(We open in the hallway of a typical TV station. The camera focuses on a pair of brown high-heels, before pulling all the way up to reveal Sheila Saunders, carrying a briefcase and looking clipped and professional in her expensive suit and short, well-groomed hair.)
Sheila: Alex, are you coming, or aren't you?
Alex: *backs his way out of an office, grinning; he wears his typical black t-shirt & jeans* I'm coming... *stops next to Sheila* Just had a quick meeting to attend.
Sheila: And you remembered to put her panties back on this time?
Alex: *rolls his eyes* Yes.
Sheila: This is important business, Alex. (Smirks as they find themselves in a waiting room, filled with the popular bright, angular furniture of the mid-70s and large, fake potted plants) I made contact with one of my uncle's people. If this deal goes through, you'll be able to have all the pretty starlets and attractive souls you could ever want, and Zelda will have her share of handsome matinee idols.
Alex: *smirks* You have my attention.
Sheila: Alex, have you ever wanted to be on television?
Alex: Do birds fly?
Sheila: We're going to get into the TV business. (She turns to the tall, willowy young blond secretary behind the desk) We're here to see Mr. Jenkins, Miss. He has an appointment with us. Ms. Saunders and Mr. London.
Blonde: (Nods and looks at a book) Yeah. (Waves at the door) You can go on ahead. Mr. Jenkins is waiting for you.
(Sheila and Alex do so, entering a huge office. The big cherry desk takes up about half the room. The other half is fairly spartan, filled with only a bookcase and two black chairs. A small, rather round man in an expensive gray silk suit sits behind the desk, smoking a cigar.)
Man: Sheila, my girl, come in! (He puts out his hand and shakes both of theirs) It's great to hear from you! How's your uncle these days?
Sheila: I'm afraid he...passed on...four years ago.
Man: (Frowns) Oh. That's a shame. He was good to me, your uncle. Gave me a lot of opportunities. (Smiles again) So, you said you had something for me.
Sheila: Yes. Another...opportunity, so to speak.
Man: What kind of opportunity?
Sheila: How'd you like a captive audience, Theodore?
Man: (Smirks at Sheila) Looks like I already have one. Who's your friend?
*Alex raises an eyebrow.*
Sheila: Oh, I forgot to introduce you two. Theodore, this is Alex London, a good friend and co-worker. Alex, this is Theodore Jenkins, president and owner of KWXI Television, the largest independent station in the Southern California area.
Alex: *nods* Nice to meet you.
Jenkins: Nice to meet you too, Alex. You don't mind if I call you Alex, do you? (Blows smoke out of his cigar) Pardon my smoke. Helps me think.
Alex: I don't mind at all. *smirks* I don't mind the smoke. Go right ahead.
Jenkins: I liked the idea you had over the phone, Sheila. I liked it a lot.
Sheila: Think about it, Theodore! Our device, implanted into your programming, will convince the audience to do whatever you want them to do, whenever you want them to do it!
Theodore: It's exactly what I want. (Narrows his eyes) You know, I used to be an actor. I mostly did bargain-basement shit until I lucked into that kiddie TV show. You may have heard of it, London. Captain Crocodile?
Alex: *makes a face, but nods* Yeah, I've heard of it.
Theodore: I did damn good on that show. I was real big for awhile. Had my own fan club and everything. (Makes a face) The work was a pain, though. Trust me, if I could have found work on an adult show, I would have, but they only saw me as a kids' idol. Those rotten brats and those four idiots your uncle sent me after ended up destroying my career.
Sheila: That's why we're here now, Theodore. Those four young men are appearing on a special on a rival station in a few weeks. If we can get the programming out, we can eliminate your competition and those four musicians in one fell swoop.
Theodore: I told Junior I didn't like having guests on the show in the first place, especially young, long-haired weirdos. It was MY show and those were MY fans.
Sheila: And that's why we came to you. This way, you'll be able to command all the fans you want. (Smirks) In exchange for the...ahem...total cooperation of your staff, here and at your studios.
Theodore: You can have whatever and whomever you want, Sheila. Just help me put KLAC and all of LA under my spell, (narrows his eyes) including those four meddling Monkees.
Sheila: We'll begin work on the programming today, Theodore. We want revenge on those meddling Monkees as much as you do.
Theodore: You too, huh?
Sheila: Let's just say we have a history with them.
