NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR - PART 1
by Nick Cooper © 1992-8
"I sit at my desk in the Records Department helping to draw the darkness
in. We help to destroy history - there is only an endless present where the
Party is always right...."
Late in 1953, following the unexpected success on BBC Television of Nigel
Kneale's six-part serial The Quatermass Experiment, producer
Rudolph Cartier was called into the
office of Assistant Controller of Television, Cecil Madden. Interviewed by
BBC2's The Late Show in 1990, Cartier recalled Madden's words: "I
liked your science fiction very much. Would you like to do Orwell's Nineteen
Eighty-Four?" From that single question was born what is arguably the
greatest television production of the 1950s, if not the whole monochrome
BBC Television - the world's first "high-definition" (the 1933 Television
Advisory Committe decided that at least 240 lines were needed for it to be
classed as such - neatly disqualifying the earlier German 200-line service!)
television service - had been on the air for less than four years when it
was closed down the day the War began in 1939, and transmissions were not
resumed until June 1946. In those early days, technology was still primitive
and audiences (restricted to the London area only) almost minuscule, with
a mere 50,000 people watching King George VI's Coronation in May 1937. As
the forties became the fifties, the transmission network spread further afield
and set ownership slowly grew, but it took another Coronation - that of Queen
Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953 - to spur the public into a real interest in
the medium. An estimated one million sets (effectively doubling the existing
number) were bought in the run-up to the event, which was watched by an estimated
20 million people in this country, with live links by cable to France, Holland
and West Germany (a major technical feat given that three different transmission
standards were involved).
At this stage, television drama was still in its infancy, being little more
than "filmed" theatre, a reflection of the fact that most producers (the
modern roles of producer and director were combined) came to television from
the theatre, a medium which did not instill a familiarity with the sort of
huge audiences that it could attract. Rudolph Cartier was different. Born
in Austria in 1908, he had worked in Berlin before the War at the famous
UFA studios, which had produced such seminal films as
Metropolis. After the Nazis came to power, Cartier left Germany,
but unlike former colleagues such as Fritz Lang and Billy Wilder, he took
the same decision as Emeric Pressburger and stayed in England. While Pressburger
formed a partnership with Michael Power and became a leading light in the
British movie industry, Cartier made just two films here before joining the
BBC in 1952, the same year that BBC Head of Drama Michael Barry spent his
entire first year's budget for commissioning new scripts (£250!) on
one young Manx-born short-story writer named Nigel Kneale.
Cartier and Neale were the perfect combination, since the Austrian's cinematic
scale of vision and love of the spectacular matched exactly the scope of
Kneale's work. Also interviewed in 1990, Kneale observed: "I don't think
any of the things I wrote then would have come to anything much in other
hands. The more difficult and improbable it was, the more keen he was to
do it. He was wonderful at pushing the whole project as far as it could possibly
go, to the point of right to the edge of the cliff, where it almost couldn't
happen at all, taking terrible risks, both with the budget and the very simple
technical apparatus, and making it look as if it was doing more than it really
The Quatermass Experiment's tale of a British rocket which returns
to Earth with two of its crew mysteriously missing and the third man possessed
by an unknown alien lifeform gripped the nation, with the finale on 22 August
being all the more shocking for being set in Westminster Abbey, which - as
the scene of the Coronation - had only months before been the focus of such
national rejoicing. Like all television drama at the time, it was transmitted
live - pre-made programmes on film being restricted to documentaries and
"newsreels". The only form of live programme preservation was telerecording,
which involved a special transmission monitor permanently set up in front
of a modified 35mm film camera. Although introduced properly in 1947 (an
early experiment had been tried in 1936 for a production of The Scarlet
Pimpernel too complex to be attempted live), even after five years, the
quality of early-50s recordings was poor. At the time the BBC had no obligation
to maintain an archive except for their own use, so telerecording was used
sparingly, and the sort of material most likely to be recorded was that of
newsworthy or historical importance, such as the 1953 Coronation or interviews
with major public figures. Since strict agreements with the talent unions
