Voiceover: The following is the restored version of the infamous season six of the Great British Bake Off, which ran for only one episode and was pulled from the air for reasons of national security. It is now being aired in its original and complete form for the first time.
Viewer discretion advised.
[Exterior. Camera comes up on a green field and a vast white tent. SUE and MEL are standing in front of a row of twelve smiling people wearing white aprons.]
SUE: The grass is green, the birds are chirping, and the bread is blooming.
MEL: These bakers were chosen from thousands. Now just twelve remain.
SUE & MEL: Welcome—to THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF.
[Montage. Bakers scurrying around the tent waving icing bags; a tall white man in a curiously heavy coat swears at his oven; a twentysomething redhead sharpens knives as something catches fire in the background.]
SUE [voiceover]: The class of 2015 is an eclectic lot. They’ve come from all over the United Kingdom, and for the first time ever, we’ve allowed a few colonials to join us.
[Closeup on the tall man in the heavy coat. His face and long hair are covered in flour, and he’s holding up a wad of dough to check for gluten development. He looks around shiftily before confiding in the camera.]
ICHABOD: No need to be rude about it. “Colonial.” Humph! How many of them used to teach at Oxford, I’d like to know?
[He drops his dough on the ground.]
MEL [voiceover]: Our first week is cake week. Our dozen contestants will place their cakes under the keen eyes of professional baker Paul Hollywood and that legendary master of the baking arts, Mary Berry.
[Camera pans over the bakers, ready behind their tables. MARY and PAUL walk into the tent. PAUL is wearing a bright blue shirt and MARY is in pink. SUE and MEL join them.]
SUE: Good morning, bakers, and welcome to Cake Week. Before we get started, we should note that we have apparently lost a baker to the vagaries of the Customs Agency. Is that right?
MEL: Unfortunately, yes, there was a problem with one of our bakers’ imported ingredients from his home in America, so our twelfth baker, Hannibal, will not be joining us.
SUE: That means that our judges will have the option this week of a stay of execution: either one or none of you will be going home after today’s work.
MEL: So bake to impress, ladies and gentlemen!
SUE: For this signature bake, we’re asking you to deliver us a beautiful sponge cake. It can be any kind of sponge, decorated however you like. It should be something that’s really you.
MEL: You’ve got three hours, bakers! On your mark—
SUE: Get set—
SUE & MEL: Bake!
[Montage: Bakers prepare their dough. A very pale girl is pointing a stick at her egg whites and murmuring in Latin; a Nordic-looking man hand-mixes so hard the mixing bowl breaks; a grey-haired white man is tempering chocolate and checking an oven timer.]
[Camera finds PAUL and MARY approaching a baking station, accompanied by SUE and MEL, where a young black man in what looks like a lab coat is typing rapidly on a computer that’s wired into a KitchenAid mixer.]
MARY: Goodness, how—original.
PAUL: What’s that there?
ALEC [unconvincing Cockney or possibly Welsh accent]: Good morning, guvnor. I’m just hooking the ol’ mixer up to some modern technologies, wot? Got to calibrate the precise right speed of mixing. Then I’ll just tell the machine wot to do. Wave of the bleedin’ future.
SUE: I, for one, welcome our robot cake overlords.
MARY: And what are you making for us today?
ALEC: This is the sponge cake that my Nana—
[The blonde woman cooking behind ALEC coughs loudly.]
ALEC: —that my, uh, girlfriend makes for Passover. [whispering oddly toward his left ear] What? They said, bake something that’s you. This is me.
MEL: Sorry, who are you talking to?
ALEC [accent slipping]: Uh, no one, just, y’know, pep talk. This is ME, PEOPLE! Sponge cake in the HOUSE!
PAUL: ...I look forward to it.
[PAUL and MARY walk to another baking station, where a ginger-haired white woman of middling years is whisking something in a metal bowl placed over a boiling pot of water. Steam clouds her face.]
PAUL: Hallo there.
MARY: This looks promising.
