Beat - a brief pause
Some of the dissolves between scenes are accompanied by digital picture rotation effects. Very ’80s!
FADE IN on a SKULL which suddenly acquires eyeballs and looks around...shots of the skull are interspersed with various ‘scary’ images in quick succession:
A man with vampire-like fangs shakes the camera;
A monster snarls at the camera;
A woman screams;
A man screams;
A woman wakes up with a start;
A gun fires several times;
A knife falls, then rises with blood color fx added;
A man looks around nervously.
Back to the skull as title is superimposed in jagged lettering: TERRORVISION ®
FADE IN on SKULL WITH EYES, which moves aside to reveal the episode title in normal lettering: ONE OF A KIND. FADE OUT.
FADE IN: EXT STREET - DAY
The camera is looking through tree branches at a small store across the street. As the camera cranes down we hear the voices of the elderly MR and MRS BENJAMIN (“DADDY” and “MOTHER” to each other), the proprietors. Once the camera has cleared the branches we see that the sign above the shop window reads ONE OF A KIND.
MRS BENJAMIN (OOV) You’re not worried, are you, Daddy?
MR BENJAMIN (OOV) Why, whatever for?
MRS BENJAMIN (OOV) We have orders to fill, shipments to make. There’s a truck due in two hours, and you’re not worried? Men! You’re all alike!
MR BENJAMIN (OOV) Shh - look at these girls, Mother. They’re lovely. Just lovely.
INT STORE WINDOW: A hand pushes aside a curtain.
MR BENJAMIN (continuing OOV) Mother, come look. Very nice figures.
MRS BENJAMIN (OOV) Well...the blonde has possibilities, but you’ve done better, Daddy. Yes...she has possibilities.
EXT STREET - seen through the shop window from the speakers’ point of view. Two young women are approaching the store from across the street. BRENDA is blonde, casually dressed, and wearing sunglasses. JOAN is brunette and wears a smart business outfit.
MR BENJAMIN(OOV) I think she would photograph...quite nicely.
BRENDA takes off her sunglasses to get a better look at something she’s just seen in the window. (She doesn’t put them on again.)
EXT STREET: CU on sign in window, which BRENDA reads aloud. We then pull back to see BRENDA and JOAN outside the store.
BRENDA (Reads) “Models - Apply Within.” (To Joan) Haven’t you always wanted to be a model? Just to wear all those great clothes.
JOAN Give me a break. You’re not gonna fall for this, are you?
BRENDA What, d’you think it’s some sort of hype?
JOAN Don’t you?
BRENDA Well, just look at the mannequins. They’re gorgeous.
CU mannequin sitting in the window, then back to BRENDA.
BRENDA (continuing) Wouldn’t you like to look like that?
BRENDA and JOAN chuckle.
JOAN Look, I’m late for my interview. Are you coming?
BRENDA No, I’m going to stay here and apply for the job. Why don’t you come back here after your interview?
JOAN Sure. What about dinner?
BRENDA Well, if I get this job I’ll treat.
JOAN Ooh, it’s a deal. I’ll be there. (Beat) Don’t do anything foolish.
BRENDA Me, foolish? You’ve got to be kidding.
They chuckle again. BRENDA walks into the store. JOAN takes another look in the window. CU mannequin, then back to JOAN. JOAN looks puzzled for a moment...is there something strange about that mannequin? But then she dismisses the thought and walks away. As she does so we cut back to the mannequin as ITS EYES MOVE, following Brenda inside....
INT STORE. Clothes on racks, mirrors, decorative plants, model photos on the wall. A Glenn Miller tune is playing quietly in the background. BRENDA enters and looks around. She takes one of the dresses from the rack, goes to the mirror and holds the dress in front of herself to see how it would look. Then she sees the model photos and takes a closer look at them. Quick montage of close-ups of the model pics. They’re all black and white, head and shoulders shots of great looking girls. Suddenly we hear a distorted woman’s voice. We can’t make out what she’s saying but she sounds scared...
Suddenly BRENDA starts as she sees someone standing behind her - it’s MR BENJAMIN. For the first time we see that he is a handsome, polite, elderly gentleman.
BRENDA I’m sorry, you scared me.
MR BENJAMIN I’m sorry, my dear, forgive me. I couldn’t help noticing how smashing you’d look in that dress.
BRENDA Thank you, it’s very nice. A bit pricey, though.
MR BENJAMIN Oh, well then, perhaps something in our marked-down section?
