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Author Topic: Another Dredd Script (long post)  (Read 269 times)

Robin Low

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Another Dredd Script (long post)
« on: 24 August, 2020, 08:51:24 AM »
I wrote this last year. I was going to post it a couple of months ago, but discovered that the forum wouldn't allow it as an attachment. I wondered about posting it as a page a post, but then decided just to dump it here in one post. Having gone through it and done a lot of underlining, I find I don't have the patience right now to go through and do all the bolding for emphasis - you can decide for yourselves.

The story is a response to my own feelings about The Samaritan storyline and features the Doctor McGruder character I used in the Dane story I posted a while back.

As always, all comment welcome, for good or ill.

A six-page story for Judge Dredd by Robin Low
With acknowledgment and apologies to Kenneth Niemand

Doctor McGruder: The slightly younger sister of the late Chief Judge McGruder. Imagine what McGruder might have looked like if she’d never taken the Long Walk, 70+ years old, but with white hair, pulled severely back in a ponytail. Straight-backed and serious. Very fit and healthy for her age.  White Howie lab coat (http://www.kit.ie/products/product_detail/howie-coat), but only coming down as far as her upper thighs. Red trousers, red judge boots and gloves.  Carries a walking stick, but doesn’t look like she needs it. (The stick is essentially a Hondo City Judge’s tendo stave, but with the handle looking like an eagle with its wings swept back.) Her badge and chain are red. She carries a small, thigh-holstered handgun, the Medgiver (red metal, with a stubby muzzle like a small mushroom and a revolver-like cylinder – it’s a combination stun/needle gun). Other trivial details could include large round white earrings bearing a red eagle symbol.



The psi-vaults, rows of tanks in the background (see final page of JD: The Samaritan part four, Prog 2139 for reference). Judge McGruder and Judge Anderson are flanked by two serious-looking helmeted Med Judges. McGruder is showing a slim tablet device to a Psi-Tek at a desk. They all look like they mean business.

TEXT BOX: The Psi-Vaults.

MCGRUDER: Unit 73-B. The Samaritan. Release to Med-Division authorised by the Chief Judge. Get her unhooked and fit for transport. Now.


The nervous Psi-Tek examines the tablet.

PSI-TEK: But … she’s Dredd’s informant. He’ll cube us! If we’re lucky!


McGruder leans in close to the intimidated Psi-Tek, placing her gun and her walking stick on the Psi-Tek’s desk.

MCGRUDER: Son, I respect what you do, but I’m a Senior Judge. Do as you’re told or I’ll stun you. Annoy me, and I’ll do it with my stick.


Anderson leans in close to the Psi-Tek, smiling.

ANDERSON: And I’ll make you quack like a duck.


The Samaritan’s body has been removed and is inside a smaller transport tank on a futuristic medical trolley. The two mean looking Med Judges are wheeling her out the vaults. McGruder is signing something on the tablet device for the Psi-Tek. Anderson is also leaving with a cheery wave.

MCGRUDER: Thanks for your assistance, Cass. I’ll call you later to take her out of the psi-coma.

ANDERSON: Happy to help, Berenice. She’s had it rough, but she’s a strong one.


McGruder is handing the tablet back to the Psi-Tek.

MCGRUDER: Dredd gives you any trouble, son, refer the old bastard to me.



A large, bright operating theatre, with lots of machines and medical devices. The Samaritan is still in the transport tank, with Med Judge One examining readouts. McGruder is stood with Med Judge Two.

TEXT BOX: Med-Division – Biomechanics

MED JUDGE ONE: Body’s still stable. Brain activity is in coma minimal.

MCGRUDER: Good. Prep her surgery.


Med Judge Two and McGruder, talking.

MED JUDGE TWO: What about Dredd?

MCGRUDER: Don’t worry. They’ll be too scared to tell him quickly and he’ll be too busy to come right away. We have time.


McGruder and her surgical team of three or four others are dressed for surgery. The unconscious Samaritan is out of her tank and on the operating table, still connected to all the metal and tubes we saw in Prog 2139, as referenced above.


MCGRUDER: Alright, pay attention. This is a complex job, but we need to be fast. I expect us at the top of our game.

MCGRUDER: Now, let’s get the replacement out.


TEXT BOX: Day Two.

McGruder’s in her office at her desk, looking at reports. One of the Med Judges has entered and is carrying a large tablet.

MED JUDGE: She’s stable in the psi-coma. Other vital signs exactly as we’d want them.

MCGRUDER: Good. Keep me apprised. And keep the guards on her room.


McGruder is doing ward rounds. She’s checking on Judges who have had various mechanical body replacements. Some are in bed, some are up and walking (or limping) around.

TEXT BOX: Day Three.


Pretty much the same image from Panel FOUR, except the Med Judge is replaced with an angry-looking Dredd entering her office.

TEXT BOX: Day Four

DREDD: McGruder…

MCGRUDER: Good morning, Joe. You took your time.

DREDD: Been busy. What the hell are you playing at?


McGruder and Dredd are face to face. She’s smiling. She’s not intimidated by him in the slightest.

MCGRUDER: Let’s take a walk to the gym. Bring your daystick.