dictated how television drama was made and transmitted, most programmes were
not recorded because they could not be repeated. In the late-50s, when
high-quality telerecording was used to pre-record programmes for transmission
later, such agreements often required the recording to be destroyed after
transmission (e.g. A for Andromeda). The first two episodes of The
Quatermass Experiment were recorded, but not the last four due to industrial
Nineteen Eighty-Four, then, was to be a live production, with a budget
high by the standards of the day at £3,000. Cartier still found this
restricting, since all the costs - copyright, actors fees, costumes and sets
- had to come out of this. Expected to use stock music on disc, Cartier insisted
on live music, and commissioned John Hodgkis to compose and conduct the score
during the performance from a second studio at a cost of £300 in excess
of the original budget. Cartier recalled: "Nineteen Eighty-Four was particularly
difficult because it had so many sets - twenty-eight sets - and five or six
film sequences which couldn't be shown in the studio. So we arranged that
the film sequences would come between the main sequences to give us time
to move the artists from one set to another; and as we were doing this we
also had to move the cameras." Although he rose to such challenges, Cartier
did not regret the demise of live drama, "because it was a considerable strain
on the artists and the producer and on the whole studio to know that it goes
out the moment it's done; but it gave a particular little bit extra to the
quality of the acting because the actors, knowing that it cannot be repeated,
gave their best." The play was to be performed live twice, first on Sunday
12 December 1954, and then again the following Thursday, this being telerecorded
for posterity. Interviewed in 1988, Peter Cushing - whom Cartier cast in
the lead role of Winston Smith - recalled the reason for this: "The BBC moguls
felt that it would be more fair to the technicians if they recorded the second
transmission, which would give them time not to get cameras or mikes or things
into the shots," although he considered that the edge to his own performance
was lost in the intervening four days.
opens with a authoratativevoiceover setting the scene: "This is one man's
alarmed vision of the future - a future which he felt might, with such dangerous
ease, be brought about." A short sequence illustrates the start of the atomic
wars - a close shot of the hands of some unseen high-ranking miltary officer
opens two the protective shutters below a warning sign and presses in sequence
the switches beneath, followed by stock footage of the Bikini Atoll H-Bomb
tests (which will have been farly "new" at the time) - as the Voice continues:
"Atomic war; famine; revolution; the collapse of a civilisation. And then,
in its place, the formation of a new way of existence."
fade takes us to a close shot of a huge circular hoarding of the head and
shoulders of a stern-faced moustachioed man in uniform, and the slogan, "BIG
BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU." The camera pulls back to show an effective backdrop
painting of London, with the Thames dried up and and the pyramidal shape
of the Ministy of Truth building dwarfing the ruined Palace of Westminster
,as the Voice tells us: "This, in 1984, is London, chief city of Airstrip
One, a province of the state of Oceania." The camera zooms in on the pyramid,
before fading to a close-up of Winston Smith (Peter Cushing) looking out
of one of its circular windows.
Winston - dressed in the standard drab overalls of an Outer Party Member
- is startled by the Voice of the Telescreen behind him: "KZ 6-0-9-0, Smith
W, face the Telescreen." The Telescreens - an essential "prop" in the story
- were realised by the use of an ordinary television monitor "masked" to
form a circular screen, below which a light spot continually revolves in
a small circle like a radar scanner. The Voice continues: "You have been
standing at the window of Bay Two of the Records Department for over eighty
seconds, what are you doing there." Winston explains that he came for a
replacement valve for his Speakwrite, but is ordered to replace the spare
he has in his hand, and that he should have notified the fault. "This
irregularity has been recorded," it concludes, "Return to your cubicle, Smith."
Walking back to his work cubicle, Winston passes a door marked "INNER PARTY
MEMBERS ONLY" from which emerges O'Brien (André Morrell), who wears
the uniform of an Inner Party Member - a light-coloured militarily-cut outfit
with a loop of braid round the right shoulder, immediately setting his status
apart from that of Smith. In Orwell's novel. O'Brien, "had a trick of resettling
his spectacles on his nose which was curiously disarming." Rather than ordinary
glasses, Morell wears a pince-nez, which he removes and then quickly replaces,
as if catching a swift look at Winston without their aid. As he walks off,
Winston watches momentarily.
