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(Buffy Actual Play) The Watch House Season Five

Craig Oxbrow

Ah, y'know. This guy.
Validated User
The Watch House is an ongoing Buffy The Vampire Slayer spinoff concerning Prentices - Watchers in training - in King's College Cambridge.

Season One And Two

Season Three

Season Four



The Watch House 5.01: Milli Versus Frankenstein

"For centuries the Watchers have trained and studied here, learning to guard the unknowing world from the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. These same forces besiege this city every night, and it falls to the students to hold them back..."

--
Milli: The Watchers' Daughter saved the world by killing the vampire who had once been the man she loved, after her attempt to restore his soul went horribly wrong, allowing his inhuman ancestor Jacques to take over instead... and then walked away without a word after being released from the hospital.

William: Milli's oldest friend had his pelvis broken by Emma, and has spent the summer in physiotherapy.

Andy: A hereditary lycanthrope attached to the group due to the Watchers knowing about his family curse, Jake's best friend.
Matthew: The spellcaster indirectly responsible for Jacques's return blames himself.
Natalie: Matthew's fellow second-year Watcher student and source of romantic conflict.

Escher: The Watchers' Invigilator has a gruff demeanour concealing a caring heart. He holds himself responsible for the disasters of the last year.
Charlotte: William's girlfriend considered leaving him over his commitment to the Watchers' calling, but finally decided to stay at his side.
Rog: The former ringmaster of the circus Milli ran away to when she was seventeen.

Emma: Jake's former lover, and Milli's friend, sired by Jacques and killed by Matthew and Natalie.
Jake: Milli's lover became a vampire, but tried to prove his loyalty by offering to have his soul returned. Instead, he was possessed by the spirit of his ancestor Jacques, sired Emma, attempted to resurrect every vampire ever slain, and was killed by Milli in single combat, destroying Jacques and releasing Jake's soul to move on...


--
August 2000

William walks into the office, leaning slightly on a cane, and winces in pain as he sits. Charlotte closes the door behind him.

Escher looks up from a selection of university applications. He starts to speak, reconsiders, and starts again.

Escher: Not long to go now. It looks like we'll have three freshers joining us this year, but I haven't received confirmations so far...
William: Right. ... Has there been any word?
Escher: She did go to Scotland. Saw... Emma's parents. Told them that they were friends. That was almost two weeks ago. No word since then. No letters. No calls.
William: I... well... she's got a while yet.

Charlotte shakes her head, trying to hide her irritation.

William: (to himself) Where are you, Milli...


--
And cut to Milli looking over at a near-naked man with bright red skin and prominent horns, breathing fire.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Milli's hair, pulled away from her face, is now its natural fair colour apart from the pink tips where she's let it grow out. She watches the performer pass as she huddles in her battered leather jacket, then gazes blankly at the hole in the toe of her right boot as she sits in Princes Street Gardens, the park in the centre of the city...

CREDITS!

Theme song: Ash, Evil Eye
 

Craig Oxbrow

Ah, y'know. This guy.
Validated User
The Watch House Season Five, Episode One, Act One

Guest starring Alec Newman, Luke Goss, James Cosmo, Clive Russell and Bill Bailey

Gazing off into the distance, Milli looks up slightly as someone pauses and leans over her.

Rog: Lilli? Lilli Whitehurst. As I live an' breathe.

She blinks at him, startled.

Milli: Rog? Yes, hi. How, how are you?

He sits down beside her.

Rog: Ohhhh, well, the circus kinda went blooey after the thing with the tiger. I mean, bound to happen. There was always that tension between the traditionalists and the New Circus types anyway, so eventually they were going to find some catalyst to splinter them apart.
Milli: What's everybody up to? Where's Helena?
Rog: Back in Glastonbury, last I heard. Or the Glastonbury Festival anyway. What about you, are you -
Milli: I'm just here. Uh, do you have a show?
Rog: Mmhmm.
Milli: Oh, is it another troupe?
Rog: Puppets!

He puts his hands up and waggles his fingers, making his right hand chase his left around. Milli looks at him blankly and manages a faint smile.

Rog: ... Works better if I actually have them with me, of course. Still... show's at six. I'd give you a comp, but it's a free show anyway, so... uh... it would be like a super-comp! Get in freer than free! I'd... ah, I know, I'll buy you a pint!
Milli: Not sure if I'd be especially good company right now.
Rog: Oh. Well, see if you feel like it.
Milli: I'd love to, but...
Rog: What is it?
Milli: Um... yeah. There was this... thing with this guy...

She twists her ring around on her thumb.

Milli: And, uh. He died. He's dead.
Rog: Oh, I'm sorry.
Milli: Yeah, 's fine. Not the end of the world.

She smiles wanly, eyes misting.

Rog: Well...
Milli: Is it funny?
Rog: The -
Milli: The show? With the puppets?
Rog: Well, ah, maybe not funny enough. But. It has its moments. The elephant's a bit hit-and-miss.
Milli: Sounds complicated.
Rog: Yeah. And not all that funny. Maybe I should let it out of the room. Uh, you know what I mean.
Milli: Yeah. So, um, six o'clock?
Rog: Yeah.

She nods slightly and smiles weakly. He straightens up, looks like he's going to sit again, she shakes her head slightly and he nods and goes.

Her gaze lowers again, focusing on the middle distance, and she slowly gets to her feet.


--
At six, she watches Rog wrestling with a large puppet elephant, barely cracking a smile while the dozen other people in the audience laugh.

As she does, a heavy-set middle-aged man, and a tall and wiry man, sit behind her.

