In Vile Vole Pie, the pilot episode of Dark Ages, we meet the series' main characters. Gudrun the stonemason of Sludgebrook; his nagging and pan wielding wife Agnes; their daydreaming daughter Matilda; Thane Redwald of Bottingsbury; his slightly unchristian-like friend, Brother Cedric the priest; their Earl, the ruthless and torture-obsessed Byrnoth; and Gudrun's two dim-witted friends, Badsmith and Bigwart. The year in 999ad, and the people of the small Englalish shire of Bottingsbury are worked up in a frenzy of millennium fever. While the peasants of Sludgebrook busy themselves with small talk of Armageddon and curious apocalyptic omens involving two-headed rabbits, Earl Byrnoth's and Thane Redwald's concerns are greater. Byrnoth orders Redwald to take control of the people in his shire and put an end to all the millennium craziness - or else the Thane will discover the true extent of the Earl's imaginative capacity when it comes to torture techniques. Naturally, Redwald is mortified. Luckily, though, Cedric has a plan. They'll promote a peasant to the position of Head Churl and use him as a scapegoat whenever anything goes wrong. After a night and a day of searching, the pair finally reaches Sludgebrook. It's there that Redwald first lays eyes upon Gudrun's daughter, the fair Matilda Gudrun Dach Teaggh. It is love at first sight, for Redwald anyway: Matilda makes up her mind straight away that the mumbling, stuttering, stammering Redwald deserves to take up even less of her affections than her least favourite pastime of cooking. If fact, it is after her less than Deli-Smith-like culinary abilities that the pilot episode is named. After Redwald chooses Gudrun to be the new Chief Churl, much to the satisfaction of his wife Agnes, Cedric proposes the group eat one of Matilda's vole pies to celebrate. Gudrun, aware only too much that his daughter's aberrations are about as dangerously foul to the tongue as a giant earwig on a stick of celery, destroys the only vile vole pie there is. But 'luckily' Matilda has prepared four freshly baked weasel hotpots, complete with live, half-shaved weasels!moreless
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