Written by

                           John Collee


   Our story alternates between Past and Present

   "Present" means the fall of 1858 when Darwin was 49. The
   children are: Etty (15) George (14) Betty (11) Franky (10)
   Lenny (8) and Horace (6).

   "Past" means the summer of 1850, when Darwin was 41. The
   children are: Willy (11), Annie (9) Etty (6) George (5),
   Betty (3) Franky (2y) and baby Lenny.

1   INT. DARK ROOM. THE PAST. DAY                                  1

    In darkness, chemicals wash over a copper plate. Strange
    silvery patterns evolve in the half-light.

2   EXT. TERRA DEL FUEGO. DAY                                      2

    Our POV rotates downwards onto an irregular shape.

    This shape is grey-green and crammed with detail which
    emerges as we draw close - like a continent seen from outer

    A fruit fly lands on it and we now recognise the shape as a
    patch of lichen.

    A number of other fruit flies are grazing there.

    Wider. The lichen is on a rock. A   black lizard climbs over
    the horizon - stalking flies.

    A slow advance. A sudden rush. A fly is snapped up and
    mashed between toothless gums.

    The lizard is fixing its beady gaze on the next potential
    victim when...

    A shadow falls, the lizard tries to flee. A seabird grabs
    the lizard in its claws. Death is sudden and bloody.

    The bird settles to eat.

    Whizz...Thunk. A sharpened stick flies out of nowhere and
    impales the bird through its wing.

    The wounded bird falls between boulders, flapping

    The rest of the flock take to their air, calling and
    wheeling as...

    A crowd of local savages come racing over the larger
    horizon of the rocks armed with primitive bows and arrows,
    spears, rocks and throwing-sticks...

    A child grabs the injured bird and kills it.

    An adult biffs the child on the head and steals the bird.

    The rest of the savages leap among the jagged rocks smiting
    each other, shouting and snarling among the whirling flock
    of birds.


3   EXT. COASTLINE. DAY                                           3

    A POV shot through a telescope: The whirling birds the
    strange half-animal forms of the savages.

    The whole scene is jerky, out of focus and inaudible at
    this great distance like a very old silent movie.

                        CHARLES DARWIN (V.O.)
              In Terra del Fuego. The "land of
              fire" - A blighted and loveless
              country on the earths furthest
              rim - there lives a community of
              the dirtiest, the rudest, the
              least civilised beings you can

    The telescope focusses. The image becomes a little clearer

4   EXT. CLIFF TOP. DAY                                           4

    The flock of boobies fly out to sea.

    The savages follow as far as the top of the cliffs, where
    they stop in sudden amazement, staring at a distant sailing

                        DARWIN (V.O.)
              They were all completely naked,
              the men as well as the women,
              with hair down to their bottoms.
              They spoke in grunts and they
              never washed their hands and
              faces! In many respects they
              resembled wild animals, except
              that animals are kinder to their

    A savage child makes a comment and gets biffed on the head

    Strange, foreign cries of the sailors are faintly audible
    over the water, as the anchor is dropped with a rattle and
    a splash. A small boat is lowered.

              One day, Captain Fitzroy went
              ashore to meet them.

    The slow rhythm of the oars.

    Sailors and savages clutch their weapons, watching each
    other in breathless anticipation.

5   INT. DAGUERROTYPE STUDIO. THE PAST. DAY.                      5

    A door opens and a figure in black, hurries past, clutching
    a number of prepared photographic plates in their light
    proof cases.

              Not long now. I shall be with you

    ANNIE DARWIN, wearing in a checkered dress, aged about 9
    years old, sits looking straight at camera.

    She has short hair and a pretty oval face

    On her lap there is a posy of artificial flowers, in the
    background an improbable vista of jagged mountain.

                        PHOTOGRAPHER (O.S.)
              Ready now. Very still please.

              Will this hurt, papa?

              No. It is only a beam of light.

              How can light make a picture.

              Well they prepare a copper plate
              with chemicals on it. The
              chemicals are sort of energized
              by the light reflecting off your
              Then silver sticks onto the plate
              according to where the light is

              Betty was worried it would hurt.
              ....What a little duck she is.

              So as I was saying, Captain
              Fitzroy went ashore to interview
              the Fuegans....

6   EXT. SHORE. TIERRA DEL FUEGO. DAY                             6

    Waves lap on the black pebbly beach, where a young naval
    captain FITZROY with mutton chop sideboards disembarks
    lightly from his jolly-boat.

                        DARWIN (V.O.)
              After some discussion persuaded
              three of the savages` children to
              come home with him.

    The "discussion" is more in the nature of heated bargaining
    for slaves.

    Fitzroy finally produces enough cloth and axe-heads to
    secure the deal.

    The unwilling children pushed away by their parents and
    grabbed by sailors who bundle them, biting crying and
    kicking, into the waiting boat.

                        DARWIN (V.O.)
              Their names were Jemmy Buttons,
              York Minster and Fuegia Basket.

7   INT. BELOW DECKS. DAY.                                        7

    Below decks: a slapstick struggle with soap and scrubbing
    brushes - much biting kicking and howling - as sailors
    scrub the children clean.

              Ow! Shite! Hold still ye maggot!

              The captain had them washed and
              got their hair cut, then dressed
              them in proper clothes, and
              taught them proper table manners.

8   INT. CAPTAIN'S CABIN.    DAY                                  8

    The children, cleaned and dressed,   seem happy enough in
    their new situation.

    They sit at the captain's table clumsily sawing with a
    knife and chasing Brussel sprouts around a plate with their

    A sprout shoots off the table

9   EXT. SHIP'S DECK. DAY                                         9

    Splosh! A weighted canvas body bag is tipped overboard.

    The rough unshaven seamen crew all remove their hats, some
    of them cry openly.

               York Minster died of the smallpox
               but the other two learned English
               and went to meet the queen.

10   EXT. BUCKINGHAM PALACE. DAY                                   10

     A fanfare as the gates swing open as a coach-and-four
     rattles through.

11   INT. BUCKINGHAM PALACE. DAY                                   11

     Jemmy Buttons, looking very smart in velvet suit with
     silver buttons gives proper bow and shakes the Royal hand.

     Fuegia Basket curtsies.

     Queen Victoria remains out of shot but her attendants hand
     out presents off a purple silk cushion: A Bible for Fuegia
     and a telescope for Jemmy

12   EXT. SHORE OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO. DAY.                          12

     Hairy savages reassemble on the cliff tops

               Two years later. Captain Fitzroy
               and I took them back, in the
               company of a young Parson, hoping
               they would bring the other
               savages to god and to teach the
               others by example.

     The hairy savages squint from the cliffs to sea....

     Another boat, the Beagle, has anchored in their bay.

     Captain Fitzroy is being rowed ashore with Darwin, plus a
     very young parson and the two young Fuegans, who are happy
     and agitated to see their homeland again.

               And what do you think happened?

13   INT. DAGUERROTYPE STUDIO. THE PAST. DAY.                      13

     Annie suspects there is a joke coming and cant help her
     mouth from twitching the corners.

               Correct! A complete and total

14   EXT. ROCKY CREVICES. TERRA DEL FUEGO. DAY                    14

     At the first sight of their countrymen, Jemmy and Fuegia
     rip off their clothes, drop the bible and the telescope,
     and run to join them, yelling like nut-cases.

                           HAIRY SAVAGES

                         JEMMY/ FUEGIA
               Yaah!! Yahh!!

     The benighted young parson scrambles after them, collecting
     their discarded garments from among the rain-swept rocks.

               Jemmy! Fuegia

     The telescope is smashed. The Bible lies abandoned - the
     wind catching its soggy pages and whirling them off in the

15   INT. DAGUERROTYPE STUDIO. DAY.                               15

     Darwin still laughing, dabs his eyes


     The photographer disappears behind black curtains.

               Very still now. No more talking

     Annie composes her face in an expression of angelic

     A glass dome above her head glows snapdragon blue

     Close on Darwin watching his daughter, his eyes still damp
     with tears of laughter.

     Electricity hums. The strange blue light glows brighter,
     brighter... Brighter.

     The image of his daughter imprints on Darwin's memory. Just
     so. Forever.


     Servants are laying a table for dinner

     Gas lamps and the coal fire struggle to illuminate the
     lofty room.

Mrs Davies the Welsh cook, bangs the dinner gong and shouts
across the darkening garden outside.

                    MR DAVIES (O.S.)
          Children! Franky! Horace! Dinner!

Darwins attractive wife Emma adjusts the lamps and the boys
run in, Franky aged 10 Lenny aged 8 Horace aged 6.

          Mama mama.

          Yes. What is it

          Horace says he's six feet tall.

          Have you all washed your hands.

          He said I have to be or I can't
          join the army.

          First things first. An officer
          must always tuck his shirt in.

Their elder sisters Betty and Etty take their places at

          The boys made a camp with a camp-

          Oh! Sneak!

          Where's the campfire.

          In the summer house but Brodie
          put it out.

Parslow enters with the turreen

          Thank-you Parslow. Where is Mr

          He was killing pigeons Ma'am

          Will everybody sit down please.

As they are pulling in their chairs, Darwin enters, drying
his hands on his trousers.

He's aged ten years since we last saw him and has lost his
former air of gaiety.

He sits, with a distracted nod to the family.

          Soup du jour, sir

The children smile at Parslow's air of earnest formality
but the atmosphere even among the younger kids is sombre
and subdued.

          Thank you Parslow

He butters some bread and starts eating. Emma clears her


The children bow their heads. The bread stick in darwins
mouth. Emma says grace.

          Lord God who watches over all
          that we do. Bless this family and
          the food we eat. In Jesus name.

Everyone repeats the "Amen" except Darwin.

          I hear Mr Hooker is coming

The children prick up their ears at this. They like Hooker

          He won't stay long.

          Did he say what it was about?

          I think this is not the time to
          discuss it.

          Maybe the time to discuss it was
          before you invited him.

          He sent a telegram. I'm sorry if
          it inconveniences you.

     Emma purses her lips and turns her attention back to the

               Eat your soup now.

     Darwin takes a couple of spoonfuls, pauses, as a wave of
     nausea sweeps over him, then pushes away the dish.

                    (To Parslow)
               Tell Mr Davies it was delicious,
               but my stomach is not quite right
                    (To Emma)
               Excuse me.

     He gets up and leaves. As soon as he has gone, the children
     natural talkativeness reasserts itself.

               Can we take Mr Hooker to the
               Chalk pits. Why can't he stay.
               Can we pick blackberries?

               I think he is just here to work


     A branch taps gently against the window pain, like an
     insistent guest demanding to be admitted.

     The coal fire burns low in the grate - wind in the chimney
     rattling the damper

     Firelight flickers on a collection of finches in a glass
     case, on a bird skeleton, on a fossil, and on numerous
     specimen bottles containing the fleshy parts of barnacles
     preserved in spirit-of-wine.

     Darwin sits immobile in his chair, regarding a locked,
     black lacquered steel trunk, on the floor under his work

     A voice speaks behind him.

               Aren't you going to open it?

     He turns and sees her sitting on the day bed - the same
     little bright eyed girl from the daguerrotype studio.

     She's the same age as she was then and wearing the same
     checkered dress - though Darwin himself has aged ten years.

               Maybe best if I just burn the
               whole lot.

               No papa - You can't. I'm in it.

               Don't be absurd. Of course you're

               The story of me when I was small.
               You showed me the pages.

               Ah yes.

               "The natural History of babies"

               Of course I remember.

     He continues to stare at the shiny black box, his hand
     fluttering lightly - a nervous tic.

     Music seeps in - a soothing Chopin Nocturne and....


     Darwin aged 40 - bright-eyed and inquisitive leans over to
     examine something, offering it his finger tip while making
     little tut tut tut noises.

     In the cot is a one-month old baby.

               Annie. Annie. Annie.

     The piano music continuing over, as her fist closes round
     the end of his finger, then tries to pull it towards her

     He pulls it away from her and she frowns.

     He offers it again and the tug of war becomes a game.

     Baby Annie laughs.

     Darwin writes something in his notebook. Then tucks his
     pencil behind his ear and tries out various facial
     expressions - scowling, smiling - to gauge the baby's

     Emma turns on the piano-stool.

               What are you doing?

               Just playing.

     She comes over and, leaning against him, reads from his

               "Six weeks: Gurgles. Holds tight
               to my finger. Tries to suck.
               Smiles at my smile"

     The baby lets out a long yodel of pleasure

               I should add that she is musical.

               I hope you do not plan to treat
               all our children as little
               animacules to be included in your

               Do you mean there will be more.

               I assumed that's what you wanted.
               Of course, if the idea doesn't
               appeal then...

               Appeal? Dearest cousin. I am
               making plans for an army!

     He takes Emma in his arms. She gives a little squeak -
     caught off balance then laughing as he waltzes her around
     the room, singing.

19   EXT. WOODS AND MEADOW. THE PAST. DAY                        19

     An army of children - the Darwin family - run across the
     screen from left to right. The little kids first,
     scampering through the hay meadow off into the trees.

