Journey into Oblivion

By Neil Kiley


Based on ideas from the science fiction comedies 'Red Dwarf' and 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. Written in three short acts, this play has the objective of presenting the gospel to children around 10-16 years in the form of futuristic fable.  Each scene is sketch-length, around 5 minutes, and designed to form a part of a wider programme - so there can be breaks of up to half an hour in between scenes or it can be presented as a whole.

It presents the gospel roughly as follows: Part One is temptation and sin, Part Two is the death which results from the sin and the offer of a way out, and Part Three is the acceptance of the way out and the sacrifice that requires. It then requires a speaker to then connect these into the real Gospel.


Captain: Greedy, but otherwise normal
Bob: Down-to-earth, simple, strong regional accent
Sheila: Strong-willed and dominating woman
Marvin: Robot, depressed and depressing, Birmingham accent
Flash: Swashbuckling OTT whizzo chaps type
Monster: With an arm which has claws and slime (non-talking)

Suggestions for Costumes

Captain, Bob and Sheila to wear the same type of skin-tight sweatshirt, with a shiny logo on it, a la Star Trek. The Captain can wear combat trousers and boots, Bob flannel trousers and wellington boots, and Sheila a business skirt, tights and shoes. Marvin should have a robot-like suit - some imagination can be used here, try looking at Red Dwarf's Cryten for ideas. His face should not be covered up, but smothered in silver face-paint. Flash should be wearing a flying jacket and white scarf, shirt and cravat, flannel trousers and black boots. (Modelled on Flash Rimmer from Red Dwarf). Only the arm of the monster will be seen, but the costume should also cover the shoulder at least, and for the silhouette an entire suit may be needed. An entire suit for the monster also allows the actor/actress to feel more "monsterish"!

Scenery is required for this play, it would be ineffective to mime it.


Part One - Into Oblivion


The stage is set up as the control room. There is a captain's chair centre-stage rear, which has thick arms with buttons and lights and a high back. Two other consoles, stage right with two chairs and stage left with one, are situated forwards of the captain's chair. These have buttons and flashing lights, but the chairs have low backs. Bob and Marvin sit at the two-chair console, and Sheila at the other. Lighting is white, uniform and bright. There is a big sign marked "Bridge".

The cast begin offstage, and loud music such as the star wars theme plays. While this is playing, the crew come on, jogging in time to the music and "dancing" very badly. The crew come on in the order Captain Adam, Bob, Sheila, then Marvin, who doesn't dance at first but looks at the crew as if they're idiots, then rolls his eyes and reluctantly joins in briefly. At a prearranged time, they all arrive in their seats as the music fades out

Captain: Captain's log, stardate ten point three point six point eight point five point twenty point nine alpha delta six zero. Nothing to report since last log. That undiscovered planet full of mineral riches has yet to be discovered.

Marvin: Why don't you face it, sir, there are no undiscovered mineral riches left in the galaxy. We are just going to slowly and painfully starve to death as all our money runs out. Well, you will starve, I will just run out of batteries. We'll all die in the end, you mark my words.

Bob: I don't care about starving, so long as there's lots of curry.

Sheila: Shut up the lot of you, we’ve only been looking for two years. Nobody is going to do any starving unless I give them permission to do so.

Marvin: (Under his breath) Nobody is going to do any breathing unless Sheila gives them permission to do so. (Gets evil look from Sheila)

Captain: Stop bickering and monitor the screens. We might have flown past twenty solid iron moons by now.

They all study the "screen" in front of them intently, with Marvin and Sheila exchanging dirty looks. Then Bob looks surprised.

Bob: Hey guys, there's a message in a bottle floating around out there!

Unavoidable quick burst of Police's "message in a bottle" - this is repeated at every mention of the phrase

Captain: OK, use the tractor beam to grapple it in with then Bob.

Marvin: A masterful plan, sir, with two major drawbacks.

Captain: What drawbacks?

Marvin: One, we don't have a tractor beam, and two, we can't afford a tractor beam because we've not found anything to mine for three years.

Captain: Oh.

Sheila: Oh come on, just use the external robot arm to collect the bottle, and shove it in the airlock. You are all so thick!

Captain: We've got an external robot thingy?

Sheila: Yes, we have, you dull and ignorant oaf.

