Rainbows End: Treatment

We live today in a world of science and rationalism, where fancy and enchantment have been banished. Or so we like to think.

Certainly, times are hard for fairies. Oberon's mighty kingdom has shrunk to a basement flat in Rainbows End, a dilapidated terrace in Lewisham, and the fairies are now compelled to live double lives. Oberon now passes himself off in the outside world as RON O'BRIEN, a down-at-heel old gent with a passion for horseracing and a weakness for booze and grass. Meanwhile, his faithful puck, ROBIN, keeps a market stall and tries to make a bob or two with get-rich-quick schemes.

But Ron can no longer pay the rent for-- as everyone knows-- fairy gold vanishes at sundown. Things come to a head when plans are announced to build a Shard-like office block on the site of Rainbows End, tempting the fairies' landlady, DEIDRE GREENWOOD, to sell up. But Ron has an even bigger worry than homelessness: will fairies even continue to exist when nobody believes in them?

If money is a problem, so too is love. Of course, fairies have always seduced mortals and Titania, the Queen of Fairyland, once famously slept with a donkey. So, it's maybe not all that surprising that Ron's vampish wife, who now goes by the moniker TANYA, starts the series as a leather-clad dominatrix and finishes it riding a City property developer around a racetrack, after he's been turned into a horse.


Adding to the confusion, Robin's assistant, the club DJ NIGHTINGALE, has fallen in love with NICK BUTT-WEAVER-- the very same City property developer who caught Tanya's eye. Only, RAJ seems immune to heartache and jealousy, for predictably enough, the Indian boy of Shakespeare's comedy has grown into a young man of irresistible attractiveness. 

Despite its spectacular song-and-dance routines and its cast of lovelorn mortals and dissolute fairies, Rainbows End addresses the realities, and the delusions, of contemporary society. For example, the first story, told over five episodes, asks whether financial speculation is any more rational than backing horses and questions whether the wealth of the City is any more substantial than fairy gold.