Creation (2009) Script

Papa?

Tell me a story. Alright. What about?

I don't know. About everything.

Everything?

Very well, then.

In Tierra del Fuego, land of fire...

...a blighted and loveless country on the Earth's furthest rim, lives a community of the dirtiest, most vulgar, least civilised people you can possibly imagine.

They appeared almost entirely naked with their hair all the way down to their bottoms.

They never washed their hands or their faces, even before dinner.

One day, Captain Fitzroy went ashore to meet them.


Thank you.

Not long now. I shall be with you presently. Head to me, please.

Very good. Now, very still, please. No fidgeting.

And above all, no smiling.

Excuse me, sir? Hmm?

Will this hurt? Oh, no, no, no.

It is only a beam of light.

Papa? Hmm?

How can light make a picture?

Well, they take a copper plate and they prepare it with chemicals, and these chemicals are activated by the light that reflects back from your face, and so the silver sticks to the places where the light is brightest. Understand?

Yes.

Sorry. So sorry. No, thank you.

Go on. He went ashore to meet them. Yes, that's right.

So, erm, Captain Fitzroy went ashore to interview the Fuegians.

Now.

He offered them some axe heads, some calico, and very pretty buttons.

Total value, probably two shillings.

This is yours. You take it.

Look how it... Look how it glisters. See?

And all he asked in return?

A few spare children.

You give me el niña.

To the Fuegians, children were cheap and buttons were precious, so it wasn't long before the Fuegians had their trinkets and Captain Fitzroy had his three children.

He named them Boat Memory...

...Jemmy Button and Fuegia Basket.

Come here, you dirty little beggar!

The good captain had them washed and dressed, and he taught them the proper table manners.


Boat Memory died of smallpox, but the two littlest ones, they learned their prayers and their times-tables so excellently that they were invited to meet the King and Queen.


Everyone agreed that good Christian values had tamed the most savage of hearts.

The King gave Jemmy a genuine brass telescope and the Queen gave Fuegia one of her Sunday best bonnets to keep for ever.

Two years later, Captain Fitzroy and I took them home, accompanied by a young missionary, in the belief that, by example, they would bring their fellow savages to God.

And what do you think happened?

It didn't work.

That's right. Of course it didn't work!

Go after them, you fool! Get them now. Jemmy! Fuegia!

Put your clothes back on! Come back!

It was a complete and total failure.

No, no, no!

Quite still, didn't I say? You shall have to do it all over again.

So sorry. So badly behaved. So sorry.


Mr Darwin, sir?

Come on, Mr Darwin, or your dinner will be spoiling.

Mr D will be in presently, ma'am. I imagine.

Thank you, Mrs Davies. Is Papa unwell again?

He's always unwell these days. He is not, Franky.

Maybe he caught something awful from the Hottentots.

Nanny Brodie said God was angry with him.

Brodie said no such thing. Yes, she did!

Good evening. Good evening, Papa.

Sorry I'm so late.

Soup du jour, sir.

Thank you, Parslow.

Lord God, bless this family and the food we eat.

We ask in Thy name. Amen. Amen.

I hear Mr Hooker is coming tomorrow.

Yes. Yes, that's right.

Did he say what it was about?

I'm not sure that now's the time to discuss it.

Perhaps the time to discuss it was before you invited him.

Well, quite possibly, but he... He invited himself.

Sorry.

Tell Mrs Davies it was delicious, but my...

My stomach's still not quite what it... it should be. Forgive me.

Can we go fishing? Can we pick gooseberries?

October 17th, 1858.

Passed a poor night. Stomach still wretched.

Noticed a slight tremor in right hand.

Consider increasing laudanum by ten per cent, perhaps.

We'll sacrifice the two tumblers. I want to skeletonise them.

Yes, sir.

Selective breeding is undoubtedly working.

Already seeing real changes in wing structure.

I'm convinced that all fancy breeds, pouter, carrier, tumbler et cetera, derive from the common rock pigeon.

Nature selects for survival, man for appearance.

Must improve skeletonising methods. Consider aqua regia, quicklime, perhaps.

They'll need a few more hours, those, sir.

Master George! Master Franky! Lady Etty and Master Lenny. How are you, sir?

Sir? Thank you.

Anything else, sir?

No, no, no, you... carry on. I'll clean myself up.

Is it true that he only let you go if you married his fattest daughter?

Absolutely true, George, but don't you dare tell my wife.

