October 16th, 2004
Spellbound (Teen Titans)
(Opening shot: the full moon hanging in the night sky. Boisterous cheers are heard from ground level as three jets streak past, leaving smoke trails in red, white, and blue. Tilt down into the streets of Jump City to point at the Titans' favorite pizza hangout; the camera passes a banner marked "4th of July," identifying the cause of the celebration. Happy people are hanging out up and down the block, one kid runs with a sparkler while being chased by another, and every building in sight has a screen mounted near its roof to display an image of the American flag.)
(Pull back from this last shot to show it on the center screen of a group of nine; the citywide festivities are displayed from various angles on the others. In front of the assembly, Cyborg holds a heaping plate of burgers and hot dogs up into view.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) The burgers are cheesed, (Pan to him.) the dogs are hot, and the fireworks are about to begin. Man, I love the Fourth of July!
(Cut to the other four Titans, on and around the couch in the operations center of Titans Tower: the grid view we just saw was on its window/screen. As usual, Raven is reading.)
Starfire: Please. This is a celebration of the month July, or of the number four? (Cyborg sets the food on the coffee table.)
Robin: Neither. It's Independence Day, sorta like America's birthday.
Starfire: Oh! Should we then bake the America a cake?
Beast Boy: No cake, and no tea!
(As a question mark pops up by Robin's head, Beast Boy pulls down a new scene like a window shade. Blue field, two stuffed animals at a table for a tea party, the number 1492 behind them.)
Beast Boy: (voice over) See, it all started back in 1492 with this tea party, in Boston.
(Pan to a caricature of Cyborg, dressed as King George III of England.)
Beast Boy: (voice over) King George, or maybe it was King Norm, anyway...
(On the second name, pan to another, young fellow in the regalia; at the end of the line, pan further to King Cyborg, who now holds a steaming teacup.)
Beast Boy: (voice over) ...the British were trying to make the colonists drink all this tea.
(Cyborg holds the cup out on the end of this; sight gag: the other Titans, in "Super Deformed" style, regard it warily as Robin clutches a white flag of truce.)
Beast Boy: (voice over) But they were like, "Dude!" (Angry commotion; veins flare everywhere.) "No way! We're sick of nasty, old tea and your crummy, English muffins!"
(On the end of this, Beast Boy runs up and dashes the cup away; it, Cyborg, and his crown bounce across the floor. In normal style, Beast Boy pops up in front of the camera and backs up.)
Beast Boy: So they decided, "Revolution!"
(Back to the operations center. He beams at the camera as Raven slides her chair up nearby.)
Raven: Where'd you learn history? A cereal box? (His face falls.)
Beast Boy: What's your point? (Sweat drop on Raven's temple.)
Robin: Okay, the fireworks should be starting in five...
(On this line, cut to behind the Titans and tilt up to frame the window/screen, which now shows the five-second countdown that precedes the start of a movie.)
(A block of Jump City; the building screens are counting as well.)
Titans: (voice over) ...three... (The pizza joint; zoom in on its screen.) ...two...
(The countdown disintegrates into static, which in turn yields to an instantly recognizable face. Bald on top, a fringe of gray hair, small rectangular sunglasses, thick Cockney accent; it is the one and only Mad Mod, elderly as seen at the end of the first-season episode that featured him.)
Mad Mod: Hello, my duckies. (The operations center; Starfire gasps.)
Robin: Mad Mod!
Mad Mod: So sorry to interrupt, but your revolution will not be televised.
(Cut to the pensioner; he holds a ruby-topped cane identical to the one wielded by his holographic younger self in his first tangle with the Titans.)
Mad Mod: Matter of fact, it's been outright cancelled... (twirls his cane) ...as in, it never happened!
(He presses the ruby; in a blink the screen is filed with a black-and-white hypnotic pattern, the sort that used to put Beast Boy out of action so effectively. Cut to Robin.)
Robin: Don't look!
(All five Titans cover their eyes with their forearms. In the city, the camera pulls back from the pizza joint's screen, showing the partiers entranced by the pattern that plays over it. Slow pan across the docile, drooling crowd, then cut here and there among them. One fellow's ice cream cone falls apart but goes unnoticed, as the swirls are running on all the screens that used to show the Stars and Stripes. Another slow pan.)
Mad Mod: (on the speaker) You American colonies have been rebellious long enough. (His head appears in the spirals.) I'm reclaiming this city in the name of jolly old England! (a crown settles on his head; his body appears) And you lot had best bow down before your new ruler...
(The background dissolves to the British Union Jack flag.)
Mad Mod: ...King Moddy the First!
(Cut to a slow pan across the newly-minted subjects; they kneel obediently as his crazed laughter rings out over the streets. Back to him as he gets his breath.)
Mad Mod: That would be me.
(Snap to black.)
OPENING THEME (sung in Japanese)
(Opening shot: the exterior of the Tower. A Union Jack suddenly crashes down to cover the night sky entirely, while up from the horizon comes a black-and-white skyline reminiscent of London in the first half of the 20th century. The latter looks as if it has been cut out of an old photograph.)
Mad Mod: (on the speaker) The American Revolution was a hoax. (In the city, he is on screen.) The Declaration of Independence is a tissue of lies. There is no George Washington, and there never was. And from now on...
(Fade to black.)
Mad Mod: (on the speaker) ...they're not cookies... (Fade in to a B&W subway tunnel; a train is coming.) ...they're called biscuits! (Extreme close-up of his mouth.) Say it with me..."biiiissss-cuuuuiiiittttssss."
(Pull back. He is seated at a complex control panel, similar to the rig with which he tormented the Titans in "Mad Mod." One of the many monitors shows the driver's-seat view of the tunnel, he is on the train we just saw.)
Mad Mod: There, now. We'll have you unruly Yanks acting like proper Brits in time for tea.
(The whole train shakes. Pan back from him to a thick cloud of dust, which clears to show the Titans at the forcible entry they have made.)