Henderson: Old friend, Miss Blackhurst? That's nice.
McDowell: Aye. That it is.
Henderson: Funny he doesn't know your name, though.
Milli: Sorry, do I know you?
Henderson: Alexander Henderson, Invigilator of Edinburgh. My colleague, James McDowell.
Milli: Oh.
Henderson: Jim, get the lass a drink, eh?
McDowell: Aye.
Henderson: So, in town for the Festival, then... after you paid your condolences.
Milli: Yeah.
Henderson: We were all sorry to hear about the witch.
Milli: She was not a witch.
Henderson: Sorry, as you say. She was always very nice to us whenever we had to interview her... Bad business. (nods) But then, our lives are made up of bad business, aren't they?
Milli: ... Yeah.
Henderson: Now, I don't mean tae pry, but your man Escher did call up and ask if we'd seen you...
Milli: Are you spying on me?
Henderson: Just checking up.
Milli: So is this a happy coincidence? Or have you been coming to this puppet show every night since it started?
Henderson: We came looking for you. So. Any message?
Milli: ... Tell him you saw me. Um, actually, tell him I'll call. Soon. I'd... prefer to be alone right now. But... I'll be in touch.

Henderson studies her for a moment, nods and stands up.

He leaves a copy of the Aberdeen Press & Journal.

She glances at the headline:

STOLEN BODIES SOLD FOR TRANSPLANTS?
LOCAL DEAD GIVING THE RICH A NEW LIFE?

She gazes at the headline and sighs deeply.

Milli: A new life.

She stands up, takes the paper, and walks out.


--
Reaching a youth hostel, she collects her belongings. We pause on a small pile of books - a journal, a copy of Bridget Jones's Diary, a well-thumbed paperback of Ivanhoe, and a collection of poems by Robert Burns. She picks it up, looks at the page where it sits open displaying "My Luve's Like A Red, Red Rose", and shuts it.

A soloist sings over a shot of Milli looking out of the window of a train, and then an aerial shot tracking it through the countryside.

O, my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my Luve's like a melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair as thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run:

And fare thee well, my only luve!
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it ware ten thousand mile...



--
Grampian Highlands, Scotland

She gets off the train at Ballantyree Station, the only person to do so. Her rucksack clinks as she shoulders it.

She pulls on a battered Gilligan hat, buys six energy chocolate bars from a vending machine and walks into town.

Looking at her watch, she sees it's almost eleven. The village is almost entirely dark.

She looks at the church on one end, the pub on the other, and the bed and breakfast opposite the station gate. She heads into the B&B.

A round-faced old woman beams at her as she rings the bell.

Milli: Hi. Um. Could I get a room for the night?
Mrs. McCail: Well, it is a bit late, dear, but if it's just you...
Milli: (nods, quietly) Just me.

She signs the register, MILLI JACKSON.

Mrs. McCail: Any special requirements with breakfast?
Milli: Oh, uh, coffee.
Mrs. McCail: Of course.
Milli: Oh, and, I'm a vegetarian.
Mrs. McCail: Oh, aye, my niece is the same way. Eggs alright?
Milli: Sure.
Mrs. McCail: Now, that's from seven-thirty to nine-thirty.
Milli: Right, uh, what time's sunrise?
Mrs. McCail: Oh, ah, around six-thirty.

Milli nods slightly, calculating.

Milli: Is there... much to do here?
Mrs. McCail: Oh, yes dear, there are the Munros to climb, we've got two within five miles, fishing in the well I don't suppose you fish do you... and of course there's the pub. Something of a town meeting tonight.
Milli: Hm?
Mrs. McCail: With the bodies and all. You're not another reporter, are you?
Milli: Another... ? Ahh, no. But I am studying to be... Just I don't like... bodies.
Mrs. McCail: Och, well, who does, dear?
Milli: But I do need to know... How many? Not that I mean -
Mrs. McCail: Three.
Milli: - And three is worse than none. Oh, but one is bad too, obviously -
Mrs. McCail: So, these three boys - their car hit a tree fallen in the road. They were being kept in Doctor Robertson's office until the coroner was due to come tomorrow. But then they... just disappeared. The police don't have the faintest idea. It's like they just got up and walked away -
Milli: (cringes) Well that's really unlikely - (winces)
Mrs. McCail: Aye, well, clearly. But the reporter said there wasn't any evidence, you know, DNA and CSI and all.
Milli: Reporter?
Mrs. McCail: Oh, well, if you want to ask him, he'll be back from the pub by midnight or so. When I lock up.
Milli: So, he's staying here?
Mrs. McCail: I do have something of a monopoly.
Milli: (forced) I've never met a reporter. How exciting.
Mrs. McCail: Be sure he doesn't try and turn your head.

Milli smiles wanly at the idea.

Milli: Anyway, I suppose I should get settled in...
Mrs. McCail: Do you need any help with your bag, dear? It looks awful heavy.
Milli: No. I'm used to it.

She carries it upstairs.

Mrs. McCail: Here you are then. Room Four. You have a good night, I'll see you in the morning.
Milli: Thank you.

She closes the door with a soft smile, looks around the room, and crosses to the window. She looks out and down, nodding slightly.

Setting her rucksack down, she takes out a bag containing three new black T-shirts. And wrapped up inside her sleeping bag, her sword. She unsheathes it, looks at it for a moment and sheathes it again.

She chews on an energy bar as she ties back her hair, shrugs on a black shirt, pulls her cross necklace out to lie on top of it and lays out everything she has with her.

Apart from her jacket and boots, the only things she wears that aren't new are her cross and her ring.

She opens the journal William gave her, revealing a secret compartment containing silver shuriken, holy water and a short stake, and drops them all into a shoulder bag. She taps the dust cover of Bridget Jones's Diary, which doesn't quite fit the book inside. She leaves Ivanhoe on the bedside table. The Burns collection falls open at "My Luve's Like A Red, Red Rose." She looks at it for a moment, lowers her gaze, and closes it.

She pushes her sword into her shoulder bag before going out.


--
The Black Tower public house goes quiet for a moment as Milli enters. But it was pretty quiet anyway.

Half a dozen local people are gathered around a man in a suit sitting by the bar. Milli glances sidelong at him, and approaches the barman.

Barman: What can I get you, love?
Milli: A... (looks around) Pint of cider?
Barman: Coming right up.

She retrieves a copy of the local newspaper from the rack on a column of the bar.

Barman: Not another reporter, are ye?

Milli smiles conspiratorially.

Barman: Local's weekly anyway, nothing in there.
Milli: Oh. Well.

She looks over at the reporter, sighs, and goes over to approach him.