Dear Joseph. Dearest Emma.

Ah. Yes. Forgive the short notice.

You know Thomas Huxley? Only by reputation.

He insisted on coming. It's a lie.

I have a question for your esteemed, reclusive husband and I didn't trust Hooker to ask it for me.

I see. Children, tell Papa his visitors are here.

He already knows. He's hiding.

Do come in, please.

Can we play Charge of the Light Brigade?

You must be exhausted. Will you take tea?

Hooker! My dear fellow! And Huxley. Do come in. Come in.

Lead the charge, boys. And away we go.


We're re-forming the Linnean Society.

The committee will comprise of myself, Lyell, Hooker, yourself, of course, if you're game for it.

Now that Hooker and I finally have a bit of clout, we can start to reclaim science as a profession.

Wrest it away from the country parsons and beetle collectors.

Some of whom are friends. Your book will be our rallying point.

No, it won't. There is no book.

There are fragments, and they're not in any fit state to publish.

I've read your abstract and the argument is hugely powerful.

Clear evidence of transformation over millions of years from a free-swimming prawn to a shellfish stuck on a rock.

That's my point. You can't be sure of that, and that's why I need more time.

Mr Darwin, sir? Yes?

Either you are being disingenuous or you do not fully understand your own theory.

Evidently, what is true of the barnacle is true of all creatures, even humans.

The Almighty can no longer claim to have authored every species in under a week.

You've killed God, sir.

You have killed God.

Or to put it another way...

And I say good riddance to the vindictive old bugger!

Charles? Charles? Oh, no, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine.

Thomas, please. Yes, I quite understand.

It is time to write your book.

Strike hard and fast with a blow that is utterly conclusive.

Really, sir, you...

You talk as if we're at war.

Yes. Science is at war with religion, and when we win, we'll finally be rid of those damned archbishops and their threats of eternal punishment.

No, Mr Huxley, we...

We live in a society and it is a society bound together by the Church.

An improbable sort of barque, I grant you, but at least it floats.

It floats. And you would what?

You would have us all rebuild, plank by plank, the very vessel in which we sail?

Oh, come, come, Charles! Did... Did God's laws change your Fuegians?

Was Jenny the ape any less personable for not being a person?

Our behaviour, like our physical forms, evolves according to our needs.

Your very own words, sir!

And thus, in time, we lose those parts that are no longer required.

Like the appendix, the male nipple, and finally, thank Christ, our belief in an utterly redundant Almighty!

Mr Hooker?

I... implore you, please do not push him.

No one can push Charles. You know how fixed he is.

Bit of a barnacle himself, really. Yes.

And if you prise him from his rock, he will die.

Come on, Hooker. It'll be dark soon.

So, what did she say to you?

She said it was killing him.

Yes. Mighty slow death considering the length of time he's sat on this stuff.

We shall all be dead and buried ourselves if he takes much longer.

Yes, since his girl died, one has to admit... he's not the man he was.


When are you going to be done with those stinky old barnacles?

Well, I've been chasing this little crustacean in all of its evolutionary forms over 30 million years.

Now, eight years doesn't seem a very long time to achieve that, does it?

What does "procrastinating" mean?

Oh, I think you know very well what it means, Annie.

It means putting things off. Why?

That's what Mr Hooker thinks you're doing.

Does he indeed?

Is it because of Mama or what's in that box?

Both.

I should probably just burn the lot. You can't. I'm in it.

Don't be absurd! Of course you're not.

What do you mean? When I was a baby, you said.

Oh, that. The Natural History of Babies.

Yes, that's right.

Look at my finger.

Oh, you're so strong! You're so strong!

Here. Annie.

I think that will not help her sleep.

I'm sure you're probably right.

Who's that?

Who is that? Is that you?

Oh, sweetheart. Oh, I'm so sorry.

Oh, what a mean old papa you have.

Oh, sweetheart!

Oh, what a mean old papa you have!

What a mean old...

What a mean old man you have!

Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.

"Six weeks: gurgles."

"Tries to suck. Holds tight to my finger."

"Perceives bosom when three or four inches from it."

I should add that she's musical.

I hope you do not plan to treat all our children as specimens of the ape genus to be included in your experiments.

All of our children? You mean you want more?

Oh, sorry. I assumed.

No, if the idea doesn't appeal, then we won't have any more children.

Darling, I have plans to breed an entire army of them.

Look at that. That's called the waltz.

Careful, now! Not too far ahead.

