Forward to next post: The date rolls round again
It goes like this: There’s a Bay Area public access cable show called Fantasy Bedtime Hour. Each episode is the same: two bubbleheaded and ostensibly naked girls, Juliana and Heatherly, lie in bed and read a four-page selection from Stephen R. Donaldson’s Lord Foul’s Bane, then try to figure it out. They invite “experts” to join their on-the-air discussions. They also direct Fantasy Action Sequences, in which are reenacted their interpretation of the latest four pages. So far, they’ve aired twenty-seven episodes.
Here’s Tadhg O’Higgins, their favorite expert, trying to explain the thing:
It’s an inspired blending of book and concept. This is the show’s plot summary from Episode One:
Hereís my understanding of how this show came to be: Juliana was working for a startup a couple of years back, and had very little free time. A friend of hers recommended Lord Foulís Bane, and she started reading it at night, which was the only time she had to read. Working ten- and twelve-hour days didnít leave much concentration for reading, and she would read about four pages a night before falling asleep. Lord Foulís Bane is a somewhat portentous, involved novel, heavy in both style and subject matter, not really suited to being dipped into and digested in small chunks. So each night Juliana would read four pages, and the next night remember just enough of what was going on to continue.
After about eight or ten months of this, another friend of Julianaís asked her what she was reading. Juliana said ďLord Foulís BaneĒ, and the friend asked what it was aboutóa question to which Juliana, thinking about it, realized she had no answer… And from that, somehow, Juliana and Heatherly came up with the idea for a TV show based on the two of them playing ditzy girls who trying to figure out the novel, in bed.
And Episode Two:
Thomas Covenant has just left his house in the country to walk two miles downtown to pay his phone bill at Pacific Bell. He is walking mechanically with his arms braced like a strangler because he has this disease called “VSE” which causes him to lose appendages (ie - 2 fingers) as a result of being very unclean.
On his way, he encounters a small boy who reaches out to touch him. The boy’s mother, whose heart is quailing, snatches her son out of harm’s way. Thomas Covenant is pissed. He is suppressing a memory of his ex-wife Joan when he notices 2 teenage girls trying on jewelry in a store. He pauses to eye them lecherously. It is as if his penis is just another amputated member. A man in an ocher robe runs into him and points at him. Grimacing wildly, he continues his journey to Pac Bell still walking like a strangler (ie - a robot).
And onward to Episode Three:
Thomas Covenant has just reached Pacific Bell to pay his bill. He is greeted by a hot chick who works there. She takes his bill and goes to the back room to check the status.
While he waits, Thomas Covenant takes out a pamphlet that was given to him earlier in the day by a Mormon boy. He is considering becoming a Mormon. When the hot chick returns, she informs him that his bill has already been paid. Thomas Covenant is really pissed. He has to focus on his aching ankles and wrists as he struggles to keep the anger at bay.
He then attempts to pick up the hot chick by lying to her about his leprosy. He tells her that “It isn’t catching. Except to children” (and beggars but apparently not hot chicks). She refuses his advances and he leaves Pac Bell in a rage. He walks mechanically downtown until he reaches a beggar.
Taking pity on the beggar, he attempts to tear off his white gold wedding ring to toss in the beggar’s cup but instead tears off his entire finger! Blood squirts from the wound! The beggar returns Thomas Covenant’s finger to him and Thomas is somehow able to reattach it. Suddenly, he finds himself surrounded by construction. Then as if appearing out of nowhere, he almost falls into a giant precipice filled with rough damnations multiplying below him.
Contrary to popular rumor, this is not how John Clute got his start.
Thomas Covenant finds himself falling into the precipice of his future after being hit by a car and struck in the head by a metaphorical spear. After bandaging his massive head wound, he realizes that he is deep within a cave filled with churros. A wretched figure is standing above him waving a staff.
The creature is yelling, “Mine! Mine! Done it! I have the staff! Lord Drool!”
From deep within the bowels of the cave a second ominous figure appears. It is Lord Foul himself! “Back, Rockworm!” he yells, “This prey is too great for you!”
Thomas Covenant cowers in terror. Eating a churro, Lord Foul explains the doomed lineage of Berek Lord Father, Loric, Ravi Shankar and Kiril Threndar Heart of Thundar. Don’t miss this compelling episode with our tallest Expert in Lord Foul’s Bane, Sean Knox!!!