Geoffrey: Hi. Geoffrey Robinson, Journal.
Milli: Hi. Uh. Milli Jackson. Backpacker. You're here about the... news?
Geoffrey: Yeah. Nasty business.
Milli: Hm.
Geoffrey: Still it's a hell of a story.
Milli: Have you... talked to the police?
Geoffrey: Yeah, before he went to bed.
Milli: ... (blinks it off) So, are there any suspects?
Geoffrey: Not this early - the forensics team took their findings away, but it doesn't sound like there was much anyway.
Milli: I see.
Geoffrey: I mean, you'd think in a town like this, nobody could do anything without someone noticing. Let alone break into the office.
Milli: Office?
Geoffrey: Doctor's office.
Milli: Oh. Right. No morgue.
Geoffrey: I mean, the last story here was "strange lights in the sky" a few weeks back. (shrugs)
Milli: (warily) Like UFOs?
Geoffrey: Or something.
Milli: (stilted) Gosh.
Geoffrey: Still, nothing like that this time. So, what do you do, Milli was it?
Milli: Student. Cambridge.
Geoffrey: Very impressive... journalism?
Milli: English Lit... I wanted to do journalism. So I'm interested. In... stories.
Geoffrey: Well... I have stories... (Roger Moore smile)
Milli: Then I'm... (even more stilted) interested in hearing them. Seeing how you put things together.

Geoffrey smiles winningly.

Milli: So, uh, that's why I'm here. Collecting stories. For a dissertation.
Geoffrey: Well, I'd be glad to help.
Milli: So, ah, well, who have you talked to?
Geoffrey: I -
Milli: Have you talked to the doctor? Was he sure about the cause of death? Did they break in, did they trash his office? Did they go right for the bodies?
Geoffrey: It looks like they broke the lock off and smashed the door in.
Milli: (quietly) That's unusual.
Geoffrey: Hm?
Milli: ... Never mind. Stealing bodies. It's unusual. In this century. I mean, I just came here from Edinburgh, and two hundred years ago they were all about the body snatching, but nowadays...
Geoffrey: Quite...
Milli: So, ah, are you walking back that way?
Geoffrey: I am...
Milli: Well... (too girlishly) I'm quite afraid to walk back by myself.
Geoffrey: Shall we? Where are you staying?
Milli: Mrs. McCail's B&B.
Geoffrey: Small world. So am I...
Milli: (stilted) Really.


--
She walks with her hand on the strap of her holdall. He walks with his hands in his pockets, looking like he's seriously considering putting his arm around her. She keeps out of arm's reach.

Milli: So... so that's the doctor's office?
Geoffrey: Yeah.
Milli: Oh... Gosh.
Geoffrey: So you've been to Edinburgh, where else?
Milli: Well, I stayed with some...

She trails off as a third figure joins them, lurching out of the shadows.

Figure: Uuuuuunnnnh...
Geoffrey: Hold on, I'll -
Milli: Run.
Geoffrey: Uh, no, I was going to -
Milli: Quickly! Run!
Geoffrey: Yeah, but I can -
Milli: Just go!

She pushes him down the street.

Milli: Get... help or something!

Geoffrey stumbles away.

Figure: Braaaaains...

Milli looks at it incredulously.

Milli: ... Are you serious? Brains?
Figure: Braaaaains!
Milli: Do you have any idea how cliché that is? Really?
Figure: Braaaaains?

The figure lurches towards Milli, stepping into the moonlight to show a greenish complexion, slack jaw, and blackened circle on his temples.

She quickly takes out a stake and slams it into his chest.

The body looks down at the stake, then back up at her with a guttural moan. She looks back, her eyebrows raising slightly.

Milli: ... Bugger.

CUT!
 

Craig Oxbrow

Ah, y'know. This guy.
Validated User
The Watch House Season Five, Episode One, Act Two

The walking corpse bares its yellowish teeth and raises its arms stiffly to grab at Milli's throat.

Figure: Braaaaains...

She looks at the thing's face more closely, noticing stitch marks along its neck.

Milli: One...

Then she elbows it in the face. It staggers back and trips over her bag.

Milli: Down.

It stops moving, and its head comes off and rolls away.

Milli: Oh... you're not going to dust, are you. Damn it.

Geoffrey runs back as she starts to open her bag. She stops, pushes the hilt of her sword back inside and looks up.

Geoffrey: Are - are you alright?
Milli: Get the police. There's been a murder.

Doctor Robertson arrives. Milli makes a point of rubbing her head.

Doctor Robertson: Are you alright, Miss?
Milli: Uh, that man... He looked awful...
Doctor Robertson: Ahhh, yes. Yes he does.
Milli: It was so odd... he was moving like someone was pulling his strings... And then when his head came off...
Doctor Robertson: Yes, about that -
Milli: It must have been like someone playing a horrible joke with one of the stolen bodies or something - Is that the time? Mrs. McCail's expecting us!
Doctor Robertson: Uh, yes...
Milli: Oh, what an awful... business...

Doctor Robertson arches an eyebrow.

Milli: (quickly) Thank you, Doctor. Now, make sure nobody steals it again and plays more cruel jokes with it. I can't bear to look I have to leave now.

She grabs her bag and leaves in a hurry.

Geoffrey: I'll, uh, see the... poor wee lassie home. She's obviously shaken up.

He catches up with her as she reaches the B&B.

Geoffrey: Sorry you, ah, had to see that. Terrible -
Milli: Business?
Geoffrey: Uh... yeah. If you want to maybe get a -
Milli: I think I'll just go to my room.

She closes the door, sets down her bag and picks up her copy of Bridget Jones's Diary.

Milli: Too late to call William... And...

She frowns as she opens the book quickly. A shot over her shoulder reveals the title page "A Field Guide To Demons". Council Press, 1979 edition.

Milli: Okay. Zombies.

She flicks to the back.

Milli: Zombies, zombies zombies zombies... "The term "Zombie" is commonly misapplied to all manner of walking or animated corpse, from ghouls to revenants..." Damn it.

She flicks further forward.

