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Special Report: One Tin Soldier
by Steven M. Ulmen (sulmen2001@yahoo.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Drama   User Review:

How do employees of a small town TV station react when a network Special Report threatens to pre-empt local programming? Character driven Christmas story based on a terrorist theme.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


HANK the station owner and DAVE his son are seated in HANK'S
Dad, I need to talk to you about
Phyllis and Rick.
Oh? What about them?
It is all the stunts they are
pulling. They decide, between the
two of them, what goes on around
Stunts? What stunts are you
talking about?
I am talking about how they handle
scheduling and how they decide
what gets air time. Even how they
write the news.
      (scratches head)
Well, duh, that is what they are
hired to do, Dave. Phyllis is news
editor and Rick is program
director. What is wrong with how
they are running things? Seems
fine to me.
Well not to me. They are
controlling the direction of our
Our station? What do you mean, our
station? This is my station, buddy
boy, and don't you forget it.
Well, if everything goes right, it
will be mine some day.


If everything goes right. Don't
you mean, when I croak?
Oh dad, I...
      (rising from chair)
All in due time, Dave. You've only
been here but two years.
HANK moves over and sits in chair next to DAVE
You are still learning the ropes
of running a station. Rick and
Phyllis are good people. They are
professionals. You can learn a lot
from them.
Phyllis! She is so snooty! She is
a lousy news editor. For the life
of me, I don't know why you keep
her on.
Dave, Phyllis Wilson helped me get
this station in shape. When I took
it over three years ago it was a
loser, a dud, ready to go belly
up. She and Rick took over the
news and programming, totally
revamped them, and brought us back
from the brink. They got us in the
ratings that got us sponsors and
advertising accounts. Something we
would not have without them.
And something else we would not
have without them is our regular
pay checks. Keep that in mind.


Ratings! There's more luck to our
ratings than skill! I've seen good
stories passed over because they
do not like the content.
Look, I do not second guess what
they put out over the air because
I trust their judgement, which got
us in the ratings. If you have a
difference of opinion with either
Rick or Phyllis, tell them so.
Argue your point, but do not
whimper to me about it.
You're wrong, dad, but I guess
I'll just have to prove...
PHONE rings. HANK stands up, walks back to his desk and
picks up the phone.
Yes Julie. Fine, fine, show him
DAVE stands and starts to leave.
Hey Dave, stay here. Mel Johnson
from Johnson Implement is here to
discuss some spots. It's a big
account. I'll introduce you, and
you can sit in with us. Start to
learn the business end.
You handle the accounts. I'm going
to keep my eye on those two
professionals of yours.
      (Hangs up phone.
       Hollers after
       Dave as he exits.)
Just stay out of their way!


PHYLLIS WILSON, 40 something, well dressed in business suit,
enters lobby. MILT the janitor, older man, thin, grey
haired, is mopping the floor.
Milt, you are moving much better
today. That visit to the doctor
really paid off.
Thanks Phyllis. He gave me some
new medicine for my rhumatiz.
MILT does a little shuffling dance.
I feel like a kid again. Is it
cold outside?
Twenty five degrees. I guess
winter is on the way.
Not bad for this time of year. In
another month or so, this will
seem like a heat wave.
Br-r-r, do not even think it,
PHYLLIS and MILT share a CHUCKLE, then she walks down
hallway, smiling. Her smile fades as DAVE walks in the other
direction. He sees Phyllis and breaks into a phony smile.
Ah, Miz Wilson, our little
Phyllis, like I was just telling
dad, you're a day brightener for
us all.
I am delighted that the sight of
me makes your day, David.
Lightening up.


Is Hank around?
Of course he is, collecting pay
checks for us all. Even those of
us who are over paid.
Spanky, your mommy forgot to put
your propeller beanie on your head
when she dressed you this morning.
But what is this? No knickers?
You look different somehow.
Sizing her up.
A lot fatter, maybe. Or is it just
the style of your outdated outfit?
I didn't know there was a Mizz
Hippo clothing line for women.
I see you are still at your
charming best this morning. The
best you can get, that is.
Ah, yes, there is no sense in
denying it. You do bring out the
charm in me.
Begins to move away, then pauses and turns to Phyllis.
Oh, bring me a cup of coffee, will
you? That is, if you are not too
busy with a big decision of some
PHYLLIS moves to COFFEE URN, pours coffee into styrofoam
cup, then returns and stands in front of DAVE. She makes eye
contact, then drinks from the cup. She then walks O.S. as
Dave looks after her, his smile gone.
JULIE, the young secretary, and PHYLLIS meet in the hall.
Julie bumps into Phyllis, nearly spilling her coffee.


