10th July, 2011
- «You have fulfilled your mission. You may rest.»
- ―Togh to Merzhel Chek'at[src]
Scout is a science fiction short from Wingless Films, created and directed by Jim Elton. It stars Tom Menary as Scout Eighty-Six, who explores an uninhabited world on behalf of his commanding officer after crash-landing his vessel. It was shot in and around the Lee Moor area of Dartmoor.
Scout Eighty-Six has landed. Scout Eighty-Six is awaiting evac.
There is no evac.
Scout is the latest short from Wingless Films, devised by Jim Elton, and starring Tom Menary as a scout who makes planetfall on an unknown world. Trekking through the desolate environment, he reports back to his commanding officer with his findings, and receives a fateful update.
The film was shot on location at Lee Moor, Devon, in July 2011. Props were supplied by Liam Docherty, and astrophotography was provided by Robin Manford. Scout contains an original score by Tom Menary.
- «There is no evac. I extend my congratulations.»
- ―Togh to Merzhel Chek'at[src]
The film begins with a "Wingless Films" title card over a desolate planet in deep space. A scout vessel crash-lands on the surface, sending up a towering plume of smoke. A scout designated Merzhel Chek'at, wearing a life-support suit, emerges from the crater, and embarks upon a walk across the planet's surface.
Reaching a formation of standing stones, the scout experiences a problem with his oxygen feed, and is forced to take off his mask. However, he discovers the atmosphere is breathable, and reports back to his commanding officer. Overseer Togh, situated in the command vessel above the planet, requests a status update; Chek'at reports that the world is habitable, and Togh congratulates him on a successful mission.
However, when Chek'at requests evac, Togh denies him, again offering his congratulations and declaring that he can "rest". Chek'at finally realizes that his usefulness has ended, and rages against the Overseer. Unmoved, Togh triggers a signal that shuts down Chek'at's genetically-modified brain, and the scout falls to the ground, dead.
The Overseer announces the scout's discovery, and issues an order to begin the process of colonization. Colony Twelve descends upon the planet in scout vessels, ready to reap Merzhel Chek'at's work.
- Jim Elton
- Sound recording
- Tom Menary
- Music composer
- Liam Docherty
- Location scout
- Props master
- Robin Manford
- Astrophotography stills
The concept for Scout was devised by Jim Elton, who conceived the idea of a character walking an empty world as the survivor of a spaceship crash. The initial script, written by Tom Menary, featured a character with the ability to shift between two dimensions—a picturesque world and a grim, lifeless reality. This was revised into the idea of an alien scout being deactivated at the end of his survey mission.
Filming took place in the Lee Moor area of Dartmoor on 4th July 2011, and the finished film was released six days later. Test footage of the alien dialogue, performed by Tom Menary, was released on his YouTube channel along with a full translation of the fictional Apneok language.
- Main article: Scout (soundtrack)
The film's original score was composed by Tom Menary. It features various permetations of the Theme from Scout, which was first heard as part of an (otherwise unrelated) track called "Stuck", released as part of Notes So Far I: The Journeyman.
Behind the scenesEdit
The scout's alien language, Apneok, was created by Tom Menary, based partly in Hebrew and Armenian phrases. "Merzhel" comes from the Armenian for "scout"; "Togh" means "watcher"; and the name of the planet (Kyen'i tak) is derived from the Armenian phrase "yerknk'i tak", meaning "under sky". "Nepesh", one of the scout's lines, is the Greek for "breath of life", and translates as "breathable" when talking about the planet's atmosphere. The scout's final line, "Ke dut getmek na'brel", translates as "I don't want to go", a reference to the Tenth Doctor's last words from the Doctor Who episode, The End of Time, Part 2. The scout's designation, "Eighty-Six", is a reference to Tom's year of birth.