|Original broadcast date:||(UK) 11 December 1999 on BBC1|
|Filmed in:||16:9 aspect ratio|
Michael Brandon as Captain Frank Candy
John Shrapnel as Professor Lance Graumann
Jane Booker as Philippa Farell
Calvin Williams as Sergeant Kribotnik
Charlene Brooks as Trudy
Sonya Saul as TV Interviewer
View guest cast
Jonathan and Maddy have just come out of a play. Sadly it wasn't a very good version of the "The Odd Couple". The word "shite" is high on Maddy's short list of words to describe it. The bill poster outside has the names "Steve Martin" and "Harrison Ford"
Sadly this is local theatre, and Maddy wonders if "Steve Harrison" & "Martin Ford" will get lynched after their appalling performances.
Maddy asks Jonathan if he wants to join the queue for a refund! He says he'd rather have a brandy, and they walk off towards Maddy's flat. As they pass an alleyway, we see a man looking out from behind the shadows...
At Maddy's flat she opens a small white cage containing two small kittens. Animals aren't allowed in her block of flats, but Maddy's friend runs an animal shelter and their lease has just expired. The owners want £65,000 or they throw them out. She asked Maddy if she could help them out, with all the contacts Maddy knows, but Maddy can't. Maddy offered to take two of the kittens at a pinch while they sort things out.
Maddy then asks if they are still okay for tomorrow's chat show. She's plugging her latest book, "Challenging the Impossible" and Jonathan is coming along as well. He's reluctant, "It's your book, what do you want me there for. I told you, put me in front of a television camera and I just completely seize up like a startled field mouse." Maddy reassures him that she's be there to hold his hand. Jonathan then leaves. [Note a continuity fault here - Jonathan leaves Maddy's flat wearing his coat and seconds later is seen going down the stairs with it over his shoulder.]
The man we saw in the alley, is now outside Maddy's flat by the stairs. He watches as Jonathan leaves and then slips a note under Maddy's door. It says "For the most incredible story of your life... Meet me at Ford's warehouse, Raddison Way, EC10. 8pm tomorrow. And bring a camera." It's signed Professor Lance Graumann.
The following day, Jonathan and Maddy are at the television studio doing the interview. Much to Maddy's disgust Jonathan is no longer nervous or seizing up in front of the cameras. The interviewer is far more interested in Jonathan than talking about Maddy's book! While Jonathan is regaling the interviewer with a story about Victorian magicians, Maddy takes another look at the huge photograph of her and Jonathan that's being used as a back drop. Jonathan's face is in the foreground and Maddy is seen peeping out from behind him in the background. She's half hidden by Jonathan's image! Maddy tries to get into the conversation, but fails miserably.
After the interview, Jonathan signs a few autographs for the crew, and says Maddy was right - it wasn't so bad after all Maddy voices her thoughts about the interview and the back drop image. Jonathan says he had nothing to do with it, and asks if she wants to go and get some lunch. Maddy says no - she has a hot story that needs some careful handling. She walks off, leaving a stunned Jonathan in the studio!
At the warehouse Maddy parks her car then walks a few steps, not really sure what she's looking for. The man from the alley steps out from the shadows. He is Prof. Graumann. He's not alone, his assistant Philippa Farell is also there. Graumann talks about dark forces closing in, and the need for haste. Maddy asks him, politely, to drop the code talk and tell her what she's doing here, and who she's talking to. Philippa states that Graumann is a leading authority on Extraterrestrial phenomena, his 35 years of field work is widely acknowledged. Her polite way, Graumann says, of saying he isn't a crank.
Three weeks ago an object came into Graumann's possession, which he believes is a skeleton of an alien life form. He's performed a number of experiments and as far as he can determine, the skeleton is genuine. A light appears and illuminates the skeleton. It's enclosed in a glass case, and as Maddy takes a closer look, she can't believe what she's seeing. Graumann goes on to explain that the molecular composition defies analysis. The bone (if that's what it is) appears to burn anyone who touches it like acid. The the tissue sample Graumann took, when subjected to certain stimuli, seem to have organic regenerative properties. What does that mean, Middy asks? "We can't be at all certain that it's dead." Graumann replies.
The skeleton was found near the town of Omega in Western Mexico - hence the name of the episode The Omega Man. The people who found it past it to a contact, of a contact who referred it to Graumann for examination. They did this in order for it not to fall into military hands. Graumann then comments that time is of the essence, and if Maddy wants to get some pictures, she should do it now. Maddy fishes in her bag for her camera, but she's left it in the car, so goes back to retrieve it.
