'Inside No 9': New Dark Comedy Promises Six Episodes Of Classic Shearsmith And Pemberton Magic

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton have discussed their new series, Inside No 9, the first episode of which is set to air tonight (5th Feb.) on BBC2, in a new interview. The League of Gentlemen writers have built up a cult following for their dark humour and macabre themes and it looks like Inside No 9 will be no different.

Reece Shearsmith Steve Pemberton Inside No 9
Shearsmith & Pemberton Star In A Brand New Dark Comedy Anthology, 'Inside No 9.'

The brand new, six-part series will revive a fading format for television shows - the anthology - and will bring a collection of individual, unrelated episodes with different plots and locations. The half dozen episodes will only be linked by the recurring appearances of Shearsmith and Pemberton as actors as well as every episode featuring the number nine on a door or wall.

In reviving a genre that fell into disrepute amongst TV commissioners, the comedy writers' new project evokes similar shows using the same format, including Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, The Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. "After we'd done Psychoville, which was our version of doing a big, sprawling narrative," said Pemberton in a BBC interview.

Watch The BBC Trailer For 'Inside No 9':

"We wanted to do something completely different. We'd really enjoyed doing the self-contained episode of Psychoville [...] and we thought let's do a series of plays and do an anthology series. That's been a neglected format recently," the writer and actor added. Describing the concept of separate episodes as "a quick hit," Shearsmith added "it stemmed from our love of horror anthology films where you get a film with three or five stories."

The pair spoke of the subtleties involved in the script-writing, referencing one idea in particular where a Macbeth understudy sits in the dressing room backstage wondering why he can't be the main actor onstage in an episode that echoes the five-part structure and themes of Shakespeare's play.

Inside No 9 Reece Shearsmith Steve Pemberton Gemma Arterton
Gemma Arterton Will Also Star In 'Inside No 9.'

Another clip from the show shows the pair as burglars trying to negotiate their way around a motion sensor-activated burglar light through a glass window whilst in the foreground a wealthy man in a robe sits eating his supper unawares. It's the kind of surreal, unsettling and slightly childish humour that we've come to expect from the London-based pair but it doesn't seem like we'll be getting enough of it any time soon.

Inside No 9 will begin tonight at 10pm on BBC2.


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Tags: Reece Shearsmith - Gemma Arterton

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