Robin: Class dismissed, Mod. Your twisted history lesson is over!
Mad Mod: Oh, is it now, my little snot?
(At the press of a button, a transparent barrier slides down from the ceiling of this hideout. Robin somersaults underneath it, leaving the rest of the team cut off on its far side, and leaps toward Mad Mod. The walking stick whistles at him, but he gets five fingers around the shaft to stop it. On the next line, their four hands work up toward the ruby, just as kids do with a bat to decide whose team gets to lead off in a baseball game.)
Robin: Aren't you getting a little old for this? (Mad Mod, closest to the end, puts a thumb over the gem.)
Mad Mod: On the contrary, laddie. I'm feeling younger by the tick.
(He presses the gem; instantly the two are wreathed in crackling red light and yell in agony. The other Titans stare in horror as Mad Mod's shouts gradually turn to deranged laughter.)
(Cyborg aims his sonic cannon at the barrier, but his shot ricochets into the ceiling. Close-up of the old Brit; a ghostly image of Robin floats into his mouth, and with a final flash the energy subsides. Pull back from the imprisoned Titans to frame the Boy Wonder from the waist down. He stands motionless for a long moment, then collapses to the floor with a feeble groan; now he has become a wrinkled, white-haired old man. Just in front of him, Mad Mod plants one foot near the camera. Robin lifts his head with great effort to eye the black shoe and white sock; cut to behind him and tilt up. Where he has aged, Mad Mod has grown considerably younger; black shorts and blazer, untucked white shirt and loose black necktie, the full head of red hair sported by his holographic stand-in two seasons ago. His new ensemble, the sort often worn by boys at British private schools, brings to mind the one favored by AC/DC guitarist Angus Young.)
Mad Mod: Ha! Now that'll put the peas back in your porridge!
(Robin tries to grab his ankle, but can barely get one hand off the floor.)
Starfire: (pounds on the shield) You will change him back!
Mad Mod: (sitting down) Sorry, love, but like I've always said, youth is wasted on the young. Ta-ra, Titans!
(He throws a lever. Cut to just outside the train; several explosive bolts blow, freeing the locomotive from the rest of the cars, and rocket thrusters extend from the sides. When they fire up, that lead car quickly pulls away from the others and Robin and Mad Mod are carried out of sight. They sweep into a tunnel, a switch is thrown to route the track into an adjoining one, and the rest of the train crashes through a barricade that has been set here. Cut briefly to a shot of the tunnel walls flying by, then to the four Titans within the train.)
Beast Boy: Crud.
(The tunnel again, rapidly approaching the end of the line. At street level, an Underground station entrance is shaken by the force of the train's crash; the foursome climb the stairs through the clearing dust.)
Starfire: Oh, where has he gone with our friend?
Beast Boy: Maybe the same place he went with our city.
(Cut to a very long pan across the drastically redesigned metropolis; the Union Jack filling the sky, British traffic signs and urban landmarks, even the classic red telephone booths. Stop on a fish market, where two old women are out for a stroll.)
Old woman 1: Oh, look, dearie, kippers! Nine for twelve P!
Old woman 2: No! They smell like fish! I hate fish!
(As they pass o.c., the door opens and a fish pokes its head out. It then leaps down the street, whereupon the camera tilts up quickly to the rooftops. Two soot-streaked chimney sweeps, one tall, the other short and squat, pop up from adjacent stacks.)
Tall sweep: Spittin' sport, Nigel! The vicar's got a stopped-up chimney!
(Down they go. Now a street-urchin paperboy leans into view and holds up a fresh issue.)
Paperboy: Read all 'bout it! King Moddy teaches Titans a lesson!
(On the end of this, he raises the paper and the camera zooms in on it as the four still-Teen Titans pop up. It is The Moddy Times; the headlines are "Robin Captured" and "King Mod Saves the Day!" Photograph: old Robin tied to a chair.)
Cyborg: Hey! We've been Union-Jacked!
(The sound of tromping boots is heard from o.c.; all turn to look down the street, and the camera pans to a pair of approaching figures. Close-up of one, seen from waist to knees: the figure is dressed as a Beefeater guard and carrying a shouldered rifle, but the hands are metal. Tilt up to the face, revealing the soldier as a huge, broad-chested robot, then pull back to frame the second one marching abreast with it. Monitors open up on both chests and begin to display Mad Mod's hypnotic pattern. Back to Cyborg and the girls on the start of the next line.)
Cyborg: Hit 'em hard, hit 'em fast, and whatever you do... (All cover their eyes.) ...don't look at the...
(Pan slightly to frame Beast Boy, already babbling and drooling.)
(The robots close their chest monitors and take aim. High-powered musket balls flash toward the Titans.)
Raven: Quick! Make him laugh!
(She and Cyborg rush toward the shooters, while Starfire carries the mesmerized Titan to relative safety behind a parked car.)
(She thinks very hard for a moment and then squeals as an idea hits her. Dropping Beast Boy, she shoves one hand into her other armpit and starts making fart noises; in an instant, he is back on his feet and laughing at the effect. Now he quickly re-styles his hair into a "mod" cut.)
Beast Boy: (speaks in a British accent) Smashing, love. Jolly good laugh-
(He cuts himself off sharply, his eyes popping in sudden shock; zoom in twice to an extreme close-up of them, then cut to a long shot of the rearranged skyline. His yell of horror echoes up among the buildings; back to him and Starfire.)
Beast Boy: Oh, dear! I'm a Tommy, a Limey, a Brit! (A car drops to the sidewalk behind them and explodes.)
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Yo, Brit Boy! (Cut to him and Raven, in combat, and zoom in.) We could use a hand! (Starfire flies in.)
Beast Boy: (puts up his fists) Right, then. Have at you!
(Cyborg is driven back against a wall, then stares pop-eyed and leaps away before a shot can strike him. His trajectory carries him down behind the robotic attacker, which has a large wind-up key attached to its back, and dives from the next shot. The cannon shot he fires off sends it into the wall amid a thick cloud of dust; just after he lands, his face goes slack and the android emerges intact for another go. When Cyborg tries a flurry of punches against the metal chest, he ends up with nothing but a pair of red, swollen hands and enough pain to make him whimper a bit. The Beefeater's only response is a raised fist.)
Cyborg: Oh, boy.
(He takes the blow and goes tumbling down the street; above him, Starfire swoops in for a little low-altitude dogfighting. Her double starbolt traces along the block and explodes against the chest, but this, too, has no effect at all. The steel hands are raised skyward, and the arms extend to seize Starfire and reel her in. As she struggles against the bone-cracking grip, a car crashes against the Beefeater's back. Throwing her the full length of the block, it wheels to face in the direction of this new insult; Raven, who follows it up by dumping a double-decker bus on the enemy, end first.)
(Pan down the street a bit as she lands. Now she is the one who gets hit in the back, with a rifle shot; pan a bit more to frame the other robot, rifle in hand. It in turn is knocked away by Beast Boy as a roaring tyrannosaurus rex, and Cyborg helps Starfire to her feet. Raven starts to get up a moment later and is slightly surprised to find the shape-shifter back in human form and offering her a hand. An awful creak of metal draws their attention; cut to the flaming bus, which is lifted clear by the first robot and thrown aside. Both are now heavily damaged, with sparks flying from their exposed circuits, but begin a new advance nonetheless. Cut to Cyborg and Starfire.)
Starfire: They are...quite durable. (Pan to Raven and Beast Boy.)
Beast Boy: (still talking in the British accent) British engineering, love. Finest in the world.
Raven: Can you please stop talking like that?
Beast Boy: You're just jealous because I sound like a rock star.
(Sight gag: cut to Beast Boy on a brightly lit stage, flailing away at an electric guitar before a crowd of screaming fans. His hair is normal in this shot. Back to the street; the two half-wrecked androids march on.)
Cyborg: Stand your ground! We can take 'em!
(More clomping boots are heard; pan slightly to frame the other end of the block as the four heroes look that way. Beefeaters are coming out from a side street; close-up of them.)
Raven: (from o.c.) But we can't take all of them. (Now they are at the mouth of an alley.)
Beast Boy: (as all flee into it) RUN AWAY!!
(The platoon marches in after them. Dissolve to a different stretch of the city, later in the evening. The bridge over Jump City Bay has become a low, arch-supported structure on which a few guards are keeping watch; one sweeps a flashlight beam over the water as Big Ben chimes. Tilt down from the roadway to one of the arches, then cut to a patch of water. The flash plays over each of these shots, after which the robot using it moves off, all quiet on this front. Heavy footsteps die away as the four Titans peer out from their hiding place under the bridge. Close-up of Beast Boy.)
Beast Boy: (wiping his face with a handkerchief) Phew! Jolly good thing those squaddies didn't fancy a swim.
(Fed up, Raven yanks his new coiffure off, exposing the normal hair beneath, and socks him with it hard enough to set his head spinning. Once he has regained his bearings, his voice returns to normal.)
Beast Boy: Dude! Why'd you--? (laughs and realizes he is himself again) Sweet! I'm American!
Raven: You're welcome.
Cyborg: (from o.c.) Hey! (He moves into view.) We need a plan! (Silhouette view of the group.) We have to stop Mad Mod, save Robin, and take back the city. (Close-up.) I know they're tough, but we gotta tackle these tin toys head-on. Full frontal assault! (He bangs a fist into his palm.)
Starfire: (comes up) No. We must find Robin. Once Robin's youth is restored, he will lead us to victory. (Pull back to frame Raven.)
Raven: You're both wrong. Mad Mod's behind all this, so we have to sneak into his control room and take him down first.
Beast Boy: No way.
(Sight gag: cut to a large American-flag backdrop, against which his silhouette advances into view. The light comes up on him to reveal that he has changed into a military uniform; a cavalry officer's, judging from the riding crop he carries and his boots and breeches. His jacket is adorned with medals, and the three stars on his helmet identify him as a lieutenant general in the United States Army. Those of you who have seen the movie Patton will recognize this scene as a play on George C. Scott's famous speech. Beast Boy stops and salutes before launching into his impersonation of the actor; cut to a close-up of him.)
Beast Boy: What we need to do is go underground! Organize a resistance movement, starting with a trained gerbil army!
(He looks off to his left in surprise; pull back to show that Cyborg's hand, many times larger than normal, is poised on that side. The little general has time for one panicked yell before the enormous index finger flicks him away. Now the gag ends, and the view shifts to a letterbox shot of the four Titans in the top third of the screen. Veins throb all around and all heads but Raven's swell as a three-way argument heats up; the only thing that puts an end to it is a wash of flames across the screen. These subside to a fullscreen shot of Raven, whose eyes and body literally blaze with anger and disgust.)
Raven: ENOUGH!! (She puts herself out.) Arguing solves nothing. We need to pick a plan and stick with it. (Long shot, silhouettes.)
Cyborg: It may not look like it, but this is still America. (Close-up.) So I say we vote. (raises his hand; a box appears in the air and is checked) Who's for full frontal assault? (Starfire and Raven do likewise on their next lines.)
Starfire: Find Robin.
Raven: Sneak attack.
Beast Boy: Gerbil commandos! (He thinks a bit.) Actually, training gerbils takes forever. I vote for Starfire.
(Her box gets another check, while the mark disappears from Raven's as it drops out of frame. The "election" winner giggles on the receiving end of a very dirty violet-eyed look.)
Cyborg: It's your plan. Lead the way.