MOLLY: Oh hello, sorry, only I’ve just put this on to whisk and I forgot what time it’s whisked until— [She looks around, then sees and picks up a glowing red ball] Oh, Merlin’s beard! Well, nothing for it. This is a Genoise, if you haven’t guessed!
[Camera cuts away to a diagram of a surprisingly tall Genoise cake, topped with what appear to be lit sparklers.]
MEL [voiceover]: MOLLY’s chocolate Genoise is a family favorite, and will be layered with caramel orange buttercream, and topped with homemade “sparkling” orange sugar candy.
[Camera returns to MOLLY, who is still whisking, her attention on the judges unperturbed by the movement of her arm.]
MARY: That sounds lovely. And aren’t you clever, I see that you’ve reserved the peel and made a zest. I’m really looking forward to this.
MOLLY: Thank you, dear!
MEL [whispering]: Don’t forget you’re holding that!
MOLLY [looking at the glowing ball, which was about to end up in the mixing bowl]: Oh yes, thanks!
[PAUL and MARY walk past a thin blond woman who appears to be talking to her dough and approach a very tall white man with a well-trimmed beard. He’s humming as he chops chocolate. Camera shifts slightly to keep everyone else in the same frame with him, but because of his height, only their faces and shoulders are visible.]
PAUL: Hello, Will, what have we got today?
WILL: This is one of my family’s favorite recipes! Booch de Nole!
[In the background, a pale woman with fluffy brown hair and dark eyes sputters into her dough and covers it with a cough.]
SUE: Ah yes, Booch de Nole! An old favorite.
PAUL: ...Bûche de Noël?
WILL: Yes indeed!
[Camera cuts away to a diagram of a Yule log cake with little mushrooms on top.]
MEL [voiceover]: WILL is opting for an original turn on the holiday classic, creating a Yule log made with a chocolate sponge flavored with pine buttercream—and topped with actual mushrooms.
[Camera returns to MARY and PAUL, who look a bit stunned.]
MARY: I do wonder what the pine flavoring will be like. [to PAUL] I’ve never heard of that, have you?
PAUL: No. I definitely haven’t. And you’re putting real mushrooms on top? Not sugar or fondant mushrooms?
SUE: Real authenticity, right there. Mushrooms and pine, just like a real log.
WILL [grinning]: Exactly.
[He chops happily as everyone else backs slowly away.]
[Camera follows PAUL and MARY to another station, where a black woman who looks like a Disney princess is angrily hand-mixing eggs and sugar. Her mixer is in pieces on the table.]
MARY: My goodness, what happened here?
ABBIE: Nothing. ...You know sometimes it’s like your appliances are possessed?
MEL: Yes, I had a vacuum cleaner like that once. Made a noise like it was speaking in tongues.
[ABBIE looks up sharply.]
ABBIE: I could look into that for you.
PAUL: ...So what’s the cake for today?
ABBIE: This is gonna be a hot milk cake.
MEL: A hot—milk cake. Are most cakes made with cold milk?
MARY: It’s an American recipe, a sort of cousin to the Victoria sponge. You scald the milk before adding it to the batter. I’ve never made one, but I’ve always wanted to try it.
[Camera cuts away to a diagram of a large square cake covered in buttercream.]
SUE [voiceover]: ABBIE is creating something never before seen on THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF: an American “hot milk” cake with a mocha buttercream frosting.
[Camera returns to ABBIE, still beating the eggs. PAUL picks up a small bowl of powder sitting nearby.]
PAUL: This is made with baking powder, I see.
ABBIE: Yeah, but it’s beating the eggs that gives it the real aeration. Requires some elbow grease.
PAUL: That’s an ambitious recipe, because of that scalded milk. The timing has to be just right. If you add it to the batter too quickly, the heat can deflate the eggs and ruin the whole sponge.
ABBIE [gritting her teeth]: Well, my mama made it all the time and I learned it from her, so I guess we’ll see what gets deflated, won’t we?
