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Ian Bazalgette Script

Ian Bazalgette "What Greater Love..."

SUMMARY

Ian Bazalgette endured serious illness as a child, including four months of treatment for clinical tuberculosis. But, as is often said, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Baz was able to persevere, eventually joining the RAF Volunteer Reserve.

It was near Senantes, France that the Lancaster bomber Baz was piloting came under heavy fire. He was able to push the Lanc forward, marking the target for the main bomber force. With his aircraft badly damaged, he gave his crew the order to evacuate, but he stayed with the aircraft, attempting to save two injured crewmen. He steered the Lanc away from the village of Senantes and into a field, where it exploded.

PAGE ONE

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A 14 year-old Ian Bazalgette lies sweaty and feverish in his bed

CAPTION: NEW MALDEN, ENGLAND, 1932.

A 14 year-old boy, IAN WILLOUGHBY BAZALGETTE, lies sweaty and feverish in his bed. A cloth lies across his eyes and forehead. A washbasin sits on a bedside table. His mother settles the needle on a record in a Victrola oak-horn phonograph.

MOTHER: HERE NOW, IAN. CAN YOU GUESS?

BAZALGETTE: -KOFF KOFF-... CHOPIN...?

MOTHER: GOOD.

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Bazalgette's mom wrings the cloth into the washbasin

She sits at his bedside, wringing the cloth into the washbasin.

BAZALGETTE: MOTHER?

MOTHER: YES, LOVE?

BAZALGETTE: PEOPLE DIE OF TUBERCULOSIS, DON'T THEY.

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Bazalgette's Mom leans over and kisses his forehead

She leans over and kisses his forehead.

MOTHER: SOME DO. BUT I BELIEVE GOD HAS SOMETHING SPECIAL IN MIND FOR YOU.

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Bazalgette's Mom stands at the door to the room, a hand on the old light switch

Mother stands at the door to the room, a hand on the old light switch.

MOTHER: GET YOUR REST, IAN.

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Bazalgette laying in the dark

The room is dark.

BAZALGETTE (thought): SOMETHING SPECIAL... I'LL HAVE TO GET STRONGER.

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PAGE TWO

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Slim and now 25 years old, Squadron Leader (S/Ldr) Bazalgette stands at attention before an impressive wooden desk. The older GROUP CAPTAIN sits stroking his chin while a decorated SQUADRON LEADER leans on the corner of the desk, arms crossed.

Now 25 years old and wearing an air force uniform, Bazalgette stands at attention before the desk of a group captain.

SQN LDR: THIS IS BAZ, SIR, THE SQUADRON LEADER I TOLD YOU ABOUT.

GROUP CAPTAIN: BAZALGETTE, EH? ANY RELATION TO SIR JOSEPH BAZALGETTE?

BAZALGETTE: HE WAS MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER, SIR.

CAPTION: SCOTLAND SPRING 19444.

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The Group Captain pages through a file on his desk

The Group Captain pages through a file on his desk blotter.

GROUP CAPTAIN: VOLUNTEERED FOR ROYAL ARTILLERY. AFTERWARDS TRANSFERRING TO THE RAFVR, ATTACKED MANY HEAVILY DEFENDED TARGETS SUCH AS DUISBURG, BERLIN, ESSEN AND TURIN AND A DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS AFTER 23 SORTIES.

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Bazalgette shrugs in modesty

Bazalgette shrugs in modesty while the other men share a glance.

GROUP CAPTAIN: QUITE EAGER TO RETURN TO OPERATIONAL FLYING AREN'T YOU?

BAZALGETTE: PATHFINDERS. WITH YOUR INDULGENCE, SIR, I HAD VOLUNTEERED FOR PATHFINDER TRAINING.

GROUP CAPTAIN: YOU QUITE UNDERSTAND ONLY ABOUT 50% OF THE CREWS PASS THE TRAINING AND ARE CONSIDERED GOOD ENOUGH TO JOIN A PATHFINDER SQUADRON?

BAZALGETTE: IF THEY'LL TAKE ME, I'M GAME.

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The Squadron Leader pumps Bazalgette's hand in congratulations

The Squadron Leader pumps Bazalgette's hand in congratulations.

GROUP CAPTAIN: THEN YOU MAY BE PLEASED TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE OFF TO PATHFINDER TRAINING AT WARBOYS.

BAZALGETTE: THANK YOU SIR!

GROUP CAPTAIN (CAP) : REMEMBER, IT DOESN'T GET ANY MORE DANGEROUS FOR A BOMBER CREW THAN PATHFINDERS.

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PAGE THREE

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Bazalgette stands in the doorway of a small office

Bazalgette stands in the doorway of a small office, cramped with towers of files. FLIGHT LIEUTENANT FLYING OFFICER DOUGLAS CAMERON stands behind the desk, one arm extended to shake hands. Baz leans against the doorframe, smiling.

CAMERON: SIR, HAVE YOU CHOSEN YOUR CREW YET?

BAZALGETTE: WELL DOUG, I'LL CERTAINLY WANT YOU FOR REAR-GUNNER.

