Ralf Little (Morris Dancer's Son) would go on to star in "Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps", "The Royle Family", "The Café" and "The Zoo" and he would host his own talk-show "The Ralf Little Show". See more »
The opening credits sequence is a computer animated sequence of a medieval village being attacked by black knights on horses. They attack villagers and fight their way across a bridge towards a castle that is on fire. See more »
Dated effects, average writing, but magical nonetheless
ELIDOR was the last of the big Children's BBC fantasy series that had their heyday in the 1980s. These effects-fuelled adventures - I'm talking the likes of THE BOX OF DELIGHTS, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN - fascinated and delighted the minds of young BBC viewers during that decade; I should know, because I was one of them.
ELIDOR is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by popular children's fantasy writer Alan Garner. I remember loving it at the age of 14, as I was the same age as the kids involved. Nowadays it's lost a little of its lustre, which is mainly down to the mid-'90s CGI effects work which has dated very badly. However, it's still an endearing production, despite all of the problems.
The first thing you notice about ELIDOR is that the plotting is all over the place. Not much actually happens in what is obviously a low budget adaptation. For 90% of the running time we get kids wandering around and arguing about things they've seen. The acting is of a very average standard and the dialogue is repetitive, particularly from the disbelieving kids who remain sceptics even after everything they've seen.
And yet, and yet...there's something still magical about this. The villainous knight and his sidekick 'sniffer' are pantomime creations that somehow work. The home invasion stuff is well achieved, with the bit involving the cat very brutal for the target audience. The theme tune is fantastic, and ELIDOR as a whole serves as a perfect primer for getting a young audience into the fantasy genre. Not perfect then, but a curate's egg for fans of British fantasy.
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