(Cut to another section of the city; now it is daytime, and the four Titans poke their heads out from behind a clock mounted at second-floor level on a building. Finding nothing here, they duck away; pull back to ground level as Big Ben chimes and they look here and there. Pan quickly through the streets to follow them, running up walls and along rooftops and scoping out as much of the district as they can. Close-up of a manhole, from which they cautiously sneak a look, then pan to another block, where Cyborg leans out from behind the corner of a building. His forearm panel is beeping.)
Cyborg: Got a lock on Robin's locator. Dead ahead.
(The others peer out around him. Cut to just behind Starfire and zoom in on the building she is eyeing, a rather imposing piece of architecture, topped by a large belfry. At this distance, a figure can be seen near the edge of this, and a dissolve and zoom reveals it to be the wizened Robin. He is seated in a chair just like the ones Mad Mod designed to hold the Titans in his Institute for Bratty Teenage Do-Gooders, but this time he is not clamped down.)
(An ecstatic gasp, and she has left her vantage point to fly straight up to the belfry.)
(She throws her arms wide open to embrace him; as soon as she touches the caped shoulders, though, they flicker, as does the rest of him, as does the chair. A holographic decoy.)
(Cut to a close-up of the belfry floor and zoom in. Two items are here: the Boy Wonder's communicator, which put out the signal Cyborg picked up, and a small emitter marked with the Union Jack, which created the false image that has now disappeared. A small red light on the latter is flashing. Starfire gasps in shock, realizing too late that the device has a second purpose, and is flung backward with a scream when it explodes in her face. She sails most of the way down the block and crashes to the street on her back. As she sits up, groaning and rubbing her head, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven gather around her.)
(They stare up at the belfry, which slides upward several yards to expose a large television set beneath it. Mad Mod's image flickers into focus on the screen; he is now wearing a powdered wig and kingly garb, complete with the crown from the prologue.)
Mad Mod: I'm afraid not, pet. (Close-up.) Jolly old Robbie's here with me... (pulling Robin into view) ...sound as a pound. (He pushes him away.) But it looks like you lot have wandered into a trap.
(The foursome stare in complete bewilderment, Mad Mod laughs, and the camera tilts down to the entrance of the building. As his laughter swells and then dies down, a section of road slides away and up comes a squad of android Beefeaters. Pull back to just behind the team at ground level, revealing how badly outnumbered they; one after another, those rifles are leveled and the four heroes start to back away.)
Starfire: (unnerved) I do not believe my plan is going to work.
Mad Mod: Fire!
(Close-up of the muzzles; a volley of shots roars forth. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: the same ground-level shot seen just before the end of the previous act. The troops level their guns; Mad Mod's screen is just up out of view.)
Mad Mod: (from o.c.) Fire!
(They do so, and everyone bails out: Starfire flying, Cyborg running, Beast Boy taking wing as a falcon, Raven dropping through the ground in her "soul-self." Shots explode against the macadam surface where they had stood; the robots bring their guns back to high port and watch the smoke clear. Raven surfaces within it and is promptly joined by the others; Beast Boy is back in human form.)
Cyborg: Who votes for a full frontal assault? (All charge.)
Mad Mod: Don't just stand there! Keep blasting!
(Cut to a pan along the line of robotic redcoats, all of which follow orders, then to Beast Boy on the move. He becomes a leopard, Raven comes up behind him, and Starfire carries Cyborg along to bring up the rear. The big man fires a short burst from his cannon before she slings him bodily into one of the shooters; his flying punch tears a hole from chest to back, and down it goes. Another rushes up from behind, his eyes pop, and he catches a rifle butt upside the head that sends him tumbling. No sooner has he slid away, though, than Beast Boy rushes in as himself and turns into a triceratops. Those three horns find their mark and launch the robot into a high arc; it explodes like a bottle rocket at the top of its flight, and he returns to human form.)
Beast Boy: (laughs and flashes V-for-Victory hand signs) USA! USA! US--
(A robot steps partially into view in front of him; he trails off, a question mark floating up from him, and several sweat drops run down the back of his head. The shot comes almost too quickly for him to react, but he becomes a turtle and lets the tough shell deflect it. He is driven into the floating Starfire, knocking her down, whereupon Raven gets back into the act by tearing a fissure in the street that races toward the squad. They are momentarily thrown off balance by the tremors and flying rubble, but soon they right themselves and level their weapons. Tilt up briefly to Mad Mod, laughing on screen, then cut to the besieged heroes. Beast Boy is back in human form, but he turns into a pterodactyl as all charge across the square.)
(Pull back from this image to show it on a monitor in the instant king's control room. Robin watches it for a moment, then turns away sadly only to get Mad Mod's hand on his shoulder. A bit of drool has collected at the corner of the puckered mouth.)
Mad Mod: Quite a show, eh? Quite a show! Oh, yes. (nods Robin's head) Jolly old Robbie does love to watch the telly, don't he? (holds up a remote control) Well, in that case, how's about a little preview of coming attractions?
(The press of a button brings up a new shot on the monitor: a white field against which the words "COMING ATTRACTIONS" are displayed in black. Zoom in as a Union Jack background appears.)
Mad Mod: (from o.c.) King Moddy's Royal Army...
(Tanks roll through as fighter planes zoom overhead; possibly World War II-era P-51 Mustangs, judging from the markings.)
Mad Mod: (from o.c.) ...is gonna run roughshod over your gormy little friends. (Cut to the other stunned Titans before a bullseye.) Pity there's nothing you can do about it, eh?
(They tiptoe away on the end of this. From here, cut to a long shot of the grassy area; as planes buzz past, they bolt toward a tree and take cover. Now the tanks fire, blowing away the old growth and sending up a mushroom cloud where it had stood. Cut to a close-up of Robin and zoom in; he voices a wheezy little growl and lowers his eyebrows as best he can, given his advanced state of physical decline.)
(Cut to Cyborg, who rushes at one of the metal shock troops and lands a punch to send it skidding down the block. It barely has time to stop before Beast Boy thunders across as a rhinoceros; the impact knocks it into three nearby robots and drops all four to the curb. Cyborg backs up to him, cannon going full tilt.)
