The Young Poisoner's Handbook (1995) Script

The events you are about to see were inspired by the true story of Graham Young...

All characters save those in the Young Family are entirely ficticious... any resemblance to any other person or company is entirely co-incidental...

Graham never obtained poison from his employers, he bought it from a specialist chemist.


I was very young when I realized I had a gift for chemistry.

My earliest memories were quiet afternoons spent in the serenity of my parent's home.

...gazing at some new-found wonder of scientific discovery.

By the time I was in my teenage years I was beginning to see life as it really was.

A series of illusions that only the scientist could strip away.

I wanted to see this hidden world.

To lift the veil.

And hold the secret of existence in the palm of my hand.

And this is a gift, from me to you.

For your experiments.


I had little in common with my father, my sister and my step-mother.

And life at home was a stale affair.

Ladies and gentlemen, will you please put your hands together...

...for Mister... Dickie Boone!

Think I'll make us all a nice cup of tea.

But I tried hard to look upon my time there as an opportunity for research.

After all, even the most ordinary domestic item has its scientific value.

He in my bloody room again?

He is! I'll kill the little swine!


Graham Young, if you've been interfering in my private things again I'll swing for you!

Wait! Get back in here you!

Dad, I want a lock put on that door!

NURSE ESTHER wants to take your pulse.

Blimey O'Reilly Fred.

What the devil have you put in this tea?

Smells all ammoniary, Dad.

Smells like brake fluid.

Smells like cat's piss.


Get your back side in here.

Have you been using your mother's...

...cups and saucers for your bloody experiments?

What have I told you?

Taste this!

Go on! Taste it!

Let go of me. It's got nothing to do with me.

You want to ask her.

Ask her what she was mixing up in the kitchen last night.

Me? Yes, you.

I think you recall mixing a certain something in one of my ma's teacups.

Oh, you didn't use the best china Winn?

She most certainly did. Shut up you. What was she mixing?

Her stuff.

What stuff? Yes.

What was that stuff?

Will you tell him to shut his mouth before I kick him in it!

Yeah, shut up you.

Did you or did you not mix up some stuff in one of your mother's best teacups?


Now we're getting somewhere.

What was it?

Doesn't matter what it was.

It was private. Private?

Women's private. For removing unwanted- You know what.

No, I don't know what. You are not pregnant, are you?

No I'm not.

Someone get him out of here.

What was she mixing?

Oh, for God's sake, let it drop!

Come on love, you can tell me, I'm your fiancé.

I think this might provide some answers.

You bastard!

Give us that here. No!

Depilatory cream for use on problem moustaches vanish in minutes.

Crikey, love...

You never told me about this.

Watch out Dennis, I reckon she's turning into a werewolf.

You didn't tell me about that stuff.

How was I supposed to know about it?

I knew there would be some who would want to stand in my way.

But I would not be swerved.

I was on the verge...

The verge of a great discovery.

NURSE "ETHER" wants to take your pulse.


These books have been removed from our shelves...

...because they are considered unsuitable for readers under eighteen years of age.

A fact of which you should be perfectly cognoscenti Mr. Young.

Gray's Anatomy.

Pathology for the Student Nurse.

My Friends on the Slab.

They're for my father.

He's asked me to do some research for him. He's a GP, you see?

No, he isn't.

He's a machine setter at Cadogan's.

And your mother plays the accordion at The Spotted Dog.

And from now on, Mr. Young, you will restrict your reading matter... the appropriate section.

I'll have you know I'm presently involved in a series of highly important...

...scientific experiments.

Children's Library through the swing-doors on your way out.


In here.

Are these what you wanted?

Thank you, Miss Buttler.

You're very kind.

Do you fancy a date, Graham?

Don't be shy.

WEST WATERS RESERVOIR: Serving the homes of over 1 million people Every king needs a queen.

And I had found mine.

I decided to pursue my work with renewed vigor.

While others followed the common course... every waking hour was consumed with study.

What have you got today? Advanced pathology and A cycle of killers.

No! Sandwiches.

Oh, egg and cress.


And then, one day...

...I found it.

An experiment which captured my imagination like nothing before.

Antimony sulphide.

One of nature's most volatile substances.

If treated incorrectly it leaves the residue of a lethal poison.

But Newton discovered that it could also be transformed... the flask, into a diamond of breath-taking beauty.

Then and there, I vowed that this time it would be mine.


The effects of antimony poisoning... i.e. vomiting and severe abdominal pain, are easily...

...confused with a whole host of intestinal disorders.


As recently as 1942, Ronald O' Keefe, a young New York accountant...

...succeeded in poisoning his secretary's lunch-time ham sandwiches with antimony.

Cleverly disguising the poison's sharp tartaric taste...

...with a liberal sprinkling of mustard powder.

Mustard powder? Yeah, there's a picture of her stomach here.

Oh, God! That's disgusting!

I thought Dexter had banished you to the junior shelves?

I've a contact.

She can get me anything I want, anytime I want.

Sue Buttler. Well, you can lay off there if you don't mind.

I've been softening her up for weeks.

Do you know her?

Know her?

Sue and me... or is it me and Sue?

Have a date this Friday night.

Front Circle, Golders Green Hippodrome.

