Simpsons - TRON tribute section  (Draft 5)

by glitter ((gl |at| r-i-l |dot| net))

Special Guest: David Warner as The Desk.

Homer, Lenny and Carl are 'roasting' marshmallows on sticks over a glowing aquarium-style radioactive liquid container at the power plant during their lunch break. (the marshmallows are glowing nicely).

Homer: 'See? I told you this would work.'

Lenny: (chewing, revealing green teeth) 'You were right - and they taste great!'

Homer: 'And now for the payoff...'

Homer reaches eagerly for his stick, but as he grabs it, a very runny marshmallow drops into the nuclear liquid, causing it to bubble and steam.  Unaware, Homer gleefully puts the stick in his mouth, but tastes only stick.

Homer: 'What the?'

(turning to the now violently steaming, bubbling liquid.) 'Uh oh'.

Mr Burns' office. Burns is at his desk, furious.  Smithers is standing at the side of the desk, and looks accusingly at the three employees who stare nervously in different directions.

Burns: 'Your tom-foolery nearly cost us our plant!  Do you have any idea how many of my dastardly schemes you have placed in jeopardy today?  Not to mention that you risked the lives of your colleagues and co-workers...' (dismissively) '... and, to a lesser extent, the entire town of Springfield.'

Homer: (submissive) 'No Sir. Yes Sir.'

Burns: 'Now get out of my office! I shall inform you of my chosen punishment within the hour.'

Homer, Carl and Lenny carefully retreat, and exit.

Smithers: (handing Burns a roll of papers) 'I've prepared their resignations, Sir, along with the customary assassination of their offspring.'

Burns: (contemplative, pacing) 'I think not Smithers.' (stops) 'These men could cause a ruckus and betray our entire operation.  Besides, I seem to recall firing the fat one several times - and yet he's still here!  No, we need to dispose of them once and for all.'

Smithers (knowingly): 'I'll see to it Sir.'

Burns (breezy): 'On another note Smithers, where is that' (clumsily, as if the words have no meaning) '"Super" "Computer" that is supposed to coerce the world's governments to cower before me?'

Smithers: 'The LCOM-512, Sir?  It arrived this morning.'  He points at the rear corner of the room, where a large wodden crate is standing, with large red  SUPER  COMPUTER  text painted on its front.

Burns, sitting down as if to watch: 'Well what are you dilly-dallying around for, man - unpack it.'

Smithers (obediently): 'Yes Sir.'

As Smithers reaches for his crowbar, we pan down, through the floor, deeper, past several plant floors, then moving into rock and the usual collection of visual gags (a lair showing a man-sized mutated spider that has woven two children into a green glowing web and is getting ready to eat them, the Enterprise partially materialised into rock, perhaps a metal-boxed reel of the last ever Futurama episode etc.)...

... until we arrive in a large filthy, damp, dungeon-like room, deep below the plant.  The room is dimly lit by a single ceiling light in the center of the room, causing it to darken towards the room edges.  A TRON powerstream-like glowing canal of ooze is channeled through it (sporting a similar, though less prominent, lense effect).  In the background are a large number of battered looking, empty, dark-grey oil drums, stacked in abstract shapes reminiscent of TRON's power cave (one has fallen over and is lying on its side, with the lid nearby).  Some ooze is also slowly running along the edges of some barrels, loosely reminiscent of the power cave's glowing outlines.

An automatic bolted metal door at the left swooshes sharply open, and Lenny, Carl and Homer are seen being roughly pushed through it by someone - then it closes behind them just as sharply.  They are wearing white figure-hugging protective suits, with white Wellington-style boots, but no gloves and bare heads.

Carl: 'Gee, that's mighty mean of Mr. Burns.'

(closer on Lenny, Homer off-frame)

Lenny: 'Yeh, forcing us to fill up those drums with liquid nuclear waste with our bare hands can't be good for you.' (then stunned in horror) 'Homer! '

We reveal Homer, who has taken an oil drum lid, and is now lying face-down on the floor, head over the ooze river, having scooped up some ooze with the lid and drinking from it.

Homer: (mouth full) 'Wha?'

Lenny: 'Handling this ooze could kill us all - what are we gonna do?'

Homer has now got up and wiped ooze from his mouth.  Closeup as he looks blankly, as if trying (and failing) to comprehend the gravity of the situation.

Homer: (deep in thought) 'Hmm...'

Back in Burns' office. Smithers has finished unpacking the LCOM-512, a large, shiny-black supercomputer the size and shape of an 80s executive desk.

Burns is staring in anticipation at Smithers, who is just plugging the desk's long power cord into a nearby electrical outlet.

Smithers, proudly: 'Here we are, Sir - the LCOM-512, the most calculating intelligence in the free world.  This computer is so powerful, it's actually fully self-aware and...'