Reaching his work cubicle, Winston dons his own plain wire-framed specatcles
as his "own" Telescreen tells him the Speakwrite will be repaired immediately
- a technician appears and does so. Winston switches on the machine with
a mechannical whirr as a message tube pops out of the pneumatic piping next
to him. From it Smith extracts a sheet of newspaper and the Speakwrite gives
him his instructions: "Correction required as follows: The Times of
17th March 1984, copy sent herewith, contains reported speech by Big Brother.
He is alleged to have predicted that Eurasian forces would launch an attack
in North Africa. Please rectify in accordance with facts." This is actually
the first scene lifted directly from the book, but Kneale modifies it so
that the correction is expressed in Oldspeak - or Standard English - rather
than the abbreviated Newspeak form of the language which played much more
of a role in the original narrative (this was no doubt considered too complex
an idea to include on top of every other theme/concept crammed into this
110 minute play, although it is not totally overlooked). The scene deviates
from Orwell's original as O'Brien passes and asks if Winston's fault has
been corrected. He reads the original newspaper over Smith's shoulder:
"In his broadcast speech last night, Big Brother referred in confident terms
to the probability of a full-scale Eurasian offensive early next month. There
is now no possible doubt, he said, that it will take place in North Africa.
Other fronts are expected to remain quiet." Extraordinary error!
WINSTON: The speech was evidently mis-reported.
O'BRIEN: Grossly mis-reported, since the offensive, in fact, came in India.
WINSTON: South India, three days ago.
O'BRIEN: Exactly. [he walks away, but turns back] Such a careless
report... must not exist.
Talking into the Speakwrite, Winston dictates the alteration: "Routine correction
to Times of 17th March 1984 where shown. Quote, in his broadcast speech
Big Brother referred in confident terms to the probability of a large-scale
Eurasian offensive early next month. There is no possible doubt, he said,
it will be launched in South India. Other parts are expected to remain quiet.
Reprint, enter back-number, and file." A gong crash from the Telescreen announces
the imminent Two Minutes Hate, but Winston quickly carries out another
correction, changing a report pledging no decrease in the chocolate ration,
to one reporting a necessary reduction to 20 grammes. He slips the original
reports through a slot in the wall marked "FOR DESTRUCTION" and hurries off
for the Hate.
On film, Outer Party members gather on chairs in a small hall before a large
Telescreen. While O'Brien looks for a seat, Julia Dixon (Yvonne Mitchell)
- wearing the checkered (scarlet in the book - a necessary change for 405-line
b/w) waist sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League - first appears threading her
way through the chairs and choosing one just behind Winston. He glances at
her uneasily, but turns away when she looks at him. In the book, Julia is
27, but 1950s coiffure makes her appear older to us. The Hate begins with
a gong crash and the figure of a oriental soldier appearing on the Telescreen.
The Voice denounces him as: "The Eurasian butcher, the reveller in atrocity,
the world criminal... This is the enemy we can see, but worse than he is
the Enemy Within. The Enemy of the People - Emmanuel Goldstein." The crowd
takes up his name, screaming it as Goldstein himself appears on the screen.
Goldstein was based on Leon Trotsky, since the overt parallel of the book
was with Stalinist Russia, and here Arnold Diamond unquestionably plays Goldstein
as him, even copying the politician's aggressive oratory style, and his short
but powerful performance carries the scene in the absence of the far larger
crowd originally envisaged.
The Voice introduces film of Goldstein that has, "Fallen into the hands of
the Party," and his words are punctuated by the insults and responses of
"Hate! Hate!" and the party slogans ("Freedom is Slavery!" "War is Peace!"
and "Ignorance is Strength!") from the crowd. Goldstein implores:"The
dictatorship of the Party must be overthrown! I call upon the people to destroy
the tyrant who calls himself Big Brother!" The crowd reach a frenzy, screaming
insults and threats, and their mostly standard BBC accents make the display
of agression all the more shocking (as it no doubt was to the 1954 audience).
