Psychoville

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Psychoville
Psychoville titles.jpg
Title card from the second series
Genre Sit-com
Dark comedy
Mystery
Psychological Thriller
Created by Reece Shearsmith
Steve Pemberton
Written by Reece Shearsmith
Steve Pemberton
Directed by Matt Lipsey
Starring Eileen Atkins
Dawn French
Daniel Kaluuya
Steve Pemberton
Reece Shearsmith
Imelda Staunton
Jason Tompkins
Theme music composer Joby Talbot
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 14 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Jon Plowman
Producer(s) Justin Davies
Running time 30mins
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Two
Original run 18 June 2009 (2009-06-18)  – 6 June 2011 (2011-06-06)
Chronology
Related shows The League of Gentlemen (1999-2002)
Inside No 9 (2014-)
External links
Website

Psychoville is a BBC dark mystery psychological thriller television sit-com written by and starring The League of Gentlemen members Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. It debuted on BBC Two on 18 June 2009. Pemberton and Shearsmith each play numerous characters, with Dawn French and Jason Tompkins in additional starring roles. The first series was followed by a Halloween special, broadcast on 31 October 2010, which saw Imelda Staunton added to the main cast along with previously supporting actors Eileen Atkins and Daniel Kaluuya. The second series started broadcasting on 5 May 2011[1] and ended on 6 June. Reece Shearsmith has officially announced that there will not be a third series.[2]

Premise[edit]

The series revolves around five different characters from different parts of England: David Sowerbutts (played by Pemberton), a serial killer-obsessed man-child who still lives with his mother Maureen (Shearsmith); Mr. Jelly (Shearsmith), an embittered one-handed children's entertainer; Oscar Lomax (Pemberton), a blind millionaire who collects stuffed toy animals; Joy Aston (French), a midwife who treats a practice doll as if it is her real child; and Robert Greenspan (Tompkins), a panto dwarf in love with his Snow White who believes he has the power of telekinesis. All five are connected by a mysterious blackmailer who has sent them a letter each with the message: "I know what you did". The series is named after the title given to The League of Gentlemen when the series was sold to Japan and Korea.[3]

Plot[edit]

The series features a diverse set of five characters who live in different parts of England, all of whom have been blackmailed by the same individual (referred to in the credits for episode seven as "Black Gloved Man"), who has given them each a letter with the message "I know what you did…"[4][5][6][7] In the second episode, the blackmailer leaves them a second message that reads, "You killed her". In the third episode they receive a videotape showing them in an asylum together (several having previously revealed that they had been institutionalised) performing "Close Every Door" from the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It is later disclosed that the institution was called Ravenhill Hospital. In Episodes Five and Six, the characters discover the final message: a key depicting a raven. At least David's letter also contains the message "I'm waiting...".

Ultimately it is revealed that Joy, Robert, David and Oscar were involved in the death of Nurse Edwina Kenchington (Eileen Atkins), who is the blackmailer's mother, and Dr Stuart Strachen, aka Mr Jolly. Jolly blackmailed Jelly whom he blamed most, as he was operating on Jelly's hand (which was later amputated after the operation went wrong) while Kenchington was dying. David knocked her over and Joy pronounced her dead. The group started a fire to cover their tracks, but Kenchington woke up and attempted to escape. Oscar, Joy and Robert prevented her from leaving the room she was trapped in, but she somehow survived and returns to Ravenhill in the final episode looking for her locket. At the end of the series, Mr Jolly blows up part of the asylum with most of the main characters and Kenchington inside and it is revealed that Robert has the locket.

