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Oneira

This was a five-part series first broadcast on radio in 2007. I've seen a couple of other reviews on the web which were distinctly underwhelmed, but I rather enjoyed it. The title character is a museum attendant who gets swept into a search for the Lux Ater, the Book of Black Light, which will provide a link between string theory and alchemy, at the behest of 400-year-old alchemist Nikolai, who steps out of one of the paintings in the museum. Other incidental characters include Oneira's odious boyfriend who spends most of the sequence reduced to a bucket of water and able to communicate only by farting gurgles. There are some sophisticated jokes about philosophy and some nice one-liners.

The episode titles are 1) The Big Chill (featuring a mutating fridge), 2) Sleight of Mind, featuring the powers of the electric company, 3) A String of Time, featuring Philip K. Dick and Roger Bacon, 4) The Thing with Two Cappuccinos, with a horde of android baristas, and 5) Mind the Gap, where Oneira spends most of the episode talking to herself. I had not previously heard of the author, Robert Easby, or of either of the two leads, Lindsay Marshall as Oneira and Peter Marinka as Nikolai, but they all impressed me and I shall look out for them in future. Not quite as profound as perhaps it aspired to be, but I enjoyed it.
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