The Rimini Riddle (partially found Irish puppet TV series; 1992-1995)

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The series' title card.

Status: Partially Found

The Rimini Riddle was an Irish puppet TV series that first aired as public access and was then picked up by the Ireland broadcasting networks RTÉ and Network 2, from September 26th, 1992 to March 1995.

It was part of a television block named Saturday Club and aired three seasons.

Premise[edit | edit source]

The premise of the show is mostly unknown, with descriptions varying from one person to another.

The Rimini Riddle is about three orphans, named Rory, Leo, and Ellen, who live in a guest house with their aunt Vera known as the "Rimini Guesthouse" after their parents die. The house is beside a beach and the orphans are not allowed to go swimming. There is an old picture in the guest house painted by the children’s grandmother of two little girls on a beach in Victorian costume and is highly treasured by Aunt Vera. One day while dusting, Ellen cracks the glass in the painting and finds herself in a fantasy world, on the beach in the picture, where she meets the two little girls depicted the picture as well as a fisherman.

The series apparently revolves around a mystery in the Rimini household. The mystery has something to do with the two girls depicted in the aforementioned picture owned by Aunt Vera, who was said to have drowned years ago. There is also a plush otter doll named Otto who is owned by Leo and is said to be evil, and may or may not have some part in the fate of the girls.

The series was known to have had many stories and character arcs, especially for a kid's show, and has been described as a "Puppet soap opera".

The Search[edit | edit source]

The search for the show has dated back since September 24th, 2008, in boards.ie. There has been a Facebook group dedicated to looking for the show and forum posts talking about the memories of the show, both negative and positive.

Throughout that time, numerous pieces of footage surfaced, including a partial episode, a clip of a Valentine's Special, a clip of an unknown episode uploaded by the puppeteer, an advertisement for a stage show featuring footage from the show's intro,[1] and a clip from the Irish comedy panel series Don't Feed The Gondolas that edited together clips from the show to create a trailer for a fictional pornographic film.

The show never received any home media releases.[2]

On May 28th, 2019, Facebook user Maddie McMullin posted a programming report from RTÉ online that featured descriptions and air dates for the majority of episodes.[3]

List of Episodes[edit | edit source]

Series 1[edit | edit source]