Series two begins with Mr Jelly, Oscar, and Oscar's assistant Michael, aka "Tealeaf", attending the funeral of Mr Jolly. Afterwards, Jelly is given a box of Jolly's props, which also turns out to contain Strachen's mobile phone and his ID card at Andrews Nanotech. Posing as Mr Jolly, Mr Jelly discovers that Strachen was using his surgical skills to deal in the black market organ trade, and that Kenchington had an account with a cryogenic storage facility where her late father Ehrlichmann's head was kept frozen. Meanwhile, Andrews Nanotech has hired a police detective to retrieve Kenchington's locket by any means necessary. Robert gives the locket to Debbie for safekeeping, but after Robert's death, Debbie gives it away to make-up lady Hattie. Detective Finney tracks down the former Ravenhill patients, questioning, then killing, Joy, Robert, and Oscar, and attempting to kill Mrs Wren. Oscar's friend, toyshop owner Peter Bishop, deduces that Oscar was killed for his connection to Ravenhill. He enlists Tealeaf's help with his investigation and they successfully retrieve the locket from Hattie before Finney can get to it, and contact Mr Jelly, whose own investigations have resulted in him taking possession of Ehrlichmann's frozen head. Bishop kills Tealeaf and travels to London with Mr Jelly to attempt to sell the locket and head to Grace Andrews. It is revealed that the method for restoring a frozen head to life, worked out by Edwina Kenchington, was microscopically engraved on the links of the locket chain, and using this information, Andrews' team is able to bring Erlichmann's head back to life. The head is subsequently destroyed, but the technique has been proven to work. The series ends with the revelation that David Sowerbutts is storing the corpse of his mother Maureen (who has died of cancer) in a bathtub filled with ice, suggesting that she could be resurrected by the same technique.

Main characters[edit]

David and Maureen Sowerbutts[edit]

David Sowerbutts (Pemberton) is a man-child who lives with his mother Maureen (Shearsmith). David is a simple man who cannot hold down a job because of his lack of skill and his morbid obsession with famous serial killers.

One night at his work as part of a murder mystery evening, David ad-libs a far more gruesome murder scenario (including disembowelment) and is fired. Upon returning home, Maureen believes her son has actually killed someone. She finds the blackmail note saying "I know what you did", and mistakenly believes it is from Graham (Nicholas Le Prevost), David's boss. She asks him not to go to the police, but (knowing nothing about the note) Graham mistakenly believes Maureen is blackmailing him about his conviction for molestation. Then he tries to call the police but Maureen and David take him hostage. Graham escapes but gets run over as he flees. Maureen decides they must kill everyone who knows about the "murder" (not realising it wasn't real) and she and David kill Cheryl (Janet McTeer), another member of the company, by electrocuting her.

In the fourth episode they strangle another company member, Martin Pike (David Smallbone) . David feels guilty for killing his own father many years before by giving him too many sleeping pills to help him sleep. Before they can leave, a man claiming to be a police inspector (Mark Gatiss) arrives, mistaking David for Martin Pike. He wants to interview Pike about recent murders in the area. While Maureen is out of the room, the "inspector" reveals that he is really auditioning for a role in the murder reenactments. David goes to fetch their car and Maureen, who believes the inspector knows about their murders, confesses the truth about her husband's death; she had been poisoning him for months and let David take the blame. That was why David was institutionalised. The actor thinks she was improvising in the scene and breaks character, revealing that he isn't a real inspector. He starts to tell David what she said, but Maureen covers for herself with excuses. When the actor leaves, David says he doesn't want to commit any more murders. However, the actor returns to collect his coat and sees Martin Pike's body, so David has to then kill him.

David's next victim (Robin) is to meet him at a wax museum, in the section devoted to famous serial killers, but after meeting him there, all the wax works come to life in a musical number and convinces David that the real monster is his mother, so he lets Robin go free. Maureen leaves with David, believing that Robin was killed. Their last victim is supposed to be Lorraine (Natalie Cassidy), and Maureen suggests that they barbecue her corpse to "celebrate." David has a flashback to Ravenhill, with a horrified Joy exclaiming that he killed Nurse Kenchington; and refuses to kill anyone else. Maureen locks him in and goes to murder Lorraine herself. She goes to where Lorraine works. Lorraine recognises her and lets slip that the "murder" David committed was just an enactment. Realising the implications of what she and David have done, Maureen takes a drug overdose. She tries to smother David with a pillow, as she thinks he is asleep under a sheet, but realises too late that he has escaped. Maureen collapses. David is seen walking towards Ravenhill with what appears to be a severed head in a bag.

David attempts to turn himself in by going to a Citizens' Advice Bureau, but the apathetic advisor refuses to help him. He instead goes to the grave of Nurse Kenchington. Flashbacks reveal the full story of her murder. David hears Kenchington's voice urging him to dig up the grave, which he does. She then appears, seeking her locket. When she doesn't find it, she shoots David. However he is carrying a watermelon in the bag and it saves his life. David is close enough to hear the explosion at the end.