Admit, two only.

It's just that we made a date too.

Weeks ago as a matter of fact.


When did she give you that?

Your months out of date pal. Look. It's almost completely faded.

Oh, you don't believe me, Graham?

Go on. Take a look.

Nothing wrong with the print quality on that.


Ladies and gentlemen...

...will you please put your hands together for Mr. Dickie Boone!

You know it's true.

I'm in love with you.

I try to hide it but I just can't do it. I know its no good.

I've never been... sure before.

I can't ignore this feeling of love all around, everywhere.

Everywhere I go.

I let it all hang out.

It's a mystery.

What you do to me?

I get a feeling, it's an Oody Doodie feeling...

...that you're the one for me.

I wanna be...

...your company.

All the world to see.

This feeling of love all around, everywhere.

Sorry about all the sauce.

Terrible predilection I have for ketchup.

When I was a boy I drank a whole bottle on my way home...

...from a fish & chip shop.

It looks like a road accident, doesn't it, Sue?

We'd a terrible one last summer.

Our house is very close to one of the north's circular's black spots.

Awful thing.

Was anybody hurt? Yes.

A young woman.

Mercifully she was killed outright.

Thrown fifty yards through the windscreen, decapitated.

Yes. The firemen searched up and down the road for hours, couldn't find it.

Eventually it turned up in Hatfield.

Seems its trajectory had sent it across the...

...central reservation and into the oncoming traffic.

It landed in this chap's camping trailer.

When he arrived at his destination...

...he looked in the back and found an extra item, as it were...

...that was not on the packing list.

Sometimes the speed of impact can force the head... that it disappears completely.

Right inside the ribcage.

What do you think about this?

I'm going to miss my bus.

Here's the money for the tea.

You left your chocolates.

Filthy little tripe hound!

What's the meaning of these?


They're not mine.

Do you want to look at these whores? Do you?

I told you they're not mine!

You wouldn't do this in a million years if you had any respect for your body, would you?

No, mum. I'd rather someone took me out and shot me.

Now there's an idea.

Look, I told you, I've never set eyes on them before.

Then what were they doing behind the immersion tank in my bedroom?

You're not suggesting they're your sisters'?

I don't know whose they are. Maybe they're her boyfriend's.


Dennis is a Supervisory Weights and Measures Officer...

...for the Board of Trade, thank you very much.

You're sick. D'you know that?

They're not mine!

Who's are they then if they're not yours?

Get in that bath!


Get in that ruddy bath before i...!

You contaminate everything you touch, don't you?

Well, I'm going to scrub you till you're raw.

You foul minded little demon!

I fell asleep in my loved one's arms.

And that night I dreamt of my diamond.

I was happy in my sleep because the diamond was mine.

But when I woke up... was gone.


Refills already?

Just one item today, Mr. Goez.

I could see now that everything had been leading to this moment.

I had decided on the direction my scientific career was to take.

And there could be no turning back.


Where have you been?

Mum's inside, with Doctor Scott.

Does he know what's wrong with her?

How the hell should I know? I told you, he's in there now.

She'll be all right now.

I've given her some muscle relaxant and a rectal lavage.

Lavage? An enema, father.

Enema? What on earth did she need that for?

Have you any idea what brought it on?

Rich food, I imagine.

Rich food? In this house?

Forgive me Mr. Young, but as I understand it...

...your wife's discomfort was preceded by...

...the ingestion of half a box of Velvet Victories.

I've given her some soothing medicine for her tummy...

Otherwise it'll be the usual drill, plenty of fluid, and no staring into the fire.

I'll leave it to our young medical expert here... make sure she does what she's told.

Two spoonful's daily. After meals.

The first stage of the experiment had gone to plan.

Now there was only one obstacle in my path.

Graham, where's that medicine? Mum's waiting!

I'm coming!

The prying eyes of my dear sister Winnie.

She's supposed to get two of those.

I know, thank you.

Christ! Would you not sneak up on people like that?

Sorry. I just thought I'd bring you a cup of tea.

What's turned you into an angel all of a sudden?


I just think we should all stick together... that mum's ill.

Oh, for God's sake Graham, your acting as if she's on death's door.

She's only got a touch of the tummy wobbles.

I'm not so sure. What are you getting at?

Nothing really, just a thought.

Drink your tea before it gets cold.

With that I was free to conduct my experiment without interruption.

Oh, dear! Dog breath love!

Smells like...

Like what?

Like death.

Sweet Jesus.




Hello, Percy.

Talk about something nice... for a change.

She had to have it all cut out. Shut up.

Well she did. All right, we've heard it all before.

She had one of them bags to hold out. All right, give it up.

Well I never!

Look at this, uncle Jack.

Quite the young toff these days, aren't we?

Looks like a bloody funeral director.

Been out courting, nephew?

I'm afraid I don't have time for anything but my work these days, auntie.

Still finding the cure for cancer, are you?

So what's your diagnosis on all this then Graham?

Well, Dr. Scott seems to think it's some kind of nervous stomach disorder...

...but I'm exploring other avenues.

I'm just off to Dennis'. See you later.

Ah, poor girl.

And you say she bought it from Boots?