     Household servants follow, carrying blankets, hampers and

     The red haired Scottish nursemaid Brodie, shouts ahead to
     the little ones.

               Careful! Not too far ahead now.

     The children ignore her so she pick up her skirts and races
     after them.

     The Adults follow in their wake - Charles and Emma Darwin
     plus two younger men aged about 30 - Joe Hooker and the Rev

20   EXT. RIVER BANK. THE PAST. DAY                               20

     They have set up their picnic on a river bank.

     Emma is reading.

     Joseph Hooker is teaching the boys to fish. He has
     spectacles and long wispy side-whiskers: a battered panama
     on his head and his trousers rolled up to his knees.

               Give it time to take a bite.

     The fishing float moves a little

               He's Nibbling. Nibbling. Oh
               Bother. No-one move.

     He's dropped his spectacles in the shallows.

     George (aged 5) feels a jerk on the line. He squeals and
     drops the rod. The fish takes off upriver. Will goes after
     the dropped rod.

     On shore, Annie runs up with a collecting box to show her

               I've got one.

     She opens the box to show him a little black beetle.

     The local parson, Innes, inclines his head to inspect it

               What should I feed it?

                         MR INNES
               A leaf I should think. What plant
               did you find him on?

               In the mud under that log.

     Innes looks to Darwin for advice

                    MR INNES
          ...Or a piece of bark maybe.

Darwin peers at the insect

          Cycrus caraboides. You can see
          from the mandibles he's a hunter.
          He feeds on slugs and snails.


Annie runs off, calling to the other children

          Etty! Willy! Find me some slugs.
          He's hungry!

          When I said I knew something of

          Oh tush.... I studied Theology
          for a year but yet I know
          exceedingly little of the bible.

          Then once I am properly installed
          at Down I shall take pleasure in
          instructing you.

          I should look forward to that

Emma, knowing her husband's ambivalence towards religion,
casts him a slightly arch, amused look. Innes notices this,
though he pretends not to.

Hooker returns from the river, looking slightly damp, with
the rod which he has managed to retrieve

          Everyone's a bit wet. Sorry, but
          the fish are surely biting. More
          worms, boys, more worms.

George is looking under stones

          Try over there, Georgey, we've
          used all these ones up.

They move off, joining Annie and the other in their hunt
for crawling things. The air above them is heavy and
sparkling with pollen.

21   EXT. OCEAN. NIGHT                                            21

     A sailing ship sails past, trailing phosphorescence it its

                         DARWIN (V.O.)
               On the Beagle, quite, often we
               would drop a flask in the ocean
               and find it teeming with living
               particles which glowed in the

22   INT. SHIP'S CABIN. NIGHT                                     22

     The figure in silhouette of young Darwin inspects a flask
     of sea water, glowing in the darkness.

     He takes a few drops on a watch glass and places them on
     the illuminated stage of his microscope.

     Under the microscope, against a black background, millions
     of tiny swimming animals.

23   EXT. BY THE RIVER BANK. THE PAST. DAY                        23

     Cut to the air above the picnickers - alive with glittering
     particles - against the dark trees behind.

      much beauty for so little

               Surely not without purpose. They
               were helping to light the ship's
               way were they not.

     Darwin smiles at the idea, turns to Innes

               Are you familiar with the works
               of Thomas Malthus, Mr Innes?.

               He married his first cousin
               didn't he?

               So did Charles.... So did I.

               Oh, I was not at all

     Emma waves it away. Just teasing

          He made the point that if every
          trout, say, has a hundred
          offspring And so on and so on
          through the generations. Then the
          planet would be knee deep in
          trout in just a few decades.

          Of course most of the eggs are
          destroyed and eaten so the
          numbers remain stable. That is
          the beauty of God's plan.

Emma gives Darwin a "So there" look and hands Innes a

          Cheese and cucumber


Somewhere in the woods, Annie has found a treasure trove of
worms and slugs.

                    ANNIE (O.S. DISTANT)
          Over here ....there are millions!

          It doesn't strike you as an
          exceedingly wasteful plan - these
          myriad lives created only to be
          immediately extinguished.

              (a gentle warning)

          They are providing food for

          You think they are happy about


Close up on a writing worm. Hooker is instructing George
how to put a worm on a hook.

          Through his bottom and up though
          his mouth - perfect

          ....To be doing Gods will.

              (to Innes)
          Please ignore him. After two
          glasses of claret he tends to
          becomes mischievous.

          No I'm serious. If thousands are
          destroyed that a few may live
          their lives, is not the general
          sum total of happiness not in
          some kind of massive deficit?

          Well far be it from me to
          speculate on the mind of God, far
          less the happiness of an
          earthworm ha ha ha. But it seems
          to me that nature is at
          peace...and most of her denizens
          are content.


              (to Darwin)
          You don't agree.

          I think it is a battlefield. A
          constant and shifting struggle
          for survival between everything
          and everything else.

          I really do think men have a
          problem with natural beauty. They
          cannot ever just accept it for
          what it is.
              (Calls off)
          Children! Sandwiches!
          Tell me of your wife Mr Innes.

Darwin lies back on the rug and turns his head away from
the sun.

The base of a tangled hedgerow is just a few feet away.

Looking into its tangled depths he sees something gleaming
white - the skull of a sheep with briars growing through
the eye sockets.

24   EXT. BASE OF THE HEDGEROW. TIME-LAPSE. NIGHT                  24

     The sheep's skull is half-decomposed.

     In fast forward we see maggots pecking the remnants of
     flesh from the bone, birds feeding on the maggots.

     A bird becomes trapped among the briars. It flaps madly
     upsetting a nest.

     Eggs and blind featherless hatchlings fall down through the
     dark web of branches where they are devoured by voles and
     rats, then slugs, then worms

     All the times tendrils and vines are growing, the skull -
     bleached white - now encased in a cage of thick spiny
     branches, fizzing with insect life, where ants and ground
     beetles feast on the carcasses of slugs and....

25   INT. DARWIN'S BEDROOM. THE PRESENT. DAWN                      25

     Darwin wakes in sudden terror.

     Dawn light illuminates the wallpaper in front of him - a
     William Morris design of interweaving vines.

     Emma, is asleep in her night-cap at his side.

     Darwin lies for a while in the semi darkness, until his
     hand, fluttering on the coverlet, becomes still at last.

26   INT. SCULLERY. THE PAST. DAY.                                 26

     Light and noise.

     Crash of gleaming copperware, clattering of water in the
     pipes as the servants prepare Sunday breakfast

     The cook, Mrs Davies looks out through a steamed up window
     to see the angular figure of Charles Darwin, bent almost
     double inspecting a tiny segment of lawn.

     Brodie joins Mrs Davies at the window.

                         MRS DAVIES
               What is he doing now, exactly?

               Cutting the grass with nail

                         MRS DAVIES
               Such a shame he never had a
               proper job. At least your Mr
               Thackeray had his books to write.

27   INT. DOWN HOUSE. THE PAST. DAY                                27

     Children thunder up and down the stairs between Brodie who
     is doing a final check on grooming and Emma who is
     marshalling them in the hall.

28   INT. HALLWAY. THE PAST. DAY                                   28

               Chop chop Georgie. Socks! And you
               have not buttoned your trousers.

     Baby Lenny starts crying and she goes to comfort him

29   INT. GIRLS' BEDROOM. THE PAST. DAY.                           29

     Brodie is arranging hair and tying ribbons for Annie (9)
     Etty (6) and Betty (3)

               Did you never think of getting
               married Miss Brodie.

               Once. But he went to Australia
               and I missed my chance.

     Willy passes the door, his hair in need of brushing.

               Master William. Hairbrush.

     William comes in. Brodie brushes the back of his hair.

               Ow. Ow!

               Well what do you expect. It is a
               birds nest.

               Papa says God doesn't care if we
               are neat.

               Your father is a very wize man
               but has a small understanding of
               religion. No-one can read what
               goes down in Gods great book of
               accounts. ....Fingernails.

     Willy presents them for checking.

               You can go.

30   INT. HALLWAY. THE PAST. DAY.                                  30

     The children come racing and swinging and clattering down
     the stairs.

     Emma, holding the baby in one arm, steers a tricycle out of
     the way, clearing a path to the door

               Mrs Davies, Will you ask Jenny to
               wear a bonnet. I would not like
               people to think her fast.

     George aged 5 tugs at her skirt

               Can I bring my mouse for a

               What mouse?

     George (5) pulls it out from his pocket. Its dead, muddy
     and bloody

               Elsie caught it in the barn. We
               need to pray for his soul

               Mice don't have souls. Leave it
               on the window sill. Everyone come
               now or we shall be late.

31   EXT. LANEWAY. DOWN HOUSE. THE PAST. DAY                       31

     Pealing of church bells

     Mist rises from the ploughed fields and hangs among the
     ancient oaks.

     A little procession heads down the lane. The Darwins -
     Charles and Emma - plus their servants and children (older
     now, for we have flipped into the present), all in their
     Sunday best.

     The trees are bare. Their breath condenses as they walk.

32   EXT. VILLAGE SQUARE. THE PRESENT. DAY                         32

     The ancient flint church stands in the centre of Downe
     (sic) village, opposite the George and Dragon pub.

     A massive and venerable Yew tree casts its shade over a
     number of gravestones one of them inscribed "to Mary Darwin
     born Sept 1842 died Oct 1842."

     Beyond the church fence, villagers greet each other before
     heading inside. The great majority of the village have
     turned out, from Squire Lubbock through the tradesmen and
     domestic servants from the village to the clodhoppers (farm
     labourers) in their colored smocks.

     Rev Innes is welcoming his large flock at the gate.

               Reverend Innes.

               Ma'am. Welcome. Welcome

     Then his eye moves on to Charles Darwin and his smile
     falters, his expression turning slightly cold.

     Darwin tips his hat rather stiffly and walks away, through
     the throng of parishioners, leaving his family to file into
     the church without him.

33   EXT. WOODLAND. PRESENT. DAY                                  33

     Darwin walks across the meadow and into the woods.

     A flock of crows take flight from the rookery in the bare
     trees overhead.

34   INT. DOVECOTE. PRESENT. DAY                                  34

     In darkness, a furious struggle, squawking and frantically
     beating wings.

     Darwin seizes on a dove and backs out of the dovecote, the
     silhouette of his upper torso taking shape in the square
     hole in the floor.

     He climbs down the ladder, passes the captive bird down to
     Parslow, then climbs back up and pushes him upper body into
     the dovecot again, in search of the next victim.

35   EXT. THE GARDEN. DOWN HOUSE. THE PRESENT. DAY                35

     The dovecote is a substantial affair on four pillars with a
     ladder in the centre.

     Outside the dovecote, the boys are racing around playing at
     soldiers. (Franky 10, Lenny 8, Horace 6)

     Parslow has a number of the birds in cages

               Ring the two milky pouters. We'll
               sacrifice the tumblers and
               skeletonize them. Then...

     He looks up as a coach appears in the lane. The boys
     immediately break off from their game and run after it,

               It's Mr Hooker. It's Mr Hooker!

     Darwin tries to wipe the bird shit off his hands and
     succeeds only in getting it on his sleeve.

     His breathing quickens. He seems at a loss. Parslow is
     awaiting further instructions

               Then... what Sir?

               Just. the shed with them. I
               shall clean myself up.

     He hurries off.

36   EXT. THE FRONT GATE. THE PRESENT. DAY.                        36

     The coach pulls up and Hooker alights - ten years older
     than when we saw him catching fish, but still with the same
     hallmark side whiskers and wire-rimmed spectacles, the same
     springy step and ready grin.

     Already he is being mobbed by the younger boys - Lenny,
     Franky, and Horace - who clearly adore him.

                         BOYS(AD LIB)
               - We're the Light Brigade Horace
               is a Russian.

               Good choice Horace. I shall be
               Lord Raglan and watch the
               slaughter from a safe distance.

               - Will you give us a piggy-back?
               - Lenny cut his foot on a nail.
               There was lots of blood!

     Emma emerges from the front door. She smiles, pleased to
     see Hooker despite her misgivings.

Then her smile falters as another man emerges from the
coach behind him.

          Emma. Forgive the short notice.
          You know Thomas Huxley.

          Only by reputation

          Mrs Darwin.

          He insisted on coming and I could
          not refuse him.

          Tell papa his visitors are here.

          He knows already.

          He went that way.

Emma smiles brightly, covering for her embarrassment at her
husband's increasingly erratic behavior.

          Anyway. Come in please. Come in.

Hooker heads towards the house, the boy still clustered
around him.

          Sir, Is it true when you were in
          the Himalayas you were imprisoned
          by the king of Sikkim?

          Absolutely true.

          And he thought you were a spy for
          stealing his rhododendrons?

          That's approximately true.

          ....and he wouldn't let you leave
          unless you agreed to marry his
          fattest daughter.

               Yes. (Conspiratorial) ....but
               you are never to tell my wife

               Children leave Mr Hooker alone
               now. I'm sure he has more
               important things to discuss.

