End Of Time Team - A Play For Time

No Time Like The Present:

Looking forward in time to a scenario that never happened.

“You're messing with something that isn’t broke” Toby said. It’s 2020 the century of visionaries and following season 40 the channel no longer saw the Time Team programme as viable. The producer argued with Toby in a clash of ego's “It is broke, you know that viewings have crashed, look now, just give the new format a chance, it’s your only hope” pleaded the producer. Toby remained strenuously unconvinced about it all, after all he was an artist and his crew professional archaeologists  The format had always been what put it head and shoulders above anything else, you see it's reality tv with an insane deadline, three days of a relentlessly ticking clock and Toby to boot,  After running for many years though the producers had extracted every ounce of marrow from the bone. It was Toby against his better judgement now trying to convince the others to embrace change. He didn't like the new concept, script, content or format - it was cheese, leaping from the Pythonesque to the burlesque in a Carry On Digging farce that might see them all stoned in the ratings,  Ambivalent as ever Toby had to sell the idea to the team“Look we are radical, always have been, always will be".

 "Hear, hear" they quipped in agreement.

 "We're in trouble" Toby explained, "and it's time to call time on the time team".

"Nooooooooo" they cried out in anguished unison while Bill scraped the mud off his boots.

"The ratings have flatlined. We've got to look beyond 15 years of grave goods to a future that's braver, sexier, bonier, to one that has all of our original values plus a big named guest" Toby enticed.

  Bill Harding scratched his head, how could he get any sexier?, but the team agreed all the same given the size or their mortgages and the length of unemployment queues, and the rest as they say is history. Here is how it played out till the end of time. This is the story of the last episode that never made it to air. 

Action:

Day 1

Toby: This week is a Time Team special and archaeology doesn’t come any better than this. We have a hypothesis and three days using experimental archaeology, cutting edge techniques and Bill Harding to prove it. This episode it's our goal to establish how the unintelligent design of the universe came about, and we will be joined by Sir Gavin Battenborough who will be giving us his own unique insights".

Toby: “Sir Gavin, if evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology with some missing links, is this because we just haven't found them yet?”

Gavin: “The transition from the first living cells into homo sapiens took millions of years Toby. However, evolution hypothesis can be tested even if physical evidence is lacking, much like the periodic table, where we were able to extrapolate what the missing elements were".

Tony: “Quite, extrapolation. So Sir Gavin what do you think of Bill?”

Gavin: “I find him quite interesting, we have sampled Bill and the teams DNA in a unique experiment that will provide us with a direct comparison with our ancestors”.

Toby: “It isn’t brain surgery then is it Sir Gavin, or maybe it could be?”

Gavin: “Only if someone on the team is found to be some form of convergent evolution" Gavin laughed, "but it would be absurd to think we have found the missing link".

Toby: “In three days all will be revealed but now we need to get on with the dig”.

Bill:” This trowel lurks very exciting indeed”.

Toby: “Yes, this simple tool has been at the centre of every dig”.

Bill works at the mud “Hello, whurt the devil is thart? I’ve cleared back all the layers, good lard, good lard”. Bill carefully places some relics in a tray. 

Toby: “What is it?”

Bill: “Oi don’t know” Bill scratches his head. “No mur to say”.

Toby: “Day one, as usual it’s started to rain and who knows what we might find after lunch”.

The crew return after lunch. Toby: “You’re back Bill”.

Bill: “I owes yer nurfing and yer name is mud".

Toby: “With just two days to go Bill is digging a new trench and sulking. Our experts have cleaned the artifacts and consensus is they are iron needles. Rasika is in Bill's old trench. What have you got Rasika?”

Rasika wipes her dirty hands on her breasts. “Plenty, we have uncovered part of a skeleton, which has got us very excited, there’s a bit of white fabric perhaps from a shroud. We are now working as fast as we can but it's getting dark fast”. Rasika bends over sexily in the impending darkness for a lascivious audience.

Day 2

Tony: “Rasika, yesterday you uncovered skeletal remains, what can we expect today”.

Rasika bent over the remains with a brush provocatively. “Today is a real boner, from the pelvis we think this is a man, the skull has a well defined brow. We have all been on quite a buzz actually. Fenella checked parish records which suggest the man buried here is called ‘Mullo’. Rasika smiles at Tony with her newly budded fangs.

Tony: “There we have it, the Mullo family, over to our historian Fenella, when did the Mullo’s arrive here?

