Ill Peleirin is a long-running Kemrese science fiction television programme produced by the BBC about a mysterious time-travelling adventurer known only as "The Stranger", (the English name of the character) who explores time with his companions in a "TEDDRING" (Temp E DDimensiwn Reladiw I NGwaglog), fighting evil. His most infamous enemies are the Ddalec. The catch phrase is "Dirumheth! Dirumheth!!" (Destroy! Destroy!!). Ill Peleirin is also the title of a 1996 television movie featuring the same character. It is common to see the show's title listed as just "Stranger", even by the BBC, although purists consider this form incorrect.
The programme is one of the longest-running science fiction television series in the world and also a significant part of FK popular culture. It has been recognised for its imaginative stories, creative low-budget special effects and pioneering use of electronic music (originally produced by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Elements of the programme are well known and identifiable even to non-fans. In Britain and elsewhere, the show has only been recently rivaled as a cult television favourite by Space Voyage 2245 and has influenced generations of British television writers, many of whom grew up watching the series. It has received recognition from critics and the public as one of the finest British television programmes, including a BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series in 2006.
The programme originally ran from 1962 to 1990. A series of television movies were made from 1991 to 1996, and were later syndicated as a series of 30 minute segments from 1996 until 1999. The programme was successfully relaunched in 2004, produced in-house by BBC-Kemr. Some development money is contributed by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which is credited as a co-producer in overseas markets, although they do not have creative input into the series. Broadcast outside of the Commonwealth of the 2005 series began on March 17, 2006 in Louisianne, Oregon and Montrei.
The new series, starring Tom Garvey as Ill Peleirin and Elizabeth Rhinalt as his companion Daisy Knightley, with regular appearances of Gwillam Horsht as a benign, and often useful stowaway in the Teddring began in the FK at 7.15pm, 15 April 2004 on BBC One. Ill Peleirin is produced by Durfriw Dewi.
The Stranger is an unnamed inhabitant of "The End of Time", an era in the far future where the entire known universe has been pacified. With a lack of enemies and mastery of regenerative science, humans spend their near immortal life in peaceful philosophical pursuits.
Craving for the excitements which this era lacked, the man who would become known as The Stranger spent his days trying to devise a machine that would allow him to travel back in time and experience more chaotic times.
This machine, the TEDDRING actually included not only the Time-Displacement Generator but the entire home of The Stranger which had been caught in the Timewaves when it was first turned on. It was this house then that traveled through time but due to a quirk in parachronic physics it would always rematerialise inside some other construct already in the time period visited. This meant that while the inside of the TEDDRING always remained the same, the outside might be much smaller (in one episode, the TEDDRING door became linked to the flap of a postbox).
The Stranger thus became an adventurer, visiting famous events and sometime getting caught in them. He also quickly developed an habit of picking up "Time Hitchers" who would travel with him for a time only to leave when they would find a more suitable time period. At one point it was revealed that the periods into which he had traveled were all part of another timeline then his own meaning that his actions would never result in changing his native era.
During one adventure, The Stranger was captured by the Ddalecs and put into their Soul Extractor. When his body was later destroyed, The Stranger was forced to inhabit the body of a comatose patient to be able to interact with the physical world once more. Over the years, The Stranger (now existing as a disembodied being) was forced to inhabit a few different bodies following various incidents that occurred to his then current bodies.
Originally, The Stranger's adversaries were simply characters from the time period he was visiting but it was decided after a few episodes to introduce a recurring villain. The episode in question, "The Necropolis", began with The Stranger deciding to return to a period he had previously visited only to find it changed. Instead of the thriving 1920s Castreleon, he arrived in a desolate and burned version of it covered with graphitis that read simply "The Ddalecs are here".
After having conquered the entire known universe (and subjecting its inhabitants to the same process of soul extraction) they accidentally discovered the existence of other timelines. With the cold efficiency that characterize them, the Ddalecs set about conquering those parallel universes putting them at odds on numerous occasions with The Stranger.
While being The Stranger's "main villains", other adversaries beside the Ddalecs have appeared over the years including The Hunter, a native of The Stranger home-era who fear that his meddling in alternate timelines might eventually damage the fabric of time itself. While relentless in his pursuit, The Hunter (unlike other adversaries) has always been shown has an honourable (if misguided) person.