Oh, you've no idea how many lethal products are sold over the counter these days, auntie.

Well, they're normally very good, aren't they?

They do these wine making kits now.

These people will put anything in their products as long as they sell.

They're completey unscrupulous.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is exactly the...

...kind of thing behind my poor mother's illness.

Well, I must say you seem to know an awful lot about this sort of thing...

He's my little Louis Pasteur.

Aren't you, Graham?

Suspicion had been voiced. It was necessary to deliver the fatal blow.

And then, one day the solution presented itself.

It was a true story that I was reading.

A unit of Dutch resistance fighters had poisoned the Nazi's water supply...

...with a substance called "Thallium".

Over the next few days, the Nazis dropped dead, one by one.

Each of them apparently from a different cause.

They all had only one symptom in common...

...all their hair had fallen out.

I decided to research the substance more thoroughly.

I've got something to give you.

It's a diamond ring.

It was your mother's.

Fred gave it to me when we married, but I've never been able to wear it.

Want you to have it for always.

Its yours by right.

Oh, Graham...

How funny.

It should have taken all this to bring us together.



EXPERIMENT 4: Antimony Poisoning: Molly Young



Dad, tins can't go off! Pull yourself together, will you?

I'm going to find out what's behind this if I have to tear the house apart.

Hope you are not gonna have another...

...nervous breakdown like you did when our first mother died.

What did you say?

You did, didn't you? Don't think I'll be here to look after you.

Or our Graham for that matter coz I shalln't.

God, it's no wonder he turned out so sodding weird.

Christ, just look at her, will you?

I don't reckon she even knows who we are anymore.

She's not been near that toilet for days.

Yes she has, haven't you mum? She hasn't, you know.

I would've heard her if she had.

Have you been to the toilet for solids, in the past 24 hours, mother?

For solids, not just pee-pee.

I don't believe this is happening to me.

Never a day's illness in her life! Strong as a cart-horse!

And now look at her!

She's like a broken stick!

She can hear you!

Help me get her head back.

For God's sake, can't you see? She don't want it!

Bloody buffoon. I've a mind its this its making her worse!

She's trying to tell us something.

What is it, mother?

Is it the medicine?

What she's trying to say is...

...she wants us to give it to her.

It's just too painful for her to swallow.

What the hell are we supposed to do?

Look, I think you should both go off to work.

You're just getting yourselves in a state.

I'll take the day off school, read to her.

Maybe she'll take some later on when she's feeling more relaxed.

Come on you can walk me to the bus.

The Thallium had been a greater success than I could possibly have hoped.

After she was gone...

...we couldn't decide whether to buy her a walnut coffin or an afromosia teak.

Finally we settled on walnut.

She'd always liked walnuts.

And alongside the inevitable sadness...

...I found myself pondering an interesting question.


That while being a good poisoner involves remaining undetected...

...becoming a famous one would seem to demand getting caught.

Such were my thoughts as I watched my stepmother go up in smoke that day.

Don't you talk to me like that! No! Shut up!

Piss off, will you?

Don't tell me to piss off.

May I help you to some pickle, uncle Jack?

Yeah, go on. Go on, yeah.

Just a jot. Help things down.


...I don't want to worry you. And not a word of this to Winn.


Well, I've been feeling a bit queer myself these past few days.

You know? Same symptoms as your mum.

No, you're imagining it, dad.

You feel guilty about her suffering and you won't let her go without suffering yourself.

Anyway, if you're worried, we could always... doctor Scott.

No fear. I'm not having that clown shoving things up my anus.

Mind my pint. I'll be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

I had discovered my métier.

Thallium was to be my life's work.

Tasteless, colourless, odorless, untraceable.

I would be the greatest poisoner the world had ever seen.

Hello, Graham.

Hello, Mick.

Hello, Sue.

We heard about your mum.

Your Dad's on his last legs and all, I hear.


Same hospital, same symptoms, two weeks later?

Stroke of bad luck that, isn't it?

Think I heard everyone in your street has come down with some bug or other.

Rate your going you'll be the only bastard left in Neasden.

My mother died of a prolapsed bone at the top of her spinal column, Michael.

She slipped whilst walking in the garden and it snapped. Just like that.

No bugs, Michael.

No bug's mentioned here.

And if I were you, I'd watch how you speak to me in future.

Both of you.

Have you any idea where he is?

He's not here at the moment.

Was it you who called? I'm his auntie.

That was my exit dose, you fucking idiot!

Now you've gone and ruined everything.


I was convicted of murder and attempted murder.

And after my trial, which was a swift affair...

...the judge sent me for medical tests.

The evidence was conclusive.

I was an incurable psychopath. And was to be locked away for life.

Prisoner 2338175, Graham Frederick Young, Home Secretary's warrant..

...for detention and the prison's medical dossier, Sir!

Pink Card, Mr. Hopwood? Pink Card, Mr. Trent.

Carry this at all times.

Fourteen years old, eh?

Welcome to HarshHurst, son. We hope you enjoy your stay.



My bunk mate, Berridge, was a young soldier from Lewisham...

...who'd come home on leave one day and shot both his parents in the head.


He was about to relive this episode for the second time that night.

Berridge. Berridge.