BRENDA Well, actually, I didn’t come in to buy anything. I came in because of the sign in the window.
MR BENJAMIN (Seems confused for a moment) Sign? Uh, what...oh, the modeling sign, is that it?
BRENDA Yes, that’s the one, about being a model. I was interested in knowing a little bit more about it.
MR BENJAMIN Oh, well, young lady, modeling isn’t all that easy. We look for certain qualities, you know. Looks, figure, poise...(chuckles) complexion.
BRENDA I think I have those things. Look at her.
BRENDA points to one of the model pics. Close up of photo. Once again we hear a scared, distorted voice.
MR BENJAMIN Oh, my dear, those models are - how shall I say it? - special. (He laughs, as if at some private joke) They’re “One of a Kind”! (Beat) But enough of that. (While he speaks BRENDA continues to stare at the model photos.) Would you like to, uh, fill out an application? We could get back to you...
BRENDA (Interrupting) Oh, please! I’ve always wanted to be a model! You said yourself I’d look great in that dress.
At this point MRS BENJAMIN enters. She is about the same age as her husband, and just as polite.
MRS BENJAMIN Is something wrong?
MR BENJAMIN No, Mother, just another applicant. Wants to be a model. I keep telling her that modeling isn’t that easy....
BRENDA (Takes MRS BENJAMIN’s hand) Maybe you could talk to him. All I wanted was a chance. He wants me to fill out an application.
MRS BENJAMIN Well...well, you do seem to be quite anxious. What’s your name?
BRENDA Brenda. Brenda Morris.
MRS BENJAMIN (To MR BENJAMIN) Sometimes, Daddy, you just jump to conclusions. Men are all alike - (to BRENDA) aren’t they, Brenda?
BRENDA chuckles at this. MRS BENJAMIN goes to the racks and takes out a sequined dress.
MRS BENJAMIN (Continuing) Anyway, I.... (Holds up dress) Oh, that would look wonderful on you. (To MR BENJAMIN) What would it hurt to give her an audition?
BRENDA Seriously? Oh, wow, that would be terrific.
MRS BENJAMIN You come with me, dear.
MRS BENJAMIN exits with BRENDA. As they depart the camera zooms past them to one of the model photos.
INT. OffICE. JOAN is sitting next to a secretary’s desk, looking bored and frustrated. Phone rings. The SECRETARY takes the call.
SECRETARY (OOV) Good afternoon, [?]Elms Industries. (Beat) No, I’m sorry, Mr Johnson’s in a meeting right now, may I take a message? (Beat) OK, thank you. Bye. (Hangs up.)
Throughout the above we see JOAN struggling with decreasing success to conceal her frustration.
INT ONE OF A KIND STORE. A small lounge at the rear of the store. Two or three armchairs and a coffee table. MR AND MRS BENJAMIN approach. MRS BENJAMIN is carrying a tray bearing a decanter and three glasses of wine. MR BENJAMIN sits down.
MR BENJAMIN What did I tell you, Mother? Perfect, just perfect.
MRS BENJAMIN (Setting the tray on the coffee table) You almost broke her heart, poor thing. You men are all alike.
MR BENJAMIN But you’re going to have to do something with her hair, though.
MRS BENJAMIN (Close up on her hands as she breaks a capsule containing some kind of powder into one of the wine glasses) And her makeup! Dreadful use of color. I don’t want any of our girls going out looking like that!
MR BENJAMIN (Picking up his wineglass) Remember those torrential rains we had last summer?
MRS BENJAMIN (Picking up her glass and sitting down) Course I do. All my marigolds got washed away. (Chuckles) Couldn’t save a one of ’em. Such a pity...why?
MR BENJAMIN Our Miss Brenda reminds me of that little Irish girl that came in to us after the storm.
MRS BENJAMIN Maureen, wasn’t it? Looked like a drowned rat! (Laughing) It took me three hours do her hair and makeup. Oh, she was soaked!
MR BENJAMIN Well, you’ll not have three hours with this one, my dear. Our little princess has to be up and out and on the job in no time flat!
They touch glasses in salute. BRENDA enters wearing the sequined dress.
BRENDA Here I am!
MRS BENJAMIN (Stands up) Oh, look! Oh, I wanna get some pictures of Brenda in her lovely outfit.
MR BENJAMIN Pictures? Oh, I don’t think Miss Brenda’s ready for photographs right now. This is all happening so fast.
MRS BENJAMIN Daddy!