      (Struggling to
       control coffee
Pardon me, Phyl. Did you spill
anything? I sneaked out for a
coffee break with Steve and we got
late. Have to get back to the salt
mine before Hank notices.
He must be in the office with a
client because I haven't seen
You're safe. Say, how is Steve
these days?
Fine. We're both a little nervous,
though. The wedding's only a week
I can about imagine. I remember
the jitters I went through before
Larry and I tied the knot.
Hugs Julie
Hang in there, kid. If it works
out as good for you as it did for
me, it will all be worth it. Gotta
Phyllis continues down hallway and stops at office door
which says RICK JAMES PROGRAM DIRECTOR. She knocks.
Come in.


RICK JAMES, late 30's, longer hair style, dressed in sport
clothes and a sweater, is seated behind his desk. He stands
up as PHYLLIS enters.
Glad you stopped in. I want to go
over a few ideas with you for a
newscast lead in.
Sounds good for today. Things are
really slow in the news department
right now. You know what they say:
"No news is good news."
So, have you and Dave already
exchanged your daily kiss?
That guy is so arrogant! Lucky for
him, he is the boss's son.
Do not let Dave get to you. Just
take what he says with a grain of
I can not dismiss him either,
Rick. That man would like to
change the entire flavor of this
station, which would set us back
What else do you have going?
The holiday religious special with
Reverend Thomas is scheduled for
tonight. He'll be in today to
finish taping the program.
Light KNOCK at the door. Door opens. JULIE enters.


Excuse me, Phyl, but there is a
notice of special report coming in
over the teletype. I thought you
would like to know.
Probably another revenue shortfall
in St. Paul. That means taxes will
go up.
PHYLLIS arises, moves toward the door. Stops, turns back to
The mill rate will go up, right
along with property taxes. Hank's
going to love this.
Hank's a senior citizen with a bad
heart. Break it to him gently.
PHYLLIS and JULIE move over to the TELETYPE MACHINE, which
is clattering away. Phyllis picks up the teletype paper and
begins reading it. She turns, looks out at the AUDIENCE, a
concerned look on her face. She turns and heads toward
What is it?
Got to talk to Rick.
JULIE approaches the TELETYPE MACHINE and begins reading the
special report. She looks at AUDIENCE, shocked.
Oh, no!
PHYLLIS enters.
What is it?


Come over to my office, will you,
PHYLLIS turns, exits. RICK follows.
enter. Phyllis moves to her chair and sits down.
Phyllis, be kind. What is going
PHYLLIS turns on TV monitor.
Nothing on the network yet.
Faces RICK
There's a terrorist outside the
Washington Monument right now,
threatening to blow it up. They
think he has hostages.
      (stares at
       Phyllis, wide
       eyed. WHISTLES)
The network will be putting
something out on that...probably
getting the cameras set up now.
Stands up, begins pacing.
How about the other networks?
PHYLLIS switches channels. Her phone RINGS. She picks it up.
Yes, Julie.
Glances at RICK.
Yup, he's here.
Hands phone to RICK.


Uh huh, Julie. What you got?
He's here?
Looks at his wrist watch.
Oops, it is about that time, I
guess. Okay, I will be right out.
Hangs up phone.
Reverend Thomas is here to finish
up the taping. I'll be with him in
the studio. You keep an eye on the
monitor and see what comes in.
I knew it! I never should have
said this would be a slow day!
Picks up PHONE.
Julie, bring that report from the
wire service, will you, please?
Thank you.
      (To Rick)
I will keep you posted.
Catch you later.
RICK exits.
REVEREND JERRY THOMAS, dressed in black clerical garb,
wanders around the lobby, stops at the coffee urn. Looks at
a plate of cookies. RICK enters lobby.
Reverend Thomas.
The two shake hands.


It's good to see you again.
Motions to cookies
Have a Christmas cookie on us.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
      (pats stomach)
Better not. I always put on the
pounds over the holidays. Got to
watch my blood sugar.
They are really good, and we took
all the calories out of them.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
      (Looks at cookies
Oh What the hell. I only go around
once. Got to look the part of the
rotund, jovial padre to appeal to
the masses.
Grabs two cookies.
Spoken like a true clergyman.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
Oh nothing. Never mind.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
Julie said there is something up.
Yeah, there is. A story is coming
over the wires about a man
threatening to blow up the
Washington Monument. It is
happening right now.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
Oh, no! Another tortured soul.
What does he want? Is he looking
for publicity?


