Arachnid is a Science Fiction Series programme.



This psychological drama series is set in Pembrokeshire, Wales and revolves around three characters - Rhiannon (Grug Maria), Myrddin (Dewi Rhys Williams) and a stranger (Gwion Huw) who arrives at the fictional village of Llanddewi Nant Ddu in the strangest way.

He has no idea who he is nor where he comes from.

But that isn't the only mystery facing the locals to the region. Life for them is about to take a spooky and bizarre turn - babies start being stolen from their cots, an avid church-goer is suddenly plagued by horrific premonitions, and a corner of Dyfed becomes totally ostracised by the authorities.

The author of this brilliant Welsh series is Geraint Jones, who also wrote the popular drama series A55, and maintains that everyone should be extremely frightened from time to time.

"I've been interested in fantasy and sci-fi for years, and I've tried to combine those elements with mythology. That's why I have introduced characters like Merlin, Rhiannon and Magnus Maximus. I was also keen to set the drama in Dyfed because there are so many spooky tales associated with the area - ghost stories, tales from the Mabinogion and strange phenomena like UFOs and the Pembrokeshire triangle," says Geraint.

For Grug Maria, who plays the local vicar, Rhiannon Wynne, the series and the character is a breath of fresh air. "In the past, there's been a tendency to cast me in glamorous roles, as occurred in Pris Y Farchnad and Yr Aduniad. I must admit I never dreamt I'd be cast as a vicar! But it's great having the chance to play a much more sensitive and introverted character for a change," says Grug, who comes from Burry Port, near Llanelli.

But Rhiannon's faith is put to the test as more and more strange events turn her life upside down. "Her brother and parents died around the same time. Her brother was a divinity student and she's now trying to find that faith," explains Grug. "But the strange happenings around her raise all sorts of serious doubts in her head and she almost reaches the end of her tether."

One of Rhiannon's best friends is Myrddin, editor of Ar@chnid, a web magazine that deals with the paranormal. Myrddin is quite a cynic but even his cynicism can't explain the strange goings-on in the area.

But the unexplainable wasn't just confined to the fantasy series - life can be stranger than fiction, as Grug found out when filming Arachnid.

"We were filming some scenes in the church at Manorbier in Pembrokeshire when something very, very spooky happened. A statue on one of the church walls just fell down on us and smashed into smithereens without any explanation - a statue that had been there for centuries. Everyone was extremely shocked and if someone was standing nearby, I'm sure they would have been killed," says Grug.

Grug admits that she has always been quite intrigued with the world of the paranormal, even before filming Arachnid, mainly because of her aunt who was a spiritualist.

"It sounds weird, but she used to know when someone was about to die because she'd hear them knocking on her walls and they'd 'visit' her. She hated her gift and was very frightened but her premonitions always came true," says Grug.

In the meantime, if you're feeling very brave, venture into Arachnid's web and to a world of spirits and premonitions, horrific murders, psychic power and destructive computer games. But remember - the line between fantasy and reality can be very, very tenuous, so don't forget to leave the landing light on.

Scenes for the series were filmed around Newport, Pembrokeshire, the Preseli Mountains, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and Abergavenny.

Genre: Science Fiction Series

Running Time: 65 minutes (approx)

Main Cast

Dewi Rhys Williams
Grug Maria
Gwion Huw
Image for Chris PotterChris Potter
Ravil Issyanov
Neus Asensi
Alex Reid