Burns: 'Thank you Professor Braniac!  I'm not interested in the ins and outs of this infernal machine.  Just show me how to turn it on - I'll figure it out.'

Smithers (quick to please): 'As you wish, Sir.'  Walks up to the Desk.

(encouragingly) 'Just type your name right here at the Master Control Panel' he says, pointing to a brightly lit image of a computer keyboard being displayed on the work surface of the desk.

Mr. Burns stands behind the Desk and starts tapping it.  From above we can see him tapping the keys, whilst the desk gradually displays:

user  :    MONTY
password  :    BURNS

The text fades out.  Suddenly the Desk speaks (in David Warner MCP voice), whilst also displaying the spoken text:

Desk: 'Hello Mr. Burns. Thanks for coming back early.'

Closeup on Burns' face, showing a very happy, evil grin: 'Excellent.'

We see a large streak of green light zoom past, leaving a long glowing trail.  We zoom out, and see Carl catching, then tossing an oil drum lid back at Homer.  The lid is covered in ooze and is glowing brightly, leaving a green trail in the air as it cuts through it like a frisbee.  Homer elegantly catches it.

Homer: (giggling) 'Homer knows how to have fun!'
(now shouting to Lenny, who's on the other side of the screen)
'Here's an easy one!'

Homer throws his lid hard at Lenny (with an unusual, if not physically impossible throw, by swinging his arm around his head before letting the lid go), but he fails to catch it and is hit firmly in the head.

Lenny: 'OOUCH! My head!'

Carl:'Let's wear our safety helmets.'

Homer: (contemplative) 'So that's what they're for...'

All three reach behind their backs, and grab and wear the white hockey-style protective helmets that were somehow attached there.

A lid comes flying straight at Homer's head, but he catches it at the last minute.  As he does, some ooze splatters on his helmet and suit, giving them (loosely) the glowing circuit-like appearance of a TRON warrior.

Homer: 'Hey!  Ooo, you're gonna get it.' (giggles).

Camera zooms out, with all three throwing lids at each other and getting covered in ooze.  The scene resembles a TRON disc fight.

We are now panning up.  As the three move off-screen, we see a surveilance camera mounted in the top left corner of the room (complete with little red glowing light), pointing at the scene below.  We home in on it, then (to ominous music) we pan into the other three corners, one-by-one, faster and faster, revealing a camera in each.  Zoomed in on the lense of the last, we cut to see the scene below from inside its lense, HAL style....

... suddenly the image goes monochrome - we are now looking at a monitor screen showing the video feed of our surveilance camera.  We pull back and see Smithers standing in a room, studying a bank of 4x4 monitors, the bottom four of which are showing the lid fight.  The rest are showing the usual plant feeds, with nothing exciting happening.  Smithers has not yet noticed the four trouble spots.

We pull back further still, and realise that Smithers is in an open doored room that leads to Mr Burns' office.  We can now see Mr. Burns standing over his new desk, with Smithers visible in the background.

Cut to Burns staring down at the Desk.

Burns: 'So, wonder brain. Time to make yourself useful.' (dramatic pause) 'I want you to break into the Chinese government computers, and find me all information on their nuclear secrets!  Now the boot is on the other foot!' (laughs).

(small pause).

Desk: (unsure) 'Could we come back to that one?'

Burns: 'Hmm, OK, well then, how about you compromise the Swiss Banks, and wipe out my Nazi debt records?'

Desk: 'Erm...'

Smithers comes bursting into the room (alarmed): 'Mr Burns!'

The desk now displays the four security camera feeds in a 2x2 display.  Homer and the others can be seen laughing and cheering, and throwing and deflecting lids.  Many of the stacked barrels have been hit and have toppled over - the scene is utter chaos.

Burns (gravely): 'I see it Smithers' (darkly) 'I see it!'

A glass breaking sound is heard as a deflected lid hits one of the cameras and destroys it (accompanied by a 'woohoo'), reducing one of the feeds to noise.  Then another camera is destroyed.

Burns, hand in the air, pleadingly (to the Desk): 'Well, what are you waiting for? Transport their molecules into your digital realm, where they shall fight each other in gladitorial games to the death!'

(uncomfortable pause).

Desk: 'Err...' (finally, pathetic) '... I don't know how.'

Burns (dejected):
'Smithers, take it back to the store.'

(c) glitter (gl |at| r-i-l |dot| net), Aug 14-18 2002  - you can link to this page, but you can't host it on another server -


Could do a 'Mr Burns! Look on your desk!' 'Do you mean that rotating picture of me?' (dryly) 'No, on the other side of the screen.' 'GASP!' (bit too geeky?).

Instead of LCOM, could use GENERICOM. (update: can't, they exist - D'oh!)

Might integrate into a full episode.

Some details remain to be fleshed out - will depend on the larger story.

(c) gl.tter 2002 updated: 25 Aug 2002