The camera zooms in on Winston, who is repeating "I hate him!" over and over
again. Suddenly we hear his clear thoughts in voiceover: "I hate Big Brother!"
His expression of anger turns to sudden shock and fear, before he quickly
recovers and begins yelling "Down with Goldstein!" On the Telescreen, Goldstein
continues: "Remember what I say! I am speaking the truth. I call upon the
People to follow me! Follow me! Follow me! [stabbing an accusing finger
straight at the audience] Or die! The Telescreen image changes to the
Eurasian soldier blasting away with his machine gun, provoking despairing
cries from the crowd, which change to gasps of relief and adulation as the
face of Big Brother fades up. Amidst words of praise, they take up a chant
of, "B-B! B-B! B-B!" before a gong crash marks the end of the Hate.
Standing, Winston finds himself face-to-face with O'Brien, who mutters a
weary "B-B." before walking away. Caught off balance, Winston looks round
and see Julia watching him, so he quickly turns and catches the eye of Syme
(Donald Pleasance, no less), offering to join him in the canteen. Julia watches
canteen ("live" again), lunch is being served ("REGULATION MEAL 15: STEW,
BREAD, CHEESE - 15 CENTS. VICTORY GIN EXTRA"). Queuing for their food, Syme
asks Winston if he has any spare razor blades, but Smith says he has been
using his last one for weeks and that new ones, "don't exist any longer."
Collecting their stew from the prole serving woman, they sit down at an empty
table under a Telescreen:
SYME: Did you go to see the prisoners hanged yesterday.
WINSTON: No, I was working. The Telescreens are bound to show it soon.
SYME: A very inadequate substitute!
He asks Winston how the stew is. He mutters, "It's alright," before suddenly
remembering the Telescreen and declaring loudly: "It's very good." They discuss
Syme's progress working on the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak
SYME: We're not only inventing words, we're destroying them - scores of them,
thousands every day. It's beautiful.
SYME: The simplicity of it, of course. For one example, just take the word
'good' If you have that, what need is there for the word 'bad'? 'Ungood'
does just as well. Then, instead of a string of vague extra words like
'excellent' and 'splendid', you have 'plusgood', or stronger still
'doubleplusgood'. In Newspeak, the whole notion of goodness and badness will
be covered by six words. In reality, by only one word. Don't you see the
beauty of that, Winston?
Winston says he tries to keep up with all the new changes, but Symes criticises
the pieces Smith has had printed in The Times, saying that they are
only translations and that he is still thinking in Oldspeak, "clinging to
useless shades of meaning." Winston starts to quote from Hamlet (SYME: The
verb 'to be' is abolished in the Eleventh Edition), but only gets so far
before forgetting the words. Syme says it doesn't matter because, "By the
year 2050, the whole literature of the past will have gone. Milton, Byron,
Chaucer - they'll exist only in Newspeak forms." He says as they are they
can only do harm by confusing people.
SYME: You know the Newspeak phrase 'old thinkers unbellyfeel Ingsoc'? 'Old
thinkers' - you're one; 'unbellyfeel' - lack a deep emotional understanding
WINSTON: English Socialism.
SYME: The meaning is completely lost. You see, you can't translate Newspeak.
Even the Party slogans are changing. How can you say 'Freedom is slavery'
when the word 'freedom' no longer exists?
Julia pushes past behind Winston. He turns to apolgise and move his chair,
then stops when he sees who it is, but she ignores him. Syme continues:
SYME: The whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought. In the
end, we make Thought Crime literally impossible because there'll be no words
to express it.
WINSTON: That's excellent, but even now there's no excuse for Thought Crime,
it's just a question of Reality Control, of self-discipline...
SYME: When Newspeak is perfect and compulsary, there won't be the need even
for that. The Revolution will be complete. Have you even thought, in seventy
years or so, there'll be nobody alive who could possibly understand this
conversation we're having?