# Air Date Description
1 September 26th, 1992 Three children living in a guest house with their aunt Vera. There is an old picture in the guest house painted by the children's grandmother of two little girls on a beach in Victorian costume. One day while dusting, one of the children, Ellen, cracks the glass in the painting and finds herself in a fantasy world where she meets the two little girls from the picture and also a fisherman.
2 October 3rd, 1992 One of the children finds herself in a fantasy land where she also meets two girls from an old painting done by her grandmother. She also meets a fisherman. One of the girls from the painting gives her an apron. When she returns to the guest house, she still has the apron, but the picture on the wall has changed and one of the girls in the picture is minus an apron.
3 October 10th, 1992 Aunt Vera is broke. The guest house is empty and she has no money to pay the bills. The phone has been cut off. Leo is worried that Ellen is behaving strangely. He and Rory see Ellen talking to the beach picture. Aunt Vera has to go to the bank. Apart from paying the bills, she wants to buy a new dress for Dolly Cassidy's daughter's wedding. Rory gets a job with Jimmy Doran's granny but Vera decides he must hand over the money he earns. On returning from the bank (where her loan request has been refused) aunt Vera finds Ellen and Leo playing in her room. Ellen is wearing Vera's best dress and jewellery. She gets annoyed.
4 October 17th, 1992 Aunt Vera decides the only way to solve her financial problems is to sell the beach picture, which she believes is valuable. Ellen knows if the picture is sold she will never be able to visit Edith and Minnie again, so she sneaks down to hide the picture during the night. Aunt Vera catches her. The next day aunt Vera heads off to sell the picture. Ellen is too ill to go to school. She goes back to sleep and begins to cry, then realises she's on the beach. The fisherman is too busy to talk. She cannot find Edith and Minnie. She returns home as aunt Vera arrives back from the antiques shops. Vera breaks down as she tells Leo that the picture is worthless. Later Leo goes to see how Ellen is and becomes frightened when he can't wake her. Aunt Vera can't wake her either. Aunt Vera goes next door to phone the doctor.
5 October 24th, 1992 Ellen is sick in bed. Leo is very worried. Aunt Vera gives Ellen the medicine prescribed by the doctor. Ellen is raving and thinks she is on the beach with Edith and Minnie and everyone is annoyed with her. Leo retrieves the beach picture from the bin, brings it to Ellen who is still raving in her sleep. Leo talks to the picture, he bursts into tears and rubs his eyes. He finds himself on the beach.
6 October 31st, 1992 Ellen is still sick in bed. Leo finds himself on the beach with Edith and Minnie. He tells them how sick Ellen is, then the fisherman comes along. He gives Leo some magic sand to make Ellen better. He is to take half when Leo gets back and the other half later. If anyone who has not been to the beach takes it they turn into the thing they hate most. When Leo returns Rory takes the sand away from him. Leo finds it and gives half of it to Ellen. He leaves the second half dissolved in a jar in the kitchen. Aunt Vera comes down to the kitchen for a glass of water and takes the water from the jug.
7 November 7th, 1992 Leo returns from the beachworld with a magic potion the fisherman gave him to cure Ellen. He leaves half of it on the table and aunt Vera drinks it. This turns her into the thing she hates most - a child. Leo finds "baby" Vera highly entertaining, and they dress up and play pirates together. They also play a trick on Rory. Baby Vera decides she is swapping bedrooms with Ellen so that Ellen will have to answer the phone. Rory decides that if she's not better soon, he's going to phone the doctor.
8 November 14th, 1992 Rory decides he can't take any more of "baby" Vera and picks up the phone to call the doctor. He suddenly finds himself in the beachworld where Edith tells him she has escaped from her wicked aunt Hattie and sister Minnie, who has locked her in the attic. She asks Rory to bring her to his world and runs off to pack her suitcase while he waits. Minnie arrives and tells Rory that Edith has been lying. Edith returns with her suitcase and she and Minnie argue. Edith accuses Rory of taking sides with Minnie and won't let him go home. Meanwhile, "baby Vera is frightening Leo by fighting with knives. Ellen reprimands her and sends her to bed. When she awakes she is her normal self.
9 November 21st, 1992 Leo finds the plastic spiders in the sugar, where auntie Vera had put them. He puts them in a bag to bring to school. Aunt Vera is back to her old self and no longer a child. She finds the spiders and is hysterical. She does not remember having bought them. Ellen tries to calm her down and says that the spiders are Leo's. Aunt Vera is cross and threatens to send Leo away. He packs his case and decides to run away. Meanwhile Rory is still Edith's prisoner in beachworld. He rescues a crab called Septimus from nets. The crab cons Edith into giving Rory her apron. Rory gets home with the magic apron. When Edith realises she is angry and casts a spell on Rory, so the apron is stuck to him.
10 November 28th, 1992 Rory has returned from the beachworld. Edith's apron is still stuck to him and he refuses to budge. Meanwhile Edith, on the beach, realises her hands are stuck to the table. Minnie goes to find the fisherman to see if he can help. Aunt Vera confront Leo about the spiders in the kitchen. Leo tells her it was she who bought them. Aunt Vera is angry and threatens to send Leo away to be punished. He packs his case to stow away on a ship. Rory asks Ellen to go to the beach to try and persuade Edith to take away her spell so that Rory can take off the apron.