Berridge, wake up. You're dreaming again.

Let's go back to sleep.

Did you never have this, Graham... your mum, visions and that?



Perhaps this new bloke might be able to do something for me.

What new bloke?

I heard in the office we are getting a new senior... psy...chologist...


Doctor Zeigler.

They reckon he's one of the best.

You work with him and then if he reckons you're cured...

...he recommends you to the Home Office.

My career as a poisoner may have been temporarily interrupted...

...but I had not entirely wasted the last two years.

Having worked my way up from the tailor shop, to the carpentry class...

I found my way into block two.

Which has HarshHurst's considerable library.

Within days of my arrival I had the run of the shelves.

The Danish doctors, have applied a treatment of castration to their criminal psychopaths.

Which they say promises well.

Purely from a medical and legal standpoint they are nothing but a bloody nuisance.

The lawyers don't know how to convict them and we don't know how to cure them.

Have any of them had any kind of...

...individual treatment since they arrived?

Doctor Zeigler, these patients are not labelled chronic simply for our convenience.

Here at HarshHurst we forego the luxuries of rehabilitation.

And humbly limit ourselves to the more mundane tasks of control and protection.

I see. So, all of these men are classified as psychopaths?

Moral imbeciles to a man.

Allow me to demonstrate.

What's your name, boy?

Berridge, Sir.

And why are you here, Berridge?

I killed my parents, Sir.

And if you had your time over, would you do it again?

No, Sir.

No, Sir.

Why "No, Sir"? Why do you think you would not do it again?

Because they'd send me back to this place, Sir.

"Because they would send me back to this place, Sir."

A conditioned response indicating fear of reprisal.

There's no moral sense at work here at all.

In my experience psychopaths rarely show...

...the least sign of inner change or development.

"Vulpes pilum mutat, non mores", as they say.

The leopard never changes his spots.

Wolf, Sir. Did you speak, boy?

Sorry, Sir, but vulpes means wolf, Sir.

"Vulpes pilum mutat, non mores" means, literally...

...the wolf changes its fur but not its nature, Sir.

Not that it changes the essential point of your argument...

...I'm sure you're absolutely right.

And so it was, that the very next day I was selected...

...for treatment by the famous doctor Zeigler.

Are you going to cure me, Sir?

Sit down, please.

Well, hmm...

That's what we're here to find out.

Do you think I'll ever get out?

I don't think we should speculate on these things just at the moment.

I think that we should...

...apply ourselves to the work that's ahead of us.

Do you think that you're up to it?

I want to live rightly and lovingly, Sir.

And what do you think has prevented you from doing so up until now?

I don't know, Sir.

Doctor Triefus says something inside me has died.

He says I'll never be able to feel anything for anybody.

And you always believe what Doctor Triefus says to you?

Maybe you'll allow me to be the judge of that from now on.

All right, this thing that Doctor Triefus says...

...has died inside you. Let's say...

...just for the moment, that it hasn't died. Let's say that... isn't functioning properly.

How so, Sir?

Well, I like to think that our...

...emotional functions are not unlike our...

...limbs, our organs, they can be broken, damaged.

And I like to think that anything that's broken or damaged, can also be...


You're going to fix me, Sir?

Well, it's not just going to be up to me. You're going to be doing most of the work.

How will you know I'm not faking it?


The work that we are going to be doing here in this room...

...we're gonna be doing together.

D'you see? I'm gonna be with you on this journey.


When we find what we're looking for...

...we will know.

I want you to, uhm, tell me your dreams.

You'd like me to tell you my dreams, Sir?

Yes, I want you to... write them down.

Somebody once said that...

"until something is written down, it doesn't really exist".

And, the same with our dreams.

Once you put your dreams on paper, then we'll... able to examine them...

...and see what they have to show us.

Will you do that for me?

I think it's a wonderful idea, Sir.

And I'd like to thank you for this opportunity.

Up to that point I'd been doing brilliantly with Dr. Zeigler.

Or so I thought.

But he had asked me to give him the one thing which I couldn't provide.

In all my time in HarshHurst, I'd not been able to remember a single solitary dream.

I'm standing in a room, and there are these two exits.

One leads down the stairs into darkness...

And at first I think I really want to go down there and see what's going on.

The other leads out into fields of quiet sunshine.

And suddenly I'm at the side of a lake.

And I have my chemicals with me, bottles and bottles of poisons.

One by one I tip them...

...into the lake.

When I'm finished I feel cleansed.

And then I wake up.

What do you think this is trying to tell us?

I think it's trying to tell us that we're wasting our time.

You've made this up. Yes?

Do you have any idea how much trouble I've gone to on your behalf?

There's 700 men in this institution...

...I've got the impossible task of selecting a handful...

...with whom I can find the time to work.

Now, if you're not prepared to give of yourself honestly...

...i promise you that I'll find a replacement who will.

So I had one more chance.

Doctor Zeigler was obviously a man who required the real thing.

But where was I to find it?

You what?

I think we need to extract them.

As if they were a poison.

I think we need to write them down.

Somebody once said that, "until something's been written down..."

..."it doesn't really exist."

I can't write. It doesn't matter.

You can tell them to me, and I'll write them down.

And then, once they're on paper...