Captain: Well then stop hanging around looking wet and go get it. Marvin.

Marvin: Very good, sir.

Marvin manipulates some controls, and there are some SFX of whining electric motors, followed by a door opening and shutting. He walks over stage right and collects a bottle with a rolled up piece of paper sticking out of the neck, then gives it to Bob.

Bob: Here you go, sir, one message in a bottle. Shall I read it?

Sheila: No, eat it. (Bob makes to begin to eat it) ONLY JOKING! Idiot! Read it!

Bob: (Muttering) Say what you mean, woman. (Loudly) It says: "I am writing this message in the hope that someone will one day find it and heed my warning. I have found a host of mineral-rich asteroids, with more wealth than I could ever dream of. There is even an asteroid made of pure gold here! Yet my fortunes turned against me, a fast-moving meteor pierced my hull, and now I am doomed to die slowly in my gradually escaping atmosphere. But I would like someone else to benefit from my misfortune. So I will tell you how to find these asteroids…"

Bob pauses for effect and looks around his audience, who grow quickly impatient

Captain: Stop flaming mucking around and tell us!!

Sheila: Come on! Come on! NOW! NOW!

Marvin: Your delay only serves to depress me. I bet it isn't written down, is it. You've wound us all up for…

ALL to Marvin: SHUT UP!!!

Sheila: Bob, will you just tell us where the asteroids are so we can go and be unbelievably rich.

Bob: They're in (pause, then slowly and melodramatically) the Oblivion zone.

Everyone gasps and looks horrified.

Captain: Not - the Oblivion zone?

Sheila: You idiot, I should have known that anything you found would be stupid. The Oblivion zone, indeed.

Marvin: I can see it now. We're going to go to the Oblivion zone and die. Well, I guess a dramatic and quick end is better than starving slowly to death. A flash of light, and it's all over. A sharp, stabbing blast of pain, and in an instant…

ALL to Marvin: SHUT UP!!!

Captain: It's well known that the Oblivion zone is completely deadly and generally horrible, and besides, it is against galactic law to go there. It is the only place in the whole galaxy that is completely and utterly off limits.

Marvin: The only mineral riches we hear about, and they are in a place where we could never go. How depressing.

Sheila: Hold on, Captain. Why did they make a law against going to the Oblivion zone? Any how does anyone know that it's dangerous if nobody goes there?

Bob: I reckon they didn't want us to find all those asteroids of pure gold and stuff.

Captain: What are you saying Sheila? That we should go into the Oblivion zone, and disobey the Galactic law?

Sheila: What I am saying is, I don't think there is any real reason for us not to go into the Oblivion zone and become horrendously rich.

Bob: I'd be able to buy truckloads of curry. I bet they made the rule because otherwise we'd be like them, really rich and able to tell which bits of the universe are good and which are bad.

Sheila: I'd be able to employ ten slaves who'd carry out my every wish. Hmmm, that sounds good. I bet they made the rule just to stop us having a good time. Lets go - please, Captain!

Captain: OK, then, let's go!

ALL (except Marvin): HOORAH!!! Let's go! We're off to the Oblivion zone!

Marvin: Now we're definitely going to die.

Theme music plays, and everyone dances off except Marvin who walks slowly off shaking his head. Lights fade and curtain



Same scenery; theme music plays, and cast dance onstage as before.

Marvin: Well, we're about to enter the Oblivion zone everyone. It was really depressing knowing you all.

Captain: Shut up, Marvin. OK, we're going in. Shields to maximum. Brace yourselves!

Crew vibrate around as loud SFX play (eg. "End of the Universe" from the radio version of Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Bob: Captain, there are no stars! It's completely black out there…

Sheila: I can't fix our position. All references lost. Instruments don't register a thing.

Marvin: We're doomed, we're doomed. I told you, didn't I? Doooooomed

ALL to Marvin: SHUT UP!

Captain: Scan for solid objects. Maximum range.

Sheila: There's nothing, sir. Nothing at all.

Bob: I'm getting nothing.

Marvin: Nothing here, just imminent death.

Captain: Keep on searching, that message in the bottle (Play "Message in a Bottle") can't have been wrong.