Who knows? I read somewhere that
the holiday season makes some
people a little bit crazy.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
Like stealing Christmas cookies?
Like that and worse.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
I'm sorry. I could put them back.
Not necessary. I think I can
forgive you.
      (snaps fingers)
But that won't work. You are the
one who is supposed to do the
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
We have this ass backwards.
Both men CHUCKLE.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
Will this interfere with our
Naw, it shouldn't. Phyllis is
monitoring the story on the news
feed. It will probably all be over
with in a few minutes. The
security people will arrest him,
and that will be it.
HANK into view.
Reverend Thomas...
Nods a greeting to the minister, then turns to RICK.
What's this I hear about some
terrorist in Washington?


Now, Hank, you shouldn't talk
about our president that way.
The three men CHUCKLE.
It came over the wire. Phyllis
PHYLLIS enters lobby.
Here she comes now.
An update just came over the wire.
It seems this man has an
accomplice, and it is confirmed he
has several hostages inside the
DAVE joins the group in the lobby.
What's going on?
      (to Phyllis)
Anything new on the network?
Not yet.
Well, Jerry, let's finish that
taping. The studio boys are ready.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
remain in the lobby.
      (To Phyllis,
What the devil is going on here?
Why didn't you tell me this
special report is coming in? After
all, I'll be the one to announce


There is nothing to tell at this
point. The story is sketchy and
still coming in.
I should have been told.
Look, I told Rick. He is the
program director around here, in
case you have forgotten. He will
decide what gets air time and what
does not.
      (To Hank)
Dad, this happens all the time.
Phyllis and Rick get together and
that's it. They will not listen to
anybody else. Just tell us what to
Are you asking for my advice?
I'm asking you to straighten
Phyllis out, right here and now.
You are all wrong about this,
Dave. Let me set you up in the
business end like I suggested
before. Phyllis and Rick do know
their jobs. They got us in the
Yeah, yeah, yeah, the ratings, I
      (To Phyllis)
Don't mind Dave. He is young,
energetic, full of ideas, and he
gets carried away sometimes.
But dad, I...


So go, Phyllis. You and Rick
handle this.
PHYLLIS nods and walks O.S. as HANK and DAVE GLARE at each
RICK and REVEREND THOMAS stand together in foreground,
studio camera in background.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
My concluding remarks will time
out to about two minutes.
Good. We can take the opening shot
from back here, then move in for a
REVEREND THOMAS faces AUDIENCE. He fidgets and looks anxious
as RICK talks in the background.
...with the two bible readings
REVEREND THOMAS wrings hands and looks off into the
...and your concluding remarks
over the chorus. That ought to
make a nice, tight ending.
RICK looks closely at REVEREND THOMAS.
Jerry, is something wrong?
REVEREND THOMAS looks down, shaking head.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
That demonstrator, I have a very
bad feeling that it will end in
Do you really think so? I figure
it is all over with by now.


                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
People like that demonstrator make
me feel guilty.
      (Approaches Jerry,
       puts hand on his
Guilty? Why?
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
In my mind, differences of opinion
can be worked out without stepping
outside the law. But this man
feels he has no recourse. Why does
he think that? How did we fail
Jerry, try and maintain
perspective here. Did it ever
occur to you that this man is
unbalanced? People do run amok,
you know. And it is no one's
fault. One problem with America is
that every time someone messes up,
goes haywire, we have this mass,
neurotic need to feel guilty, like
we can control what other people,
even other countries, think and
PAUSE as REVEREND THOMAS ponders RICK'S words. He then
responds, more subdued now.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
Suppose it isn't all over and
develops into a major news story.
How are you going to cover it?
      (Sighs, shakes
I really don't know.
PHYLLIS is seated at her desk and viewing the TV MONITOR.