...we have them, you see?

They're ours.

Yeah, all right.


Well it starts like this, I walk in the house.

And the whole place smells of fat...

...pig fat like, you know, really sweet.

And then I see, my mum and dad there, their limbs are all hanging off.

And they're all green and rotten inside.

The worst bit is when I go into the toilet.

I go into the toilet because I'm going to be sick with the smell.

I look into the bowl, and...

...I can see my mum's head.

My mum's head's staring back at me from the bowl.

Then her face comes up out of the toilet bowl, lips quivering with rage...

...gums bad and bleeding.

She wants to devour me.

She grabs me by the throat, begins to drag me down into the bowl.

Yeah, and that's where he wakes up.

What exactly would you like us to conclude from all this?

Well, yes, all right.

I know that you're sceptical doctor, but if we can't help this boy...

...who is so intelligent...

...and in such pain.

Who can we help? I mean...

What is the purpose of our work here?

And so, thanks to the zeal of Doctor Zeigler...

...I was plucked from the ranks and planted firmly on the road to recovery.

I woke up at home, I was in my own bed.

There's a thunder storm. My mum. She said let me sleep.

Every night, Berridge would offer out the fruits of his rabid psyche.

And every morning I would offer them up as if they were my very own.

I was happy. Dr. Zeigler was happy. Even Dr. Triefus was happy.

There was only one person who was not.

Berridge. Berridge.

It's all right, it's all right. I'm here.

Now tell me what's happening. Tell me everything you see.

I can't, it won't come. It will come, it wants to come.


Look, we've got to get this stuff out, Berridge.

We mustn't let it fester, must we?

Not like your parents.

And the bedroom carpet.

No. I can't.

You can, Berridge, and you must.

Come on! Think, damn you!

It's not working.

Just leave me alone.

Poor Berridge, I'd been waking him on the hour, every hour, for the past three months.

It seemed he'd finally reached the end of his tether.

There's nothing that you could have done.

The important thing is you stuck by him.

You were his friend.

I don't know.

I could have spent more time with him.

Listened to his cries for help.

Sometimes it isn't our place to help, you know?

That's a lesson I've had to learn many times... in my work.


You've made a friend, you're grieving because he's left.

And that's good, it's a common... unhappiness.

It's a price we pay...

...for getting close.

So, that's what it was.

It seems I really did miss him.

But it was a double-blow.

My future freedom depended on Berridge's endless flow of dreams.

And his death had cut off my supply.

We waited, and we waited, and we waited.

Maybe it's the loss, Sir. Maybe I haven't recovered from the trauma of his death.

Perhaps that's why the dreams won't come.

Yes, well...

...perhaps it's I and not your dreams that's failed you.

Sometimes when we push too hard, nature doesn't like it.

I'm sure if we just waited a little-- No, I'm sorry, Graham...

I'm afraid it's all rather out of my hands now.

There are others coming up for parole that need my help...

...and if I'm to continue my work here, I have to show results.


We'll keep in touch, of course.

And there will be an ongoing program of therapy with other doctors.

You'll be in very good hands.


Like Berridge was?

Goodbye Dr. Zeigler. Please accept my apologies for wasting your valuable time.

And then, just as I had abandoned all hope...

...the strangest thing occurred.

It was my diamond.

And that night it came back to me more brilliantly than ever.

I wrote it all down for him.

Dr. Zeigler!

Graham! Dr. Zeigler, I had a dream!

A real one! I've written it down for you!

It's all right, let him go.

Let him go!

Thank you, Graham. I look forward to reading this.

But now I think you must go back into the line.

Yes? And you'll leave this with me over the weekend.

Graham, go back into the line!

Why haven't you told me about this before?


It's a secret.

Well, I want to know about this experiment with the diamond.

All right, I'll tell you.

You were using a substance called antimony. Deadly poison.

But actually, that's not what interested you.

You wanted to use it to make something beautiful.

To make this... diamond of Newton's.

But something went wrong, it blew up in your face.


And then later you used the same substance to poison your step-mother.

Am I right?

I'm not that simple.

I switched poisons to fool them.

I used a substance called Thallium. That's what killed her.

Thallium? It's a heavy metal, probably...

...the most toxic substance known to man.

Before I was caught, I was working on a compound...

...that would have made it completely untraceable.

A doomsday weapon.

I would have used it too.

But something went wrong.

No. Yes.

Otherwise you'd be out there now, ruling the world, but you ended up in here.

Now... I think that, this dream... pointing us to a moment...

The moment when things started to go... very wrong for you.

You see?

You wanted to make something beautiful in that flask, that day.

And something turned it into a poison.

Now, I think that we ought to go back and do that experiment again.

And maybe this time we can make things go in a...

...different way.

Why should I share my knowledge with you?

You've told me what I am.

Nobody cares about me.

I've got nothing, I can't feel anything, fine?

But I have my secrets.

And why should I show them to you or anybody else? They're mine.

They're all I've got.

Well, maybe this will make you change your mind.

And would you believe I cried real tears?

Torrents and torrents of them.

Tears of the death of my mother, tears of the death of my friend.

And tears of the rotten world that had made me this way.

I claimed then that my redemption was sure to follow.