Bob: You know, it only just occurred to me that we're in the Oblivion zone, a forbidden and potentially deadly area of the galaxy, searching blindly for asteroids made of pure gold, all on the word of a message on a piece of paper we found floating through space in a bottle (play "Message in a Bottle"). Are we completely insane?

Sheila (interrupting): I've found something!! I've found something!!

Bob: Insane people always get to be rich, they say.

Everyone crowds excitedly around Sheila

Sheila: Definitely a clump of around a hundred asteroids. I can't make out their composition from this range…

Captain: Well, let's get over there! Flank speed! Marvin.

Marvin returns to seat

Marvin: Very well sir. Flank speed it is.

Bob and the Captain return hurriedly to their seats while Marvin presses buttons on his console

Sound of engines running really fast, crew pull their cheeks back for "G" forces. Then engines stopping

Sheila: It's amazing!

Bob: It's better than curry! Well, almost.

Marvin: It's weird! I can't find anything to be depressed about. Something really bad must be about to happen.

Captain: We've got twenty asteroids of solid iron, thirty of solid copper, ten of solid silver, two of solid gold, and one Virgin balloon, definitely not solid. That must be Richard Branson's longest voyage ever!

Sheila: What can we fit in the hold?

Marvin: Not much. About a ton of gold, I reckon.

Captain: Bob, use the transporter to bring a ton of gold aboard. We'll use it to buy ourselves a mining ship, then return for the rest. We're going to be rich, guys!!

SFX of transporter (possibly from Blake's Seven?)

Bob: One ton, transported in. Here, that's weird.

Marvin: Here it comes, I can be depressed again, I can feel it.

Bob: Something organic was in the transport beam. Don't know what it was, but now it's in the hold!

Captain: Well, you'll just have to go and find out, then, won't you? Meanwhile, Sheila, you set a course back out of here. Take us back the way we came. Riches, here we come!!!

Music to "I'm in the money" or similar plays, and cast dance offstage, even Marvin dances this time. Lights fade and curtain



New set, with boxes painted like crates scattered and stacked, many marked "GOLD", a big sign marked "HOLD", and a thin white sheet at the back of the stage which is moderately backlit, suitable for a shadow play. Lighting is dim, with onstage lights adding atmosphere. This act must be carefully played, balancing the amount of atmosphere and tongue-in-cheek-ness so that the audience are caught up but not unnecessarily frightened. Discretion should be used as to how much "blood and guts" to portray.

Theme music plays briefly, then cuts out as Bob walks onstage.

Bob: OK, here I am in the hold, looking for something organic. Look at all that gold. We hardly need to come back - that'd keep us rich for long enough!!

There is a loud creaking sound, Bob stops and looks around nervously

Bob: What was that? I could have sworn I heard… I guess it was nothing. Now what type of curry will I buy? I like Tikka Masala best, but then I could afford Jalfrezi…

Captain (over "intercom"): Bob, have you found anything?

Bob: No, Captain, nothing yet.

Captain: Keep looking, I don't want to get investigated for illicit aliens.

Bob: Yes, sir. (To himself) Fuss, fuss, fuss, that's all he ever does. Well, I guess I'd better start looking.

Bob walks over stage right, and begins looking around the boxes, when there is another loud creak and a grunting SFX.

Bob: What was that? I definitely heard something that time. This is scary!!

Captain: Bob, have you found anything yet? Make sure you search everywhere, won't you.

Bob: Captain, there's definitely something down here. I heard something. I'm scared!

Captain: Bob, what could be alive on a dead asteroid in the middle of the Oblivion zone? NOW LOOK!

Bob: Yessir. (To himself again) He's not down here, is he?

Bob continues slowly looking around moving from stage right to stage left, muttering under his breath. The Monster appears silhouetted against the sheet, stage right, behind Bob. The Monster follows Bob as he works his way stage left. Two or three times, there is a creak SFX and Bob looks round, but the Monster steps back so that the shadow disappears. Bob has progressed about 3/4 of the way along the stage when the intercom goes again.

Captain: Bob! What have you found?

Bob: Nothing, sir, but I could swear there is something in here with me.