Cyborg: Keep fighting! (Beast Boy resumes human form; Starfire backs up a bit.) We're gonna win!
Raven: (backing into view) You sure about that?
(Pan slightly down the street as she turns toward the sidewalk, where many, many reinforcements are waiting to get into the act, with Mad Mod's tanks to back them up.)
Cyborg: Ooo-kay...so much for my plan.
(Cut to a slow pan down the row of armored vehicles, then to a shot from within the gun barrel of one of them; it zeroes in on the four Titans.)
Beast Boy: RUN AWAY!!
(They do so without delay. Cut to outside the tank, which opens fire, then to the far side of the wall they had been standing next to. A large hole is blasted through it, revealing the tanks across the square, and they pop up from beneath and proceed to evacuate themselves through it. Beast Boy assumes falcon form on the way out. Now the troops march off as Mad Mod addresses the Titans from his television screen.)
Mad Mod: Off you go! You lot couldn't beat the Brits in 1776, (Extreme close-up.) and you can't beat us now!
(He laughs madly, the sound ringing out over the city as the four Titans make tracks amid a flurry of rifle fire; Starfire is carrying Cyborg along, as usual. A tank rolls down the street, after which the camera tilts down to frame Cyborg in a very large shell hole.)
Cyborg: The sky looks like a giant British flag! (Pull back; all four are here, and Beast Boy is human.) The whole city's gone haywire!
Beast Boy: Dude, tell me about it. (The background goes psychedelic behind him.) Bangers and mash? Bubble and squeak? Toad in the hole?
(Sight gags begin. On the first of these three items, a guinea-pig copy of himself is chased by a large pounding mallet. On the second, he slides away and is replaced by a caricature of himself enjoying a bubble bath. For the third, the view shifts to a grassy patch and, as a large frog, he leaps into a nearby hole. "Toad in the hole" is heard as a voice over, after which he pops his head up in human form and takes over the dialogue again. Veins throb all around him.)
Beast Boy: Don't British people speak English? (Gag ends; back to the shell hole.)
Cyborg: Well, that's two plans down--
Raven: --And two to go. (Close-up of Beast Boy.)
Beast Boy: (suddenly inspired) Okay. First, we're gonna need a cargo plane full of shaving cream, then-- (Starfire's hand clamps onto his mouth; pan to her.)
Starfire: May I still do the vote for Raven's sneaky attack?
Raven: All right. Listen carefully.
(Long shot of the group; pull back slowly.)
Raven: (fading out) This is what we're gonna do. Cyborg...
(Dissolve to an empty street corner, with two robots standing guard at a gated compound across the way, and pull back into an alley. Cyborg peeks out from behind a telephone box; tilt down toward ground level as the others follow suit below him. Raven levitates a pebble and aims it across the street; cut to a bit of sidewalk, where it clatters down, then tilt up to the brace of sentries. Their attention drawn by the small commotion, they do a smart left-face and march off toward it, and the four Titans, Beast Boy as a pigeon, fly or are carried over the gates. Inside this compound, they tiptoe carefully across the grounds, Beast Boy back in human form; suddenly, they freeze and dive behind a corner just before a line of robots marches through. Once they have moved off, the four heroes make a dive for an empty archway.)
(This time, Beast Boy takes the lead, again becoming a pigeon and flying to a closed door. He steals a glimpse through its barred window before resuming human form; a quick look around, and he gives an all-clear wave to bring the other three in.)
Raven: Good. (Close-up of the handle; she grasps it and continues o.c.) Now we just have to--
(Pull back. Finding themselves suddenly in shadow, they gasp in surprise; a blinding spotlight trains itself on them and lightning flashes across the sky. When it clears, the vista has changed to show puffy orange clouds in a sunny sky of the same color. Mad Mod pushes them aside and booms out from the heavens. Now he has removed his powdered wig, revealing the red hair beneath, and put his crown on again over it. The animation style has a Monty Python feel to it.)
Mad Mod: And here we are again! You know, there's an old British saying, my duckies. "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
[Note: This line actually originated with the American philosopher George Santayana.]
(As he continues, the old spiraling hypnotic pattern extends from his forehead to fill the screen, and the four Titans disappear into it.)
Mad Mod: And you lot are as doomed as doomed can be!
(The swirling vortex retreats to become one of several panels on the screen as Mad Mod's sneering face appears in it. Music cue: "Fourth of July Parade" by Andy Sturmer; quick, light, somewhat frenetic, with a rhythm line based on a military march. More panels pop up and the background cycles through assorted colors, while the yo-yo who started all this leaps nimbly down and o.c. He has traded in his royal robes and crown for the dark suit he wore throughout "Mad Mod." The Titans charge after him, whereupon he disappears from the central panel that shows his face and runs off in a different direction, with the foursome hot on his trail.)
(Wipe to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where Benjamin Franklin is about to sign the Declaration of Independence. The quill shakes in his hand, leaving scribbles of ink across the parchment, and all stare in shock at a group of sudden uninvited guests. The Titans are on the run, Cyborg firing his cannon backward, and Mad Mod's foot soldiers, tanks, and planes barrel after them. Sturmer begins to vocalize as the American flag's red and white stripes wave across the screen; these give way to the stars and blue field, which are smashed to bits by Mad Mod, now a jackhammer-wielding, hard-hatted construction worker.)
(Cut to Mount Rushmore, where he has shifted his attention. He soon knocks off and bails out, the Titans charge in after him, and we then see that he has redesigned the landmark quite a bit. The faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt have given way to those of the Beatles, all topped with red hair cut in his favorite style. Now clad in the Union Jack sportcoat ensemble he wore at the start of "Mad Mod," he snaps a couple of pictures and then vacates the premises before the Titans come after him again.)