Milli: W. W... walking... Grrr. C. Corpse... "A whole or partial corpse might be revived by manners other than possession or necromancy, such as sympathetic magical movements, galvanism or..." Might explain those scorch marks... "Galvanism requires substantial amounts of electricity to perform, producing soulless animated cadavers, best destroyed by spinal - " Right.

She runs down the stairs, to find Geoffrey relating his daring exploits to a sceptical Mrs. McCail.

Geoffrey: So, it looked suspicious to me, and then his head came -
Mrs. McCail: That's nice. (to Milli) Oh, would you like some tea, dear?
Milli: Those lights in the sky. Where were they?
Geoffrey: Around the old kiln tower up on the hill. Uh, why?
Milli: Can't sleep... And I want to avoid anything that seems odd. And this is very odd. Peculiar, even. So if I know where it is, I can avoid it. Can't I?
Mrs. McCail: Very sensible.
Milli: Well, I should... turn in...
Mrs. McCail: Maybe some warm milk?
Milli: It'd turn my stomach. (cringes) But thanks.
Mrs. McCail: Och, well, if you change your mind, I'll be up a wee while yet.
Milli: I think I'll try to sleep. I'll see you for breakfast.
Mrs. McCail: With eggs.
Milli: Right. Goodnight.

Milli retreats with a smile. Geoffrey furrows his brow as she goes.

Inside her room, she slings her bag over her shoulder, crosses to the window, grips the drainpipe and climbs down it.


--
And cut to Milli looking up at a circular stone tower perched on top of a barren hill.

She looks suspiciously at the muddy Land Rover parked by the tower, and at the new-looking padlock attached to the new-looking door. And the portable generator running around the back.

She shakes her head as she holds up her hand near the doorframe, and notices a thin line of light cutting across it.

Nodding, she takes out a knife and a lockpick and works with the padlock.

The door does not creak as she opens it. So she tries again. Four times.

She takes out her sword. It gleams in the moonlight, and then the light of a chaotic array of electric lights hanging from girders, beams and catwalks projecting up through the tower.

On the floor are three metal gurneys, fitted with heavy restraints, currently unoccupied.

The largest stands pivoted upwards, attached by a knotted rope of cables to a large, buzzing industrial engine. As she looks over, she sees it's labelled in German.

She looks around for a moment, and then starts pulling out plugs.

Lights flicker and fail seemingly at random, meters whine as they lose power, a sparkling whirly thing stops sparkling and whirling.

An alarm bell rings.

And then the door at the bottom of the stairs spiralling down into the floor opens, and a young-looking man with tanned skin and greying hair comes out, pulling on a dressing gown, glaring intensely at Milli as she stops, smiling.

Milli: There you are.

The man speaks icily, and sounds rather Austrian.

Man: Is there something you want, Miss?
Milli: Uh... yeah... I was looking for my friends?
Man: This is my home. There is no-one living here besides us.
Milli: At the moment... What are you doing with all this stuff?
Man: Nothing now.
Milli: Oh. Well. I thought you were going to say 'experiments' or something.
Man: Well, I was gauging the electrical activity in the atmosphere until you started unplugging things.
Milli: Oh, uh... sorry?
Man: Not to worry. When one reaches my age, one learns to take the long view.
Milli: And how old is that?
Man: You ask a lot of questions, girl. You're not a Watcher, are you?
Milli: (warily) Um, okay, this is...
Man: I should have known better than to come back to Britain. It's crawling with Watchers...
Milli: How long have you been away?
Man: Oh, since the Eighteen Sixties.
Milli: Eighteen -
Man: Sixties.
Milli: ... I just came up from Edinburgh. Were you there when the bodysnatching was going on?
Man: For a while. Haven't been back since. Is the food still as bad?
Milli: Um...
Man: Besides. It doesn't do to go around murdering people for specimens. The bodies get resentful and try to hunt you down. It's difficult to gather much useful data in such a situation.
Milli: But why out here? People die in cities all the time. Like, way more often.
Man: But the spark leaves so quickly, and the authorities take up so much of the time...

Milli watches him warily as he paces the floor, talking to himself as much as her.

Milli: You know this is wrong. Don't you?
Man: Hm?

He looks puzzled by the question.

Milli: That guy, he was in town looking for brains.
Man: His own was damaged in the crash.
Milli: Would he have killed for one?
Man: Probably. Men have killed for far less.
Milli: You can't keep doing this.
Man: Yes, definitely a Watcher... not a Slayer, judging by the readings... interesting, though...
Milli: You've met Watchers before. We stopped you then?
Man: For a time. Am I on file?
Milli: Could be. What's your name?
Man: Oh, I do beg your pardon. Henry Frankenstein.
Milli: Oh, bloody Hell...

CUT!
 

Craig Oxbrow

Ah, y'know. This guy.
Validated User
The Watch House Season Five, Episode One, Act Three

Milli: Frankenstein?
Frankenstein: Frankenstein. Sh.
Milli: As in... Doctor?
Frankenstein: Emeritus, BSc. Never actually practised medicine though.
Milli: I thought you were -
Frankenstein: Dead?
Milli: Fictional.
Frankenstein: I get that a lot.
Milli: Yeah.
Frankenstein: Annoying, really... What, would you like an autograph?
Milli: Well, actually, my friend William - never mind. I came here to stop you.
Frankenstein: By yourself?

She looks a little nervous.

Frankenstein: Why?
Milli: Those people you've been bringing back...

She trails off. He looks at her questioningly, and for a moment she looks almost hopeful.

Milli: ... Do they remember?
Frankenstein: Some do, some do not.

He looks sidelong at her, narrowing his eyes, studying her.

