(We open on stage at KLAC, where the boys play a pre-recorded "Daddy's Song" as Davy struts and dances. Arthur Rupert sits at a chair in a small grouping of chairs and tables off to one side. He joins the boys as they finish.)
Arthur: And that was the Monkees, with one of the songs from their new film and album "Head," "Daddy's Song."
Mike: Yeah, it'll be comin' to a theater near you soon. (Under his breath, so the cameras and microphones can't hear) I hope.
Peter: (Smiles, but looks tired) We're so excited about this movie, Mr. Rupert!
Arthur: We've heard a great deal about it. Why don't you tell us what this movie's all about?
Peter: It's an all-encompassing anti-war statement and comment on our times!
Arthur: That big, huh?
Mike: If you want to be honest, Art, we ain't too sure what it's about, either.
Micky: It's essentially a hodge podge of our thoughts on current events while also appealing to those with a great imagination.
Arthur: Good enough.
Mike: Yeah, it's playin' at the Rivoli downtown, for those of you who live in the LA area.
Arthur: I'm sure everyone will want to see it, son.
Peter: And don't forget to buy the soundtrack album! (Mutters) Despite a few problems with the tracks...
(Mike discreetly elbows him.)
Arthur: If that last song is any indication, it'll be a best-seller. (Turns to the cameras) And that was the Monkees! After the commercial, we'll bring on the local jazz favorites the Jean Hiller Quartet, then see a performance by ballerina Annabella Schirosia!
Mike: (As the cameras shut off and the curtains close) Thanks for havin' us on the show, Arthur.
Arthur: Oh, no problem, boys. We had a spot open, and you're pretty popular with the kids in the audience.
(Peter's face falls at the "kids"; Mike makes a face.)
Micky: *looks pointedly at both Mike & Peter* And we were happy to do our part in entertaining.
Arthur: Hey, kids are our greatest treasures. (Chuckles) I should know. I have two kids, three grand kids, and one of my bosses is fifteen.
Davy: You're absolutely right, mate.
Junior: Men! (He joins them, followed by the ever-harried John Libby; unlike John, Junior's changed quite a bit; he's finally sprouted up some, and his voice is deeper) Hello! I'm so glad you're here!
Micky: Hi, Junior!
Mike: Hey, kiddo!
Davy: It's good to be 'ere.
Junior: You're wonderful! I wish you could appear on this station all the time!
Mike: Well, we are going to do that special for you next week, kid.
Junior: You'll love it! We're developing some innovative staging and special effects techniques that'll be really groovy. We're going to borrow some experimental cameras from another station...
Arthur: I'm not sure I like that. Jenkins is panting over this station, and even you know it. He's after something.
Junior: (Sighs) I know, Arthur, but he has the experimental cameras and we don't.
Arthur: Ass...jerk-off who owns our biggest rival station.
Junior: Um, actually, you know him. Do you remember Captain Crocodile?
Mike: How could we forget? What's that guy doing owning a station? He couldn't even keep his fans in line?
Micky: I hope he's atleast given up the seltzer.
Junior: As far as we can tell, he's given up performing all together. (Frowns as the orchestra begins) Arthur, isn't that your cue?
Arthur: Holy smokes! (He darts out from behind the curtain)
Mike: (Crosses his arms) How did that idiot end up owning a TV station?
Junior: We're not quite sure. As far as we can tell, he moved to KNXI after leaving us and must have worked his way back up the ladder.
Mike: And worked his way up to buyin' the station.
Junior: Then started buying other stations. (Makes a face) He's been trying to buy US from Dad for the past year now, but he won't sell, and I can't say I blame him.
Mike: So now he wants to run roughshod over the LA TV audience, 'steada us and and a kid audience.
Junior: (Nods) He desperately wants to dominate the Southern California television market.
Peter: If he wants to buy you, why is he loaning those cameras.
Junior: Dad's trying to make a truce with him.
Peter: But you don't think it's going to work.
Junior: (Nods) Dad doesn't know him like I do. I worked with that man. He's impossible to please, and downright insane. He doesn't like anything getting in his way.
Mike: Great. Another loony.
Junior: (Sighs) I'm only saying, be careful. I think he may be planning something for the special.
