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                                    THE LOST BOYS 

                                          by 

                                    ANDREW BIRKIN 

                                       

A TRILOGY FOR BBC TELEVISION
BASED ON MATERIAL RESEARCHED BY ANDREW BIRKIN AND SHARON GOODE

BBC PUBLICATIONS

Published by the British Broadcasting Corporation 35 Marylebone High Street London WIN 4AA

First published in Great Britain 1980
Copyright 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980 by Andrew Birkin and Laurentic Film Productions Ltd ISBN 0 563 17783 7 Reproduced from the author's original typescript and originally printed by Whitstable Litho Scanned and converted into Final Draft 2004



INTRODUCTION By Louis Marks The project which eventually reached the screen as The Lost Boys first came to me in the early summer of 1975 in the form of a six-page outline. Its author, Andrew Birkin, was unknown to me, although I had heard that he worked earlier that year as co-adaptor on the ATV musical version of Peter Pan starring Mia Farrow and Danny Kaye. Unfortunately his talents were not appreciated by the producers and very little of his additional dialogue survived, but while hanging round the studios Andrew had begun reading about J M Barrie and had become fascinated by the extraordinary little Scotsman from whose remarkable imagination had sprung the idea of the boy who wouldn't grow up. Andrew's fascination communicated itself to me through his outline, and I too became hooked. At this stage the shape of the project was vague. In his outline Andrew had begun the story in Barrie's childhood at the time of the death of his elder brother David in a skating accident. Many biographers, including Barrie himself in his semi-autobiographical Margaret Ogilvy, have stressed the vital formative influence of the emotional trauma associated with this tragic event, in particular the little boy's pathetic attempts to replace the favourite dead son in his mother's affections and the sense of failure and rejection which resulted. Starting at this point, the outline proceeded to trace biographically Barrie's life, concentrating on his involvement with the Llewelyn Davies family, but going beyond the point of Michael's death. Clearly there was too much material to be contained in one play, and Andrew had suggested various combinations of episodes to cover the story. Knowing that I had available to me in the 1976 production schedules three 50-minute slots, I plumped for this as the most suitable shape, partly from a sense of realism, but also not without some liking for the trilogy as an effective form for television drama. Andrew was commissioned in November 1975, and I looked forward to receiving the first part early in 1976. This would be in good time to set up the production in the normal way for the autumn. But nothing about The Lost Boys was to be normal. My absolute deadline for receiving the finished trilogy of scripts was June 1976. In May, Andrew finally delivered Part One, and clearly we had a problem. Some scenes were magic, like the one in which Barrie first visited the boys' nursery and told them the story of the cough. This survived unchanged to the final shooting script - as indeed did most of the scenes in the trilogy involving the boys. But other scenes were a producer's nightmare in terms of the number of characters and reproduction of historical backgrounds. More important, this first script used a full 50 minutes to tell only half the story to be included in Episode One. At this rate we would need six episodes, not three, and clearly the chances of them being written in time to meet the autumn production dates were remote. And if not then, when? Studio slots not taken up have a habit of being taken over by another production, and no one can ever guarantee remounting a production at a later date when new projects are already under way. Andrew's problem was that he had hit a goldmine. During that winter he had been introduced, through his co researcher Sharon Goode, to the last surviving Llewelyn Davies son, Nico, then in his seventies. At first suspicious of anyone who might want to capitalise on his family's tragic story or in any way misrepresent 'Uncle Jim', Nico soon warmed to the project and made available a wealth of material: dairies, hundreds of letters, photographs, his late brother Peter's unpublished memoirs, and, not least, his own memories. Some of this had been used before in biographies of Barrie, but most had not. And Andrew soon discovered that much of what had been used had often been misunderstood or even mistranscribed. What was being offered to Andrew through the generosity of Nico Llewelyn Davies was a unique chance to reconstruct the story of Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies family with an unprecedented degree of detail and authenticity. I remember many occasions at this time when he would come into my office at the BBC bearing armfuls of material of the most evocative and moving kind: George's pencil-written letters from the trenches in the First World War, still in their original envelopes with army field post office stamps; Barrie's photographs of the boys playing games at Black Lake and Egerton House; childish, clumsily scrawled notes from the four-year old Michael to 'Uncle Jim' and his own replies in backward mirror-writing; Sylvia's hand-written Will; the 'Confession Book' kept by Michael and Nico. So while half of me was impatiently awaiting the finished scripts to meet production deadlines, the other half was slowly realising that here was an opportunity to 'get it right' not to be missed. Finally I faced the fact that the autumn dates would have to be abandoned, and managed to secure three more studios for the following spring. But this was only part of the difficulty. With so much new material,. would Andrew even in this extended time be able to absorb it and work it