EVIL AND ITS BUTLER


Lights on the living room of a large Victorian-style household, lavishly furnished. The butler, JEVONS, in a neatly-pressed uniform, dusts at a china vase with a long-suffering expression. DOOM, a lanky rich young man with dreams of supervillainy, strides in with all the confidence of a peacock.

DOOM

Almost finished, Jeeves?

JEVONS

Nearly, sir, but my name is actually -

DOOM

Perfect! Now everything is prepared for my plans to begin. We'll start with New York City, I think, and once we've gained control, we can proceed from there.

DOOM is very pleased with himself. JEVONS looks uncomfortable, and debates his next words for several moments.

JEVONS

If I may say so, sir, starting with a city so large and affluent as New York could prove to be a significant challenge.

DOOM

What?

JEVONS

It seems to me that it may be easier, and indeed more tactful, to begin with smaller regions. A remote farming village in Iceland, for example, and working one's way upwards.

DOOM

Don't be ridiculous. My plan is faultless. What's the use of conquering remote farming villages in Iceland? I want to enter the world of villainy with a bang - to make my name known! What better place to begin with than New York? All the movies do it, after all.

JEVONS is distressed by DOOM's words.

JEVONS

But consider the military, sir, and law enforcement -

DOOM

That reminds me. I need a name.

JEVONS

Sir?

DOOM

A supervillain name. A name that can strike terror in the hearts of the masses. I was thinking something along the lines of - of Doctor Doom. Eh? How does that sound?

JEVONS

I believe the name is already taken, sir, and -

DOOM

Then too bad for them! The other Doctor Doom can't possibly be as powerful as me.

JEVONS

It's not quite so simple, sir. The name is copyrighted. Doctor Doom is a famous character within the Marvel Comics. To claim it now, and in so public a way, could render you liable to severe lawsuits.

DOOM

Oh. Well, we can't have that. All the funding is going into weaponry and wardrobe. (Pause.) What do you think I should call myself then, Jeeves? "Mr. Doom" doesn't quite cut it. How about "Sir Doom"? "Master Doom"? "Doom Esquire"?

JEVONS

…I believe you are the one best suited to choosing your own title, sir. And on the topic of names, you have been addressing me erroneously -

DOOM has taken out his phone and is tapping away furiously at the keys. He opens a website and gleefully shows the screen to JEVONS.

DOOM

Look at this, Jeeves! The Wikipedia page for English titles and honorifics offers tons of options for me to choose from! See - there are formal titles, professional titles, even royal titles… (He sighs wistfully.) So many choices, so little time. I guess I can choose a proper name later.

JEVONS

Sir -

DOOM is still distracted by his phone.

DOOM

What is it? Have you finished the dusting yet?

JEVONS

I - no, sir, I have not.

DOOM

What are you waiting for, then?

JEVONS

If I may say so, sir, a feather duster seems inadequate to the task of cleaning this entire house. This is the twenty-first century, after all. I would be able to complete my duties much more quickly in future had I, say, a vacuum cleaner.

DOOM, a bit surprised, considers this.

DOOM

That is a good point. I'll be sure to get you one the next time I go out. (He sighs again, more sadly.) A feather duster just feels so much more appropriate. Period-typical, you know? But functionality must prevail over aesthetic, I suppose.

JEVONS

We all have our trials, sir. And, as I was saying (he begins to speak quickly and more forcefully, trying to make his point), you have been calling me Jeeves, sir, and in that you are mistaken. My name is Jevons. Jeeves is a character from a series of early twentieth-century novels written by P.G. Wodehouse. The error has been made before by others, but I wished to make it clear that I am called Jevons, sir, not Jeeves.

DOOM has not heard this spiel. He has sat down at a nearby desk with a laptop and is completely absorbed with its screen.

DOOM

Hm? Oh, good. Hey, Jeeves, did you know that they had vacuum cleaners back in the Edwardian era? They look hilarious! This one looks like something out of Star Wars. Maybe I can buy one of the really old ones off Craigslist or something - we could have both functionality while keeping the whole historical vibe! How about that?

JEVONS

Sir -

DOOM

Oh - sorry, were you saying something?

JEVONS

…no, sir.

DOOM

Really? I could swear you were talking just now.

JEVONS

It was nothing, sir.

DOOM

Alright, then, back to work. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow!

JEVONS

Yes, sir.


A/N: Scriptwriting is fun and writing humour is difficult. I wrote this over the summer while attending a scriptwriting course, and Doom and Jevons were the culmination of my musings.

Fans of Wodehouse might might see some similarities with certain works of his and this script (though I hope it comes off as more admiring rather than ripoff-y). Evil and its Butler is something of a homage to him, and specifically his wonderful Jeeves stories, which I adore. If any of you are interested in reading about a somewhat foolish but sweet aristocrat, his genius valet, and their adventures in 1920s Britain, rife with literary misquotes and a cleverly hilarious use of the English language, then I highly recommend Carry On, Jeeves as an introduction to the wonderful world of Jeeves & Wooster.

Thanks for reading!