11 December 5th, 1992 Leo can't take any more of aunt Vera so he decides to run away. Rory catches him before he can leave and takes his suitcase from him. Leo decides to run away anyway, and goes to the beach. Ellen is already in the beachworld looking for Minnie, Edith and the fisherman. She wants them to break the magic spell which has trapped Rory in Edith's apron. Ellen finds that Edith is stuck to the table on the beach and they cannot free her. The fisherman gets Septimus to help. Leo can't find anyone when he arrives. It's night time and he's frightened so he covers himself with nets and Minnie's apron. Septimus uses his magic to free Edith from the table. He also frees Rory from the apron. Ellen and Minnie bring Septimus to the crab pool and return to Edith. Ellen realises she has to get home but the girl's magic aprons are gone, and she doesn't know any other way of getting home. Aunt Vera panics when she realises Leo has run away. The fisherman finds Leo and tells him he'll have to go home.
12 December 12th, 1992 Ellen persuades Septimus to bring her home but he must accompany her for the magic to work. The fisherman teaches Leo a rhyme that will calm aunt Vera down when she loses her temper. Meanwhile, Vera has told Dolly that Leo has run away and Dolly has alerted the coast guard. Leo returns home and uses the rhyme to placate aunt Vera. She becomes very happy and decides she is going to bake him some apple tarts. Septimus is hungry, so Ellen has taken him to the kitchen to feed him. She must hide him before aunt Vera arrives so she and Rory put him into Mr. Commiskey's hat box. Aunt Vera decides she must take care of the hat box and puts it in her room, unaware that Septimus is still inside.
13 December 19th, 1992 Rory, Leo and Ellen discuss how to get Septimus out of the hat box in aunt Vera's room. Leo persuades Vera to leave her room to make an apple tart. Rory goes to her room and tries to remove Septimus. Septimus refuses to leave and nips Rory's finger. He says there is a mystery in the hat box and he is working on it. Rory leaves him. Later, Vera is in her dressing gown in the kitchen when Mr. Commiskey arrives. Aunt Vera goes to get dressed and returns to talk to him. She asks Ellen and Rory to move the hat box to Mr. Commiskey's room. They find the box empty and no sign of Septimus. He has left some drawings in the box as clues to the mystery. Leo is looking at the beach picture and is very surprised to find Septimus in the picture.
14 January 16th, 1993 Leo loses the scarf aunt Vera gave him for Christmas. Aunt Vera is worried about bills and the fact that Mr. Commiskey has not given her any money. She rings Dolly who advises her to give Mr. Commiskey an invoice. Rory and Leo try to sort out the riddle of the pictures left by Septimus. Aunt Vera recieves a call about four new guests arriving. Ellen tells Mr. Commiskey who is very put out and asks for his bill as he is going to leave. He addresses an envelope to the Commiskey Mining Company and asks Vera to get it posted for him. Vera now thinks he owns a mining company. She tears up his invoice, tells him there will be no new guests arriving. Mr Commiskey suggests having a drink to that. Rory overhears him telling Vera that she gives too much of her time to the children.
15 January 23rd, 1993 Everyone seems to have forgotten Ellen's birthday. The choir has promised to sing Happy Birthday to her but aunt Vera won't let her go. Commiskey hatches a plan to allow Ellen to go to choir practice. By the time Leo and Rory remember her birthday she has already gone. Leo decides to paint her a picture. Rory asks Mrs. Doran's advice about what to get Ellen. Vera tells Commiskey about her cheque and he convinces her to let him invest it for her. Rory is very suspicious of Commiskey. When Ellen gives back Leo gives her the picture and Commiskey gives her a birthday cake and a present (£20). Mrs. Doran gives Rory a brooch to give to Ellen for her birthday. Commiskey accuses him of stealing it. Commiskey warn Vera that she needs to keep an eye on Rory.
16 January 30th, 1993 A concert will be on shown on TV. Commiskey sends Rory for his papers. When Rory returns he tells Vera that the newsagent has been nasty to him because Commiskey hasn't paid for his newspapers in a month. Dolly phones Vera to ask her to the races and informs her that Commiskey is a gambler. However, Commiskey convinces Vera that he is secretly working for an Arab prince, and his interest in horses is connected with breeding. Vera decides to give him her latest cheque, so he can invest it for her. Commiskey sets up Rory. Commiskey wins at the races and pays back some of Aunt Vera's investment plus a dividend. Everyone was to watch Ellen on TV in Commiskey's room but he informs them that the TV is broken. Commiskey blames Rory. Rory goes to the beach and asks Septimus to help him get rid of Commiskey.
17 February 6th, 1993 Ellen tells Leo about the concert. Rory is worried that Ellen and Leo think he broke into Commiskey's room. He overhears Commiskey telling Vera that she should send the children to boarding school. He says she can afford to do so if she lets him manage her money. He persuades her to give him £200 to invest in a perfume company in Paris. Rory talks to Edith, Minnie and Septimus in the picture. He asks for help but nothing happens. He wakes Ellen and tells her what he overheard. Rory thinks that if the fisherman was here he would help. Meanwhile, in beachworld Edith, Minnie and Septimus discuss Rory's problem. Minnie and Septimus visit the fisherman. His ghost visits Rory, Ellen and Leo in their sleep. They all have the same dream. His ghost then haunts Commiskey, then visits Vera. He then goes back to Rory and tells him how to defeat Commiskey.