PAUL: Thank you, Abbie.
ABBIE: Uh huh.
MARY: Thank you!
[Montage. ICHABOD frantically rushes from one side of the tent to the other, a piping bag in each hand; the Nordic-looking man and the thin blond woman whisper urgently to one another, staring into an oven; the young redhead slices strawberries with terrifying speed and precision.]
MEL: Fifteen minutes, bakers!
ALEC: Ah, hell. My sponge fell in.
[ALEC suddenly puts his hand to his ear.]
ALEC: Turn it over? Oh—okay. Okay, man, no need to be rude.
[He puts down a baking tray, flips the sponge cake over onto it, and puts it back in the oven.]
SUE: Five minutes! Five minutes, everyone!
[Montage. ABBIE delicately spreads soft buttercream on a yellow cake; MOLLY carefully inserts spikes of sugar candy into a seamless topping of tempered chocolate; the dark-eyed woman pipes white trim onto a pink-frosted bundt.]
MEL: Time’s up, bakers! Step away from your sponges!
[Close-ups on some of the finished cakes and their bakers: the redhead sits next to a plump angel food cake topped with strawberries and powdered sugar; ICHABOD frowns at a small and rather dense cake with royal icing; and the thin blond woman smiles at a very precise chocolate Swiss roll dotted with chocolate truffles. Camera cuts to MARY and PAUL waiting at the judging table.]
MARY: Molly, would you bring your cake to the front, please?
[MOLLY sets her Genoise cake in front of them. The chocolate is glossy, every layer of sponge is visible, and the orange candies on top seem to be fizzing and sparking.]
MARY: Doesn’t that look tempting. What a beautiful shine you’ve got on that chocolate.
PAUL: Are those candies going to hurt me if I eat one?
MOLLY: No. Well. Probably not. I didn’t have time to do all the charm—er, to finish setting them. But you’ll be fine.
[PAUL cuts a slice with a candy on it. MARY takes a forkful.]
MARY: Now, that is a nice bake. You can really taste the orange, and it works with both the flavor of the caramel and the sponge. And that’s so hard to do in a Genoise.
PAUL: That candy... is absolutely brilliant.
PAUL: The way it fizzes in your mouth—it works perfectly with the light citrus flavor of the orange and the smoothness of the chocolate. The whole thing is innovative without losing that classic Genoise look and taste. Really well done.
MOLLY: Thank you! Oh, I’ll tell my boys. They’ll be so proud I got the candy right.
[She takes the cake back. Camera cuts to ALEC placing his sponge cake in front of the judges. It’s dusted with powdered sugar and presented upside down. MARY begins cutting a slice.]
PAUL: Are you hiding something?
ALEC [nervous, in an unconvincing Irish accent]: What d’ye mean, boyo?
PAUL: Let’s look... under here.
[He flips the cake slice on its side. ALEC visibly relaxes. In the background, blurry, the thin blond woman also relaxes and smiles.]
PAUL: Yeah. Took that out of the oven too soon, didn’t you?
ALEC: I—yeah. Yes.
PAUL: It’s fallen underneath, right here. It was clever to cook it the rest of the way upside down, to preserve the aeration you hadn’t lost yet.
ALEC [seemingly to the air, not talking to PAUL]: Thanks, man.
[MARY and PAUL take forkfuls of the cake.]
MARY: It is a shame about the bake. But that taste is wonderful. Just the way a good sponge should be—light, a little moist, and with that lemon flavor coming through. I think your Nana would be very proud.
[MARY’s eyes twinkle. ALEC gives her a sudden sharp look, as if reevaluating something.]
ALEC: Thank you.
[He removes the cake. Camera cuts to ABBIE putting down a large square cake coated in a massive layer of buttercream which has been laid down with broad, artistically messy strokes.]
MARY: Doesn’t that look tempting. It really does look homemade, in the best sense. Made with great love and care.
[PAUL cuts a slice, and he and MARY take bites and look at one another.]
PAUL: That is marvelous.