WINSTON: Except the...
SYME: Except the Proles? They're not human. Look at that creature over there
with the ladel: "Them stew with salt, them stew without!" Thoughts like that
don't need simplifying.
Syme asks him if he's been in a Prole Sector lately. Defensively, Winston
says it isn't forbidden, to which Syme agrees, saying he must have seen how,
"they've no minds, they live by instinct. The Proles are animals." He says
that they don't even have a memory:
SYME: If you'd asked any one of them about the past...
WINSTON [visibly shaken]: The past! Syme...!
Syme realises that he has mentioned a forbidden subject, but seems little
bothered by it, and quickly becomes engrossed in a book when he sees that
Parsons (Campbell Gray) - a fellow Outer Party member - is approaching. Parson's
jovial attitude is a marked contrast to the wary solemnity of his colleagues.
Unlike Winston, and perhaps even Syme, he really does believe and toe the
Party line. He reminds Winston that he owes him a "sub" for the house-to-house
campaign for Hate Week.
announcement from the Telescreen tells the suddenly attentive workers that,
"over the past year, our standard of living has risen by no less than twenty
percent. All over Oceania, there have been spontaneous demonstrations to
thank Big Brother for our new happy life!" This is followed by an announcement
about the increase in the chocolate ration to 20 grammes. Parsons reacts
jubilently, while Winston is dismayed, knowing as he does it to be a decrease.
As the Telescreen begins to reel off more production figures, we hear Winston's
thoughts in voiceover again: "The chocolate ration was reduced to 20 grammes
only yesterday. Yes, they believe it - Doublethink - they make themselves
believe it. Our new happy life! Grease and grime, the smell of dirty clothes
and sythetic gin. And, oh, that stew... Careful - Facecrime!" He forces himself
to look calm and undisgusted as the Telescreen bulletin ends. Parsons and
Syme leave for the community centre, leaving Winston, who claims he has an
article to finish. As Winston exits on his own, Julia watches him go.
A brief filmed insert sees the Ministry of Truth workers - Winston among
them - leaving the building. He makes his way through the ruined streets
to his home in the delapidated Victory Mansions and pushes his way through
the front door. Inside his flat, he ignores another production bulletin on
the Telescreen, removes his coat, paces around the room for a few moments,
and then quickly sits down at a small desk set into an alcove next to the
Telescreen which is therefore out of sight of it. From the drawer under the
desk he pulls a pencil and an exercise book, which he opens to reveal a
hand-written title page: "DIARY OF WINSTON SMITH - 1984." and a pencil. He
begins to write quickly, but there is a knock at the door which startles
him. As he stuffs the diary back into the drawer, a woman's voice calls his
name from outside. He recognises this as Mrs Parsons (Hilda Fenemore) and
quickly opens the door to her. She asks him if he has time to fix their sink
as her husband isn't home yet.
Parsons' flat, their thoroughly obnoxious daughter (Pamela Grant) is attempting
to unblock the sink with a piece of wire, while complaining that because
supper hasn't been cooked yet, she'll be late at the Youth Centre. Sitting
at the table, her brother (Keith Davis) - who, like her, wears the uniform
of the "Spies" youth group - complains that he's trying to concentrate on
his homework, and he reads from a textbook: "In the old days before the glorious
Revolution, London was not the beautiful city we know today. It was a dark,
dirty, miserable place, where scarcely anybody had enough to eat, and children
had to work twelve hours a day for cruel masters who flogged them..." His
sister interrupts him, declaring that "traitors" must have sneaked into the
flat to block the sink while they were out! At this point, Winston and Mrs
Parsons arrive in time for the daughter to scream at her mother, asking:
"Do you want me to go to the Youth Centre without any supper and tell them
you don't feed me, after all I've done this afternoon!" Mrs Parsons begins
to tell Winston what her daughter had done, but she screams at her, saying:
"Don't you dare tell him! Don't you dare!" Visibly terrified of her own child,
Mr Parsons tells her that Smith has come to fix the sink. After his request
for the wire is refused, he prepares to unscrew the pipe underneath, asking
Mrs Parsons for a bucket, which she goes off to fetch.
