ElvenQuest. Image shows from L to R: Penthiselea (Sophie Winkleman), Sam (Stephen Mangan), Lord Darkness (Alistair McGowan). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.

Repeat Scheduled:
  Wed 1st (10:30pm, Radio 4 Extra)

ElvenQuest

Radio sitcom about a fantasy novelist who is whisked away to a parallel universe. Stars include Stephen Mangan and Alistair McGowan

AKA:
Elven's Quest (Working Title); Elvenquest; Elven Quest
Genre:
Sitcom
Broadcast:
2009 - 2013  (BBC Radio 4)
Episodes:
24 (4 series)
Starring:
Stephen Mangan, Dave Lamb, Darren Boyd, Kevin Eldon, Sophie Winkleman, Ingrid Oliver, Alistair McGowan, Chris Pavlo
Writers:
James Cary, Anil Gupta, Richard Pinto
Production:
British Broadcasting Corporation

Sam Porter is a misanthropic fantasy novelist whose best friend is his pet dog Amis. While at a book signing in Totnes High Street, three people, whom Sam presumes are hard-core fantasy fans dressed in full costume, kidnap Amis. Sam fights them and during the fight, both Sam and Amis end up in an actual fantasy world - Lower Earth.

Sam learns that the three kidnappers, Vidar the Elf Lord, Penthiselea the Warrior Princess and Dean the Dwarf kidnapped Amis for he is "The Chosen One" who will find The Sword of Asnagar, a mythical weapon of great power, "for whosoever wields the sword shall rule all of Lower Earth".

Thus the band of warriors take Amis, now transformed into a human form but with the same mannerisms, to find the sword, but the condition that Sam comes with them. As they travel however, the forces of evil are constantly watching them, led by the sinister, cunning and laid back Lord Darkness with help from his more violent assistant Kreech.

In Series 4, as they continue their search for the Sword of Asnagar, the Questers find themselves travelling through more dangerous kingdoms.

Our Review: This series started slowly but has become more enjoyable as it has gone on. The gag count in the scripts is sometimes slightly on the low side, but there are some great laughs along the way. Alistair McGowan as the over-relaxed clueless baddie and Kevin Eldon as his too-eager-to-please sidekick are particular highlights. With a third series under its belt and a fourth on the way, this sitcom looks like it could run for some time yet.