Episode 1: The Gathering

Scenes from the DVD set's "Final Shooting Script"
that do not appear in the episode.


Note: Based on the 'Final Shooting Script', this episode had a number of changes - Richie's name was originally Cole Ryan, Duncan was nearly 500 (not 400) years old, and Kate Kendall (later changed to Randi McFarland) had several scenes.



[A hustling local television reporter, KATE KENDALL, huddles with a beat cop in a corridor. She nods, slips him a twenty, which he quickly pockets.]

KATE - Thanks, Matt.

[He walks off, and she heads into the main receiving area, where she spots an old nemesis, SERGEANT POWELL. Powell walks purposefully through the area. To the Desk Sergeant, he snaps:]

POWELL - I still don't have the paperwork on the Ryan kid.

[Kate approaches him straight on.]

KATE - Sergeant Powell, just the man I was looking for.

[Powell barely glances at her, and studies his clip board.]

POWELL - Miz Kendall. Loved your piece last week on police officers who moonlight as male strippers. Really elevated the tone of television reporting.

KATE - Hey, a girl's got to make a living, Powell.

POWELL - Yeah, the gals on the street tell me that all the time. What do you want, Kendall?

KATE - I hear you've got a juvie here who witnessed a duel of some kind. With swords?

[Now Powell is annoyed. He puts down the clip board.]

POWELL - If I ever find your source in here, he'll be walking the waterfront . . . at night . . . alone. You want the long or the short answer?

KATE - I'll go for the long.


KATE - All I want to do is talk to the boy!

POWELL - Boy is the operative word. He is a juvenile. I cannot and will not release his name.

[As Kate speaks, we see MacLeod come out of the elevator in the background. He does not overhear Kate's conversation as he approaches the desk.]

KATE - I won't use his name! I just want to know about the guys he claims he saw with the swords . . . it's not even related to the break-in he's charged with. I mean, think about it, Powell; a duel . . . with swords. Some people would qualify that as a legitimate news story.

POWELL - That'd be a first for you.

KATE - [trying to be sweet] I just want some information, Sergeant . . .

[Powell smiles at her as if he's falling for it and then:]

POWELL - Dial four-one-one, kiddo.

KATE - Cops with snappy patter went out with Kojak.

[She turns around and starts to walk off in a huff. But lingers when she overhears MacLeod speak to the desk sergeant.]

MacLEOD - I was asked to come down and identify a boy who broke into my shop last night.

[This catches Powell's attention. He is unaware that Kate has overheard.]

POWELL - [to Mac] Cole Ryan?

MacLEOD - If that's his name.

POWELL - Be with you in a second.

[He turns to Kate, who quickly makes believe she is busy with something in her shoulder bag and hasn't heard a word as she moves toward the elevators.]

POWELL - [calling after her] Miz Kendall!

KATE - What?

[Here Powell does an uncanny Telly Savalas smile and wink.]

POWELL - Who loves ya, baby?

KATE - Funny, Powell.

[She watches discreetly as Powell escorts MacLeod through a door.]

BACK to transcript.



CONNOR - For a man in retirement, you haven't lost much.

MacLEOD - [slightly out of breath] Some people greet the sunrise with yoga. I do this.

[He lunges, stopping an inch short of Connor's midriff.]

BACK to transcript.



TESSA - Oh, no, sword play . . . beheadings, it's all part of the routine around here.

BACK to transcript.



MacLEOD - Things have been quiet for a while.

TESSA - [mocking] "As we mere mortals count these things." [then] You know, if you guys really looked five hundred years old . . . wrinkled like prunes, maybe I could take all this more seriously. [smiles]

BACK to transcript.



MacLEOD - [smiles] Not exactly pillow talk, is it?

TESSA - But why, Duncan?

CONNOR - Because Duncan has something to lose. You. You make him vulnerable.

BACK to transcript.



MacLEOD - [remembers a quote] "Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad."

CONNOR - Something like that.

TESSA - [half guesses; to Connor] Why do you want this Slan person so much?