Make yourself useful, Hooker. Stay away from that water!

Fear not, Brodie, I have them in my sights. Children!

Now, which of the four of you would be the first who would like to learn how to hook a worm?

Me! Me!

"A little further on, the leading Highlander snuffed the wind like a setting Spaniel, and then made a signal to his party again to halt."

"He stooped down upon all fours, wrapped up in his plaid..."

Look what I found, Mama. Look at that.

What shall I feed it? Let's ask Reverend Innes.

Oh, erm...

A leaf, I should think. Necrophorus humator, isn't he, Charles?

Rather a splendid specimen. Yes, he is. He's a... carnivore.

He eats carrion and insects.

Boys! We need carrion and insects!

Look, here's a worm, here's a worm.

An earwig! Squish it! No, don't kill it.

I know that expression.

He's dreaming of his glory days when he was unencumbered with wife and family.

Free to wander the planet.

Actually, I was... I was remembering how the tropical seas teemed with living particles that seemed to surround the Beagle with a luminous glow and leave a glistening pathway through the night.


Puzzling. So much beauty for so little purpose.

So little purpose? They were helping to light the ship's way.

Well said. Exactly.

John, are you familiar with the works of Thomas Malthus?

He married his first cousin. So did I.

Yes, but I wasn't suggesting that... Of course you weren't.

Anyway, Thomas Malthus calculated that if, well, if every trout, say, had a hundred or so offspring and so on and so forth throughout the generations, we'd be knee-deep in trout in just a few decades.

How would you respond to that?

I'd respond by saying that most of the eggs are destroyed or eaten so that the numbers remain stable. That's the beauty of God's plan.

It doesn't strike you as a wasteful plan, these myriad lives created only to be immediately extinguished?

They provide food for others. Cheese and cucumber?

Thousands die so that only a few may live.

Is not the sum total of happiness in some sort of massive deficit?

Charles, it is really not my duty to speculate on the mind of God, but it does seem to me that nature is at peace.

There is another view. That all of nature is a battlefield.

Remind me where I read that.

This is very good. Good. Shall I continue?

Hmm, please do.

"In a short time, he returned, and dismissed his attendants, excepting one, and intimating to Waverley that he must imitate his cautious way..."


"'Now,' thought Christian, 'What shall I do?"'

"And ever and anon the flame and smoke would come out in such abundance with sparks and hideous noises that Christian was forced to put up his sword and betake himself to another weapon called All Prayer."

Let us stop there.

Is Papa not coming to kiss us goodnight?

He is a little unwell from working. Maybe tomorrow.

You said that last night.

I think when Annie died, he stopped loving us.

No, Etty.

He's just a little bit tired and a little bit busy.

Goodnight, darling.


What are you doing, Annie? I'm making you beautiful.

But I need to think.

What are you so scared of?

It's only a theory. No, they're right.

It changes everything.

Suppose the whole world stopped believing that God had any sort of plan for us.

That nothing mattered. Not love, not trust.

Not faith, not honour.

Only brute survival.

Apart from anything else, it would break your mother's heart.

Hearts can't break, silly. You told me that.

Breathe in, Papa. Breathe out.

Tell me a story. Alright. What about?

About Jenny.

It's late. I have no time. Please?

Why Jenny? It's so sad. I like sad stories.

Once upon a time, there was a family of orang-utans living in the deepest jungles of Borneo.

Their eldest daughter was the most loving, the most caring, and the most trusting orang of all.

But she was also the most...

Intelligent.

Well, I was going to say inquisitive.

Did I neglect to mention she was not always the most obedient of creatures?


By the time she realised her danger, it was too late.

They put her in a bag and they carried her off...

Much to her loving parents' despair.

So sorry. Much to her loving parents' despair, of course. And the Dayaks bundled her into a cage and set off to sell her down the river.

They sold her to a trader for threepence, three farthings, and he put her in a bigger cage and sold her to London Zoo for 300 guineas.

She was the first orang-utan that anyone had ever seen in England.

Everyone peered at Jenny, and Jenny peered back, and she marvelled at what strange creatures they all were.

The curators of the zoo, they... they cleaned her up...

...made her presentable for polite society.

Which was when I was first introduced to her.


What is that, Jenny?


Oh, come on.

Bravo!

When eventually it came time to say goodbye, she grew quite downcast and refused to shake my hand.

Finally, she took it, but only after I'd made her a promise I was never able to keep: that I would visit her again very soon.