The daughter tells him he'd better leave it alone, and her brother says that
she thinks it was sabotage, before continuing to read his book: "The rich
men were called... ca-pital-ists. They were fat and ugly with wicked faces,
like the one in the one shown on the opposite page." He shows Winston the
picture and says: "You're old - did you ever see a ca-pital-ist?" Winston
says he doesn't remember and the boy continues to read. When the girl asks
Winston what he's doing and he explains how he's going to fix the sink, she
remarks: "You do know a lot, don't you... about our sink?" Her brother catches
her meaning, asking her if she means that he did it, just as Mrs Parsons
returns with a bucket. The girl denounces Winston, saying: "Face the Telescreen,
comrade. In a moment now he's going to show us what he blocked the pipe up
with!" Winston produces a plug of matted hair. "It's reddish, most of it,"
he says to the girl, smiling, "Like yours, see?" She screams at him, telling
him not to laugh at her, because they didn't laugh at her that afternoon
and that she won a medal.
Parsons appears at this point, asking what all the talk about a medal is.
His wife explains that it happened while the children were out on a country
hike. The girl continues, saying she and two other girls followed a strange
man they had seen, who they were convinced was a saboteur because he was
wearing, "a funny kind of shoe," she'd never seen before. They followed him
for two hours until they reached Barnet, where they told the patrols, who
took the man away to the Ministry of Love. Winston repeats the name, fearfully,
as Parsons exudes fatherly pride and admiration. Winston makes his excuses
and leaves with Parsons. Left alone, both children now lay into their mother:
GIRL: Where's my supper?
MRS PARSONS: In a moment, dear...
BOY: And where's my supper? Some day I'm going to be a Child Hero!
GIRL: You've got to make us strong - we're the Glorious Generation! We're
going to track down all the Thought Criminals and traitors! We'll shoot them!
We'll vapourise them! Whoever they are!!
Back in his flat, Winston listens as Parsons whitters on to him about the
preparations for Hate Week, before noticing the alcove with the desk. "That's
very peculiar," he says. Winston dismissively explains it was probably meant
for a bookcase, but Parsons presses the point: "I could swear it's out of
view of Telescreen." "Are you implying the Thought Police forgot to test
it?" Winston asks, and the other man quickly forgets the idea, since it implies
a fault on the their part. To further distract him, Winston gives him the
sub he owes. Parsons says he's very proud of his children and tells Winston
that he should have got married. Winston replied that he did, and probably
still is, but he hasn't seen his wife for years and they had no children.
Parsons accepts this as reason enough to separate, saying: "Loyalty to the
individual is detrimental to the Party." Winston agrees, saying he too was
a member of Junior Anti-Sex League. Parsons says that they were some of the
jolliest times he ever had, and that he was a member for eight years, almost
taking the Oath of Celibacy were it not for, "the Repopulation Bill of 1970."
Winstons says that that was when he married.
PARSONS: We've come a long way since then, haven't we? Soon, the whole new
glorious system in operation.
WINSTON: Separate the sexes... artificial insemination...
WINSTON: And institutions for the children.
While Parsons praises the prospect of this, Winston manages to get rid of
him, but struggles to overcome his fear again in voiceover: "Don't let it
show in your face - get rid of this thought! Rid of it, quickly, before it's
too late. Doublethink - practice it! The Party says the Earth is flat - true!
That's true. The Party says two and two make five... no, and not to know.