Fenella removes her glasses to reveal herself a very attractive, large breasted female with a professors mind and impossibly small waist: “This was a Romany settlement during the 15th century Toby and they made a living as tinkers, repairing pots and cookware. This pot here has bite marks on it which someone has obviously tried to repair”.

Toby: “So the artifacts are bbq skewers”. Fenella: “Exactly”. Toby: “Running across the site I’m trying to find Sir Gavin, has anyone seen Sir Gavin?”

Toby: “Gavin is in the library with geophys”. Gavin looks dark and bloated “Sir Gavin, are you ok”. “Yes, I think I ate something bad, I’ll be alright”. Geophys sit at the bench, staring blankly.

 Toby: “Tomorrow is our last day on site, after which we will all join you in the studio  when we will pull this whole thing together”.

Short Of Time

Day 3 in the studio. The team all return from the field.

Action:

“Toby: “Sir Gavin, what is unintelligent design?” 

Sir Gavin wipes blood from his face with a hanky.

He replies“Intelligent design goes hand in hand with those who say there is a designer, a creator, but unintelligent design arises from what we call an accident. Gavin puts a straw to Toby’s neck and takes small sips. “Mitochondrial Eve and y chromosome Adam were just amino’s, and sugars”.

Bill: “How did he eat the apple then? Sur, the bodies I dig up all of ’em have the chemical building blocks fur life but narn of them gets up and walks arf”.

Rasika moves closer to Bill who hits her with a shovel to the floor.

Gavin: “Some do Bill, some do get up and walk”

Bill: “Who?”

Fenella removes her blouse and glasses her teeth glisten with geophys blood: 

“The undead Bill" says Fenella "they do get up and walk - Mullo’s not a family surname" she rants ecstatically, "those artifacts aren't for the bbq they were metal stakes to drive into the heart, the Mullo are vampires” she ended triumphantly pulling her fingers through her wild hair. Fenella had obviously done her research.

Rasika arises horrifically from the floor. Sir Gavin laughs nervously “Superstitious nonsense”. Toby turns over a mirror and blushes while geophys sit staring no longer on the radar.

Toby: “Day three and it’s hard to get to the point. Sir Gavin, what do the results of your study show us?”

Gavin: “Bill’s human origins are the same as the rest of us, but we did identify one small difference and that is a gene specific to the west country. It is responsible for the bad hair and lovely legs, but furthermore, he also carries a special  chromosome, now Toby this is rather special, it is the chromosome for genius!"

They all gasp at the revelation that Bill is in actuality at the pinnacle of human evolution.

Toby: “Fuck”. 

Bill: “Good lard, isn’t that ermazing”.

Cut, cut, go to adverts:

 The TV crew are complaining about sharp bites which had been put down to ticks, 

Toby: "Hold on, hold on, look Rasika is devouring a camera man’s neck, that's no tick",

Bill laughs while supping from Sir Gavin with a straw, in between quick bites at geophys. "Blood Blood gl-erious blood, nothing quite like it for wettin the mud, so swallow man swallow, like yer legs are hollow, and then lerts all wallow in gl-erious blood.

Toby is fighting off Fenella. The studio is turning into a bloodbath.

Then a knock on the studio door.

"Health and Safety" someone calls,  everyone freezes, as in steps an anal looking officer.

“Health and safety advise you to STOP.  Failure to stop will result in a dousing with this holy water". He holds a container aloft. marked Peckham Springs. 

An exorcist makes an entrance.

Everyone hisses.

“Nurt before time” says Bill.

The End.

Truly that was the last episode, it never reached our screens for various religious and disgustation reasons of poor taste. Time was finally up for the Team, not because of the new format with its sexual content, or the thinly disguised innuendo and hostility between the presenter and cast. Neither was it remotely anything to do with the unintelligent design of the universe. Sir Gavin Battenborough, a national treasure, made a full recovery. No, it was because they had breached both UK and EU health and safety laws. Archaeologists were harmed during the filming of this production, some suffered blood lust, puncture marks, death or died, or were undead while others were sexually exploited gratuitously and then deceased.   No priests were harmed but none were actually trained sufficiently to deal proficiently with the health and safety risks posed by a supernatural event. What happened to the film?, well it's locked safely in the vaults of hell where it belongs for all eternity on UK Gold. There is no budget for any further incarnations or reincarnations, alas it is the end unless you can wake the dead...... 

Darcy Quinn

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