Bob searches more quickly, carrying on to the end of the stage left, the shadow following on behind him. When he reaches the end of the stage, he stands to the rear of the stage, looks front, and addresses the intercom. As he is speaking, the Monster is directly behind him, and a slimy, clawed arm reaches out slowly through a slit in the sheet and around Bob

Bob: Must be my imagination, sir, because I can't find anything here. The creaks must be… (he sees the arm) ah ah ah (the arm reaches across him, then slashes back, opening the bag of sausages, mincemeat and tomato sauce strapped to his belly) AAGGGHHH!

Hand goes back into sheet and Monster stands back and disappears

Captain: Bob? Bob? BOB!!!!

Bob: (Groaning and generally dying) I guess there is something down here, sir… (Pause as he sinks to the ground, holds up string of sausages) So that's what they look like…. What a waste of good curry, I only ate it an hour ago… (Bob slumps to the ground and dies)

Captain: Bob? I don't believe it! It was Sheila's fault! She convinced me we could go!

Sheila: The message convinced me. It deceived us!

The Monster steps forward, arms raised in a threatening posture

Marvin: Because of that, we're all cursed and doomed. Doomed, I tell you. Doooooooooooooooooooomed!!!!

Lights go very dim, and an announcer voice says (against quiet theme music)

Announcer: What will happen next? Will the rest of the crew get what they deserve for breaking the law? Will Bob's curry eat a hole in the floor of the hold? Or will they all be saved, even though they are a load of worthless scum? Find out, by coming back tomorrow to watch the next exciting instalment of…. Journey into Oblivion!!

Theme music fades up loud, lights fade and curtains close


End Of Part One


Part Two


Scenery set up as the bridge. The curtains are closed and the theme music plays, then they open to reveal the crew, (minus Bob who is dead), who are frozen in dramatic and hard-to-maintain poses.

Announcer: Welcome to Journey into Oblivion. In last night's episode, Bob found a message in a bottle telling of unbelievable wealth to be found in the forbidden Oblivion Zone. After some debate, they decided to go and get it, despite (sternly) breaking galactic law.

Sheila: (Trying to stay frozen but wobbling visibly) Get a move on! It hurts to stay like this!

Announcer: As I was saying, they went to find riches in the Oblivion Zone. Inside, they found there were no stars, just blackness. They found unbelievable riches, and beamed a sample ton of gold aboard. But they also brought something else aboard, and when Bob went to investigate, he was killed violently by a terrible monster… And there, we take up the story again…

All the crew unfreeze with exaggerated sighs of relief, and stretch, massage their arms etc.

Captain: Killed violently? Shredded is more the word. It took ages to pick up the bits for last nights dinner. (oops) (Sheila makes to puke) Food is really short, you know.

Marvin: Makes me glad I only eat electricity, really. If I could be glad when we're all going to be torn to little pieces by a horrible monster.

Sheila: I hate you sometimes, Captain. And you, Marvin. How long until we get out of the Oblivion zone? I'll feel a heck of a lot better when I can see stars again.

Captain: We should be leaving any minute, if my calculations are right. Our navigation computer can't fix our position, we're just retracing our steps.

There is an SFX of an engine dying

Sheila: What in space? Our engines have died!

Marvin: The engine controls are dead. We're stuck here. Trapped forever in Oblivion to be ripped…

ALL to Marvin: SHUT UP!!

Captain: Somebody's going to have to go down to the engine room and investigate.

Sheila: Well said, Captain, and since you are our fearless leader, I think you should go.

Captain: Fearless maybe, but fool, no. What is the point of being in command unless you use it to order people to go to a certain, probably gruesome, and definitely messy death?

Marvin: I suppose you'll order me to go, since I don't make nasty red messes on the floor. I knew I would be the first.

There is an SFX of a monster roaring sound in the distance

Sheila: OK, let's draw straws then. Whoever draws the short straw goes to fix the engines.

Captain: Yeah, that's fair.

Marvin: That is fate. I'll get the short one, just you wait.

Sheila: I hope you get the short one, just so we can be free of your endless depressing bilge.

The Captain produces three straws, and holds them up one at a time so the audience can see that one is shorter than the others. Then he holds them in his fist so you can't tell which is which

Captain: OK, let's do the deed. Marvin, you pick first, then you can't moan.

Marvin: Here we go, doom and death awaits me. (He picks a long straw) I don't believe it! I picked a long one! I'm not going to die! (Pause) There must be a more drawn-out, painful and depressing end awaiting me in the future, then.

