One Step Beyond- To Know the End
In this episode, an English librarian and her American friend are vacationing in France when Emily has a vision.
Tags: john newland occult supernatural science fiction horror
Added: 2 years ago
[scene opens inside Emily's vacation home in France, when (awakened by the sound of gunfire) she opens the door to her bedroom and yells out into the hallway]
EMILY: Ann? Oh, what do you suppose it is? Has the war started?
[she runs out into the hallway]
EMILY: Ann! Ann!
[she opens the door to the other bedroom, but no one is inside]
EMILY: Ann? Ann, where are you? Ann!
[she hears knocking at the front door below]
SERGEANT: [off camera] Open up! Break it, break it in!
[as Emily watches from the top of the staircase, three soldiers break down the door and carry another into the house]
SERGEANT: Easy with him! Waddaya think he is, a sack of potatoes? Now get back and find a medical officer! Get him over here, straight away!
[the soldiers leave, as the officer tends to his fallen comrade, while Emily yells down the stairs at them]
EMILY: Who are you? What're you doing here?
[the sergeant ignores her, instead speaking to the fallen captain]
SERGEANT: How you feeling, Captain?
HARRY: Not ... not so good.
EMILY: Who are you?
SERGEANT: The crew will be here anytime now. Shot for the pain, then back to the ship and a proper hospital. You'll be in top shape in no time at all, sir.
[he gives him a cigarette]
SERGEANT: Come on, take your mind off your troubles ...
[he leans in and whispers]
SERGEANT: Did you ever see such a bloody mess? Where were the ships, the planes? How could so many things go wrong? Hitler will dance a jig when he hears how we botched this one up! He'll make August Twelfth a national holiday, free beer and pretzels for everyone!
[the captain suddenly shudders and gasps for air]
SERGEANT: Hang on, the doctor will be here any second.
EMILY: Answer me! Why don't you answer me?
HARRY: [whispers] If the doctor shouldn't come in time ...
SERGEANT: Now, now don't talk like that, sir!
HARRY: If I shouldn't get back alright, look up my wife. Understand? Make, make it as easy as you can. And tell her I ... I love her. Emily!
[Emily starts walking down the stairs with a shocked look on her face, as the captain begins mumbling to himself]
HARRY: [whispers] Emily ... Emily, I love you.
[Emily walks up to the two men and bends down to caress the captain's head ... only her hand goes right through him]
[cut to Ann running into Emily's bedroom (because she's screaming as if waking up from a nightmare)]
ANN: Oh Emily! Emily! Stop it, stop it! What's the matter, darling? Everything's alright! Come on now, calm down. Did you have a bad dream?
[Emily runs to the window at the sound of thunder]
ANN: It's only thunder, dear! There goes our picnic ...
EMILY: It was an awful dream! There was a battle, and they brought this man in. And he was so badly hurt. And as he was dying, he called my name ... "Emily, I love you."
ANN: Darling, I thought a librarian was just supposed to dust the books, not read them ... The hero dying in battle, with the name of his beloved on his lips! Just like a romantic novel.
[Emily turns away in embarrassment]
EMILY: It's not funny.
ANN: But it was only a dream.
EMILY: It didn't seem like a dream ...
ANN: Dreams never do. Now look, we only have a few days left in France, and we're going to have fun! You'll be back in that musty library soon enough.
EMILY: It didn't seem like a dream ...
[she helps Emily back into bed]
ANN: Now you go back to sleep, darling.
EMILY: [to herself] It didn't seem like a dream at all ...
[cut to Emily working at the library, where's she's checking the card catalog ... the camera pans over to a man carrying a stack of books, when he turns and reveals himself to be Harry (in civilian clothes)]
[he carries the books over to the front desk, and Emily (without even looking up) walks over and checks them]
EMILY: I'm sorry, eight books are the maximum.
HARRY: But I need every one of them ... and ten more beside, to tell the truth.
EMILY: I'm sorry.
[she turns back towards the card catalog]
HARRY: Well, don't keep saying you're sorry! I-I need the books!
EMILY: I'm sorry--
[she finally turns around and sees that this is the same man from her dreams, giving a look of horror that confuses the innocent patron]
HARRY: What is it?
[she faints, then cut to Emily inside her home, when she hears a knock at the door and answers it (only to find that it's Harry)]
HARRY: Feeling better?
[she starts losing consciousness]
HARRY: Oh no ... No, no!
[he lifts her up in his arms]
HARRY: No no, please don't faint again!
[he carries her to the bed]
HARRY: Oh, this is terrible, just terrible! I-I shouldn't have run from the library when you fainted, but nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I, uh, well, I made a girl blush once, but ... well, everybody in town could make her blush. That was no accomplishment.