MARY: It’s such an unusual recipe, isn’t it, the hot milk cake? And the flavor is so delicate, but you haven’t overwhelmed it with the buttercream. The coffee flavor is gentle, and it complements the cake perfectly. That takes great skill. I may even ask you for the recipe later, if you don’t mind.
ABBIE: I—wow. Okay. Yeah. Thank you!
[Montage: the other contestants bring their cakes, at which MARY and PAUL nod approvingly or offer mild criticism. Camera cuts to everyone back at their stations.]
PAUL: And lastly—Will, your cake?
[WILL brings up his Yule log cake, which is oddly shaped and definitely has uncooked mushrooms all over it.]
[PAUL stares at WILL.]
MARY: My goodness.
PAUL: It looks a mess, to be honest.
WILL: Oh, right. Okay? It does? I mean it’s sort of a log—
PAUL [pointing]: Look here—you haven’t even finished covering it with the icing. And I think that roll is coming apart. If we lift it— [PAUL lifts it with a fork.]
MARY: That is a soggy bottom. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Yule log with a soggy bottom.
PAUL: What did you make the pine flavor out of?
WILL: Well, I boiled some pine needles, and mixed the water with the cream—
PAUL: You put water? in your buttercream? Oh my God.
WILL: Well I wasn’t sure where to get pine essence—
MARY: Let’s try a slice.
[MARY cuts a slice. She offers PAUL a forkful with a mushroom on it. He winces and takes it.]
MARY [chewing]: Oh dear.
[PAUL spits his bite out into a napkin.]
PAUL: That is truly disgusting.
WILL: Oh. Okay? Is it the—
MARY: One doesn’t generally put raw vegetables on desserts, and I believe there’s a good reason for that. I appreciate that the decorations are edible, of course, but I think we could have done with a bit less verisimilitude in this case.
PAUL [in a slightly strangled voice]: Just. A bit simpler next time.
WILL: All right. Thank you.
[WILL carries away his cake, looking crestfallen. The dark-eyed woman pats him on the back as he passes her.]
PAUL [whispering]: How did he get on the show?
[Camera cuts to a series of interviews with the bakers in front of a nearby pond, commenting on how well they feel they’ve done. Camera spends a lot of time focusing on the cute squirrels and ducks by the water’s edge.]
ABBIE: Well, obviously that couldn’t have gone much better. Yeah, I admit— [laughing] I’m surprised.
WILL: You know, it’s just never the same when you’re not working with your own replicator. I mean tools. Replicating your own—recipes. Everyone on board likes it. I mean they’re on board with it. My family. No complaints so far. So yeah.
ALEC: I just don’t know why he would think I was trying to hide something. Just hurtful. [suddenly speaking with an unconvincing Scottish accent] Know what I mean, laddie?
MOLLY: Oh, I’m just so excited! I can’t wait for the next round, actually.
[Camera comes up on SUE and MEL back in the tent.]
SUE: Now the next round is our technical, which will be judged blind, so Paul and Mary—off you jog.
MEL: All right bakers, we won’t drive you nuts wondering about the technical.
SUE: We’re just going to spice things up a bit.
MEL: But don’t go getting fruity.
SUE: That’s right, bakers—this week’s technical is Mary Berry’s very own classic fruit cake.
[An audible gasp from the grey-haired man near the back.]
MEL: Now as you’ll see from the recipe, bakers, this happens in two stages, so you have 30 minutes to prepare your filling and then leave your fruit here overnight.
SUE: Does that mean you’re leaving me here, love?
MEL: Nah. Haven’t got enough brandy here to soak you in.
[Montage. ALEC whispering urgently to the thin blond woman; WILL chopping fruit dejectedly; the very pale blond girl peering over at MOLLY’s station.]
SUE: That’s it, bakers! Time to put it all away!
[Exterior. Camera pans over the green grass and the pond. The bakers walk double-file into the tent, where SUE and MEL are standing at the front of the room.]
