Review: Pilgrim: Series 1 Ep 1: He Who Would Valiant Be

Pilgrim 1.1Meet Pilgrim – he refused to believe in the supernatural and has been paying the price… for nearly a thousand years. Now an old friend wants him delivered…

Now entering its fourth series on Radio 4, Pilgrim is one of those series that has flown for too long under the radar of genre fans. This first episode features a dragon named Ursula, scenes of merriment and festivities that could have stepped out of Doctor Who’s encounter with The Daemons back in 1971, and ancient rules that must be followed or the consequences will be truly terrible.

Pilgrim’s real name is William (Billy) Palmer, and he stands between the King of the Faeries (who cursed him with apparent immortality) and mankind, but, as with the way with such heroes, we don’t know he’s there. Sebastian Baczkiewicz’s series effortlessly combines modern-day concerns – a gun dealer who really has absolutely no idea who or what he is dealing with until it is far too late – with the medieval, with the former tending to come off worse.

Jamie Foreman makes a good foil for Paul Hilton’s Pilgrim in this opener, which gets the necessary exposition out of the way and throws you into the story as quickly as possible. Listening to it, you can see why the show is on its fourth run…

Verdict: If you’ve not caught Pilgrim yet, get ye to AudioGO smartish.  8/10

Paul Simpson

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