Frankenstein: You did...
Milli: ... I was only kinda dead.
Frankenstein: I thought as much. Perhaps we could compare notes. What did you see? That is the question, after all.
Milli: I wasn't shown that bit.
Frankenstein: How disappointing. Still, not unprecedented.
Milli: But I know death isn't the end...
Frankenstein: Yes, you are proof of that.
Milli: I mean the soul.
Frankenstein: Hmph.
Milli: You don't believe in the soul?
Frankenstein: I believe in the spark. Energy. Consciousness lingers a while, perhaps becoming trapped by traumatic circumstances, but the mind is quite distinct from the "soul".
Milli: No. No, it's not. Don't say that.
Frankenstein: I have seen hundreds die. Have you?
Milli: I know the soul exists. And they're supposed to go somewhere when we die. Somewhere... peaceful, where they're happy... (swallows hard) And these people aren't at rest.
Frankenstein: Nor should they be.
Milli: Look, here's the thing. Fact is, we have souls, and...
Frankenstein: And?
Milli: And I can't let you do this.

Frankenstein smirks.

Milli: Death is a horrible thing. You know that. And... nobody should have to remember dying. Ever.
Frankenstein: And you do.

She shakes her head.

Frankenstein: Not only your own... but... someone else. And you wonder...

She narrows her eyes, hurt and angry.

Milli: Don't bring him into this! No. You have to stop this.
Frankenstein: So bright, so fiery... With an essence like yours I could revive dozens! Think of it! One life for a score! The lives of good and worthy people - Geniuses! Artists!

Milli flinches as he mentions artists, then her expression hardens.

Frankenstein: Isn't that fair?

He quickly draws a revolver from his robe pocket.

Frankenstein: Isn't that worth dying for?

Milli blanches - and dives to the side, behind the standing gurney. As bullets ricochet off it, she rolls it over, smacking the gun out of Frankenstein's hand.

Frankenstein: Verdammt!

She swings around the gurney and plants a boot in his chest, and he stumbles back. As she presses the attack, he blocks a punch and takes another to the gut, with a dull clank.

Milli: ... You're not even human...
Frankenstein: (defensively) I am in parts.
Milli: I'm gonna find out which parts.

She brings her sword down on him. Frankenstein blocks with his forearm, and a clear fluid runs slowly out of the wound.

Milli: Eww...

As she gapes at it, he smiles thinly and draws back, grabs her by the collar and throws her through the door. It smashes and she lands outside.

She rolls down the hill, pushes herself to her feet, and looks back to see Frankenstein barrelling towards her at speed.

Milli: Metal. I got... nothing for metal... electricity or... heavy objects...

She turns mid-stumble and goes over to the four-wheel drive, smashing the driver's window with the pommel of her sword and opening the door.

Milli: Really should learn to drive properly...

She kicks the accelerator and the car jerks forwards. Frankenstein leaps onto the bonnet and aims a kick at the windshield, so she hits reverse and throws him off, then starts reversing down the hill, slewing from side to side. She puts on the brakes and stops before it hits a tree. Looking back up the hill, she sees Frankenstein stalking back into his tower. She nods and drives off slowly, clutching her side and wincing.

Milli: Think think... think think... what's gonna work, what's gonna work... get back to the B and B... also, ow...

Then she pauses as she sees a figure in the road ahead, silhouetted against the pre-dawn skyline. She looks around for more, and when she looks back he stands right in front of her. She stomps on the brakes again.

Her brow furrows as she sees a man standing over seven feet tall, dressed in weathered rags and tatters, with lank black hair framing a strong face, marked with surgical scars.

The Creature: Good morning!
Milli: Oh... yes...?

Milli grabs her bag and slings it over her shoulder, gripping the hilt of her sword inside it, as she steps out.

Milli: Nice... time for a walk.

The Creature nods.

The Creature: Not many people about at this hour.
Milli: Yeah, there's that...
The Creature: And I do enjoy the dawn chorus as well.
Milli: I guess you don't much like seeing people.
The Creature: More that they don't much like seeing me. You were moving at speed towards the town, I note.
Milli: And you were moving away.
The Creature: Well, more that I was moving towards the tower.
Milli: And I was moving away from it...
The Creature: So you were. May I ask why you were fleeing?
Milli: Could I ask why you were lurking?
The Creature: Force of habit, I'm afraid. Tea?

Milli blinks.

Milli: Um... By that do you mean "I'd like to eat your brains"?
The Creature: ... No.

Milli nods slightly.

The Creature: I do have some macaroons.
Milli: Oh. Well. That would be... better.
The Creature: I do want to put my feet up. I have been travelling for some time.
Milli: I see. Tell, me, Mister...
The Creature: I have no name.

She raises her eyebrows.

Milli: He created you. When?
The Creature: I am his first, near as old as he.
Milli: Ohh. You're that one.
The Creature: And I mean to be his last.

He looks thoughtful and grim for a moment.

Milli: So, do I... call you monster?
The Creature: I would rather you not.
Milli: Henry Junior?
The Creature: Definitely not.

He raises an eyebrow.

Milli: Adam?
The Creature: That one never suited me.
Milli: ... John?
The Creature: Like John Doe?
Milli: I guess.
The Creature: If it makes you more comfortable.
Milli: Well, it's more comfortable than 'monster'.
The Creature: I suppose, yes.
Milli: And... you seem less monstrous than your dad. John it is. If that's okay.
The Creature: By all means. Tea?
Milli: I don't suppose you have any coffee?
The Creature: Sorry. It always makes my left leg twitch.
Milli: (cringes) Tea it is.


--
The Creature holds the door of a battered mobile home open for Milli.

She looks around at the cramped confines, full of antiques, souvenirs and rare books.

Milli: Quite a collection.
The Creature: Mark of a long life...

He arches an eyebrow as she sets her bag down with an audible clink of metal on metal.

The Creature: You're not a Slayer, are you?
Milli: Me? Oh, good God no. I'm just, um...

She pauses, considering what to say, then decides, sounding definite.

Milli: I'm a Watcher Prentice.
The Creature: Well, training seems quite rigorous these days, sending you to deal with someone like my creator by yourself.
Milli: Well, actually I was... on a sabbatical.

The Creature looks up from retrieving a tea strainer.

The Creature: Ah. Did you follow reports here, or is this blind bad luck on your part?
Milli: I was given a report.
The Creature: (nods) I see.
Milli: But... I chose to look into it. So... what about you? What is it you do? This kind of thing?
The Creature: My creator and I... we do not get on well.
Milli: So the story goes. Are you here to kill him?
The Creature: That is the plan. Of course, we have killed one another a few times now and then... Sugar?
Milli: ... One please.