Forget, and forget that you've forgotten - Doublethink.... Crimestop... Ignorance
is strength..." He turns to the Telescreen as another bulletin - this time
telling of victory on the South Indian Front - is broadcast. As the report
continues, Winston sidles back to alcove and resumes his diary, writing "DOWN
WITH BIG BROTHER" over and over again.
on film, Winston is seen passing two signs saying that he is entering a Prole
Sector. Walking through the deserted streets, he comes to a pub and steps
inside, after checking that he hasn't been followed. Inside the pub set,
three prole youths are discussing the relative merits of a pornographic book
by one Jason Flinders. At the sight of Winston entering, they shut up and
the camera pans across to the bar, where two men are arguing over the State
Lottery. Again, when they see Winston, they stop talking. The camera pans
further across the bar to where an old man (Wilfred Brambell) is trying to
persuade the barman to let him have a pint, to which the man replies: "I
don't know what you mean. Litres and half-litres is all we serve!" Winston
appears and offers to buy the old man a drink, and he immediately agrees.
Moving to a table, Winston asks the old man about the changes he's seen since
he was a boy, asking if he thinks he has more freedom now than in the past.
The old man, however, is more than a touch senile, so Winston gets very few
answers and so leaves.
is next seen visiting the junk shop owned by Mr Charrington (Leonard Sachs),
who remembers that Smith visited the place before and bought the exercise
book. Winston is somehwat disturbed that he has recognised him, but Charrington's
friendly and easy-going manner reassures him. Charrington laments the decline
in the antiques trade, saying that there is no longer a demand and little
stock left. Winston picks up a paperweight - a water and chalk-filled glass
sphere that creates an effect like snow when shaken - and remarks on its
beauty. Charrington is surprised, saying that there aren't many people left
who would say as much, and that it will cost $4. Taking the money, he mentions
that there is a room above the shop with some more items that may interest
his customer, and Winston follows him upstairs. Charrington explains that
they used to used the it as a sitting room until his wife died, and that
now he's selling the furniture off. Winston is surprised to find that there
is no Telescreen anywhere in the room. "If you want one down here, you have
to pay for it," Charrington tells him, "They're not provided." Winston turns
his attention to a framed photograph of a church above the fireplace:
WINSTON: Do you know, I know that place. It's a ruin now - it's in the middle
of the street outside the Palace of Justice.
CHARRINGTON: That's right - just outside the Law Courts. It was a church
at one time - St Clement's Dane, the name was. [sings] Oranges and
lemons, says the bells of St Clement's...
WINSTON: What's that?
CHARRINGTON: Just a rhyme we had when I was a boy. It was the names of churches,
all the principal ones in London.
He gets as far as the second verse - "You owe me five farthings, says the
bells of St Martin's" - but can't remember any more. He explains to Winston
what a farthing was, then:
WINSTON: And where was St Martin's?
CHARRINGTON: It's still standing, in Victory Square... just near the statue
of Big Brother on the tall fluted column with the lions at the foot...
Charrington smiles conspiriatorily and adds: "It wasn't always Big Brother,
you know?" Downstairs, Julia is seen walking slowly past the outside of the
shop and then peering in through the window. Coming down the stairs, Winston
spots her and frantically looks around for a weapon, picking up a fearsome
looking mace, but by this time she has gone. Coming in a few moments after
Winston, Charrington assumes he is interested in buying it, but Winston quickly
puts it down again and asks if there is a way out the back of the shop.
Charrington, sensing his unease, says if he's worried about the patrols,
he can say that he was looking for razor blades. As Winston leaves, Charrington
tells him to call in next time he's passing.
Another film sequence shows Winston leaving the Prole Sector and passing
the Chestnut Tree Cafe. Going inside, Winston is surprised to see Syme, whom
he asks about Julia, saying he thinks she works in the Fiction Department
of the Ministry. Syme says he has seen her and asks what Winston's interest
is. Noticing the Telescreen for the first time, Winston says that he believes
she is a District Organiser for the Junior Anti-Sex League and would make
a good subject for an article. "Commendably orthodox," Syme mutters, then
adds loudly: "Double-plus goodthinkful." He glances across at the only other
customers, three solemn-looking elderley men sitting at a table with a chess
set under a large poster of Big Brother. From the Telescreen comes a singing
voice (actually Peter Cushing because the budget wouldn't stretch to a singer!):
"Underneath the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me. They
lie here, and here lie we, 'neath the spreading chestnut tree." The three
men look up at the sound of the song, then return to their game. Winston
asks Syme who the three
SYME: Don't you recognise them?