Go on. Tell me about the bit where she gets sick and dies.

Why do you want to hear that bit? I like it. It makes me cry.


Huxley is of the opinion that I should write and be done with it.

Says it's a question of moral courage, or of...

Or rather my lack of it.

Did you tell him about your health?

His theory is that I'm making myself ill by holding back, and... that I should lance the boil, so to speak.

Thank the Lord he's no longer a surgeon.

I have concluded that he's right.

You know, bite the gag. Speed is everything.

It will all be over in a matter of months.

It is not mere months...

...nor even years nor decades that concern me, Charles.

Do you really care...

...so little for your immortal soul?

Charles... do you not care that you may never pass through the gates of heaven and that you and I may be separated for all eternity?

Well, of course I care. Of course I do.

What do you think has kept me in limbo all these years?

I am a neuter bee.

I'm a scientist, and I dare not study for the fear of seeing more clearly what is already as plain as day to me.

Do you not think that's torture enough?

I think you are at war with God, Charles.

We both know it is a battle you cannot win.

Give me the ball! No, you cheated!

Curse you, woman! You cheated!

Etty!

Etty, Etty, Etty!


Were you never married, Brodie? Myself? No.

He went off to Australia. I missed my chance.

I shall never marry.

I know how men give you babies.

I sincerely hope you do not, Annie Darwin!

Everybody step back and look at the rock.

If you look at it, really look at it, it can take us back through time.

See these greyish, muddy layers?

They were brought here by quiet, patient, gentle rivers, whereas these dramatic sandstone deposits are telling us of huge storms, storms that came through here millions of years ago when Aunt Sarah was just a little girl and Down Village was a swamp full of dinosaurs.

What's a dinosaur? It's a lizard...

Professor Owen invented them. He didn't exactly invent them.

They weren't real! Yes, they were.

Put some clothes on! You're going blue.

Look what I found! Spiny starfish! Don't tell me.

Marthasterias gacialis, look!

Glacialis.

Whoo! Whoo!

I am Fuegian!

I'm making custard!

He did, he told me!

It is not fair to the other children, nor to Annie herself, that her head be filled with these ideas.

But Daddy said! I will leave you to deal with this.

He did, he told me! Hush.

Goodbye, Annie.

What happened?

Nothing.

Your knees. What happened to your knees?

Reverend Innes had to have words with her.

What happened to her knees?

Reverend Innes sent me to the corner and made me kneel on rock salt.

Why? I said there were dinosaurs, and he said there weren't. But you found them!

Where's my coat? Take her to the kitchen, will you?

Where's my coat?

He told her to kneel until she repented, so the marks are a result of her own stubbornness.

She contradicted him repeatedly. Listen to yourself. Emma!

How dare he torture our children for expressing the truth?

It is not the truth as he sees it. Damn how he sees it!

Must our children be revolutionaries at nine years of age?

He is teaching them to deny the evidence of their own senses.

No more than I have told them at bedtime.

It is the instruction of our parents and grandparents.

It's what all of the village believe, or try to.

Charles, Reverend Innes is a dear friend and neighbour.

Please, do not set yourself against him.

I beg you.

For you.

Not for him.

¶ All things bright and beautiful All creatures great and small

¶ All things wise and wonderful

¶ The Lord God made them all Let us pray.

Lord God... we know the world is governed by Thy plan...

...extending to the merest creatures Thou hast made, such that even a sparrow falls not to the ground without Thy will.

Teach us that all misfortune, all sickness and death, all the trials and miseries of which we daily complain...

...are intended for our good...

...being not the whims of an uncaring universe...

...but the corrections of a wise... and affectionate parent.

Teach us this in Thy name, O Lord.

Amen. Amen.

The lesson today is taken from the Book of Genesis.

Chapter one, verses 26 to 30. Sorry.

Excuse me. I'm so sorry. And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."

"And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the cattle and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the Earth."

Dearest Emma, last night you said I was at war with God, but truly it is nothing so dramatic as a war, just a silent struggle with myself extended over a thousand afternoons.

The loss of religious faith is a slow and fragile process, like the raising of continents.

What can I say to you except that the process now seems complete?


What are we looking at? See the rabbit?

Stay very still.

Make it stop.

Quickly, Daddy, make it stop.

Quickly! Etty. Etty, darling.

Daddy, make it stop. Ssh. Darling girl.

Dear girl.

