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Script / Our Show for Ringo Starr

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In 1975, Graham Chapman and Douglas Adams had an idea for a Science Fiction TV Movie starring Ringo Starr. They wrote a script that was titled Our Show for Ringo Starr and signed "by Nemona Lethbridge and Vera Hunt."

The script presents Ringo as an office worker whose incredibly boring life becomes interesting when a robot (like the one who appears on the Goodnight Vienna cover) mistakes him for his outer-space counterpart Rinog Trars, and grants him the power to travel through time and space and destroy the universe with the wave of his hand.

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This one-hour TV special would have included many musical sequences based on Ringo's recently released album Goodnight Vienna. It was pitched to American TV networks, none of whom decided to produce it. In 1999, the script was published in OJRIL: The Completely Incomplete Graham Chapman.

The B-ark sequence was originally written on spec for Doctor Who; it was recycled for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, along with a few of the narrator's jokes.


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This script contains examples of:

  • Busby Berkeley Number: "Step Lightly" is a "Busby Berkeley-style" number for paramilitary guards.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The prologue tells the story of a fairy-tale prince who walks off a cliff and dies. The scene then shifts to Ringo as the prince's "great, great, great, great, great grandson" in the present day, whereupon the fairy-tale characters complain to the narrator.
  • Fanservice Extra: The script indicates several, including "GIRL #3 with large breasts."
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms:
    Robot: The john?
    Ringo: Yeah, the john. The bog, the comfort station, the thunderbox, little boy's room.
    Robot: Ah! The lavatory.
    Ringo: Something like that, yes.
  • Interactive Narrator: Ringo and the narrator bicker a lot.
  • Interspecies Romance: The robot hits it off with an alien prawn.
  • Jackass Genie: When Ringo decides to travel back in time to Ancient Rome, the narrator makes him a common peasant. Ringo then insists on being an emperor, whereupon he finds himself in the Ides of March scene from Julius Caesar, about to be assassinated.
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  • Kick the Dog: Double Subverted. The Captain tells Ringo that Number 3 is "cutting legs off cats," then explains that that's his nickname. The Captain then tells Ringo his own nickname is "sitting on rabbits," and then gets up to remove a squashed and bloody rabbit from his seat, throwing it into a cupboard with a lot of other dead rabbits.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: The script ends with Rinog waving goodbye to Ringo and thereby accidentally destroying the universe.
  • Red Alert: Parodied:
    SHOTS OF WARNING BOARD with a series of lights which are marked 'red alert', 'blue alert', 'mauve alert', 'russet alert', 'a sort of pinky green alert', 'somewhere between beige and a very palish yellow ochre alert' and 'not an alert at all'.
    We see that 'Red alert' is flashing.
  • Running Gag: U.S. senators denouncing immoral robot activities and being disintegrated with laser beams.
  • Shamu Fu: An intergalactic customs officer keeps hitting Ringo with a large fish.

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