Well, thank goodness for that. Or more properly, thank the BBC, Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and producer Adam Tandy. As BBC Two rounds off the current run of Inside No. 9 with tonight’s ‘The Stakeout’, confirmation arrives that a further two series are on their way.
A total of 12 new episodes for the inventive storytelling anthology have been ordered, taking the grand total of original half-hour instalments up to 43.
Just take a moment to think about that: 43 distinct scenarios and characters. New locations, new sets, new costumes, new music and new co-stars, every time. An original premise played with for just 30 minutes and then onto the next thing. And the next. And the next. And the next. Careers have been built on a fraction of that much invention.
It’s no wonder creators Shearsmith and Pemberton describe themselves as “delighted and exhausted in equal measure at the prospect of two more series-worth of tall tales and fearsome fables.” It’s not as though Inside No. 9is the only thing these two have going on. This summer, Reece Shearsmith will be directed by The League Of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss in Steven Moffat’s new play ‘The Unfriend’, while Steve Pemberton is taking on a role previously played by Jeff Goldblum and Jim Broadbent on stage – Tupolski in Martin McDonagh’s ‘The Pillowman’.
Exhaustion and theatre roles notwithstanding, with more Inside No. 9 the pair plans to continue showcasing “the very best of what the BBC can do in every genre with 30 minutes of story-telling and some half-decent wigs.”
Here’s the official word from the BBC:
“Series six and seven will stay true to show’s anthology format with each series containing six brand new half hour films, each set in a different location. The style and tone changing each week, combining a different mix of horror, thriller, drama and comedy – always aiming to surprise, delight, unnerve and amuse.”
Since word got out about this short, sharp, playful series, it’s become a sought-after gig in the acting community. Series five welcomed David Morrissey, Jenna Coleman, Maxine Peake and Phil Davis, alongside new talent Gaby French, Bobby Schofield and Ioanna Kimbook. Series six and seven will no doubt also welcome an enviable collection of guest stars.
We expect to hear more about that when filming begins. There’s no word yet on a schedule, but the earliest fans can expect to see Inside No. 9’s return is 2021.
Read our spoiler-filled episode reviews here.