By Jack Seale
Details and casting have been announced for the new BBC2 series by Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, the former members of The League of Gentlemen and stars/creators of Psychoville.
Inside No9 (working title) will be an anthology of six standalone stories, each taking place in a different residence with that number, including a grand country house where a game of sardines leads to “chilling revelations in a wardrobe”, an unusually haunted house, and the flat of an apparently happy primary school teacher who “becomes the victim of a good deed”.
Appearing with Shearsmith and Pemberton in the series will be Gemma Arterton (Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Quantum of Solace), Tamsin Greig (Episodes), Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd), Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax), Anna Chancellor (The Hour), Julian Rhind-Tutt (A Touch of Cloth), Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones), Ben Willbond (The Thick of It) and Timothy West (Bleak House, Exile).
Filming has begun on the first block of three episodes, with another shoot planned for summer 2013 to complete the series.
In signature Pemberton/Shearsmith style, the series is said to comprise “unpredictable tales [that] feature high comedy and claustrophobic horror by turns”, creating scenarios where “the ordinary and mundane rub shoulders with the extraordinary and macabre”. It will air on BBC2 in late 2013.
“We wanted to explore the sense of claustrophobia and intensity that is brought about by limiting the action to one location in each story,” said Pemberton and Shearsmith, together. “We’re thrilled to have our own anthology series of devilish delights, and can’t wait to throw the doors of our various number 9s open to the nation.”
BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow added: “I hope these six dark little tales will be as enjoyed and talked about as [Pemberton and Shearsmith’s] highly acclaimed work to date. That, combined with the stellar cast, will make an exciting addition to BBC2’s comedy offering next year.”
Executive producer and BBC comedy legend Jon Plowman said: “It feels good to be back in the dark places and sunny uplands of Horror Com, a genre that Reece and Steve have really made their own. I am really glad that our casts are testament to the quality of the scripts.”