Not to be dramatic, but Inside No. 9 is one of the best shows on TV. Not even just on TV right now. We’re talking probably ever. It has been since its first series in 2014, and Series Four is only continuing the trend.
With just 30 minutes per story to work with, it’s incredible how Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith make you feel so much for characters you never new existed half an hour ago. There’s sometimes more character development in one episode of Inside No. 9 than over the course of full seasons of shows that pull in bigger viewing figures.
It’s obvious how much Pemberton and Shearsmith continue to put into this project; no moment is wasted, and you can bet they’re going to squeeze out as much humour, horror, emotion and intrigue as they possibly can. How good they are at this is actually almost sickening.
Sometimes it’s hard to judge anthology series as a whole, with each episode being vastly different from the last, but Inside No. 9 remains consistently excellent for so many reasons.
The series opener, ‘Zanzibar’, is an already solid farce presented entirely in iambic pentameter; ‘Bernie Clifton’s Dressing Room’ is a moving but hilarious masterpiece about a comedy double act; ‘Once Removed’ is an impressive feat in outlandish storytelling, following a series of murders in reverse chronological order; ‘To Have And To Hold’ is easily one of the darkest and most fascinating episodes of the whole series, which honestly is quite an achievement; ‘And The Winner Is…’ proves the show doesn’t have to rely on twists and nastiness to be successful; and finale ‘Tempting Fate’ is a brilliant concoction of suspense, horror, folklore and punchlines that leaves you needing more.
Pemberton and Shearsmith have previously said that they would want to continue making more No. 9s until they’re out of ideas. With the wealth of imagination still on display after 24 brilliant episodes, we have a good feeling that that isn’t going to happen any time soon.