SEVERAL YEARS LATER It is precisely by allowing Graham to continue his scientific studies in here...

...that I've been able to wean him from morbid science towards a more...

...responsible and humane application of his interests.

What was bad in the flask has been made good in the flask.

I don't claim to have achieved miracles.

One can achieve nothing unless the raw material is already in place.

Well, thank you for your introduction, Doctor.

Perhaps we should see the patient for ourselves?

Please, be seated, Graham.

Try not to be nervous, okay?

So, who'd like to kick-off?

Graham, we were all impressed by your academic achievements here at HarshHurst.

I wonder, would you like to tell us a little about the work you're doing at the moment.

Well, we've been looking at-- Sorry, that's myself and Dr. Zeigler.

Have been looking at the work of chemists in the 16th and 17th centuries...

...who were investigating the medicinal possibilities of various curative herbs.

Thanks to the help of Doctor Zeigler, I've managed... comandeer a small section of the grounds.

And create a physic garden, much as it would have been laid out at the time.

Sounds fascinating. Have you found any that work?

Well, we still haven't found a cure for the common cold, I'm afraid.

Thank you, Graham. Anyone else?


I should like to ask Graham a question.

What in your opinion were the influences that brought about your mental disorder?

And how can you be sure that they will not present themselves again?

Well, Sir...

I think if there's one thing I've learned above all else... that I can never be sure about anything ever again.

I looked for certainties in my youth.

I think they were all I could understand. And they comforted me, I suppose.

But they also led me here.

I don't expect to be forgiven for what I've done.

I've taken life, I know.

Nothing can ever change that.

I'll always have to live with it.

But maybe, if you see fit, I could spend my life making up for it... some way.

And with the greatest respect, the best place to do that is...

...probably not in here.

The Board has made their decision.

You're a free man.

Aren't you glad?

This is everything that we've worked for.

Who'll look after all this after I'm gone?

It'll all go to waste.

You've got more important things to do... out there.

You have to learn how to live.

I'm afraid.

It's a symptom of your recovery.

From now on your life will be a series of small triumphs, small failures.

Just like for all of us.

Where will I go?

God willing, you'll strike out on your own. Maybe go to universities as we discussed.


Look how far you've come.

Hasn't really changed much, has it?

Wait until you get inside.

It's... amazing.

I didn't know what size. It's been so long!

That's perfect, Winnie. Just what I wanted.

Sorry. Its all I had time to get.

Didn't know what your interests were any more.

Now that you've stopped poisoning people.

We're gonna get to know each other all over again.

A new start. New family.

This'll come in handy.

Oo my ciggies, lovely.

Smellies. And a lighter!

Real onyx, Graham you shouldn't have!

This really is an embarrassment to richness. Isn't it, Dennis?

Oh, yeah.

Thanks very much, Gra.

Yeah, it's very interesting ta. Yeah, I shall read that.

Oh, and the piece de la resistance, for Rupert the beagle.

What on earth is it? It's an ID tag.

Unscrew the top, I had to print it specially.

To whom it may concern, this is to certify that Rupert the beagle...

...has undergone psychoanalysis and contrary to appearances... not suffering from hydrophobia, or any other canine psychosis.

Signed: Sigmund Freud.

Are we having any tea?

Den you're joking, after all them chocolates?

I must say I'm feeling a little peckish too.

Oh, God, you two... honestly.

No, no, my turn. I'll make some sandwiches, shall I?

Cold turkey? No, it's all right mate, I--

Yeah, cold turkey sandwich be nice.

I told you...

I told you. Shut up.

Ap. Ap?

You want this? Apple sauce?

You don't want apple sauce, it'll rot your teeth.

All right, just a taste.

You bastard!

You murdering bastard! You fucking murdering bastard!

What? What's he done? Donna!

He was trying to poison Donna!

No, I didn't. I didn't touch her, honestly. She's 16 months old!

She's all I've got, she's all I've bloody got!

Best ring the hostel, hey Graham?

Maybe it'll be best if I run you back now, yeah?

Yes, yes, maybe it would.

I'm so sorry.

You're here for the storekeeper's job? Yes.

Bloke just gone in got 3 "O" levels.

Really? Fucking waste of time coming.

They'll be wanting nuclear scientists next.

Yes, yes indeed.

Next please?

Dear Doctor Zeigler:

You'll be happy to know that the Placement Officer... the Home Office has finally found me a job.

It's at a factory called Dudley and Hunter's.

Where they manufacture high-speed cameras and camera lenses.

I'm the new trainee store manager.

I suppose it's not quite the career I had in mind...

...but it will at least give me a chance to find my feet.

Here, let me give you a hand with these, Edna.

Oh, you are a love. You'll be doing me out of a job next.

My duties include general store keeping...

...taking inventory and so on.

But I'm hoping that in time my true talents may be put to better use.

In the meantime I try to make myself as useful as I can.

Queen Mum for you Ray, and Douglas the Dog for you, right Nathan?

So if you brought those two out here. There's another two.

All did not go quite as I hoped with my family.

And I had to find my own accommodation.

But life at work was a new and refreshing experience for me.

It's a very pleasant crowd of people here.

And most importantly, thanks to Home Office policy...