CONNOR - Because I'm one of the good guys.

BACK to transcript.




[Tessa lies on the couch. She has been crying. She stops as MacLeod enters.]

MacLEOD - You okay?

[She turns around and looks up into his eyes and shakes her head.]

TESSA - [very softly] No . . .

[MacLeod sits next to her.]

TESSA - I'm an artist. I'm supposed to have this tremendous imagination. But I never once imagined that you could die and leave me here alone.

[Saying it out loud has stopped the tears, strangely. She manages a small smile for her man. He brushes a wet strand of hair from her face.]

TESSA - Has Connor gone?

MacLEOD - Yes . . . hunting. Hours ago. Now I have to go. He's found Slan.

TESSA - How do you know?

MacLEOD - [smiles] Connor sent me a fax.

TESSA - Don't go. Let Connor handle it.

MacLEOD - You know I can't do that.

[A long beat, then she kisses him fiercely. He leaves without saying another word.]



[MacLeod pulls up to the lot in his Thunderbird and nearly jumps out. Something is terribly wrong here. He looks around. No sign of Connor. A gnawing doubt begins. He leaps back into the car and turns around and roars away.]

BACK to transcript.



TESSA - If I wanted to talk, I suppose I'd be talking.

MacLEOD - I was stupid to fall for that thing with the fax. I'm so angry I could--

[Tessa slams a paperweight down on the desk.]

TESSA - It's working.

MacLEOD - What is?

TESSA - His plan! He wants you so upset you can't think straight.

MacLEOD - I suppose you're right.

[MacLEOD looks at her. She can't meet his eyes. She speaks with solemn gravity.]

TESSA - I know I am. Mac, I want to leave.

BACK to transcript.




[A battered white van with a local television logo stenciled on the doors pulls into the parking lot slowly.]



[The CAMERAMAN is also the driver. Kate rides shotgun. She sees--

COLE HER POV talking (no audio) with great animation to a band of street kids about his age. He is demonstrating the famous sword fight, which looks even more spectacular the way he is pantomiming it.]

KATE - [off screen] There he is. Wait here.



[Kate climbs out and walks close to the group.]

KATE - Cole. Cole Ryan.

[All talk ceases as the young men turn to check out Kate. Cole is startled.]

KATE - Come here. I want to talk to you.

[Cole does a double take, then glances over at his buds. They are impressed. Major babe. Cole smile cockily and saunters over.]

COLE - So . . . doing anything tonight?

KATE - Stop hallucinating.

[Cole almost winces, checks over his shoulder. The other guys haven't heard.]

KATE - You saw some guys with swords yesterday, right? Want to tell me about it? I work for a television station.

[Now Cole places her.]

COLE - Oh, yeah! I've seen you. You look hot standing out in front of burning buildings and riots and stuff. You need anyone to, like, carry your gear when you do that?

KATE - Sorry. Guess I got the wrong guy.

[She makes to turn away.]

COLE - Hold on. Chill. You were asking about the dudes with the swords. . . . Thing is, I sort of promised this one guy not to spill, you know?

[This actually interests Kate. She reaches into her purse and takes out her wallet.]

KATE - What guy was that?

[She begins counting twenties until his hand snakes out and grabs them.]

COLE - Dude's name is Duncan MacLeod. He comes into the shop with this humongo sword and says, I'm gonna chop off your head, and I say--

KATE - Whoa. Slow down. What shop was this?

COLE - This antique shop. See, the window was smashed and the burglar alarm was going crazy, so I go in to check it out and make sure nobody is hurt, when this guy comes down with the sword.

KATE - [bored; disappointed] That's it? Great. You rip off an antique dealer, he grabs some old sword off the wall and comes looking for you. [to herself] That'll make the news at eleven.

COLE - You want to hear about the other guys or not? Two of them. And one says, "I've come for your head, Duncan MacLeod!" Then later another guy shows up -- still with a sword, right -- and says, "No, I've come for your head!"

KATE - [puzzled; still skeptical] Do you know who these others were?

