The People's Republic of Shetland
Script by: Mathew Nicolson
INT. MAGNUS’ HOUSE
MAGNUS SANDISON is wrapped up within a SLEEPING BAG in his
hovel of a house, reaching the end of an uncomfortable
A BURRA BEAR sits in a surface in the other end of the
An alarm blares.
Magnus sits up immediately. He knows better than to ignore
Good morning, Magnus!
Did you have a good sleep?
Magnus ignores it, and climbs out of his sleeping bag.
Rejoice. Shetland cruisers have
advanced 5 miles over the night.
Marcus grunts in response, as he pulls on his fair-isle
Crime levels are at an all time
low, the Altruist of Personal
Health and Wellbeing has announced.
Marcus heads to the door.
Remember, Bonnie Leader loves you.
MAGNUS, fully dressed and carrying a rucksack, drags himself
out the door and closes it.
He looks out upon the desolate Shetland scenery.
He then walks through the ruins of his former house that his
current hovel is built over. He passes a monochromatic
photo of BONNIE LEADER in a triumphant pose.
MAGNUS walks up at the back of a crowd - all wearing fair
isle gansies - who are listening intently to a speech by the
ALTRUIST OF PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT.
ALTRUIST OF PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT
Early reports show that the
Orkadians suffered 17
casualties. Shetland suffered
none! Glory to Shetland!
Cheering. Magnus does not join in.
Patriotic Fiddle Music begins to play.
ALTRUIST OF PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT
Soon those insurgent islands shall
be within our grasp!
More cheering. Magnus turns away.
MAGNUS searches the shelves for his daily rations. After
picking up some decaying FRUIT, he turns to the aisle of
SHOT OF CCTV CAMERA WATCHING HIM.
Each tin is white and lacks detail. Magnus picks up a
couple of these, and heads for the counter.
The counter is splattered with images of the BONNIE LEADER.
Good morning, friend.
He glances at a prying camera above him as the cashier scans
You appear distracted, friend.
You might find this useful.
She hands him a leaflet.
It’s for assimilation
councilling. Authorised by Bonnie
Leader himself, so they say.
He glances over it. Images of overly happy people,
attractive phrases written in large, pink letters.
I’m sorry, but your work rates have
fallen by 14% over the last
week. Your ration has subsequently
fallen to 398 credits.
Forget the banana.
380 credits have been removed from
your Collective Account. Have a
She gapes at him for using such forbidden language.
(realising his mistake)
You too, friend.
He rushes out of the shop.
Magnus crumbles against the wall in an emotional heap,
dropping his food onto the ground. He is not being watched
PASSERBY passes by. Magnus snaps upwards, and waves feebly.
Noo de - er - good day, friend.
As he leaves, Magnus presses his face against the wall in
MAGNUS begins his walk home, carrying his shopping and
SHOTS OF HIS JOURNEY.
-Gansies will be the official dress
of Shetland citizens. 4: Dialect
is an honour bestowed only upon
Bonnie Leader and his Altruists.
5: Citizens will show love and
respect to one
another. 6: Ingratitude towards
Bonnie Leader’s altruism will not
be tolerated. The Constitution of
the People’s Republic of Shetland,
June 6 Version.
EXT. MAGNUS’ HOUSE.
MAGNUS rushes inside.
He drops his shopping onto the floor and collapses in a heap
in his sleeping bag, pulling it over himself to block out
his nightmare world.
Are you alright, Magnus?
I’m concerned, Magnus.
MAGNUS and COUNCILLOR sit on opposite sides of a table.
Tell me more about these thoughts
you have, Magnus.
Will you tell anyone?
Of course not. I guarantee patient
It’s like, I don’t belong here. In
this society. I hear the news of
victories in Orkney, of improving
life conditions, I hear our anthems
and see Bonnie Leader, yet I am
absent to that stirring of the
heart that everyone else feels.
Councillor takes down notes.
I feel like the only sane man in a
world of lunatics, a world
constantly gripped by mass
hysteria. Life isn’t great. In
fact, it keeps getting
worse. There are never any
casualties, but have you ever met
any veterans from Orkney?
Are you implying that you are being
Yes. And I’ve never been able to
tell this to anyone about this, for
fear of it being known. I’ve tried
to ignore these thoughts, honestly,
I have. You have no idea how much
it means for me to be able to say
You know that Bonnie Leader loves
you, do you not? You know that he
has your, and everyone’s, best
interests at heart?
I despise Bonnie Leader. Why do we
never see him for ourselves, if
he’s so great, so ’altruistic’? I
resent being forced to silence my
native dialect. I want life back
as it was, before him.
I think I have enough
information. I’ll contact you in
the next week about treatment
You can help me, can’t you?
Magnus gets up and exits the room.
Councillor reaches for a phone, and dials ’1’.
Unit 7177 is beyond
recovery. Procedure 6 recommended.
MAGNUS walks through the ruins with a spring in his step.
He enters the house.
7177 successfully removed from
© Copyright 2017 Mathew Nicolson. All rights reserved.