So, 2018 kicks off with the first three episode blurbs from the twelfth season of Lady Penelope's Odyssey, starting with a triad of adventures in the 18th century...
Episode 1: Cry of the Banshee
1771. Answering a call for help from the time-sensitive Alicia Maddox, Lady Penelope returns to the Scottish highlands to investigate what is either a typical case of autosuggestion through superstition or a genuine menace from the Grey Dimension - but where exactly is the frontier between belief and reality? Perhaps the answer can be heard in the Cry of the Banshee…
Episode 2: Britannica
It’s still 1771 and Penelope is still in Scotland, but in another world entirely – in Edinburgh, at the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment. The first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica has just been completed, heralding an age of Reason, Learning and British grandeur - provided the Time Lady can save history from the sleep of reason and the madness of kings.
Episode 3: The Art of EscapadeBack in 1790 Sweden for the New Year royal ball, mademoiselle Penelope soon ends up trapped in the TARDIS of the mad Collector, along with the chevalier de Marigny, the mesmerist Hesselius and her theatrical rival Louise Saint-Rémy. Will the Time Lady manage to save them, herself and the entire Braxiatel Collection from her captor’s deadly ultimatum?
So what's in store for season 12? I'm not telling yet (SPOILERS!) but after the tumultuous events of season 11 (which saw, among other things, the reassembly of the Key to Time, a new regeneration for our Time Lady AND the return of Gallifrey from the Time War), I felt a change of pace would be welcome and deliberately focused on the human angle for these first three stories, which shared the same historical era (actually, it was Penelope's player who decided it would be nice to stay a bit in the 18th century after the first episode so I had to react swiftly) but had very different atmospheres: eerie and gothic for Cry of the Banshee, historical light drama (well, at least that's how it started) for Britannica and a more caper-like feel for The Art of Escapade, which also introduced a new, hopefully recurring villain in the person of a greedy, obsessive elderly Time Lord known as the Collector.
Due to various time constraints (ah, Time...), we didn't have a real Xmas Special this year BUT the resolution of episode 2 borrowed quite a bit from Dickens' A Christmas Carol (well, if you replace the various Ghosts of Christmas by a Time Lady and Ebenezer Scrooge by George III but I'm sure you get the idea) AND episode 3 was both set AND played during New Year's Eve (1791 and 2018, respectively).
Bonne année à tous !