MEL [voiceover]: The next morning, our bakers return to finish the technical, hoping that they’ve prepared the filling correctly for their classic fruit cakes.
SUE: All right, bakers, you have five and a half hours! Finish that cake!
MEL: God, you could finish off three cakes in five and a half hours.
SUE: I could finish off three cakes in five and a half minutes.
[Camera cuts to the Nordic-looking man, who is wearing a very tight t-shirt that reads Keep Austin Weird. He’s also poking at his oven and frowning.]
THOR: I have been practicing using these advanced cooking devices with my girlfriend, Jane! She has many scientific instruments in her apartment. This oven should be no problem.
[He presses a button. The oven makes an ear-splitting, continuous beeping noise. Behind THOR, the young redhead claps her hands over her ears and looks murderous. THOR frowns.]
[SUE is talking animatedly with the thin blond woman, whose face is smeared with what looks like fruit juice. She looks angry.]
SUE: So you’ve never made fruitcake before?
PARKER: Who makes fruitcake? Nobody, that’s who.
SUE: You’re not a fan?
PARKER: This is why America rebelled. Not tea. This. We rebelled so we could have freedom. Yeah. And chocolate. It all comes back to British people. British people and their [CENSORED] love for fruitcake.
[Camera cuts to ICHABOD, cheerfully lounging on his station.]
ICHABOD: Oh God, I love fruitcake. Who doesn’t? Fruitcake every winter, as soon as the fruit was sufficiently dried. Our cook used to make it from Hannah Glasse’s recipe, and I would sneak into the kitchens and steal the almonds before they went in the batter. It’s as British as pressganging.
[Montage: MOLLY kneeling in front of her oven and murmuring; THOR opening his oven to a faceful of smoke; ICHABOD pouring brandy over a steaming cake; PARKER and ALEC talking quickly outside the tent.]
MEL: All right, that’s it, bakers! Put your fruitcakes up!
[The bakers bring their cakes to the front of the room, where they place each cake behind a picture of their own face.]
SUE [voiceover]: Because the technical is judged blind, our judges won’t know who’s made which fruitcake.
[SUE and MEL return to the front of the tent, along with MARY. They all look a tad grim.]
MEL: Bakers, I’m afraid we have a bit of a situation. Paul came down with something last night, and while the doctors say he’ll be fine, I’m afraid he won’t be joining us today.
[A number of bakers look pointedly at WILL.]
SUE: In his stead, we managed this morning to secure the services of an American food critic who’s come in from London to judge the technical and our showstopper, which will be the final round of the weekend.
[A handsome white man with very blue eyes and a ponytail enters the tent to stand with MARY, but a little behind her, almost like a bodyguard.]
SUE: Please welcome the popular food critic and blogger, Eliot Blintzmaker.
ELIOT [whispering]: Dammit, Hardison.
MARY: Don’t these cakes look wonderful. Quite a lot of variation, though.
ELIOT: I—yes, ma’am.
MARY: Shall we tuck in?
[ELIOT and MARY take a bite of the first cake.]
MARY: Fruit’s a bit tough.
ELIOT: Very tough. [frowning] This person didn’t add enough brandy to soak.
MARY [approvingly]: Quite right. The fruit must macerate in the brandy. That’s what makes it tender.
[They try the next two cakes.]
MARY: This one’s nice. Good flavor. A little underbaked, though.
ELIOT: This one’s totally burned. Just a disaster. I don’t even wanna swallow that.
[Camera pans over to THOR, whose brow furrows. Soot and ash are smeared on his hands and arms, as if he had put out a fire with his bare hands. Camera cuts back to MARY, who’s trying the next cake.]
MARY: Good spice. A little heavy on the brandy, I think. What would you say?
ELIOT: I’d agree, ma’am. Look at these pockets of dough: that’s because Har—this person rolled their fruit in flour before adding it and then put in extra brandy at the end to make up for it. [to the bakers, growling] Don’t try and cover your mistakes. Just own ‘em. This cake would’ve been fine if you hadn’t drowned it in booze.