While Maddy's getting her camera some trucks arrive full of American military personnel. Captain Frank Candy is in command. He orders the glass case to be removed and Philippa and Graumann secured. He takes a moment to look at the skeleton, and then order it to be put in the truck. One of his men grabs the skeleton but recoils. Candy looks at the mans hand - it's covered in burns and blisters. To stops anyone else getting burned Candy orders the glass case back on, and then move it into the truck. The case in placed in a crate and then locked with chains and padlocks around the outside.
As this is going on Maddy is furiously taking pictures with her camera. All to soon she runs out of film, and tries to fish a new one out of her bag whilst balancing the camera under her chin. The camera falls to the floor, alerting the military to her presence. One man takes a shot, and it bounces off the wall above Maddy's head - she runs back to her car! She manages to escape from the men even though one grabs onto the back of her car for a while. However, Candy walks up to where she was standing, and finds an empty film box along with the receipt of where Maddy bought it from...
The trucks leave and arrive at a military base later on. The chains and padlocks are removed and the case opened. Much to Candy's amazement the skeleton has completely disappeared...
The next day Jonathan phones Maddy to ask her if she got her hands burnt last night. Maddy, who is looking through her developed photos from the night before, jumps a bit and asks what he means. Jonathan was referring to her "red hot" story she was doing - Maddy relaxes a bit. Jonathan then asks what time the book signing they are doing today is. Maddy says two O'clock. Jonathan starts to say that he's quite getting into all this book promotion lark, which is strange considering his earlier reluctance. Maddy says she'll see him there and puts the phone down, cutting him off in mid sentence.
Maddy puts the photos away in a draw and locks it. Her phones rings again, it's Graumann. The pictures she has may come in useful. It was inevitable that they would lose the skeleton to the military, what they need to do now is present a case to the public, and show that they can't be silenced.
Back at Jonathan's windmill, Jonathan is working on a new trick for Adam. As he's retrieving a bit of paper from a desk, he notices one of Candy's men outside his balcony door. There a knock on his front door - it's Candy. "Put your coat on, were going for a ride," he says.
In the back of a truck on the way to their military base, Jonathan is sitting between two big men looking at bit worried. Candy explains some things to him:-
"Let me explain to you how American foreign policy works. Some guy on the base, his little girl sees a man on TV who can take two and two that make five and explain how it adds up. I say, if that man can shed any kind of sense out of what happened last night, it will be saving me one hell of a headache. From this moment on everything you are about to hear is classified. That means, you so much as talk about it in your sleep, you even dream about it; not only are you deceased, you were never alive. Do we understand each other?"
Later we see Maddy walking to the bookshop where she and Jonathan are doing their book signing. As Maddy walks past a drain, she notices her head on it. She picks up the life size cardboard cut-out of her head and looks to where it's supposed to be. The cut original had Maddy and Jonathan standing next to each other, but some girls have removed Maddy's face and are standing in - making it look like they are having their picture taken with Jonathan Creek! Needless to say Maddy isn't happy and shouts at the girls. A little while later we see Maddy sitting behind a desk clicking her pen on and off waiting for a book to sign. No-one wants her to sign her book, they are all waiting for Jonathan, who is nowhere to be seen. One of the girls asks when Jonathan will arrive, and Maddy snaps, if she doesn't want the book signed she can piss off! The book store owner chooses this moment to come along, and Maddy pretends all is well and asks the girls name so she can sign the book. Her name is Trudy. After Maddy signs it the girl looks at it and comments that her name looks more like the word "turd" - can't Maddy spell!? The girl refuses to have that copy of the book. Maddy then tells the bookstore owner that she has no idea where Jonathan could be - it's not like him to be late.
Jonathan is still at the military base, examining the truck and crate the skeleton was in. He asks Captain Candy what his take on the universe and god is (does he believe the skeleton was real in other words). Candy replies that he believe in one powerful force to which they are ultimately responsible to for their actions - it's called Washington! He was told the skeleton of an EBE (Extraterrestrial Biological Entity) has turned up in England and he is given permission to use any means necessary to retrieve it. Jonathan then says he's convinced that not even a Barclay card would have got through the crate, padlocks and chains. So he walks through what happened with Candy. It definitely went into the crate as Candy was there to see it, his men and him were with it the whole way back to the base, so there was no possible chance of a switch. But when they opened the crate the skeleton was gone this is where the explanation falls down...
