BBC 7 is replaying Oneira once again, from Monday through Friday of this week (March 3-7, 2008).
This is fantasy rather than science fiction, and has its characters debating philosophy while trying to solve the mystery of String Theory.
Oneira is a woman who works in a museum, and wants to take up smoking so she can have a habit to kick, and she lives with her boyfriend Pete who is a very well off banker who treats their relationship strictly on a business footing.
One day she meets Nikolai Van Der Man. Both of them look exactly like two people in a 400-year old painting in the musuem, Nikolai is the artist. He is searching for the Lux Atter (not sure of the spelling) the Book of Black Light - which proves the link between alchemy and string theory.
In this first episode, Nikolai gives Oneira a small shoe-box refrigerator, which she brings home to the pent-house flat she shares with Pete. It cries like a baby to be fed, and Pete falls victim to its powers of mind control, feeding it as it grows larger and larger.
Frankly, I didn't care for this show at all. It's full of "flip" humor and quips, none of the characters act like real human beings, and you don't really care for any of them, as they don't seem to care for each other. There's no sense of connection - Pete disappears at the end of the episode, but I really wouldn't have cared if Oneira had done as well. As for Pete, he's an unpleasant character from beginning to end, so there's certainly no sense of loss when he goes, least of all felt by Oneira!
Written by Robert Easby
Oneira - Lindsay Marshall
Nikolai - Peter Marinka
Pete - Joseph Kloska
Salesman (of refrigerators. "I think, therefore I chill.") - Mark Straker
Vistor - Bethan Walker
The Big Chill: Museum guard Oneira meets a 400 year old Dutchman who invites her on a quest to discover the secrets of the universe.
Sleight of Mind: Oneira is interrogated by a man from the Electrical Company - but is he trying to help her, or is he an alien? Episode 2 of 5.
A String of Time: Oneira ends up in the Texan Desert with a dead American comic and a 13th-century Friar. Episode 3 of 5.
The Thing with Two Cappuccinos: When she forgets to pay for a coffee, Oneira is chased by multiplying android coffee bar staff.
Mind the Gap: Oneira ends up talking to herself, literally, and finds her other self very rude. Episode 5 of 5.