               Not really, but I think Mr Huxley

     Huxley has seen Darwin, washing his hands by the
     "skeletonizing shed".

     Huxley hangs back to introduce himself as Hooker steers
     Emma off into the house.

               I have my heart set on a cup of
               tea and one of Mrs Davies'

     Emma looks anxiously after Huxley but allows herself to be
     gently side-lined.

37   INT. KITCHEN. THE PRESENT. DAY .                             37

     Emma is by the kitchen window, rearranging tea things on a

     The sky outside is dark and lowering.

     Through the window she can see Darwin heading off down the
     sand walk - head bowed, walking stick in hand - deep in
     conversation with Huxley.

     She drops a tea-cup which smashes on the stone floor.

                         MRS DAVIES
               I'll do that ma'am. Please. Let
               me do it.


     The Sand-walk is a gravel walking path between the garden
     and the fields, flanked by mature oaks and ancient willows.

               We're reforming the Linnean. The
               committee will comprise myself,
               Lyell, Huxley...yourself of
               course if you are willing.

Darwin grunts noncommittally. The Crunch crunch of their
feet is punctuated by the regular stomp of his metal-shod
walking stick.

          We intend to reclaim science as a
          profession - wrest it away from
          the country parsons and beetle-
          collectors. Your book will be our
          rallying point.

          You know it is not yet any fit
          state to publish.

          I have read your detailed
          abstract. The argument is
          complete and utterly compelling.
          All that is lacking is the detail
          and we know you have that in
          abundance. Your barnacle work has
          established you as the pre-
          eminent authority on marine life.

          On one small mollusc!

          In which the whole story of
          creation can be read. Do not
          pretend to me that was not your


          A "family tree" of barnacles
          stretching back 300 million years
          to the time it was a free
          swimming prawn!.

          There are many gaps.

          Of course with gaps! But that is
          the very point. If we but had the
          complete fossil record we could
          trace all life back to one speck
          of protoplasm. The branching of
          forms in ever more complex

          Yes yes, but one cannot infer too

          Mr Darwin. Either you are being
          disingenuous or you do not fully
          understand you own
          accomplishment. You have killed

          Mr Huxley

          ....and good riddance to the
          bearded malicious old bugger!

          Please I must beg of you....

          No. I must beg of you sir. Joseph
          Hooker we know is too nice a chap
          to do it. You are a fine and
          brilliant man who hates to give
          offence - an admirable quality -
          wish I had it myself. But what do
          we believe? What do we know to be
          true. Will you light the way or
          leave us all to flounder in the
          mire for another decade.

He stops and lowers himself onto a bench, teeth clenched.

          Are you alright?

          A touch of indigestion. It will

Its clearly worse than that, but Huxley, refusing to be
distracted, blithely ignores it and sits down beside him
til the worst of it passes.

          It is time to write your book Mr
          Darwin. Write it brilliantly as
          we all know you can. Strike hard
          and fast with a blow that is
          utterly conclusive.

              (in pain)
          Sir, you are talking like a
          revolutionary and really...

          It is a revolution. And not
          before time.

                         HUXLEY (cont'd)
               Goodbye to the lot of em - damned
               bishops and Archbishops with
               their threats of eternal

               And you'd replace Gods Laws with

               The laws of logic. The laws of

               Knowing, as we do, that most
               capital crimes are her everyday
               practises: Theft, rape, murder,
               adultery, infanticide....

     Huxley waves it away

               We live in a society bound
               together by the church. An
               improbable sort of barque I grant
               you but at least it floats. You
               suggest we change all that at a
               stroke. You wish me to rebuild,
               plank by plank, the very vessel
               we are sailing in.

39   EXT. DOWN HOUSE. DAY.                                        39

     The Coach to London has pulled up outside the front gate.
     Huxley is aboard. Darwin is talking with the coachman

     Hooker comes down the path in his black coat, carrying his
     Gladstone bag.

               Mr Hooker.

     He turns. He has already said his good-byes.

               I beg you, please don't push him.

               No-one can push Charles. You know
               how fixed he is. Bit of a
               barnacle himself ... his own

               And if you prize him from his
               rock he will die. I know you all
               mean well but....

               All aboard!

     Hooker gets aboard. Huxley leans out of a window and waves
     cheerily to the whey-faced Darwin

               We'll meet again, Mr Darwin

40   INT. THE LANEWAY. DAY                                         40

     The coach pulls away.

     Looking back though the rear window Hooker sees Emma with
     the boys clustered around her skirts.

               What did she say to you?

               That it was killing him.

               A mighty slow death considering
               the time he's spent. We'll be
               dead and buried ourselves if he
               prevaricates much longer.

     Huxley takes off his spectacles and polishes them,
     embarrassed by Huxley's directness, inspecting his own
     conscience in the bevelled glass.

41   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY. NIGHT                                    41

     In the darkened study, with his specimens and books all
     around him, Darwin kneels by the box.

     Steeling himself, he unlocks the padlock and opens the lid
     and takes out the papers and notebooks which are stored

     The bulk of it is a single manuscript, accumulated over
     many years, divided into 14 chapters with pages of notes

     The Chapters are headed. Variation under domestication,
     variation under nature, Struggle for Existence, Natural

     A noise behind him almost makes him jump out of his skin.

     Its Annie, ten years old in her checked dress, as she will
     always be in his imagination.

               Why are you scared?

               Like you said. You're in it.

               Its only a book, silly.

     He sits there regarding the open box, paralysed by
     indecision. Annie tenderly smooths his hair, rearranging
     his collar.

               What are you doing, Annie?

               I'm making you beautiful.

               I have to work.

     Though the soft touch of her little hands is almost too
     real for him to bear and he closes his eyes

               Breath in, papa. Breathe out. Now
               Tell me a story.

               I have no time....

               About Jenny. Please?

     The sound of a wave breaking. Wind stirs Darwin's hair

     He opens his eyes and he is ....

42   EXT. ENGLISH BEACHSIDE. THE PAST DAY                          42

     Sitting with Annie ten years ago on an English pebble

     She has collected a pile of shells and is arranging them in

     The dialogue is continuous

               Why do you always ask for Jenny?
               Its so sad.

               That's why I like it. It makes me

     She looks up from her shells and smiles winningly.

     Darwin looks out to sea, at the bright crashing line of
     surf, and begins the familiar, much-told tale:

               Once apon a time there was a
               family of Orang-u-tangs living in
               the jungles of darkest Borneo

43   EXT. JUNGLES OF BORNEO. DAY                                  43

     Our POV moves between dark tropical trees to find a group
     of Orangutans flopping around grooming each other.

     As with the land of the Fuegan savages, there is something
     slightly artificial about these jungles, as though the
     trees really belong in Kew gardens, and the naked jungle
     warriors, whom we now see stalking through them, are on
     loan from the museum of mankind.

               Their eldest daughter was the
               most loving, caring and trusting
               Orang of all.

     We follow a young nimble female, swinging through the
     trees, revelling in her own gymnastic ability, until she
     stops - hearing something: the sound of human speech.

               But these qualities in themselves
               cannot guarantee an ape's
               survival. Sometimes, quite the

     Native hunters are creeping through the undergrowth

     A warning screech from one of the Orang-u-tangs posted as

     Most of the apes flee up into the canopy. Jenny stays where
     she is, fascinated, just a moment longer than is prudent.

               When she realized her danger it
               was too late.

     As she turns to flee a weighted net is thrown on top of
     her. The hunters pounce.

               They put her in a bag and carried
               her off....

               " much to her loving parent's


     The family screech and hoot, anguished, as the hunters head
     back off through the trees.

44   EXT. MARKET-PLACE. DAY                                        44

     Exotic coins and bank-notes pass from hand to hand: from
     the tribal chief to the sultan, in his overlarge turban,
     from the sultan to the trader in his solar topee and
     stained white suit.

               The hunters sold her the to the
               Sultan who promptly sold her to a
               visiting Englishman who packed
               her aboard a sailing ship and
               brought her to London zoo.

     Jenny is taken out of a bamboo cage and put into a metal

45   INT. CARGO SHIP. DAY                                          45

     The cage is lowered by a crane. Jenny looks out from her
     swaying prison at spinning grey skies and brick warehouses.

46   INT. CAGE. LONDON ZOO. DAY                                    46

     Now she sits disconsolately in a corner of her permanent

     She has been dressed, ridiculously and poignantly in a
     smock and a bonnet.

     A group of onlookers are trying to get a reaction out of
     her. Eventually they give up and move on.

               In London she had many admirers -
               of whom your father was but one.

     Darwin moves forwards from the shadows, where he has been
     observing and taking notes.

     As the other humans move away be attempts to start a
     conversation with Jenny in her own language, much in the
     way he communicated with baby Annie.

          Hoo hoo hoo hoo.

Jenny regards him sceptically then looks away.


She startles and looks at him aggressively.


He reaches in his pocket. This gets her interest. She comes
closer, expecting food.

Darwin takers out a sprig of verbena - a strongly scented

He holds in front of his nose and inhales, making contented
expressions of pleasure.

Jenny watches.

Darwin holds the verbena towards Jenny.

Cautiously she extends a hand through the bars.

Their fingers touch in space, like God Giving life to Adam.
For Darwin its a breakthrough - a moment of connection.

Jenny eats the verbena and spits it out, shrieking angrily.

          Wait, sorry, wait - I've got
          something else here for you

He reaches in his pocket. She cocks her head, alert.

With the air of a conjurer, he pulls out:

A child's hand mirror, flashing as it catches the sun
through the skylights.

              (pleasurable surprise)

He shows Jenny her own reflection and, then hands the
mirror through the bars.

Jenny takes the mirror, bites it, discovers it is inedible,
and smashes it on the ground.

Charles makes a sad, whining sound

          Hew Hew Hew...


     Meaning: "OK then, I'm sorry."

     It's such a complex human reaction - grudging contrition -
     that Charles laughs aloud with pleasure.

     Jenny laughs.

     Charles takes out a mouth organ and plays a snatch of

     Jenny covers her ears and chatters. "Not listening not

     Charles, insulted, stops playing.

     Jenny laughs waves a hand as if to say: "Play, if it amuses
     you. I'm must kidding."

47   EXT. THE BEACH. THE PAST. DAY                                 47

     The salt wind. The dazzling light. The slow pulse of the

     Darwin has paused in his narrative.

               Go on papa.

               Go on what.

               The bit where she gets sick and

               No. Why do you want to hear that

               I just like it. It makes me cry.

     Darwin smiles, his own eyes filling with tears.

     Then a door opens, softly, in the sky.

48   INT. THE STUDY. THE PRESENT. NIGHT                            48

     It opens wider to reveal Emma's elegant profile, framed
     against the gaslight of the hallway.

Her POV: the black box is unlocked and open, its contents
strewn around the floor at darwins feet.

Darwin is sitting on the floor of the study holding in his
had a magazine, published by the Society for the useful
Distribution of Knowledge, with a picture of Jenny on the

          Are you coming to bed?


He doesn't move. She comes in

          What did Huxley want?

          He thinks I should write it and
          be done with it. He feels it is a
          question of moral courage ...or
          the lack of it.

          You did not tell him about your

          His theory is that I am making
          myself ill by holding back. That
          I should lance the boil. Plunge
          in and hang the consequences.

          Thank the Lord he is not a

Darwin takes a breath and plunges in himself:

          I've concluded he is right. Bite
          the gag. Speed is everything. It
          will all be over in a matter of

Emma is horrified.

          It is not mere months that
          concern me Charles. Nor even
          years or decades...

Its said quietly but with genuine anguish. To Emma it is
as though her life partner has announced he's contemplating

               Do you really care   so little for
               your immortal soul   - for the
               knowledge that you   and I may
               never be together,   in all of

               You know that what concerns you
               concerns me also. What do think
               has held me in limbo all these

     Emma has. They both know it. She turns abruptly from the
     door and hurries away.

49   INT. BEDROOM. THE PRESENT. NIGHT.                            49

     Emma has been crying. She lies in bed pretending to sleep.

     Darwin gets into bed behind her. He wants desperately to
     reach out a hand to touch her, to comfort her, but he
     cannot do it for fear of weakening his own fragile resolve.

               Dearest Emma. You know This is
               not a decision made lightly....

50   INT. DARWINS STUDY. THE PRESENT. DAWN                        50

     In the dawn light, Darwin is writing a letter to his wife.

                         DARWIN (V.O.)
               .... It has been a very slow and
               gradual process, like the raising
               of continents.

51   EXT. GARDEN. THE PRESENT. DAY.                               51

     EMMA stands alone in the wintry garden, a white apron over
     her black dress, reading.

                         DARWIN (V.O)
               What else can I say to you,
               except that it seems the process
               is now complete.

     A tear tracks down the curve of Emma's cheek as she folds
     the letter, puts it in her pocket and return to the
     business of dead-heading flowers.

     In voice over we hear singing.

               All   things bright and beautiful,
               all   creatures great and small.
               All   things wize and wonderful,
               The   lord God made them all.