Alex: A rather storied history, at that.
Theodore: You have the run of the whole LA labs. My long-time associate Howard Needleman will assist you. He used to write shows, then did some acting on them, but he went to night school for chemistry after our show was yanked off the air and works behind the scenes now.
Sheila: Alex has been developing the mind control machinery that will allow your programming and cameras to...shall we say...capture your audience.
Theodore: And get rid of anyone we don't want on television, right?
Theodore: You can start today. The labs are in the Valley, just outside of Culver City. I'll get my secretary to give you the full directions. (Shakes both their hands) I look forward to working with both of you, Miss Saunders.
Sheila: Likewise, I'm sure, Theodore. (She wipes her hands on her skirt when his back's turned as she and Alex exit; cut to them heading down the hallway with the directions from the secretary)
Sheila: (Makes a face) I did NOT like the way he looked at me.
Sheila: (Hands Alex the paper) This is your section, dear.
Alex: Thank you. *looks over the paper; nods* I know where this is.
Sheila: Been there before?
Alex: *smirks* Not personally, but it's up here. *taps the side of his head*
Sheila: Your...ahem...brother's been there, then.
Alex: Yes, he has.
Sheila: Why don't we get along to the labs? I'm sure you'll want to get started on the work on the machine before this friend of Jenkins' arrives.
Alex: An excellent idea. Lets go.
(Cut to another office building, this one even more spartan. Actually, it looks rather like the office/lab set from "Nine Times Two" with different, updated equipment. )
Sheila: Ok, you two, settle down. (She takes a white lab coat from a peg near what looks like Alex's hypnotism equipment from "Monkees Underground")
Alex: *brings over a pretty, giggling blonde, attached to his arm* Here we go, my dear...
Girl: (Giggling) Oohh...what's that?
Sheila: One of the ladies Jenkins gave you?
Alex: *nods* Yeah. Ain't she something?
Alex: *to the girl* Don't you worry, my dear. What this is doesn't concern you.
Girl: (As Sheila lays her down) Will it be fun?
Alex: You bet it will!
(Sheila straps the girl onto the table, removing her high heels.)
Sheila: We'll do some preliminary work before Theodore's assistant arrives. (She pulls the head gear over the girl's forehead; it covers her face, leaving only the eyes open; she tightens the strap in her mouth) There.
Alex: *smirks; stops at the control panel* This should be interesting to say the least.
Sheila: It'll be even more interesting when we finally hook it up to the cameras. (Smirks) What a way to capture the Guardians...and bring in more souls, too.
Alex: I can't wait to really give this equipment a go.
Sheila: Shall we start it up? (Goes to fiddle with a small, black-and-white TV set on one side of the room.)
Alex: Lets. *flips a few switches*
(There's an electrical current around the girl. She screams, but the strap garbles them. Suddenly, a thin light hits the area around her eyes. She stops screaming as she focuses on the light. It's hard to tell under her gag, but she even seems to be smiling.)
Sheila: Program her now, Alex. I think we have her attention.
*Alex punches several buttons, programming the light.*
(The girl gets more pale and shaky as she stares into the light. It finally covers her fully. When the light subsides, she vanishes. The table is empty. Sheila makes a face and turns to the TV set.)
Sheila: Is she there? Do we have her soul?
Alex: Perfect. She's in there.
(The girl lays on a bed on the TV screen. A man who looks like Alex comes in the room in his boxers, smirking.)
Sheila: (Makes a face at the machine next to the TV) Yes, but you only have HER, not her SOUL.
Alex: It's a start, atleast.
(The door opens at this point, and Howard Needleman walks in. He looks pretty much the same as he did in "Captain Crocodile," only he now wears a white lab coat over his suit.)
Howard: Hello, Miss Saunders. I didn't know you were going to be my lab partner.
Sheila: Hello, Howard. I'm not. I have other business to take care of. (Waves at Alex) He will be your lab partner for the time being.
Howard: Nice to meet you, sir. (Puts out his hand)
Alex: Nice to meet you. *nods*
Howard: Is this all the new programming equipment the Captain told me about?
Alex: Yes, it is. Nice, isn't it?
Howard: (Runs his hands over the machine) It's amazing!
Sheila: (Sighs) I'd stick around, but I really DO have things that must be done at the PPF offices.
Alex: Thanks, Howie.