...none of them have any knowledge of my former troubles.

Yours is the antique car, right John? Yes, it is, thanks.

And the lovely lady for Debra.

Oh, will you just look at those hands!

Aren't they beautiful? Don't know where they've been.

Oh, just look at them!

Smooth as a baby's bottom.

For the first time in my life I find that I'm accepted as part of a team.

With a clean slate as it were.


I feel I really have a chance now to make life go my way.

And I know of course that it is you I have to thank for this opportunity.

I remain your loyal friend...

...Graham Young.

Come on Deb.

Come on, Nathan!

Coming for a bevy?

I'm afraid I've a bit of work to catch up with.

Come on Graham. Simon's driving ain't you, Simon?

Well, I dunno.

Give over whining Simon, we can all squeeze in.

What's the matter son? You a bit boracic?

Go out and enjoy yourself. Go on. Give it to me back on payday.

Well go on! You'll miss the boat!

2 Pounds 15 this round's just cost me. It's not fair this round system.

The women on Bacardis. Still, shan't be here much longer.

Where are you going? Back to East Anglia.

I'm doing a PhD, Structural Inorganic Chemistry.

I'm just doing some lab work, to pay off my overdraft.

It's quite interesting, I suppose.

They're working on a camera that can take 6,000 pictures a second.

Is that the Maximage?

Hey, how do you know that? It's meant to be top secret.

I work in stores, things come in and out.

Just put two and two together.

Why don't you pop around the lab tomorrow. You can have a look at the...

..."you know what".

I'd like that very much, thank you.

Listen, Graham, don't tell the others, but I'm slipping out the back.

I don't mind you, but I'm not giving this lot a lift home.

They never give you any petrol money.

Well, what do you think of a wet Tuesday night... Berkshire little Graham? Not so bad, is it?

It's opened up a whole new vista.

Vista. See? What did I tell you, John? I told you he was an artist.

Oi where's that Simon that sculked off to then?

I think he's just gone to the toilet.

Yeah, trying to slip out the back more like.

Yeah. Well, he needn't bother.

I just took the rotor off his distributor.

Hey. Are you looking?

Here you've got the mechanical elements.

You've got an incredibly powerful motorized taker that pulls the film through.

Now... there's no gate.

They couldn't find a shutter that works fast enough obviously.

So the film travels loose over this prism.

It's a beautiful system.


Here you've got a little problem...

Because the film plane is so far from the lens...'ve got to bend the light an incredible amount.

Here's what we use to do it.

An extraordinary little substance, really...

Here, are you concentrating?

You look like you've seen a ghost.

And indeed I had.

For there in front of me sat row upon row an old friend I hadn't seen for many years.


Was this some kind of trick by the Home Office?

To see if I would fall back into my old ways?

Or had it been an illusion?

Was I losing my mind?

I had to find out.


Where are those bayonet mounts I asked you to get half an hour ago?

Oh yes, bayonets. Yes, bayonets.

You deaf as well as daft?

Sorry Ray, I left them in the metal workshop.

"Sorry Ray, I left them in the metal workshop."

Dear, oh dear!

It's a good job your balls are in a bag.


Ray? Ray what's the matter?

I can't feel my fingers.

Hold on to him.




Dennis, go get an ambulance.

Go on!

Graham, I was wondering if you fancied having lunch.

There's this research... No, thanks Simon, I'm a little busy.

Are we feeling any better, Ray?

Is it just feeling sore, or is it more a stitch sort of thing?

Flaming Nora. I've told you a thousand times, just leave us alone, will you?

I'll be fine!

Terrible news about Billy, isn't it, Debra?

Oh, yes, yes.

I was wondering if you would care to sign this get-well card.


Do they know what's wrong with him?

Some kind of stomach thing, I think.

Yes, but, do they know what caused it?

All that I know is that he's in hospital.

I wonder if it's the same thing Ray came down with.

Do you think there's a virus going around?

Look, I've got to get on, Graham. Haven't you got any work to do?

God, Ray, are you all right?

I was going to ask you to sign this get-well card.

Now I don't suppose it's such a good...

Morning John, terrible news about Billy, isn't it?

Why are you always slooping around here, Graham?

You don't work in here, you work in the store room.

I was just getting Debra to sign this get-well card.

Yeah, well...

...just keep your fairy fingers to yourself.

I beg your pardon, John?

There's something about you, Graham, I just don't like.

What are you saying, John?

I'm not saying anything.

Just get back down there, with the wooden tops, where you belong.

This time there would be no error.

Tasteless, colourless, odorless, untraceable.

The ultimate elixir.


...and I would destroy the world.


As most of you will know, Billy and Ray...

...have both been admitted to hospital.

Now, there seems to be a rumour that their illness is related to some kind of bug.

And may therefore be contagious.

I don't know who started this, but it simply isn't true.

I don't need to remind you that this company has a higly lucrative order...

...due in Australia at the end of the month.

So I'm sure I can rely on you to put your hands to the pump...

...your shoulders to the wheel and uh... so on. Thank you.

Somebody said I was needed in stores.

Somebody want my body or something?


Anyone here?

What's going on?



For he's a jolly good fellow! For he's a jolly good fellow!

