ANNOUNCER: The BBC presents Tony Hancock, Sidney James, Bill Kerr, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams in...
HANCOCK: "H-H-Hancock's Half Hour."
WILLIAMS: Earth is being invaded by alien beings from another world. The people are in dire peril, with no hope of rescue or help. Or is there? Travelling through time and space is the TARDIS, a spaceship resembling a police box that is bigger on the inside than on the outside. Inside, a man whips around a central control console - this man could be the saviour of Earth. His name is Doctor Hancock...
SCENE 1: TARDIS interior
Hancock hums a tune, in between reeling off various scientific jargon.
HANCOCK: Adjust the temporal stabilisers... la da deeee da doo... alter the zectronic drives... reconfigure the revisionary power links... give it a good kicking... there. That's the toast done.
KERR: Good morning Tub, is breakfast ready?
HANCOCK: Tub? (Disbelievingly) Tub? I am the Doctor!
KERR: Oh, yeah, sorry Tub... er, Doc.
HANCOCK: Look, we're being paid more for doing this than we've ever been paid for doing the regular stuff. And if we make a good job of this, we might get our own series!
KERR: But we've got our own series, Tub!
HANCOCK: No, a real series! (He emphasises each word in a different way) Full of drama, adventure, love, romance, passion... and the occasional punch up. Marvellous! That's what we want, mate. The big stuff! Haven't you been reading the opinions columns lately?
KERR: Well, no.
HANCOCK: No, of course not. You're still trying to get to grips with the cartoons, aren't you?
KERR: I like cartoons.
HANCOCK: Whether you like them or not is neither here nor there. The fact is you should be reading the adults' stuff.
KERR: But I don't like the adults' stuff. It's boring.
HANCOCK: Boring? Boring? It's literature, mate! Literature's meant to be boring! It's every Englishman's duty to give over a few coppers every morning to get a paper and then spend a few hours reading it getting thoroughly miserable. If we didn't do that, where would we be?
KERR: Well, I'm just saying I read the cartoons because they make me laugh and make me feel happy.
HANCOCK: Yes yes yes, you've elucidated your point, well done... Anyway, if you were to actually read the proper columns like an ordinary human being, you would have noticed that the opinions columns are awash with people saying that they're tired of comedy. There are far too many comedians out and about now. I must admit that, being one of the best of them, I should strictly remain in the game to show the up and coming youngsters how to do it. But people want to watch adventures, now! They want science fiction, with monsters and blokes in funny suits.
KERR: And beautiful girls with hardly anything on.
HANCOCK:.... You philistine! That's all you think about, isn't it?
KERR: No. I also think about what's going to happen in the cartoons tomorrow.
HANCOCK: Oh no, we're trodden that path very firmly into the ground, let's not cross it again. Anyway, people want science fiction, drama and adventure. Have you seen what some of those actors are getting? If that bloke who does "Quatermass" can walk on, spout some gibberish and pose in a mysterious way, I can. And I'm going to! Now come on, let's get on with it... where were we?
KERR: I'm not an Englishman.
KERR: You said that it was every Englishman's duty to buy newspapers.
HANCOCK:... Yes, I did.
KERR: But I'm an Australian.
KERR: Well, since I'm not an Englishman, I don't see why I should have to buy newspapers.
HANCOCK: ... Well don't then! Stone me, why couldn't I have Brian Donlevy? Now shut up a minute.
JACQUES: Hello everyone!
HANCOCK: What are you doing 'ere?
JACQUES: I'm your glamorous assistant!
HANCOCK:... 'Dead lucky this is on radio, we'd never get away with that otherwise. Dear oh dear, since when were you me assistant?
JACQUES: Since this morning. I didn't like the part I had.
HANCOCK: What was wrong with it? "The Queen Slug" was one of the most important parts!
JACQUES: Cheek. I'm quite capable of doing this, and I'm going to. Queen Slug indeed... I didn't take elocution lessons so I could say "Slurp slurp slurp".
HANCOCK: Fine. So, you're my two assistants... yes... I might as well go back to bed.
KERR: Tub, what's that?
HANCOCK: I told you before, my name is not Tub - what's what?
KERR: That red flashing light on the console, Doctor.
HANCOCK: Ah! That's the emergency warning! There's something amiss! Amiss! Ah-ha-ha! Now to use my excellent skills of deduction to find out what is playing 'avoc with me ship. Hmm... Miss Pugh, what does that readout say?
JACQUES: I'm not Miss Pugh, I'm Victoria.
HANCOCK: Victoria?... Would you ever have believed it...
JACQUES: The readout says that we're suffering from a severe energy loss, Doctor.