A group of adversaries seen in some early episodes, the Time Raiders, caused some controversy. These characters, supposedly dark ages Saxon bandits who rode magical "chrono-horses", were presented more as caricatures of modern Englishmen then historical Saxons and were considered by some viewers to border on racism. The group was dropped after the producers received too many complaints although they later introduced another similarly equipped groups of villains, time displaced Anglo-Norman Knights, who were scraped after only one appearance.
With the discovery of the Ddalec's alternate timeline came the realisation that many more timelines might exist. This was exploited by the producers who decided to release a feature length movie with a larger budget and different, better known actors. This movie, which was promoted as an "Alternate Adventure" of The Stranger, was generally poorly received due to the liberties it took with the original material (the main character real name being "John Stranger") while at the same time copying many episodes' storylines.
Although it had been presented from the onset as only an alternate version, it ended up causing much confusion with new viewers many of whom had been introduced to the characters through the movie. It was thereafter decided to institute a policy of "Quod Scripsit Scripsit" meaning that any new timeline introduced would be based on divergence from outside the show continuity (such as a timeline where dinosaurs are not extinct) and not containing "re-imagined" characters or events from past episodes.
This policy had the result that unlike other series, every story, every publication (books, tv specials, radio shows, etc..) are considered to be canonical in regard to its continuity. Because of this, many new stories were written over time to try and mend apparent continuity errors only to create new ones.
An Excerpt of a More Famous Episode
Dredged from the Archives of the BBC:
- "But, Mr. Peleirin," said the loyal companion, "surely the fate of the kingdom and the succession would be at risk if the king died now."
- The infamous gentleman in motley paused. It was not for no reason that he was considered older than actors and wiser than ratings.
- "No, my dear," he replied, "I am strictly forbidden to interfere with your human politics, lest we cross the time streams. Who knows what could result from that!"
- He bounded away. "Keep up," he boomed, "we still have an adbreak left to spoil the fluffy bunny robots' evil plan to destroy the universe!"
[to be continued...]
- Peleirin often saves the day by "contrwollar lla bolardad di lla fain niwtron" (reversing the polarity of the neutron current).
- Another famous quote is:
"Yst es Castreleon. Llondin nghoidarew rhen se'll inheir di Ghemr
ddruith-bunent affunaf i lla for. Fon Ddew! Eo yscurs fil yn Comro!"
The quote was used by an alien predator masquerading as the Rheithur of Castreleon and exemplifies for many Kemrese viewers the relationship that exists between London and Castreleon.
- The TEDDRING, as seen on the outside, was originally supposed to always stay the same shape (a dome made of canvas). After a few incidents while transporting and setting it up, it was decided that it would be more cost efficient to simply use some construct on location for the TEDDRING outside appearance.
- The Ddalecs were originally presented as highly religious believing that oneness of appearance and mind would in effect, make the whole of the Ddalec into God. Combined with their nationalistic outlook (seeing their way of life as superior) and a few other not-so-subtle reference to it, the Ddalecs were clearly intended to be an allegory of the SNORist regime. Most overt comparisons (such as the first Ddalec's human name being an anagram of Kornilov) were retconned away over the years.
- The Incident with the Ddalec's Soul Extractor was written during the 3rd season for practical reasons. The actor that had played The Stranger until then had suddenly left the show after being refused creative input. Some rationale then was required to explain a change in actor. Later, this plot device was re-used whenever a new actor needed to be brought in.
- After the BBC stopped producing new episodes, the series was distributed in a few others countries where it gained a cult following. With the number of back episodes quickly coming to an end, a conglomerate was set up to produce new ones. a made for TV movie was made but received a disappointing rerun, ending any hope of further non-british episodes being made. Interestingly, one of the staff writer on the TV movie was Eugenio Roddenberry who went on the produce his on series, Space Voyage 2245.
- The rumour that Telefisiwn Comroig was going to get a known transvestite to play Ill Peleirin has been confirmed as a prank.
Opening Credits (English distribution)