01x08 - Episode 08

Episode transcripts for the TV show "Taboo". Aired: January 2017 to present.
Set in 1814, "Taboo" is about an adventurer who returns to Britain from Africa along with fourteen stolen diamonds to seek vengeance after the death of his father.
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01x08 - Episode 08

Post by bunniefuu »

When you first came back, you told me you loved me.

There is no us.

I'm investigating the sinking of a sloop called the Cornwallis.

I want you to write an account naming Sir Stuart Strange as the man who organised the loading with slaves.

For the safe.

You witnessed the division of the g*n and you heard its destination?

On direct instruction of James Delaney himself, sir.

We have Delaney, we have Nootka, we have the China trade.

They will walk you along a tightrope.

A line between life and death.

I will give you all the information that you request.

In return, I will need a single meeting with Sir Stuart Strange.

If your witness is Delaney, he is being held in the Tower of London, charged with treason.

No, I have another witness.

When my ship is ready, I will send for you.

You don't have a bloody ship!

Brace, I spoke to a witness.

It wasn't James that k*lled the girl, it was the East India Company.

I need to tell James.

- They've got him.

- Where is he?

They took him to the Tower.

- I'm here.

- I have a use for you.

ZILPHA: Dear James at last, I have found a way out of the cage in which I have been living.

Eyes I didn't know I had were opened.

I saw the limits of my life, the iron bars around my soul.

At last, I found a way to slip between them.

I intend to leave society, leave London, leave England behind, travel to a place where I will be free.

It is a place where, someday, I hope we will meet and be happy.

[Bell tolls]

In those days, I always chose boys who had the shadow of death on them.

I thought they would be less likely to return.

Of course, they do return as ghosts.

- Now I'm older-- - How many boys?

How many Company boys did you send to crew your private ships?

Please, don't believe that I will say anything to confirm or deny any action past, present or future, in any regard whatsoever to this business.

But the point is, you see You didn't die, did you?

Not even over there, where everyone dies.


No, I did not.

I was rescued by an African who saved me and he cured me and he showed me to myself.

The things I did in Africa make your transactions look paltry.

I witnessed and participated in darkness that you cannot conceive.

And will you be including that in your account to the Royal Commission?


Luckily, I'm not being tried for that today.



- They serve good hock to traitors.

- Perhaps you'll be served the same.

I understand you asked poor, sweet Godfrey - to write an account, too.

- Hmm.

I assume you want to make some sort of a deal?

Is this the extent of your ambition?

It is in return for my silence, and for Godfrey to burn his account.


I can't deliver that.

Then you had better get used to the taste.

I'm working on this, here.

"When the Cornwallis left Cabinda and became the Influence, it was I, James Delaney, who stowed the Jack and Company flags.

" Tut, tut, tut.

"An East India ship, renamed, laden with illegal slaves and flying the Stars and Stripes at the direct request of Sir Stuart Strange.

" That's treason.

One living witness.

In one hour, I will be interviewed by the King's private secretary, three attorneys and half a dozen clerks.

They will want it in writing.


And at midday, Godfrey, poor, sweet Godfrey he will deliver his own account to the Royal Commission, confirming how you concealed your ownership of this ship and its cargo by committing treason.

So that's one living witness and one account from an East India Company clerk, prepared to give information heard under a raised hand.

Keep it.

I remember it all.

I need a ship.

You have four hours.

[Bell tolls]


I'm going out.

I need to see someone.

From Mr.



- [Hurried footsteps]

- Mr.




I have a message for you, sir, from Mr.


How the hell did he find me?

Just humour me.

I'm a scientist, so I'm curious.

He sees me in my dreams.

Is that it?

I just deliver messages, sir.


Good boy.



Ah, f*ck it!

[Hurried footsteps]

Gentlemen, there are things I need you to do.

Are you going to teach me, then?

Yeah, go on, go on, hit the ball.

[She giggles]

Swing for it, then.

You're not holding it tight enough!

Where's the other one?

- Sorry, sir.

- She don't speak, she's in mourning.

Fetch her.

I've had a coach drawn up.

You ladies are going on a tour of the grounds.

At the point of a bayonet, if necessary.

Bring her!

Come on!

I want to know where you're taking us.



[James speaks other language]

Tell them that I'm not ready.

I need to see a doctor.

Watch him!


Delaney is in need of a doctor, sir.

He must be bluffing.

Or has he fallen off the tightrope?