Our nation's capitol is the scene
of a bizarre demonstration by one
man who has been identified...
DAVE enters.
...as Norman D. Mayer of Miami,
Florida. This on-scene camera
shows Mayer, dressed in a blue
jump suit, patrolling in front of
the Washington Monument,
reportedly with a detonator in his
hand. The vehicle parked next to
him is a van belonging to Mayer
which he says contains one
thousand pounds of TNT.
Dave breaks into excited smile
He has demanded a dialog on the
danger of developing nuclear
That Meyer fellow has brought
Washington to its knees! Look at
him, parading back and forth
there! I wonder if he does have
dynamite in that truck?
This could go on into the evening.
I'd better call Larry.
Wouldn't it be something if he
blasted the monument? I mean, a
thousand pounds of dynamite! If he
knows how to place it, to detonate
You'd get a real kick out of
seeing that, wouldn't you? You
know, Dave, sometimes I wonder


                       PHYLLIS (cont'd)
about you!
Looks at her WATCH.
Rick ought to be about done with
the taping. I'm going to talk to
About what?
About how we do, or do not, cover
this story.
How we cover...do you honestly
mean to say there's a question in
your mind? This is national news!
      (Walking toward
It may be national news, but that
doesn't mean it is more important
than local programming. This is
Mankato, Minnesota, not Washington
ANGLE ON DAVE as he stares after PHYLLIS, his mouth hanging
open in shock.
PHYLLIS exits. Approaches JULIE at desk.
Are they done taping?
Ought to be any minute. Is there
any more on that Washington deal?
DAVE into view to eavesdrop.
Just what the network news break
covered. That religious special
with Reverend Thomas, it is
scheduled to be aired this
evening, right?


That is right. At seven o'clock.
      (Butting in)
Good. That will give you time to
write up an in-depth report for
me, Phyllis. After I talk to Rick,
he will pre-empt Jerry Thomas.
Count on it.
Who said anything about
pre-empting programs?
RICK and REVEREND THOMAS walk out of studio and join PHYLLIS
and DAVE.
      (Smiling broadly,
Reverend Thomas...
I saw clips of your Christmas
special. It looks fabulous,
absolutely fabulous.
Glances at his WATCH.
Oops, gotta run.
DAVE pats REVEREND THOMAS on the shoulder.
      (snaps fingers)
Phyllis, a cup of coffee.
As DAVE walks O.S., PHYLLIS flips him the bird.
Reverend Thomas, I believe you
know Phyllis Wilson?
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
Yes, I've had the pleasure. It is
nice to see you again, MS. Wilson.
How are you today?


PHYLLIS and REVEREND THOMAS exchange handshakes.
Just fine, reverend. It is nice to
see you again also.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
Does your presence mean that the
Washington demonstration is over?
I'm afraid not. It is still going
You are kidding! Really?
Afraid so. Still being played out.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
I must be going. Rick, there are
many in the congregation who will
be watching for our program
Ah, about tonight, Jerry, if this
news report goes on,
expands...well, we may have to
postpone the Christmas special.
That is the problem. We just do
not know how it will develop. The
network could even pre-empt us.
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
Oh, I see, I had so counted on...
                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
But then, these things do happen.
The best laid plans of mice and


                       REVEREND JERRY THOMAS
I will leave the special, and the
decision, in your able hands.
Waves, walks O.S.
      (To Rick)
When can I talk to you?
I have got an appointment up town.
Say about...
Looks at WATCH.
...about four o'clock?
See you then.
ANGLE ON CLOCK reading 2:50. RICK and Phyllis walk O.S.
RICK approaches JULIE at her desk. He begins to remove COAT
to hang it on the rack.
I bumped into Steve this
Oh? Where at?
The Record Rack downtown.
What was he doing there?
Said he was looking for Marty
Robbins ballads.
That cowboy! He has been in
mourning ever since Marty Robbins


                       JULIE (cont'd)
died. There goes a chunk of our
honeymoon money.
It did not look like he was
finding any.
If there's any around, he will
find them. I mean, a guy who has
an album of Ken Curtis singing
about GUNSMOKE can sniff out any
record there is.
Ken Curtis...didn't he play the
part of Festus on Gunsmoke?
Yes, the unshaven, groady looking
one, that's right. And years
before that he sang with the Sons
of the Pioneers. I have heard the
story a thousand times.
RICK finishes hanging up his coat and laughing, stands
behind JULIE and rubs her shoulders.
There, there. He could be a three
stooges fan. Then what would you
do? Slapstick? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,
I will probably spend my honeymoon
sitting in a tent at the county
park listening to "THE HANGING
TREE" by Marty Robbins.
Keep the faith, Julie.
Is Phyllis in her office?
I think so.