Captain: Right, now you, Sheila.

Sheila: I can't pick a straw. I'm a woman. Where's your chivalry?

Captain: You always asked for equal rights, now you've an equal right to die. Now pick your straw!

Sheila: I tell you what, we'll both pick together. Then that is really equal rights.

Captain: OK, we'll pick together.

The Captain and Sheila pick straws. The short straw goes to Sheila, who screams and holds it up for the audience to see.

Sheila: NO! NO! It can't be me! I don't want to die!

Captain: Come on, Sheila. You don't know that you're going to die. The monster was in the hold when it tore Bob up into tiny little pieces, not in the engine room.

Sheila: Well, I guess so…

Marvin: It was depressing knowing you, Sheila. You bossed me around more than anyone else. I hope it's quick and painless.

Captain: Thanks, Marvin.

Sheila: Well, I guess this is it. One of us has to fix the engines, and it's me. I'm the one. I'm the canary sent into the mine. I'm the…

Captain: Shut up and go and fix the engines.

Sheila: Well, if I have to go, I may as well go out dancing.

Theme music plays, and they all go off dancing, even Marvin this time. Lights fade and curtain.



In the engine room: Boxes are laid out in an organised engine-like fashion, and a big sign says "ENGINE ROOM". Lights can be seen on the boxes (Christmas tree lights would do). As with the hold, there is a big sheet to the rear of the stage, which is backlit for a shadow play. Nobody is onstage.

Theme music plays, and fades. As it is dying away, Sheila comes onstage, looking obviously nervous. There is a very loud roar.

Sheila: Oh no. Oh no. This is bad. This is very bad. I don't want to die. Oh no.

Captain (over intercom): Sheila, have you found the fault yet?

Sheila: I've only just got here, sir. Give me a chance, will you?

Sheila walks over to a box with lights on, and begins manipulating things. Produces something really badly burnt - looking.

Sheila: Well, it isn't the plasma vortex controller. That must have burnt out years ago. (Throws it offstage, and starts fiddling about with other things whilst speaking directly to the audience) Have you ever thought that a rule is really stupid? Like having to say "excuse me" before leaving the table. Isn't that dumb? Just like not going into the Oblivion Zone, or not eating some stupid apple, just because the rules say so. I guess, though, there was a reason for the rule being there, and now we've broken it we'll have to pay the penalty… Come on, you stupid engine, why aren't you working??? (Gives the engine a kick)

As Sheila fiddles about, the shadow of the Monster appears on the sheet behind her. There is some creaking SFX, and she looks up and round as the Monster disappears

Sheila: I could have sworn I heard something…. I don't like this… come on, engine, what is wrong with you?

Captain: Sheila, how are you doing? Have you found what's wrong?

Sheila: No, Captain, except that the plasma vortex controller burnt out centuries ago. We don't need that, anyway.

Captain: Well hurry up, and if you see the monster, then just shoot it. You did bring a blaster?

Marvin (also over intercom): An excellent plan, sir, with two major drawbacks.

Captain: I don't think I want to hear this.

Marvin: One, we don't have any blasters, and two, if Sheila used one in the engine room, we'd all be blown up.

Sheila: No, Captain, I don't have a blaster. Just a very hard stare. (Gives the audience a very hard stare)

Captain: Well, your stare frightens everyone else off, so I hope it works on the monster. Tell me when you've found the fault.

Sheila: Yes, sir.

Sheila carries on fiddling, and the shadow of the monster reappears behind her. There is a loud creak, and again the monster disappears as she looks around. Sheila then addresses the audience

Sheila: I could have sworn I heard something. Did you see anything?

The shadow looms behind her, and someone holds up a sign marked "It's behind you" for the audience. If they don't take up the bait, then someone will have to come on to one side of the stage and chivvy them up. Sheila looks around when they say it, and the Monster disappears, and reappears as she addresses the audience again

Sheila: I can't see anything. Are you sure there's something there?

Sign held up again, "It's behind you". Sheila looks around as the Monster disappears again.

Sheila: You're having me on. I'm getting on with this engine. The sooner I find out what's wrong, the sooner I can be out of here.