[Camera cuts to ALEC, who nonchalantly rubs his nose with his middle finger.]
[They try the next few cakes, nodding to one another and offering comments. They come to a particularly tidy cake, iced cleanly.]
MARY: Now that is a lovely looking cake. A very good bake on that one. This person has followed the instructions very well.
ELIOT [tasting it]: Yeah, but—ugh. They don’t like fruitcake. Whoever made this didn’t know what fruitcake should taste like.
[ELIOT glares at PARKER, who shrugs and mouths “British people.”]
[MARY and ELIOT try a few more, looking increasingly disappointed. They come to the last two. The second-to-last fruitcake barely looks like a fruitcake: it has no icing, and rather than being a neat round cake, it is misshapen, as if it had been shaped by hand rather than in a proper baking tin, or perhaps did not rise to the sides of the tin. MARY and ELIOT both frown over it and take small bites as ICHABOD looks on anxiously. They move on to the last cake, which is the most beautiful of all, decorated with a delicate pinch of candied orange and lemon zest.]
MARY: Isn’t this lovely. This person has really made good use of their time. What a charming decoration.
ELIOT: Icing looks good. Clean, but not overly clinical. This person really loved making this cake.
[They taste it. ELIOT makes an inappropriate noise. Camera cuts to ALEC and PARKER, who both look startled.]
MEL: My word. That must be some cake.
ELIOT: It is. This is a good fruitcake. The fruit’s chopped right, they baked it right, and the layers are good—they folded the batter correctly. And they knew how it should taste.
MARY: I quite agree. What a beautiful confection this is. This person should be very proud.
[Short montage. Camera shows ELIOT and MARY discussing, pointing at the cakes. ELIOT’s eyes continually flick to the entrances of the tent, and he remains protectively close to MARY.]
SUE [voiceover]: MARY and ELIOT will now rank the fruitcakes from worst to best.
[MARY gestures at the oddly shaped fruitcake.]
MARY: In eleventh place, whose is this?
[ICHABOD raises his hand.]
ELIOT: How much flour is in this?
ICHABOD: Four pounds.
ELIOT: It’s too much, man. You barely got cake here. It’s more like army rations. You could feed half a regiment on this for a week.
ICHABOD [muttering]: A few days at most.
MARY: And in tenth place—whose is this?
THOR: That one belongs to me.
MARY: This one has been sadly overcooked.
ELIOT: Icing on that one was good, though. Nice and sweet.
THOR [smiling]: Thank you!
[A succession of other contestants raise their hands.]
SUE [voiceover]: Most of the contestants have done enough to stay out of danger. The judges must also decide who has the very best cakes.
MARY: In second place?
[PARKER raises her hand, looking surprised and happy. ELIOT makes a strange, half-angry face.]
ELIOT: It doesn’t taste right.
MARY: —but it does taste very good. And the bake is good too.
[MARY and ELIOT move to the last cake in the row.]
MARY: And in first place, we have—?
[The grey-haired man raises his hand, blushing.]
MARY: Now then—Greg, is it?
MARY: Had you made this recipe before?
GREG: Actually, uh... yeah. I make it every year. Well. I make two. The precinct goes through one of ‘em in nothing flat.
MARY: Well, the practice really showed. Wouldn’t you say so?
ELIOT: Absolutely. [to GREG] That’s a beautiful cake, man.
MARY: It certainly is. In fact, I daresay this is the best fruitcake I have ever had. You ought to be very proud.
[GREG puts his face in his hands, smiling and turning pink. Everyone applauds.]
[Exterior. Camera shows another set of quick interviews with the bakers.]
GREG: It’s just tremendous. I mean, I was a bit scared to tell her. You know. I’ve only been making her recipes for twenty years. And to have someone like that say your fruitcake is the best I’ve ever had. It’s tremendous. Reckon even the old sourpuss consulting detective himself couldn’t make me feel bad about that.
