Touch and Go (based on true events) by James Shearer | Script Revolution

Touch and Go (based on true events)

A love story, set amid the untold true tale of an intelligence gathering mission that used a British Airways flight as a Trojan Horse on the eve of the first Gulf War.



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(Tagline: There's no such thing as a simple love story)

This three-part drama is a love story which begins in 1989, in the months leading up to the first Gulf war and involves actual events which took place on the eve of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.[2]

Episode 1

Captain Jamie Fraser is a former special forces officer, widower, and decorated veteran of the Falklands War. After upsetting the Royal Marines in a minor incident, he is dispatched to the small fishing town of Arbroath in northeast Scotland to command Comacchio Group, the commando unit responsible for safeguarding Britain's North Sea oil rigs from terrorist attack.

Whilst enduring his punishment posting and in an effort to while away the time, Fraser is drawn to the idea of learning to fly, and duly enrols in a Dundee flying club.

To his surprise, his flying instructor is a woman; feisty Honey Jarvis, a British Airways air stewardess, determined to fly commercial jets - "I don't want to spend the rest of my life dishing out chicken or beef, I want to fly the damn things!"

Jarvis relishes the opportunity of teaching the macho commando to fly, and in the course of doing so, the pair become lovers.

The couple travel to Monaco to watch the Grand Prix, where Fraser meets Sir Malcolm Campbell, a Formula One motor racing team owner. Campbell, who has apparently made his fortune from underwater salvage, hires Fraser to undertake a covert mission in the Caribbean. Fraser's assignment is to investigate rumours that one of Campbell's drivers is secretly negotiating a lucrative deal to drive for a rival team. Fraser gathers the evidence, proving Campbell's information correct.

1. "Touch and Go" is an aviation expression; a term used to describe a particular flying exercise, practiced repeatedly, when learning to fly.

2. On August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces invaded and annexed Kuwait, after which Saddam Hussein replaced the Emir of Kuwait with a new governor. After diplomatic negotiations failed, a coalition of 34 nations led by the United States launched the Persian Gulf War, successfully liberating Kuwait from Iraqi occupation on February 26, 1991. Nearly 700 Kuwaiti oil wells were set ablaze by the retreating Iraqi army, causing tremendous environmental and economic damage.

Episode 2

As a result of successfully accomplishing the task, Fraser is offered a full-time position within Campbells's conglomerate. However, alarmed to discover that the entrepreneur's success might owe more to the illegal importation of drugs from the Middle East than salvage - namely, Iranian criminal/political acquaintances of Campbell utilising both Campbell Racing and his salvage ships to move multi kilos of heroin from one region of the world to another - Fraser declines the offer of employment. Soon after, with the Gulf war looming nearer, the Ministry of Defence recalls Fraser to the SBS (Special Boat Service), based in the south of England.

Heartbroken to be separated from Fraser, Honey resumes her career, unaware that she is pregnant with Fraser's child (eventually named Skye, after the Scottish isle where she was conceived).

On the eve of the invasion of Kuwait, Jarvis is part of the crew of the infamous BA Flight 149, [3] which had a scheduled stop in Kuwait on its route from London to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The plane lands just as Iraqi troops are over-running the airport. The passengers and crew are taken hostage and the British Airways 747 aircraft is destroyed. The prisoners become part of Saddam Hussein's human shield, enduring months of captivity, during which they suffered torture, assault and threats of execution on a routine basis. In addition, a British Airways stewardess was reportedly raped – her attacker, summarily executed.

3. British Airways Flight 149 was a flight between London Heathrow Airport and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, (the former international airport for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) operated by British Airways Boeing 747-136 G-AWND. The flight never reached Kuala Lumpur after stopping for a scheduled refuelling at Kuwait International Airport, near Kuwait City, several hours after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on the night of August 1, 1990. The aircraft operating the flight, its passengers and crew, were captured by Iraqi forces and the passengers and crew held hostage. One passenger, a member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family, was killed by the Iraqis. The remaining passengers were later freed and the aircraft was destroyed. Allegations were raised that the airline deliberately had not diverted in order to insert British SAS troops into the country.


Meanwhile, the UK government, conscious that the aircraft, passengers and crew were sacrificed in order to covertly infiltrate a handful of British agents (passengers) onto the ground, considers mounting a rescue operation. In preparation, a small reconnaissance team of SBS commandos under the command of Fraser, are parachuted into the Gulf, recovered by a Royal Navy submarine and landed ashore. The team locates some of the hostages, including Jarvis. During satellite communication with those overseeing the operation, Fraser is reminded that he is in command of a recce party; his teams mission is solely intelligence-gathering, not rescue.

By now, aware that Jarvis is pregnant, Fraser disobeys orders and rescues Jarvis along with a number of the hostages, suffering severe wounds and capture in the process.

Fraser is duly transferred to neighbouring Iran, from where Campbell's unscrupulous drug connections promptly reveal Fraser's identity to, Iranian government officials. Needing a satisfactory resolution, palms are greased and Campbell's powerful cronies within the British establishment make a pact with Iran. Fraser is declared dead, and awarded a posthumous gallantry medal. In reality, he is left to languish in a Tehran prison cell, unable to disrupt Campbell's nefarious activities.

Fraser's body is supposedly repatriated and buried with full military honours. Jarvis, soon to give birth to Skye, mourns the death of her lover.

Closing scenes depict Jarvis, now an airline captain, being met at Edinburgh airport by Skye, her beautiful teenage daughter, on the threshold of womanhood.

Final scene depicts a wizened Fraser gazing upon the sun setting over the city from his Tehran prison cell.

There's no such thing as a simple love story.

Submitted: July 18, 2020
Last Updated: January 19, 2021

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The Writer: James Shearer

Hello all Thank you for visiting my profile. I am a published author - one book having reached No. 7 in the WHSmith best selling list. Another, I am reliably told by a former guest of one of Her Majesty's establishments, was the most read book in HMP Ford. However, my literary agent does not represent screenwriters, so here I am, etc. A couple of years ago, McCoy Films, a Hollywood production company, attempted to option The Cruciverbalist . Alas, I was given bad advice at my end and foolishly rejected their offer. Such is life. I am now in the process of turning the story into a novel. The screenplay Skydiver was co written with a guy with whom I once worked. He is both ex UK special... Go to bio

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