Brit Trek – Fedexit

PREVIOUSLY ON BRIT TREK: The Spivship Enterprise crashed into a different TV franchise after Captain Berk rather foolishly allowed Ensign Schapps to have a go at navigating. Our clueless, spaffaholics are now trapped on a mysterious island in the Pacific and have even less of an idea than usual what’s going on.

In the Lost tradition, we now share an episode largely consisting of flashbacks which probably won’t explain a damned thing but might feel like they do. We zap back to a secret officers’ meeting where the disastrous idea of Fedexit first rears its ugly head. Rather like that Star Trek two-parter where Spock gets court-martialed, there are a bunch of people we haven’t seen before and everyone else looks 50 years younger. It is Star Date 2016.

A Scam is Born

[A BUNCH OF OFFICERS ARE SITTING ROUND A TABLE. CAPTAIN DAVE IS DOING HIS BEST TO BE CHARMING AND AFFABLE AND CONSTANTLY SAYING HOW MUCH HE AGREES WITH CORPORAL CLEGG. THE ASSEMBLED OFFICERS ARE EITHER DOZING OR FULLY ASLEEP WHEN TWO YOUNG CREWMEN BURST INTO THE ROOM, FIRE THEIR PHASERS AT THE CEILING AND TAKE OVER THE MEETING. ONE OF THEM HOLDS SOMETHING RESEMBLING A MALFORMED ROTTWEILER ON A CHAIN. EXISTING VIEWERS WILL RECOGNISE THE LEADER AS COLONEL CUMMINGS, THE OTHER ONE AS A YOUNG VERSION OF COMMANDER GOVE AND THE ROTTWEILER AS A SLIGHTLY LESS HAGGARD VERSION OF ADMIRAL PATEL.]

Brit Trek The Fedexit Years

CUMMINGS: Gentlemen, your attention, please. This is all very cosy but Space Force is boldly going nowhere while you faff around at the margins. I certainly have no objection to your plans to increase student debt. In fact, I applaud them, but if we are to be rich beyond the dreams of avarice, we need to adopt an altogether more disruptive approach to capitalism. I take it that you all agree.

COMMISSIONER CLARKE: Well, actually, I was rather hoping that Space Force might do something to improve the lot of the average per …

CUMMINGS: Silence, fool! Your old-school “decency” is precisely what is holding us back. Any more talk of softness, compassion or other such pinko-commie, woke nonsense and I might let go of this leash. Trust me, you wouldn’t like that. Now, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, the time has come for the torch to be passed to a new generation, divided there is little that we cannot do …

[THE BULK OF CUMMINGS’ SPEECH IS SO GALAXY-CRUSHINGLY BORING THAT WE HAVE CUT IT FROM THE SHOW BUT SUFFICE TO SAY THERE WAS ENOUGH TALK OF NEST-FEATHERING OPPORTUNITIES TO MAINTAIN THE INTEREST OF A FAIR PORTION OF THE CROWD]

CUMMINGS: And, so, I come to the heart of my plan. Many of you will have heard a Ferengi by the name of Farage on Interplanetary Question Time, I bribed Dimbleby to have him on every other week. He has a lunatic non-plan called Fedexit …

COMMANDER BERK: Ooh yes! I know all about Fedexit! It’s when we promise the Earth and claim that the couriers must have lost it when we fail to deliver!

CUMMINGS: Close, Berk, and I like the way you operate, but this is a far grander plan. I’ll be speaking to you later, you have the bearing of a useful idiot. Make a note of that, Gove. Anyway, my big plan to make us all billions is this …

4 8 15 16 23 42

[WE CUT BACK TO THE PRESENT DAY AND THE ‘LOST’ ISLAND. CAPTAIN BERK IS SAT ON THE BEACH LOOKING LIKE A CROSS BETWEEN A BEACHED WHALE AND A RAPIDLY BALDING ICE-CREAM. SUNAK SKIPS UP TO HIM.]

SUNAK: Hello clouds! Hello sky! Good morning Captain! What a wonderful day it is to have a wife that’s gloriously minted!

BERK: I dare say that it is, Sunak, but we do seem to be stuck on this confounded island rather than, so to speak, the island which we usually confound, which is, needless to say, the very island where your lady wife would, I would hazard, be – along with her money.

SUNAK: Oh no, Sir! She may be back in Blighty but her money’s quite safe in the Cayman Islands. She is a true blue, after all, Captain.

BERK: Yes, indeed. I have a few of those myself. Anyway, the thing that’s confusing me is these numbers that keep cropping up everywhere. Let me see, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and, er, 42, yes, 42. You’re supposed to be the numbers man. What do you make of them?