THOR [gravely]: I consider it a learning experience.
[ICHABOD stares into the camera, lips pursed, as if he’s too frustrated to speak.]
PARKER [happily]: Yeah! It was good! And I don’t even like fruitcake!
[Camera returns to the main tent, where MEL and SUE are waiting to deliver their final instructions.]
MEL: All right bakers, it’s the end of a long day. You’ve just got one more task to go: the showstopper.
SUE: We would like you to make twenty-four cake pops in two flavors. And this is the showstopper, so this display should be positively magnificent!
MEL: You’ve got two and a half hours, bakers. On your marks—
SUE: Get set—
MEL & SUE: BAKE!
[Montage. MOLLY stirs a glittering liquid in a pan; GREG whisks eggs by hand; WILL rolls out a sheet of melted white chocolate.]
[Camera pans over the room and then stops on ELIOT, ALEC, and PARKER talking in a back corner. Camera zooms.]
ELIOT: Back row. Redhead. KGB Special Agent.
ALEC: You’re sure?
ELIOT: It’s a very distinctive knife grip.
PARKER: How many others?
ELIOT: Definitely Mr. Yule Log. That was a seriously offensive cake. That guy didn’t bake his way into this competition.
[They look over at WILL, who is looking surreptitiously around the room and whacking his chocolate rather fiercely with a rolling pin.]
ALEC: How long do we have to find them?
PARKER: Once she leaves for the day, it’s all over. Last night was hard enough, but this is the end of the weekend.
ELIOT: We gotta work faster.
[In another corner, GREG is whistling as he works fondant with his hands. He’s staring fixedly at MARY, who is chatting to the pale blond girl.]
MARY: Now, you’re not quite the youngest person we’ve ever had on the bake off, but I believe it’s close. You’re eighteen?
LUNA: Eighteen and a half soon.
MARY: And how long have you been baking?
LUNA: Not very long. The cake’s only been in the oven for about fifteen minutes.
[SUE and MEL walk up to the dark-eyed woman’s station. She’s carefully dragging swirls of color and glitter through a melted bowl of chocolate, but her eyes are searching the room.]
MEL: Hallo, what’s all this?
DEANNA: This is the coating for my cake pops. It’s meant to look like a night sky. The other pops will be coated in white chocolate with orange and red swirls, to look like planets.
MEL: Oh my god, you’re a genius.
DEANNA: Sue, I sense that you are also very interested.
SUE: Me? Interested in cake? Nah, go on.
[Camera cuts to a diagram of twenty-four cake pops painted to look like planets, stuck in a display that configures them as a solar system.]
MEL [voiceover]: DEANNA’s cake pops are in complementary flavors. Her “night sky” pops are made of dark chocolate cake with blueberry filling, dipped in milk chocolate; and her “planet” pops are dipped in white chocolate, made from vanilla cake with raspberry filling.
[DEANNA dips one of the pops in the chocolate coating.]
DEANNA: What do you think?
[ELIOT is at the young redhead’s station, watching her dip her pops into something melted and pink and stick them in a lavender-colored display.]
ELIOT: So, Natalie, is it?
NAT: Mm hmm.
ELIOT: That dip looks like you made it from candy melts.
NAT: Mm hmm.
[NAT finishes dipping the pops. Her eyes flick to the tent’s entrance.]
ELIOT: Looking forward to the rest of the competition?
NAT: Mm hmm.
[NAT and ELIOT don’t take their eyes off each other, but ELIOT’s fingers drift toward a nearby knife. NAT picks up her rolling pin. ELIOT sucks in a breath. Then—]
EXTERIOR [muffled]: Move, move, move!
[ELIOT and NAT both immediately spring into action. NAT literally does a handspring forward and over the baking station while ELIOT pivots and races toward the front of the tent.]
[Camera shaking. Men in ski masks and carrying handguns have burst into the tent entrance, shouting.]
ARMED MAN: Give her up, or we’ll—
[NAT swings a leg out from behind one of the baking stations and sweeps, knocking the man to the ground, just as ELIOT dives on one of the other armed men.]
