Michael Frayn's screenplay has a different opening, involving illuminated digits on a clock radio, Cleese waking up when the alarm goes off and Cleese seen naked and wet in the shower ("a sight few of us expected to see in our lifetime").
The story describes the efforts of Brian Stimpson (Cleese), the headmaster of Thomas TompionComprehensive School, to travel to an annual Headmasters' Conference. Having been habitually late and disorganised as a young man, Stimpson has grown up to become fastidiously punctual, and his school runs "like clockwork". He is the first headmaster of a comprehensive school to be elected to chair a Headmaster's Conference, that honour usually being reserved for headmasters of the more prestigious private schools. After preparing and rehearsing his speech, he boards the wrong train on his way to the conference, loses the text of the speech, and suffers a series of setbacks as he tries to reach the conference.
The actual locations used did not reflect the supposed setting at that time. Most... Read More