effectively into good drama? On Andrew's part there was no doubting. Now sensing the possibility of being able to produce a work which would be definitive, he and Sharon set out with seemingly inexhaustible energy to research not only the Llewelyn Davies material, but every surviving record of J M Barrie. They tape-recorded, photostated, microfilmed, indexed, until Andrew's study came to be a Barrie museum. But as the mountains of material grew, so too did my fears. Drama, after all, is selection. More importantly it must be given life by a viewpoint, a clear statement of attitude. In the last analysis what goes onto the screen must be a play, a work of imagination, however much that imagination feeds itself on factual reality. During the summer of 1976, these doubts were thrashed out at numerous meetings between Andrew and myself. I remember one entire week when we sat together daily wrestling with the material, grappling with the dramatic necessities as well as the needs of historical truth. During those discussions, invigorating and infuriating by turns, I came to know Andrew better and to appreciate something of why this story of the lost boys was so important and personal to him, almost to the point of obsession, and why it was so vital for him to express himself and realise his own fullest potential through it. And because he cared so deeply for it there was never any danger that this would end up as merely another tele-biography, of the kind to which viewers have become so accustomed over recent years. Incidentally, it was at this time too that Andrew hit on the perfect solution to the problem of selection. The television trilogy would represent the distillation, the essence of the story told as a dramatic creation, but all the other material, including the original photographs, would go into the book which Andrew now felt impelled to write. The book would in fact be the 'documentary', in which the research material would be allowed to speak for itself, while Andrew Birkin the dramatist would express himself through the plays. The two works, taken together, would be complimentary, rather than mirror images as is the case in so many 'books of the film', and when J M Barrie and the Lost Boys was eventually published in 1979, it proved a major triumph in its own right, matching that of the television trilogy and winning wide critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Far from heading for disaster, therefore, I realised that the project was in fact growing into something much more exciting and demanding than had at first seemed possible. During the summer of 1976 I made the decision that there was no way in which the potential could be realised within the confines of three 50-minute episodes. More time, and - more importantly - a bigger budget were essential. Andrew and I both clung to the trilogy as the most suitable overall shape, but each play should run for about 90 minutes. But to have any hope of obtaining such resources I was told that I would have to wait until the following financial year - well into 1977. It was doubtful if they would be available even then. In November 1976 Andrew delivered Part Two and set to work on the last play while the fate of the series hung in the balance. But before Part Three arrived on my desk in February I learned that my own faith in what Andrew was creating was matched by my superiors at the BBC and the scheme was given the go-ahead. Production was finally set for the summer of 1977 and the end of the script process was in sight. In the event this plan too had to be abandoned. Pre production was well advanced when a sudden shortage of make up artists and property buyers made it impossible for the show to proceed. Again luck was on our side, since at the time when we would have been filming the Black Lake scenes, Ian Holm - whom we had been fortunate enough to cast as Barrie - was suffering a severe bout of chicken-pox. Also we were granted a further unlocked for award of that most precious of all commodities - time. Between the summer and early winter of 1977, the director - Rodney Bennett - Andrew and myself were able to go through the entire script again, clarifying details, solving practical problems, learning from the aborted summer production. (It was at this stage that some cuts were made which are indicated in this printed script by a line alongside the cut text. Some of these cuts were in fact made when the taped programmes were finally edited, but it was felt that readers might like to know exactly how the original script read.) By the time rehearsals eventually got under way in January 1978, we all felt a degree of confidence in the material which was now echoed by the actors and everyone involved in the production process. Rarely have I known a set of scripts which evoked such dedication and commitment from set and costume designers, make-up, cameramen, property buyers, lighting engineers as well as the production team. I believe it came to be as special an experience for them as it had for three years been to me. One last point about the scripts themselves. I have stressed all along that The Lost Boys is a trilogy of plays, a dramatic creation, not a documentary compilation. Plays explore, probing the characters and minds of their dramatis personae. For example, all the scenes between Barrie and the boys are wholly invented, though this does not mean they are untrue, since dramatic truth often goes deeper than documentary truth - as a poem is often truer than an Income Tax return. In the case of Barrie's letters and notebook entries used in the script, some of the text is verbatim, while other parts are invented (notably Barrie's letters to Sylvia and Michael in Part Three, the originals of which have been destroyed); in other words they are the author's best perception of what the truth might have been, blended with his own dramatic licence. For those who want the literal truth, Andrew wrote the book. LOUIS MARKS