Well, you go and bring the doctor, then.

And we can all pray to God that we haven't completely fried his brain.

Hold up!


The rest of you, out now!

These gentlemen are actually here to rescue you.


If it was down to me, you'd have been d*ad long ago.

Delaney orders you shouldn't be harmed.

There's still plenty of cocks left for you to suck.

The agreement is that you take the ladies away in the coach and I walk back to the house and report that they were kidnapped.

In truth, your beloved child was k*lled for a greater purpose.

Isn't that right, Mr.


There is an agreement in place between my master and yours.

Indeed there is.

[Horse neighs, women gasp]

Get in.

Drive on!

[Door opens]

A brig called the Good Hope.

It is fitted out for a voyage to Constantinople and is set to leave tomorrow on the ebb.

- Is it yet loaded?

- No.

Draw up papers to have it diverted.

Have it rowed to Wapping Wall by a skeleton crew.

It's to be tied up, with only provisions onboard.

Enough for a crew of 15 for a two-month journey.

- For what reason, sir?

- Hm?

What I mean is, what is the official reason I should give in the daybook?

The official reason.

Well, let's see "The Good Hope was taken to Wapping Wall for an unannounced inspection of its hull for short measure of tar, in case of fraudulent accounting by the ship fitters, Master and Preece.

" Hmm?

Put that in the daybook.

And what is the official reason for sending two Company dray carts to Bedlam Insane Asylum?

Because this whole thing is insane.

Because this day is insane, because Delaney is insane!

Because I am insane!

Just do it.

Should we await Mr.

Pettifer's return?

No, we should not await Mr.

Pettifer's return.

Just f*ck off, will you?

Come on, out.

We need to burn this.

Atticus, I want an explanation.

Helga, get in!

Come on!

It's all right.

You've nothing to fear.


Temple was on the foreshore.

He saw James sleeping in the mud and Winter lay down beside him.

He then saw a man arrive in a boat.

"Moving like a ghost," wasn't he?

It was this ghost that k*lled your Winter, as she slept.

The man then got back in the boat, Temple followed him along the foreshore, where he was met by someone on the other side.

They were in a carriage, like the one you just came out of.

The East India Company?

Is that the truth, little boy?

You know what happens to little boys that lie, don't you?

I swear, it's the truth.

James is offering you a new start.

So, James.

Things that go bang.


Things that cause confusion.

His Majesty's representatives want to know how much longer.

Another half an hour, at least.

[Door slams]

I swear to God, he was beaten half to death before he yelped, "Enough!

" Why do so many of them choose to be beaten?


One told me it's like pissing.

You build up the power inside your belly and then you need to let it out, and a good thrashing from a Countess does the trick, apparently.

Full house.

Shall we refer our opinions to Dr.


[Whispers] : Who on earth is that?


I thought you'd be alone.

Well, as you can see, I am not.

What do you want?

Well, I believe we have an appointment.

My only appointment is with intoxication.

As you may recall, I represent a company which produces products which restore and enhance female beauty.

And also a certain feminine product, which you may prefer to discuss in private.

I don't recall.

Pixie, perhaps as well as medicine for your poor, worn-out chuff, the lady may have something to repair a faulty memory.

Do you have a beauty product which would bag me an admiral?

I have a product which would allow you to accommodate an entire fleet, without discomfort, admiral and rear admiral.

My products include paints and oils, but in particular powder.

And for those of us who have secrets, marks, blemishes-- We have ways of preserving those secrets.

Those who use it will do almost anything for it, when their supply is exhausted.

The name of the powder is Collonade.

And you have samples?


Perhaps I could show you in person how to apply it for best advantage?

Ladies, I will be back before the sandwiches.

How dull life was before Musgrove.

What the f*ck are you doing?

Coming to my house and talking of powder?

I work for James Delaney.

- He's in the Tower.

- Not for long.

He sails today.

And he requires the letter for safe passage, the codes for the flags.

And I get the Treaty in return?


You see, there's a letter which we will send to Solomon Coop, revealing that you titillate and intoxicate on behalf of the Americans.

If I fail to return, it will be delivered by midday.

James Delaney also says to tell Collonade that you do, indeed, have a leaky ship.

But he's found the leak and will fix it, as long as you cooperate.


What are you to him?

I'm Mrs.


His wife.


His mother.

[Boy singing]: Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St.

clements You owe me five farthings, say the bells of St.