[she gets up]
EMILY: Doctor said I fainted because I'm coming down with influenza.
HARRY: I'm glad ... I mean, uh, I'm glad because it wasn't because of me. Well, uh, your name was on the nameplate on your desk, so I looked up the address in the directory. Well, better stay in bed and drink plenty of tea. A drop of whiskey wouldn't hurt either!
[he gives her an awkward smile]
HARRY: Goodbye ...
[he turns and exits, but she goes to the window and opens the shade]
EMILY: I'm terribly confused ...
HARRY: Oh? Uh, about what?
EMILY: Have I seen you before?
HARRY: Well, I came down from Dorkitt. It's a little town six miles from Glasgow. And, um, I went to Liverpool when I was six years old for my elder sister's wedding, but I'm sure we didn't meet there.
EMILY: But it really was you, and you said my name.
HARRY: I did?
EMILY: [pause] I don't have influenza, and ... I don't faint when a man looks at me.
EMILY: And I'm not a neurotic, or a hysteric, or anything like that ...
HARRY: Jolly good!
EMILY: I did dream about you ... It was a terrible dream!
HARRY: Oh, I apologize ...
EMILY: You're making fun of me.
HARRY: No no no, I'm not! Really, I'm very sympathetic ...
EMILY: You're laughing at me!
[she pulls down the shade in his face]
HARRY: No, really!
[he runs over and knocks on the door again]
EMILY: Go away!
HARRY: I'm not laughing at you Miss ... uh, really I'm not.
[she opens the door]
HARRY: You see, I-I'm a bit confused too. Well, no one's ever dreamed of me before. I mean, no one not related to me. Uh, and fainting besides ... Well, it shakes you up a bit!
EMILY: I know.
HARRY: Well, perhaps you dreamed of someone else. Someone who looks like me, now that's very possible ... I mean, I've got a very ordinary face.
EMILY: You have not. You've a marvelous face ...
[she suddenly gets an embarrassed look on her face, and closes the door on him ... she then peeks out the window for him, but hears him knocking at the door again, so she opens it]
HARRY: Well, uh, well thank you. But I, I really haven't, you know ... My ears are monstrous, and my eyes don't match. Left one's just a wee bit cock-eyed. And uh, oh yes, I have an extremely weak chin. It's a family characteristic.
[they both smile]
EMILY: Won't you have some tea?
HARRY: Why yes! I-I'd love to!
[he steps back inside]
HARRY: You know, we talk like characters in one of those silly comedies, where the audience laughs and eats chocolates and everyone knows it's gonna turn out alright!
[she gets a sad look on her face]
EMILY: But it doesn't turn out alright ...
[cut to Harry and Emily sitting in a restaurant, as he shakes his head angrily]
HARRY: No, oh no! A creatch had a dream, ate a bit of cheese before dozing off and had a dream! So it can't be! Huh, what nonsense!
EMILY: How do we know it's nonsense?
HARRY: How do we know it isn't?
EMILY: Some of it is true. In the dream, I married you, and now you've asked me. Don't you see?
HARRY: And if, in real life, we don't marry ... is that how we somehow defeat fate?
EMILY: You're making fun of me!
HARRY: Alright, alright ... I was badly wounded?
EMILY: You were dying.
HARRY: How do you know? Did you see me die?
EMILY: No. Not exactly.
HARRY: Do you know I haven't had one single childhood disease? Not even the measles? What makes you so sure I'm gonna die that easily? How do you know I won't die in my own bed at the age of ninety seven, surrounded by six generations of loved ones--
EMILY: Oh Harry!
HARRY: No! We're not gonna meet tomorrow night or the night after or ever ... I'm all through batting my head against the stone wall of your superstitious mumbo jumbo! For the future, I wish you nothing but pleasant dreams!
[he gets up and storms out of the restaurant ... she looks down dejectedly, but he suddenly returns with an old man wearing a sandwich board]
HARRY: In, uh, in that dream or whatever it was, I was wounded in the war?
EMILY: Yes, of course.
HARRY: About the same age as I am now?
[he turns the man around, revealing that the sandwich board reads "Peace in our time! Chamberlain returns from Munich"]
HARRY: What war?
[he smiles and gives the man some money]
HARRY: Thank you, my good man.
[the man leaves, and Harry gets down on one knee]
HARRY: Marry me!
EMILY: Alright, alright, alright, alright ...
[they kiss, and he hugs her (although the camera zooms in on her face to show there is still a look of concern]
[cut to Harry and Emily living together, sitting across from each other at the dinner table]
HARRY: And I don't see why, if following our plan, in the next two months we could--
[the air raid sirens suddenly start up, as Emily gets up and looks out the window (while Harry tries to brush it off nonchalantly]
HARRY: It's nothing to worry about ... Just an alert. The first day of war's always the worst.
