Peter Stenning: So Man has sown the wind - and reaped the whirlwind. Perhaps in the next few hours, there will be no remembrance of the past, and no hope for the future that might have been. All the works of Man will be consumed in the great fire out of which he was created. But perhaps at the heart of the burning light into which he has thrust his world, there is a heart that cares more for him, than he has ever cared for himself. And if there is a future for Man - insensitive as he is, proud and defiant in his pursuit of power - let him resolve to live it lovingly; for he knows well how to do so. Then he may say once more: Truly the light is sweet; and what a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to see the Sun.
Peter Stenning: Anything you can split I can split better!
Bill Maguire: No woman's irreplaceable, no matter how much you love her. There will be somebody else sooner or later. London's full of somebody else's.
Editor (Jeff): I don't care a tinker's damn about this eclipse of the sun as such; the evening papers will cane it, it'll be dead by tomorrow morning. But what I do care about is why there was an eclipse of the sun ten days before it was due. Bill, this is your department.
Bill Maguire: I don't know why everybody regards me as Nostradamus. Your guess is as good as mine.
Editor (Jeff): Yes, but I don't want guesses, I want facts. Try someone on top. Sir John Kelly...
Bill Maguire: Stenning got in to see Kelly.
Peter Stenning: He had twenty-eight armed guards around him.
Editor (Jeff): Yes, but what did he say?
Peter Stenning: He wouldn't even say "Good night" in case it was taken as an official comment on the future of mankind.
[Scientist Sir John Kelly speaks to quell public fears on TV, watched by journalists in a pub:]
Sir John Kelly: When one considers the Moon is 240,000 miles away and the Sun ninety-three million, it is an extraordinary thing that astronomers can tell with such a degree of accuracy what their movements will be many years ahead.
Bill Maguire: Now, what does that mean?
Peter Stenning: It means he doesn't know what it's all about.
Bill Maguire: [reading a newswire] There's a chap in Leeds says he can extract water from the atmosphere. Oh, as you were, he's been certified.
Bill Maguire: [Maguire is on the phone to the editor after a pile of letters about nuclear tests is dumped on his desk] What am I supposed to do with these protest letters?
Bill Maguire: Thank you very much but there are seventeen hundred of them.
[Jeannie is working as a telephone operator; this is the first time she's talking with Peter Stenning, just a few sentences later]
Peter Stenning: Listen, your job is to pass messages on, when you're asked!
Jeannie Craig: My job is to do what I'm told by the people who gave me the job, and anyway, this isn't my job; I'm from the Pool.
Peter Stenning: Well, then why don't you dive back in and drown?
[Peter decides to stop in at the Press Office, after telling Jeannie that he had better things to do. He finds her cleaning what looks like a mimeograph machine, and they each have no idea who the other one is]
Jeannie Craig: Oh, hullo. Have you come to fix this?
Peter Stenning: Well, I hadn't, but for you, why not?
Jeannie Craig: [embarrassed] Oh, I'm sorry, they'd said they'd send someone. Can I help you? Nearly everyone's gone home.
Peter Stenning: Yeah, I'd like a copy of tonight's official line-ups.
Jeannie Craig: Tonight's what?
Peter Stenning: Uh, the official releases.
Jeannie Craig: Oh! Those are all a bit smudged, a bit over-inky, I'll get you a clean one. We're in a terrible state here. What with holidays and flu, we're all doing everyone else's job.
Peter Stenning: [Admiring her shapely arse as she bends over:] It happens to the best of us.
Jeannie Craig: Success!
[She hands him a paper]
Jeannie Craig: No smudges.
Peter Stenning: This is all I get, sweetie?
Jeannie Craig: That's all you get.
Peter Stenning: You wouldn't like a drink with me, or a lift home?
Jeannie Craig: Just for my record, I'd like your name.
Peter Stenning: Peter Stenning. Just for my record, I'd like yours.