      (Picking up phone)
Good viewing, WTBC.
Hi Steve...yeah, Rick said he saw
you...found some, huh? Say, Steve,
do you have a brother who drives a
van and plays with dynamite? I do
not know a whole lot about your
Holds PHONE away from ear.
Oh, never mind. See you at five
Hangs up PHONE, shakes head, smiles.
PHYLLIS sits at her desk watching TV MONITOR, a PEN and NOTE
PAD in hand.

RICK enters.
So, what's the news?
The network pre-empted their soap
opera a few minutes ago.
Looks from TV monitor up at RICK.
They're going live with the Mayer
story. Rick, this makes the
decision even tougher.
You hate this one, right?
Yes, I do, and that is why I
wanted to talk to you, to tell you
I think it should be played down,
given minimal coverage except for
the national newscast, but now,


                       PHYLLIS (cont'd)
even our own network is
highlighting it.
KNOCK at the door, DAVE enters.
Well now...
Gestures toward PHYLLIS'S NOTE PAD.
I see you have finally gotten
realistic about this. What is
happening now?
Meyer still claims to be holding a
detonator to the dynamite. One
good thing, he has released the
hostages from the monument. He is
up there alone now, as far as we
can see, but he claims he has an
accomplice in the truck.
Great! So, we're going to feature
the story after all, just like I
said all along, huh?
I haven't decided yet.
What is there to decide? I can't
believe I'm hearing this!
DAVE paces around the room, shaking head in frustration. He
turns back to face PHYLLIS and RICK.
Look, we can cut to the updates as
they come in from the network. New
York is investing their time and
money in this story so you know
they will leave a live camera on
scene until this is over.
There is a good possibility
someone will get killed on live
camera, just like Lee Oswald in


                       DAVE (cont'd)
Is that what you want, Dave? To
see someone die on camera? Is that
the news you want to announce?
It is happening, and it is
happening right now. Live. We can
have an exclusive for our viewers!
The papers will not get the story
out on the streets until tomorrow
because they have gone to press
I agree that we have the
capability to feature this story,
there is no doubt about that. But
my question is, do we want to play
up this type of lurid, voyeuristic
story? Do we want to say to our
viewers, "This is news that is
worthy of your attention to the
exclusion of everything else that
is happening right now?"
Phyllis, the network has seen fit
to run the story. I...
I know they have, but as an
affiliate , we have the choice to
either run it or not. We do not
have to run it. And the network
will cover it in the nightly
I suppose you would much rather
watch the Reverend Jerry Thomas
read his bible verses and deliver
peace-to-the-world sermons!
I believe I would. And I believe
our viewers and our sponsors
would, too. They have paid to see


                       PHYLLIS (cont'd)
just that.
Oh, come on now, you can not be
serious! Get real! You would deny
our viewers the opportunity to
witness live drama so they can see
a taped religious program instead?
Where do we draw the line on live
drama, Dave. Should we take our
cameras into the courtrooms in the
name of drama? Or how about the
execution chambers of the nation's
prisons? Should we point a camera
into the faces of the Gary
Gilmores to record their final
spasms and twitches? If so, why
stop there? Why not follow the
medical examiner through his
autopsies because, after all,
Dave, the viewer has the right to
Individual tense moments between DAVE and RICK and PHYLLIS.
Look, guys, I am not saying Norman
Mayer is not dramatic, and I am
not saying he is not news. Dave,
you laughed about Reverend Thomas
and his peace to the world
PHYLLIS motions toward TV set.
Mayer is seeking publicity to have
a debate on the limitation of
nuclear weapons because, in his
view, that is the only way that
mankind can survive. He is seeking
peace, just like Reverend Thomas
is. But look at the contrast in
how the two men are going about
PHYLLIS moves into DAVE'S space.


Tell me, Dave, which is the best
way to deliver the message?
DAVE looks out at AUDIENCE, thoughtfully, arms folded, hand
to mouth. Then he turns and walks toward the door.
I am sure glad I had the
technicians tape everything that
has come in. We haven't lost one
second. What a scoop!
      (Looking at door)
Attila the Hun won't budge. I do
not believe that guy! For all the
good it did, I could have been
talking to the wall.
I listened, and you made perfect
sense to me.
I wish I felt certain about this.
Maybe Dave's right. Who am I to
second guess the network?
Looks at her office coffee pot.
The pot is empty. You want a cup?
Nope. What I want is a decision
from you about the Mayer special
Yes, I realize...
KNOCK on the door. HANK enters.
You folks seen Dave? I've got the
Ford dealer out here with a
commercial spot. He needs a voice
over to go with it.


