To Die for Spain
by John Finch
Episode Number: 2
Director: Tim Jones
|Edwin Ashton||Colin Douglas|
|Jean Ashton||Shelagh Fraser|
|Margaret Ashton||Lesley Nunnerley|
|John Porter||Ian Thompson|
|Philip Ashton||Keith Drinkel|
|Tommy Rust||Tony Calvin|
|The Ashton Home||John is about to leave after listening to records ("Tchaikovsky, mostly") with Margaret. |
He engages in small talk with Philip, but the conversation is one-sided, with Philip remaining tight-lipped.
At the front door, John gives Margaret a full kiss on the mouth.
Philip recounts for Margaret the air raids he experienced in Spain, describing them as "exciting."
At 3 o'clock in the morning, Philip tip-toes downstairs with suitcase in hand.
Edwin is in the living room, unable to sleep, and he offers Philip some tea.
Returning from the kitchen, Edwin notices Philip’s suitcase in the hallway.
He asks Philip about the suitcase, and Philip admits that he is planning to rejoin his brigade in Spain.
Edwin says that is a lost cause, a bloodbath, but Philip disagrees.
Jean overhears the argument, and soon thereafter so does Margaret.
Margaret confronts Philip and says that she will never forgive him for going back to Spain, nor Edwin for letting him go.
|The Pyrenees, Spain||Philip returns to his old unit, which is now decimated and scattered. |
The officer in charge, Lieutenant Norton, has become a defeatist, and he scoffs at Philip's idealism.
Sergeant Parker, a confirmed Bolshevist, seems to enjoy picking on a dimwitted youth, Podmore, whom Norton used to teach in school years ago.
Parker tells Philip that Norton has gone soft, and he tries to persuade him to join the communist party and become a card-carrying member.
|The Ashton Home||Margaret is not on speaking terms with Edwin, who insists that he tried his best to stop Philip from going. |
After an emotional exchange, openly sharing their worries about Philip, Margaret and Edwin are reconciled.
|The Pyrenees, Spain||Norton tells Philip that he joined up because he hated the fascists and loved Spain. |
Podmore tries to desert during a battle, and Parker urges Norton to shoot him in the back.
Norton refuses to shoot Podmore, but the lad is slain by the fascists as he ventures toward their lines.
Philip is becoming visibly disillusioned, even deciding against sending home the presumably cheery letter he has written.
Parker accuses Norton of refusing to attack the forces holding Hill 286, but Norton denies the allegation.
Parker tries to convince dubious Philip to join the party, claiming that "the end justifies the means."
The sergeant then confronts Philip with what amounts to an ultimatum: "With us or against us, lad?"
Secretly, Parker has dispatched Rust to partisan headquarters, and Rust returns with an official order to take the hill.
Norton refuses to issue the order and turns to walk away, so Parker aims his rifle at him, saying, "Where do you think you're going?"
The officer, exhausted by the war and resigned to his fate, replies, "Do you know, I think I'm going home," and continues walking.
Parker pursues Norton, intent on shooting him in the back, but Philip desperately jostles Parker's weapon enough to cause the bullet merely to strike Norton in the arm.
Sergeant Parker shoves Philip away and now takes careful aim, striking Norton fatally in the back.
Parker angrily shouts to Philip, "The end justifies the means."
Philip yells back, "No," throws down his rifle, and begins to walk away from Parker and what remains of the unit.
Parker shouts, "You can't do that!" and fires at Philip, striking him in the leg.
Fanatical to the end, Parker orders his comrades to keep firing at the enemy.
|The Ashton Home||Margaret is busy removing a button that she has sewn onto John's coat, sensing that John's mother, Celia, may have preferred to do the mending herself. |
Jean is puzzled, suggesting that removal of what already has been affixed seems like an awful waste of time.
Philip, home from the war in Spain and recuperating from his leg wound, joins Edwin and Jean in listening over the radio to a reassuring message of peace from Neville Chamberlain.
Jean smiles in great relief and says, "I knew it would be all right in the end. Didn't I tell you?"
Edwin nods his head, but Philip, across the room, does not seem so sure.
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