The Creature drops on lump into a china cup and hands it to her on a saucer.

The Creature: Last time, I ripped his arm off.
Milli: He got a new one.
The Creature: Metal, or... someone else's?
Milli: ... Bit of both, I guess. (grimaces)
The Creature: Hm.
Milli: So... I'll help. With the eating macaroons.
The Creature: Oh, yes, feel free.
Milli: And, also, with the fighting him. He needs to be stopped.

The Creature nods slightly.

The Creature: Might I ask your reasons?
Milli: Oh. The stealing corpses thing hit a nerve. (quietly) My... my boyfriend just died.
The Creature: I'm sorry.
Milli: Well, actually, he didn't die exactly, he got... sired by a vampire.
The Creature: Ah.
Milli: And then he was possessed by the evil spirit who gave his family psychic powers.
The Creature: (confused) ... Ah...
Milli: And I had to destroy him. Well... his body.
The Creature: I see.
Milli: I couldn't have done it without the help of his soul, though.
The Creature: (surprised) Ahh. That must have been difficult.
Milli: Well, I had also kinda... done it before.
The Creature: (confused again) Oh?
Milli: I died here.
The Creature: (still confused) In Scotland?
Milli: No, in Cambridge.
The Creature: (very confused) I see. It's very... nice there.
Milli: And then my best friend brought me back.
The Creature: Really?
Milli: From a magically divergent reality.
The Creature: ... Oh...
Milli: Where I'd already killed my boyfriend before, because he'd gotten possessed by his evil ancestor spirit about a year earlier.
The Creature: Was... he... a vampire there?
Milli: No.
The Creature: Ah. Well. (blinks) Even so, I can honestly say that's a new one. Even to me.
Milli: I do try to be different.
The Creature: ... Hm.

Milli shrugs.

Milli: Hence the sabbatical. In Edinburgh -
The Creature: Oh, did you see the Tattoo? I hear it's excellent...
Milli: Not this time.
The Creature: Well, no. I suppose... all those... bagpipes...

The Creature finishes his cup of tea, and then looks through the curtains.

The Creature: He'll come looking.
Milli: Yeah, I think he wants to use me as some kind of... battery.
The Creature: Oh. I meant for the car, really.
Milli: That too. But apparently I'm really energy-efficient. Twelve people just from me. (downcast) Or I'm wasting my potential or something...
The Creature: It doesn't sound like it to me.

She looks up at him, surprised.

Milli: Anyway. I had other ideas. Youth of today and all that. And also... it's my duty.
The Creature: Good.
Milli: So, if we're going after him... I advise taking him out first, tearing his tower down afterwards.
The Creature: Very true. I made that mistake in Budapest in 1872.
Milli: I did it a couple years ago.

The Creature nods.

The Creature: So, what is in this bag of yours?
Milli: My sword, a couple daggers, a crossbow... standard issue, really.
The Creature: No explosives?
Milli: No.
The Creature: Shame.
Milli: We try not to... draw attention to ourselves. That much.
The Creature: Good idea. Anyway, I thought it might help, as fire can harm me more than most forms of damage. So I would only use it myself as a last resort.
Milli: I could set light to a couple of my crossbow bolts.
The Creature: We may need something bigger -

His train of thought is interrupted by something smashing into the side of the mobile home, sending it rocking from side to side.

Milli: The hell?
The Creature: To arms!

Looking outside, they see an animated corpse driving Frankenstein's four wheel drive, reversing it up to slam it into the Creature's mobile home again.

Milli: Have you got any petrol?
The Creature: Not much.
Milli: You distract him, I'll... think of something.
The Creature: If needs be, I can always let him run me over and then push the car off its wheels.
Milli: Call that Plan B?
The Creature: Glad to.

Milli climbs out of the rear window as the Creature stalks out of the front door, punching through the bonnet into the engine. Milli charges around the side, jumps onto the car's running boards and cuts the corpse's head off.

The Creature: Good work. I'm... not used to working with a partner.
Milli: I guess I am...

She looks lost for a moment, then shakes it off.

Milli: Can you drive? Oh, wait, you have a mobile home, I guess you can...
The Creature: I fear that I may have killed the engine.
Milli: Damn.
The Creature: Not to worry. If nothing else, he has provided us with a handy can of fuel.
Milli: Hm. Does he sleep at night?
The Creature: Sometimes. Sometimes he goes for months without. Sometimes he rests for weeks on end.
Milli: At the moment?
The Creature: He's probably keeping himself awake with shocks.
Milli: Hrm.
The Creature: Not something you can do.
Milli: Don't worry about me. I won't be winning any beauty contests, but I'm fine...
The Creature: As long as you're sure... Come on.


--
They head up the hill, pausing as they look over at the tower.

Milli: Okay. The plan is... go around the back. I'll cover the lab in petrol, put a rag in the top of the can and light it, set a fire in the basement. That's the plan. Unless there's a better plan?
The Creature: Have you looked in the basement?
Milli: Uh, no...
The Creature: Best not to rely on what you find there, then...

And then they see lightning crackle overhead, and movement at the top of the tower.

Milli: Change of plan. We have to stop him doing that.
The Creature: I can get up there. Can you?
Milli: Inside, sure.
The Creature: I meant outside...

He leaps ten feet into the air and grabs the side of the tower, and starts climbing slowly upwards.

The Creature: Take care, Miss...
Milli: Milli. You too.

She runs inside, drops the fuel can, grabs a ladder and starts climbing.


--
Outside, the Creature climbs with slow, endless determination as thunder rumbles overhead.

Frankenstein adjusts the settings on the central table, raised overhead, with the last corpse from the accident strapped to it. He hooks a cattle prod to one of the legs of the table.

The Creature: This ends tonight!
Frankenstein: Oh, look who it is.

Milli pushes open the trap door ad hauls herself up onto the roof, just in time to see Frankenstein unsheathe an antique cavalry sabre - and cut off the Creature's head.

The Creature's headless body unbalances and sinks to its knees as his head falls to the ground below.

