The Lost World of Roiurama

Voice Over: Meanwhile back in London ... at the British Explorers' Club in the Mall...

(Cut to the leather-armchaired hallway of a London club. In four of the chairs sit men in polar explorers' kit -furs, iced-over goggles, etc. - reading newspapers. At one chair sits a man in Norfolk jacket and plus fours. Around his neck he wean a sign saying 'Our Hero'. He is reading a newspaper but obviously has something else on his mind. Suddenly he throws the paper down and gets up. He walks over to the porter's desk. As he does this a polar expedition with four huskies, a sled, and two explorers pass him. Our Hero goes up to the desk. A whiskery old porter stands behind it.)

Our Hero: Any news of Betty Bailey's expedition, Hargreaves?

Hargreaves: Er ... um ... er...

Our Hero: (through clenched teeth) Page 9...

Hargreaves: (thumbing over page of script beneath counter) 'The Lost World of Roiurama'.

Our Hero: That's my line.

Hargreaves: Oh, sorry. 'Where were they going, sir'?

Our Hero: The Lost World of Roiurama.

Hargreaves: Yes sir, we've got a telegram.

Our Hero: Oh

Hargreaves: (reads it) Reads it. Expedition superb. Weather excellent. Everything wonderful.

Our Hero: I wonder what's gone wrong.

Hargreaves: For God's sake be careful...

Our Hero: (irritably) Wait a minute... I'm going to go... after them.

Hargreaves: For God's sake be careful, sir.

(Cut to film of the lost world. Tropical South American vegetation. Our four explorers from Jungle Restaurant and Ken Russell's Gardening Club sketches limp along exhaustedly.)

Second Explorer: My God, Betty, we're done for...

Third Explorer: We'll never get out of here... we're completely lost, lost. Even the natives have gone.

First Explorer: Goodbye Betty, Goodbye Farquarson. Goodbye Brian. It's been a great expedition...

(Music. Cut to engraving of Crystal Palace.)


(Cut immediately back to jungle.)

First Explorer: Great expedition ...

Third Explorer: All that'll be left of us will be a map, a compass and a few feet of film, recording our last moments...

First Explorer: Wait a moment!

Fourth Explorer: What is it?

First Explorer: If we're on film, there must be someone filming us.

Second Explorer: My God, Betty, you're right!

(They all look around, then gradually all notice the camera. They break out in smiles of relief, come towards the camera and greet the camera crew.)

Third Explorer: Look! Great to see you!

First Explorer: What a stroke of luck!

Camera Crew: Hello! ...

First Explorer: Wait a minute!

Fourth Explorer: What is it again?

First Explorer: If this is the crew who were filming us . .. who's filming us now? Look!

(Cut to another shot which indudes the first camera flew and yet another camera crew with all their equipment. The director is dressed the same as Yakomoto, the director in 'Erizabeth L', only he is blacked up.)

Director: (African accent) Cut there man! No! No good! How we going to get feeling of personal alienation of self from society with this load of Bulldog Drummond crap? When I was doing 'La Notte' wi' dot Monica Vitti gal she don't gimme none of this empire building shit, man ...

(Camera pans slightly to reveal a door in jungle. It opens and an inspector enters.)

Inspector: Not so fast, Akarumba! Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Inspector Baboon of Scotland Yard's Special Fraud Film Director Squad, Jungle Division.

Fourth Explorer: Baboon of the Yard!

Inspector: Shut up! (shoots her) Right, Akarumba! I'm arresting you for impersonating Signor Michelangelo Antonioni, an Italian film director who co-scripts all his own films, largely jettisoning narrative in favour of vague incident and relentless character study . . . (during this harangue the credits start to roll, music very faint beneath his words) ... In his first film: 'Cronaca Di Un Areore' (1950), the couple are brought together by a shared irrational guilt. 'L'Amico' followed in 1955, and 1959 saw the first of Antonioni's world-famous trilogy, 'L'Aw entura' - an acute study of boredom, restlessness and the futilities and agonies of purposeless living. In 'L'Eclisse', three years later, this analysis of sentiments is taken up once again. 'We do not have to know each other to love', says the heroine, 'and perhaps we do not have to love...' The 'Eclipse' of the emotions finally casts its shadow when darkness descends on a street corner. (the credits end; voice and picture start to fade)... Signor Antonioni first makes use of colour to underline...

(Fade to black and then to BBC world symbol)

Continuity Voice: And now on BBC another six minutes of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Continue to the next sketch... The Argument Clinic