[she walks over with a depressed look on her face]
HARRY: Emily, darling!
[he smiles and sits her down on his lap to console her]
HARRY: In about a month from now, Adolph will be on his boney knees begging our pardon ... Can't you just hear the dear chap explain the whole thing was a, a slight misunderstanding?
[she gets up (still looking depressed) and sits in a nearby chair]
HARRY: Look, if you're at all worried, we'll go down to the basement ... I-I suppose it is safer down there.
EMILY: [quietly] We're safe here ...
HARRY: Well, of course we are!
EMILY: It doesn't happen here. It happens near Point Louasse, in France.
HARRY: Emily ...
[the sirens start again, as she gets up and places her hands over her ears]
HARRY: Emily ...
EMILY: It's already past August twelfth, so it won't happen this year.
HARRY: Please, darling--
[he tries to smile, but she continues speaking calmly about his impending death]
EMILY: Is it next August twelfth? Perhaps even the August twelfth after that ... Do you think we might have two years? Could we possibly be that lucky? Could we, Harry? Could we?
[now near tears, she embraces him]
HARRY: Emily ... I love you!
[cut to Emily (without Harry) sitting in a bunker while writing to her penpal]
EMILY: [in voice over] "Dear Ann, I am approaching another August twelfth. But unlike the agony of last year, when Harry's unit was stationed here in England, this year my darling is in Alexandria, Egypt. Five thousand long long miles from that house, near Point Louasse."
[Harry suddenly walks down the stairs and kneels down next to her]
HARRY: Hello ...
[she looks up from her writings in shock]
HARRY: Yes, it's me. It's really me! They flew a company of us back for special training at a camp nearby, very hush hush! But I'll tell you one thing, there's gonna be plenty of long weekend leaves!
[she simply stares at him]
HARRY: Well, aren't you even a tiny bit glad to see me?
[suddenly overcome with emotion, she hugs him]
EMILY: Oh, Harry!
[cut to a closeup of Emily's face]
EMILY: [whispers] So, it's to be this August twelfth ...
[cut to Harry sitting in a chair in his home, nervously smoking a cigarette]
EMILY: [from off camera] Harry ... Harry?
HARRY: Yes, I'm right here.
[she enters (her hair no longer in a bun, but worn down) and they embrace]
EMILY: I woke up, you weren't there ... I thought you'd gone without saying goodbye!
HARRY: Now, would I do a thing like that?
EMILY: I really wouldn't blame you. I've made our weekends here so miserable ...
EMILY: Why are you up so early?
HARRY: Hmm? Oh, couldn't sleep.
HARRY: No reason.
EMILY: How long have you been awake?
HARRY: I don't know.
EMILY: It's almost five. I'd best start breakfast.
[she gets up and walks over to the kitchen]
HARRY: Emily ...
HARRY: Y'know, in that dream of yours ... uh, I was a captain, wasn't I?
EMILY: That's right ... Thank heaven you're just a leftenant. If some things are wrong, maybe everything's wrong.
[he walks over and tries to nonchalantly continue the conversation (while lighting another cigarette)]
HARRY: Also, uh, where was that landing to take place again?
[she turns to him with a pensive stare]
HARRY: Oh, now don't look so serious!
EMILY: What is it, Harry?
HARRY: Nothing! Well, after all, it's such a spectacular dream, I like to check up on it from time to time ... Just to keep the facts straight.
[she turns away]
EMILY: You know the dream as well as I. You know it's Point Louasse.
HARRY: [pause] We're gonna land in Norway.
[she turns back with a relieved smile on her face]
HARRY: Somewhere near Bergen.
HARRY: Sometime in November.
[they embrace, but then she pulls back]
EMILY: Is that true?
HARRY: Well, of course.
EMILY: Why didn't you tell me before?
HARRY: I can get court-marshalled for even telling you now!
EMILY: Harry ... if you ever lied to me about this--
HARRY: I wouldn't!
EMILY: Yes, you would.
HARRY: Alright ... On some distant August twelfth, when GHQ says "Off to Point Louasse, boys!", I shall instantly phone you and say "Guess what?" And what good would that do?
EMILY: If you didn't tell me the truth ... I'd never forgive you. Even if my dream were insane and you came back, or if you die of your wounds. Until I died, I wouldn't forgive you.
HARRY: Forgive me for what? Sparing you senseless worry?
EMILY: Denying us one honest moment ... before we said goodbye.
HARRY: Why you sentimental little ...