BRENDA Oh, please. I feel so...so wonderful. Pictures would be just terrific!
MRS BENJAMIN I agree with Brenda. Take some pictures and stop complaining. (Beat) I think Brenda might just be the face and figure they’re looking for at Conrad’s this fall.
BRENDA (Thrilled at the idea) Conrad’s? You mean THE Conrad’s, downtown?
MRS BENJAMIN (Chuckles) Now, don’t get all excited. It’s just an idea I had.
BRENDA’s face falls.
MR BENJAMIN Now, there you go again, Mother, getting their hopes up. But I suppose a few photographs might not hurt.
BRENDA Well, how should I pose? I mean, I’ve never done this before. Is my hair all right? My makeup?
MRS BENJAMIN Don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything. Here. (She hands Brenda the third wineglass) Have a sip of wine to help you relax and get in the mood.
BRENDA drinks the drugged wine. MR BENJAMIN raises his glass to MRS BENJAMIN. MRS BENJAMIN leads BRENDA away.
INT OffICE. JOAN is still waiting.
MAN (OOV) Miss [?]Morton?
JOAN Here I am.
MAN Ah. Follow me, please.
JOAN follows. Finally!
INT ONE OF A KIND STORE - STUDIO AT REAR. The background is plain black, and there is a little atmospheric smoke. Music plays quietly. BRENDA is still wearing the sequined dress.
MRS BENJAMIN Lovely. Now you relax and move with the music. Let yourself go, and Daddy will take some nice pictures of you...just being beautiful.
MR BENJAMIN is standing behind an old-fashioned wooden plate camera, complete with a dark hood and a bulb shutter release.
Montage of BRENDA trying out various poses.
MRS BENJAMIN Very nice.
MR BENJAMIN Fine. Hold it!
MR BENJAMIN clicks the shutter. As he does so a green flash appears in the lens. BRENDA suddenly looks uncomfortable.
BRENDA That’s a really funny camera. What kind is it?
MR BENJAMIN Oh, this is the camera that makes our models so special (chuckles). Ready?
MR BENJAMIN And a little higher...fine. Hold it!
This time when MR BENJAMIN clicks the shutter we see some kind of diffuse green rays emerge from the lens and sweep over BRENDA’s body...then again....
MR BENJAMIN (Echoing) Hold it...hold it...hold it....
MRS BENJAMIN arrives and stands next to MR BENJAMIN. The lighting and smoke give them both a rather sinister appearance.
MRS BENJAMIN This could be our best one!
BRENDA continues to pose, but her movements are becoming a little stiff.
MRS BENJAMIN Very nice, Brenda. (Echoing) Move with the music...music...music...
The green rays strike BRENDA again, and she raises a hand to her head as if she feels a sudden migraine.
MR BENJAMIN Hold it!
More green rays emerge from the camera and strike BRENDA, who is now looking distinctly uncomfortable.
MRS BENJAMIN’S VOICE (Flashback, echoing) Let yourself go...go...go....
BRENDA’S VOICE (Flashback, echoing) I’ve always wanted to be a model...model...model....
MRS BENJAMIN’S VOICE (Flashback, echoing) Daddy will take some nice pictures...pictures...pictures....
BRENDA’S POV: The blurred figure of MRS BENJAMIN looms out of the darkness.
MRS BENJAMIN Very nice. Very nice, Brenda.
The camera shoots more rays.
MR BENJAMIN’S VOICE (Flashback, echoing) And a little higher...higher...higher....
More rays emerge from the camera. BRENDA stiffly raises her hand to her head...and freezes into immobility! The camera flashes again, and again, and each time it does so her body looks shinier and more like plastic!
MR BENJAMIN’S VOICE (Flashback, echoing) Hold it!...Hold it!...Hold it!.......
INT. OffICE. JOAN is preparing to leave.
JOAN (Thinks) That took forever. It wasn’t even worth it. I wonder how Brenda did?
JOAN exchanges insincere smiles with the SECRETARY as she leaves.
INT ONE OF A KIND STORE - SOMEWHERE OUT BACK. CU Model photo of BRENDA as MR BENJAMIN takes it out of a developing tray. For a moment we hear Brenda’s distorted voice...CUT TO REAR VIEW of MRS BENJAMIN combing BRENDA’s hair...except that BRENDA’s hair now seems more like a wig. MRS BENJAMIN keeps combing and primping throughout this scene.