Junior: Why don't we go to my office, and I'll give you the full situation? (Sighs) Jenkins is supposed to be meeting me there, anyway. I want him to hear my concerns.
Micky: Good idea.
Mike: Yeah. Let's get his side of the story.
(Cut to Junior's familiar office, which once again has slightly larger furniture, in addition to posters of popular movie and TV starlets and rock acts and a drum set.)
Mike: Your Pad's improvin', kid. What's with the drum set?
Junior: (Grins) Helps me think.
Micky: First, Tinker Toys, now a drum set. Young man after my own heart.
Junior: Also has the bonus of driving Mum crazy, which is why the drum set's here.
Davy: I can see Mick drooling ovah the drums from 'ere.
Mike: I always knew you were a good kid, Junior.
Junior: (As the others laugh) As much as I'd like to discuss the finer points of drumming with you, Micky, Jenkins is due any minute. (Grins) Maybe after he leaves?
Micky: You bet!
(Jenkins arrives a few minutes later in his gray suit. He stops and makes a face at the Monkees.)
Jenkins: What are they doing here, Junior?
Junior: They're representing the performers on the special.
Mike: We want to make sure you're on the level, Jenkins. Neither we nor any of the other bands on this special want to end up with seltzer or pies in the face.
Peter: Or being chased by half the kids in LA!
Jenkins: Of course I'm on the level! Why wouldn't I be?
Junior: That's what I'd like to discuss with you, Mr. Jenkins. Frankly, considering your past history with me and with this station, your loaning the cameras for this special is rather sudden and very suspicious.
Jenkins: Can't we let bygones be bygones? I want to test my new cameras, and I thought your little special could use the help!
Junior: It's not a little special. It's promoting a rather popular up-and-coming record company here in Los Angeles, and...
Jenkins: Even rock stars need a little...added special effects every now and then.
Mike: I don't trust you, Jenkins. (Waves his finger in Jenkins' face) I think you're up to something.
Peter: (Frowns) I KNOW you're up to something. There's something very, very wrong with your aura. There was last time, too. It's almost like your...soulless.
Jenkins: Aura? What the HELL are you talking about?
Peter: There's nothing in there. He's hollow.
Jenkins: I'm fine! Look! (Thumps his chest) All solid!
Mike: We'll use your cameras for our special, Jenkins, since the kid's dad just wants to keep his station.
Jenkins: Since when were you in charge?
Mike: On one condition. You have to let OUR men take a look at them. (Indicates Micky)
Jenkins: That kid? He looks like he wouldn't know a TV camera from a Polaroid.
Mike: Mick's been around TV all his life. He probably knows it better than anyone in this entire city.
*Micky's eyes narrow.*
Peter: And he's a true mechanical genius! He can make machines do anything!
Davy: And sometimes even do things 'e doesn't want them to do.
Micky: *buffs his knuckles on his chest* That be me.
Davy: And don't forget 'umble.
Jenkins: (Smiles, but it doesn't reach his eyes) Fine, fine. I'm sure you'll find nothing wrong. You seem a bit paranoid.
Peter: (Reaches over to touch Jenkins' shoulder; he pulls away quickly, but not before Peter's eyes widen) Oh...oh my...
Jenkins: What's wrong? You'd think I have cooties or something?
Mike: (Exchanges looks with Peter; stands) Junior, we're going to leave you two to negotiate.
Mike: Me 'n the boys gotta talk. (Leans over and whispers to Micky) We gotta get to the cave. Pete found out somethin' big.
Jenkins: I'll see you Friday night for the special, boys!
Mike: Uh, yeah, bye, and all that.
(The boys hurry out of the room and into the hallway, passing Bertha on their way out.)
Mike: Ok, Pete, so what's goin' on with Jenkins? What did you find out?
Peter: Guys, he has no soul!
Mike: No kiddin'.
Peter: No, I really mean that! He doesn't have a soul!
Micky: *raises an eyebrow* As in... possibly removed by a devil?
Mike: Doesn't have a soul?
Peter: I don't know any other way he wouldn't!
Mike: Shit. He must be one of their people.
Peter: He hasn't had a soul for a long time, either, if the few vibes I was able to get off him were any indication.
Mike: Swell. Let's round up the girls and talk this over at the Caves. I think this is important, especially if it ends up involving the special.
(The boys head out to the car as we fade out.)