CAMERON: IT'S CRITICAL SIR, YOU KNOW, FOR OUR CREW TO WORK AS ONE.

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Bazalgette sits at a table in a Scottish pub with CAMERON and two enlisted men

Baz sits at a table in a Scottish pub with CAMERON and two enlisted men.

BAZALGETTE: I'VE GOT CHUCK GODFREY FOR THE WIRELESS AND I KNOW OF A SOLID FLIGHT ENGINEER I'D LIKE TO HAVE IN THE CREW, GEORGE TURNER.

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Three enlisted men laugh and toss their duffelbags up into the back of a transport truck

BAZALGETTE : I'VE ALSO GOT FLIGHT LIEUTENANTS GODDARD FOR NAVIGATOR, HIBBERT FOR BOMB AIMER AND HURNALL FOR THE MID-UPPER.

CAMERON: SOUNDS LIKE WE'VE GOT A GOOD CREW SKIPPER, EACH OF THEM HAS AT LEAST ONE OPERATIONAL TOUR UNDER THEIR BELT.

27 April 1944 Three enlisted men laugh as they toss their duffelbags up into the back of a transport truck for Baz, Cameron, Godfrey and Turner to stow.

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Truck drives away down the road with the seven aircrew in the back

CAPTION: 27 APRIL, 1944

Springtime in Scotland, the truck drives away down the road with the seven aircrew in the back.

BAZALGETTE: AFTER RAF WARBOYS TRAINING, IF WE ARE SUCCESSFUL, WE'LL BE A WELL-OILED UNIT.

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PAGE FOUR

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A little boy chases a little girl across the brick rubble of a destroyed row-house

A little boy chases a little girl across the brick rubble of a destroyed row-house.

CAPTION: BY SUMMER 1944, GERMANY HAD BEGUN DEPLOYMENT OF A NEW TERROR WEAPON OF WAR.

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The little girl hides behind a cast-iron stove

The little girl hides behind a cast-iron stove sitting askew and forlorn in the remains of a kitchen exposed to the elements. She sticks out her tongue at the boy.

CAPTION: GERMANY WAS FIRING UNGUIDED MISSILES AT BRITAIN. IT WAS OK AS LONG AS YOU COULD HEAR THE ROCKET'S ENGINE. WHEN IT QUIT, YOU KNEW THE V1 WAS FALLING ON ITS TARGET...

SFX: ...PUH PUH PUH PUH PUH PUH...

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The rest of the walls of the row house are down

Terrible destruction. The rest of the walls of the row house are down and exposed wooden beams are aflame.

CAPTION: ...THEN, IT WAS TOO LATE.

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PAGE FIVE

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From outside the cockpit of Lancaster F2-T

From outside the cockpit of Lancaster F2-T, Bazalgette maintains level flight on a daylight operation.

BAZALGETTE (thought): MY CREW IS BUT A SINGLE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.

CAPTION: AUGUST 4, 1944. BAZALGETTE'S CREW HAVE AS THEIR TARGET A HEAVILY-DEFENDED V-1 ROCKET SITE IN TROSSY ST. MAXIMIN, FRANCE.

BAZALGETTE: HIBBERT, BOMB AIMER, CHECK.

SFX: BRATATATAT

HIBBERT: CHECK CAPTAIN.

BAZALGETTE: GODFREY, RADIO CHECK.

GODFREY: CHECK CAPTAIN.

BAZALGETTE: GODDARD, COURSE CHECK.

GODDARD: ON COURSE, CAPTAIN.

BAZALGETTE: MIDUPPER GUNNER... LEEDER, YOU’RE IN FOR HURNALL?

LEEDER: CHECK CAPTAIN.

SFX: BRATATATAT

BAZALGETTE: CAMERON, REAR GUNNER CHECK.

SFX: BRATATATATA...

CAMERON: CHECK CAPTAIN.

BAZALGETTE (THOUGHT): MY CREW IS BUT A SINGLE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT...

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Bazalgette's Lanc is one of ten Lancasters all flying in the same direction.

Bazalgette's Lanc is one of ten Lancasters all flying in the same direction.

CAPTION: THE PATHFINDERS ARE ELITE. THEIR TASK IS TO DROP MARKERS FOR THE REST.

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Bazalgette's Lanc is the close to the front of a bomber stream, a river of BOMBERS that fill the sky!

BAZALGETTE (THOUGHT): THE TIP OF THE SPEAR. WE ARE A SECTION. STRINGS, OR WOODWINDS.

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PAGE SIX

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Bazalgette leans over the control column

Bazalgette leans over the control column as flak blossoms in the sky visible outside the windshield.

BAZALGETTE (RADIO): STEADY ON, LADS. MASTER BOMBER AND DEPUTY MASTER BOMBER ARE HIT. IT'S UP TO US TO MARK THE TARGET NOW.

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a shell explodes underneath the starboard wing

The starboard wing -- a shell explodes underneath it.

SFX: BANG!

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Bazalgette looks out his window at the starboard wing

Bazalgette looks out his window at the starboard wing. THE wing is aflame AND BOTH ENGINES ARE OUT.