PART ONE We Set Out To Be Wrecked

1 INT. TENEMENTS COTTAGE - PARLOUR. 1867. DAY [A pre-credit title prologue in SEPIA, the CAMERA remaining detached, the editing fragmentary, conveying the vagueness of a childhood memory rather than a cohesive sequence. In the event the sequence was never shot. All such sequences that were cut before shooting started are printed in italics] A darkened room, the blinds drawn. In foreground, the dim shape of an open coffin, standing on a table. Presently a door opens and a shaft of light falls across the coffin, revealing a dead child of twelve, DAVID Barrie. He is a boy of wayward grace and beauty, with golden hair and a soft, mocking smile, haunting and enigmatic. A small six-year-old boy, JAMES BARRIE, approaches the coffin from the open door, glancing cautiously over his shoulder to make sure he is not being followed. In contrast to his dead brother, Barrie is a somewhat ill-formed child: his body squat, truncated, with a head too large for his wiry body, his eyes baggy and puffed about the edges. He is wearing "mourning blacks" and has a black arm-band on his sleeve. Barrie climbs up on a chair and leans over the edge of the coffin, staring at the dead boy's smile with a look of bewildered fascination. BARRIE (a whisper) David ... Barrie leans forward, strokes the boy's hair, whispers to him in a strong Scots' dialect - BARRIE I lain lee, David - I lain 'ee. Someone calls from the passage beyond the room. JANE ANN (O.S.) Jimmie? Where are 'ee, Jimmie? Barrie glances round, then hurriedly climbs down from the chair and slides under the table. His elder sister, JANE ANN, enters the room. She is about 17, her voice hushed in the presence of her dead brother. JANE ANN (O.S.) Far hae ye gotten tae? From Barrie's nervous POV, Jane Ann moves about the room, looking for him. JANE ANN (O.S.) Are ve in here hoddin? Barrie cowers, tries to suppress a cough, fails. Jane Ann bends down and discovers him hiding under the table. JANE ANN Jimmie! Coom out o' there at eence! Barrie crawls out from under the table, and is dragged to his feet by Jane Ann - JANE ANN (sharply) James Barrie, think black burnin' shame o' yersel'! Does yer deed brither no' mean naethin' tae ye ava? Barrie glances at the coffin, then looks down at the floor. BARRIE (mumbling) I wasna daein' nae hairm. (pause) Why do he smile so? Jane Ann falters a moment, then shoes Barrie towards the door. JANE ANN Ben the hoose wi' ye before mither hears 'ee. Barrie pauses, suddenly bolts from the room. Jane Ann follows him out, closing the door behind her. CAMERA HOLDS on the dead boy in the foreground coffin, his smile still glinting in the gloom. 2 EXT. TENEMENTS COTTAGE & WINDOW. 1867. DAY [Sepia] FOUR MEN carry David's coffin from the cottage. As they pass foreground, CAMERA HOLDS on Barrie's face, watching them through a chink in the window blind beyond them. Presently Barrie turns away, the blind falling back across the pane. 3 INT. TENEMENTS COTTAGE - STAIRS. 1867. DAY [Sepia] Barrie sits huddled at the foot of a narrow staircase, his head tucked between his knees. A door opens on the landing above. DOCTOR (O.C., barely audible) Mak shure she taks thae ilka twa hoors. Ye maur gar her tak a richt diet. JANE ANN (O.C.) We've baith tried, my faither an' me. But we canna win through till her ava. We feels liksen she's no' aiven there inside her ain body. Barrie squeezes himself up tight against the wall as Jane Ann and the DOCTOR pass him on the stairs. DOCTOR Well that's nae uise ava. If she keeps on brakkin' her hert, there'll be nae betterment. Tell her she maun puit a stoot hert till a stey brae. CAMERA remains on Barrie as the Doctor leaves the house, closing the door behind him. Jane Ann is about to walk back upstairs when she notices that her brother is crying. JANE ANN Fat's vrang, Jimmie? BARRIE She disna care a docken aboot me. She minds aboot naebody but David. JANE ANN Fa? BARRIE Mither. She hes nae thocht for naebody but David. Jane Ann sits down on the stair beside him. A pause, then a thought comes to her. JANE ANN Ben ye gae tae her, Jimmie. Gae ben. Gaeng ben an' tell her she has anither laddie left. Barrie looks up at his sister; she smiles reassuringly, wiping away his tears. JANE ANN Awa' ye gae noo ... Gaeng an' tell her that. Gar her harken til ve, Jimmie. Barrie hesitates a moment, then goes upstairs. He knocks gently at a closed bedroom door. There is no reply. He glances back down at Jane Ann, who waves him on - JANE ANN Ben ye gae! A pause, then Barrie timidly opens the door. 4 INT. TENEMENTS COTTAGE - BEDROOM. 