In this adventure Paul McGann, with the aid of his young companion, must travel around helping random people and combatting strange dark forces with a few simple tools. There is no knowing how long he has been going or exactly all that he has seen but there is certainly one foe he has butted heads with more than once and fought hard to thwart their dark and evil schemes. No of course it’s not Doctor Who, didn’t you read the title?
In truth Fables of Forgotten things could be one of the hardest of the pilots I am going to discuss to sum up and sell which means I can see why above all others it didn’t get picked up but at the same time that same reason makes it one of the most interesting pilots I’ve covered and perhaps the one I wish most had been picked up.
Clarence, as McGann is known, goes around finding lost things people like you and I have misplaced; old toys or battered books and with these he unlocks our memories. His mission is to return them to people, often just as they need them the most though whether that is part of his job or narrative convention Is tough to say. Meanwhile an Eldritch, or possibly the eldritch spirit, goes around draining the memory from people one story at a time. This spirit can take on any form and knows much about those it encounters even when they should not be there. It is said that it needs these memories as it did not form enough of its own perhaps meaning that it was once alive. Though what happened to it we can not say, nor if it just needs these memories to digest or if there is some grander scheme.
It is up to McGann to locate these objects and place them where they can be found often coated in a home made blend of dust and cobwebs in the hope that that one memory can bring enough back to restore people and drive off the Eldritch.
There are only four actors in the short and I would guess about three rooms though only one is used extensively, this being the bedroom where we first find our hero hiding under an old ladies bed. Each of the actors does a passable job though I feel the brunt of the work falls to James Bird who plays the young Danny. He does a decent enough job though like the others it is hard to tell with the short run time and uncertain nature of the show. In truth the whole thing doesn’t really work as the first episode for a series but more of a pitch to be shopped around the networks. It seems odd that it wouldn’t be picked up as the BBC hit gold in the same year with a slightly dark family show about a mysterious traveller and is always desperate to fill the gap whenever it goes off the air with similar fair.
It has knocked around the BBC website for a few years and I believe even got a televisual airing at one point though as with most things it has now found its way to youtube where it can currently be found. It seems unlikely that anything will happen to it now after so long forgotten. Though that some how seems apt and it would be more than fitting for someone to find it again and remember.