Dear sweet girl. It's not fair!

It's not fair! I'm sorry.

Not fair. It's not fair.

Etty, it has to be that way.

The fox has to eat the rabbit, otherwise the fox's babies will die.

It's the balance of things.

Come on, little duck. Give us a smile.

Dear Hooker, I am finally decided.

I think I owe it to my children to at least have the courage of my own convictions.

My title will be "On the Origin of Species", and I shall endeavour to keep God out of it, although no doubt He will see it as a personal attack.

Nothing is easier than to admit the truth of the universal struggle for life, or more difficult than to constantly bear this in mind.

I shall devote my first chapter to variations under domestication, wherein we will see how great is the power of man in accumulating slight variations.

I will then pass on to see how natural selection causes much extinction...

...of the less-improved forms of life.


Charles? Yes?

What is Lewis making?

He's making a water tower like the one they have at Malvern.

The writing's not been going well, so I thought I might try my own water cure.

You're still angry with me.

I can always tell by your playing.

Not angry. Sad.


Pull.

The face of nature may be compared to a yielding surface with 10,000 sharp wedges packed close together and then driven inwards by incessant blows.

Sometimes one wedge being struck and then another with great force.

The mind cannot possibly grasp the full meaning of the term a hundred million years.

It cannot add up and perceive the full effects of many slight variations.

We forget how largely these songsters or their eggs or their nestlings are destroyed by birds and beasts of prey.

Thus, over tens of thousands of generations, tiny variations accumulate.

Organs change their very function.

The female sexual organ becomes a cement gland.

Limbs become blind feelers or fall away entirely.

What was once a free-swimming creature finds itself glued by its head to a rock, blindly flailing for food.

Papa!


Why is sweating supposed to be good for you?

Because it gets rid of the poisons in your blood.

I thought you didn't believe in sin. I don't.

Not in the way Reverend Innes understands it, anyway.

Then why are you afraid of going to hell?

I'm not. Yes, you are.

You think you deserve it. No, I don't.

Of course I don't. What could possibly make you think that?

Because you think you should never have had me.

Oh, for God's sake, girl.

Oh, I don't have to listen to this nonsense.

You're cruel. You're just being cruel. The girl's gone mad.

That's why you won't talk to Mama any more.

Enough of this. I talk to her. Of course I talk to her.

Not about the important things. Not about me!

Why must everything be about you? That's what you won't talk about.

What? How you think you're responsible.

Get out of here.

You get out of here. Get out of here.

You said honesty was the most important thing in the world.

If you won't be honest, I won't come again. It'll serve you right!

Get out! Please, get out! Get out!

You have not been well for months now.

I'll be fine. I'm fine.

Will you talk to John Innes? What about?

Whatever it is that ails you. What is he now, exactly? What is he?

He's a physician, is he? Yes. A physician of souls, anyway.

Talk to him as a friend. You used to be such friends.

I think he can help you.


Mr Darwin? Excuse me.

Little 'un coming through. Ah, Mr Darwin.

I was just explaining to Mr Goodman about your interest in breeding.

Oh, good. Excellent.

Mr Goodman is our foremost pigeon fancier in all of southern England.

I swear, he can give you any beak or plumage within four generations.

What's your secret? I interbreed them.

Brother and sister, cousin with cousin.

It's the fastest way to alter the strain.

There's a danger that you'll weaken it, but a gentleman like yourself, I'm sure you can afford to lose a few chicks, eh?

Now, plenty of rest, young lady.

Down you go.

Keep her warm.

Thank you, Doctor. Goodbye, Annie.

Goodbye.

Unfortunately, if we let them run wild on the beach, we have to expect the consequences, do we not, Mrs Darwin?

So, increase the calomel to twice... I will not give her any more of it.

Why not? She's been taking it for weeks.

Can you not see she's not... It is chloride of mercury.

I've prescribed it often in babies. Not to any of mine.

If she would submit to being bled... Please, no.

I will write to Dr Gully again. The hydrotherapist?

I have found his treatments very effective.

No matter that they defy logic? Logic isn't everything.

Clearly not.

I'll see myself out. Good day, madam. Good day.

I should take her to Malvern to be treated as I was.

It is better she's here.

She needs her family. She needs love and rest.

She'll get well.

One more week.

We'll watch her for one more week. Alright?

Thank you.


Papa!


Post for you, sir.

This one's from the Spice Islands.


Charles.

Charles, my old friend, there you are. May I join you?