1867. DAY [Sepia] Barrie squeezes inside the door, shutting it fast behind him. The room is in semi-darkness, lit only by the thin rays of sunlight filtering in between the drawn curtains. A long pause, then a thin, listless voice whispers from the shadows - MARGARET OGILVY Is that you? [Sepia] Barrie peers into the darkness, dimly discerning the figure of his mother, MARGARET OGILVY, lying in bed. She gazes ahead of her as if in a trance, clutching at a small white christening robe. MARGARET OGILVY (an anxious whisper) Is that you? Margaret Ogilvy continues to gaze blankly at the void before her, as if addressing someone else. Barrie is evidently hurt by her question, and the tears brim in his eyes - BARRIE (almost ashamed) No, it's no' him - it's just me. A pause, then Margaret Ogilvy turns to him, holding out her arms. MARGARET OGILVY Jimmie. Barrie runs to his mother's arms, sobbing his heart out. MARGARET OGILVY Oh, Jimmie, Jimmie! Dinna ye ever laive me! Ye maun never laive me, my lief aliene. I canna dae wantin' ve! BARRIE I'll never laive ye, mither - no' ever! I'll gar ye laugh the way he did, an' whustle the way he did, an' plaise ye jeest like himsel'. I'll be him to ye forever, I'll aye dae'd! Margaret Ogilvy clings to her son, rocking him back and forth. MARGARET OGILVY Aye, laddie - but no' forever. BARRIE (hotly) Dae'd aye, mither! MARGARET OGILVY No, Jimmie. One day ye maun grow up an' become a man, but he'll stay my bairn forever. Barrie responds with a look of anguish, slowly transforming into one of grim, silent resolve. FADE OUT. 5 EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS. 1897. DAWN [Normal colour] FADE UP on the deserted Kensington Gardens in the autumn of 1897. The THEME MUSIC filters in over a series of dawn images, a montage of anticipation, conveying the mystery of the Gardens during Lock-Out Time: an elusive sanctuary from the urban sprawl of London, devoid of human intrusion. Each image lingers into the next, ending with the MAIN TITLE over a pair of parish boundary markers: two worn stones, said to mark the graves of two children who fell out of their perambulators while their nurse was looking the other way. 6 EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS - MAIN GATES. 1897. DAY The dawn tranquility ends with the unlocking of the park gates, allowing patrons to enter the Gardens: morning STROLLERS, NURSES wheeling perambulators, CHILDREN on their way to school. Conspicuous among the arrivals are two spectacularly attractive young boys, GEORGE and JACK LLEWELYN DAVIES, aged eight and seven respectively. They are dressed in white fur coats and bright red tam-o'shanters, and both carry large wooden hoops. Their eagerness to reach the Gardens is held in check by their nurse, MARY HODGSON, who wheels their baby brother Peter in an ornate perambulator. 7 EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS. 1897. DAY Once inside the Gardens, Mary Hodgson relinquishes her rein on George and Jack, allowing them to join in with other CHILDREN rolling hoops along the Broad Walk. Watching the children from the other side of the Broad Walk is a small pocket-size edition of a man - J M BARRIE. He is barely five foot tall, and though now in his mid-thirties he looks older, a gnomish creation huddled inside an overcoat several sizes too big for him. His wife, MARY BARRIE, accompanies him: a slight, attractive, irrelevant woman, scarcely taller than her husband. They are both dwarfed by the presence of their huge St Bernard dog, PORTHOS, who bounds to and from Mary Barrie, fetching sticks. But Barrie's attention is held by the children, particularly George, who "strikes a hundred gallant poses in a day, and when he tumbles, which is often, he comes to the ground like a Greek God" ... George and Jack rejoin Mary Hodgson, who has been conversing with another NURSE on the business of babies. As they turn to leave, Barrie catches George's eye. The boy smiles at him, then saunters off. Mary Barrie senses her husband's preoccupation, but not the object of his gaze; he answers her mild curiosity by pointing his stick at some inconsequential diversion. Mary Barrie smiles, throws another stick for Porthos. 