Story Outline by Rick Mittleman ~ June 16, 1986
Aired November 8, 1986
from Rick Mittleman: The following is a bare-bones outline to project what I
consider to be the best way to go with this area:)
ELM ST. HOUSE/INT. WORKSHOP
A tremendous ROAR & much billowing of smoke ~ ALEX & TILLIE fan away
smoke & rescue a despondent SIMON ~ another failure! That's it!
Washed up! Inventor's block has taken over. TILLIE says all Simon
needs is a vacation, reminding him of commitment to judge Robotics competition
at luxury hotel.
Alex & Simon checking in ~ meet several old friends who speak glowingly of
current projects ~ Simon tries to keep stiff upper lip ~ interrupted by kid
(GERALD WOODBURY) who wants to shake Simon's hand ~ is a source of annoyance to
older researchers . . . all out to win the $25,000 prize ~ CAMERA holds on two
heavies, one instructing the other to keep an eye on the kid.
JOSEPH PRANSKI, a definite, in non-ethnic, Mafioso type, is running a video
tape taken at Gerald's High School science fair showing robot in action. A
Lazer equipped arm drills through any substance without vibration or dislocation
of light or sound-sensing devices, thus there isn't a bank, jewelry store,
government mint or even a jail cell that can stop this baby!
Simon living it up ~ beginning to feel old self. Alex is with the pretty
girl ~ a child runs up with a broken air float that won't work ~ Simon
improvises new valve & kid jumps into pool & immediately sinks from
sight with WHOOSH of air from float ~ Simon goes into blue funk! It's
really over! How am I going to fool all these people, etc.!
Press tour ~ photographers, etc. ~ SEE another one or two robots in action,
then move to Gerald's cloth-draped figure. He tells press what it does
& pulls off cloth to reveal a (substitute) figure, perhaps a drum-playing
bear right out of a turn-of-the century museum! The kid goes into shock as
everybody laughs. Simon gets to Gerald & tells him he believes him . .
. but Gerald pulls away & runs off in tears. FADE OUT.
Simon catches up with Gerald who tells him the prize money is the only way he
can make it to college ~ Simon promises he'll find the missing robot ~ but first
he's got to cheer up. He insists Gerald join he & Alex downstairs.
Establish that he has many henchmen & has taken over entire top floor of
hotel with elaborate security devices. Moving into Pranski's suite, we
discover Gerald's robot on display, but Pranski is far from happy. The
controls are screwed up & his hired electronics whiz can't figure out the
problem. The outwardly smooth, calm Pranski bursts a gut & we see the
true dimensions of his anger & his need to control everybody around
him. When an aide suggests grabbing Gerald, Pranski says there's got to be
TIGHT on a wild drum solo as hotel jazz group plays up a storm ~ PULL
BACK to discover Simon at the drums ~ finishes with big flourish as all
applaud, including a happy Gerald. An old friend of Simon's & now
president of Robotic Assn., surprises Simon by asking him to show everybody his
famous party routine ~ reveals box of bolts, wires, batteries, tubes, etc.,
& tells how Simon can assemble a device in 2 minutes flat from anything ~
Simon appalled, tries to beg off with Alex's help, but to no avail ~ INTERCUT
PRANSKI & entourage seating themselves at nearby table & being clued in
as to Simon's reputation. Simon proceeds to fake it ~ builds a pathetic
robot with parts that are on backwards, etc., ~ it takes two steps & totally
disintegrates ~ everyone cheers, thinking it to be a typical Simon prank . . .
including Pranski, who tells his cohorts that Simon is just the genius he's
looking for to make his newly acquired robot operative.
HOTEL LOBBY AREA
Simon is glad to be out of spotlight ~ Gerald hands Simon the requested details
on Robot to assist in search. Simon takes off saying he'll meet him before
judging begins in a few hours, hopefully with some good news. Hoods watch
Simon EXIT & follow him.
Alex, in tux, shows up, but no Simon ~ joined by an anxious Gerald ~ Alex says
Simon must've gone downstairs ahead of them. Perhaps Alex finds sign of
forceful entry or sign of struggle which troubles him.