(Their passage throws up a cloud of dust; as it dissipates, the view changes to a patch of stormy sky and tilts down to an icy river. A small rowboat is piloted in, Cyborg pointing the way while Beast Boy, Raven, and Starfire row, and in the stern is a red flag with the Titans' insignia. The tableau is along the lines of Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's famous painting George Washington Crossing the Delaware. Suddenly, they stop and retreat at high speed, and a second or two later, a Union Jack-painted submarine breaks the surface to give chase.)
(The four scared heroes now race flat out, only to crash squarely into something. Pull back to show that they have hit the Liberty Bell, which cracks under their impact. Once their heads have stopped ringing, they go back to their pursuit. After they have gone, Mad Mod, now wearing both his hard hat and sportcoat, drops into view and plies a welding torch, sealing the break from the bottom up. Before he is halfway done, though, he finds four teeth-gritted glares a foot from his face. A swift strike against the bell deafens the Titans and gives him something to laugh about.)
Mad Mod: There's something happening...
(Dissolve to a close-up of Cyborg, still dazed, and pull back to show all four in a large steaming vessel. A second dissolve puts them in a fresh cup of tea held by Mad Mod, who has changed back into his dark suit. As he prepares to take a sip, they leap over the edge and bug out. Next, in a series of freeze-frame dissolves, they make their way across an intersection and are chased by an invading tank. One after another, they dive into a parked car only to have a robot move in on it; pan across the street as Cyborg emerges from a different car and climbs into a bus. The sentry runs up, but is surprised when Beast Boy emerges from a nearby car as an ostrich. Raven starts to get out on its other side, but ducks back in when another robot catches sight of her.)
Mad Mod: Raining down on the Fourth of July parade!
(It tries the door, but gives up after a moment, while Starfire clears out from a vehicle behind it; pan farther to another one, from which all four Titans emerge.)
Mad Mod: Parade!
(Another set of freeze-frame dissolves sends them down a new street, being chased by a group of androids.)
Mad Mod: Raining down on the Fourth of July parade!
(Cut to Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire in adjacent telephone boxes. They keep their backs to the street and the receivers to their ears as the pursuers rush past; once they are gone, pull back to show Beast Boy sitting on a nearby bench and reading a newspaper. He soon lowers it and clears out with the others, but an instant later, all four have reversed course to stay ahead of a horde of tanks. Tilt up to frame one turret; Mad Mod is in the driver's seat, firing away and grinning like mad. The Titans continue their full-scale retreat, but are immediately squashed by a giant foot as at the end of the opening credits to Monty Python's Flying Circus. The music abruptly stops.)
(Pull back to show this scene on the monitor in Mad Mod's control room. He is back in his robes, wig, and crown, with a hand on Robin's shoulder, and the white-haired Titan voices a weak moan of protest.)
Mad Mod: (pats Robin's shoulder) There, there, old man. At least we still have each other.
(Extreme close-up of the masked, sagging face, which twists itself into an unsteady grimace of unbridled fury. Fade to black.)
(Opening shot: a large upper-story window of an imposing structure, which is in normal Jump City style instead of black and white. Pull back past a tall, Union Jack-festooned fence that encircles this compound, then tilt down to ground level. A sign comes into focus on the front gate: "Closed by order of King Mod." Inside, the assembly hall is dark and in disarray; Cyborg throws open the doors, stirring up a gust of wind that shifts the papers and dust that litter the floor.)
Cyborg: City Hall. We should be able to hide here... (entering; the others follow) ...'til Mad Mod's tanks come to tear it down.
Raven: Whoa. That was actually more depressing than what I was gonna say.
Starfire: Do not despair. We will rescue Robin and save the city and stop the Mad Mod...
(The others' spirits have barely lifted; Cyborg sits heavily in a nearby chair.)
Starfire: (crushed) ...somehow. (Beast Boy slides to the floor.)
Beast Boy: Well, let's face it. My gerbil commando plan is just lame.
(He pulls down a new scene as if lowering a window shade; a three-second film countdown is in progress, which gives way to three gerbils on the march. One carries an American flag, a second strikes a military drumbeat, and the third, its head bandaged, plays a fife. This shot slides up to show Cyborg and Raven moping.)
Raven: It's not any worse than my plan.
Cyborg: Or mine. (Pan a bit; Starfire on other side of table.)
Starfire: Or mine.
Beast Boy: (sliding down farther) Now I know how George Washington felt when Napoleon beat him at Pearl Harbor. (He keels over.)
Raven: Well, he's right about one thing. This is hopeless. (turns to Cyborg) We tried everything we could think of. Nothing worked.
(Letterbox view: a long shot of the group. Cyborg stands up.)
Cyborg: But why not? We're dealing with a scrawny little stick-man with a tricked-out cane! (Fullscreen, close-up.) Why can't we bring him down?
Starfire: (from o.c.) Because the Mad Mod was right.
(Cyborg and the camera both swivel on this line; at the end of it, she comes into view, standing by a display case that holds a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Beast Boy is on his feet in a flash.)
Beast Boy: The American Revolution really was a hoax?
Starfire: No. He said, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
(She turns to the case. Cut to a close-up of the signed lower portion and tilt up slowly; her reflection appears in the glass as she speaks, and the camera pans to her on the end of the first sentence as she turns to face us.)
Starfire: We have failed to learn from the history Mad Mod is attempting to rewrite. (crosses the floor; light slowly fades behind her) Your democracy is not merely about voting. It is about compromise. Out of many different people, you make one country. Out of many flawed ideas, you create one that works.
Cyborg: (catching on) We don't need four different plans...
Raven: ...We just need one.
(Starfire smiles broadly, knowing that her first shot at political oratory has borne fruit. Cut to a long shot of the four Titans, then dissolve to a stretch of very British sky and tilt down to a traffic circle-or roundabout, for those of you in the United Kingdom. Robotic soldiers march through, and Mad Mod's hypnotic patterns play on a bank of large outdoor screens. His eyes appear among them and are replaced by the Union Jack after a few seconds. The mechanical redcoats advance down the street, meeting no resistance from the passive throngs on the sidewalks. In an overhead shot, we see the occupation forces stretch all the way down the block; tanks as well as infantry.)