8 EXT. KENSINGTON GARDENS - MAIN GATES. 1897. DAY Mary Hodgson buys Jack a balloon from a portly BALLOON WOMAN stationed outside the park gates; George stands nearby, already equipped with a large blue one. His attention is once again caught by the strange little man in the large overcoat: Barrie, leaving the Gardens with Mary Barrie on his arm and Porthos by his side. Barrie pauses a moment in response, then slowly raises one eyebrow at him while simultaneously lowering the other. Again George smiles: the careless, faintly arrogant smile of one who knows his own charm. The others in both groups remain unaware of the silent exchange: Mary Hodgson leads her two charges off down the road in one direction while Mary Barrie accompanies her husband and Porthos in the other. 9 INT. 31 KENSINGTON PARK GARDENS - HALLWAY. 1897. DAY The hallway of a large, upper-middle class London house. The CAMERA remains in LONG SHOT throughout the scene, SHOOTING along the hall towards the closed front-door. Presently George and Jack can be heard arguing in the street outside as they approach the house. GEORGE (O.S.) I wanted the red one! JACK (O.S.) Well you can't, so snubs! GEORGE (O.S.) I'm the eldest, so it's mine! JACK(O.S.) Who says? GEORGE (O.S.) I do. It's my mess of pottage, that's what Miss Fairfax says - George opens the front-door with an air of righteous superiority, followed by Jack and Mary Hodgson, who hauls in the pram from the pavement while the two boys continue to squabble over their balloons - GEORGE She says the eldest always has a birthmark ... MARY HODGSON (slight Northern accent) That's enough, George. If you won't talk sense, don't talk at all. The boys' mother, SYLVIA LLEWELYN DAVIES, wanders out from the adjoining morning-room. Formerly a Du Maurier before her marriage, she is a woman of unconventional beauty. Her mouth is quite crooked, her nose tip-tilted, her eyes grey, searching, and very mischievous. There is something wistful, almost tragic, in her expression, particularly when she smiles, which is often, "as though the mystery and sadness and serenity of the moon were in it". Sylvia greets her boys with vague nonchalance - SYLVIA Hello boys. GEORGE 'llo mother - (to Jack) - so if you don't mind I'll have my birthmark now... George snatches the balloon from Jack, and Mary Hodgson hands it back to him as promptly - MARY HODGSON (to George) Any more of that, my young man, and you'll get a smacked b.t.m. SYLVIA Are these two being as plaguey as usual, Mary? (to George and Jack) ) Go and say hello to your father. George and Jack disappear into the morning room where their father, ARTHUR LLEWELYN DAVIES, is standing by the fireplace, barely visible. He is a young barrister, recently called to the Bar; his good looks are no less striking than those of his wife and children, though his manner is inclined to be stiff and a little severe. Arthur's background of intellect ual austerity is in marked contrast to Sylvia's gay and somewhat Bohemian upbringing, though they have both adapted well to each other's nature, and are still very much in love. While George and Jack pay their respects to Arthur, Sylvia continues to talk to Mary Hodgson, the two conversations being OVERLAPPED - SYLVIA I'll be taking George and Jack down to Ramsgate for the week end, so will you be sure to have their suitcases packed for Friday morning? ARTHUR (O.C.) Had a good day at school? MARY HODGSON Very good, Mrs Arthur. JACK (O.C.) Passable. Did you get him off? SYLVIA Thank you, Mary. ARTHUR (O.C.) After a fashion. GEORGE (O.C.) You mean he's not going to swing? ARTHUR (O.C.) No, my boy, he's not. Sylvia goes into the morning-room, turning back to Mary Hodgson on her way in - SYLVIA Oh, and Mary I wish we didn't have to leave the pram in the hallway - there's no room for my flowers. MARY HODGSON Very good, Mrs Arthur. ARTHUR (to Sylvia, lightly) I think the pram more beautiful than the flowers. Sylvia closes the morning-room door behind her.
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