Alex covers for Simon by indicating Simon is under the
weather, & at same time alerts hotel security, etc. ~ just not like Simon ~
CUT TO PRIZE AWARDS ~ Gerald near tears as prize goes to pretty girl ~ runs out
past Alex, telling Alex it's the last time he'll trust anybody! Especially
people like Simon! FADE OUT.
Pranski apologizes to Simon, turns on charm, offers to pay him a lot of money
to fix robot which he just purchased from his resident whiz & had intended
to enter in contest before it broke down (or perhaps he claims robot is his
& produces "bill of sale" signed by kid) ~ Simon says he
can't. He has inventor's block. Pranski says, "I'll make it
real easy. Fix it & you're a free man".
A bitter Gerald packs to leave ~ Alex ENTERS to tell him Simon would never
disappoint anybody unless there was a good reason . . . tries to talk Gerald out
of leaving ~ Gerald replies that he can't believe that ~ especially now that
Simon has the complete set of his plans. No, he's going home & going
to back to work in the hardware store when he graduates high school.
Simon tries to work with Gerald's robot but he can't do anything right because
of his block ~ sparks shower all over him & the robot walks into wall, etc.,
knocking over lamps ~ Pranski witnesses this & says he has a good way of
jogging Simon's memory.
Tillie joins Alex from home, really worried about Simon ~ could he have carried
out threat to give it up & go into seclusion (always spoke of wanting to be
a cowboy out West . . . or some such dream) ~ but agrees with Alex, Simon would
never leave a kid like Gerald dangling . . . or her . . . or Alex ~ ergo he's
got to be in big trouble.
Simon tells Pranski what he can do with his stolen robot ~ Pranski says he
doesn't think so . . . snaps fingers & accomplices bring in Gerald.
Simon will have to make the robot work or else! FADE OUT.
Initially, Gerald thinks Simon one of the bad guys ~ Simon says Gerald has to
believe even when things seem otherwise ~ Kid says how can he think
otherwise? He knows Simon's secret: he's a has-been who can't do
anything, right? Smoke comes out of Simon's ears & we can SEE the
wheels turning to meet the challenge. Fine! Be only half of what you
can be as a great researcher/inventor by having a closed mind. Me, I'm
going to believe the sky's the limit! Simon sets about to use robot
controls to electrify the door handle ~ calls guard who opens door & can't
let go of doorknob ~ Simon & Gerald run for it. They are detected
& the hotel chase is on.
HOTEL/VARIOUS LOCATIONS INCLUDING BALLROOM
The chase, during which Simon pushes Gerald to safety, down a dumbwaiter (or
whatever) only to run into the ballroom where the robots still stand on
display. Simon cleverly eludes capture for a few moments as Pranski &
his 6 cohorts track him down. Finally, he's cornered & Pranski draws a
gun saying Simon's just run out of choices ~ suddenly, BAM! The door is
disintegrated by an unknown force. As all REACT, we SEE Gerald's robot
ENTER with Gerald at the controls, followed by Alex. However, it's still
Alex, Simon & Gerald against 7 armed hoods . . . until Simon springs into
action & activates all the other robots with a fast rewiring job & a
master control device. All leading to a choreographed action finale where
robots do their one thing & overwhelm the seven heavies just as Tillie
rushes in with the police.
ELM ST. HOUSE
TAG. Simon back at work in his workshop with Gerald's help. Tillie
arrives with a letter for Simon that is from Cal Tech accepting Gerald on
Simon's scholarship recommendation. There is much joy, then a smoke-filled
disaster a the workbench. Gerald puts arm around Simon & tells him he
has to have faith . . . FADE OUT.
of Rick Mittleman, Michael Berk & Douglas Schwartz
Draft from The
Michael Berk Collection
(Note from The
MGT: This page was transcribed from the original copy. I've
attempted to stay as true to the original format as possible. This is how
a brilliant Rough Story Outline is written, kidz. Take note, but please
don't plagiarize. Thank you!!)