Just the fellow we need. Come here
a minute, Hank. Let's see what you
think of this. Phyllis and Dave
disagree on how to cover this
Washington story.
That damn thing still going on?
Oh, yes. It is not over yet.
Dave thinks we should go live with
this off the network.
Sh-h-h! There is more coming over
right now!
DAVE re-enters PHYLLIS'S OFFICE as she and HANK and RICK
stare at the TV. He joins them.
      (To Ford Dealer, a
Can I get you a cup of coffee?
                       FORD DEALER
      (with accent)
No, tank ya, little lady. I am
about coffeed out. Any more and I
will yust haff ta pee.
                       FORD DEALER
Slow day here, then?
Yeah, nothing exciting ever
happens around here.
JULIE turns on RADIO at her desk. Marty Robbins is singing
"El Paso."

Out in the west Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a
Mexican girl. Night time would find me in Rose's cantina...


JULIE rolls here eyes and puts her head down on the desk.
I'm surrounded!
RICK, HANK, PHYLLIS, and DAVE are watching the TV MONITOR.
He's in the truck. It is starting
to move.
There are the members of the SWAT
team in position. He's getting
into the truck! It's starting to
pull away!
Sound of GUNFIRE heard from TV set.
Oh, no! They are shooting at him!
Lordy, the truck tipped over on
its side. They are storming it.
      (To Rick)
Why aren't we running this live?
That's what I've been asking.
Thanks to me, and no thanks to
your two professionals here, the
control room is taping it all. We
can run it any time.
Like right now, for instance.
Hank, our local show, the first,
hopefully annual, Christmas
special with Reverend Thomas would
have to be pulled. It is scheduled
to air tonight, and this story may
run quite long. Reverend Thomas's
special has sponsorship and is
paid for. We could pre-empt the


                       RICK (cont'd)
Christmas special, but I do not
know how wise that would be. The
sponsors would be disappointed, to
say the least.
Besides, I have not received a
recommendation from my news editor
Why not, Phyllis?
      (watching TV)
I don't like it, Hank. It is
bizarre and sick.
All are watching the TV set.
The sponsors for the Reverend
Thomas special are looking forward
to this evening. They probably
wouldn't approve, you are correct
about that.
      (Staring at Hank)
What? Dad, you are siding with
      (Turning to leave)
Come on, Dave, let's get that
commercial voice over wrapped. Can
not keep a paying customer
Turns back.
Look, I don't care what you do,
but do something. If we are going
to stick with the Thomas tape, we
have to get it set up. It goes on
right after the news.
DAVE follows HANK out the door but turns at the last minute.


      (To Phyllis)
I may have the control room cut to
Washington anyhow, no matter what
you say. Somebody has to use
common sense around here, and that
certainly isn't you.
Exits office.
      (Looks at Rick)
Do you think Dave would really do
Lord help him if he does. Boss's
son or not, I will go for his
Anyway, Hank's right. We are down
to the wire.
Come with me a minute.
But...the story!
It's being taped. Don't worry.
Come with me a minute. I want you
to see something.
RICK and PHYLLIS enter. Rick pulls a videotape from the
shelf and plugs it into the control panel.
Got to advance it...there. Now
watch this.
REVEREND JERRY THOMAS appears on screen in clerical robes.
He stands before a CHOIR that is SINGING "The Peace Song" in
the background.


And so, my brothers and sisters,
as we bring this, our first ever
Christmas special to a close, I
wish to thank all of you for the
support you have given us, and for
inviting us into your homes this

That these are troubled times,
there is no doubt. Our nation
falters on the brink of
depression. The unemployment lines
can be seen in every city. Tension
looms between the nuclear super
powers. Terrorists stalk our

There are some who would seek to
justify a feeling of despair, a
feeling of hopelessness, of
impending doom. Even today, at the
Washington Monument, such a
scenario is played out.

But I say there is another answer,
one that is revealed to us
repeatedly in the words of
scripture. Faith, my friends,
faith in the Creator and trust in
the inherent goodness of mankind
will lead us to the day when there
shall be peace upon the earth, and
good will among all men. To
continue this quest is proper.
Can the Mayer story,. Run Reverend
Jerry Thomas instead.
Right. I will break the news to


RICK EXITS the control room as the Christmas special
Peace be with you, Norman D.
Conclude with the playing of "One Tin Soldier" the theme
song from the film BILLY JACK by Coven.


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