EXT. FAIRY TALE FOREST - DAY/NIGHT
Moonlight. A magical forest of trees. Diamond shards of
blue light on wrinkled, wormy roots. Over the mossy gorse,
A little TAILOR, with scissors, needles and thread hanging
from his belt. A glass key round his neck. And a tall,
grey hound beside him. He sees ahead -
A giant stone, where a crack opens up. The Tailor peers
inside. And squeezes down inside a dark tunnel. Which
leads out into -
INT. STONE CHAMBER - DAY/NIGHT
A shimmering hall of phosphorescent light. The Tailor sees
a tall glass dome; and a shining glass coffin, on a velvet
pall, surrounded by moths and butterflies.
The Tailor peers inside the glass dome, sees -
A miniature castle, with windows and battlements.
FROM POV - INSIDE GLASS COFFIN
The Tailor peers in, to see: a sleeping PRINCESS, her
breath ruffling her golden hair. In her hands: a box, like
a green ice egg.
BACK TO SCENE:
The Tailor -- takes his glass key, slips it into the lock.
`... And the little tailor thought
to bend and kiss her perfect cheek,
because he knew this was what he
And kisses the Princess. She opens her eyes, full of
You must be the one I have been
waiting for. You must be the
No, you are mistaken. I am a
tailor. In search of work to keep
The Princess laughs. And the sound of her laughter SHATTERS
the GLASS COFFIN into splinters. And on the box, CLOSE IN
`... I am the resurrection and the
life,' said Jesus. `He that
believeth in me, though he were
dead, yet shall he live...'
SLOW FADE UP TO a silvery BLACK AND WHITE -
EXT. CEMETERY (LONDON) - DAY (1888)
The box lies in the hands of a widow, MRS. ELLEN ASH, in
front of a mausoleum. It's a dripping November day, sun low
in the sky.
Ellen lifts back her veil to kiss the box. Which she places
inside -- a wrought iron vault. Its doors close.
Let the body and soul of Randolph
Henry Ash lie in eternal peace,
mourned by his sorrowing widow
PULL BACK to see Ellen and mourners, men in black hats and
cloaks like silk-clad ravens round an Egyptian-style vaulted
tomb. Ellen focuses on the box behind a metal grille. HOLD
ON -- the box.
As before our eyes, the box and tomb rapidly -
Age a hundred years. Roses wither and die. Moss, weeds,
leaves, briars, tendrils of undergrowth push and coil 'round
... honored not only by those of the
year of our Lord 1888, but by all of
And as a wind blows leaves, FADE UP TO -
EXT. LONDON STREETS (BLOOMSBURY) - DAY (PRESENT)
The spinning wheel of a bicycle. The spokes blur in
a constant motion, giving an illusion of stillness.
Suddenly VIVID COLOR and SHRIEK of CAR HORNS -
A young man weaves perilously 'round a worm of traffic. In
anorak and cycle clips, ROLAND MICHELL, thirtyish, dodges
down back streets, cutting through into -
EXT. BRITISH MUSEUM - DAY
Roland wheels his bicycle to sheds, removes his clips.
Oblivious to his trousers splashed by mud. He unpacks his
bicycle panniers. Heads through a side entrance into!-
INT. BRITISH MUSEUM - DAY
Roland walks down a long corridor, leading through to an
ECHOING domed hall. He pauses by a party of TEACHER and
school-kids in front of a statue of an eminent Victorian:
Randolph Henry Ash.
CLOSEUP - STATUE
Roland stares fondly up at the stern features of Ash gazing
lifelessly out over the kids' bored faces.