(The black-and-white spirals are now broadcast from screens all over the city as a flag-marked balloon floats up among the buildings. Close-up of one of Mad Mod's feet, tapping its toe on a moving platform. The tanks roll on, the balloon coasting not far back. Behind the redheaded king, tilting up slowly toward the sky. Inside a building, a couple of people wave cheerfully at the passing craft. Profile close-up of him, smiling as wide as his mouth will stretch; if it went any farther, his whole head would fall off. The platform's edge, which can now be seen with a flag, then cut to the body of the balloon and tilt down. His catbird seat is suspended from it, and he waves brightly to the crowd; part of the surface is covered by an awning.)
Mad Mod: That's right, me duckies! You love King Moddy! You love being Brits! (Close-up.) Silly old America's a thing of the past!
(He gestures behind himself; pan slightly to show Robin seated under the awning and trying desperately to get on his feet. The liver-spotted Titan cannot even lift himself a millimeter, and he finally gives up.)
Mad Mod: (holds up his cane) I'll bet you'd like this, wouldn't you, old chum? (leans to Robin and holds the cane close) Well, what's stopping you? Go ahead and--
(He is abruptly cut off by a series of explosions that stretch up and down the block. The marching robots stop, causing his balloon platform to bump into them and throw him off balance.)
Mad Mod: Wha--? (He straightens up.) Oy! Who told you lot to stop? Keep marching! My British subjects are in the middle of adoring me!
(The huge bank of hypnoscreens is immediately caught in the grip of Raven's powers and shattered; their destruction brings the motionless crowd back to their senses, and they simply begin to walk away from the gaudy spectacle. Mad Mod is so stunned that he cannot find any words, and the train wreck continues when a blast from Cyborg's cannon wipes out the balloon, dropping the platform hard to the street. Now Mad Mod is thrown down again; when he sits up and throws a panicked look around, Raven levitates several distant soldiers into a mighty heave that carries them over the rooftops. She and her three partners are on the scene.)
Cyborg: Man, I bet even real British people don't like you!
Mad Mod: A frontal assault? (He stands up.) Haven't you sprogs tried that already?
(A cannon shot slices through the air, forcing him to duck in order not to get his head blown off. Standing up again, he adjusts his sunglasses a bit.)
Mad Mod: Right!
(He swings his cane across the screen; behind it, the view changes to a longer shot and pulls back. Now his skin has turned gray, and his arms and legs issue from a large sphere emblazoned with the Union Jack. Those of you who have seen "Yellow Submarine" will be reminded of the Blue Meanies' appearance.)
Mad Mod: Destroy 'em!
(The troops advance as the camera tilts up to frame the fighters flying overhead. More ground forces promptly join the maneuver; pan from them, across the four Titans at an intersection, and on to another battalion marching in from a different direction. Muzzles are leveled at the team, at which point Beast Boy assumes falcon form and bails out, while Raven puts a shield up around herself, Cyborg, and Starfire. Shots burst harmlessly against this barrier, and it soon collapses to show the trio gone. Mad Mod's gray face falls at the sight and then snarls; cut to the four freedom fighters overhead, Raven and Starfire holding Cyborg by one arm apiece, Beast Boy hovering alongside.)
(Yelling, the big man is flung forward and fires his cannon full blast. That one long, powerful beam wipes out several ranks of Beefeaters; others continue their advance, but he comes down to charge right at them. A crushing pistol-whip punch tears a hole through one metal chest, just as before, and a point-blank cannon shot blows the victim apart. One of its gears is flung down the street to take out another enemy; now several tanks roll up and open fire. As Cyborg stands his ground, Raven drops a black barrier in front of him to block the shots. She comes down after it, hurling long bolts that lash out like bullwhips and slice through the tanks as if they were built from soggy bread. More explosions.)
(Starfire flies high over the faux-British streets and gains altitude, trying to shake the fighters that are giving her no quarter. Beast Boy, now a monkey, drops past her and becomes a roaring tyrannosaurus rex just in time to land on a squad of robots. Instant scrap metal; amid the clearing dust, a few survivors prepare to fire, but get smacked down by that massive tail. More tanks move in, but instead of taking the on, Beast Boy becomes a hummingbird and flits away as shells detonate all around him.)
(The fighters continue their relentless pursuit of Starfire, who swoops here and there as if trying to find an opportunity to elude them. She takes a hairpin turn and goes into a sharp dive toward the street; the chase zooms along a narrow road, leaving all with nearly zero maneuvering room, then reaches open air again. Off she goes, climbing steeply as she passes Big Ben. In the street, Raven dodges a salvo of tank fire, gets a few pieces of flying debris under control, and uses them to smash the armored vehicles.)
(Here comes Cyborg, still firing away. He skips away from rifle shots and ducks into a handy alley. The troops move steadily after him; cut to the exterior of a nearby house, in whose windows he can be seen working his way up, there must have been a back door. Tilt up to a higher floor as he reaches it. The windows are soon lost beneath the impact of a colossal metal fist, and the camera pulls back to show an oversized redcoat trying to dig him out. His cannon blast tears through the head and leaves only a sparking metal hulk slumped against the facade; now he rips the wind-up key from its back and scales it with vicious force. A line of robots is decapitated by the throw.)
(Mad Mod straightens up, shouldering a huge red-white-and-blue bazooka. Extreme close-up of his eye as he puts it to the scope, then cut to his perspective through it, panning back and forth and stopping on Cyborg and Raven amid a group of his soldiers. She throws a shot as he primes the weapon; pull back to frame him. The round he fires streaks toward the besieged pair, trailing exhaust fumes all the way, and explodes with enough force to hide the entire block under dust and smoke. Robot bodies fly everywhere in the tumult.)