SUNAK: Well, to be honest, Sir, they only made me Chief Mathematician because my wife’s minted and I’ve got a jolly nice smile but I’ll take a look on the off-chance that I get lucky.

BERK: As ever, Sunak, you excel yourself. Alas! If only more of the crew were as useful as you are. Has Jenkyns worked out how to spell SOS yet, I wonder?

Andrea Jenkyns had lost her crayons up her nose again
One day we’ll get tired of Andrea Jenkyns losing her crayons up her nose, but not yet.

Berky Goes Bananas

[ANOTHER TIME-SLIP – WE REALLY ARE TAKING OUR CUE FROM J. J. ABRAMS HERE. GOVE AND BERK ARE HAVING A CLANDESTINE MEETING OVER A COUPLE OF PANGALACTIC GARGLE-BLASTERS AND A HUGE BAG OF SPACE DUST.*]

GOVE: Yes, you’re right, Berk. It is the daftest idea in the history of the universe. It will be a complete and utter catastrophe for Space Force and the Federation alike. But here’s the thing! [SNORT] Cummings can get it over the line by bleating on about imaginary astro-bucks and pretending that the Klingons are about to join the Federation. [SNORT] And everyone will blame Captain Dave! He’ll be history! Then we put up some patsy as temporary captain, watch it all go horribly wrong. [SNORT] And then, then we bring you in as the chap that can sort it out and get it all done! The Colonel and I will be running the show, of course, but you’ll be the Captain! You’ll have your very own Spivship to command and all of the space-totty that goes with it! [SNORT]

BERK: Space-totty, eh? Well, I have always been somewhat partial to a bit of space-totty. [GLUG] Tell me, er, tell me more!

GOVE: Oh, yes, Berk. There’ll be blue girls, green girls, girls with multiple breasts, girls with mile-long legs, you name it …

BERK: Hmmm, Fedexit, you say? So we just leave the old Federation and I get shagged left, right and centre, eh? Very good, yes, very good indeed. I must say that I’m, ah, ah, warming to the idea.

GOVE: And it’s not just the space-totty, Berk. [SNORT] There’s money to be had, too. Lot’s of money.

BERK: Well, I’m not, as it were, impervious to the charms of money, Gove. [GLUG] But, surely, this is so bloody crazy that there won’t be a penny left in the Space Force piggy-bank … [GLUG]

GOVE: You’re quite right, Berk. Space Force will be left without a bean. [SNORT] But we won’t be! We’ll lodge it all safely with an old chum and when nobody’s looking, she’ll give it all back to us! [SNORT]

BERK: And this old chum of yours … [GLUG] You’re sure she can be trusted?

GOVE: Harding? Trusted? [SNORT] Oh, heavens to Betsy, yes! She went to all the right schools. The Colonel swears by her.

BERK AND GOVE IN UNISON: I say, what a cracking dodge, eh, readers? [SNORT] [GLUG]

[COMMERCIAL BREAK. WANT SOMETHING COOL TO DRINK YOUR PANGALACTIC GARGLE-BLASTERS FROM? THIS BABY ISN’T JUST FOR BREAKFAST GIN …]

You don’t have to be Nadine Dorries in order to start your day with a stylish cup of gin.

Grab one of these beauties while we’ve still got a container full of them stuck in Dover. Daily Distress mug

Sunak Solves a Mystery

[CUT BACK TO THE BEACH. SUNAK SKIPS BACK UP TO BERK.]

SUNAK: Captain! Captain! I think I’ve got it!

BERK: Got what, Sunak? Chlamydia? Not you, as well?

SUNAK: No, no! The numbers, I think I know what the numbers mean! It’s all an anagram. Let me show you. [PULLS OUT A PIECE OF PAPER AND A PEN] First, we write the numbers down … 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 … then we rearrange them like so … 4 – comma – 8 – 1 – 5 – comma – 1 – 6 – 2 – comma – 3 – 4 – 2 and that spells out 4 billion, 815 million, 162 thousand and 342 which is the exact amount of a cheque that you made out from Space Force to a supplier called the Harding Initiative for a small consignment of paper-clips the day after you became Captain, Sir.

daily distress UK satire humour
Damning evidence that The Daily Express won’t print.

BERK: I er, er, er, I think you’re somewhat mistaken, Sunak.

SUNAK: It does seem rather a strange coincidence, Sir. It also seems that you paid them a further 37 billion astro-bucks for an empty cardboard box.

BERK: It was a very nice cardboard box. And it had a Union Jack on it. It’s entirely unrelated.

SUNAK: Of course, Captain, I’m not casting aspersions but it would be nice to have a cut.

BERK: I’m sure you’ll get your turn, Sunak, but in the meantime, we have to track down the Harding Initiative. They do seem to have, ah, gone a little quiet of late.