Martin's When will you pay me, say the bells of Old Bailey This just arrived for you, sir.

Thank you.

When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch "The whores are freed.

" [James grunts]

I'm ready.

No, you're not.

I'm not finished.

I'm ready.

Come on!

So, erm, now the witness is sewn together we can begin.

Please confirm that you are James Keziah Delaney of Chamber House, Wapping Wall, London lately accused of conspiring with the members of the Secret Society of Correspondence against His Majesty The King.

And you have pledged to give us the names of the Americans who conspired with you, and others unnamed, to commit acts of treason within the confines of the City of London.

[Birds squawk]

[James speaks other language]

Mr. Delaney [He continues to speak other language]

Mr. Delaney, unless you give up the names of your co-conspirators every single stitch they have just put into your flesh I will pull out myself with my fingernails.

[He continues to speak other language]

Give us the names, or you will be racked!

[He continues to speak other language]

I will squash your balls myself and make you eat the paste.

You promised to give me those names.

[Birds squawk]

Did I?

I must've lied.

I will tell you one thing, though.

All the charges of treason brought against me by the members of the East India Company they will be dropped before midday.

Witnesses vanish.

Testimonies, they burn.

Demands will be met, and pride will be swallowed.

And when morning becomes afternoon then I will become a free man.

[Birds squawk]

How would you know that?

The ravens just told me.

[Birds squawk]

Shit, shit, shit, shit!

So This is the last one.

Yes, sir.

I hear the case is altered.

Indeed, Your Majesty.

We have to release Delaney.

Put a feather in his hat Psst!

[Bell rings]


It will happen.

On you, Bill, yeah?

[g*n and screams]

Off my streets!

On you.

Brighton, Martinez, shut the street down, we're expecting visitors!

Come on, shift it!

Everyone else, you heard the man, off the streets!


[Knocks on door]


From Mr.


ZILPHA: I'm planning to journey to heaven, James.

I've realised the truth.

My cage is my flesh, I can shed it.

The River Thames will take me to God.

Death is just the turning of a key in a lock.

Whether God will accept me is another matter, perhaps my husband will have spoken of my betrayal.

Or perhaps my feelings for you, unforgiveable feelings for you, will mean the Thames will take me to a different place.

Whatever my destination, if you survive your recklessness, please, keep some part of my soul inside your own.

James, James!

I have it, I have the safe passage.

It damn near k*lled me.

What are you doing?

We should be leaving.

If she were d*ad, I would know it.

I would hear her and I would feel it as if there were a door open in this very house.

- Oh, James.

- No.


If she was in the river she would sing to me.

And I would hear her.

Her words are very certain.

How did I not know?

Because the d*ad don't sing.

If they don't sing, then how do I hear them?

That is a question to be asked and answered in America.

Is it not?

Tide's rising.

You've lots of people waiting for you, people who have given up everything for you, James.

The tide ebbs, she'll still be gone.

The tide won't bring her back.

You know, we could just sit here in these rotting chairs in this shitty house and die, like rats, like your father.

[He groans]

We ought to go to Nootka.

If anything it's a fine day to die at sea.

I have some unfinished business to take care of.

I'll be back.

We'll board together.

Straight to the ship.

Come on, boys, keep going.

Straight through.


Excuse me, sir?

- Sir!

Sir, you can't just-- - Let me through!

Let him in, let him in.

Mr. Chichester, how goes your investigation?

This will not stand.

Oh, but it will!

It always does.

Delaney would not make a deal with you.

The record will show that the EIC cooperated with your commission into the sinking of the Influence, fully and without reservation.

You're an idealist.

Delaney and I are realists.

But the difference between Delaney and me is that I always make sure I have one last ace to play.

Good day, Mr. Chichester.

I swear this will not stand.

[He laughs]

Argh God!

You look like you need laudanum.

I have an hour.

I need to be on the water by high tide.

- You have a ship?

- Hmm.

This laudanum is diluted somewhat with burdock, so you can continue to function.

But I doubt you'd be able to steer a ship to America.

You have people with you?


Delaney, I'm sure that you're probably expecting me to hand you your letter of safe passage.

But, I'm afraid, it isn't going to be that simple.

Nothing in this w*r between cousins is simple.

There's just a small hurdle that you have to leap over first.

Take a look.

It's a deed of transfer.


Transferring my title to Nootka Sound to the East India Company?

And your friend, Stuart Strange.

When I first met you, you told me that a sheep can be meat, but it can also be wool.