52   EXT. DOWN VILLAGE CHURCH . THE PAST. DAY.                     52

     Move in through the graveyard, past the ancient yew..

                         CONGREGATION (OS)
               Each little flower that opens,
               Each little bird that sings,
               He made their glowing colors,
               He made their tiny wings.

53   INT. DOWNE VILLAGE CHURCH. THE PAST. DAY.                     53

     The church is packed for the Sunday Morning service

     The Darwin family stand in the front row.

     Emma, the servants and the rest of the family are singing
     lustily: Parslow - a somewhat pompous operatic tenor,
     Brodie and Innes both loudly Scottish (Innes out of tune),
     Annie by Darwins side, trilling along in a tuneful little

     She notices her father is not singing and offers him her
     hymn book with the words.

     Darwin smiles and returns it. Its not that he doesn't know
     the lyrics, its just that he can't bring himself to say

                         DARWIN FAMILY
               All things bright and beautiful
               all creatures great and small.
               All things wize and wonderful the
               Lord God made them all.

     The organ, played by Mrs Innes,   wheezes to a pause. Innes
     himself mounts the pulpit.

               Let us pray.

     Everyone bows their heads in prayer.

                         INNES (CONT'D)
               Lord God we know the world is
               governed by Thy plan.

     Darwin is immediately not listening.

     He looks along the row of his children, standing dutifully
     in a line between Charles and Emma.

     George, aged 5, is studying the woodlice which are nesting
     between the pages of his hymnal

                         INNES (O.S)
               Extending even to the merest
               creatures thou hast made, such
               that even a sparrow falls not to
               the ground without thy will.

     Darwin, stands watching the play of light from the stained
     glass window on his shoes. Then raises his head

               Teach us that all misfortune.
               All sickness and death, all the
               trials and miseries of which we
               daily complain are intended for
               our good, being not the vagaries
               of an uncaring universe but the
               corrections of a wize and
               affectionate parent

     Innes looks up sternly and sees the Darwin's head raised
     among the sea of down-turned heads.

     Their eyes meet briefly in a sort of challenge, and in that
     moment, Darwin somehow knows with absolutely certainty that
     religious faith has left him.

     With a whispered word to the beadle standing next to him to
     take the collection Darwin slips out from the pew and heads
     off up the aisle.

               Excuse me

     He's intending to be quiet and subtle but the creaking
     boards under his feet loudly announce his departure.

     Innes raises his voice above the fusillade.

               Turn with me now to the book of
               Job, Chapter Two verse twelve

     The congregation, not daring to raise their heads, watch
     Darwin's sturdy walking shoes departing down the aisle.

54   EXT. THE CHURCH. THE PAST. DAY.                               54

     The rise and fall of Innes's voice continues in the
     background as Darwin walks out from the porch, emerging
     from shadow into sunlight.

     A summers day. He feels like a weight has been lifted.

     The church beadle comes out behind him.

               Are you all right, sir?

               Never better. Thank-you.

     He heads off up the gravel path

55   INT WOODLANDS. THE PRESENT. DAY                               55

     The faint and Distant sound of church singing filters
     through the misty woods. The black wet trunks of trees
     catch the sunlight.

     Frosty dew highlights Mistletoe and holly and dead bracken
     and the sudden red flash of a robin.

     Darwin cuts a strange dark angular figure, walking along
     the narrow track a single step at a time.

     He pauses breathing, and listens.

     His quick eye catches the robin seizing a worm.

     Further on. A pheasant breaks cover. A hare stands upright
     in a clearing then bounds away.

     Darwin looks down and takes another step, placing his feet
     carefully, silently so as not to disturb the wildlife.

     Cut to a different pair of much newer shoes in exactly the
     same spot.

56   INT. WOODLANDS. THE PAST. DAY                                 56

     Darwin is ten years younger, pacing in the same, measured
     way through summer woodland.

     There's a noise behind him and he turns, finger to his lips
     for silence.

     Annie turns away from him and passes the sign down the line
     of children: Etty, George, Betty and Franky, in decreasing
     order of height.


                   (to ANNIE)
               What are we looking at?

The question comes back up the line

          A weasel.

The children bunch up to gaze on a strange and wonderful

In a little sun-dappled clearing a weasel is turning loop
the loops in a strange spiralling dance for the benefit

...a young rabbit, which sits utterly hypnotized by the

At first its strange and amusing, then the dance becomes
more sinister. The weasel advancing by tiny increments as
it tumbles in the air, finally


The weasel seizes the bunny rabbit by the back of the neck
and shakes it savagely.

The rabbit shrieks and spasms.

Annie is beside herself, drumming the ground with her feet
in a fever of fear and pity.

The rabbit is still in its dearth throes, its neck broken,
its back legs still jerking

          No! No! Stop it. Daddy. Stop it.
          Make it stop.

The rabbit is already dead.

          Annie, Annie, Annie.

He sinks to his knees, heedless of the mud on his Sunday
best worsted, embracing her.

The others are shocked and amazed by the rabbits death, but
none of them distressed as Annie. They are country children
and death is an everyday event

          The chickens do that too when
          cookie kills them

              (tearful furious)
          Chickens are different!
              (To her father)

                         ANNIE (cont'd)
               Why didn't you do something. You
               should have stopped it!

               The weasel has to eat. Its the
               way of the world. Annie

               Its not fair. Its not fair.

               No, its not fair at all.

     Patting her and stroking her as the little sobs subside.

     The weasel is dragging the dead rabbit back to its lair.

               ....but still it is
               extraordinary, do you not think,
               that a weasel should learn to
               dance the polka.

     Despite herself the concept amuses Annie. Chest still
     heaving with sobs - she dries her eyes and smiles at him
     through her tears.

57   INT. DOWN HOUSE. BEDROOMS. THE PAST .NIGHT .                 57

     Piano music - Chopin - plays softly over as Charles and
     Emma do the rounds of their large brood of children,
     turning out lamps and kissing sleeping heads, taking a doll
     from one sleeping child's embrace, a sword from another.
     Shooing a cat and her kittens from the bedroom.

               Good-night Lenny.


               Good-night Frankie

               Good-night Betty.

     Darwin watches his wife, a sensuous figure, stooped over
     the sleeping child, a lock of hair falling forwards as she
     kisses her.

               Good-night George

               Good-night Etty.

               Good-night Willy

                         DARWIN AND EMMA
               Good-night Annie

     She's sound asleep. Finally Charles and Emma are alone
     together in the blissfully silent house.

     Emma smiles

               Dear Charles

               Dearest Emma

     He takes her hand and leads her to their bedroom.

58   EXT. THE BEACH. THE PAST. DAY                                 58

     Emma lies on a rug, her head is in Darwin's lap. She is
     reading aloud from a new book of poems by Wordsworth.

               "Loving she is, and tractable
               though wild.
               And innocence hath privilege in
               To dignify arch looks and
               laughing eyes;
               And feats of cunning; and the
               pretty round
               Of trespasses, affected to
               provoke Mock chastisement, and
               partnership in play"

     She puts the book down

               Then we were wrong. She is not
               unique after all.

     Darwin is watching Annie dancing in front of the surf ,
     turning cartwheels - a wild dancing sprite of the sea,
     oblivious to the cold, shouting and singing:

59   THE BEACH. LATER                                              59

     Later, Near the cliff, Darwin is "geologising"

     He's excited, breathless and windswept, shouting over the
     sound of the nearby surf as he clambers over the huge
     assorted boulders pointing out the geological strata to his
     kids who are more interested in clambering.

          This is Devonian, about 400
          million years ago. Rocks like
          this might have fishes in them,
          trilobites, tree ferns, corals

He knock off a corner of rock with his geological hammer,
then moves on

          Is this a bit?

          No that is Cretaceous Etty. It
          was made a hundred millions years
          ago, when this cliff was a coral
          reef and Down village was a swamp
          full of great crocodiles.

Tap tap tap with his hammer as the boys scramble upwards,
playing at mountaineers.

          We might find oysters and sponges
          imprinted in it, or dinosaurs if
          we were lucky...

          What's a dinosaur?

          Professor Owen invented them.

          They are the giant lizards which
          lived on earth before there were
          any humans.

          But they weren't real

          Of course they are, Betty. Did I
          never tell you of the skeletons I
          found in South America
              (to Etty)
          Do you remember Mr Martell?


Annie arrives, hopping nimbly over the rocks still in her
wet swimsuit

               Yes you do. When he came to tea
               and showed us drawings of his
               Iguanodon. And George burnt his
               fingers roasting chestnuts.

               Oh yes.

               She doesn't remember.

               You should have your clothes on
               Annie. You are quite blue.

               Savages don't swear clothes.

     She runs to the top of a great fallen rock, spreads her
     arms out, and yells to the sky.

               I'm a Fuegan.

               Well don't fall and hurt
               yourself. Your mother would never
               forgive me.

     Annie gives a shout and disappears head over heels.


               I've found one!

     In the rubble at the base of the rocks she has landed,
     unhurt and quite by accident on a perfect specimen of a
     fossilized trilobite.

60   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY. THE PRESENT. DAY                        60

     The black box lies open with all its secrets strewn around
     the office.

     Stacks of paper - a stack for every chapter - are held down
     with paperweights - a fossil, a skull, a specimen bottle.

     Darwin squares a stack of blank paper between his hands,
     then reaches for his pen.

61   INT. VILLAGE SCHOOL. THE PAST . DAY.                         61

     Annie reaches for her pen.

     Reverend Innes is giving the children their writing
     lessons, according to "Mulhauser's technique"

               First positions.

     The children assume the position as if in some militaristic

               Second positions.

     Grips are adjusted, pens are dipped.

               Assume the distance.

     The children lean back fractionally, so their elbows are
     just back from the edge of the desk.

               .....and begin.

     The Children start to copy the sentence which Innes has
     written on the blackboard.

     Annie reads the sentence and hesitates: "And on the seventh
     day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested"

62   INT DARWIN'S STUDY. DAY.                                    62

     Darwin massages his cramped hand then takes a blank sheet
     of notepaper.

               Dearest Hooker. I am one week
               into the great project and I feel
               at last that it is real. Its
               title is "On the Origin of
               Species." As I write theses words
               why does it feel as though I am
               confessing to a murder...

     A paper stirs in the breeze and he pins it with the nearest
     object to hand - Annie's trilobite.

     His eye rests on it a moment

     CUT TO

63   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY. THE PAST . DAY                         63

     The corrugated gray surface, greatly magnified.

     The Darwin of ten years ago is examining the trilobite with
     a watchmakers eyeglass.

     There is a small mirror above his desk, angled so as to
     give him a view of the path leading round from the front of
     the house.

     Innes appears briefly in it, preceded by Annie, who is
     trotting to keep pace with him and crying.

     Darwin, intent on his work, notices neither of them

     From downstairs he hears the door knocker then Brodie's
     voice, then Emma's overlapping with half-heard fragments of
     Innes's Scottish brogue.

                           INNES (O.S.)
                 I thought you needed to know why
                 I had to chastised her.

     Darwin remains immersed, examining each detail of the
     trilobite, comparing it with other specimens in books and
     in boxes.

                           INNES (O.S.)
                 ....It is not fair to the other
                 nor to Annie herself that her
                 head be filled with these ideas....

                 Are you listening, Annie?

     Annie sobs louder, incoherent in her grief.

     Darwin finally focusses on the sounds, recognizes her
     distress and gets up to investigate.

64   EXT .UPPER HALLWAY. DAY.                                     64

     He reaches the top of the stairs. Annie is directly below
     him, slumped, still sobbing at the foot of the stairs.

     Emma has ushered Innes to the porch out of sight.

                           INNES (O.S)
                  I shall bid you good day then

     The front   door closes. Darwin comes downstairs

                 What happened?


                 Its not nothing. (To Annie) Why
                 are your knees bleeding?

          Mr Innes had to have words with
          her. It is sorted now.

          Words are very well. I am asking
          what happened to her knees.

          Mr Innes sent me to the corner
          and made me kneel on rock-salt.


              (in a rush)
          I said there were dinosaurs and
          he said there wasn't dinosaurs
          but there were because you saw

          Annie. Let me talk to your
          father. He told her to kneel til
          she repented...

          Repented what?

          The bleeding is due to her own
          stubborn-ness. It is finished

          It is by no means finished. Where
          is my coat. Its intolerable

          Charles. Please.

Charles ignores her, Forcing his arm into the sleeve of his

          Mr Innes is a dear friend and
          neighbor. I beg you at least
          appraise yourself the facts. She
          contradicted him repeatedly. The
          fault was Annie's Mr Innes was
          quite within his rights.

              (his arm is stuck)
          In his rights to torture our
          children for expressing the plain

Brodie appears and Darwin ushers Annie towards her

            DARWIN                           EMMA
...Please take her to           It is not the truth as he
kitchen.                        sees it

          Well damn how he sees it. Damn
          the pair of them and all their

          Charles listen to yourself.

Blocking his path as he heads for the door. Her palm flat
on his lapel, soothing, reasoning with him

          Emma please. I will not have
          Innes tell me what I can and
          cannot tell my children.