Milli: John!

Frankenstein turns and looks at her with a thin smile.

Frankenstein: Oh, is he going by John these days?

Frankenstein points his sabre with a flourish, and swings at Milli...

CUT!
 

Craig Oxbrow

Ah, y'know. This guy.
Validated User
The Watch House Season Five, Episode One, Act Four

Milli raises her short sword to parry Frankenstein's attack, and the impact of the blow sends her staggering sideways to regain her footing.

Frankenstein: You again. I rather hoped to track you down - you've saved me the effort.

He reaches back to pick up the cattle prod. She dives down, and he follows her.

He grips the gantry below as she retreats across it, swinging his sabre at her. She jumps to another plank as he strikes the cattle prod against the gantry, electricity sparking and hissing across it.

Sparks tumble to the ground, catching the spilled petrol, which starts to burn.

He kicks the pylon the plank attaches to and it creaks and slips to the side. As she jumps to the next level down, catching a girder with a winded groan, he clambers down - then stops as the cattle prod's power cable reaches its limit and pulls him back. He looks down at her, at the fire crossing the floor, and then up at the trapdoor into the roof, with a smile.

She climbs up after him as the fire spreads below her, and reaches the trapdoor as he pushes it shut.

She dives through it, rolls past him, grabs the cattle prod and rounds on him - then quickly lets go as electricity crackles overhead and arcs towards the lightning rod attached to the table.

He circles around her, smiling.

Frankenstein: Now, we shall see who is right about what happens when you die.

He feints towards her right, she parries and steps forwards, he pushes back.

Her heel taps against the wall around the tower roof. One misstep will push her over. So she pushes against it and lunges at him. He blocks her thrust, slamming her sword to the floor and jarring her hand as it strikes stone.

Frankenstein: This has been quite exhilarating. Now die!

He raises his sabre to bring it down on her head. She looks up at a flash of light in the sky.

Milli: Actually, I think I'm gonna live.

She punches his wrist as it descends and it spins back, and the tip of his sabre catches the lightning rod. He tugs it for a moment - and then lightning arcs down and into it.

Milli throws herself to the floor as we see Frankenstein lit up from within, an X-ray of his skeleton lined heavily with metal struts and bolts, and then he collapses, burning, as the tower starts to give way.

Milli sways to stay upright as the floor tilts under her, then runs and leaps into the branches of a tree as the entire tower falls to the ground.

The storm passes and the sun comes out.

She climbs down, wincing in pain, and looks at the wreckage. The tower collapsing put out the fire, and black smoke rises through the piles of stones.

Milli: John?
The Creature: Over here...

She runs over, to find his head lying in the grass.

The Creature: And also over there.

He looks over, and she follows his gaze to find his body lying half buried in the rubble, its free arm working to move the stones away. She limps over to help his body out. She offers her hand to pull him up and he takes it, then walks stiffly over to his head and retrieves it.

Milli: I thought you were...
The Creature: Ohh, this is far from the worst I've suffered. It's a nice neat cut, after all. Give my some strong thread and some galvanism and I shall recover full well in time... Not that I have need to, now. My own Great Work is done. And for that, I have you to thank...
Milli: Look... There's a lot of good you could do.
The Creature: Hm?
Milli: You have all this knowledge, all this strength, and you're... a good person. Not like your creator. You can't give up. Never give up. No matter what you've gone through...

He gazes at her for a moment, thoughtfully.

Milli: The Watchers could always use help, believe me.
The Creature: Yes... That is true.

Milli: I could speak to my tutor about it.
The Creature: There is much good in the world. Much worth fighting for.

She nods slightly.

Milli: So, where to now?
The Creature: North, for now.
Milli: I hear Canada's nice.
The Creature: I've heard that too. You? Where will you go?
Milli: Home.

She looks up.

Milli: I've allowed myself to wallow for too long.

The Creature nods.

Milli: The bad guys don't stop, so neither should I.
The Creature: Good. And should you ever need my aid...
Milli: You can contact me here.

She copies down the office phone number, and her own mobile number. He takes the note, and retrieves a battered mobile phone, held together with sticking plasters.

The Creature: I can always get a signal.

He taps his arm and smiles slightly. She raises her eyebrows and smiles queasily.


--
Milli returns to the B&B to pick up her bags.

Mrs. McCail: Oh, good morning dear. I wasn't expecting you... to be outside...
Milli: Yeah, sorry about that. I couldn't sleep.
Mrs McCail: Oh, I hope it wasn't the room?
Milli: No, I just had a lot of stuff in my head. Things to deal with.
Mrs. McCail: Ahh, right you are. Breakfast?
Milli: Please. And then I need to find out the times for the train. I should be getting home.


--
The camera flies above the train again, cut with a shot of Milli asleep in her seat.

Announcer: Cambridge, five minutes.

She opens her eyes and smiles faintly.


--
Milli arrives at the office. Escher smiles wanly and puts an arm around her. She sees William's cane and grimaces. Charlotte keeps her distance. Milli glances at her and nods, as William hugs her.

CREDITS!


Escher looking at a postcard.

Escher: "Dear Milli: Montreal very pleasant, people not overly alarmed by me. John F..."

Executive Producer Joss Whedon


Outtakes: Milli looking miserable, Rog raising his eyebrows and Milli cracking up laughing. Five times.


Bill Bailey steps onto stage with an electric guitar slung low and starts up a riff on Ash's Evil Eye.

Milli Versus Frankenstein
She's far from fine
Oh, her eyes have lost their shine...
She lost too much to the night
She might give up the fight...

Da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da

Milli Versus Frankenstein
She's far from fine
Oh that girl she's lost the light
She needs
To fight
Lost too much to the night
Shivers running down my spi-ee-ii-iine
Milli Versus Frankenstein
She's fine...

Da-da-da-da da-da-da daaaaaa!


The Mutant Enemy with a flat-top head and bolts in its neck

GRR! ARG!
 

Craig Oxbrow

Ah, y'know. This guy.
Validated User
The Watch House Season Five, Episode One, follow-up

Next time on The Watch House:

Milli and William on the History Society stall at the Freshers' Fair, looking grumpy.