GODFREY (Radio): SKIPPER, HYDRAULIC FLUID, IT'S EVERYWHERE!

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Exterior shots on the Lancaster

EXTERIOR SHOT OF LANC BEING ROCKED BY FLAK

SFX: BANG! BANG!

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Bomb Aimer is hit

BOMB AIMER: SKIPPER. I'M HIT. IT'S UP TO YOU NOW.

Hibbert's right arm has almost been torn off at the shoulder. Turner and Godfrey manage to get him back to the restbed located behind the main spar where Chuck then administers morphine to Hibbert.

BAZALGETTE (radio): WE'RE COMING UP ON TARGET! HIBBERT'S DOWN! I'LL MARK IT AND DROP OUR BOMBS!

BAZALGETTE (thought): C'MON, BABY, C'MON... NOW!

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PAGE SEVEN AND EIGHT

Lancaster going down

TOP DOWN VIEW OF FORMATION MOVING THROUGH FLAK AND THE BOMBING CARNAGE ON THE GROUND

Some planes are dropping their payload, others are approaching the target. The Lanc at the front is past the site, engulfed in flame and spinning. Its starboard wing looks like a herring bone. Both starboard tanks are on fire, as is the inner port engine. On the ground, the storage sheds on the rocket site of Trossy St. Maximin are an inferno, reduced to rubble. The rocket crew scattered in panic.

CAPTION: THE TIP OF THE SPEAR. AND THE SPEAR HITS THE MARK.

PAGE EIGHT

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The loss of the payload has caused the Lanc to go into a spin.

BAZALGETTE: GAH! I CAN'T HOLD HER!

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Lancaster going down in flames

Cords in his neck straining with effort, Baz pulls back and levels out. Turner braces himself in the frame of the cockpit

Fuel from the damaged fuel tanks in the wings had been leaking into the fuselage. TURNER (radio): SKIPPER! WE GOT FUEL EVERYWHERE!

BAZALAGETTE (THOUGHT): DAMN! ONE SPARK, AND WE ARE DONE!

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Still pulling back on the column, Bazalgette screams to the navigator.

BAZALGETTE: PLOT A COURSE TO THE NEAREST AIRFIELD!

BAZALGETTE (thought): THAT'S IT. WE'RE DOWN TO ONE ENGINE.

Turner: YOU'LL HAVE TO PUT HER DOWN, BAZ, WE'RE BADLY ON FIRE.

BAZALGETTE: EVERYONE BAIL OUT! BAIL OUT!

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Turner stands in the doorway, parachute on

Turner stands in the doorway, parachute on.

With Hibbert unable to jump and assuming that Flight Sergeant Leeder had been overcome by the smoke and fumes Baz knows what he is going to do!

BAZALGETTE (thought): HIBBERT CAN'T JUMP AND NO WORD FROM LEEDER...

BAZALGETTE: HEY GEORGE, TIGHTEN UP MY CRASH HARNESS!

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Turner tightens the harness

Turner tightens the harness and puts one hand on Baz's shoulder. The men stare at each other.

BAZALGETTE: GO GEORGE. I'LL GET HIBBERT AND LEEDER DOWN.

Turner reluctantly turns to leave. The men parachute off the aircraft.

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PAGE NINE

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Bazalgette wrestles with the controls

Bazalgette wrestles with the controls and swerves to avoid a small village.

BAZALGETTE (thought): I HEAR MUSIC. SOMETHING FRENCH, SOMETHING... SPECIAL...

CAPTION: THE VILLAGE OF SENANTES

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Bazalgette flies over small village

A field opens up low ahead of him.

BAZALGETTE (THOUGHT): BIZET'S FARANDOLE. HEAVY CHORDS, BUT LIGHT AS AIR...

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Bazalgette crash lands the Lancaster in a field

The Lancaster crash-lands with its wheels up, slides down the field, flame pouring over the wing, wrapping around the fuselage like the fingers of a fist.

BAZALGETTE (thought): THEN BUILDING, BUILDING...

BAZALGETTE: FELLAS, WE'RE DOWN. HANG TIGHT WE'RE GOING TO MAKE IT AND I'LL--

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Bazalgette is feeling good about this landing.

Baz's Lanc hits a ditch in the field, buckling and shredding in the explosion.

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Lancaster smoking into the sky

We follow the smoke up, up into the starry sky.

BAZALGETTE (CAP): AND SPREADING OUT INTO A DANCE...

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Higher now, the smoke and cloud clear, the sky opens up on a world where men hurry and fight and make war.

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Credits

Director and Artist

Curt Shoultz

Animator

Derek Ford

Sound Designer, Recorder & Mixer

Scott Enns

Sound Supervisor

Scott Enns

Production Assistance

Nikki Gislason
Inukshuk Tagalik

Writer

Ryan Fitzgerald

Grateful acknowledgement for support to Assiniboine Community College
Visual inspiration from Virtual Lancaster, The Lancaster Museum, Nanton...
and many Youtube clips...
Thanks for advice and encouragement to Dan Choy, John Jameson

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