Birdwatching Naked by Tom Batt | Script Revolution

Birdwatching Naked



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A bored MI6 civil servant uncovers a terrorist plot on holiday and attempts to thwart it, but with a lack of experience causes more problems for himself.

Civil Servant Stanley Whittle, 32 years old has been working at MI6 for the past seven years. A highly successful intelligence analyst, he originally signed up hoping for excitement and adventure. Unfortunately his life consists of sitting at a desk in a dull grey office, transcribing phone calls. He was rejected field work on the grounds he’s too good at what he currently does and quitting is easier said than done when you’ve got bills to pay. He is eventually pushed to breaking point and snaps, punching his boss.

Stanley is not fired though. Not willing to lose someone as good as him and feeling he has been overworked, they send him on a nice relaxing holiday to the small French town of Poulalon. At first Stanley thinks this could bring the excitement he craves, but he soon discovers not much happens in this quaint little area.

After an initial few days of upsetting the locals and moaning to fellow tourists, he meets the ambitious American travel journalist Olivia Parker, 28. She is in a similar position, wishing to report hard hitting news stories, but finds herself moving from place to place commenting on holiday destinations no one cares about. Stanley finally finds someone who understands him; however it doesn’t take long for him to upset her as well.

One night, walking along the river, back to his hotel after a few too many, he becomes desperate to urinate and doesn’t hesitate to do it there and then. As he stares down at his makeshift toilet it is only then he sees the lifeless eyes staring back at him. At first the corpse disturbs him, but after being interviewed by the humourless and disinterested Inspector Jean Patapon, 50 he realises he recognised the face from the many photos he studied at work.

Stanley makes the bold decision to investigate the murder himself and employs the help of Olivia. Together they uncover a terrorist cell hiding out in a local farmhouse and Stanley sees his opportunity to prove to his superiors what they’re missing. Unfortunately he has no training in field work and he’s soon causing more problems than he’s solving.

Still thinking about her newspaper article, Olivia decides to question the Mayor on the towns’ dangerous visitors. When asked he seems flustered and she is escorted out of the building. As she walks back to her hotel she is kidnapped and Stanley is left to deal with the situation alone.

Luckily a chance encounter with ex-field agent Barry Millington, 54 comes his way. After 29 years Barry refused to retire and so he was stationed in Poulalon as a contact agent to keep him out of the way. He has become an alcoholic grump, but offers to help Stanley.

Birdwatching Naked is a black comedy about living your dreams, how the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and you should be careful what you wish for.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Top Ten Runner-Up - Scriptapalooza 2015

Submitted: November 13, 2018
Last Updated: August 4, 2019
Times Downloaded: 12
Last Downloaded: February 12, 2020

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The Writer: Tom Batt

I have been writing for the last 10 years and in that time I have tried my hand at shorts, features and TV pilots. I have had several feature scripts and shorts optioned by various production companies and producers around the world. I have also found success in competitions placing as a Top Ten Runner Up in Scriptapalooza. Go to bio

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