In series 2, David visits Maureen, who survived her suicide attempt, but has a tumour in her liver, giving her only months to live. Returning home, they find another blackmail letter, again reading "I know what you did". They immediately suspect Robin, the one person who they did not murder and confront him at an audition. Failing to get their point across, Maureen invites Robin for dinner and he reveals he has a peanut allergy. After eating pudding laced with crushed peanuts Robin simply suffers severe gastric reactions, rather than death. He tells David he didn't send the blackmail letter. Meanwhile, Maureen performs an embarrassing Tina Turner act, leading David to reveal that she has cancer. She goes to bed, leaving David to clean up.

Later, David meets up with the real blackmailer - Simon from the Citizens' Advice Bureau. Because he has a large debt that he wants to clear, Simon asks David to murder his aunt, who is Mr Jelly's assistant, the elderly Mrs Wren. In return, David asks that his mother doesn't suffer any more. David breaks into Sunnydale Assisted Living to kill Mrs. Wren, but finds what appears to be her dead body, he leaves, believing the job was done. He actually found another lady named Pat, murdered by Detective Finney, believing her to be Mrs Wren. David returns home to find Maureen dismembering Simon. David tells her he simply intended for Simon to give her a disabled parking badge to stop the "suffering" she had been having from her bad leg, not murder her.

David decides to treat Maureen to a fun experience before she dies. Maureen hopes for wine-tasting in France, but David thought she wanted to go zorbing, which she enjoys anyway. Afterwards, she begins to cough up blood and is admitted to hospital. The doctor tells David that she won't make it through the night and sends them home. David recites a John Donne poem to her and Maureen dies peacefully. David then uses her corpse to perform a last dance - "Oops Upside Your Head" by The Gap Band, which was one of two cheerful songs Maureen wanted at her funeral (the other being "Superman" by Black Lace).

Mr Jelly, Mr Jolly and Claudia Wren[edit]

Mr Jelly (his real name is Sean) (Shearsmith), is a one-handed clown from Salford, Greater Manchester. He incorporates his disability into his act, which he calls "Mr Jelly and his 100 hands" where he uses different artificial hands. He blames his recent failures on the similarly named Mr Jolly (Adrian Scarborough, eventually revealed as the blackmailer), whose is really Dr Stuart Strachen, who became a clown after botching Jelly's operation to cure his repetitive strain injury, causing his hand to be amputated. They fight in a ballpond, but when Jelly shows Jolly the blackmail letter, Jolly pretends that it was meant for him. At the end of episode three, Jolly is seen in the same video at the mental institution, but as a doctor.

Jolly reveals that the main characters were all present at Ravenhill Hospital and being cared for by Kenchington (later revealed as Jolly's mother), who was morally corrupt and sadistic, resulting in her death. Jolly tells Jelly that he plans to gather all the patients and anyone else involved and return to the scene of the crime to figure out what is going on.

In the sixth episode Jelly is performing at a retirement home when Jolly phones, asking to meet him. Jolly claims to have worked out the identity of the blackmailer: a highly dangerous and psychotic individual from Ravenhill. When Jelly arrives, Jolly fakes his own murder. The blackmailer then phones the police and says he had seen two clowns fighting.

Upon arriving Jelly and Claudia Wren, who he is handcuffed to, enter the hospital, find the others and are confronted by their blackmailer, who is revealed as Mr Jolly. Jolly blames all of them (except the innocent, who just happened to be there) for the death of his mother, Nurse Kenchington. When Jelly protests that he had nothing to do with it, Jolly reveals that it was Jelly's hand operation he was in the middle of when his mother died. Kenchington then arrives, and frantically searches for her missing locket, but no one knows its whereabouts. A scuffle ensues until Jolly reveals that he has a bomb, which then explodes.

Three months later, Jelly attends the funeral of Jolly, where the two clowns are again mixed up, with Jelly's name on a wreath and the gravestone. At the wake, Jelly is given some of Jolly's possessions. When he examines them, he discovers an address on an ID card and a missed call on Jolly's mobile. Later he answers Jolly's mobile and accepts a booking intended for Jolly. He arrives at a large mansion and acts as "Mr Jolly", but it is revealed that Jelly was there to do a kidney removal - a business Jolly had on the side to add it to his income.

