EPISODE 1 – The curse of the fig tree
Scene Internal Jesus’ Bedroom
The phone rings continuously as a bearded, 29 year old man rolls around in his small single bed. It is a room that is identifiably Australian in its urbanity, with mildly outdated electronics and the paraphernalia of a man in his late twenties still living at home with his mother.
Jesus rolls suddenly toward the source of the ringing and picks it up. The voice we hear is deep, mysterious and androgynous, but it is also a voice Jesus has heard before, many times – It is God.
Voice on Phone
You’re going to die.
Good morning to you too.
Voice on Phone
This is the voice and the word of the one true God.
(He pauses for a moment) This is a truck reversing.
Jesus hangs the phone up and rolls back to sleep. The phone calls right back.
ROLL TO TITLES
Scene 2 Jesus’ Kitchen – Morning
Jesus sits and eats Fruity Loops at his kitchen table as his mother, Mary, cleans about the house. She cleans almost furiously, glancing furtively at her son and holding back the urge to say something.
Her de-facto live-in boyfriend Steve joins Jesus at the table
Morning Steve, morning mum.
Mary puts down her washing to glower at her de-facto stamping and making obtrusive noises to signal her point. Steve does not understand her message and continues on.
Just some vegemite on toast love.
Mary stares at Steve again – pointing at her son (whose back is turned) motioning with her finger that Jesus needs to leave (She uses simple gesticulation).
Then she points at her watch and mimes the word “Tell him now”. As she says all of this subtitles appear at the bottom of the screen which read “He needs to leave today. Tell him now…you idiot”.
What’s up love? Toaster broken?
Isn’t there something you wanted to say to your step-son Stephen?
Yes, of course there is.
That is a dashing beard you have there. Must help you to fit into the science crowd?
Thanks. Yes it does.
Steve shrugs and looks at Jesus who shrugs back at him, they continue to stare at each other and back at Mary.
Scene – The bus to work
Jesus is first in the bus line. The people in the line seem to know him well, waving at him as they each push in rudely.
Jesus smiles, even helping the less able into the bus. As he finally steps onto the crowded auto he is confronted by its driver, a burly man of some girth, named Thomas.
Jesus hands him the fare.
Jesus searches his pockets
Cutaway 1: Concession card for full-time students floats upright on a puddle of water in the street. A small child points in wonderment at this new experience and says “Mir-a-cle”.
I think I’ve lost it.
That’s highly dubious.
No seriously, I haven’t got enough for the ride without it.
Sure you don’t, left your wallet in your other robes I suppose?
Jesus rubs his long beard. Turning to the crowd on the bus
Could anyone help me out? (He waits – They turn away from him) I just need one dollar. (Pause) Please
We see the bus drive off, revealing Jesus standing at the curb.
A passing child laughs at his beard then says to him in an androgynous low voice “You will die”. The child’s mother drags him away in fear of the possible paedophile.
Child’s mother (To child)
Beards are dangerous honey.
Scene – External the fig tree
Jesus walks the long road to the University (where he studies post grad science). On his way there Jesus gets hungry, his stomach grumbles loudly, he rubs his stomach, checks for change but finds only empty pockets and no wallet.
He comes to a fig tree in the middle of the path. It is tall, with luscious leaves. He reaches up into the leaves, rummaging about, almost climbing it, out of hunger.
Hi, my name is Jesus H Christ. I live with my mum at home with her boyfriend Steve.
Where are you little fig?
He climbs further
Things aren’t going so well for me lately. I guess you could say I feel cursed.
Damn it. Damn it to hell. Just-want-one-little-tiny-fig.
He shakes it furiously.
I guess being so good is really starting to grind on my nerves, you know.
God Damn it. Shit. Fuck (Which is beeped out in post). You will never again bear fruit!
A passer by stops to watch
Ease up buddy.
A man in a car spits at him screaming “Fucking beardo.”
Scene – University Day
Peta Samarian, a beautiful 20 something female student meets Jesus at the door to his tiny office in the department of Biology – an office with a balcony.
She is in a rush to speak to him, but does not wish to be seen in his company.
She pulls Jesus aside quickly, making sure that no one recognises her. At every encounter with Jesus she must be clandestine.
Firstly, I need to say the beard is hideous! I think I saw a dead possum’s babies tangled in it. Secondly you were right: The controversy over line-fishing in the reef is a complete cover up (Pause) and thirdly eradicate that ridiculous beard, you’re scaring people.
Jesus is about to speak when Peta pushes him back into his room running into the corridor.
Simon (To Peta as she passes by)
Were you just talking to Jesus? (Mouths the word “slut”)
Nope. No. I don’t even know the guy! (She storms of red and embarrassed.
As Peta denies Jesus, his mobile phone message tone sounds. It is the sound of a cock crowing. He does not answer it, and shakes his head.