WINSTON: Why, of course! It was in The Times - the last conspiracy
trial! But they've changed...
SYME: They confessed to sabotage, embezzlement of Party funds, intrigues
with Goldstein's agents. They confessed - now the Telescreen's reminding
them. They were released. They come here every day; for them, the gin's free.
They can play chess, if they wish.
Winston tries to change the subject, drawing attention to the chess board
in front of Syme, who suddenly collapses onto the table, telling Winston
that he has received notification that he is suspended from all his duties
- even the Ministry of Truth Chess Club - pending investigation. Winston
immediately tries to leave, babbling that he's sure it will be sorted out,
and Syme begs him to stay, asking what it is he could have done to bring
this on himself and who could have dennounced him. Breaking free of his grip,
Winston rushes out, and Syme jumps up to follow him when the Telescreen orders:
"JK 2-1-5-9 Syme B, stand where you are. All other customers in the Chestnut
Tree Cafe are to leave immediately. Syme, the Thought Police are joining
Back in his flat, Winston is writing in his diary again, while thinking about
his seeing Julia, speculating whether he should have killed her. He decides
to do this, but only when it is safe....
day, on film, in the Ministry of Truth, Winston is seen walking along a corridor,
looking out for Julia, until he sees her going through a door signposted:
"PORNOSEC - ENTRY FORBIDDEN. A slow fade takes up to the next set, where
Julia is operating "PORNORITE Mk VI No. 247 'JASON FLINDERS'". Her supervisor
makes sure her machine is in order, warning, "They will be here in a moment."
On the other side of the room, O'Brien and another Inner Party member walk
through a door which the former holds open for a few moments as a schmaltzy
song is heard coming from the other side. "In a few weeks," O'Brien remarks,"That
tune will be haunting every Prole Sector in Airstrip One. The sentimental
ones are issued sparingly, so they're always popular." He then directs that
other man's attention to the Pornorite, and the supervisor explains: "This
machine can turn out twenty pornographic novels a day. All phrases and thought
sequences were built in during assembly, so that it has its own distinctive
style. Its products go out under the name of Jason Flinders." O'Brien adds
drily: "They're distributed, of course, in sealed packets, so the Proles
imagine they're getting something illegal." He asks for the machine to be
SUPERVISOR: The operator is now adjusting the situation kaleidoscope, which
varies the six basic plots.
O'BRIEN: Notice the operator - Long Service Sash in the Anti-Sex League,
two Purity Badges.
SUPERVISOR: She has been especially chosen for her exemplory character.
O'BRIEN: We have to be careful here. The stuff's rubbish, of course, but
it might be catching.... The machine sets up its own type, ready to print.
It also provides us with a check copy - here it comes. [reads] "Sandra
Wayne slipped off her remaining undergarments, revealing the whole warm beauty
of her body. As she prepared to step into her bath, there was a rustle. The
ugly snout of a black automatic showed between the curtains. A man stepped
out. 'Put down that gun,' said Sandra coolly, 'It may be loaded.' But a curious
thrill ran through her...."
Julia suddenly screams, her arm caught in the mechanism of the machine. The
supervisor starts to apologise, but O'Brien says she'd better get to the
medical section, because she is bleeding badly, and the shortest way is through
the Records Department.
In the Records Department, Winston is at his work cubicle carrying out his
usual duties. He looks up monetarily as the supervisor's voice is heard off,
then turns back to his speakwrite. As the two women walk past him, Julia
stumbles and falls. Winston helps her to her feet at the Telescreen warns:
"Records Department, Minitru; check that disturbance!" As Julia is helped
away, and without looking at him, she slips something into Winston's hand.
He quickly moves back to his cubicle, finding that what is in his hand is
a crumpled up piece of paper. Using a copy of The Times to hide it
from the Telescreen, he prises it open to find the message: "I LOVE YOU".
Severely shaken, he turns back to his speakwrite and continues with the
correction he was working on.
Part 2 [Star Begotten #19]
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