After phoning Michael, he figures out that he and Mrs Wren are both in danger of being murdered by Detective Finney. He gets her from Sunnydale before Finney or David find her. Jelly disguises himself as Jolly to gain access to the warehouse where the removed kidney is to be stored. There, they find Jelly's missing hand (which he drops and shatters) and a frozen severed head of Kenchington's father, Ehrlichmann. Jelly is told by Peter Bishop to bring the head to London.

After the successful reanimation of Ehrlichmann's head, Grace Andrews tells Kelvin to kill Jelly and Claudia, whom she believes to be a Russian spy. Kelvin takes them into a storage room and handcuffs Claudia to a chair, then tries to inject Jelly with deadly chemicals. They fight, and Jelly is saved at the last moment by Kerry, using her telekinetic powers. Jelly and Claudia confront Andrews in front of her financial backers, who denies having any connection to the murders, but her plan is revealed on her projection screen, resulting in her arrest.

Oscar Lomax, Michael Fry (Tealeaf) & Peter Bishop[edit]

Oscar Lomax (Steve Pemberton) is a blind millionaire from Ilkley, West Yorkshire. He lives in a vast mansion with support coming only from Michael Fry (Daniel Kaluuya), who helps Lomax as community service. Lomax calls Michael "Tea leaf" because of his criminal background, "tea leaf" being cockney rhyming slang for "thief." Lomax spends his time collecting plush toys which he calls "commodities" and his "Holy of Holies", keeping them in a locked room. He carries a Club biscuit with him, mistaking it for a mobile phone.

Lomax only needs one more item to complete his collection, Snappy the Crocodile. He once discovered it online, but two more people, the Crabtree sisters (conjoined twins from Braintree, Essex) bought it before him. Lomax bought Snappy from the sisters in exchange for his eyes. After Ravenhill he let Snappy be stolen so he could once more feel the "thrill of the chase". Michael helps him make an offer on Snappy when it appears online, which results in a bidding war with the Crabtrees. The people selling Snappy withdraw the sale after seeing the demand for the toy. They tell Lomax he won the auction but then reveal that they don't know where Snappy is. Lomax tries to coax the information out of their son, but with no luck. Michael, meanwhile, bribes the child and escapes with the Crabtree sisters, along with the phone number of a third bidder who the son sent Snappy to. The bidder is the mysterious blackmailer. Michael cons the Crabtree sisters out of their money and arranges to meet the blackmailer at Ravenhill. There, Snappy has been left in a room. As Michael enters to collect Snappy, the door slams behind him and Joy locks it from the outside. Michael phones Lomax and begs to be rescued.

Lomax arrives with his new helper and they free Michael. Michael gives the toy crocodile to Oscar. The two walk out to a nearby cliff, where Lomax throws it over the edge. He confesses that he suffers from Paradise Syndrome. Only by yearning and searching for something can he be truly happy, thus he'll keep searching for Snappy. Michael gets fed up and attempts to leave, but the blackmailer steals his keys. Both he and Lomax are present when the building explodes.

Oscar and Michael attend Jolly's funeral, Michael with a broken arm that prevents him from driving and Oscar in a wheelchair and heavily deaf. They and Jelly are interviewed by Detective Finney about the events at Ravenhill, and Michael shows Jelly information about Kenchington's hidden embezzled funds, which she planned to collect later. Her two-year absence is explained by her waiting until the fuss surrounding her disappearance had died down. Later Lomax reveals why he hates Tony Hancock; they were best friends until Lomax found discovered his son, Billy, was not his, but Hancock's. His son has been trying to contact him, but Lomax ignores him. As Michael puts the latest letters in the rubbish outside, Billy Lomax is seen hiding in the bushes.

Later, Lomax admits that he himself is Tony Hancock; his best friend, whose wife Lomax/Hancock slept with, died following the betrayal. Michael persuades Hancock/Lomax to reunite with his son. However, Hancock/Lomax is murdered by Finney moments before the reunion, with the body arranged to look like suicide. Michael goes to visit Peter Bishop, owner of Hoyti Toyti's toy shop, which Lomax visited frequently. Bishop tells Michael that the toy shop is a front for his real business: trading Nazi memorabilia. They puzzle over the Ravenhill patients, believing that they were murdered, and discover that Edwina Kenchington was the daughter of a brilliant German scientist called Ehrlichmann. He had founded Ravenhill to perform experiments on people after World War II. Bishop also finds a photograph of a young Edwina wearing the locket, and they see in a television interview that Debbie is now wearing the locket. Successfully tracking the locket down to Hattie, they retrieve the locket and plan to travel to London. However, Bishop reveals himself to Michael in a full Nazi uniform, shooting him dead and taking the locket.