LUNA: Accio firearms!
MOLLY: Quite right. How dare they!
[LUNA and MOLLY wave their wands and all the guns suddenly zip out of the armed men’s hands. A few of them try to rush into the tent, but WILL and DEANNA and PARKER produce electronic objects from beneath their aprons; there’s a sound of electricity, and the men fall to the ground, stunned.]
ABBIE: Sheriff’s office, freeze!
GREG: DCI Lestrade! Put ‘em up, gents!
[The remaining men, now unarmed, turn around to see that ABBIE and GREG have outflanked them and are standing outside of the tent, holding their badges up. They slowly raise their hands, seeing that they’re surrounded.]
WILL: Deanna, where is she?
PARKER: Hardison, report!
THOR: She is safe in my custody, friends.
[Camera shakily pans over to the other side of the tent, where THOR is carrying MARY in his arms. He is somehow wearing armor and a red cape and carrying a hammer. ALEC is standing next to him, eyes wide.]
ALEC: You, sir, have some ‘splaining to do.
[SUE and MEL are revealed hiding behind a baking station.]
SUE: What the [CENSORED] is going on?
GREG [to THOR]: Now you unhand that woman right now!
WILL: I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with DCI Lestrade. Put her down.
[Camera cuts to MARY, who looks only mildly irritated.]
MARY: I’m quite capable of getting down myself, you know. [patting THOR’s cheek] Thank you, dear.
[THOR puts her gently down.]
MEL: Is there something you want to tell us, Mary?
MARY: I’m afraid I don’t know what to say. This is all quite out of the ordinary.
WILL: I think we can clear things up. My name is Commander Will Riker, and I’m the first officer on the starship Enterprise. We’ve traveled here from the future to make sure that nothing happens to this woman before she changes the course of human history by inventing matter to energy transfer, the fundamental basis of both our food replicators and the transporters in our fleet of starships.
[Pause. Everyone looks at one another.]
WILL: What? Nobody’s even surprised?
ABBIE: Hey, I’m just glad to hear we have a future.
PARKER: Eliot’s always saying you never know when you might have to fight an alien.
DEANNA: Most alien societies with starship capabilities are very nice, actually.
[Camera finds MEL and SUE, still hiding.]
MEL [whispering]: Wait—is she an alien?
SUE [pulling cake pops down from the baking stations]: Less talk, more eating cake in case this all goes downhill.
MEL: Good idea. [They start eating the cake pops.]
[Camera returns to the main tent.]
PARKER: But if you’re also here to protect her—then you also knew about the assassins sent by Verd Agra? You knew who the assassins were?
DEANNA: No. All we had was a date and a place where we knew they would target her.
ALEC: How could you know that, but not know if they were successful?
ABBIE: Because tomorrow, if she doesn’t have people with her to take the right precautions, her experiment is going to rip a hole in the fabric of space time. We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.
GREG: Wait a minute. The intelligence on those assassins was strictly limited to Scotland Yard. How did you all—?
ALEC: Oh, you’re adorable.
THOR: I concur. He is indeed a most attractive man.
ALEC: Not—not what I meant. But you know what, you rock on with your positive outlook, big guy. It suits you.
[MARY coughs gently. Everyone turns to look at her.]
MARY: This is all—quite unusual. I’m terribly sorry to have put you out. I didn’t really think my baking experiments would come to anything.
MOLLY: Don’t underestimate yourself, love. Women of advanced years change the world all the time, you know.
PARKER: You—and you, little blond girl. What are you doing here?
[LUNA and MOLLY look at one another.]
LUNA: We’re here for the baking competition.
ELIOT [growling]: And what about you?
[ELIOT looks over at NAT, who has neatly tucked away her equipment and ziptied all the Verd Agra assassins. NAT dusts off her hands and steps over them toward THOR and MARY.]
NAT: Mary Berry?
NAT: I’m here to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative.