Tales of Bacon, a Satisfyingly Refreshing Period Series

Posted by Leah on 5/4/2016 11:45:29 AM

        I don’t usually review TV or web series, but when the creators of the new web series Tales of Bacon contacted me asking me to check out their show I knew I had to give it a look. Tales of Bacon is “a medieval road trip comedy featuring a Pardoner, a Young Noblewoman and a Mysterious Knight.” So far they’ve only released the pilot episode, but from what I’ve seen this series is going to be a great one!
Gemma Shelton, Adam Elms and Ted the Ox on the set of Tales of Bacon (Photo courtesy Natalie Roe)

Gemma Shelton, Adam Elms and Ted the Ox on the set of Tales of Bacon (Photo courtesy Natalie Roe)

        Set in 1300’s England, the series follows Elfrida Deverwyck and Thaddeus Bacon. Elfrida is a young noblewoman who has run away from home in search of her true love, as her father plans her wedding to the much younger Derek of Burstwick. Thaddeus Bacon is traveling his way across the country, selling “the pardons of The Lord” to sinners along the way, and of course, EVERYONE is a sinner.
        The series aims to be a Monty Python-esque parody of life in the middle ages, and so far they’ve hit the nail on the head. The pilot episode is short, only 11 and a half minutes long, but it gives viewers enough of a taste of what’s to come to want more. But that’s where the trouble comes in. The series is being released one episode at a time due to the budget constraints that a crowdfunding cash source imposes. At the end of the pilot is a link that tells you to “Donate here if you’d like to find out what happens next.” They’re aiming for a goal of 1500 British pounds to finish the series, plus stretch goals for festival entry fees, so at the moment at least, the episodes will be few and far between.
        I had the opportunity to speak to Natalie Roe, the director and cowriter of the series, and asked her what the plans are for releasing the rest of the series. She said, “It'll be a standard British sitcom structure of 6 episodes of around 10 minutes each. [Right now] 3 [episodes] have already been filmed. It's short enough to be achievable, but still have a satisfying narrative arc. We want to release the rest at the end of this year, but it depends on how well our crowdfunding goes and how fast the post-production process can be. The music, for example, is all original composition, so it's not something we want to be too hasty about. [We want to] make something really refined and the best it can possibly be!”
Natalie Roe gives notes to Gemma and Adam on the set of Tales of Bacon (Photo courtesy Natalie Roe)

Natalie Roe gives notes to Gemma and Adam on the set of Tales of Bacon (Photo courtesy Natalie Roe)

        Something interesting that I noticed while watching the first episode was that there were no signs of modern life. I fully understand how larger film companies can edit out all of the noise and visual cues that attest to life these days, but I was impressed that even filmmakers of more modest means can achieve the same results. Knowing that there are signs of people almost everywhere, I had to ask Natalie how on Earth they managed to accomplish authentic old world feel in the modern world. Here’s what she had to say, “We live in York, [England], which is a medieval town and still has a lot of architecture intact, so we are lucky, [location] is easy. There's a wonderful living history museum [nearby] who we borrow props from too, so that is covered. The outdoor scenes were filmed at Rosewood Farm in East Yorkshire, which is wonderful because it is far from power lines, although it is near an airfield, which has caused sound problems. We just have a very good post-production sound team! In public places, the team politely asks people to wait until we've finished a take, and they normally do. It's a very British thing! Another tried and tested idea is to film at 2am in historical buildings. That guarantees no public or other sounds!”
        It’s in knowing behind the scenes stories like this one that makes me appreciate the end result all the more. But, as with some of the short films I’ve reviewed, knowing the trials and tribulations that went on behind the scenes is not necessary to enjoy this delightful little series.
Tales of Bacon is a satisfyingly refreshing period series, awash in one-liners and character nuances that will have you giggling from the first minute to the last. Gemma Shelton and Adam Elms, as well as the rest of the cast, do such a phenomenal job of delivering their lines and embodying their characters that watching the pilot episode at least twice is a must, lest you miss any of the more subtle jokes.

         In a day and age when we’re over whelmed with the amount of choices to stream, be it from Amazon, Netflix, Hulu or otherwise, it’s nice to have a choice that you could easily fit in during your break at work, while the kids are napping, or anytime you find yourself with 11 ½ free minutes, making
Tales of Bacon an even more appealing guilty pleasure! So escape from the modern day for a few minutes to watch Tales of Bacon, you’ll be glad you did!

For more information about Tales of Bacon use the links below: