AATAFOVS / A Three Hour Tour
Episode 1, Season 1 (Pilot). First episode, followed by My So Called Felicity
We open on a close-up of the blue flames of a gas-ring and begin a slow dolly back, revealing a glass alembic
in which a clear liquid has come to a boil. We arm up
, following the steam as it rises, condenses in the retort, and flows through a spiral tube. The heated liquid begins to flow into a tea-strainer and hence into a fine-china cup as tea.
Mister Edwin Rupert Udite
reaches out, takes the cup, and sips. He is watching Avatar McPotter
, who has the cover off a TiVo and is probing the interior with what appears to be a bent paper clip. We continue the dolly-back as a oner until all the VB's are revealed. ERU is in a wheelchair.
The room is evidently some sort of laboratory/family room/clubhouse, possibly in a basement. The windows and doors are round.
is stretched out on a battered couch, sleeping. An empty beer bottle stands on his chest, bobbing up and down as he softly snores. Sue
is laying on the floor, holding a 45-pound dumbbell behind her head, doing crunches. Fluffykins
is coiled up on her left bicep, having a nap. Nerdly
's attention is somewhat divided as he tries to both solder something and figure out how to tell Cleo
that her skirt's back hem has somehow gotten snagged in the waistband of her underwear.
Thus, we are introduced to the Fellowship.
Avatar mutters something to the effect of "That should do it", picks up the TiVo remote and presses "On". The remote begins making an ominous thrumming sound. The scene on the widescreen TV suddenly expands, taking up the entire wall, showing a scene of an idyllic beach in remarkable clarity.
Avatar: "See! I told
you it could do Hi-Def!"
The VB's gather around and go "Ooh!", except for Solo, who shouts "Crystal Dragon Jesus
on a pogo stick! Who you got to shoot around here to get a little sleep!?"
What can only be described as a tentacle suddenly whips out of the beach scene, wraps around Mr. Udite, and yanks him through, wheelchair and all.
<undercranked tracking CU shot
: fine-china teacup slowly turning end over end as it falls to the floor. crank-normal just as the teacup shatters
What seems to be an ordinary commercial break. In fact, the first two ads are from sponsors. The third is in black and white and very short. The Phillip Morris bellboy walks through a motel lobby calling "Call for Phillip Morris!" Midway through the second repetition he begins to cough, grabs his throat with both hands and falls down dead. One more sponsor commercial and we are back to...
A replay of the tentacle snatching Mr. Udite through the Story Gate. Sue immediately leaps through the Gate in hot pursuit. Avatar turns to Solo and says "We got trouble." Solo leaps to his feet and produces a pistol.
Avatar points to the beach.
"I'm on it." Solo jumps through.
Avatar tosses the TiVo remote to one side and springs through the Gate. Nerdly looks at Cleo.
"Alone, at last."
Cleo gives him The Eyebrow and jumps through the gate. Nerdly sighs, picks up the remote and steps through the Gate. He falls a few feet into the ocean, which is about three feet deep this close to the beach. He turns and looks back at the Gate, which gives a view of Udite's Lab. At an angle to the Udite gate there is another gate from which a tentacle extends. Nothing else is visible through the gate but black space. The tentacle is trying to grab Sue. Every time it gets close enough, she whacks it with her dumbbell and it recoils. Fluffykins is on her shoulder, claws dug in, hissing. Solo is poised to shoot, in case the tentacle should get lucky.
Avatar is helping Cleo toward the beach. The back of her blouse is torn to shreds. There has evidently been a close encounter of the tentacle kind.
Nerdly points the TiVo remote toward the tentacle Gate and presses "Off". The Gate snaps shut, slicing through the tentacle, which falls into the sea. The Udite Gate also closes. This freaks Nerdly out. He pushes "On". Nothing.
Solo slogs past him looking determined, heading toward the beach, Sue close behind. Nerdly follows.
Solo marches up the beach, passing Avatar and Cleo without a glance aside, heading straight into the jungle. The other VB's look at each other, shrug, and follow. Solo proceeds into a collection of bamboo huts. He goes directly into one of the largest, with the VB's crowding in behind him.
"It's here," Solo says. "I can sense it."
He casts about for a moment, spies a traveling-wardrobe with the initials THT-III on it, throws it open, reaches in, and produces a bottle of single-malt whiskey. "A-ha!"
While Solo proceeds to get sauced, the rest of the VB's split up and search for the owners of the huts. They all elect to put on grass skirts while their clothes dry out.
Solo joins the hunt after the booze runs out, which puts him a good five minutes behind everybody else. Eventually, the VB's join back up and all come upon an odd scene.
The Gilligan's Islanders are gathered in a clearing, their attention fixed on a large hourglass. The number 108 is painted on the glass at the top of the cone. There are a number of dashes below the number, easily 107 of them. The Professor is standing closest to the hourglass, peering intently. As the last few grains drop through, he spins the glass over and shouts "Now!"
The remaining Islanders each scramble over to separate bamboo ladders leaning against trees, climb up and begin to shake the branches. The Professor pulls out a large conch shell and blows into it, making a weird howling sound.
After a commercial break, the third of which is a short piece depicting the Philip Morris bellboy being carried out of the hotel lobby on stretcher with the sheet pulled all the way up to his pillbox-hat, we return...
The Gilligan Islanders relate the story of how they have been on the island for over 40 years and how they stopped trying to get off the island when they noticed that, first, it never worked, and secondly, that none of them were aging. They believe the hourglass ritual has something to do with this.
As the story draws to a close, a stone plinth appears in the middle of the clearing. On it are the words:
Hw? We Gardena in geardagum
?cyninga ? gefrunon
hu ??ngas ellen fremedon. — Udite
The Professor recognizes this as a quote from Beowulf
, but otherwise has no idea what it means. Avatar assumes that the "Udite" at the end is a clear signal that Mr. Udite is alive, and needs a rescue. He marshals the Veebs and presses the "On" button on the story gate generator. With an ominous thrum, a Gate appears. A wisp of smoke rises from the SGG. In haste, the Veebs proceed through the gate.