For he's a jolly good fellow!

And so say all of us!

John, I just wanted to say I'm sorry about the other day.

I was just trying to be friendly.

I would hate you to think that my intentions towards Debra...

...were anything but entirely honourable.

Forget it son. Thanks for the cake.

They make quite a couple, don't they?

If I could have your attention, please!

Please! I'm sorry!

I've just received some devastating news.

Ray Braithwaite is dead.

John, control yourself!

He passed away at half past six this evening.


This is Graham. Graham Young. I'm a friend of John's from work.

I just wanted to enquire about his health.

He's feeling very poorly I'm afraid.

Oh, dear.

Is he in much pain?

We had the doctor in a little while ago. He says... he sees no improvement.

He's gonna have to have him admitted.

Has there been much vomiting and so forth?

Yes. Yes, I see.

Well, I wish you strength. Goodbye.

We've just heard about Billy. He's gone. Went in the middle of the night.

They say he was begging for a gun to shoot himself in the end.

John's in intensive care. And Pete's wife phoned up to say he'd lost all his hair!

Looks like a three quarters plucked chicken, she says.

I don't want to lose my hair!

She's been ill too over the weekend.

There's talk now we may have some new kind of bubonic plague on our hands.

Well I'm going to scour out our every corner of that kitchen for starters.

No one's going to say Edna hadn't done her bit.

It's my hunch that there's some kind of dreadful mismanagement going on here.

It's the chemicals used to produce the lenses.

They can't afford to lose the Australian order...

...and they will sacrifice as many workers as it takes to get it in on time.

You mark my words. This health inspection is going to be a whitewash.

But if you believe this to be true, Graham, why haven't you told the authorities?

You should go to the police.

When I was a child I had a sort of breakdown.

My mother was killed in a terrible road accident.

They sent me to a home for treatment.

I made a complete recovery, of course.

No one here knows my medical history.

Once they know I was there, they could use me as their scape goat.

Blame me in some way.

It was a terrible place, Debra.

I don't think I could live another day if I thought they were going to send me back there.

Don't you worry, Graham.

Nobody's going to put you back in that hole.

Your secret's safe with me.

Well, we have some good news, and some bad news.

After extensive investigations...

...I can happily say that everything here appears to be fine.

That's the good news. The bad news is...

...that it doesn't bring us any closer to understanding what this thing is.

It could be... as yet unexplained strain of influenza?

Could be a mini-plague? Carried by fleas?

Could even be radioactivity from your nearby government airfield.

I'm just suggesting possibilities.

In the mean time, I have no reason to keep you from your work.

Have you considered heavy metal poisoning?

What makes you ask that?

Well, from what I've read on the Barchington Tribune...

Ray's symptoms and those of the other victims...

...are constant with some form of metallic toxicity.

The convulsions, tachicardia, rapid onset of allopecia, ...blackening of the fingernails.

Discoloration of the skin around the nose and scrotum.

I'm anxious not to open this discussion up to idle speculation...

We'll look into it, meanwhile, back to work.

Thank you.

As the days went by, it became clearer and clearer...

...that my life's work was nearing completion.

Soon I'd be able to bring the fruits of my labour to the world at large.

That Saturday morning all hands were on deck for the Australian order.

Seriously jeopardized by the spate of ill health.

Here I would put my final compound to the test.

Soon the ultimate weapon would be mine.

The final solution.





I wish he'd hurry up with that tea, I'm parched.

I'll go see what's keeping him.

Graham, Edna, Debra, Darcy, Mark, Simon, Ron and Tom.

Graham, Edna, Debra, Darcy, Mark, Simon, Ron and Tom.

Come on, Graham. They'll be frozen by the time--

I'm coming!

All right.

Don't forget the sugar there... in the cupboard.

No, wait!

Tea's up!

The two in the left are sugared for Tom and Ron.

Look at these aren't they posh? What happened to all our old mugs?

He had me chuck them all out, because of the disease.

No, not those. They are for Tom and Mark.

I mean, Tom and Ron!

I don't take sugar. Don't have one then.

No, no that! That's for Simon!

And Ron.

I didn't want one without sugar.

Oh, it has some sugar. No, it hasn't.

Put it back!

Come on, any one of these will do.

Hold on! Hold on!

I'll sort this out! That's fine. No sugar.


What's the matter, Graham?

It's him.

He's the disease.

It's been him all along.

He's been poisoning our mugs.

Give me one.

You stupid woman.



And I wonder why it all went so horribly wrong for me.

Perhaps my step-mother was right.

Maybe I really did contaminate everything I touched.

I wonder if it could ever have been any different.

Are we destined to live the lives we do?

Or does the power of change lie within our grasp?

I don't suppose we'll ever know.

In the meantime I leave this handbook to those of you...

...who are thinking of travelling in my path.

If you find yourself falling under...

...the spell of poisons and their influence...

...may it be of some use to you on that strange and fascinating journey.

Your humble servant:

Graham Young.

Dr. Ernest Zeigler, Psychiatric Counsellor The Clairmont Old Age People's Home, Hawkhurst, Kent.

Graham Young was found dead in his prison cell on the 22nd of August 1990.

The cause of his death remains a mystery.