HANCOCK: An energy loss? That could be disastrous! If we lose too much energy, we could be left stranded on the TARDIS, forever! Let's switch on the scanner.
HANCOCK: (Cry of anguish) Nothing! Nothing at all! Just the deep blackness of space, on and on an on forever, with no ending! An infinity of darkness!... I'm having one of me turns again.
KERR: No, wait Doc! Surely we can home in on the nearest planet and materialise there!
HANCOCK: ... I was just about to suggest that. Yes, we've got just enough power to do that. Right, stand by!
HANCOCK: There, that wasn't too bad a landing Bill - Bill? Bill? Where are you?
KERR: Under the wardrobe.
HANCOCK: Oh, ha ha, silly me...
JACQUES: Where are we, Doctor?
HANCOCK: I'll check the readings... ah! Of course! Earth! My favourite planet!
JACQUES: And mine!
HANCOCK: Stop hogging the limelight, this is my bit. Earth! Where you can - hang on, what's that?
JACQUES: What's what?
HANCOCK: On the scanner, I could have sworn I saw something moving.
KERR: Was it a tree?
HANCOCK: (Sarcastic) Was it a tree... you poltroon! I know what a tree looks like! Big tall wavy things, I've seen them before. Trees can't run!
KERR: Maybe it was something disguising itself as a tree?
HANCOCK: What are you on about now?
KERR: Well, you just said that trees can't run, so maybe someone dressed themselves up as a tree so that, if you saw him, you'd just pass him off as being a tree, and therefore of no danger to us. Only you did see him, so his disguise didn't work, so maybe he's disguising himself as someone disguising himself as a tree to throw suspicion off himself and onto a normal tree.
HANCOCK: Why don't you go home?
JACQUES: Well, whatever you saw, it isn't there now.
HANCOCK: Fine, let's take a look outside.
SCENE 2: TARDIS exterior / field
HANCOCK: Ah, smell that air!
(Breathes in, and starts coughing violently)
JACQUES: That proves it; we're in England.
KERR: You all right, Tub?
HANCOCK: (Still coughing) Yes, yes...
KERR: Maybe you should see a doctor, Doctor.
HANCOCK: Maybe you should belt up.
JACQUES: Look, over there! A village!
HANCOCK: I see it. Looks deserted.
KERR: How can you tell?
HANCOCK:... Because I can't see anyone!!! Now be quiet before I clonk you one with me sonic screwdriver.
JACQUES: Maybe something's wrong?
HANCOCK: (Adopting dramatic tone) Yes, trouble seems to follow me everywhere. I try to take it all in my stride. Come on, let's go.
SCENE 3: Village streets
KERR: I don't think there's anyone here.
HANCOCK: I'm afraid you could be correct.
KERR: You were right, this place is ice-creamed.
HANCOCK: Ice-creamed?... Deserted, you idiot!
KERR: Well, whichever it is, it's making me feel hungry.
HANCOCK: Oh, stop moaning. If we come across a pie stall I'll get you a sausage or something.
JACQUES: Doctor, I have this funny feeling.
HANCOCK: (To audience) Well I'm not asking her...
JACQUES: I have this feeling we're being watched.
HANCOCK: We most probably are, my dear girl. Fiendish eyes could be watching our every move. But don't fear. Once they strike, I'll be ready for them! A quick bash, a quick wallop, some funny stuff with the ol' eyebrows and we'll be well away.
GUARD: (Voiced by Kenneth Williams in gruff accent) Halt!
HANCOCK: Run away! Run away!
GUARD: Halt! This laser gun is loaded.
KERR: What shall we do, Doctor?
HANCOCK: Reluctantly, I suggest we surrender.
JACQUES: Our hero.
GUARD: Who are you?
HANCOCK: I am the Doctor, sir!
GUARD: Who are the other two?
HANCOCK: Other two?... Oh, that's Victoria.
HANCOCK: AND BILL! This is Bill, they're both my assistants, ha ha!
KERR: Pleased to meet you.
GUARD: Why are you here in the forbidden zone?
HANCOCK: Well, we were just passing through really, we didn't know it was forbidden! We're most dreadfully sorry, but you really should have a sign up somewhere. We'll just go now and get out of your way...
GUARD: No, you will come with me to see the section leader.
HANCOCK: And if we refuse?
GUARD: I'll kill you here and now.
HANCOCK: I wasn't going to refuse, I just wanted to know the full facts, you know how it is... come along, you two...
SCENE 4: Section control room
GUARD: You will stand here.
HANCOCK: All right, all right. Keep yer' hat on. Stone me, all those stairs... couldn't we have taken a lift or something?