Jeannie Craig: [She straightens up and stares at him, remembering now his name and his rudeness on the telephone exchange] Peter Stenning?
Peter Stenning: Yes.
Jeannie Craig: Express?
Peter Stenning: Oh, you've heard of me.
Jeannie Craig: Oh, yes. And if you're Peter Stenning, that's not all you get.
Peter Stenning: Oh, great, great.
Jeannie Craig: You get this too, sweetie.
[She slaps his face]
Jeannie Craig: Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to dive back into the Pool.
[she storms off, and Peter looks both injured and intrigued]
Bill Maguire: They've shifted the tilt of the earth. The stupid, crazy, irresponsible bastards! They've finally done it.
Night Editor: ...it caused a twelve degree shift in the earth's orbit... and we're moving toward the sun.
[Bill asks Peter what is bothering him]
Bill Maguire: It's the kid, isn't it?
Peter Stenning: You ought to see the way they're bringing him up, Bill. It'll be the right prep school next. And then the right boarding school. And by the time they finish with him, he'll be a right bowler-hatted, who's-for-tennis, toffee-nosed gent, but he won't be MY son.
Bill Maguire: Oh, I don't know. That bad blood of yours is bound to come out.
[Scientist Sir John Kelly speaks to quell public fears on TV, watched by the journalists in a pub]
Sir John Kelly: As I am sure most of you will know, a solar eclipse occurs as a result of the interposition of the Moon between the Earth and the Sun.
Bill Maguire: And that, children, is how the little bunny rabbit got his fluffy white tail.
Peter Stenning: Well, Billy boy, they got me doing your homework. Five hundred words on sun-spots.
Bill Maguire: Have you seen the figures on some of these Earth tremors?
Peter Stenning: It's another planet trying to contact us.
[He picks up his empty coffee mug and speaks into it]
Peter Stenning: This is Earth. Are you receiving me? Are you receiving me? You are?
Peter Stenning: Well get knotted.
Peter Stenning: [He sets the mug down again]
[Jeannie is working as a telephone operator; this is the first time she's talking with Peter Stenning]
Peter Stenning: Look, just tell Mr. Holroyd!
[aside to Leo]
Peter Stenning: This girl's a bigger threat than radiation!
Jeannie Craig: I heard that remark.
Peter Stenning: Hello, Pat.
Pat Holroyd: Well.
Peter Stenning: It's a bit better than Picture Post, isn't it?
Pat Holroyd: Stenning, what the hell do you want?
Peter Stenning: A quote on sun-spots.
Pat Holroyd: Sun-spots?
Peter Stenning: Look, just tell me that the static, the monsoon, the compass trouble, and the terrible shows we get on television are all caused by sun-spots, and that the sun-spots are caused by bigger bomb experiments, and I'll leave you in peace.
Pat Holroyd: Well, there usually is a bit of extra sun-spot activity this time of year, old boy, but I don't think it has much to do with anything.
Peter Stenning: But there could be some connection. Oh, come on, say "Yes," what harm could it do you?
Pat Holroyd: Look, Stenning, it's nice to see you again, but I'm afraid I'm up to my neck, old boy.
[to his secretary]
Pat Holroyd: All right, Miss Johnson, take this to the Typing Pool and have it mimeographed immediately.
Pat Holroyd: I see you're still a bit of a liberty-taker...
Peter Stenning: Well, give me something, Pat, I've got to get a story out of this!
Pat Holroyd: Sorry, can't oblige, old boy.
Peter Stenning: But why not? It's a perfectly routine, harmless, silly-season story.
Pat Holroyd: Look, Peter! You've no right to be here...
Peter Stenning: Well, it is, isn't it? Well, just tell me: yes or no?
Peter Stenning: I don't have to tell you anything, Stenning. You aren't in a special position that entitles you to a first break on anything that comes into this office.
Peter Stenning: You mean something *has* come in.
[Holroyd freezes, and is clearly relieved when the telecom buzzes him]