Yes. Yes, of course.

Mrs Darwin has told me about the book you are writing.

Oh, no, no, not any more. Thank goodness.

You mean you finished it?

It's been finished for me, actually.

A Mr Alfred Russel Wallace has arrived independently at exactly the same opinion.

Expressed in a...

In a mere 20 pages.

Now, there's brevity for you.

I had covered 250 so far and come to a dead end, so whilst having wasted 20 years on the project, I am at least rid of it.

Well.

Well...

...the Lord moves in mysterious ways.

Hmm, yes, He does, doesn't He?

You know, I was remarking only the other day how He has endowed us in all of His blessed generosity with not one but 900 species of intestinal worm, each with its own unique method of infiltrating the mucosa and burrowing through to the bloodstream.

And on the love that he shows for butterflies by inventing a wasp that lays its eggs inside the living flesh of caterpillars.

I have said on many occasions, it is not for us to speculate at His reason.

No, we can leave that to Mr Wallace.

Shall I advise him to stay abroad, do you think?

With his opinions, if he shows his face around here, he may be required to kneel on rock salt.

I always valued our friendship.

Until now, I regarded you as one of those rare mortals with whom one could disagree and yet feel no shade of animosity.

Sadly, that feeling is... no longer reciprocated.

What?

I'm forestalled by Wallace.

What have I done? What?

What possible... What possible reason could you have to be angry at me?

Annie.

Annie! Annie! Come here! Come back!

Come back here now!

I am your father! You... You come back here! What?

What did I do? What did I do to you? What?

Annie! C-Come here! Come back!

What did I do to you? Please! Annie, please!

Come here! Annie! Annie! Come here!

Get rid of them.

Get rid of all of them.

Come on. Get out!

Get out!

Go! Come on!

Get out! Go!

Go!

Mr Darwin. Mr... Mr Darwin.

Mr Darwin, sir!

Mr Darwin?

I'll have Lewis dismantle it, sir.

Now, Mr Darwin, I'll send for Dr Holland.

God, no.

God damn it.

Damn it all to hell.

Mr Darwin?

Help me here! Help me here!

So, increase the calomel to twice a day.

Yes, of course. Keep him warm, plenty of rest...

I think Papa's going to die, too.

Oh. Hello, Hooker. Hello.

Still talking.

That's good. Word had reached London you'd suffered an apoplectic stroke.

Your enemies are celebrating at the Athenaeum.

I have no enemies.

This is the Wallace letter? Yes.

Well, he has 20 pages.

You have a whole book, or at least half of one.

I intend to extract the other even if it kills us both.

Have you been talking to Huxley again?

No. Had I been, he'd be here himself with a cat-o'- nine-tails. Up you come.

No, I cannot. I know not what ails me, but it's more than I can endure.

Bosh! You have had this illness as long as I have known you.

It's worse in times of overwork, but it has nothing to do with your soul, wherever that resides now.

Go and get yourself treated. I cannot.

Believe me, you do have enemies.

I'll bet half the nation would see you burnt at the stake if they knew what you were writing, but you have friends, too, and all of us are fighting the same battle.

And we can win this in our lifetimes. We have to win this.

I implore you, go to Malvern, take your blessed water cure, come back and win it for us.


She's nearly ready. Thank you. Move those quickly, please.

I want to come with you. No.

Malvern's not so far. Parslow! It's two days by coach.

What if the baby comes early? They have doctors there.

Your job is here with the children. They also need their father.

I can't care about the other children now. I can only care about Annie!

Mind her shawl, make sure it's tucked in.

Alright, thank you. Thank you. Alright, little frog.

I made these. It's Annie's favourite. Thank you.

You will see your mama when you're well again.

Brodie, get aboard. No! No!

Say goodbye, now. No, I don't want to say goodbye!

Say goodbye now. No, I'm going with you.

I'm going with you. Wait there! Wait for me!

Go! Go now.

Walk on.


Mr Darwin, old friend. Mr Darwin.

How long has it been? I haven't clapped eyes on you since...

Well... So, what have we now? What have we now?

Tongue? Hmm-hm.

Shirt up. Let me feel your liver.

Right. Up.

Pulse hectic, tongue furred, liver tender and enlarged.

And obviously you've been exercising your brain every hour that God gave you.

I have been writing a book. Madness!

There are far too many of those already.

Are you sleeping? Poorly.

And I suppose never taking the 50c dilution of Chelidonium?