Sheila moves and fiddles with another box, closer to the sheet. The shadow looms behind her, the sign "It's behind you" comes out, but she just looks at the audience at shakes her head. Then she produces something technical-looking in triumph.

Sheila: I've found it! The sub-space squiggly thingy is out of alignment! Captain, I'll be able to fix this - it'll just take a few minutes.

Captain: Great. Just enough time for me to have a pee. Come back up when you're done.

Sheila: You can be sure of that. Right, so, a little to the left, round a bit…

Behind Sheila, the shadow of the Monster looms. The "It's behind you" card is shown

Sheila: Shut up, can't you see I'm concentrating?

An arm pokes out from the sheet, and comes towards Sheila's head. Then it grips her by the throat, and bursts a bag of tomato ketchup on her neck. Sheila's scream is cut off in a gurgle… she slumps to the floor

Sheila: I guess… what we get for breaking the law is eventually…. death… ungghhhh

Lights fade & curtain with theme music playing



The Bridge: Theme music plays, and the Captain and Marvin run on, obviously in a blind panic. They run around the stage like clowns, bumping into each other and falling over the chairs.

Marvin slumps into his chair despondently as the theme music fades, and the Captain paces left to right slightly behind him.

Marvin: Well, Captain, this is it. Who's going to repair the engines now? It's a choice between death in the engine room, or death in the bridge.

Captain: The monster hasn't been to the bridge yet.

There is a very loud roar FX.

Marvin: What are we going to do? What are we going to do?

Captain: Well, we could try calling for help.

Marvin: What, and let other people know where we've been, and what we found? We'd be arrested, and someone else would get all those asteroids to mine. That would be just as depressing as sitting here waiting to be eaten.

Captain: We'd be alive.

Marvin: Do you know who monitors emergency frequencies? The Galactic Government, that's who. So you're saying that we go to the people whose law we've broken, and say, hi, we broke your law, we're stuck in the Oblivion zone, can you come and get us out?

Captain: We'd live, though.

There is another very loud roar FX followed by a crunching sound.

Marvin: OK, let's call for help. We'll probably be doomed in some other, more horrible way.

The Captain sits down. Marvin turns to his console, presses buttons, and begins speaking.

Marvin: Mayday, mayday, mayday, this is the scout ship Condor, we are without engine power and have a malicious alien life form aboard that has already relieved us of Sheila's nagging and Bob's moronity. Mayday, mayday, mayday. We have no idea where we are, except that we're in the Oblivion zone. A bit like Monday mornings, except worse. Mayday mayday..

Flash cutting in over intercom: This is Flash Zimmer of the rescue ship Whizzo, I hear your mayday Condor. What ho, chaps?

Captain and Marvin both leap to their feet and hug each other, then crowd around the console Marvin just left.

Captain: Condor to Whizzo, it's so great to hear from you - we thought we were all going to die.

Flash: Well what do you expect if you break Galactic law? Listen, chaps, that law wasn't made just to prove the Galactic Government are better than you. They made it because there are monsters in there, and because it would show up people who are law-breakers. How would we know the criminals if there was no law to break?

Marvin: So we're criminals, then? (Cautiously) Are you from the Galactic Government? Are you (spit spit) a policeman?

Flash: Yes, you are criminals, and yes, I am the Galactic Government. I have all the power that the government has. In fact, I'm much more than a policeman - I'm the judge.

Captain: Are you going to condemn us? What's the punishment for entering the Oblivion zone?

Flash: (Ominously) The punishment, my friend, is death. (If possible, put a long echo SFX on the last word of this statement - (Death-eth-eth-eth)

The Captain and Marvin jump back from the console, and look at each other in horror. They speak, but to each other:

Captain: You idiot! You insisted on us calling for help, and now look - we're going to die anyway!

Marvin: We're all dead anyhow. No matter what we do, we can't change the fact that we're all going to die. I guess we deserve to die, after all, we did break the law.

Flash: Calling over intercom Hey chaps! Hey, chaps! Don't get your boxers in a twist and your jammy bananas all mashed up. I can help! They don't call me Flash Zimmer because of my amazing, lean, muscled and toned body, you know.

Marvin and the Captain nod to each other in agreement.

Marvin: That's true.