At first, the code eluded me.

But then I realised, it's not even a code, is it?

You're simply somebody's meat boy.

You present yourself as an agent of the free states of America, like a good little sheep.

But long since, you've been dangled in front of the King of England by the East India Company.


Now you're scrabbling, desperate.

Pulling your wool over everybody's eyes.

Possibly even your own.

Does it even matter?


No-one in this city has only one master.


I do.

ZILPHA: James, you came back.

You told me you loved me.

My sister.


You shall see me again.


Yes, sir?

Both hands.

Good boy.

Has he bothered to employ anyone who can actually sail that thing?

[Boy giggles]

No sparks, no flames, no inflammatory comments.

I'm covered in expl*sives.

Come on!

Load her up!

Where is Delaney?


She is now under the flag of the Honourable East India, so you will have no hindrance.

Tell Mr.

Delaney he may have won this small battle, but justice will be delivered to him by God.

Kind regards from Stuart Strange.

Get the body in the river, get the powder on the ship.


Come on, shift your arse!

Get it loaded now!


Get it loaded!

How is your religion these days, Coop?

My what?

Your religion, your faith.

After many years in your service, it is in rags and tatters, Your Highness.

And have you spoken about all this with God?

Well, I discuss things with my wife, in bed.


I talk to God.

I spoke to Him just now.

And what did God say?

Conversations between monarchs and God are private, but I will give you the gist of it.

Due to this monumental balls-up, everyone must hang.

East India, Americans, Irish, French - Dogs, cats, rabbits.

Why not?

- Your Highness - Priests, clerks, fitters - There is little doubt in my mind that senior directors at the East India have done a deal with Delaney.

Just f*cking k*ll him!

If he dies, then Nootka goes to the Americans, as per his will.

f*ck Nootka!

f*ck wills!

f*ck treaties!

I'm the head of f*cking state!

And by the command of His Majesty k*ll him.

Mary, Mary, out of the way!

Where are you keeping everyone?

In there.


You good?

15 minutes until high tide.

So, charges?

Yeah, yeah, the chemist.

He's a nightmare.

Cole will k*ll him with his own cock, if he's not sh*t today.

- Can't k*ll him.

- Why?

We need him.

He's a doctor.

Is the powder on the ship?

55 kegs onboard, 15 on the dock and two in the water.


Well, when we are 60 and ten, I need you to take the pilgrims and put them on the ship before the ebb.

Where are you going?

To explain the plans.

I don't want you to tell them the plans.

Besides, you're not coming.


Brace, you have always been my father's man, in my father's world.

We're headed to my mother's now.

James, tell me this, too, is mercy.

I'm an old man, I would never survive.

Tell me that's the reason.

Brace, you were not born for freedom.

You wouldn't know what to do with it.

It would t*rture you.

Now, go home.

Everything belongs to you now.

The soldiers are here!



Right, Robert, get down there, tell them to hurry up with that cargo.


Keep moving, all of you.


All right, you lot, you heard him-- Move!

The soldiers are coming.

Hurry up!

Come on, chop chop, let's go!


[Groaning and coughing]

Men, regroup!


Tide's about to turn, James.

Go and get them, put them on the ship now.

Move it.

[Soldiers scream]

Not yet!

Everybody out!

Come on!


Come on, now.

Move, move!

Get on there, quick.

Come on.


Leave it!

Leave it!


Get in!

Go, go!






: How many?




Aha, my final ace.

Still no word from Wilton or Pettifer, sir.


Perhaps they left early for the weekend.

As will I, I think.

How did this get here?

Some errand boy delivered it, sir, from a Dr. Dumbarton.

Said you'd be expecting it?

Tea, I think.

- Tea, sir?

- Yes.

All the tea in China, and a strip of land at the arse of a pig.

And an end to this business, at last.


Forgive me, the door was open.

I just received a note.


Delaney said he had left his account of the sinking of the Cornwallis and the account of the East India clerk, Godfrey.

It said I would find it in his room.

Which one is his room?

His room is the attic.

The one looking out to the river.






You always had such beautiful fingers.



I'm sorry for what I did to you.

I'm sorry.

You are forgiven.

[Whispers]: Thank you.

- Take the helm.

- Aye aye.

She's a good old girl.


America, then?


Ponta Delgada in the Azores.

I need to see a man called Collonade.

I thought the g*n was for the Americans.

We are Americans.
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