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Friday 22 June 2012

Return Of The Native

How the ending of Many Happy Returns could have been, according to the original script.

Mrs. Butterworth, now wearing the badge of No.2, walks in, with the village loudspeakers playing "Happy Birthday To You." She is holding a large birthday cake with six candles on it. She sets it down on the table and walks towards No.6 who is shattered. From her pocket, Mrs. Butterworth takes a package tied with pink ribbon and hands it to him. He rips it open to reveal his cassette of film, stolen from the locker and replaced with a blank roll.
Mrs. Butterworth: You see, there is no escape. So be sensible and tell me why you resigned.
No.6 just stares at her and then notices the wrapping paper from his present. He opens it fully to see it is the Village newspaper. The headlines read "PLANE LOST OVER SEA. NO HOPE OF SURVIVORS." No.6 looks up, Mrs. Butterworth is now standing by the open door, holding the cat under her arm
Mrs. Butterworth: Give in and enjoy being dead.
She leaves.
No.6: {screwing up the newspaper} I'll die first.

    So now you know who was to have had that black cat which saw No.6 set sail on his long journey. That very same black cat which No.2 of ‘Dance of the Dead,’ claimed to have been hers. Also, if the ending to the script had been maintained in Many Happy Returns, No.6 would have long been lost in an accident at sea, and that would surely have had a knock-on effect for ‘Dance of the Dead’. There would have been no need to have the dead man's face amended, nor the wallet in his pocket. That was probably used in this episode because the end of the script was altered for ‘Many Happy Returns.’ Because both episodes of ‘Many Happy Returns and Dance’ of the Dead were written by the same script writer, Anthony Skene. The idea that No.6 had died in an accident at sea had been cut from the script for the ending of Many Happy Returns, But Skene was able to write it into his next script Dance of the Dead, the black cat as well!

Be seeing you

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