(Mad Mod grins savagely and stomps a switch set in the floor of his platform. This brings up a lever, which he yanks, and the entire craft floats free of the ground. It backs out of the way just before several smashed androids crash down at that spot. High above, the fighters zoom past the spire of Big Ben; cut to Starfire; plastered against its rear face to stay out of sight. She holds her fire until just the right moment, then lets go with a string of starbolts that send the planes down in flames. Their detonations wink all around the majestic clock tower like green fireflies.)
(Cut to figurines of Cyborg, Raven, and several robots on a black-and-white checkerboard pattern, then pan to show Starfire and Beast Boy similarly rendered. Each of the four Titan statuettes has the show's multicolored title on its base, as seen at the start of the opening sequence. Tilt up to frame Mad Mod contemplating the tableau; a chessboard on which he is planning out his next move.)
Mad Mod: Jolly good, boys!
(Pull back; he has set up the board on his newly re-grounded platform.)
Mad Mod: Show these Yanks who's king around here!
(Close-up; he leans out of view, exposing Robin still in the chair behind him. The ancient crime-fighter has just decided that enough is too much; one fist clenches tightly in its wrinkled green glove. Mad Mod grins nastily, the green starbursts continue around Big Ben, and on the ground a battery of cannons has been set up.)
Mad Mod: Fire!
(The air is filled with ordnance in no time flat; these shots home in on the clock's spire and score a direct hit. Sight gag: an arrow follows the tiny black speck that is Starfire as she plummets screaming to earth. The man who would be king snickers nastily, and she is carried in a stretched-arm half-spreadeagle by one of the gargantuan robots. Raven and Cyborg are brought in, similarly held; cut to a slow pan across the three unconscious Titans, then to a long shot of the rotund ruler's platform. He floats a bit closer to the camera.)
Mad Mod: (jumps off and crosses to them) What a surprise, my duckies. Your little plan didn't work!
(This shot reveals that Cyborg has lost his right arm. With a twirl of his cane, Mad Mod reverts to his normal physique and dark suit.)
Mad Mod: (shades his eyes) Say, where's the green one? Run away, has he? (Starfire wakes up.)
Starfire: The green one is our plan! Beast Boy! Go!
(Tilt up to the sky as she calls his name. There is a distant spark, the view dissolves to a different patch of sky, and Beast Boy drops into view as a flying squirrel. Landing squarely on Mad Mod's shoulder, he works his way under the suit jacket and sets the redheaded Englishman yelling and squirming.)
Mad Mod: Stop! (Convulsive laughter.) You kidder! Oh, that tickles! Oh! Oh, stop it!
(During this line, Cyborg's detached arm rockets down the street and the camera cuts to a close-up. It does a sharp U-turn and zooms past Mad Mod, locking those metal fingers around the cane and yanking him off his feet. He is unceremoniously relieved of the walking stick and dumped on his face; the crown bounces away, and the limb soars high overhead as he stands up again.)
Mad Mod: FIRE!!
(One of the few surviving robotic troops obeys his command. Its shot roars toward the flying arm and strikes the hand; the bionic appendage spirals toward the street, smoke billowing from its attachment point, but it does not release the cane until it is about to crash down. Seeing it come free, Mad Mod voices a short laugh and makes a desperate lunge; cut to a close-up of the falling stick, then to a long shot of the grounded platform and zoom in slowly. In slow motion, he hurls himself up over the edge, his hands outstretched as if trying to catch a Hail Mary pass in the final seconds of the Super Bowl. Another close-up of the cane-but the first fingers to close around it are Robin's.)
(Two shocked gasps from the forcibly deposed monarch, the green glove quivers a bit, and Mad Mod tumbles to the deck. Robin has finally raised himself from his chair.)
Mad Mod: Now, now, old bean. Let's not do anything hasty.
(Robin's thumb tweaks the ruby head. Just as in Act One, the two are enveloped in crackling red brilliance-but this time, the Robin spirit passes from Mad Mod to its rightful home. Each is restored to his proper age as the light fades; Mad Mod gasps weakly as he looks at his wrinkled fingers. Cut to a close-up of the cane, which Robin breaks in two, and tilt up to his smirking face. Another gasp from Mad Mod.)
Mad Mod: NOOOOOOOO!!
(As his yell dies away, the robots' eyes wink out and they collapse, releasing their hold on the three captives. The companies go down like so many dominoes, and all around him the British cityscape and sky collapse as if made of giant playing cards. Behind it all, Jump City stands intact under the night sky. A bank of hypnoscreens crashes down, revealing the pizza joint, and Robin hauls Mad Mod up by his shirt front.)
Mad Mod: (laughing weakly) Hello, guv'nor.
Robin: Just like old times, huh?
Starfire: (from o.c.) Robin! (flies to hug him and Robin's face flushes; he drops Mad Mod) You are un-wrinkled!
(Pull back. All five Titans are now gathered here, Beast Boy is back in human form, and Cyborg has reattached his arm.)
Robin: What took you guys so long?
Beast Boy: We just needed a little time to brush up on our history.
(Close-up of Robin and Starfire. She pulls away, suddenly very worried.)
Starfire: (pointing o.c.) Uh...Robin?
(Pull back slightly. His eyes pop as he lifts the jacket of Mad Mod's cheap suit: the elderly Brit is no longer in it.)
(Pull back; he has given them the slip, and all look around frantically.)
Robin: Where did he--?
(Cut to behind the platform and pull back as all five peek over it, angry lightning bolts flaring above their heads. The fugitive is here, caught in the act of trying to sneak out. When he turns back to them with a nervous laugh, his pants fall down to expose a pair of Union Jack briefs.)
Raven: Okay...really not something I needed to see.
(He peels out, veering back and forth as the Titans do their best to keep up with him. Tilt up to the rooftops and crescent moon, then fade to black.)