Dredd and McGruder are in the gym, squaring off. Both are now in vest tops. Dredd has his daystick and McGruder has her walking stick, which as I mentioned looks rather like a Hondo City Judge’s tendo stave. McGruder is a tall, skinny old bird, all wiry muscle (think Iggy Pop)

MCGRUDER: Remember I was on sabbatical in Hondo when you saved Margie from the needle?

MCGRUDER: All these years and I never properly thanked you. Remiss of me.


Dredd and McGruder trade a few blows.

DREDD: Why’d you steal my informant? She’s a valuable asset.

MCGRUDER: Asset? You’d have died in that alley, but she saved you!

DREDD: She broke the law. I warned her not to run.


McGruder ducks a swing from Dredd and whacks him in the butt with her stick. (Hitting him in the butt with her stick is significant.)

MCGRUDER: You know what, Joe? I think you got old and sloppy… got shot by a two-bit punk!

MCGRUDER: Then you tank the girl who saved you to prove you’re as tough and mean as ever!


Dredd is annoyed. He gets a blow in on McGruder.

DREDD: You a shrink now too, McGruder?


Another strong blow from Dredd, but McGruder blocks it.

MCGRUDER: You’re a soldier and a detective. Med Judges are versatile, too.


Dredd gets in a good blow and sends McGruder flying.

DREDD: Yeah, but you’re no Street Judge!


I’m seeing Panels One, Two and Three viewed in profile, all with McGruder lying on the ground, but propping herself up on her elbows.


Dredd stood on the left with McGruder lying on the ground, but propping herself up on her elbows looking at Dredd.

DREDD: Still think I’m old and sloppy, McGruder?


McGruder is still in exactly the same position as before, but Dredd is starting to wobble and fall backwards.


McGruder is still in exactly the same position as before, and Dredd is lying flat out unconscious on the floor.

MCGRUDER: Frankly, Joe, yes.


A private room, Dredd is lying on a hospital bed, still in his vest, his arms folded. He seems more grumpy than angry. McGruder is sat on a chair (perhaps Dredd’s jacket and badge draped across the back) by the bed. McGruder looking slightly smug.

TEXT BOX: A few hours later…

DREDD: It was when you hit me in the butt, wasn’t it?

MCGRUDER: Yes, it’s an old doctor’s trick. The blow numbs you to the needle.


Focus on McGruder

MCGRUDER: Now listen, Joe. The man who cared about my mad sister is not the kind of man who traps good people in hell as departmental assets.


Dredd sat up on the edge of the bed, pulling on his jacket. McGruder is on the way out the door, looking back.

MCGRUDER: Take a couple of days. Think about it. Doctor’s Orders. I trust you to do the right thing.



Another private bedroom. The Samaritan is sat up in bed, wearing a hospital gown. She looks fully restored, perhaps a slightly younger version of herself. She’s had a full body transplant. Cassandra Anderson is sat on one side of the bed. Across the room, McGruder is stood halfway through the door.

TEXT BOX: A couple of days…

MCGRUDER: More visitors. Brace yourself, girl!


Dredd and Judge Rico, stood side by side, looking out of place and uncomfortable. The Samaritan nervously pulls her bed sheets up to her chest, eye wide, frightened. Anderson places a comforting hand on her shoulder.

ANDERSON: It’s okay, honey, they’re cool.

MCGRUDER: They both have things to say to you. Rico?


Focus on Dredd and Rico, side by side.

RICO: Sorry I shot you up so bad. We’re trained to make the kill shot, but I didn’t understand the situation. It was overkill.


Focus on Dredd and Rico side by side.

DREDD: You saved my life. Thank-you. Putting you in the tank was a mistake and I apologise.


Focus on Dredd and Rico side by side, heads turned to face each other.


Focus on Dredd and Rico side by side, face turned forward again as in Panels Three and Four.

DREDD AND RICO (simultaneously):  Umm… Get well soon.



The three women left alone in the room. The Samaritan looking from Anderson to McGruder, utterly shocked and bewildered.

THE SAMARITAN: What … what the hell was that?

ANDERSON: Those were apologies. I got one once, too. Kinda scary.

MCGRUDER: And when men like them apologise, you can know they’re sincere.


Focus on McGruder.

MCGRUDER: Time to move on. You, my girl, have a new force-grown clone body. It’s compensation… but also an obligation.


McGruder hands the Samaritan a small, unmarked white box.

MCGRUDER: Dredd was right on one score. You’re an asset. So we’re making you a Judicial Associate.


MCGRUDER: You’ll work for Med- and Psi-Div, mentored by us. We’ll develop your obvious talents.

ANDERSON: We won’t lock you way. You’ll get out on the streets, work cases with us. Help people. It’ll be hard work, but worth it.


THE SAMARITAN: I’m guessing this is an offer I can’t refuse.

MCGRUDER: You’d be a damn fool if you did, and I wouldn’t have gone to this trouble if I thought you were.

ANDERSON: Yeah, Dredd doesn’t pull his punches…


Close up of the box McGruder gave the Samaritan. It’s open, in her hands and contains a silver Judge’s badge sat on red satin with the name SAM (or SAMARA, perhaps?) on it.

VOICE FROM OUT OF PANEL: Welcome to Justice Department.