GUARD: The lift can only carry five people at a time.
HANCOCK: But there's only four of us!
GUARD: Three of us, and her.
JACQUES: One more comment like that and, so help me, I'll slosh you!
HANCOCK: She could, y'know. I'd watch out if I were you, mate.
GUARD: Ah! The section leader approaches!
SID: 'Allo boys!
SID: Correction: section leader James. I run this place, as well as about half of east England. What brings you here, 'Ancock?
HANCOCK: Please, Sid - Doctor.
SID: I'm sorry, we don't have a medical facility 'ere.
HANCOCK: No, I'm the Doctor!
SID: Oh good, I've got a bit of a pain in the neck.
HANCOCK: So have I, his name's Bill Kerr. Now, stop all this tomfoolery and tell me what's going on.
SID: Well, Earth's been invaded by aliens, y'see? They've taken over all of England, and are thinking of moving onto the USA, Russia, Australia, Africa, and Glasgow.
HANCOCK: Aliens? How utterly disastrous!
SID: No, you've got it all wrong, boy! It's marvellous!
SID: Well, they're sending over flying saucers every day, with more and more aliens. And, what do they need when they get here? Accommodation! I'm selling 'em every flat and house and property I've got! Six aliens to each room, sometimes! I'm rolling in it! (Starts singing) We're in the money, we're in the money...
HANCOCK: You bounder! You mercenary! Do the hopes and dreams and lives of all of the innocent people suffering under the rule of these alien monstrosities mean nothing to you?
SID: There's no suffering! A couple of labour camps here and there, that's it. Like Butlins.
HANCOCK: How could you stoop so low as to help the invaders? You're a traitor, sir! A traitor!
SID: £3 million a year.
HANCOCK: Well, taking it by and large, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, where do I sign up? Long live the new empire!
HANCOCK: Well, you've got to make a living somehow, haven't you? Saving worlds and peoples everyday and not even enough to get yourself a cup of coffee - it's no joke!
SID: I'm afraid, Doctor, you and your charming companions will be going to the labour camps.
KERR: No! I don't want to go to Butlins!
JACQUES: Who does?
HANCOCK: Sid! Sid, a joke's a joke, but-
SID: Look, it's nothing against you three personally. But the less people I have around me, the better I can spread me wings and... and help the people in my own way. And, I'm doing you a favour by sending you to the camps.
SID: Well, once you're inside, you can find out all the information you need to defeat the aliens. Then you can liberate the people! This is a once in a life time chance, boy! Think about what the papers will say - "One man saves world!" "'I wasn't scared for a moment,' says hero".
HANCOCK: You really think so?
SID: Certainly! They'll write books about you, they'll make it into a film! They'll make tea towels with your 'ead on them!
HANCOCK: ... All right, I'll do it!
SID: That's my boy, now sign there and-
(Alarms start sounding)
KERR: What's going on?
SID: I don't know. Guard! What's 'appening?
GUARD: The alien overlord is trying to communicate with us, sir!
SID: Oh gawd blimey.
HANCOCK: What's wrong?
SID: The head boss of the aliens is trying to get through on our communications screens.
HANCOCK: So? I thought you were friendly with them?
SID: Yeah, well, y'see there was this matter about these solar powered potholers' watches I sold him...
HANCOCK: You never stop, do you?
HANCOCK: Stone me!!! Right in me ear-'ole... what was that for???
JACQUES: Look! On the screen! It's horrible! Horrible!
SID: Gasp! It's him! The alien overlord! Everyone, bow to his excellency! All hail our alien masters!
HANCOCK + KERR + JACQUES: All hail our alien masters!
SNIDE: (Kenneth Williams in snide voice) Oh, stop messing about!
HANCOCK: Oh no. Not him...
SNIDE: Good evenin' one and all! I'm here to see your latest batch of prisoners!
SNIDE: Well, it's a Sunday and there isn't much to do up here...
HANCOCK: How did you take over Earth?
SNIDE: Well, that's the funny thing - I don't know. One moment, I was on my home planet, fizzing away with my friends, when suddenly I'm told to pilot an ENORMOUS space fleet out 'ere and take over Earth. And so I did, and here we all are! How's life treating you?
HANCOCK: Not bad, can't complain. There was this small matter a while back about - no, what, don't try to confuse me, alien marauder! I, the Doctor, demand that you take your fleet and scarper back to where you came from!
SNIDE: Oh don't be like that! We're not doing that much! A few statues built here and there, a slightly different postal service, and that's about it.
HANCOCK: What do you plan to do with the people of Earth?