          It is what I have told them every
          night at bedtime. It is the
          instruction my aunt and your
          brother and most of our family
          live by. It is what all of the
          village believe ...or try to.
          Charles. Must our children be
          revolutionaries at nine years of
          age. Write to him with your
          concerns - our concerns - about
          the manner of the punishment but
          please do not set yourself
          against him. Think of my feelings
          on this. I beg you.

Finally his outrage has spent itself, neutralized by her
gentle persistence and the deep affection he holds for her.

          You're right of course.... I'm

He embraces her.

Emma is reassured, she cannot see the conflict written all
over Darwins face.

65   INT. STUDY. DAY. (THE PRESENT)                                65

     The conflicted expression has hardened, the furrows in
     Darwin's brow etched deeper, as he dips his pen and begins
     the second chapter.

     From the floor below we can hear Emma practising a piece of
     music on the piano - Chopin's revolutionary etude: a
     rippling, brooding arpeggio running up and down the
     keyboard, redolent of an angry sea.

     Darwin's pen scratches doggedly over the paper.

66   INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.                                          66

     In the bedroom, in his nightgown, Darwin scrubs the ink
     stains off his fingers with a pumice stone.

     Emma passes behind him, preparing for bed. He glances at
     her in the mirror

               You're still angry with me.

               No. Why?

               I can always tell by your

               Not angry. I'm sad.

67   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY. THE PRESENT. DAY                         67

     Darwin sits at his desk, writing and editing, his hand
     clamped on the pen.

     A voice speaks from nowhere

               Talk to her.

                   (still writing)
               And say what? She does not want
               to hear it.

               Then write to her.

               That is what I am doing Annie, I
               am writing all of it.

68   EXT. DARWIN'S STUDY. DAY                                    68

     Emma, passing the open door glimpses Darwin talking angrily
     to himself as he writes.

               ....and then she can read it, and
               we can all be free of this! Now,
               please, Annie no more

69   EXT. GARDEN. DAWN                                           69

     The music continues, louder.

     A frosty coating of dew covers the lawn.

     Footprints lead to a strange wooden tower in the garden.
     Parslow stands outside, shivering in the grey morning

     Darwin shouts from inside.


     Parslow pulls a lever.

     There's the sound of crashing water, a yell of pain from
     inside the tower.

     Ravens rise, calling, from the surrounding trees.

70   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY. THE PRESENT. DAY                       70

     Darwin dips his pen, scores out some text from his previous
     draft and writes again.

     The music continues from downstairs, louder and more
     insistent than before.

71   LOUNGE ROOM. THE PRESENT. DAY                               71

     Emmas hands race back and forwards along the piano

72   INT DARWIN'S STUDY. THE PRESENT                             72

     Darwin's pen scratches across the pages, making a noise
     like fingernails on a blackboard.

     The music from downstairs seeming to drive into his skull

     He speaks aloud the words he is writing, in an effort to
     drown out the piano music.

                              DARWIN (THOUGHT VOICE)
                  ... In time small variations become

     Strange detailed drawings of barnacles are strewn across
     his desk, seeming to change and transmute before his eyes.

                            DARWIN (V.O.)
                  ...Organs change their very
                  function, the oviduct becomes a
                  cement gland.

     He stops. His hand is shaking too much to write.

                  What's an oviduct?

                  Nothing that need concern you.

                  I know what it is anyway.

     Darwin gets up abruptly from his desk.

73   INT. WATER TOWER. DAY                                        73


     Darwin stands naked, clutching to two hand rails for
     support as a great tub of freezing water tilts and pours
     its contents on top of him.

     Darwin yells

74   EXT DOVECOTE                                                 74

     Birds rush out from the dovecote

75   INT. STUDY                                                   75

     Darwin dips his pen and writes

                  ....What was once a free-
                  swimming creature now finds
                  itself glued by its head to a
                  rock, flailing for food with its

     The Revolutionary etude is continuous now - real or

76   UNDER THE SEA                                                76

     Surf crashes.

     Underwater, among the swirling seaweed, fragile sea
     creatures being torn this way and that by the raging surf

77   INT. MALVERN SPA TREATMENT ROOM. DAY                         77

     Annie screams and kicks her legs, overwhelmed by water in
     some dark place.

     Pull back to reveal:

78   INT. HELL.                                                   78

     A vision of hell:

     The water is fire.

     The barnacles are people.

     The people are Annie, Emma and Darwin.

79   INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT                                          79

     Darwin wakes in a panic and sits up in bed. He raises his
     right arm and looks down at his inky writing hand
     fluttering in the moonlight, like an organ with a will all
     of its own

     Emma is a sleep. There's a crucifix on the wall above her
     bed. On the bedside table there's a bible.

                  " ...About the midst of this
                  valley I perceived the mouth of
                  hell to be; and it stood also
                  hard by the wayside. Now, thought
                  Christian, what shall I do?

80   INT. NURSERY. THE PRESENT. NIGHT                             80

     The children are gathered around Emma who is reading a bed-
     time story to them by lamplight.

     Emma is in the centre of a circle of little attentive

     She's aware of Darwin, standing in the darkened corridor
     beyond the door, drawn to the cosy little group but unable
     to join it.

     She lets him be. Continues reading

               And ever and anon the flame and
               smoke would come out in such
               abundance with sparks and hideous
               noises, that he was forced to put
               up his sword, and betake himself
               to another weapon, called "All

81   INT. ETTY'S ROOM NIGHT.                                      81

     The older girls Etty and Betty finish their prayers and
     jump into bed in their night-gowns

     Emma comes in to take away their lamp.

               Is Daddy not coming to kiss us

               He is still a little bit ill from
               working ...maybe tomorrow.

               That's what you said last night.

     Emma turns out the light. In the darkness Etty says.

               I think when Annie died he
               stopped loving us.

     Emma returns to her bedside

               Oh come now, Etty. You know
               that's not true. He is just a
               little bit ill - and a little bit

82   INT. BOILER ROOM. DAY                                        82

     In the bowels of Down House the house, we find Darwin
     wrapped in wet towels sweating in front of the wood-burning

     As he gazes into the leaping flames, Annie appears at his

                 Is there really such a place as

                 No of course not. How can there
                 If he is supposed to be loving
                 and forgiving - what on earth is
                 the sense punishing all these
                 millions of souls.

                 But just suppose if there was.
                 And all this was punishment.

                 All what?

     No reply.

                 I don't know what you mean. All

83   INT THE WATER TOWER. DAY                                     83

     Darwin stands, legs apart in the water tower bracing
     himself like a colossus against the full force of the


84   EXT THE WATER TOWER. DAY                                     84

     The gardener, splitting logs, watches Darwin stagger from
     the tower with a rug wrapped around him, and make his way
     back to the house.

85   INT. DARWIN'S BEDROOM. DAY.                                  85

     Darwin lowers himself into bed, inky and tousled. He seems
     prematurely aged, crippled by the gruelling process of
     writing the book.

     As he lies there, unable to sleep lines of written text
     seems to appear behind his closed eyes, or in the tangled
     vines of the wallpaper.

     Emma speaks from the other side of the bed.

                 Talk to Mr Innes. Please. You are
                 clearly not well

               He is what? A physician now

               You know what I mean. I think he
               can help you.

     Charles remains stubbornly silent, his hand fluttering over
     the coverlet.

               I am taking the children to Maer
               for a while, to visit their
                I worry for you, Charles. Please
               talk to him

86   INT DARWIN'S STUDY. DAY                                       86

     Fire flares in the grate as Darwin compares the skeletons
     of various pigeons.

     He starts a new Chapter: "changes under domestication"

87   INT. THE DOVECOTE. THE PRESENT. DAY                           87

     Pigeons mate and coo in the dusty twilight.

88   EXT. THE DOVECOTE. THE PRESENT. DAY                           88

     Parslow picks up two of them, casually wrings their necks
     and heads off with them to the skeletonizing shed.

89   INT. DARWINS STUDY. THE PRESENT. DAY                          89

     Darwin Looks out of the study window, searching for

     He sees Emma and the children getting into a coach with
     their baggage.

90   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY. THE PRESENT. NIGHT.                      90

     Darwin sits at his desk.

     He has written the chapter heading and nothing else.

     Parslow knocks and looks in

               Will you be eating sir.

               No thank you.

     Parslow leaves. Darwin addresses the empty room.

               Annie? .....Annie.

     She will not come.

91   EXT. THE BEACH.    THE PAST. DAY                             91

     Annie dancing in the surf. One minute she is there and the
     next she has vanished, lost among the churning waves.

     Darwin leaps top his feet shouting


     Raucous male laughter takes us to

92   INT. PUBLIC HOUSE. THE PAST. EVENING.                        92

     The George and Dragon on a Saturday night. The air loud
     with laughter and thick with pipe smoke.

     Clodhoppers crowd the snug, many of them roaring drunk,
     with their florid complexions, stained and broken teeth.

     Darwin trying, to slip in discreetly is spied by a group of
     locals who hail him and gather around him, wedging him into
     a corner with their overloud loud talk and laughter.

               Mr Darwin! Mr Darwin! I was
               explaining to Mr Goodman here
               your interest in breeding. Mr
               Darwin is our foremost scholar in
               the village.

               No. No I am but one of many.
               There is Squire Lubbock, and the
               reverend Innes

     The Thatcher waves them away as lesser talents.

               ....he is also a noted explorer,
               the author of many books..

               ...which no-one has read.

               ...a fellow of the Royal society
               and a prodigious expert on


               Mr Goodman, now, is the foremost
               pigeon fancier in all the
               southern counties. Kent champion
               two years running. I swear he can
               give you any beak or plumage in
               four generations. Head and tail
               in five.

               How do you do it?

               By breeding cousin with cousin. I
               find it the fastest way to alter
               the strain - provided you do not
               weaken it in other ways.

     Darwin takes a slug of whiskey

93   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY.   THE PRESENT. NIGHT                     93

     He is drinking in his office.

     The clock strikes twelve. The page in front of him remains
     stubbornly blank

     Darwin is rising from his desk when he sees something move.

     In one of the bottles on his desk, a fleshy marine specimen
     seems to have come to life.

     It writhes blindly in its bottle of formalin, making a
     sound like a baby crying.

     Darwin, recoiling in horror, pushes himself back from his
     desk. The castors on his chair trundle back from his desk.

     Behind him he hears a tapping and turns to see that all the
     birds in his big glass display case of Galapagos finches
     have started to beat against the inside the crowded glass
     case. They flutter, frenzied, tapping with their beaks on
     the inside of the glass, which shatters as...

     One by one the bottled specimens explode, discharging their
     contents onto the floor.

     A lamp falls over. The room is filled with birds the floor
     awash with formalin and broken glass.

     The Study seems to tilt like the cabin of a ship in a storm

94   INT. DARWIN'S BEDROOM. THE PRESENT. DAWN                     94

     Darwin wakes from the nightmare asleep at his desk, the
     whiskey bottle a quarter empty, ink on his hands and his
     shirt cuffs

     He gets up and puts on his shoes.


     The scullery maid, lighting the fire, looks round and sees

     He walks past her without a word and heads out into the

96   EXT. DOWN HOUSE GARDEN. THE PRESENT. DAWN                    96

     Darwin heads across the lawn, takes a key from his belt and
     opens the door of the skeletonizing shed.

97   INT. SKELETONIZING SHED. THE PRESENT. DAWN                   97

     In the grey light he takes in the corpses of doves from the

     Some have been skinned, their pelts curing on frames, their
     carcasses steeping in a buckets chemicals which remove the
     flesh from the bones.

     Previously he regarded this place as a sort of laboratory.
     Now it seems a place of horror.

     The door opens behind him. Its Parslow.

               Get rid of them.

               Which ones sir?

               All of them. All of it.

98   INT. DOVECOTE. THE PRESENT. DAWN                             98

     Darwin reaches into the dovecote and starts grabbing
     pigeons at random, dragging them out and flinging them into
     the air.

                Go. Go!

99    EXT. DOWN HOUSE. THE PRESENT. DAWN.                           99

      Displaced doves beat the air.

      Darwin climbs down the ladder, grabs and axe and attacks
      the wooden stanchions supporting the dovecote

      Parslow comes running over from the skeletonizing shed,

                Sir. Mr Darwin.

      Darwin stands back, hair wild, eyes crazed, his sleeves
      covered in bird shit.

                Please rest sir. I'll have John
                Lewis remove it. Have some
                breakfast now and rest. Shall I
                call the doctor?

                God know.

                Or the water tower.

                A pox on all of them!

100   INT. ANNIE'S ROOM. THE PAST. DAY                              100

      The local doctor Henry Holland takes out various
      concoctions from his medical bag and arranges them on the

      We are in the past. Annie is in bed with a fever.

      Emma is pregnant.

                Calomel then, twice daily.

                I will not give it to her.

                    EMMA                             DOCTOR
      Charles....                        Mrs Darwin, it is nothing but
                                         chloride of mercury. I have
                                         prescribed it often in
                                         children as young as two.

