Psychoville

An embittered one-handed clown; a desperately misguided midwife; a lovestruck telekinetic dwarf; a blind avaricious collector; and a serial-killer-obsessed man-child… five seemingly unconnected characters share one thing in common.

Despite coming from different parts of the country and having different backgrounds and interests, each one has been sent an anonymous, black-edged card bearing the chilling message: “I know what you did…”

Having created the kind of northern town that nightmares are made of, The League Of Gentlemen’s Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton return to BBC Two with a spine-tingling, jaw-dropping, thrilling comedy serial. Like the best whodunnits, each episode draws viewers deeper and deeper into the kind of world that only Reece and Steve could dream up.

Joining them in Psychoville is a rich mix of talent, including Dawn French, Eileen Atkins, Nicholas Le Prevost, David Bamber, Janet McTeer, Christopher Biggins, Daisy Haggard, Debbie Chazen, Daniel Kaluuya and Adrian Scarborough.

The world of Psychoville is expanded via an online experience, specially written by the show’s creators Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. Principal characters will be supported by their own websites, exclusive videos and extra comedy, while users get the chance to interact with the mystery blackmailer.

www.bbc.co.uk/psychoville

Five unconnected characters sharing one thing in common – a bitter, one-handed clown; a desperately misguided midwife; a lovestruck telekinetic dwarf; a blind avaricious collector; and a serial-killer-obsessed man-child – only the imaginations that created the League of Gentlemen could have brought such insanity back to our screens.

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton with Dawn French in Psychoville

So a very big welcome back to BBC Two for Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. There’s no Mark Gatiss in Psychoville, but with a cast that includes Dawn French, Eileen Atkins, Nicholas Le Prevost, David Bamber, Janet McTeer, Christopher Biggins (as himself), Daisy Haggard, Debbie Chazen, Daniel Kaluuya and Adrian Scarborough, there would hardly be room for him on screen anyway.

Described as a spine-tingling, jaw-dropping, thrilling comedy serial, Psychoville is a “whodunnit” – each of the five characters has been sent an anonymous, black-edged card bearing the chilling message: “I know what you did…”

Against this backdrop of dark comedy mayhem, all of the cast, principle and guest, get the chance to shine with some top quality and highly regarded material – so good in fact that the BBC asked for a 7th episode.

Scheduled as the fourth episode in the run is a single-set scenario utilizing the minimum of characters and just two camera shots. Steve Pemberton compares the episode to the Hitchcock movie Rope…

It’s set in one room, with the technology they had at the time they could do 10-minute takes, that’s all they could do because the actual tape ran out. The cameras were as big as this room, it’s not like today when you can strap a steadycam on, it was a huge technical achievement.

There’s something about not breaking the tension, it’s like not blinking, you don’t quite know why but something about it is unnerving. So we said let’s try it.

Psychoville is set to air on June 11th 2009 on BBC Two.

Psychoville

This brand new series of five initial episodes is written by Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton – of League of Gentlemen fame – and is said to be “scary, bloody and funny”.

Starring comedy talent such as Dawn French, Janet McTeer, Christopher Biggins and many other stars, the show begins with a “mystery”…

Mr Lomax is a blind recluse who has an unusual hobby, then there’s Robert who’s a telekinetic dwarf. We’ll also meet Mr Jelly who’s a bitter and twisted one handed clown, David who’s a serial killer and Joy who’s apparently a deranged midwife.

One thing they all have in common is that they’ve all received a mysterious black bordered card which has written on it, “I know what you did.” As each bizarre character confronts what it is the card’s sender knows about them, their lives begin to come apart at the seams…

You can see more about the show and the characters at www.bbc.co.uk/psychoville where each character has their own webpage and where you can see videos as well as get the chance to “interact with the mysterious blackmailer to uncover more about the secrets surrounding the main characters”.

I never really found the League of Gentlemen all that funny and this doesn’t sound like it’s going to be very amusing, but we’ll see I guess! It begins on June 11th on BBC2 but the time is yet to be confirmed.

What do you think? Is this going to be any good or will it be a ‘flusher’?

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