Howard: The Captain told me we're working on a new kind of programming, sir.
Sheila: Alex will give you more details. (Smiles and waves) Ta ta, boys!
Alex: See ya later, Milady.
Sheila: Have fun. Play nice. (She closes the door)
Howard: So, where are we going to start, sir?
Alex: First, you can start by not calling me sir anymore.
Howard: (nods) Um, sure, Mr. Alex. So, (he tugs at a lever) can we start?
Alex: Don't TOUCH anything! *pauses* And yes, we're gonna start.
Howard: (Pulls away quickly) Sure, Mr. Alex!
Howard: (Indicates the hypnotize machine) Hey, what's this one do?
Howard: Sorry about that, Mr. Alex!
Alex: Howie... don't help.
Howard: Yes, Mr. Alex, sir.
(We fade out on Alex glaring at Howard as he rights his machine. )
(Fade back in on the Pad. We see Mike working on an amp on one side of the bandstand. Davy is on the phone. Micky is in the kitchen, eating muffins. Peter comes in from the beach, still looking pretty upset.)
Peter: Damn it! (He turns to Mike) Have you finished yet?
Mike: (From behind the amp) Two minutes, Pete...
*Micky watches the exchange...*
Peter: You've been working on that thing since I left!
Mike: Almost have it...
Peter: DAMN! (He goes in the kitchen) Can't you help him? You're the mechanical genius!
Micky: I already asked him, Pete. He doesn't want any help. *shrugs*
Peter: I'm getting sick of his stubbornness. (Grabs a muffins and shoves it in his mouth)
Micky: *sighs* Wanna talk about it, Pete? We could go to the Cave or something...
Peter: (Nods and swallows) Yeah. I don't think the rehearsal is going to continue for a while.
Micky: Why don't we head out the quicker way. *concentrates; they both disappear in a blue light*
*They reappear in the Cave as the blue light fades.*
Micky: *leans against the back of the couch* Okay, Pete, it's just the two of us here...
Peter: (Closes his eyes; psychedelic-print pillows appear on the couch in the main room) DAMN it, Micky, I can't BELIEVE this!
Micky: Talk to me, Pete.
Peter: (Looks up at Micky, his eyes brimming with tears) Mick...we worked so hard on that movie...that gig...those songs...
Micky: *nods* I know we did.
Peter: I thought...I thought this movie would bring us all together, like we used to be!
Micky: I'd hoped that, too. But after we finished filming. The whole thing just bothered me.
Peter: Mike doesn't care about us anymore, Micky. He hasn't in years. All he cares about is HIS music and HIS family and HIS house and HIS cars and HIS life. He doesn't think of anyone but himself! I thought..we used to be friends...
Micky: Mike has been getting worse lately. *pauses* But you aren't completely innocent in this either what with spending so much time in Laurel Canyon. I mean, we've hardly seen you at all in the last few weeks.
Peter: They're my friends, too! I wish I could get Mike to understand. I've always wanted to be a real musician, Micky, ever since I was a kid! And now I have that chance...and the best friend I've ever had doesn't get it! Doesn't even care!
Micky: I know they're your friends, but we are too & we'd like to see you every so often. *sighs* As for Mike, I just don't know anymore.
Peter: I know how badly he wants his music to be heard, but...I can't believe he'd put one of his recordings on the album instead of the one we did! Even HE said the recording we did in Utah was brilliant!
Micky: Pete, we don't know HOW his recording got on there. I think Mike was telling the truth about not being the one who changed it...
Peter: Still, Micky, it's THERE...and something we did as a group ISN'T. (He gulps) What's happening to us, Mick? We used to be a team.
Micky: I wish I knew, Big Peter.
Peter: (Looks at him) How do you feel about all this?
Micky: I don't know. Part of me doesn't want to believe that we may be imploding... a small part is kinda glad the movie didn't seem to go over. *sighs* The album... I liked working on it, but something just didn't feel right. *pauses* I just don't know.
Peter: I don't want to break up, Micky.
Micky: *frowns* I don't, either... but I'm not so sure there's anything that could be done about it.
Peter: I wish there was a way I could do something. Make Mike understand. Make Mike LISTEN, for once.
Micky: I don't know if he'd really listen, but you could try talking to him like we are.
Peter: I can't think of what else to do. I just hope he doesn't try to start something.