I had my carpenter build a water tower. It no longer has any effect.

Of course not! Your carpenter isn't a hydrotherapist.

What on Earth possessed you? I feared I was dying.

Oh, come, come, come. We shall not have that talk here.

A sharp spinal scrub, cold douche daily at 7:00am, and sweating by the lamp.

No red meat, no reading, no mental agitation of any kind.

We shall soon have you right, Mr Darwin. We shall soon have you right.


Papa? I think I'm feeling better now. Honestly.


Papa!


Sir, I kneel before You in all humility.

If it is in Your power, God, to save her...

...then I will believe in You for the rest of my days.

Take me, if You must take someone, but not her. She...

She's such a good little girl, you see. She...

I ask this in the name of Your child and mine and in the name of all children.

Thank you. Amen.

With what do you most associate these symptoms? Eating?

Strong emotion? Physical exertion?

Any particular action?

Is... Is memory an action? Memory of what?

My daughter. Of course.

You must accept there was nothing more to be done.

Oh, dear fellow... she is in heaven.

Yes, that's what my wife believes.

It is a great consolation to her.

But not you?

She and I are divided on it.

Were you always? No.

Only since Annie died.

Whoa, there.

Charles, I'm... I'm so very sorry about Annie.

Where is she? In the Lady Chapel.

Thank you. Thank you.


Since that time, she has sought refuge in religion, and I in science.

Has this division... affected your marital relations?

We have none any more... to speak of.

Perhaps that's for the best.

Meaning?

Our last baby...

Baby Ch... Baby Charlie. He barely survived beyond infancy and...

Are you familiar with the writings of de Quincey?

Yes, I... I've read him.

I have no time for the man.

He maintains that certain thoughts can reside in our mind...

...without us being aware of them.

They then may manifest as boils and fainting spells... and ghosts.

It's po... It's possible, yes.

Annie is buried here in Malvern, is she not?

Yes. And have you yet visited the grave?

I really do not wish to discuss this. Of course...

What possible bearing can it have? It has every bearing.

That is your opinion. Your treatments have been effective. I feel cured.

I think not, sir.

I think you're not yet cured.

Do you have faith, Mr Darwin? What?

You say you take no comfort from religion, but do you have faith?

Until you do, all the waters in the world will not be the cure of you.


Annie?

Annie! Annie!

Annie!

Annie!

Annie!


Hello?

Hello?

Hello? Hello?

Good evening. Good evening.

I'm Mr Darwin. I lodged here some time ago.

Room number 12, wasn't it?

Yes, it was.

I would only be ten minutes or so.

First floor.

Last room on the right. Yes, I remember.

Thank you.


I have the embrocation.

Does she want for anything else? No, I'm sure that will do admirably.

Alright. Alright, little one.

Here we go. Now, then.

Just rub this on.

How's that? Better? Yes.

Dearest Emma, I think it best for you to know how each day passes.

Doctor Gully's treatments are having some effect at last.

I will write again tomorrow, but in the meantime...

The surgeon came today to draw off Annie's water.

This did not hurt her, and seemed to give much relief.

I asked if there was any immediate threat to her life, but he believes she has turned the corner.

My Emma, Annie rallied yesterday.

For a moment, I was foolish with delight, but now, suddenly, our dear child has taken a turn for the worse.

This last attack was first thought to be of the smallest importance but rapidly assumed the form of a low and dreadful fever.

She talks a great deal, but we can seldom make out anything.

Look, Mama, I'm a general!

Much of what she says we cannot make out from the roughness of her poor mouth.

We sponged her with water and vinegar. There we are.

Made her sweet with chloride of lime. Alright.

Gully thinks our poor, sweet child is in imminent danger.

Is that better, my darling? Is that better?

Beautifully good.

I'm making custard.

My darling Emma, I miss you, terribly. More now than ever.

I often think of the precious looks Annie gives you.

You were always the tenderest of human beings to her and comfort her so on all occasions.

This dreadful alternation of hope and no hope sickens the soul.

I feel we must prepare ourselves for the worst.

Tell me about Jenny.

What about Jenny?

Ab... About how she dies.

Please, Papa. I like it.

Well... what the keeper told me was this.

When she was very sick with pneumonia, lying very still...

...he tried to feed her with a spoon.

But she shook her head and she looked at him as if to say...

..."That's very sweet of you. Really."

"We're beyond that now."

And the keeper was much moved by the gentleness of the little ape.

