Beebland provided you with an opportunity to re-create classic scenes from BBC serials. It was a telly-addicts paradise where visitors were invited to share “magical moments” with astonishingly detailed robots who exactly resembled the original actors. In short, as The Guardian sneered, it was “Westworld for elderly nostalgics”.
It had been enormously successful. Despite the jokes from comedians there had been no incidents with rogue characters from Last Of The Summer Wine running amok in tin baths. In fact, it had been the best attended visitor attraction in Britain every year since 2020.
Rhiannon Bennett, who was a steward in Sitcomland, hated her job. She smiled through gritted teeth in her Beebland Tabard as she helped pensioners who’d fallen through the bar in Only Fools and Horses back to their feet, or led them to the shop where they requested fork handles from robotic Ronnie Corbett. Personally she’d never found either sketch funny.
Next to Sitcomland was the most popular attraction in the whole park, Costumeland!
Here, hordes of randy grannies would queue for hours to meet a computerised Colin Firth with his shirt off, emerging from the lake in Pride and Prejudice.
He would ask them how their parents were (in most cases dead), before walking back towards a CGI stately home with them. The scene ended with Darcy leaning over this minute’s romantic pensioner and saying “Allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you!” before planting a smacker on the lucky Lady’s lips.
Darcy;s Lake even out-performed smuggling up to a bare-chested Poldark on an abandoned Cornish wreck.
The only thing Rhiannon liked about Beebland was Shy Liam her Costumeland counterpart.
Liam viewed the droid Darcy as a sort of mentor. Robots, unlike people, never varied from the script which was comforting for Liam whose conversation skills were poor. He was also in awe of Darcy’s way with women and had learned his chat-up lines carefully should the opportunity ever present itself precisely enough.
Rhiannon had the habit of sneaking out of the back of her own set for a fag and to ogle Liam from behind a plastic tree.
She was there watching one day when Liam tripped over a mislaid codpiece and fell head first into the lake.
She darted from her hiding place to help.
As he rose, brushing plastic waterlilies from his person, his eyes met hers.
“Miss Bennett” he stammered taking his chance at last, “I didn’t expect to see you here! How long have you been in this part of the country?
“I’ve worked here six years” she replied confusedly.
“I hope your parents are well and all your sisters?
”I haven’t got any sisters”
“And where are you staying?”
“At my mum’s house”
“Yes, of course, well if you’ll excuse me” said Liam, disappointingly departing for the staff room to change tabard.
It was another two years before he was able to tell her how ardently he admired and loved her and kiss her on the lips.