SNIDE: Well, we don't know. We'd really like to live on Earth ourselves, but we don't know where to put the humans. We might have to eliminate them.
HANCOCK: Eliminate them??? I can't let you do that! I live and breathe to oppose your sort, the type who causes nothing but misery and destruction on a vast scale! I fight oppression every day, and win! I shall defeat you, whether it takes every last ounce of energy in my body!
SNIDE: Ooo, he does go on a bit doesn't he? No, I'm sorry, there's nowhere to put the humans.
KERR: I know! If you're coming here, why not send the humans back to your planet?
SNIDE: ... That's not a bad idea, really. Yes, I think we'll do that.
HANCOCK: Wait! If you're just going to do a straight swap, why don't you just stay on your planet?
SNIDE: Mmmm, it's silly 'innit? I thought so meself. I said "This won't actually achieve anything," but no one would listen to me. No one ever listens to me. This may surprise you, but people don't like me.
HANCOCK: Get away.
SNIDE: No, really! People see me, with this green skin, and these big ears and this long nose, and they think I'm weird.
SNIDE: Yes! Yes! They do! It drives me mad!
HANCOCK: I can imagine, and I sympathise with you, I really do. But you can't just invade a planet without permission.
SNIDE: But we did ask permission! We sent Earth a letter three weeks ago, detailing our intentions. Surely the people who received the letter would have acted by now?
HANCOCK: Who’d' you address it to?
SNIDE: Somewhere called "10 Downing Street".
HANCOCK: Ha ha, yes...
SNIDE: No one replied, which we thought was very rude, and so we invaded.
HANCOCK: Yes, well, now that you've had a holiday, maybe you could go home?
SNIDE: Oh, I'd like to. Earth is so dreary.
HANCOCK: Then why are you still here?
SNIDE: I want a wife! I want a foreign girl to take back with me so I can marry her, and love her forever!
HANCOCK: Is that all?
SNIDE: Yes! I don't want to be lonely anymore! Will you help me?
HANCOCK: Of course I will!
SNIDE: Do you have my best intentions at heart?
HANCOCK: Of course I do! In fact, I have the very girl! My companion, Victoria!
SNIDE:... You don't care much, do you?
HANCOCK: No, really, she's the perfect girl for you!
SNIDE: Are you sure?
HANCOCK: Of course I am! She's a wonderful secretary - she could write all your correspondence to other planets and things! And she's a great worker too - she'll do whatever you tell her to do!
JACQUES: And I'm very passionate! I could look after you for ever and ever-
HANCOCK: Yes, don't go raving mad dear... So, what do you say?
SNIDE: All right then, I accept! We'll leave your planet alone, and by tomorrow, your companion and I will be wed!
HANCOCK: That's the spirit! Good on you, moosh!
KERR: Victoria, why did you agree so readily?
JACQUES: What am I at the moment? The assistant to a deadbeat doctor, who doesn't even live anywhere. At least where I'm going, I'll be a queen, with a palace, and lots and lots of people to do my bidding! People will bow to me!
HANCOCK: They do that to avoid looking at the face.
JACQUES: Oh, be quiet.
(Whack sound effect)
JACQUES: I'm off to take my place as empress! Good bye, peasants!
KERR: Well, Tub... er, Doctor... you did it again! You saved the Earth!
HANCOCK: Yes, I did. All in a day's work for me, of course. I don't expect any reward.
SID: Good, because you're not getting one.
HANCOCK: Oh... not even a badge?
MAN: (Voice by Kenneth Williams) Excuse me sir, are you the Doctor?
HANCOCK: Yes! Yes I am.
MAN: Are you the bloke what saved the Earth from the aliens?
HANCOCK: I did that, indeed I did. But of course, I don't expect any reward-
MAN: You're under arrest.
MAN: I'm a policeman and I'm placing you under arrest.
HANCOCK: What for?
MAN: Misappropriation of one of her majesty's police telephone boxes.
HANCOCK: But that's mine!
MAN: That's what they all say. It's disgusting, hooligans like you stealing and defacing parts of our heritage and society.
HANCOCK: No, I'm the Doctor and that's me spaceship.
MAN: That's enough out of you, come on.
HANCOCK: No, no, stop! Ow, get your fingers out of me nostrils! Ow! Stop, get off!
(Gets quieter as end theme tune fades in)
ANNOUNCER: That was "Hancock's Half Hour", starring Tony Hancock, with Sid James, Bill Kerr, Hatties Jacques and Kenneth Williams. The theme and incidental music was composed and conducted by Ron Grainer. The show was written by Ray Galton, Alan Simpson and David Barnes, and the program which was recorded was produced by Dennis Main-Wilson!