18 February 13th, 1993 Rory remembers his dream that the fisherman had told him to defeat Mr. Commiskey. Leo and Ellen realise that they had the same dream, and that Rory was a hero. Commiskey is wondering why breakfast is so late and why Rory is ignoring him. Aunt Vera is surrounded by old letters and is remembering William. Rory comes in with a cup of tea and drops it when he sees the photo of Vera and the fisherman. Aunt Vera tells him that the fisherman was her boyfriend, William. Rory returns to the attic and finds the picture Leo has drawn of his dream. He then realises he also had the same dream. The children then decide to unite and watch every move Mr. Commiskey makes. Aunt Vera produces her bill for Mr. Commiskey. He is horrified and decides that something has to be done. He goes to aunt Vera's room and asks her to marry him.
19 February 20th, 1993 Leo overhears Commiskey's proposal to aunt Vera. He puts pressure on her to make a decision about investing in a Paris perfume company. She is confused. He suggests that they go to Paris where she can make a decision. Leo tells Ellen and Rory what he overheard and Rory thinks that Commiskey's motive has something to do with money. Dolly is anxious for Vera to visit her to talk about Commiskey. The children take turns staying home from school to keep an eye on Commiskey. Leo is first. Rory is looking for a key to Commiskey's room in Vera's jewellery box when he hears Commiskey come in and hides under the bed. Commiskey tries to steal Vera's cheque book but cannot find it. Ellen finds a piece of paper with forged signatures in Commiskey's briefcase. They confront Vera with the evidence.
20 February 27th, 1993 Commiskey accuses Rory of stealing a piece of paper from his briefcase. Rory admits that he never wanted Commiskey to marry aunt Vera. Aunt Vera foolishly decides on joint finances for her and Commiskey. Commiskey denies accusations and has a romantic excuse for his actions. He then accuses Rory of stealing a piece of paper from his briefcase. Ellen defends Rory and says it was she who took the paper from the briefcase. The children realise that Commiskey knows of their suspicions. Leo thinks that if the fisherman was to talk to Vera she would believe him. Vera decides to sell the house to pay for boarding school fees. She hands over her documents to Commiskey. Leo goes missing. Ellen and Rory search for him and are alarmed that he may have gone to the beachworld alone.
21 March 6th, 1993 Unknown.
22 March 13th, 1993 It is near midnight in beachworld. Minnie searches for Edith. Leo is alone and worried that Edith will not be found and without the apron he cannot get back to the guest house. Minnie finds the fisherman and Septimus. Septimus has the power to get Leo back but is afraid of Commiskey. He and Leo arrive back at the guest house. Rory and Ellen find them asleep in the kitchen the next morning. Dolly rings Vera to tell her she has a prospective buyer for the house. Vera and Commiskey can smell Septimus but don't know what it it. Rory takes Septimus up to the attic. Rory sneaks up to Vera's room to see if he can find a photo of his parents. He fails to find one.
23 March 20th, 1993 Mr. Winklepicker decides to buy the guest house. Vera begins to clear out her room. She dumps her memory box, in preparation for her new life with Mr. Commiskey. In the beachworld, Edith goes missing and Minnie is worried. Commiskey thinks that Minnie is staring at him from the picture. Septimus gets cold so the children put him in the oven to heat up. Commiskey finds him and decides to silence him for good. In the meantime, Rory tries to work out Septimus' riddle.
24 March 27th, 1993 Rory works out that Commiskey is the murder king. The children discover that he has cooked and eaten Septimus. Mr. Winklepicker puts pressure on Vera to vacate the guest house. When Commiskey realises that Winklepicker is wealthy he doesn't think he is offering enough for the guest house. This upsets Vera. Commiskey tries to dispose of the beach picture. The children try to convince Vera that Commiskey is evil. The children go to look at the picture and find it blank - Edith, Minnie, and Septimus have disappeared.
25 April 3rd, 1993 Commiskey arranges to send the children to boarding school. He thinks that he can do what he likes now as Minnie has disappeared from the beach picture. The children start to pack. Vera rings Dolly to tell her that she has been offered £70,000 for the guest house and asks if Henry can persuade Winklepicker to give her a better price. Commiskey tells Vera to offer Charlie 5% of anything over £40,000. Leo is upset. Rory thinks that if he leaves on his own Ellen and Leo will be allowed to stay. Vera doesn't agree. Rory, Ellen and Leo pack their bags, they fall asleep on Leo's bed. Minnie wakes up on the beach and watches Commiskey from the picture.
26 April 10th, 1993 Minnie watches Commiskey from the picture. Vera walks in and overhears them talking. Commiskey is calling Vera a dinosaur. He sees her and tells her he is having one of his turns. Then he tells her that the children are to disappear and one day in Paris she will fall into the river Seine and never be seen again. Vera orders him out of the house. Commiskey goes into the children's bedroom and pours paraffin on the bed and all over Vera's door. The children wake up and warn Vera. Commiskey has a match. Minnie pours water over the match and continues to pour until Commiskey is drowned. The fisherman, Minnie and Edith meet Septimus again. He had seven lives and when Commiskey ate him it was his sixth life.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

A partial episode of the series.
A clip of Series 2 of The Rimini Riddle.
Clip from the puppeteer of an unknown episode.
Clip from Don't Feed the Gondolas featuring footage from the series.
Advertisement for a stage show featuring footage of the show's intro.

Stills[edit | edit source]

Behind The Scenes Photos[edit | edit source]

TV Guides[edit | edit source]

Reference[edit | edit source]