Our fearless leader returns. Fearless Ex-leader I mean. What’s with the beard man? The ladies dig a tash, but you look like a transient. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
It’s been a long day.
Simon (Cutting him off)
It’s about to get longer. Sorry to have to break this to you chewbaka (from starwars), but you’ve been given the arse. And they’re bequeathing your office to the Vice Chancellor’s son, Barnaby Pilate.
Jesus is about to speak when his office phone rings. He rushes into his former office to pick it up.
Hold on I have to get this
Voice on phone
You will die for the sins of world
Can you call back later (Aggravated)
Voice on phone (In serene tones)
No I can’t call…
Jesus hangs up the phone.
By the way dude, I think I saw your girlfriend last night.
Mags is in Queensland at the moment.
Simon, believing he just stepped into a relationship issue quickly makes to leave
(Hesitates) Yeah, I must have been mistaken. Look dude, I don’t know what the deal is with your office, but you better go and see the prof before things get bad. I’ve gotta bolt.
By the way. You. Me. WOW. Tonight. I’ll see you there. (Already outside the office) Cya later aye.
The phone rings, Jesus picks it up and hangs it up immediately
ROLL TO TITLE
Scene 6 – The Vice chancellor’s office
The Vice chancellor, an old, leathery man, berates and openly chastises Jesus.
Vice Chancellor (In one long continuous sentence)
…and then you have to gall to hang up on me. I am not an inconvenience Mr Christ I am you’re commander in chief…or at least I was.
You’re funding has been revoked and you’re out of this University, thanks mainly to your tardiness, lack of substantial results and as I warned you at the beginning of what should have been a fruitful and successful year of research, your association with that ridiculous Professor (The Vice chancellor’s sentence is finished by Jesus in the next scence)
Scene 7- Professor Michael’s Office
Jesus enters the Professor Michael’s room. Professor Michaels is a 50 something YO man, a little chubby, he looks younger than he is. He is an ex-party animal, and always red from years of alcohol abuse. He is also diminished in some ways from his former glory, his mind slipping slowly and noticeably away thought he would never admit it.
In here boy.
Jesus walks into the bomb crater that is Professor Michaels office. It backs onto a magnificent balcony covered in fake grass with a splendid apple tree in its centre as though a little plastic garden of Eden. The professor is drinking port out if a snifter
Don’t worry about the Vice Chancellor ummm… what’s his name(Some time passes as he seems to forget the topic)
Yes. Leave him to me. I still have plenty of sway around… (Time passes and Jesus completes his next line)
Professor I’ve been expelled. (He sits in frustration). This is not my day. They’re turning this temple of education into a market place for over priced degrees.
Stop pontificating. It makes you sound like a lady.
You know back in my day, boy I could get funding for a sand-pit in the Simpson Desert. I have over 1000 published and peer reviewed papers from Evolution to mitochondria to…something else…
(shifting to another topic) Damn these PC bastards, and their (He says the few words in disgust) ethics committees. I piss on their ethics. What’s wrong boy; that beard hurting your neck?
I get a funny feeling about today. That weirdo has started calling again.
You know he just wants this damned office and its fine balcony.
(Stamping his fist) But it’s my damn office and I wont let Vice Chanceller Pansy have it. It’s my office. I deserve some damn respect.
Are you okay professor?
The professor tears up a little. He rubs his face and turns in shame.
I’m fine boy. Just get out, don’t be a nuisance your whole life. Get a haircut, make love, and for God’s sake stop whining.
As Jesus leaves the Professor calls back to him
Jesus! Come back whenever you like! In fact come back tonight for some scotch. It’s a top drop. I had it imported from Tunisia.
For now, you can use my old office, it’s small but it has a very impressive desk lamp.
Jesus screams back
Thanks Professor. I’ll see you tonight.
Scene – Jesus’s new office
The Vice Chancellor’s son, Barnaby, walks into Jesus’ tiny new office.
How are things going?
Jesus stares at him, almost glowering
Fine, thank you for asking.
Reveal a view of a brick wall through the window. To counter the bad view Jesus turns on the desk lamp. It is a fancy desk lamp and Barnaby looks very jealous.
Anyway, I’ll catch you later yeah? I’m having a balcony party in my new office. Nice beard. Almost makes me wish I were homeless.
Barnaby strolls out laughing – happy with himself.
Jesus picks up the phone and makes a call dialling deliberately.
I’d like to come in today (Pause). Yes right now. I’ll bring him (Pause). He is still my supervisor. Yes I’m ready to make my submission to the review board.
He hangs up his phone getting to what looks like serious work.
Scene – The quadrangle of a large university
The professor sits on a deck chair in the middle of the quadrangle (Move from close up to wide shot). He lies on a deckchair shirtless wearing board shorts and drinking alcohol from a bottle.
Ziggy, what the hell are you doing?
Taking a sabbatical you bastard, what does it look like?
We used to be friends Ziggy. What happened?