          Not to any of mine I hope. On the
          Beagle I dropped some on a
          microscope slide and all my
          animacules died of it.

          Well animacules are not persons.
          Presumably they would die if you
          dose them with Madeira wine.

          On Madeira they thrived most
          excellently, as did Captain
          Fitzroy, while it lasted.

Annie enjoys the joke and gives Darwin a weak smile. The
doctor regards her balefully

          Or if she would submit to be

          Please no.

          I will write to Dr Gully again.

          The hydro-therapist?

          I have always found his
          treatments most effective.

 matter that they defy all
          sense of logic.

He is packing up his bottles and his lancets

          Logic is not everything.

Emma shoots him a look. Til now scientific logic has been
his guiding principle.

          Then I shall bid you good day.

          Parslow will bring your carriage.
          I will be down presently

The doctor leaves the room. Emma is in a terrible quandary

                I should take her to Malvern.

                I think it is better she is here.

                Gully can care for her properly
                there. She can be treated daily,
                as I was.

                Charles no. She is better with
                us. With her family. Please do
                not take her away from me.

101   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY. THE PRESENT. DAY                       101

      Parslow enters to find his master staring vacantly into

      The page in front of him is still blank.

      The study is in chaos. It seems as though the contents of
      the black box have multiplied and spread out to colonize
      every corner of the room.

                Post for you sir.

      He leaves it by Darwins elbow and backs out.

      After a while Darwin seems to rouse himself.

      He picks up the largest envelope, postmarked Malaysia, and
      slits it with a letter knife.

      The sender is a Mr Wallace. There's a covering letter and a
      twenty page attachment Darwin reads, and lets out a sudden
      loud bellow of laughter.


102   EXT. DOWN HOUSE. THE PRESENT. DAY.                          102

      Darwin sits in sunshine at the rear of the house, rugged up
      against the cold. Looking frail still, but oddly at peace.

                Ah, there you are Mr Darwin.

      Darwin looks up blinking in the sunlight to see the stocky,
      dark-suited figure of Mr Innes.

          May I join you.

          By odd means

He makes some space on the bench. Innes hesitates, unable
to read Darwin's feelings towards him. The smile is
welcoming enough but there is something not altogether
balanced about it

          Mrs Darwin informed me you would
          be alone and ....perhaps a need
          to counsel.

He sees an envelope on the ground and stoops to retrieve

          You dropped this. What a
          beautiful postage stamp.

          Yes. It is from the Spice

          I do rather envy your wide circle
          of correspondents. In my youth I
          always wanted to travel.

          You are still young. You could be
          a missionary and follow in Mr
          Livingstone's footsteps.

          Yes, although I have always felt
          there is quite enough evil at
          home without looking for it
              (Then, casually)
          Mrs Darwin told me of the book
          you are writing.

          Not any more, thank goodness

          You have finished it?

          It has been finished for me. My
          correspondent In the spice
          islands has arrived independently
          at exactly the same idea,
          expressed in a mere twenty pages.

                    DARWIN (cont'd)
          There's brevity for you. I had so
          far covered two hundred an fifty
          and come to a dead end. So
          finally I am rid of the project.

Innes is relieved to hear it

          The Lord moves in mysterious

          He does indeed Mr Innes. I was
          reflecting only the other day on
          the fact that he has endowed us
          in his blessed generosity with
          not one but nine hundred species
          of intestinal worm each with its
          own unique method of infiltrating
          the blood supply and burrowing
          through the mucosa.

Innes shifts uncomfortably.

           And then again on the great love
          he shows for butterflies by
          inventing a wasp to lay eggs
          inside the living flesh of

          Well. It is not for us to guess
          at His reasons.

          No. We can leave that for Mr
          Wallace now. Should I advise him
          to stay overseas do you think? If
          he shows his face in Kent he may
          be required to kneel on rock

Innes rises. He's a short man, acutely aware of any threats
to his dignity, and he's had enough of this mockery

          I once valued our friendship Mr
          Darwin. I had hoped it might be
          possible to restore it. Clearly
          in your present mood that is not
          going to be possible. My regards
          to Mrs Darwin

He starts off round the corner of the house.

      Darwin listens to his footsteps receding, then turns his
      face back to the sun. When he opens his eyes sees a figure
      standing in the lawn.

      It is Annie, plain as day, scowling at him angrily.

                What? I am forestalled by Mr
                Wallace. That is the simple fact
                of it. What reason do you have to
                be angry?!

      She shoots him a look of hatred then turns away from him
      and runs off towards the meadow.

      Darwin, instantly remorseful, gets to his feet and hurries
      after her.


      He reaches the centre of the lawn and stopped by a sudden
      intense pain in the gut which strikes him like a blow and
      fells him to his knees.

      He lies their gasping, his vision clouding as the pages of
      the Wallace letter slip from his grasp and are scattered to
      the wind.

      A view from high above: spiralling downwards on the Darwin
      garden, as household servants emerge from various quarters
      and hurry to his assistance.

103   INT. DARWIN'S BEDROOM. THE PRESENT. DAY.                    103

      There are some faint stains on the plasterwork of the
      bedroom ceiling. Like lichen on a rock. Like an archipelago
      of islands.

      Darwin lies, pale and weak, looking upwards from a sea of
      white blankets.

      The door opens and he turns his head. Its Emma.

                You have a visitor.

                No. No. I will not be bled or
                lectured to.

      She gives him a pinched look, then Hooker pushes in behind

          It is me. Thank God you are still
          with us. Word came from London
          you had suffered an apoplectic

          No. Simply the great relief of
          liberation. Did you read the
          Wallace abstract.

Hooker bats the idea away

          It is a letter. You have a book

          ...barely half of it

          You have a book. What is not
          already on the page is most
          certainly inside your head and I
          intend to extract it, if it kills
          us both.

          You have been talking to Huxley.

          No. Had I done so he would have
          hastened here himself armed with
          every instrument of torture known
          to her majesty's navy.
          Charles I have read the first
          Chapters. It is brilliant. You
          must continue.

          I cannot. Seriously Joseph, I am
          completely blocked. All my old
          symptoms have returned with a
          vengeance. The sweats the shakes
          the abdominal pains. The whole
          endeavour was cursed from the

Hooker takes darwins hand, presses it to stop it from

          Charles. It was you who opened my
          eyes to the wonders of science.
          So let me open yours. You have an
          illness. You have had it as long
          as I have known you.

                          HOOKER (cont'd)
                It is clearly made worse in times
                of overwork but the nature of the
                work is irrelevant. This is not
                visited on you by God or the
                devil. This is a set of physical
                symptoms. Go to Malvern and get

                Not Malvern

                Why not. What is there to be
                scared of there. He has worked
                for you in the past it will work
                again. Then come back and finish
                the book. Your enemies are
                already toasting their good
                fortune but they shall not

                What are you talking about. I
                have no enemies.

                They are legion, believe me, and
                they are implacable. We are all
                of us fighting a battle against
                fear and superstition but we can
                win this battle. We must win it.
                You can win it for all of us. Go
                to malvern, then come back and
                finish it.

104   INT. DOWN HOUSE. THE PAST. DAY.                               104

      Upstairs, Servants are packing for a journey.

      The vigorous Darwin of the past moves swiftly from room to
      room, gathering his things. Hat and gloves, books,
      spectacles, papers.

      Emma, eight months pregnant, tries to keep up with him

                Charles, please reconsider

                Emma it is weeks now, months. She
                is getting worse, not better.

                Then I am coming with you.

          You cannot come. How can you
          possibly come in your condition.

          It is not so far.

          It is two days by coach and
          train. Who will look after the

          I do not care for the others. I
          care for Annie!

Etty, coming apon then unexpectedly, hears this and is
instantly heartbroken.

EMMA is devastated by the slip but is presently too
overwrought to retract it.

          Leave us please, Etty.

Parslow has gathered up Annie from her room and is carrying
her downstairs, pale and sickly-looking, with Brodie
fussing behind.

          Make sure she is tucked in. Watch
          her shawl

          I don't need to go.

At the bottom of the stairs, Darwin takes Annie from
Parslow's arms

          The coach is outside. I will
          carry her from here.



She clasps Emma's hand. Darwin keeps heading for the door.
Emma holds fast to Annies hand and follows behind

          You will see Mamma when you are
          better. Say goodbye now.

      Parslow holds the door open. The coach is at the Gate. Emma
      stops on the threshold, unable to let go her daughters hand
      and suddenly deeply convinced that she is making a mistake

                Wait. I am coming with you

                Please, Emma

                Wait there.

      She hurries back inside. Darwin makes a decision and heads
      for the coach.

105   EXT. DOWN HOUSE. DAY                                           105

      Down the patch and through the open gate with the servants

                Get aboard. Brodie

                    (shouts back)

      The garden gate clangs shut behind them.


      Emma looks out of the upstairs window, realizes they plan
      to leave without her and hurries downstairs again.

107   INT. COACH. THE PAST. DAY                                      107

      Charles bundles Annie inside.

                    (to the coachman)
                Go. Go.


                Go now!


      The coach sets off. Emma runs to the gate calling

                Charles. Please God. No. Annie!

108   INT. COACH. THE PRESENT                                       108

      Charles, feeble and debilitated, levers himself into the
      coach with Parslow assisting and slumps back in the leather

      Servants gather at the gate. Some of them tearful, not
      expecting him to return

109   EXT. STEAM TRAIN. THE PRESENT. DAY.                           109

      A steam train comes charging past trailing plumes of black
      smoke, striking sparks from the track with its wheels.

110   INT. CARRIAGE. THE PRESENT. DAY.                              110

      The sickly Darwin of the present sits hunched and nauseous,
      with Parslow sitting beside him with his suitcase on his

      Every jolt of the train sends a spasm of pain through
      Darwin's guts.

      The people sitting opposite - a woman, a child, and a man -
      regard Darwin in silence. Whatever he suffers from its not
      good and they are worried about getting infected with it

      They plunge into a tunnel. The carriage fills with smoke.
      Parslow gets up and tries to close the window but it won't
      budge. A burning ember flies inside and lands on Darwin's

      Darwin is too weak to lift a finger. Parslow slaps the
      ember and extinguishes it.

111   EXT. STATION. MALVERN.                                        111

      The train wheezes to a halt. The doors open and the train
      disgorges its cargo of sick people, come to Malvern for
      treatment - a coughing child, a woman with one side of her
      face aflame with shingles - the halt the lame and the

112   EXT. HORSE AND CART. DAY                                      112

      Darwin sits in the back as the attendant drives them
      through Malvern.

                Tell him not this way.

                Hello there. Stop. Can we go by
                the other route

                The Worcester Road is shorter.

       the low road.

                He wishes to go by the other

                    (with a sigh)
                As you will sir.

      He backs up the horses and turns the cart around

113   INT. GULLY'S CLINIC. DAY                                      113

      Dr Gully is the chief physician at Malvern spa. His marble-
      tiled consulting rooms resound with the sound of rumbling
      pipes and dripping water.

      Darwin reclines on a leather couch, watching the watery
      play of light on the ceiling.

      A door opens and Dr Gully comes in, accompanied by two

      Gully is a small dapper man wearing an apron over his shirt
      and tie. His trousers are tucked into calf-length
      Wellington boots.

      He greets Darwin cheerfully, effusively.

                          MR GULLY
                Mr Darwin, old friend. Mr Darwin.
                It has been too long I fear. Tut
                tut tut tut tut. What have we now
                what have we now?

      He clasps Darwin's hand, feeling his pulse at the wrist,
      then commands him to open his mouth


Darwin shows him.

                    MR GULLY
          Ugh. Shirt up. Let me feel your

Darwin untucks his shirt. Gully prods at Darwin's belly.
Darwin winces.

                    DR GULLY
          Pulse hectic, togue furred, liver
          tender and enlarged.

Darwin's ink stained fingers speak volumes.

                    DR GULLY
          No doubt you have been exercising
          your brain every hour that God
          gave you.

          I was persuaded to write book.

                    DR GULLY
          Madness there are far too many of
          those already. Are you Sleeping?


                    DR GULLY
          I suppose never taking the 50C
          dilution of Chelidonium.

              (shakes his head)
          I had the gardener build a water
          tower. It no longer has any

          Of course not. Your gardener is
          not a hydrotherapist. What on
          earth possessed you ?

          I feared I was dying.

                    DR GULLY
          Oh come come come. We shall not
          have that talk here.

Half turning to his assistant, who is staking notes.

                A smart spinal scrub. Cold douche
                daily at 7.00. Wrapping in towels
                and sweating by the lamp.

      Then, to Darwin:

                          DR GULLY
                No red meat, no reading, no
                mental agitation of any kind. We
                shall soon have you right old
                friend, we shall have you right.

114   INT. TREATMENT ROOMS. DAY                                    114

      Music over:

      Darwin sits in a deep metal bath while one of Gully's
      assistants scrubs his spine with a loofah.