Captain: How can you help if you're the galactic government? It's your law we broke!

Flash: If you let me come aboard, then I'll go and fix your engines, kill the monster, and you'll be able to get out of Oblivion.

Marvin: Except then we'd be under a death sentence. So we're all going to die anyway. I knew it, everything means that we'll die

Flash: No - not if you first let me aboard, and then work for me, as heroes, for the rest of your lives!

Captain: The rest of our lives? Even though we deserve to die?

Flash: Yes! And believe me, you'll enjoy working for me - it's the best way to be! If you'll do that, then I'll come aboard, and sort your engines out. You won't be arrested, and your death sentence will have been paid in full! This is something you can't do for yourselves - only I can do it for you. The decision is yours…

Captain and Marvin: What a choice!

The theme music plays, and the Captain and Marvin pose and freeze, then the music quietens and Flash speaks as the narrator:

Flash: What will the Captain and Marvin decide? Will they take up my offer of being saved, at the cost of letting me come aboard and serving me for the rest of their lives? Or will they instead choose to die where they are? Find out tomorrow night, in the final, exciting, unmissable episode of… Journey Into Oblivion!

Music comes back up, Captain and Marvin unfreeze and go off dancing the can-can. Lights fade & curtain.


End of Part Two


Part Three (One Scene Only)

The stage is set as the bridge. The curtains are closed, the Captain and Marvin are onstage in their seats. The theme music plays, and the curtains open with the actors semi-frozen in poses. This is the serious scene, there are less jokes and the gospel analogy is put over clearly, so the actors should be a little less OTT than previously.

This narration section must be snappy with spot-on cues, or it loses its impact.

Narrator (Flash): Good evening, chaps, and welcome to the third and final part of Journey Into Oblivion. In case you’ve been away playing rugger or saving the world, here’s the action so far. Captain Adam and his chaps were out prospecting for asteroids they could mine. Their luck was on a bit of a downer, when they found a message in a bottle floating through space. The message told of some rocks they might want to mine...

Captain: Some rocks? Unbelievable wealth, more like. Asteroids made of pure gold and silver.

Marvin: Except they were in the Oblivion Zone. It is against Galactic Law to go there. We went, and now we’re doomed...

Flash: They travelled to the Oblivion Zone, where there were no stars, only the endless black of empty space...

Captain: But we found the asteroids. Pure gold, sliver, iron, any mineral you could wish for. So, we transported a sample aboard.

Marvin: And we transported something else.

Flash: That something else quickly made sausages and mincemeat out of brave crew member Bob. As they were speeding their way out of Oblivion,

Captain: The accursed engines broke down. The engines broke down!

Marvin: And our doom was sealed.

Flash: They drew straws to go and fix the engines, and the Captain carefully fixed the draw so that Sheila would draw the short one.

Captain: I did not!

Flash: I’m afraid you did. You couldn’t stand her nagging any longer, so you switched the straws around so she’d get the short one.

Marvin: Well done, sir, life is much better without Sheila.

Captain: OK, so I may have biased the odds in my favour. Wouldn’t you do the same? I’m not glad that Sheila was killed. She made a good cup of tea when she wasn't nagging us about the seventieth recycling of the teabags.

Flash: Things were looking tricky for the chaps, and so they sent out a call for help. I answered their call,

Captain: And told us that the punishment for going into Oblivion is death.

Marvin: More than that, you’re a (spit spit) the judge. You’re the Galactic Government!

Flash: They were carefully thinking about what this meant to them...

Captain: We were panicking and about to start hitting each other...

Flash: When I made them an offer. If they would let me transport aboard, and then spend the rest of their lives working with me, being heroes, then I would go and fix the engines, and they wouldn’t be punished for going into Oblivion. (Long Pause) So, have you made your decision?

Both the Captain and Marvin look at each other, then at the audience. There is a loud roar SFX

Captain: OK, we agree. We’ll do it.

This section is very important and should be taken slowly and carefully. The Captain and Marvin should look at each other before answering each question individually.

Flash: Do you admit that you broke the law?

Captain and Marvin: Yes

Flash: Will you work with me and stop breaking the law?

Captain and Marvin: Yes

Flash: Will you let me come aboard?

Captain: Yes! Please come aboard, we need you!

