Egypt: The Pyramids: Land of the Pharoahs -- The "Lost Tomb of Nezra" has finally been discovered by a young, dedicated archeologist, PETER QUADE. It is his intention to excavate & preserve the tomb & its treasures -- but a group of men in his camp turn out to be modern-day GRAVE ROBBERS, betraying him, kidnapping him, threatening to kill him if he does not lead them to the inner sanctum of Nezra's Tomb where the real riches lay.
There's a problem: Nezra was a very self-indulgent, possessive Pharoah. He wanted to take it all with him. So he masterminded a labyrinth of deadly obstacles between himself & the outside world. The kidnappers are schrewd enough to realize that they need insurance -- & that their kidnapped archeologist needs help.
They send out two messages: one takes the form of a ransom note to Peter's father, the oil/mineral tycoon, DOUGLAS QUADE. The other message is delivered in the form of a strange but beautiful ring from Nezra's Tomb -- sent to Peter's friend & inspiration, SIMON McKAY.
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THE WIZARD'S INVOLVEMENT:
He will come to his friend's rescue of course, over the objections of Alex. In trying to flush the GRAVE-ROBBERS out, he will will become trapped in the bowels of Nezra's Tomb. The only way out possible will require running the gauntlet of deadly traps & obstacles to the inner sanctum. The Wizard has figured that Nezra's "Door to the New Life" is the door to their freedom. Simon's wizardry, Peter's expertise in Egyptian culture, & Alex's brawn must be glued together if there is to be any hope of survival.
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THE GUARDIAN'S RING:
This strange & beautiful ring was taken off the skeleton of the Guard at the Tomb's entrance. Little did the Grave-Robbers know that the ring carried Nezra's curse. Tillie received the ring from a messenger, who's car got in a fender-bender on the way over. Once Tillie brings the ring inside the house, all hell breaks loose. The washing machine, oven, air-conditioner go haywire. Anything electrical needs an Exorcist. By the time the Wizard gets home from an errand with Alex, the house is a wreck, & so is Tillie. Simon is handed the ring: from the cryptic markings on the band, he knows that it is from the legend of Nezra's Tomb -- & he knows his friend is in trouble, because Peter would not send him such an ominous artifact.
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THE PERSONAL STORY:
This is established when Simon visits DOUGLAS QUADE, Peter's estranged father. The rigid, reclusive Oil Tycoon has received the multi-million dollar ransom note & rejected it out of hand. With bitterness, he remarks that Peter got himself into his own predicament -- & as usual, when he needs help, he doesn't call upon his father, he calls upon Simon McKay.
Simon tries to make the Old Man see that his son always wanted to turn to him -- he just didn't want to turn into him. Peter didn't want to be an oil baron, he wanted to preserve the past; he didn't want to be a geologist, but an archeologist. The senior Quade's hot retort is that his own son swindled him out of a land/oil lease in that Egyptian valley so that he could drill for pottery & mummies instead of oil. He points an accusing finger at Simon for being a destructive influence, someone responsible for leading Peter astray, away from his family, the business, the young man's rightful place in the Quade Dynasty.
Simon & Alex are asked to leave -- & leave they do, for Egypt.
***What we set up here is a story thread about a father & son healing old wounds & misunderstandings. Simon is the bounce for Peter's bitterness & defensiveness: Meanwhile, on the homefront, TILLIE squares off & eventually opens up Douglas Quade's acceptance of his son's lifestyle & choices.
* I would love to see a scene where the Old Man finds himself in the Wizard's workshop, surrounded by the toys & wonderment he was denied as a kid -- that he denied his own sons. It's no wonder Peter ran away to hang out with Simon McKay.
Part of our resolution will be Father & Son reunion. Douglas will ask Peter to come home. Peter will want to stay in Nezra's valley: "This is Home." Douglas Quade will offer support & encouragement from hereon out for his son's work.
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THE STORY DRAMATICS:
After Simon & Alex arrive, they are immediately followed by one of the Grave-Robbers. They dupe this guy, so he unwittingly leads them to the entrace to Nezra's Tomb, where the rest of the kidnappers are holding Peter. However, through a twist of fate, Simon & Alex are collared & thrown in the Tomb with Peter. It's time to lead the robbers to the inner sanctum.
Later, when the going gets too dangerous (maybe one of the robber-party is killed or runs away), the robbers take what valuables they have & split. Simon makes sure the Guardian's ring is part of their loot. Before leaving, the Robbers decide to cover their tracks by wrapping our trio up as Mummies. Then they seal the tomb permanently. Simon, with the use of some high-powered stick-um chewing gum, unwraps himself in Houdini fashion, freeing the others -- & then they are off through the deadly maze, making their way to Nezra's inner sanctum & eventual freedom.
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In Simon's bag of tricks is a "Hypnotic Device" that can charm the snakes out of their path, or help an injured Peter remember facts of Egyptian folklore or hieroglyphics, etc. There is also a helium-lift device to get them over traps, & God knows what.
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IN THE END:
Father & Son make a big step in resolving long-standing differences; Simon & Alex can't wait to get hom to a shower, candy, & creature comforts; & our GRAVE-ROBBERS, who have tried to get out of town unsuccessfully by plane, car, & camel, are stranded in the desert, ready to be picked up by the authorities. Little are they aware of the fact that they've been carrying the curse of Nezra with them. As we see the ring on the finger of the Robber/Leader as he is handcuffed:
WE FADE OUT:
Page from The Michael Berk Collection
Page Property of Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz, & John Whelpley