MRS BENJAMIN You’re such a pretty girl, with such nice hair. I’m not just saying this!
BRENDA doesn’t reply. Enter MR BENJAMIN.
MR BENJAMIN To think, Mother, you said I was losing my eye! I can still see a pretty girl and tell when she’s just right.
The shop doorbell rings.
MRS BENJAMIN Someone in the shop. Shall I go?
MR BENJAMIN Take it easy, I’ll see who it is. (Exits.)
MRS BENJAMIN (To BRENDA) You could be one of my all-time favorites, Miss Brenda.
BRENDA still doesn’t reply, or move a muscle.
INT ONE OF A KIND STORE - front of store. Montage of close-ups of the model photos. Again we hear distorted voices and cries of alarm.
We pull back to see that JOAN is admiring the photos. MR BENJAMIN has just arrived behind her.
MR BENJAMIN Can I help you?
JOAN Oh, you startled me.
MR BENJAMIN Oh, forgive me, I’m sorry...we have some very lovely designer prints in stock....
JOAN Actually I was just looking for my friend Brenda.
CUT TO: CU BRENDA’S legs, wearing the sequined dress. BRENDA doesn’t move as the camera travels slowly upward...then we CUT BACK to JOAN and MR BENJAMIN.
JOAN (Continuing) She came in a few hours ago. My height, blonde.
MR BENJAMIN Oh, asking about modeling.
CUT TO: close up as before, as the camera travels up to BRENDA’S waist. She still doesn’t move...then we CUT BACK to JOAN and MR BENJAMIN.
MR BENJAMIN Lovely girl. Perfect, just perfect. We loved her instantly. Look at her test photo.
MR BENJAMIN shows JOAN the photo of BRENDA. Again we hear Brenda’s distorted voice.
MR BENJAMIN (Continuing) We already sent her out on her first job.
CUT TO: Close up of BRENDA...lying face-up in a straw-lined crate. Her hair is a wig and her face looks like plastic. She doesn’t make the slightest movement. She has been turned into a mannequin!
Once again we hear her distorted voice...then we CUT BACK to JOAN and MR BENJAMIN.
MR BENJAMIN Conrad’s.
CUT TO: The lid is placed on the crate. The shipping label reads CONRAD’S DEPT. STORE - FRAGILE...then we CUT BACK to JOAN and MR BENJAMIN.
JOAN Conrad’s? I can’t believe it! Out on a modeling job!
CUT TO: The crate lid being nailed shuts as JOAN’S voice echoes...
JOAN’S VOICE (Echoes) A modeling job!
...Then we CUT BACK to JOAN and MR BENJAMIN.
MR BENJAMIN A very fortunate girl. She was in the right place at the right time.
CUT TO: Someone just out of vision pushes the crate out of shot...then we CUT BACK to JOAN and MR BENJAMIN.
JOAN Say, what about me? Could I be a model?
Brief shot of model photo on wall.
JOAN (Continuing) If she can, I can.
CUT TO: Brief flashback to BRENDA freezing into immobility...then we CUT BACK to JOAN and MR BENJAMIN.
MR BENJAMIN Well, ah....
JOAN No, really. How do I look?
CUT TO: INT LOADING BAY AT REAR OF STORE. A WAREHOUSEMAN closes the door of a delivery van while MRS BENJAMIN inspects...then we CUT BACK to JOAN and MR BENJAMIN.
MR BENJAMIN Well, my dear young woman, modeling’s not all that easy. We look for certain qualities, you know. Looks, figure, poise...(chuckles) complexion.
JOAN I think I have those things. Look at these models. (Indicates pictures on wall.) I look as good as they do.
MR BENJAMIN Oh, my dear young woman, those models are - well, how shall I say it? - special. They’re “One of a Kind”. (Echoes) “One of a Kind...One of a Kind...One of a Kind.......”
As his voice echoes we CUT TO EXT. LOADING BAY where the van is just driving away, revealing that the sign on its side reads ONE OF A
CUT TO INT. OF CRATE...in which BRENDA is still lying in the dark, not moving a muscle.......
There is also a “Thank You” credit to OFFICER KEN WELLS, CINCINNATI POLICE DEPT. Can we assume from this that the exterior scenes were shot in Cincinnati?
I can’t tell you the original date of this programme, or the production company’s name, because my copy dissolves to a Thames logo before the credits finish!
If you have answers to these questions (and many others), or any comments on this article, please feel free to follow the link below. Thanks for your attention.