In this six-chapter mini-series, Lady Penelope goes on a quest all around 1668 Europe to retrieve the three fragments of the Key to Space, a prodigious (and quite hazardous) device crafted by her late father, the Time Lord Morrolan, also known as the Architect… Who knows what hidden perils, mysteries and revelations await her?
First Fragment: The Shining City
I. The Hollow Court
Lady Penelope’s quest for the Key to Space first takes her to Whitehall Palace in London, the seat of King Charles II’s decadent and intrigue-riddled court. Her search soon brings her to join forces with England’s rising star architect, Christopher Wren, to whom her father had entrusted the first fragment of the Key – which has just been stolen by an unknown party…
II. The Invisible College
Penelope’s search for the stolen fragment of the Key takes her to Oxford, where she quickly draws the attention of the Invisible College, an ancient secret institution fallen under the influence of the mysterious Twilight People. But what is the true agenda of these elusive entities? And why are they so interested in Christopher Wren’s dream of a new London?
Aside from Christopher Wren himself, this first two-parter featured quite a few historical guest stars and cameos, including Charles II, his various mistresses (well, as far as 1668 was concerned: Barbara Palmer née Villiers, Moll Davis and Nell Gwynn), his wife and his brother James, the inevitable Samuel Pepys, John Denham (reinvented here as a truly tragic figure), the polymath genius Robert Boyle and Lady Margaret Cavendish, duchess of Newcastle and author of that strangest of utopias, The Blazing World…
Next stop: Prague!