EMILY: I mean it, Harry.
[she walks back to the kitchen, and he starts to leave, but turns and looks at her with a sad look on his face]
HARRY: [whispers] Point Louasse ...
[he looks at her (as if suddenly realizing she can hear him) and smiles]
HARRY: Oh, nothing. Nothing.
[cut to Harry and Emily driving through the countryside]
EMILY: We're almost there ... Harry, instead of staying at home, next Friday why don't we drive down to Henley on the Thames and have a picnic!
[she turns to him and smiles, but he continues driving with a tense look on his face]
HARRY: Yes, darling?
EMILY: Did you hear what I said?
HARRY: Why yes, darling.
EMILY: [pause] What is it, Harry?
HARRY: You meant what you said before, didn't you?
EMILY: About what?
HARRY: That if I lied to you, you'd never forgive me ...
[she gets a distant look in her eyes]
HARRY: Well, it's gonna be in newspapers anyhow afterwards, so ... And you're such an unpredictable little character, you might actually hate me for the rest of your life.
[she continues staring off with a stunned look on her face]
HARRY: [pause] It is France, and we are landing August twelfth ... but I'll come back to you, Emily! I will!
[she suddenly grabs the wheel and turns hard]
EMILY: No no no no!
[cut to the car driving off the road, as it flips several times before landing in a ditch]
[cut to Emily (her head covered in bandages) waking up in a hospital bed, as a male doctor sits by her bedside]
DOCTOR: Welcome back.
DOCTOR: You had a motor accident. You're in Saint Martin's Hospital.
EMILY: Was my ... husband hurt?
DOCTOR: Just a few scratches, that's all. Now, you must try and get some rest. It's been quite an ordeal! Y'know, you've been unconscious for almost a week!
EMILY: What day is this?
EMILY: I mean the date.
DOCTOR: August the seventeenth.
[she gets a concerned look on her face, as an older female nurse enters the room]
NURSE: Doctor, will you please tell this soldier that it's pointless to sit in the hall day after day?
[Emily suddenly gets up out of bed]
EMILY: Harry, darling! You told me they couldn't kill you so easily! You were right! You were right!
[she makes her way towards the door, but the doctor tries to restrain her]
DOCTOR: Now you must get back to bed at once!
[the camera pans over to show that the soldier outside is actually the sergeant from Emily's vision]
EMILY: [quietly] Harry's dead, isn't he?
[the sergeant looks down]
DOCTOR: Now please, you must go back to bed at once! A shock like this might kill you!
EMILY: It's alright, doctor ... I've been expecting this man, for years.
[the screen shimmers (revealing that the entire episode up until this point had been a flashback), then cut to Emily (her hair back in a bun) sitting in a room speaking to a male military officer]
OFFICER: And you expect me to believe that ... the knowledge of this raid was a dream? An accident in time?
EMILY: [quietly] Believe what you wish.
OFFICER: Misses MacDougall, I deal in facts. And the only fact I have is that you were in hospital unconscious, in a delirium, and in that delirious state you mentioned again and again the exact time and place of a raid that was yet to take place.
[she closes her eyes]
OFFICER: He's dead now, poor chap, and you can't hurt him anymore with the truth ... Did he mention the raid beforehand to you?
[she begins to cry, but continues to speak calmly]
EMILY: [quietly] Why ... won't you believe me?
[the camera pans over to show a man in the room (whom Emily and the officer can't see) speaking directly to the camera]
JOHN NEWLAND: And so, what did Emily's pyschic experience really prove? That fate can't be changed, no matter what? Yes, I suppose so. But, if Emily had had a second chance, aren't you absolutely certain she would've chosen the dream and those few sweet years with Harry? And what about Harry MacDougall? What would he have chosen? Exactly what he did choose, of course. Because isn't that the whole point about fate? That given any number of second chances, they would always have done exactly what they did do? It would still and always end exactly the same way ...
[the scene fades to black]
"Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond"
Season 1, Episode 7 ("To Know the End")
November 01, 1959
Emily MacDougall, a young woman living in England during World War II, begins to have strange hallucinations of death and destruction. What she doesn't realize is that her visions may threaten not only the man who is closest to her, but the entire country as well.
Synopsis: On vacation in France with her American friend Ann (Sally Fraser), English librarian Emily (Elen Willard) has a disturbing vision in which an English military officer dies in combat on French soil. Addition "sign" in the vision somehow suggest that the ill-fated officer is Emily's husband. Thing of it is, Emily is not only not married, but she isn't even engaged. . .and for that matter, there isn't any war of any kind going on.
Director: John Newland
Run Time: 30 minutes
Filmed in: B&W, Show, TV Episode