|"Marshall's Theory of Believability": The Script Post, Part I
||[Mar. 25th, 2016|10:49 pm]
In which I take another Eerie script and compare it to what actually aired.
So this happened:
Name on the right corner is the name Matt Dearborn, the writer of the episode. In fainter pencil above and to the right of the logo is "Bob," which probably refers to director Bob Balaban and not the tornado.
The thing about this one is there are notes all over it, starting with page 1:
The actual first line of Marshall's voiceover as aired is "It’s easy to believe..."
Also the mural we see in this shot is a lot less interesting. And there is no Dan Quayle.
To the left of this page is some possible dialogue for Claude:
They're still working on the dialogue on page 2:
Note the attempt at introducing the footprint earlier, which didn't happen.
My favorite part of the description: "It looks suspiciously like Marshall's evidence locker with a budget."
Also, Dan Quayle again?!
Simon's "mouse in the pop bottle" line does make it in despite the "eh," and Chisel's new line is the slightly edited "generating hubbub inside Eerie city limits without a permit." The bit where he sticks his fingers in El Gordo's tank is unscripted.
The blurry bit on the bottom right corner: "MARSHALL (VO):
Maybe Dad was a WAS is a scientist - but that doesn't didn't mean he knows everything about everything - He sure didn't know much about the wierd [sic] stuff goin' on around him everyday in Eerie." [This does not make it in.]
Prof. Zircon's tie becomes a bow tie.
Claude's intro was added by the final cut: "And now, the world's foremost authority on parabelievability. Seeker, scientist, recent guest on the Tonight Show...Professor Nigel Zircon."
Also, he does not appear from nowhere. The rest of them go to a different part of the stage.
The boys' "Yeah!" is unscripted.
There's a slight line change so that the Prof thanks them all for "...showing the courage to seek out the mysteries of the world by visiting..." and the handwritten line about the bizarre does not make it into the final episode.
More notes on 5:
Everything Zircon says before "In my never ending search..." here is missing from the final cut. Also "never ending" becomes "unending" and "in near earth orbit" becomes "about to enter the Earth’s orbit." The action with the map is slightly different.
Another attempt to introduce the footprint here, which does not make it into the ep.
Act 1 begins here on page 6:
In the episode, the line does change to "We are a couple of kids" as handwritten on the script, and Marshall adds, "but once the professor sees the quality of our work, he can’t say no."
The final episode does not contain the shot of the night sky or Marshall's first two voiceovers. There are some notes on that on the opposite page, too:
The cuts make total sense. Given everything, you do not need to establish why Marshall and Simon would be looking for UFOs now. You would only have to explain yourself if they were not looking for UFOs.
No notes on the script for a bit. There's a date in this episode: March 8, 1991 on the Bigfoot print. So either Marshall was 12 when he moved to Eerie, or else he's been 13 an awfully long time by the time we get to the final episodes in 1992.
In the dialogue and in the script, it's "Mr. and Mrs. Walter Funk's backyard" but the tag on the print only lists Mrs. Walter Funk.
A couple of line changes:
Simon doesn't say "The memories" wistfully after Marshall reads the tag.
Marshall doesn't say "Just remember Simon, he's just like you and me, only older."
Marshall does say "Finally, someone will know what we're talking about. Prof. Zircon is the kind of guy who can help us blow the lid off Eerie" which is not in this draft of the script.
Alas, this detail isn't visible in the background of the shot as the boys carry the box to downtown Eerie:
"They pass the bus bench where a MAN sits in full scuba diving gear. Neither Marshall or Simon react."
More notes on page 8:
Note on left: "Vague viewer says"
Note on right: "I'm concerned you won't know what they're talking about unless Claude at least gestures to round object"
[But the professor can't see exactly what Claude's fake space thing looks like, or else the rest of the episode won't work, so I can see why this was tricky.]
The dialogue is slightly different in the final episode:
Prof: "How does it look?"
Claude: "Don’t worry. You’re gonna love it...it's my best work yet."
Prof: "Let’s have a look"
And they start to look inside the bag and get interrupted by Our Heroes, at which point Zircon adds "And don’t screw up again" after "Beat it."
Marshall's "I umm, don't know if you remember us..." from the bottom of this page is missing from the final cut.
As is Zircon's line on the next page: "Of course, of course. I never forget a fellow seeker of the truth. What brings you here?"
From script as the guys meet with Zircon: "The boys look like two T.V. writers at a pitch meeting."
Marshall notes Zircon has "seen Tibet" among his accomplishments in the script, which becomes "tracked the Abominable Snowman in Tibet" by the final cut, because why is just seeing Tibet interesting?
A couple of lines were cut from the pitch meeting after Marshall's "center of weirdness" line:
Prof: "Interesting theory. So it doesn't surprise you that space debris is landing in Eerie?"
Simon (shaking his head): "Par for the course."
Marshall: "Strange stuff happens around here all the time. We've been keeping track."
And because this post is getting long, I'll end part one with my favorite note on the whole script: