising helicopter but missing and falling; Beethoven squatting down to sign the manuscript of Fidelio for a little girl; Beethoven pulling himself out of a swimming pool, fully clothed, grinning ruefully. Crosshair settles over final pic and stylised bullet-holes spatter across the screen.

CAPTION: Lee Horsely is:
CAPTION: Beethoven - Badge 417
CAPTION: Tonight's Episode - Murder's Not For Amateurs.

(Streets of 19th century Munich. Burgermeister strides past, followed by Beethoven.)

BURGERMEISTER: Dammit, Beethoven, you know I can't do that.

BEETHOVEN: C'mon, Bill. You haven't a chance of solving this without me.

BURGERMEISTER: No, Beethoven. No. The last time you helped out, we had a convent blown up and 16 casualties - including my wife.

BEETHOVEN: Goddammit, Bill - he was my partner.

(Burgermeister stops suddenly.)

BURGERMEISTER (stabbing with forefinger in emphasis): No way, Beethoven. We're all sorry about Spielz, but you're a loose cannon. You don't take orders. The department can't afford another media crucifixion. Beethoven, you're off the case.

BEETHOVEN (freezingly): Sorry, Bill - but I don't hear you.

(He drives off in a fast car, tyres squealing.)


3:

MR. BICKLE - COMMUNITY POLICEMAN


CUE TITLES: Fast-cutting establishing shots of 1930s Middle England. Streets of San Francisco-style music. Huge words scroll purposefully across the height of the screen spelling out title: Mr Bickle - Community Policeman. Words MR BICKLE continue scrolling for length of title sequence, mixed with same words scrolling in opposite direction. Sequence is viewed through them as they reduce to outlines. Fast cuts: mohicaned Mr Bickle stepping into the street, closing his garden gate behind him, his helmet tucked under his arm; tracking shot of Mr Bickle strolling along, nodding to woman with shopping; Mr Bickle drinking a cup of tea in a cafe, his eyes flicking alertly; a small dog returning a stick as Mr Bickle crouches down into shot; Mr Bickle stopping a row of traffic to let a child cross the road; Mr Bickle turning into his pathway, closing the gate behind him. Camera zooms in dramatically on nameplate: MR BICKLE. Scrolling words meet and zoom inwards in perspective to fit exactly on nameplate.

CAPTION: Will Hay is:
CAPTION: Mr Bickle - Community Policeman
CAPTION: Created by Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader.
CAPTION: Adapted for television by Roy Clarke
CAPTION: Tonights episode - A Schoolboy's Secret.

(Streets of 1930s Middle England. Mix through to beseiged house. A dozen police cars, lights flashing. SWAT teams. Guns. Helicopters. Spotlit, Mr Bickle is confronting an armed gunman who stares madly.)

MR BICKLE: Do stop looking at me. It's rude.

(Armed gunman drops gaze with a sob. Gun hangs limply. Police rush in. Chief Inspector leads Mr Bickle out of crowd.)

CHIEF INSPECTOR: Good work, Mr Bickle.

MR BICKLE: He didn't mean any harm. (They pass a child prostitute). Shouldn't you be in school? (Boxes ears lightly)

CHILD PROSTITUTE: Sorry, Mr Bickle. (Runs off)

CHIEF INSPECTOR: Mr Bickle. There's been a £2 million robbery at the airport.

MR BICKLE: £2 million, eh? I didn't think there was that much money in the world. I'll need backup.

CHIEF INSPECTOR: Elliot Ness and his number one marksman are on their way.

(Enter Moore Marriott and Graham Moffat.)

GRAHAM MOFFAT: Wotcha, squire.

MOORE MARRIOTT: Ooooooooo, lovely.

MR BICKLE: Come on.

(They dash out of shot. Chief Inspector watches them go, one hand on his hip, the other pushing his hat back on his head.)

CHIEF INSPECTOR: What a crazy guy. (Suddenly serious.) But he's the only chance this city's got.


4:

50 YEARS ON - D-DAY DOCUMENTARY


Normal:


(Scene: The beach. Seagulls skim across the waves that lap gently at the shore, and a light breeze blows fluffy clouds across the sky.)


RAYMOND BAXTER (with hands in pockets): It is incredible to think that, fifty years ago today, this peaceful beach in Normandy was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of World War Two. Although it was raining then, of course, and dark. Giles - you were there. What was it really like? What were you feeling as you scrambled from the icy water, with enemy mortars landing all around you?

MAJOR GILES BRADSHAW DSM (Rtd) (also with hands in pockets): I was frightened, Raymond. Our brigade was one of the first ashore, but Jerry was expecting us. Nobby went down while we were still in the water. I tried to pull him up onto the beach, but I lost him in all the smoke. Our orders were to regroup a short distance up the beach, behind a large sand dune, but we couldn't find it in the dark. Dick, Whiffy and I got seperated from the rest, so we decided to try to meet them further up the beach. There were shells landing everywhere - they'd obviously trained the heavy artillery on us - and we could only see a few feet through the smoke. Above us we could hear the Hurricanes flying up and down the beach, but they didn't seem sure who to shoot at. Then we walked straight into a German machine gun nest.

RAYMOND BAXTER: You must have been very frightened.

MAJOR BRADSHAW: We were, although I think Jerry was more surprised than us. There were three of them, and luckily we had our revolvers ready. They hit Whiffy though, in the shoulder. We didn't know whether to stay with him, or leave him and hope somebody found him.

RAYMOND BAXTER: What did you do?

MAJOR BRADSHAW: Dick stayed with him in the end, and I went on with the equipment. I never saw either of them again. I met up with the rest of the group and we pressed on to Caen.


Alternatively - in the style of an old computer wargame.


(Scene: An area of brown, in between an area of blue and an area of green. There is silence.)


RAYMOND BAXTER (with hands in pockets): It is incredible to think that this is supposed to be a beach in Normandy, which, fifty years ago today was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of World War Two. Small green square - you were there. What was it really like? What were you feeling as you moved jerkily from the blue area to the brown one?

SMALL GREEN SQUARE: I felt nothing. I moved silently into the brown area, accompanied by several other small green squares. It was broad daylight. We moved towards some grey squares and they vanished. Some numbers appeared.

RAYMOND BAXTER: You must have been very frightened.

SMALL GREEN SQUARE: What, of the small grey squares? Or the numbers?

RAYMOND BAXTER: Um.



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