COLE - Umm? What's it worth?

KATE - One fifty if it checks out.

COLE - Two.

KATE - Go.

COLE - I don't know the others, but this MacLeod dude and me are buds. I mean, he came to bail me out because he realized it was a mistake and all, and he's like this good Samaritan type. Told me he grew up on the streets, so he understood. We're real tight, now. Give me the two hundred and I'll go on television and say it all again.

KATE - No. Just hang out with this Duncan MacLeod. Try and find out more about him. See if he meets these other two again. If he does, call this number and the one fifty is yours.

COLE - Hey, I got expenses.

KATE - So do I. Don't lose the number.

[She goes back to the car. Cole carefully pockets his money and watches her get into the car.]



[The Cameraman has been eating a sandwich while she talked. She closes the door.]

CAMERAMAN - Get anything?

KATE - I don't know. Either this kid is into chemicals I've never heard of, or you and I have an entire hour segment of "Unsolved Mysteries" in our very near future.

BACK to transcript.



This flashback is listed in the script (and the DVD Watcher Chronicles entry) as taking place in 1872, but as the series progressed, this date no longer makes sense. Strong arguments can be made for DM building his cabin in the spring of 1873, after spending the fall/winter of 1872 tracking Kern across the Dakota Territory and meeting Coltek at the Army fort jail, both of which occur after Little Deer's death but before DM becomes a holy ground hermit.

BACK to transcript.



[Cole stealthily creeps away from the car, and, when out of sight, runs toward an illuminated phone booth a half block away.]

[Slan & Connor fight.]



[Cole practically screams into the phone.]

COLE - [into phone] You gotta see this! It's happening! Forget the one fifty! We're talking percentage of the gross, here!

[Just then MacLeod's black T-bird roars past the booth heading for the bridge. Cole sees.]

COLE - [to himself] Oh, man! [into phone] The third one just showed!



[The Cameraman pulls the car out of the service bay. Kate is on her cellular phone to Cole.]

KATE - [into cellular] Slow down. What? Where? We're close, already. Keep an eye on them.

[She clicks off the cellular phone and jumps in the car.]

KATE - [to Cameraman] They're at Soldier's Bridge.

BACK to transcript.




[The station wagon screeches to a halt, Kate and the Cameraman spill out, grab their gear and trot up onto the bridge, staring at the blown out headlights, street lamps, etc. As they approach Cole, they see what he sees. Slan's body is partly obscured by the Humvee. We don't see it's headless. At first, neither do they.]

KATE - Cole, what happened here? [no response] Cole, who did this? Did you see?

[The Cameraman has moved toward the body. Now he sees.]


[He turns back to Kate.]

CAMERAMAN - This d.b. ain't got no head!

[Kate is stunned. She moves to the body, then quickly turns away. For a moment her professional persona deserts her. Then, she gets a grip.]

KATE - Cole, you saw this, didn't you? Talk to me. There's a thousand dollars in it for you if you just tell me what you saw.

[Cole struggles with something, but makes a decision.]

COLE - I didn't see anything. I got here too late . . . like you.

[Cole turns and starts to walk away.]

KATE - Hey, Cole. Wait. That isn't what you said on the phone. Who were the other two men? Cole, I'll put you on tv, right now. Come back! Cole!

[But Cole breaks into a run and never looks back.]

CAMERAMAN - We better call the cops.

KATE - First, shoot the picture.

CAMERAMAN - Why? They'll never show it on the tube.

KATE - Just shoot the picture, Hal!

CAMERAMAN - All right.

[The Cameraman sets up and begins taping. Kate looks around her, as if she's stepped through the looking glass for a moment, then composes herself, and steps in front of the camera.]

KATE - [into microphone] This is Kate Kendall with Cameraman Hal Butler. We are the first people on the scene of an incredible, grisly murder here on Soldier's Bridge. No witnesses saw what took place here, but it was, without a doubt, an extraordinary event.

BACK to transcript.


BACK to Transcripts Page

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