The Richard O'Brien Crusade

Richard

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Urban Gothic

The City is alive...

Or something like that. Along the lines of Dark Shadows, Tales From the Crypt et al., comes this British horror soap/drama on Channel 5.

Richard appeared in the thirteenth episode, entitled (appropriately enough) "13". The plot revolvesJude around a reporter named Jude who is looking for that one big story that is going to put him on the front page as a reporter. To give him a little bit of incentive, his boss has informed him that if he doesn't have said amazing story in hand by Monday, he'll be without a job as well.

Jude finds a business card with a strange symbol on it. On the reverse side, it reads "The story must be told". He tucks it into his pocket and continues trying to find the "big story". Seeking a bit of help, we next xsee him in a garden, speaking to a guy who points out that he has an "edge", and as long as he has that, the story will find him. Jude then asks about "file 42", which turns out to be code for the odd stories that end up in the papers. He then pulls out the business card, which now reads a different phrase... "No one came but them". As they are speaking a nefarious figure appears on the balcony above them, quietly observing the pair (Guess who? No, it's not Erik Estrada... try again...)

Meanwhile, back at Jude's apartment, his agoraphobe girlfriend has stumbled upon an ancient book, which she begins to read. Under a trance, she draws an odd shape on the pages while seemingly reciting nursery rhymes. The scene ends as we see a frightening face facing her, and her scream.

xJude, passing by a phone booth, hears it ring. He heads inside to answer, only to hear Richard's voice claiming that the story must be told, and no one came but them. Jude then utters an expletive at Richard -which I find particularly interesting as WE couldn't say that on TV- hangs up, and goes to pursue "file 42". A number of newspaper stories pop out of filing cabinets... including one about pigeons that ride the underground, a story he'd mentioned earlier in the garden. He takes the stories home, only to find his girlfriend sitting in a pool of blood. Naturally, the paramedics are called, and it seems that she will be alright, once the nurse casts a rather nasty look toward Jude as if to say he might have had something to do with the accident, as he is attempting to burn the stories in an ashtray.

Before going to sleep, Jude's girlfriend lets him know that it wasn't her who had had the accident at all... and that they live in the cracks.

Cut to the next morning. 10;30 am, Monday. Jude has to rush in to work. As he brushes his teeth, he hears the Editor screaming from thex door beyond and just walks out. He decides to pursue the story (since he assumedly is out of a job) and finds himself in an abandoned building. It's not long before he is accosted by a vampire/zombie sort of guy, who proceeds to attack him after a little chat.

The attack is over as quickly as it started as the zombie begins to back away in fear. The reason? xRichard's chest! (heh.) His character spreads his shirt to reveal the same symbol as appeared on the card, and the zombie begins to back away in horror. Reaching his hand out, Richard lops off his head in one blow. (They don't call him Mr. Hand for nothing, you know...)

He reiterates to Jude that the city has chosen him, and he must tell the story. Jude, true to form, tells him to go away and returns home, to find that his friend has been gutted and is xdripping blood from the rafters... and his girlfriend is nowhere to be found. The bald one returns to his side again, chiding once more about being chosen... and that they live in the cracks, should Jude want to find his girlfriend.

Of course he does, and so he looks for another map of the city. He's having trouble, until Mr. Formerly Headless Zombie decides to be a good guy and help him out. He gives him the correct map, and holds off the real nasties as Jude gets away. Back home, Jude finds himself in the same trance and scribbles on the map to find himself thrust into this other world.

xHe sees his girfriend and tries to hail her several times unsuccessfully, until she appears beside him and says (In a voice not her own) that "They want to give you something". He recieves the book she had earlier, and is thrust forcefully into a pool of water. He tumbles out a drain pipe along a beach, and who should be there but our favorite person. He discovers that the book is in fact Richard's character's diary... about the city. Now that the city has chosen him, his character is free, and we once again see his chest... this time without the mark upon it, and the mark has moved to Jude's chest. The show fades to black with his cries of

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Very strange stuff.

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The Richard O'Brien Crusade est. 1996