THE BISHOP

 

The inside of the office from the Motor Insurance sketch. Close-up of Devious. He gets out some files and starts writing. Suddenly a bishop's crook slams down on the desk in front of Devious. He looks up - his eyes register terror. Cut to reverse angle shot from below. The bishop in full mitre and robes.

 

Bishop: (T.J.) OK, Devious...Don't move!

 

Devious: (M.P.) The bishop!

 

Animated crime-series-type titles, with suitable music: The Bishop

 

'C. OF E. FILMS'

'IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE SUNDAY SCHOOLS BOARD'

'PRESENT'

'THE BISHOP'

'STARRING THE REVEREND E. P. NESBITT'

'AND INTRODUCING F. B. GRIMSBY URQHART-WRIGHT AS THE VOICE OF GOD'

'SPECIAL EFFECTS BY THE MODERATOR OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND'

'DIRECTED BY PREBENDARY "CHOPPER" HARRIS'

 

Exterior beautiful English church. Birds singing, a hymn being sung. Suddenly, sound of a high-powered car roaring towards the church. Screech of tires as a huge open-top American car screeches to a halt outside the church. The bishop leaps out. Behind him (as throughout the film) are his four henchmen... vicars with dark glasses. They wear clerical suits and dog collars. They leap out of their car and race up the drive towards the church. As they do so the hymn is heard to come to an end. Sound of people sitting down.

 

Cut to interior of church. Vicar climbing up into pulpit. Cut back to exterior. The bishop and his vicars racing through the doors. Interior of church. Shot of vicar in pulpit.

 

Vicar 1: (G.C.) I take as my text for today...

 

Cut to bishop and vicars at doorway.

 

Bishop: The text, vic! Don't say the text!

 

Cut back to vicar.

 

Vicar 1: Leviticus 3-14. . .

 

The pulpit explodes. Vicar disappears in smoke, flying up into the air. Cut to close-up of the bishop. Behind him there is smoke and people rushing about. Sound of people scrambling over pews in panic etc.

 

Bishop: We was too late. The Reverend Grundy bit the ceiling.

 

The end of the bishop's crook suddenly starts flashing. He lifts the flashing end off and it stops. Using it like a telephone receiver, he speaks into the staff.

 

Bishop: Hello? ... What?... We'll be right over!

 

Still of another church exterior. Crash zoom in on door. Cut to interior. A baptism party round the font. An innocent vicar is just testing the water. Pan across to the parents and two godmothers, all obviously shifty gangster types in drag. As the vicar takes the baby it starts to tick loudly.

 

Vicar 2: (J.C.) And it is for this reason that the Christian Church lays upon you, the godparents, the obligation of seeing this child is brought up in the Christian faith. Therefore, I name this child...

 

Cut to door of church. The bishop and vicars rush in. Don't say the kid's name!

 

Bishop: Don't say the kid's name, vic!

 

Cut back to vicar. The gangsters take a step back.

 

Vicar 2: Francesco Luigi...

 

Explosion. Cut to close-up of bishop. Smoke and panic as before.

 

Bishop: We was too late... The Rev. Neuk saw the light.

 

Whip pan to interior of yet another church. A wedding. Bride and groom kneeling in front of a vicar. Cut to door of church. The bishop and vicars burst in.

 

Bishop: The ring, vic Don't touch the ring! Hey vic!

 

Cut back to the wedding party. A sixteen-ton weight falls on top of the vicar with a mighty crunch - the camera shakes as it hits the floor.

 

Cut to two bell ringers. One pulls his rope, and the other rises off the floor, hanged by the neck. The bishop bursts in.

 

Bishop: Hey vic...

Then leaves, disappointed.

Cut to another vicar at graveside.

 

Vicar 3: (G.C.) ... dust to dust, ashes to ashes.

 

He sprinkles dust on the grave. A huge prop cannon rises up out of the grave until its mighty barrel (twelve inches wide) is pointing right in the vicar's face. He does not notice. We pan away from grave to churchyard gate. Sound of an almighty blast from the cannon off-screen. The bishop's car drives up and screeches to a halt. They stand up, then immediately straight back down. The car quickly reverses away again.

 

Cut to a street. Outside a cigarette shop the four clerics lounge against a wall. The bishop walks out rolling his own. Suddenly he stops. Close-up. He looks up as he hears a faint cry. Camera swings round and up - enormous zoom to high window in huge, drab city office block, where a vicar is looking out.

 

Vicar 4: (E.I.) Help ... help... help... help... help... help...

 

Cut back to the bishop breaking into a run, throwing his cigarette into the gutter. Peter Gunn music. Hand-held shots of the bishop and the four vicars running through crowded streets. He reaches the office block, rushes in. Interior: a stair well. Right at the bottom we see the bishop and the vicars. Close-up hand-held shot of bishop running up stairs. Shadows running up the stair well. The bishop arrives on the top landing. Door of office. The bishop tries the door. It won't open. One vicar goes rigid. The other three take hold of him and use him as a battering ram and go straight through the balsa wood door first time.

 

Bishop: OK, Devious, don't move!

 

Devious: The bishop!

 

'The Bishop' titles again.

 

Cut to interior of cinema. A couple holding hands. Bishop film titles start up again exactly as before. After a couple of seconds of titles we cut to an old couple sitting in the back row of the cinema facing camera. The sound of the bishop's titles continues. The light from the projector is streaming out above their heads.

 

Mr Potter: This is where we came in.

 

Mrs Potter: Yes.

 

 

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