You turned into a cunt Ponti.
Get your shirt on immediately you buffoon and get out of the quadrangle. This is highly inappropriate to say the least.
Don’t fuck with me. I have pictures of you in South East Asia!
The board will have your (Stumbles in his speech as he swears) arse this time Ziggy.
Just like you and that little lady-boy in Thailand
Don’t you talk to me…
Ponti huffs and storms off
The professor lies back and relaxes, taking a swig from his bottle.
Scene – The University review board
Reveal: A door with University Review Board in gold lettering leads to a smallish office were three people sit, with the look of serious business on their faces.
A panel sits in front of Jesus, the professor nods off peacefully beside him, still wearing beach clothing.
Seymour (a male Panellist who sits on the right of the table)
…and I for one Mr Christ, am not satisfied that you will suddenly be able to produce the work you say is forthcoming. I am more than happy with the decision. And I find no reason sufficient to reinstate you at this University
Jesus prods Ziggy. He slowly wakes up and takes the floor.
But nothing Mr Christ, you have not given any evidence at this meeting to…
Seymour you old galoot. Are still sleeping behind your wife’s back? How is Cindy?
I beg your pardon
I bet you do beg you old dog. You’d have to be begging for sex with an arse that flabby.
Female panellist (On the left of the table)
(Ignoring him) Our judgements in these matters are final Professor. I am afraid, for your part Mr Christ that you have no choice but to comply.
Female (Deeply offended)
Ziggy Michaels! I have had just about enough (She gets cut off by Ziggy)
You haven’t even had a taste of what I’ve got to offer. Anytime you want to swap sides you call Ziggy…
Lead Panelist (Paul)
LOOK everyone. This is getting out of hand. Ziggy, you are a well-respected, tenured and indispensible member of the board.
Not to mention highest money earner in the Universities history. My funding pays for that terrible suit Paul, and all the cheap hookers Seymour uses to betray his fetching wife. (To Seymour) You lucky son-of-a-bitch.
Jesus (Whispering to Ziggy)
Professor. What the hell are you doing?
Ziggy shut up and sit down. I am not opposed to your student or you for that matter.
Ziggy (to Jesus whilst staring at Paul)
Trust me. We only need two votes to keep you here. We have Paul Shroder we only need one more.
Jesus (to Ziggy)
Then why are you antagonising everyone?
Professor to Jesus (Quietly)
I know all their dirty little secrets, trust me.
Scene – The train station
John Baptist arrives at the station. He gets off and breathes in deeply. As he disembarks he sees a sullen Mary waiting for him.
She hands him a card, touches his shoulder, shakes her head a little, and walks away leaving John once again alone.
Scene – The review board office
Jesus and Ziggy walk back into the small cramped office of the disciplinary board. They sit again.
Ziggy winks at the female panellist. He also cradles a picture of Seymour with his wife Cindy (they are in a loving pose).
In the matter of the reinstatement of Jesus Christ into the University we find that Jesus is a competent student and is in the capable hands of a well respected supervisor (shoots a glance at Ziggy). Therefore it is the decision of the panel that he be permitted to reenrol…but with some conditions being applied to that enrolment.
One he must deliver on a weekly basis a 5 minute sermon to this panel explaining to us why he should continue to be a member of this fine establishment
Second he must outline in a timely manner the general direction of his PhD if it indeed has one.
Thirdly, he will apologise to the Vice Chancellor for his behaviour, and you will be there with him Ziggy, to do the same.
Ziggy, I’m serious. This decision was not as certain as you believe it was…this is his (Pointing to Jesus) last chance.
Mr Christ. Buy yourself a car and an alarm clock and go and get some research done. Don’t let me down, or you will not find a place in any University in any country where running water is the norm.
Ziggy winks again at the Female panellist. Jesus and Ziggy walk out of the room.
Jesus sighs in relief
That lesbian gave me a hard on. Lets go and get a drink.
Jesus (In shock)
I just can’t believe I’m back in.
Shut up and smile a little you silly bastard.
Scene – Jesus returns home.
Jesus seems concerned, pensive at this
When did he get here?
Should I pack tonight?
I’m sorry baby. You need to grow up and we both agreed on this.
I know. It’s just been a hard day.
I suspect they’ll only get harder. I tried to tell you this morning.
Jesus gives a small sad smile.
Scene – Ponti’s Office – smaller with no balcony
You haven’t got the final call or the support here Ponti. Ziggy is legend, not to mention our highest earner. He is the Universities reputation.
He’s slipping Paul. I can feel it. He’ll bring us all down. You’ve heard him talk for (hesitates) fuck sake he was almost naked in the quad today.
Ponti, drop this. He stays until the board says otherwise.
But why the boy then?
ROLL TO CREDITS
Hope to hear some good critiquing!!
A script that will be entering production for a web-cast, need some help with critiquing! anyone interested ?