Behind the Planets

By James Colley

A flurry of shots of Planets in orbit, supernovas and comet collisions with shots of people in a bare interview room dispersed in between.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.): This week in "Behind the Planets"

An image of Pluto on a black background

ANNOUNCER: The rise and fall of Pluto

Shot zooms out to show the image was on the t-shirt of PLUTO - a small timid teenager.

Another short burst of planetary clips, ending with a title reading "Behind the Planets: Plutonic Relationships"

Fade to PLUTO being interviewed.

PLUTO:  I first came on the scene in the thirties, and you know, at first half the battle is just getting spotted, trying to get some recognition.

Cut to NEPTUNE's inteview

NEPTUNE: You try and help the young guys out a bit.  Give them a bit of a start.  For example, I'd sometimes let Pluto go ahead of me, be a bit closer to the sun, back in the light if you will, just to give the kid a bit of a boost.

Cut back to PLUTO

PLUTO:  The fame came all at once, I just tried to hang on for the ride.

Cut to JUPITER on the street

JUPITER:  He's scum.  Bottom-feeding, lowest common denominator garbage.  Pluto would do absolutely anything for a bit of fame.  He'd put his face on any piece of tacky shit for a quick dollar.

Cut to PLUTO

We had the Pluto pup, Mickey's dog was named Pluto.  Uh, Plutonium.  That was me.  Not all of it was successful though.

Cut to MERCURY's interview.  MERCURY is holding a small box to the camera.

MERCURY: This is "Icy-Blast" Genital Wart removal system, which promises "balls colder and more barren than Pluto."  When I saw this, I just, I couldn't face him anymore.


Cut to NEPTUNE's interview

NEPTUNE:  Jupiter is kind of the big dog of this system.  You don't want to get on his bad side, he's got a lot of pull.  Now, every once in a while he'd ask us all to appear for a quick meeting, just for a check up to see how we were doing but Pluto... he was just too unpredictable.  He'd appear and disappear at will.

Cut back to JUPITER

JUPITER:  If Halley's comet can find time to swing around for these meetings I don't see any reason why the others wouldn't be able to.  When a new guy ignores my requests like that it undermines my authority.  It's disrespectful.

Cut back to PLUTO

PLUTO:  I completely respect Jupiter, I mean, he's been around a lot longer than I have.  He knows this place better than I do, and he's a smart guy.  Not dense at all.


Cut to MERCURY's interview

MERCURY:  He's just let us down one too many times, so eventually we just stopped inviting him.  He was out.  Gone the way of Voyager 2.

PLUTO:  Well, obviously I was hurt to find out I'd been ousted, but I think I'd kind of outgrown them.  I was ready to do my own thing.  I probably would have quit of my own accord if they hadn't had... you know what they call what they did to me?  Pluto-ing.  Even that gets named after me.  Pluto-ing, when you attack something because you're jealous that it's more popular that you.  They Plutoed me.

Cut to JUPITER in the park

JUPITER:  Plutoed?  Hah.  The term "Plutoed" means to get rid of the garbage that you don't need out of a system.  Now if we're done here I need to go Pluto a massive shit.

JUPITER exits.


Cut to PLUTO

PLUTO:  I don't know - I feel as if maybe, now things have cooled down a bit, that maybe I should try and make amends, you know?  I don't think they'll let me back - I don't want to go back, I'm doing fine on my own, but... I should try and patch things up at least.  Should I?

Documentary styled footage follows PLUTO into a park where the rest of the planets are gathered, with JUPITER leading a discussion.

PLUTO: (Calling out) Hey guys!  Guys!  I'm back!

NEPTUNE turns, makes eye contact.  Beat.  He turns back to face JUPITER.  Other planets make no acknowledgement.  After a few spats of nervous laughter directed at the camera, PLUTO turns to leave.  He is approached by a group of smaller, weedier characters.

KUIPER:  Uh, Hello there Mr. Pluto, uh I just was wondering - that is - I know you aren't part of the planets anymore and I was thinking well maybe if you wanted to try something new maybe you'd like to join the Kuiper belt with us?

PLUTO casts a longing look back to the Planets' meeting, then turens to the Kuiper Belt group.

PLUTO:  Yeah, I'd like that.

Fade out.


Another flurry of planetary images.

ANNOUNCER: Next week on "Behind the Planets"

Cut to SATURN sitting in the interview chair

Saturn:  Yeah, people are always asking where I got my rings.  It's a bit embarrassing really... to tell you the truth... they are the result of a drunken one-night stand as a kid - you know, I thought she was clean but... live and learn.  I guess that's life.