Hijacked Plane [to Luton]

(Scene: The inside of the cockpit of an aeroplane. The door opens and a man in a neat suit enters. From beneath his jacket he produces a revolver with silencer attachment. He points it at the pilots.)

Gunman (Michael Palin): All right, don't anybody move... except to control the aeroplane... you can move a little to do that.

Hostess (Carol Cleveland): Can I move?

Gunman: Yes, yes, yes. You can move a little bit. Yes. Sorry, I didn't mean to be so dogmatic when I came in. Obviously you can all move a little within reason. There are certain involuntary muscular movements which no amount of self-control can prevent. And obviously any assertion of authority on my part, I've got to take that into account.

(The ensuing conversation is perfectly calm and friendly.)

Second Pilot (John Cleese): Right. I mean one couldn't for example, stop one's insides from moving.

Gunman: No, no. Good point, good point.

First Pilot (Terry Jones): And the very fact that the plane is continuously vibrating means that we're all moving to a certain extent.

Gunman: And we're all moving our lips, aren't we?

Pilots: Yes, yes.

Second Pilot: Absolutely.

Gunman: No, the gist of my meaning was that sudden... er...

Hostess: Exaggerated movements?

Gunman: Exaggerated violent movements... are... are out.

Second Pilot: Well, that's the great thing about these modern airliners. I mean, I can keep this plane flying with only the smallest movement and Pancho here doesn't have to move at all.

Gunman: Oh, that's marvellous.

Hostess: (joining in the general spirit of bonhomie) And I don't really need to move either, unless I get an itch or something.

(They all laugh.)

Gunman: Well that's wonderful. 60% success, eh? (they laugh again) Anyway, bearing all that in mind, will you fly this plane to Luton, please?

Second Pilot: Well, this is a scheduled flight to Cuba.

Gunman: I know, I know, that's rather why I came in here with that point about nobody moving.

First Pilot: Within reason.

Gunman: Within reason - yes. I, you know, I want you to fly this plane to Luton. Please.

Second Pilot: Right, well I'd better turn the plane round then. Stand by emergency systems.

Gunman: Look I don't want to cause any trouble.,

Second Pilot: No, no, we'll manage, we'll manage.

Gunman: I mean, near Luton will do, you know. Harpenden, do you go near Harpenden?

First Pilot: It's on the flight path.

Gunman: Okay, well, drop me off there. I'll get a bus to Luton. It's only twenty-five minutes.

Hostess: You can be in Luton by lunchtime.

Gunman: Oh, well that's smashing.

First Pilot: Hang on! There's no airport at Harpenden.

Gunman: Oh well, look, forget it. Forget it. I'll come to Cuba, and get a flight back to Luton from there.

Second Pilot: Well, we could lend you a parachute.

Gunman: No, no, no, no, no. I wouldn't dream of it, wouldn't dream of it, dirtying a nice, clean parachute.

First Pilot: I know - I know. There's a bale of hay outside Basingstoke. We could throw you out.

Gunman: Well, if it's all right.

All: Sure, yeah.

Gunman: Not any trouble?

Pilots: None at all.

Gunman: That's marvellous. Thank you very much. Sorry to come barging in.

Hostess: Bye-bye.

Gunman: Thank you. Bye.

Pilots: Bye.

(They open the door and throw him out.)

Gunman: (as he falls) Thank you!

(Cut to haystack in a field (not the same bale of hay that was landed on before). Aeroplane noise overhead. The gunman suddenly falls into the haystack. He gets up, brushes himself down, hops over a fence, and reaches a road He puts his hand out and a bus stops. It has 'Straight to Luton' written on it. He gets in. Conductor is just about to take his fare, when an evil-looking man with a gun jumps up and points gun at conductor.)

Hijacker: Take this bus to Cuba.

(Bus moving away from camera. The destination board changes to 'Straight to Cuba'. The bus does a speedy u-turn, and goes out of frame)

Continue to the next sketch... The Poet McTeagle