Candy then mentions that the skeleton had a kind of aura about it - sent a chill right down his spine. Jonathan peers out from under the truck and then walks towards Candy. If it wasn't Prof. Graumann he says... Candy asks Jonathan if he knows Graumann Jonathan says yes - Graumann is a clever man - very clever. Candy doesn't buy that - if he was that clever he would have seen him coming and planned ahead. No, Candy believes it's the woman who took he pictures and got away...she's the clever one... Jonathan suspects he's talking about Maddy, but he's not sure.
Jonathan is stumped at the moment, he says he'll have to go away and think about it for a while. Candy says fine, but just to make sure Jonathan doesn't say anything, he's sending one of his men with him, Sergeant Kribotnik.
We then see Jonathan make his way to the bookshop where he's supposed to do the signing with Maddy, with Kribotnik in toe, now dressed in civilian clothes (he still sticks out like a saw thumb!). The girls who gave Maddy such a hard time are still there, and come out and ask Jonathan if they can have their picture taken with him. Jonathan doesn't seem keen, but then he spies Maddy inside the bookshop looking at a book about UFOs. He twigs that it was Maddy at the warehouse last night and so decides to make a run for it. He asks Kribotnik to take a picture of him with all the girls and then says he can't be bothered to do the book signing and invites them all to have a bit of lunch. Maddy watches annoyingly as Jonathan leaves with a girl on each arm.
Back at Jonathan's windmill, Kribotnik is back in to his green combats and standing over Jonathan while he tries to work out how the skeleton disappeared. Jonathan says he can sit down if he likes, Kribotnik just stays standing, saying nothing. Jonathan then says he's going to make himself a cup of camomile tea, but the guard stops him. Instead, Kribotnik tells him to keep working and goes downstairs to make the tea. Jonathan takes this opportunity to call Maddy. He asks her if she's been investigating little green men, which Maddy promptly denies in her usual way. "I'll take that as a yes." Jonathan says. Jonathan tells her that he has been roped in to discover what happened to the skeleton, letting Maddy know that it has disappeared. He suggests they should compare notes, and he warns Maddy that the military think she masterminded the whole thing, so if she wants to live to ripe old age she should cough up the photos and stay out of the way. Jonathan says he has to meet Graumann, and Maddy says she's meeting him at noon today. Jonathan will meet her there - just as soon as he's given Kribotnik the slip.
Kribotnik comes back upstairs to find Jonathan gone and the balcony door open. He goes to the door and sees a van driving away, and a rope hanging from the balcony. Kribotnik climbs down the rope and goes after the van. Jonathan steps out from round the other side of the balcony with his phone in his hand. He thanks his friend Ron who is actually driving the van!
Later at Graumann's place, Graumann is told tat his skeleton is now missing. Graumann's theory sounds ridiculous! "Existing as we do in three dimensions, it's hard for us to imagine fourth or fifth. But consider a sixth dimension transcending time and space. Where corporeal form can be distilled into pure energy. In physical terms such being would simply - disappear."
Philippa says that they know this to be true because of the messages. When asked to elaborate it comes to light that Philippa is a "channeller". Alien beings send her messages from time to time telepathically...(X-files anyone?).
Graumann shows them a video of the dig where Omega Man was found. There's loads of red sand, and people are brushing it away to reveal the skeleton. One woman touches the skull and immediately recoils, her hand has been burned. Maddy comments that she could possibly understand it in the middle of the desert, the sun could have heated the skeleton, but in a warehouse? How could it burned someone there? Jonathan rewinds the tape to take a closer look at some of the footage...
Maddy and Jonathan stay for dinner and while Maddy helps Philippa clear up the dishes, Jonathan and Graumann go into the garden to have a chat. Jonathan goes over the facts that they know. Fact - the skeleton went into the trunk. Fact - it was gone when they reopen it at the base, "and we both know as fact, that was no more the skeleton of an alien than my arse" he says. Jonathan comments that they are both in the same business - tricking the public, but at least he doesn't pretend that it's real. Graumann plays on their fantasies, knows what the public wants and he gives it to them. But if anyone else were to examine the skeleton - the games up, they'll discover it's a fake. So what does Graumann do? He makes it disappear, from an armoured truck surrounded by six soldiers - perfect.
Graumann, doesn't deny it.
Philippa meanwhile is telling Maddy what it's like when she receives one of her messages.
Graumann gets Jonathan another brandy, and says that if he understands Jonathan correctly it was all a trick? And how was he supposed to have achieved this trick? Jonathan admits this is where he's stumped - he can't prove it. Even if he had an accomplice...."Give me more credit than that." Graumann says. Ah! So he concedes that it was a trick... Jonathan says. "I'm afraid you'll have to work harder than that Mr. Creek. Still the universe is a rather large place. Let me try and narrow down your search. Consider the nine planets in our solar system, consider one of the nine that's very cold."
Sergeant Kribotnik meanwhile has traced the chemist where Maddy bought her camera film...
Maddy drives Jonathan back to her place, and says she now has alien overload! Jonathan is miffed because Graumann practically told him how he did it, but he can't work it out yet! He decides to get some air and walk around for a bit. Maddy hands him a spare set of keys to her flat, and hopes that he won't mind her not waiting up for him - she's really tired. Jonathan leaves, and Maddy goes up to the flat, but alas bed will have to wait, as Captain Candy has other ideas!
Jonathan let's himself into Maddy's flat, but assumes she has gone to bed. He takes out a book from Maddy's shelves on planets and has a quick flick through and decides to sleep on it. The following morning, Jonathan is woken by the phone, and Maddy leaving a message on the answerphone - she's in a bit of bother...
Jonathan arrives at the military base and is taken to Maddy's cell where she has been kept all night. Jonathan asks for a moment alone and sits down on the floor next to Maddy. Maddy is talking about her terrible ordeal, while Jonathan is still trying to work out what Graumann meant by his clue. Maddy gets a bit miffed that Jonathan isn't paying attention, and then starts worrying about what the Captain Candy will do to get information out of her, "What if they inject me with a truth serum?" she asks.
"It wouldn't stand a chance." Jonathan replies.
Jonathan then looks at his notebook again. It has a crude drawing of the solar system in it. Suddenly it hits him, "one of the nine" - sometimes it pays to be literal...
Calling the guard, Jonathan asks to look at the shed where the crate is. Meanwhile Maddy is once again being questioned by Captain Candy. Candy is convinced that Maddy has taken the skeleton in order to sell the story to a major newspaper. He says she's just pretending to be stupid, "I am not pretending..." Maddy replies, then realises what she was about to say!
Before it can go any further, Jonathan walks into Candy's office and says he knows where the skeleton is. However it depends how badly Candy want it back, as it will cost him $100,000 - a fee for his services. Candy did mention something about unlimited resources earlier...
A few hours later, Candy returns and tells Maddy she's free to go. They go to Graumann's place, to congratulate Graumann on his ingenuity. Graumann distracts Philippa so she won't hear anything, and Maddy joins her while Graumann and Jonathan walk around the garden. Jonathan is impressed by how Graumann pulled off the hoax. Some points, the fact it was silvery in colour and that it was one un segmented piece of skeleton caught Jonathan's attention early on. Plus there was that comment from Candy, about it sending a chill down his spine. Still Jonathan was baffled until Graumann gave him his clue.
A planet that's very cold? Obviously you'll think of the planets furthest from the sun. But Graumann's clue was more literal, "one of the nine" - he meant the planet Mercury (1st planet from the sun). Of course Mercury being nearest the sun would make it the hottest planet, however mercury the element - that's another matter. It's the only metal to stay liquid at room temperature. So in order to make something out of solid mercury you'd have to reduce the temperature to -38.87 degrees Celcius. Which is exactly what Graumann did.
When Maddy met Graumann in the warehouse, the case was chilled from underneath, so when the glass top is taken off, it will give off a chill. Anything that cold will also give someone a nasty burn (A more severe version of your tongue sticking to a cold lolly!). But, once the case is taken off the freezing table, and put in a case, the mercury the skeleton is made of starts to melt. So, by the time they arrive at the military base it's disappeared into the bottom of the case, which when Jonathan looked at it, he could see a shiny silver liquid through some holes (proving his theory). All that's left of the alien are some photos and the video footage that Graumann mocked up. Enough to keep him on the lecture circuit for a while.
Later back at Maddy's flat Jonathan is having some tea while Maddy is reading the paper. Maddy is very quiet, so Jonathan asks what's wrong. She says nothing. Jonathan knows something is wrong, so he decides to leave. As he gets to the door Maddy asks if the American military coughed up the money Jonathan demanded. Yes he says - though he was pushing his luck there, but you know, $100,000 is a drop in the ocean to the American military. Why? It was a bit out of left field Maddy says - just goes to show how much she doesn't really know him. Still it will set him up nicely, enough to impress all those teenage groupies he's got. Maddy then dismisses him with a "Bye then" cutting him off in mid reply, so Jonathan leaves.
Maddy then notices the kittens she's looking after. They are mewing and playing with something in their cage. She investigates and finds a an envelope with "animal shelter" written on it. She opens it to find a cheque for £65,000 from Jonathan to the animal shelter. He asked for the money because of the shelter. It would seem $100,000 roughly equates to £65,000!
Captain Frank Candy
Professor Lance Graumann