115   INT. DOUCHE. DAY                                             115

      Darwin stands in a shaft of light, grabbing onto the hand
      rails as the icy flood continues to crash down on his
      shoulders, splintering and fracturing in the shaft of

116   INT. TREATMENT ROOMS. DAY                                    116

      Two assistants bind him tight in damp linen sheets, til he
      is immobilised like a cocoon, with his legs together and
      his hands by his side.

      They pick him up and lie him down, quite rigid beside
      another pod like creature, similarly swaddled, with a red
      face and a beard.

                          BEARDED STRANGER
                Mr Darwin is it?

      Darwin nods, unable to turn his head, or make any gesture
      with his hands.

      The stranger continues to talk to him nonetheless.

                          BEARDED STRANGE
                William Carter of Southampton. I
                read your Beagle account many
                years ago. Former naval man
                myself. What brings you here?
                Myself, a Bilious fever with
                blood per rectum, but I have
                every faith in Gully. The man is
                a miracle worker.

117   INT. TREATMENT ROOM. DAY                                    117

      Darwin sits with a blanket draped over his shoulders, under
      the merciless glare of a heat lamp.

      Sweat pours off him and forms puddles at his feet.

118   EXT. TERRACE. DAY.                                          118

      A bright sunny day. Darwin, looking weak but purged, sits
      on the terrace, sipping a glass of foul-tasting mineral
      water and looking out over the stone houses, fields and
      valleys of Malvern.

      Gully sits with him, interviewing him.

                What action do you most associate
                with the symptoms. Eating? Strong
                emotion? Strenuous Excercise?

                Does the exercise of memory count
                as an action.

                Memory of what.

                My eldest daughter. You remember

                Of course. Of course. You must
                accept there was nothing more we
                could do.

                I know that. I know.

      A long, awkward silence, neither of them wants to
      recapitulate the events of Annies death.

                You say you were writing about

                No. It is a scientific text. But
                I had reached a point, beyond
                which it was impossible to
                progress. She had been my
                companion throughout. Now it
                seemed she was ahead of me in a
                place I could not follow.

Of course. Plainly she is in

That is what my wife believes. It
is a great consolation to her

But not to you.

Emma and I have become ...divided
on it.

Does it affect your marital

We have none speak of.

    (a beat)
Are you familiar with the
writings of DeQuincy."There is no
such thing known to the mind as

I don't know what it means.

He suggests we have thoughts
which do not actually enter the
realm of consciousness. Nervous
fibres exist after all throughout
the whole body. Is it not
possible that certain primal
feelings manifest in some
physical way. Eczema. Boils. A
fever. Might some blocked passion
imitate a gall-stone? Or even
manufacture one.

Well, until someone devises a
machine to read nervous impulses,
or a telescope to look inside
the body I suppose we can only
guess at it.

We can Mr Darwin. We can look
inside you. If you find yourself
open to it, there is a way of

119   EXT. STREETS OF MALVERN. NIGHT                                119

      Darwin wanders the cobbled streets of Malvern, pausing
      occasionally to consult a hand-written address.

      It is starting to rain as, finally, he arrives at the
      address he is looking for. A substantial terraced house.

      Darwin descends a stone staircase to the imposing front
      door, and rings the bell.

      As he waits for an answer a woman appears, unseen in the
      rain streaked window above, observing him.

      Darwin rings again. A moment later the woman answers the

                Mrs St John?

                          MRS ST JOHN
                Mr Darwin. Come in.

120   INT. MRS ST JOHN HOUSE. NIGHT                                 120

      The room is large and hot, crowded with pot plants, and
      bric- a-brac. Various fringed lamp-shades, a dancing Shiva,
      a framed picture of Lourdes, and some illustrations from
      the Tarot. None of this inspires Darwin with confidence.

                           ST JOHN
                Just leave your coat on the
                table. Sit down here. Show me
                your palm.

      The husky voice and the plunging decollete troubles Darwin,
      who hesitates.

                Sorry. I'm confused. What is it
                you do exactly.

                          MRS ST JOHN
                I envision what's inside your
                belly, dear. That's what you
                wanted, isn't it.

                Envision how? When Gully
                described you I fancied some
                scientific instrument....

                          MRS ST JOHN
                Depends what you class an
                instrument. In more resistant
                cases I might use a pendulum...

      He frowns. She smiles.

                          MRS ST JOHN
                Its ten shillings for a reading
                by the way. In advance.

                Well. I have a ten shilling note
                here in my wallet.

      He doesn't take it out.

                If you can tell me the numbers on
                it we can begin.

      Mr St John' face hardens.

                          MRS ST JOHN
                I'm a professional lady Mr
                Darwin. I don't do party tricks.

                I am a professional man. And I
                asking for no more than I ask of
                all my colleagues - a
                demonstration of competence.

                          MRS ST JOHN
                It is you who are here to be
                tested, Sir, not me.

                Then I am sorry to have wasted
                your time.

      He puts his jacket back on and heads for the door.

121   INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT.                                       121

      Mrs St John follows him. As he reaches for the doorhandle,
      and opens it, she says:

                          MRS ST JOHN
                She's with you, you know that.

      Darwin turns.

                           MRS ST JOHN
                Your little girl. I saw her from
                the window standing at the top of
                the steps.

                How dare you.

                             MRS ST JOHN

                ...prey on people's grief like

                          MRS ST JOHN
                I have done no such thing.

                Do you take me for an idiot?
                Clearly Gully has appraised you
                of my history.

                          MRS ST JOHN
                I beg to inform you he did no
                such thing!

                It is chicanery of the very
                lowest order and I despise it

                             MRS ST JOHN
                Get out.

122   EXT. THE HOUSE. DAY                                           122

      Darwin steps outside and she slams the door on him. Darwin
      continues to rant at the closed door, standing in the
      pouring rain without his umbrella.

      He gets to the top of the steps, and looks around, trying
      to get his bearings.

      In a pool of lamp-light at the far end of the street a
      figure stands watching him.

      Darwin squints at her through the rain, which is falling
      harder now.

      The figure is Annie.

      She looks at him crossly, then heads off up a cobbled side-

      Darwin follows.

123   EXT. MALVERN. SIDE STREETS. VARIOUS. NIGHT                    123

      Darwin pursues his daughter up narrow cobbled lanes.

                Annie. Annie!

      The rain is getting heavier, turning the gutters into

      Water overflows the drains and culverts and rushes over the
      cobbles, making them slick and treacherous.

      Darwin hurries down darkened lanes and alleys, the sound of
      rushing water echoing all around, the little girl always
      ahead of him.

      A DRUNK MAN in oilskins comes barreling past him, head
      down, cursing the weather.

      A child's ball goes floating downhill in the current.

      Darwin loses Annie, then he sees her again, at the top of a
      steep flight of stone steps.

      Darwin, drenched chases after her.

124   EXT. WORCESTER ROAD. NIGHT.                                   124

      At the top of the steps he stops for breath and he looks

      There is no sign of Annie but he knows this street - The
      Worcester Road - a row of Grey Georgian houses, their backs
      against the hill, their sloping front gardens looking out
      over the rooftops of Malvern.

      Most of the street is in darkness but the house directly
      opposite has lights in the window.

      He knows this house also.

      He hesitates, then crosses the street towards it.

125   EXT. GUEST HOUSE. NIGHT                                       125

      Soaked to the skin, he raps with the brass door-knocker,
      then waits for someone to answer.

      Muffled voices. Then a man answers from within.

                          LANDLORD (O.S.)

                Is Mrs Carey still the landlady


      The door opens on a chain.

                My daughter Annie ...lodged here
                some years ago. Can I come in?

      The man closes the door to release the chain, then opens it
      again to admit Darwin.

                I know this is an intrusion. I
                wonder - could I visit the room
                she stayed in?

      The landlord doesn't know what to make of this

                Wait here. I'll get the missus.

      He leaves Darwin dripping in the hallway which he goes and
      consults with his wife in the lighted parlour.

      Darwin looks around. This place is all too familiar to him -
      the bevelled gold-rimmed mirror, the carved mock-Tudor coat-

      Muffled conversation off.

      There are crutches and walking sticks among the umbrellas.
      Lavender potpourri in a brass dish. A wheel-chair in one
      corner, a picture of the pieta above the door.

      Finally, the land-lady emerges from    her parlour.

                Which room?

                Fourteen. I would only be there
                ten minutes. I am happy to pay.

      She goes into an alcove and emerges with a key.

                Up one flight and along the
                corridor to the right.

                I remember.

                Try not to touch anything.

126   INT. GUESTHOUSE. THE PRESENT. NIGHT.                       126

      Darwin, climbs the stairs to the Landing.

127   INT. GUESTHOUSE. THE PAST DAY                               127

      The younger Darwin flees up the stairs.

128   INT. GUESTHOUSE. THE PRESENT. NIGHT.                        128

      The older Darwin, reaches the top of the stairs and walks
      along the corridor to the right.

129   INT. GUESTHOUSE. THE PAST DAY                               129

      The younger Darwin, races along the corridor.

130   INT. GUESTHOUSE. THE PRESENT NIGHT.                         130

      The older Darwin, hesitates, chest pounding, outside the
      door of number 14, then unlocks it as...

131   INT. GUESTHOUSE. THE PAST. DAY                              131

      The younger Darwin bursts into room 14 and takes in the

      The room is full if light. A maid is bundling soiled
      sheets. Brodie is there with a harrassed-looking Dr Gully.

      They turn as he enters.

      Annie lies on the bed between them, her breathing fast and
      shallow. She manages a weak smile.

                Is she any better? Does she want
                for anything?

      Gully stands up from the bed. His expression tells us hope
      is fading. Annie's pale sunken cheeks and caked lips
      confirm it.

      Darwin kneels by her bedside, clasps her little hand is his

                Darling Annie. I am here now.

      Annie lets out a reedy whine of appreciation and strokes
      his lapel "making him beautiful"

      Brodie cannot bear it and bursts into tears.

132   INT. ROOM 14. THE PAST NIGHT.                               132

      Annie sleeps.

      Darwin sits up, writing to Emma, crying as he writes.

                          DARWIN (V.O.)
                Dearest Emma. I think it best for
                you to know how every hour
                passes. It's a relief for me to
                tell you. Whilst writing to you I
                can cry tranquilly.

133   INT. ROOM 14. THE PAST DAY.                                  133

      A local surgeon lays out various instruments, including a
      glass syringe with a long needle.

      Annie struggles and whimpers. Brodie comforts her

                          DARWIN (V.O.)
                Mr Coates the Surgeon came today
                to draw off Annie's water. This
                did not hurt her, but she
                struggled with surprising
                strength against being uncovered.

                There there. It will all soon be

134   EXT. CHURCH AT MALVERN. ENTRANCE. DAY                        134

      Darwin enters through the heavy stone entrance.

135   INT. THE CHURCH AT MALVERN. DAY                              135

      The relatives of the sick, stand or sit among the pews,
      arriving, praying, departing

      Darwin kneels awkwardly in front of the altar, clasps his
      hands together and prays:

                Save her. I will believe
                whatever. Forever. Please save

      He looks up at the image of Christ on the cross, hoping
      against all reason, for some sense of epiphany.

      It's not working. He feels nothing embarrassment at the
      cheapness of the gesture.

136   INT GUEST HOUSE. ROOM 14.   THE PAST .NIGHT                  136

      Darwin sits alone with Annie who is babbling incoherently.
      He can't make out anything she says

                          DARWIN (V.O.)
                Our dear child has taken a turn
                for the worse. She talked a great
                deal but we could seldom make out
                anything. Much of what she says
                we cannot make out from the
                roughness of her poor mouth.

137   INT. GUEST HOUSE. ROOM 14 NIGHT                             137

      Dr Gully leaves, the surgeon arrives. The maids squeeze
      between the two medical men, bundling sheets

                          DARWIN (V.O.)
                Today she vomited rather much
                again. Dr Coates has been to draw
                off more water.

      Brodie and the maid roll Annie on her side and cut off the
      tail of her shirt, then roll her on her back again, with a
      pillow between her two bony knees.

                Is that good, my lovely

                    (suddenly lucid)
                Beautifully good. I am making

                          DARWIN (V.O.)
                Gully thinks her in imminent

138   INT. DOWN HOUSE. DAY.                                       138

      Heavily pregnant Emma sits in the drawing room, crying and
      reading Darwin's latest letter.

                          DARWIN (V.O.)
                We sponged her with water and
                vinegar, made her sweet with
                chloride of lime....I fear we
                must prepare ourselves for the

139   INT. ANNIE'S ROOM. GUEST HOUSE. DAY.                        139

      It is midnight Darwin, exhausted, keeps a lonely Vigil by
      Annie's bedside. Each breath seems like it will be her

      Suddenly she speaks: faintly but audibly:

                The rabbit.


                The rabbit taught him the polka.

                I don't understand my love.

                Tell me about Jenny.

      Darwin bends low to hear her more clearly.

                What about her.

                When she died

                I don't want to talk about death
                my love.

                But tell me. I like it.

