William Shatner’s A Twist in the Tale – Plot Synopsis: Darkness Visible

William Shatner’s A Twist in the Tale – Plot Synopsis: Darkness Visible



Groby Temporal, clock-maker, bon vivant and black wizard, has lived alone on his own private beach for longer than anyone can remember. He claims the land was given to his father in perpetuity – but the local town council can prove otherwise. They are determined to erect budget holiday chalets for city families on just a hundred yards of the land Groby is accustomed to calling his own. Twenty adults and perhaps sixty children staying within spitting distance?! – It is at this point that the councillors start mysteriously disappearing, one by one …

Three penniless orphans – Murray (12), Ruth (12) and Dot (10) – are the only children from the Home left unclaimed for the holiday period. Wandering disconsolately in the woods, they discover and rescue a dog caught in a rabbit snare. In return, Vespa leads them to her home, the magical house of Miss Angela Dwelf, charming and eccentric white witch. Angela has been called in by the authorities to control Groby Temporal, who has sent one citizen too many into limbo – into what Groby himself calls “darkness visible”. The feud between the two sorcerers’ families is of generations’ standing – ever since Angela’s great-grandfather convicted Groby’s father of black magic, and sentenced him to hang …

But what is it in the children that Groby instantly recognises? What power do they possess that he fears – Groby Temporal, who fears nothing? Angela is intrigued. Is it that they are three children together, or orphans, or – as Angela suggests – simply that they are so young they have time on their side – a sensitive issue for an erstwhile clockmaker who’s overstayed his welcome by more than a century?


Not one to pass up a possible advantage, Angela takes the kids with her when she goes to confront Groby. With him distracted, she sends the kids into Groby’s shack to discover the secret weapon she can sense, and from which he derives his power. But Groby catches them in the act – and although Murray and Ruth escape, little Dot is kidnapped and held hostage. Groby tells Angela that unless she persuades the councillors that the beach rightfully belongs to him, none of them will ever see Dot again …

Time for a rescue! By dint of stone-throwing, window-breaking and slingshot-wielding, Ruth and Murray manage to get Dot out of the shack safe and sound … But Groby switches his attention to Murray himself – and sends him into “darkness visible”. He swears Murray is lost to them forever – and he and Angela engage in a shape-changing battle to the death on the sands.


Angela opens strongly, but without the knowledge of Groby’s secret weapon she is slowly beaten down. Ruth and Dot, watching in anguish from further up the beach, realise that to save not just Murray’s life, but the whole town, they must identify and dismantle the source of Groby’s strength. Ruth tears into the shack. As she looks around desperately, the four clocks that stand guard in each corner of the room begin to chime in perfect discord: Angela’s time is up. Ruth realises that the clocks are set at different times – what better metaphor for a clockmaker gone horribly to the bad?

Frantically she resets the clocks so that they are chiming together harmoniously – and in the same way that Angela is weakened by dissension, Groby Temporal is by accord. He falls powerless to his knees – to be banished forever by Angela.

The time of Temporal is over. The beach once more belongs to everyone. And the three orphans have found with Angela Dwelf a home worth fighting for: they are orphans no longer.