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Camlann: Season 1, Episode 4.5:
"Answerphone"

Transcript created: 28th February 2024

Last updated: 28th February 2024

SHOW NOTES

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

Follow us on social media @camlannpod to stay updated. Share your thoughts with us using #Camlann. If you’d like to support the future of the show, you can do so on Ko-Fi and Patreon.

If you’d like to listen along live to episodes as they come out with Ella and Amber, you can do that on Tin Can Audio’s Twitch channel from 8-10pm GMT on Mondays. On Wednesdays at the same time, Amber will be going through the process of composing the score, and on our ‘off weeks’ on Mondays, Amber will go through the sound design for the show.  Camlann is made possible with funding from Creative Scotland and the Inevitable Foundation.

 

This episode featured Paul Warren as Gwaine. This episode was written and directed by Ella Watts, with original scoring and sound design from Amber Devereux at Tin Can Audio, and additional Music Direction from Alessa Catterall. Our Production Manager is Ross McFarlane.

Special thanks to: Angharad Gilbey, Holly Thwaites Bee, Samuel Thompson, Sara-Luise Edge-Smith, Elizabeth Campbell, Marc Sollinger, Sarah Shachat, David K. Barnes, Rosenkranz Vermilion and Max Degan. We wouldn’t have got here without you. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn am wrando. Thank you so much for listening.

Keep the fires burning.

Content Warnings: Fantasy Violence, Strong Language.

SCENE 1

[Radio tunes in and out of static, eventually landing on a stable frequency.]

[Gwaine is speaking into a tape recorder – wind blows against the microphone, trees rustle. Occasionally a bird chirps close by, or a bees buzzes around Gwaine as he talks. He is trudging across difficult terrain as he records, his voice is occasionally laboured as he steps.]

 

GWAINE: Hey, Dai. I’m guessing wherever you are the radio’s stopped working. That’s not true. I’m hoping wherever you are the radio’s stopped working. Because the alternatives are that you’re ignoring me or - let’s just assume the problem is with the radio. 

 

I got out of the forest. Took longer than I thought but I’m mostly unscathed. Sir Gwaine, you know. And I figured out what’s been following me. It’s the Green Man. Or the Green Knight. Both, maybe? He’s so tall Dai. Like, nine feet tall. Not a giant - have you seen that one near Cadair Idris? I thought it was a mountain at first.

 

The point is. He spoke to me. I was in Bannau Brycheiniog and he just, stepped out of the fog. It was incredible. Everywhere he walked there was this green mist. Moss and flowers and heather growing over everything like a time lapse in a nature documentary.

 

And his face. It’s so hard to describe, Dai. Like, it was covered in leaves, or flowers, or vines. I think I saw birds nests in there? Beetles and butterflies. But it wasn’t scary. It wasn’t bad. It was like making eye contact with springtime.

 

Do you know the story? My story. I mostly remember it. It’s Christmas. Arthur and his knights are feasting at court when a stranger arrives - a green man in green armour. He challenges them to a game - one of the knights has to strike him once with his axe. In a year’s time, he gets to return the blow. For playing the game, they’ll win his axe. Seems simple enough, right?

 

But by this point the whole court have dealt with enough weird shit that they know a trap when they see one. No one dares to volunteer. 

 

The problem is that this is Camelot. You can’t have a Round Table full of knights too cowardly to accept a challenge when it knocks on their door. So Gawain does it.

 

He thinks he’s being clever. He takes the axe and beheads the Green Knight in one fell swoop. Sorted, right? Except then the knight stands up, and picks up his head, and puts it back on. And then he takes his axe and tells Gawain to find him at his castle in a year’s time, to submit himself to the same blow. An axe to the neck. Beheading.

 

I know what this sounds like. But in the poem, Gawain survives. He proves his courage - to the Green Knight and to all of Arthur’s court. He goes, knowing he might die, because it’s the brave thing to do. It’s the honourable thing to do.

The axe was beautiful. Covered in gold and these interlacing animals, braided like you see in really old manuscripts. Like they’d been embroidered into the steel. 

 

It was heavier than I thought it would be. Even kneeling down he was so tall I could barely reach. But I did it. Everywhere his blood fell, trees grew. Saplings, I guess. A tiny river of forest in the middle of the moors. 

 

And then he got up, picked up the head, put it back on. You couldn’t even see a scar. It was like it had never happened. 

 

He told me that we’d see each other again soon. Sooner than in the story. 

 

You probably think I’m an idiot. Most people do. But this is different. I actually have a plan this time. I’m not doing it for no reason. Which is why I’m recording this. Because I want you to know, I guess. If it all goes south, or if I just disappear into the landscape and become part of my story. I want you to know why.

 

These monsters. The Phenomena. Whatever they are. We don’t know anything about them. We don’t know where they came from, or why they appeared when they did, or how. We don’t actually know that they want to hurt us. What if there are good things, too? What if the axe doesn’t fall? What if I can be Sir Gawain and live? Doesn’t that prove something? Wouldn’t that help us have a better idea of what we’re dealing with? Maybe it doesn’t have to be kill or be killed. Maybe we can coexist.

 

Dai, I’m so sorry. For all of it. Even before the Cataclysm. Especially before the Cataclysm. I was just scared. And I thought I had time. I thought I had time to be scared and figure myself out, and I just kind of assumed you’d be there when it was done. When I was done. Ready, I guess. And then the world ended. 

 

I’m starting to think courage isn’t the absence of fear. I think it’s being scared and taking the leap anyway. So this is me, being brave.

 

And if I fail then...well, that’s data too. Maybe you can use it.

 

I’m going to leave this playing on a loop. Hopefully you’ll hear it. I’ll take a radio with me just in case, but I have a feeling I won’t be needing it where I’m going. 

 

Stay safe.

[The tape rewinds itself repeats. Clicks. Replays.]

GWAINE: Hey, Dai. I’m guessing wherever you are the radio’s stopped working. That’s not true. I’m hoping wherever you are the radio’s stopped working. Because the alternatives are that you’re ignoring me or-

Gwaine's message fades out. Static fills the silence.]

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