At first it seems the two young fawns are being trained to follow in the footsteps of their mother Praline Ommandeer, the priestess of the forest's ancient religion. But gradually it is revealed that they have a more extensive destiny.
They are widely believed by many of the supporting characters to be the sons of gods, and they are encouraged to take training in the healing arts, time travel and cosmic knighthood; training which is provided by their uncle Shane Ommandeer who is referred to as a Time Captain, meaning that he is the captain of the time ship Rocinantè.
List of EpisodesEdit
For the complete list of episodes see List of Serial 1 Episodes
Serial 1 has the distinction of so far being the only serial to have been completed, sitting at a total of 19 Episodes, excluding "Prologue: A Transcendental Radio Show". As noted below, this is the oldest proposed serial in the Spectral Shadows series.
This is the oldest serial in the Spectral Shadows series, being the first thing The Author ever attempted to write.
The Author, having no education at the time and being regarded as "Functionally Illiterate," was not inclined to think in terms of a big writing project, but rather began stringing Progressive Rock tracks together on long reels of tape to demonstrate an idea for a Bambi based Rock Opera for adults. This was evidence of The Author's extreme interest in Furry Fiction which had grown out of an earlier obsession with Disney animation .
The Author had a particular obsession with "Bambi," both the novel and the movie , seeing potential there that had never been explored, and attempting to prove that potential through music. But with the reels of tape growing longer with new tracks constantly being spliced in to represent new ideas, The Author discovered that the true potential of Felix Salten's story was its infinite adaptability.
All stories about deer tend to start out basically the same. What kind of story develops depends on where the deer character goes and what influences are brought to bear on him. In this case it was the influences of Progressive Rock that were being brought to bear on the deer protagonist, who quickly wound up bearing no resemblance to Felix Salten's character at all as the cosmic concepts in the music warped the story ever further into the realms of science fiction and fantasy, while being held to the allegorical and philosophical traditions of Furry Fiction.
The Author was then required to write a libretto for the tape program that would explain what each musical track represented to the story. All those who ventured to take in these early experiments by an illiterate social throwaway professed to being bowled over by something so startlingly original that many doubted The Author capable of conceiving it, let alone demonstrating it so effectively.
With this encouragement, The Author continued to experiment with evolving the concept, eventually realizing that it was the ever expanding libretto that was of importance, not the tapes. And thus The Author set about the seemingly impossible task of writing the story as a novel.
Since it was the novels of Felix Salten and Richard Adams that The Author pointed to as proof of the viability of a Furry novel for adult readers, The Author was long restrained to respect their traditions. But, as time passed, The Author got into more and more fandoms, particularly the Doctor Who fandom, which encouraged breaking with Furry traditions. The Author could do much more if the characters were not limited to one time, place or physical form. It also helped greatly if the characters did not need to be kept in a state of ignorance about science. It was absolutely unheard of in Furry Fiction at the time that feral characters could be more technically advanced than humans.
Readers who had initially praised the project were extremely skeptical of these changes, but found to their incredulous amazement that "Bambi In Outer Space" could be done seriously without demanding impossible suspensions of disbelief. Though one thing that seemed essential was that the names of the characters be changed, as the Felix Salten names put too much of a stigma on the project.
Thus The Author began the practice of renaming the characters from suggestions in the songs that were inspiring the story. The names of the two main protagonist deer were suggested by the Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway , though they carry other connotations as well. The name Jonathan is also a reference to Jonathan Livingston Seagull , while Raelian was the name of a new age prophet during the 70’s.
Clarice got her name from a song by America , which also happens to be the name of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’s love interest. Praline got her name from a flavor of ice cream The Author though would make a good character name, but it also fits the Watership Down tradition of naming characters after nuts. Shane got his name from the Western character. Candice got her name from a Keith Emerson album. Angelis is Vangelis with the V chopped off. And the family name Ommandeer, along with everything else in the story that starts with “Omma” came from Mike Oldfield’s Ommadawn .
Once all the characters were renamed, The Author felt an even greater freedom to regard the characters as entirely original and free to evolve in whatever ways seemed advantageous. Yet some effort has been made not to eradicate the “Bambi” influence entirely from the first serial, as everything started with Bambi and The Author doesn’t want that forgotten.
The first conception of the first serial is how far can you go with Bambi as a starting point? Or more accurately, how much potential is there in the idea of a talking deer? How many things can be thought of to do with one, and what, if anything can you absolutely not do with one? In other words, to create the talking deer story to end all talking deer stories.
The second conception was what kind of story could be generated by splicing music tracks together? Almost every scene in the first serial has a music track behind it. And that is an unlikely prospect, since it’s extremely rare to find Progressive Rock that was created with Furry Fiction in mind. However, Progressive Rock does often lend itself well to science fiction, fantasy and cosmic philosophies, making it more likely than not to generate a story of great substance. And that is what The Author assumes early readers of the series were so amazed by – the spiritual and philosophical double whammy of two intellectually deep art forms working in tandem.
And the third conception was breaking with the traditions of Furry Fantasy, as The Author was not anything like Felix Salten or Richard Adams, and had no desire to be. The Author was also not interested in rehash of older achievements. The idea was to go where no Furry author had ever dared go before.
“Children Of The Ommadawn" was written and re-written many times between the late 1970’s and early 1990’s. In 1993 the final version of the complete “Children Of The Ommadawn” was included in a package of early serials sent off to The Library Of Congress for copyrighting. The version that sits in The Library Of Congress is the final version of the first serial as it was originally conceived.
The internet version is quite different, due to the original storyline being broken into by two new serials. This results in the internet version of “Children Of The Ommadawn” being truncated after only 19 episodes.
The Author debated having a “Children Of The Ommadawn, Part-2” offered as Serial 3, but decided this was not appropriate. Instead, the remainder of what was the original “Children Of The Ommadawn" has been split up and tacked onto the beginning and end of a new Serial 3