Escher putting his phone down, looking grumpy.

Natalie in the cave where the First Slayer was empowered, looking grumpy.

Matthew on patrol, looking grumpy.

Andy at the bar, looking cheerful.

The next episode of The Watch House is Families.


--
DVD Commentary

(Rog: Lilli Whitheurst. As I live an' breathe!)
Craig: This scene was meant to indicate just how miserable our hero is, by having her not laugh no matter what an old friend of hers - played by Bill Bailey - does. And of course this is the most reshoots we've ever had to do in a non-stunt shot, as Sophia, Cat or I kept laughing in every single take...
Cat: He just raises his eyebrows and I start laughing.

(She heads into the B&B.)
Craig: Not sleeping rough?
Cat: Probably not sleeping, but a B&B is a house, so it'll keep uninvited vampires out.

(Apart from her jacket and boots, the only things she wears that aren't new are her cross and her ring.)
Cat: She's so minimalist.
Craig: And cut off from herself.
Cat: That too.

(Mrs. McCail: They were being kept in Doctor Robertson's office until the coroner was due to come tomorrow.)
Cat: Was that deliberate?
Craig: Well, it was that or a Balamory joke, and there doesn't appear to be a doctor in Balamory...

(Milli: Get the police. There's been a murder.)
Cat: Spot the Taggart reference.
Craig: We're so highbrow here.

(Milli: Oh, what an awful... business...)
Cat: Yes, we made it a running gag.
Craig: I have no idea why we made it a running gag, but we did.

(Milli and Frankenstein discuss his experiments.)
Craig: With Milli having lost the person she loves in the previous season, Frankenstein's reasons had to be attractive to her. There had to be that temptation to try and bring Jake again - and she had to reject the possibility.

(Frankenstein knocks Milli through the door.)
Craig: And then there had to be a big fight.

(The Creature)
Craig: Buffy and Angel's regular effects crew at Almost Human created this design of the Creature for an adaptation of the book, which is worth looking at. I naturally considered the Karloff version, but I like this depiction, based on the book, that he's a handsome guy gone very wrong.

(Milli: I'm a Watcher Prentice.)
Cat: If she's going to be decisive about it, she'd use the correct terminology I think.

(Milli: Milli: Oh. The stealing corpses thing hit a nerve. (quietly) My... my boyfriend just died.)
Craig: She manages to be quietly sad while explaining all of this really convoluted and surreal backstory to the Frankenstein Creature. That makes it really funny, to me at least.

(The Creature: My own Great Work is done.)
Craig: "I have been in the revenge business so long I do not know what else I can do."
Cat: "Have you considered piracy? You'd make an excellent Dread Pirate Roberts."

(Milli: You can't give up. Never give up. No matter what you've been through...)
Cat: Of course, she needs to hear this as much as he does.

(The Creature: There is much good in the world. Much worth fighting for.)
Craig: Frankenstein. Coming soon to BBC3.

(The end credits song)
Craig: Since every episode of The Watch House has taken its name from the title or lyrics of a song, we obviously had to get Bill to compose a Milli Versus Frankenstein song so we could keep the theme intact.
Cat: Obviously.
Craig: ... It made sense in my head...


--
Actual Play bit

I'd been threatening to run an episode called Milli Versus Frankenstein since the middle of Season Two, following Milli after a traumatic season finale, but the start of Season Five was the perfect time for it, deliberately paralleling Buffy Versus Dracula while also modelled on the start of Buffy Season Three, Anne.

Season Five actually started in-game with 5.02, with Milli having resolved some of her issues and holding it together, doing the job. We actually played this after the end of the season, just Cat and I playing one-on-one.

We both had a lot of ideas about the visuals of the episode while playing it, and worked over the dialogue as I was taking notes, so this is the least editing and most direct transcribing I've done.
 

Varyar

Emilie Dequenne Fanboy
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Yay! New TWH!



You know you have to bring "John F" back now, right? The American demographic insists on it.
 

ScottL

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Yay! More Watch House!

(Thoughts while reading -- stream-of-consciousness...)

It's always good to see the (traumatic) events of past seasons take their toll on the characters. I'm reminded of the opening episode of BtVS Season 2, in which Buffy is acting out because of her death at the hands of the Master.

Ah. But now, reading further, I see it's more like the opening episode of Season 3 - which makes sense, since Milli is likewise suffering from dead boyfriend issues. :(

Was this a solo episode with Milli's player only, or were the other players around taking on the parts of different people this time? [Ah. Solo episode.]

I *loved* "Braiiins..." ! :)

"Frankenstein." Heh.

You know, I always felt a lot of sympathy for Dr. Frankenstein. He's trying to do a good thing: defeat death! If a few monsters result from the attempt, well, isn't it worth it? These are still beta tests. When he finally succeeds -- when he can bring back the dead without flaw -- then see if the naysayers will argue against it.

Heck, one could argue that 'John' is a success already. He's a sentient being who wouldn't otherwise exist.

Poooor misunderstood Dr. Frankenstein. :: sniff ::
 

iresprite

Pimping out Dances
Re: The Watch House Season Five, Episode One, follow-up

Actual Play bit

I'd been threatening to run an episode called Milli Versus Frankenstein since the middle of Season Two, following Milli after a traumatic season finale, but the start of Season Five was the perfect time for it, deliberately paralleling Buffy Versus Dracula while also modelled on the start of Buffy Season Three, Anne.
Ahh. I picked up on the 5.1 parallel, but I missed the 3.1 parallel with Anne. Good stuff!

We both had a lot of ideas about the visuals of the episode while playing it, and worked over the dialogue as I was taking notes, so this is the least editing and most direct transcribing I've done.
I really liked Milli's encounters with Rog as well as the two Watchers. It really got the feel of the Watchers down for me-- nasty business, indeed. And they get through it because that's their job. Very cool! Looking forward to more excellence.
 

makiboy

Retired User
Fantabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lovely simple episode setting things back to normal. Or normal for watchers anyway.
Keep it all coming please :)
 
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