Now back to normal

Flash: Whizzo chaps, I’ll be over faster than a cheetah can sneeze.

Flash Zimmer leaps onstage with a flourish

Captain: Oh. I expected someone like Arnie, or at least Bruce Willis. Er, welcome aboard, Flash.

Flash: Very happy to be aboard, chaps. Right, I understand you’ve a bit of an engine problem, a little monster problem, and need to get out of Oblivion?

Monster Roar SFX

Marvin: Very good, Flash, you summed up our desperate situation in an instant. That monster will only be satisfied when it has eaten someone.

Flash: Well, because you went into the Oblivion Zone, someone will have to be punished, and a price will have to be paid. But don’t worry about that, I’ll take care of it.

Captain: Eh? What?

Flash: You’ll understand everything soon, Captain. Where’s the engine room?

Marvin: Just follow the trail of blood and intestines.

Captain: How will you kill the monster, Flash? If you use a blaster in the engine room, we’ll all be blown up!

Flash: I don’t have a blaster, Captain. The monster will be taken care of, don’t worry about me. Now, what was wrong with the engines?

Marvin: Sheila said that the sub-space squiggly thing was out of alignment.

Flash: Hmmm, I wonder if that’s a mk23 or mk24 sub-space squiggly thing? I’ll find out.

Flash moves over stage right, ready to go.

Captain: Flash, you’ll be killed without a blaster!

Flash: Just be ready for your engines to come online. Don’t worry about me - smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast!

Flash exits with a flourish. Marvin and the Captains' next line has to be really OTT, as in Red Dwarf

Marvin and Captain: What a guy!

Flash (over intercom): OK, chaps, I’m in the engine room now. I can see the sub-space squiggly thingy, and the body of your poor Sheila. She took quite a fall. Ah yes, it’s a mk23. Should have this realigned in a jiffy. Er, right a bit, um, up a bit, yes, nearly there

Loud roar SFX

Flash: A little bit down, a nat’s widger to the left, OK, you should have engines now! Right, off to the hold!

The Captain and Marvin give quiet exclamations of satisfaction when they see their engines are working, cut off by a loud road SFX, a scream from Flash, and an SFX of an airlock door opening and shutting, then silence for a few seconds

Marvin: He opened the airlock in the hold. They’ve both been flushed out into space. Both Flash and the monster...

Captain: So that’s what he meant by sorting the problem.

Marvin: We lost the gold, as well. The gold is a thousand miles away by now.

Captain: Well, I think we should leave it for Oblivion. Let’s go. Marvin.

Marvin: Yes, sir. Ahead, full speed. I can't believe that Flash did that for us, you know. We didn't deserve it.

Captain: What a guy, he saved us all. Why did he make us promise to work for him when he knew he’d have to die? I can never thank him, now.

Marvin: We’re out of the Oblivion Zone, sir. Look - stars!

Captain: And there’s Flash’s ship, look.

Marvin: All empty...

Flash (over intercom): This is Flash Zimmer, calling the Condor. Come in, Condor. Well done, chaps!

Both Captain and Marvin are amazed

Captain: F-flash? I thought - I thought -

Flash: I was dead? Well, you were right! One of the most painful ways to die, that, explosive decompression. You find out where all your internal organs are, as they burst out of you stomach, just before your eyeballs explode.

Marvin: If you died, then how are we speaking to you now?

Flash: I said I was the Galactic Government, didn’t I? That isn’t all for nothing, you know! Now I’m alive and kicking, and the monster of the Oblivion zone has been killed. Your punishment has been paid in full - I died instead of you!

Captain: You died for us? But we didn’t deserve that - we got ourselves in trouble!

Flash: True, true. That’s just the way I - the Galactic Government - am. Give people what they don’t deserve. Some call it grace.

Marvin: How can we thank you?

Flash: By living up to your promises - working for me for the rest of your lives, and not breaking the law any more. You’ll enjoy working for me, I know. I’ll be in contact! Keep a seat warm for me!

There is an SFX of a ship leaving, then the theme music starts and the Captain and Marvin freeze. Lights down, curtains shut.

Copyright Neil Kiley all rights reserved
This play may be performed free of royalty, provided no charge is made for performance. In return, the author would like to be notified of any performance. He may be contacted at