                Well. What the keeper told me
                was. When she was very sick with
                pneumonia, lying very still, he
                tried to feed her but she shook
                her head, looking at him as
                though to say: "Its nice of you
                but really you shouldn't bother".
                And as he bent down to take the
                spoon away she brought her arms
                around his neck and kissed him.
                And then she was dead.

      Annie smiles, puts her hands around her fathers neck and

140   INT. TRAIN THE PAST DAY                                       140

      Darwin sits, his face wet with tears, reading, through
      blurred vision, a letter from Emma.

                          EMMA (V.O.)
                I was in the garden looking at
                our poor darling's little flower
                bed when John Griffiths drove up
                with your letter.

141   INT. DARWIN'S BEDROOM. NIGHT                                141

      Emma goes to bed, utterly drained.

                          EMMA (V.O.)
                When I went to bed I felt as if
                it had all happened long ago.
                When the blow comes it wipes out
                all that preceded it.

142   INT. DARWIN'S BEDROOM. DAY.                                 142

      She opens the curtains on a bright day. The other children
      are playing in the garden

                          EMMA (V.O.)
                My feeling of longing for our
                lost treasure makes me feel
                painfully indifferent to the
                other children, but I shall get
                right before long.

143   INT. TRAIN CARRIAGE. THE PRESENT. DAY                       143

      Darwin sits in the train, Heading home from malvern.

      He is looking across the carriage at his younger self, re-
      reading the letter and weeping uncontrollably.

144   EXT DOWN HOUSE. LOUNGE. THE PRESENT. NIGHT                  144

      Torrential rain crashes down on the house, the garden, the
      ancient trees and the outbuildings, flooding the path and
      the lane beyond the gate.

      Darwin pays the coachman and hurries inside

145   INT. DOWN HOUSE. LOUNGE ROOM.                               145

      Emma is playing a beautiful slow Nocturne.

      The rain outside drown out all other side.

      She doesn't notice the figure of Darwin until he appears,
      like a ghost, reflected in the polished wood of the piano.

      She turns with a start and sees him, still in his dripping
      coat, hair plastered over his brow

                Sorry. I startled you.

          Take your coat off by the fire
          there. What time is it?

Darwin stays where he is, dripping on the carpet

          We need to talk. I need to talk
          to you.

          Of course, but dry your hair. I
          shall call for a towel.

As she moves to the bell-pull he grabs her wrist

          I went back to Worcester Road. I
          saw Annie.

          Charles. No.

          Let me tell you.

          I don't want to hear it. This
          must stop.

          You don't understand.

          I do! Do you think me deaf and
          blind. You have lived with her
          and spoken with her every day
          since she died.

Parslow comes in with firewood then sees Emma yelling at
darwin and hurriedly retreats, spilling logs in the

          She is more real to you than I
          am. She's dead Charles.

          I know that.

          Then what is wrong with you that
          even our poor daughter cannot be
          left in her grave but you

          I know she is dead. I know it. It
          is you who will not accept the
          fact, preferring to think of her
          in heaven.

This again! The unspoken argument which has been brewing
for a decade, never before expressed so bluntly. Emma heads
for the door

          Get away from me!

She heads into the hallway, he follows her ranting

          Snowy white wings and dancing
          with the angels. Is that your
          idea of honesty.

Servants scramble out of sight and out of earshot

          Why did you come back. I will not
          hear this!

Emma picks up her skirts and hurries up the stairs. Darwin
pursues her.

On the landing, Betty and Horace, wide eyed and terrified
are bundled into the nursery by Brodie as Charles thunders
up the stair.

          You have to Emma, everything
          these was between us is gone.
          The boat is wrecked and sunk now.
          We have to hold to something

          To what. Your ghosts? Your
          theories? What Charles.

          To the truth of what we know it.

She slams the bedroom door on him and bolts it.

          Open this door Emma. The truth,
          how wonderful and extraordinary
          our daughter was....

              (through the door)
          I know that. I do not need you to
          say it. Of course I know.

Charles throws his shoulder to the door and bursts through
it. Emma screams

          But free of the fantasy, free of
          the rest, the silly vain hope
          that we will be reunited in
          heaven and the nagging unspoken
          belief that I killed her!

In the lower hallway all the servants hear this

In the nursery, Brodie, aghast, covers the childrens ears

In the bedroom, Emma has nowhere left to run

          I have never said that

          Say it now. Say it. And all the
          rest that follows. That I should
          have kept Annie warm that day on
          the beach. I should not have
          taken her to Malvern. I should
          have let you come.

Tears spring to her eyes and to his. The fury has gone from
both of them, leaving sadness and pity

          I should have insisted.

          No. It was me. I took her from
          you It was my fault.

          I could have followed. I was her
          mother what was I thinking of.

          We thought she would live. You
          were not to know.

He moves to her, she startles, then lets him enfold her in
his damp coat

          I did. I did know. I knew when
          you left that I would never see
          her again. I hated you for taking

          I hated myself. I knew that none
          of them could save her.

                          CHARLES (cont'd)
                All I could do was watch
                hopelessly and weep for her -
                then flee the place in terror,
                not even waiting to see our poor
                dear daughter buried. She was our
                treasure and I failed her. We
                both did. We should never have
                married each other.

                What are you saying?

                The unspeakable . I am saying
                that you and I, in making our
                perfect child, endowed her with
                the very weakness which killed
                her. Emma. That is what I
                couldn't write. That is what
                forestalled me all these years.
                It wasn't you I was angry with,
                it wasn't Innes and it wasn't
                God. I was angry with my theory.
                It was the truth I was angry
                with. It is the truth.

      Weeping, she shakes her head in furious denial. He kisses
      her hair, her eyes, her tear-streaked cheeks...

146   INT/ EXT BEDROOM, THE PRESENT. NIGHT                         146

      Rain continues to batter the house outside

      Inside Darwin and Emma make love, with a kind of wild
      desperation, their clothes strewn all over the floor,
      clinging to each other like castaways in a storm.

147   INT OFFICE. THE PRESENT. DAY                                 147

      Darwin enters his office. The chaos that existed here
      previously has been tidied away into files and boxes.

      Darwin opens the black box, takes out the files, places
      them on his desk, then sits down and begins to write

148   INT. STUDY. NIGHT.                                           148

      Darwin sits at his desk. Writing. He is possessed of a new
      sense of calm and purpose, the pen gliding fluently across
      the page.

      Night turns to day and then to night again. Darwin
      completes the Chapter headed "variation under
      domestication" and begins on a fresh sheet of paper.

149   EXT. THE GARDEN. DOWN HOUSE. THE PRESENT. DAY               149

      Crocuses are pushing up through the flower beds. Tiny green
      buds have started to emerge from the dead black branches


      Still Darwin writes

                Tell me a story.

                I'm busy Annie.

                I'll go away again, then you'll
                be sorry.

                All right, come here, come here.

      She comes and sits on his lap.

                Once there was a man
                Who, while travelling in South
                America, came apon a beautiful
                and dangerous idea.

151   INT. SOUTH AMERICAN JUNGLES. DAY                            151

      Darwin is in the south American jungle, trying to coax down
      from the trees, some small squeaking creature - a tousled
      looking abandoned chick.

                Here, here. Come on, come on then

      The creature draws closer, eyes like gimlets in the dark

                ...I wont hurt you.

      He reaches into the dark recesses of the forest. Darwin
      grabs it and stuffs it, squawking into his collecting bag.

152   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY NIGHT                                     152

      Darwin comes in, empties the bag into a black box with
      perforations and closes the lid

                He knew his wife wouldn't care
                for this creature so when he came
                home he locked it in a box, where
                it couldn't run around and do any

153   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY. DAY                                      153

      Darwin works at his desk. There's a plaintive cooing sound
      coming from the box next to his feet.

                But every so often he'd open the
                lid and feed it, just because he
                couldn't bear to let it die.

      Finally he opens the lid and offers the creature a biscuit.

      It has grown a bit larger and made itself a nest. It takes
      the biscuit and peeps gratefully.

154   INT. DOWN HOUSE. DAY                                          154

      Darwin goes to the box and opens it. There's nothing there
      but an empty nest and some broken eggshells.

                One day he opened the box and
                discovered it wasn't in there at
                all. It had escaped with all its
                babies, who were nesting all over
                the house making a terrible mess.

155   INT. DOWN HOUSE. DAY. VARIOUS                                 155

      The Darwin's, their children and their servants run around
      the house finding birds everywhere.

      There is bird-shit on the curtains and the antimacassars,
      birds nesting in the sewing basket, the bread bin and the
      dress-up box.

      Every time you open a cupboard, angry birds fly out and
      flap angrily around the room.

      Mayhem. The house is in uproar.

                But finally they caught them all,
                and bundled them in a blanket and
                he asked his wife to dispose of
                them as she saw fit.

156   INT. STUDY. CONTUNUOUS                                       156

      Annie listens entranced. Darwin pauses

                And what did she do?

                I don't know but I fancy she took
                them out in the garden and set
                them free.

157   EXT. DOWN HOUSE. GARDEN DAY.                                 157

      Emma and Brodie come out carrying a huge white linen bag
      between them.

      They shake it out in the garden and birds come pouring out
      of it.

      High shot, looking down on EMMA as she watches the birds
      wheeling round and round in the sky above.

158   INT. DARWIN'S STUDY. DAY                                     158

      Darwin sits in his study window, watching a great flock of
      birds wheeling in the sky outside, the whole flock forming
      an ever-changing shape from the movement of its tiny
      component parts.

159   INT DARWIN'S STUDY. NIGHT                                    159

      Darwin puts down his pen, waking, as if from a dream.

      The manuscript is finished.

      The music of Chopin filters up from downstairs.

160   INT. DRAWING ROOM. DAY                                       160

      Emma is playing by candle-light. Darwin places the
      manuscript on top of the piano.

      She stops abruptly. The last chord resonates in the musky

                Done. I have finally got it out
                of the air and into these pages.
                Will you read it and decide what
                must be done with it. I confess I
                no longer know and I am very

      She takes his hand and squeezes it.

161   INT. DOWN HOUSE. BEDROOM.                                   161

      Darwin undresses.

162   INT. DOWN HOUSE   DINING ROOM                               162

      Emma sits at the table and begins to read.

163   INT. DOWN HOUSE. BATHROOM                                   163

      Darwin gets out of the bath and towels himself dry.

164   INT. DOWN HOUSE. DINING ROOM                                164

      Emma lights a candle from the one before and continues to

165   INT. DOWN HOUSE. BEDROOM. NIGHT.                            165

      Charles lowers himself into the bed, sleep washes over him
      like a wave.

166   INT. DOWN HOUSE. DINING ROOM. NIGHT.                        166

      Still Emma reads.

                          DARWIN (V.O.)
                Thus, from the war of nature,
                from famine and death, the most
                exalted objects we can conceive
                directly follow. There is a
                grandeur in this view of life
       which endless forms most
                beautiful and wonderful have been
                and are being evolved.

      Outside the sky is growing lighter.

167   INT. DOWN HOUSE. BEDROOM. DAY.                              167

      Charles wakes.

      He opens the curtains on a clear autumn day. The house is
      unusually quiet.

168   INT. DOWN HOUSE. TOP OF THE STAIRS. DAY.                     168

      The grandfather clock on the landing strikes mid-day.

      Darwin goes downstairs.

169   INT. DRAWING ROOM. DAY.                                      169

      He enters the drawing room. There is no sign of Emma nor of
      his manuscript.

      He goes to the window and sees her at the bottom of the
      garden standing over a bonfire, burning something.

170   EXT. GARDEN. DOWN HOUSE. DAY.                                170

      Darwin goes outside.


      She looks up from the fire. Darwin crosses the lawn to her.
      She's burning leaves and dead-heads from the flower garden.

                Did you read it?



                I wrapped it and put it on the
                table there.

      There's a brown paper parcel on the garden table where they
      like to sit under the big Cyprus tree.

      Darwin picks it up, it is addressed to John Murray,
      Publisher, stamped and sealed with sealing wax.

                You're right. True or not it must
                all be said. Probably most of it
                is true. God help us.

      Darwin kisses her.

                Careful. I have soot all over my

171   EXT. BOTTOM OF THE DRIVE.                                   171

      Darwin stands with the brown paper package, turning it over
      in his hands.

                          DARWIN (V.O.)
                Dear Hooker, I have today
                despatched to John Murray the
                completed manuscript. Who knows
                if anyone will buy it and how
                they will respond. No doubt many
                will wish al diabolo altogether.
                But least it is out in the world
                now and no longer torturing me.

      John Griffiths, the postman, comes up the hill from the

      Darwin gives him the manuscript. The Postman puts it in his
      satchel and heads on up the lane.

      Darwin turns back and walks up towards the house.

      As he does so a little figure, Annie takes his hand, and
      together they continue on home, Annie skipping happily by
      her father's side.

172   POST-SCRIPT.                                                172

      Darwin's "Origin of Species" was sold out on its day of

      A classic to this day, it was reprinted six times before
      his death; and his burial, with full Christian honours, in
      Westminster Abbey.

                                  THE END