And as he bent down to comfort her, she brought her arms up around his neck...

...and looked into his eyes in the most human fashion.

And then she laid her head against him...

...and died.


Oh, my darling girl, my darling girl!


Sorry.

So sorry I startled you.

Goodness, Charles. Take off your coat.

You're dripping wet. Emma, we need to talk.

I went back to Worcester Road.

I saw Annie.

You're hurting my arm.

I need to make you understand... I do not want to hear it.

I am glad you're feeling better. You're not listening.

I need you to listen or you will never understand.

I understand perfectly. Do you think that I am deaf and blind?

You've lived with her and spoken with her every day since she died.

She is more real to you than we are.

She is dead, Charles. I know she's dead.

She is dead!

What in God's name is wrong with you?

Why can you not leave our poor girl in her grave?

You're the one who wants to keep her alive, but on a cloud, dancing with little fairies.

I will not listen to this! In a night shift and snowy wings!

Is that how her death was for you, Emma?

Something gutted of darkness? Get away from me.

Away from you? There is a gulf between us!

We're like some, some survivors of some shipwreck.

Yes! Yes, because of you! You've torn everything apart!

How? How? How? With your cruel theories!

With the truth, Emma! Just with the truth!

Open the door! Open the... Open the door!

Open this door! Open it!

What do you want from me?

I want us to be honest with each other.

About what?

About this... nagging belief that you have nurtured.

That what? That I killed her.

I never said that. But you think it, so you must say it.

And say everything else that follows, that I should have kept her warm that day on the beach, that...

...I should never have taken her to Malvern without you.

I should have waited for you. I... I should have.

These are your thoughts, Charles.

They are not mine.

I was on the beach.

And I let you go.

I knew, when you left for Malvern...

...that I would never see her again.

And I hated you.

I hated you for taking her, Charles.

But I was her mother.

And what was I thinking? I could have insisted.

I should have followed you up there.

I let her go.

That's the truth.

And more than anything...

...I have...

...hated... myself.

Perhaps...

Perhaps we should never have married.

Our blood was too close.

You see, Emma... I thought that we were making the perfect child.

But perhaps instead we endowed her with the weakness that killed her.

I just... wanted to be with you so very much.

The fact... of it is...

...knowing everything I now know...

...I would marry you again tomorrow, my love.


The affinities of all beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree.

The green and budding twigs may represent existing species, and those produced during each former year may represent the long succession of extinct species.

So, I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the Earth, while covering the surface with its...

The frameworks of bones have been the same in the hand of a man, wing of a bat, fin of a porpoise and leg of a horse at once explain themselves on the theory of descent with slow and slight successive...

It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about and with worms crawling through the damp earth and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us.

"Advancing gently forward over my breast, came almost up to my chin, and bending my eyes downwards as much as I could, I quivered."

Hello. Hello.

I was wondering if I might, might take over.

Alright.

Where were you?

"I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high."

Not the book.

Please, a true story.

Like you did with Annie.

Alright. Let me think.

Did I ever tell you about my riding with gauchos?

Yes. Yes.

Or the time our ship was struck by Saint Elmo's fire?

Yes. My attempt to climb the Andes?

Yes. Earthquakes?

Yes. Tidal waves?

Really? I did? Yes.

Goodness gracious, I think I've told you everything.

And yet I fancy I have never told you about the giant sloth of Punta Alta.

No.

Alright, then. Millions and millions of years ago, in a rich and verdant land that we now call Argentina...

...there lived a mammal.

There lived a mammal as large as an elephant, as gentle as a lemur and as slow as an incredibly slow snail.

And he lived a happy life watching the slow green march of the passing seasons.


Er... I've finished.

I've finished.

You decide. About what?

Well, about what should be done with it.

Someone needs to take God's side in all of this.

I'd much rather it was you than Innes.

Supposing I think it should be destroyed?

Well... then you must do what you think is right.

Read it first.


Emma?

Well, you said it was my decision.

Emma, where... Where are you going?

To John Murray publishers.

Do I have it right?

Yes.

And so... you have finally made an accomplice of me.

May God forgive us both.


Good morning, Jim. Morning, Mr Darwin, sir.

That parcel for me? Yes. Yes, it is.

Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object we are capable of conceiving, namely the production of higher animals, directly follows.

There is grandeur in this view of life, that whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning, endless forms, most beautiful and most wonderful, have been, and are being, evolved.