Stranger on the Shore

[A LITTLE LATER ON THE BEACH. VARIOUS HAPLESS SPAFFERS ARE ASSEMBLED]

TRUSS: Captain! You see that chap over there? The one who looks a bit shifty and never talks to anyone.

BERK: Narrow it down, girl. Narrow it down!

TRUSS: That one over by the rocks. Looks like Alexander Armstrong might look if he drank nuclear waste for breakfast every day.

BERK: Ah, yes, er, Penrose, was it? Some sort of security wallah, isn’t he?

TRUSS: Well, that’s just the thing, Sir. You know how you made me monitor for the ship’s register because I always did my homework on time and got a B+ on my maths test? Well, there was never anybody called Penrose on the ship’s register and I don’t think I’d ever seen him before we got to the island.

[SEVERAL PEOPLE MUTTER THINGS TO THE EFFECT OF “Hmmm”, “Fair point” AND “Me, neither”]

BERK: Cleverley, you’re in charge of something or other. Go and check the ship’s manifest. And do try not to leave a slime trail.

CLEVERLEY: Yes, oh, Jewel of the Seven Seas. How right you are, My Lord and Redeemer.

[CLEVERLEY WANDERS OFF]

JENKYNS: Ooh! Sir! I know who Penrose is! He’s the one who lived in a post box. He was Danger Rat’s side-car or whatever they call it. He was definitely one of the good guys. Is it okay if I go and get his autograph?

BERK: Best wait ’til Cleverley comes back, Jenkyns. Alas, I think you may be confusing him with a cartoon hamster called Penhaligon. Cornish sort, most likely, with a name like that.

Danger Rat and Penhaligon
Danger Rat and Penhaligon

[CLEVERLEY RETURNS]

CLEVERLEY: Oh, Font of all Wisdom! Oh, King of all Things! It would appear that Truss is correct, for once. There was never a Penrose on board the Spivship Enterprise and according to IMDB, he hasn’t appeared in a single episode of Brit Trek.

BERK: Oh do stop being so bloody “meta”, Cleverley. Post-modernism ate itself years ago. What’s your point, exactly?

CLEVERLEY: Oh, Infallible Titan of the Oceans, if Penrose didn’t get here on the Spivship Enterprise with the glorious Captain Berk, he must have got here another way.

BERK: Possibly, I suppose. Did anybody happen to order an extra crew member on Amazon or some such cyber thing?

RAAAB: I believe they have rules against human trafficking, Sir.

BERK: Do they? How utterly quaint! But he can’t have swum here, surely. How utterly strange.

RAAAB: Should we not do something about him, Captain?

BERK: Well, yes, but what can we do? It’s hardly a crime to stand around looking a little dodgy.

RAAAB: Admiral Patel did bring in a new law about being annoying, Captain. And he is starting to annoy me …

BERK: You’re smarter than you look, Raaab. Someone lock him up and fine him 10,000 space-pounds towards the Fedexit fund. We’ll convene in the morning to abolish his human rights, then we can interrogate him properly. If only Admiral Patel were here with her thumb-screws.

RAAAB: Be careful what you wish for, Sir. Speak of The Devil and …

The Devil Wears Twinsets

{A MOTORBOAT PULLS UP ABRUPTLY ON THE BEACH. A HIDEOUS CREATURE THAT IS HALF WOMAN AND HALF ROTTWEILER EMERGES FROM A SULFUROUS CLOUD]

Priti Patel - beuond satire

ADMIRAL PATEL: Hello, boys! What’s goin’ on?

EVERYBODY ELSE: Yoinks! We’re done for!

[SCREEN GOES BLACK, CAT SCRATCHES ‘CELLO, WE’VE REACHED THE END OF ANOTHER EPISODE OF BRIT TREK – LOST IN SPACE]

Join us for the next thrilling instalment soon. Having survived a polar bear, a smoke monster and Ann Widdecombe, the hapless crew are about to face their greatest challenges yet. Will they work out who the mysterious Penrose is? Will they track down the Harding Initiative and reclaim the benefits of Fedexit? Will they survive a finger-nail inspection from Admiral Patel?

Who knows? Just like the people who wrote Lost, we pretty much plot this one episode at a time. Like the crew of the Spivship Enterprise, we live in hope that it will all make some kind of sense by the end of the series.

Keep on Trekkin’!

“T-Shirts don’t get much T-shirtier than this” – Greggs Wallace

Brit Trek T-shirt

* The Daily Distress would like to point out that “Space Dust” was a brand of popping candy from many years ago. It is NOT a euphemism for cocaine or any similar substance. Any implication that Commander Gove takes drugs of that nature would be entirely scurrilous and apart from the scene with the crack pipe in the previous episode, we would never make such a suggestion.