Joy and George Aston[edit]

Joy Aston (French) is a midwife in Bristol. She teaches ante-natal, but dwells on the painful and violent sides of giving birth. She had a son who died of cot death, to cope with her grief, she treats a practice doll as if it were a real child, calling him Freddy. Her husband George (Pemberton) is even forced to care for Freddy. Joy steals blood from the hospital blood bank, putting it in a baby bottle for Freddie. In the third episode George refuses the charade of pretending that Freddy is real, but Freddy appears to have thrown his baby dish onto the floor. Joy is delighted that the blood seems to be bringing him to life.

In episode five Freddy seemingly comes to life, and violently attacks Joy, culminating with George's death and Joy's collapse. However, George is not dead, but Freddy is under Nicola's (Elizabeth Berrington) control, Joy's colleague with whom George is having an affair. They believe Joy is dead, so they dismantle Freddy and leave. However, Joy awakens and rushes Freddy to hospital, but since he is a doll, the doctors refuse treatment. So Joy kidnaps Nicola and drives her to Ravenhill, where Joy exsanguinates Nicola to transfer her blood to Freddy. As Nicola lies dying, Joy reveals that she was driven insane after the death of her son Paul and Freddie was given to her as part of her therapy. She then hears Michael Fry enter the building.

As the others arrive, Joy wanders away from Nicola. As her blood drain slows she becomes catatonic. Jennifer, Oscar's new helper, discovers Nicola and tries to help her out of the building. Joy believes the blood transfusion turned Freddy into Jennifer, and begins treating her like a baby boy. They are present when the building explodes.

In the second series, Joy is wearing a neck brace and looking after Jennifer (calling her Freddy), now completely disabled. George moves out and reveals that Nicola died from blood loss, since the emergency transfusion the hospital had was contaminated with Ribena, since it was the blood Joy stole in season one. She is interviewed by Detective Finney who is extremely interested in Kenchington's locket. She tells him she does not know its whereabouts, but Finney notices Jennifer's hand move, surmising that she might know something. After failing to get any information from Jennifer, he suddenly stabs Joy in the neck with the pencil and places it in Jennifer's hand, making it seem like she stabbed her. He leaves Joy bleeding to death alongside the incapacitated girl.

Robert Greenspan, Kerry and Debbie[edit]

Robert Greenspan (Tompkins) is a dwarf actor, lately playing Blusher in a Snow White pantomime. The panto stars and is directed by Christopher Biggins (playing himself). Robert is in love with the dim actress who is playing Snow White, Debbie (Daisy Haggard), but she does not even notice him. Robert is mocked by everyone, in particular Brian (Shearsmith), the actor playing the Wicked Queen. Robert appears to be telekinetic, whenever he gets upset, although episode six reveals it is actually Kerry (Lisa Hammond).

When Robert gets the first blackmail letter, he believes it is because he once starred in a porn film. When he tells Brian, he is told not to worry. Later Robert sees Brian showing Debbie the video he starred in. His anger appears to cause the TV to blow up.

Debbie then plays a cruel trick. She convinced him to appear on stage naked in front of the whole cast, thinking that Debbie wanted a sexual fantasy with him. Kerry uses her powers to make a light explode, letting Robert think it was him. The next day Kerry uses telekinesis to close the lid of the coffin in the pantomime, knocking Debbie out. Robert visits her in hospital and kisses her. She suddenly awakes, suffering from amnesia, so Robert claims they have been together for two years. Robert receives another letter from the blackmailer, this time containing a large key with the symbol of a raven.

Later, Robert convinces Debbie they are engaged. This upsets Kerry, who is in love with Robert. She and Brian conspire to get Robert sacked from the pantomime and then corner him during a rehearsal. Kerry reveals that she has the telekinetic powers and she wanted to protect him from the bullying from the rest of the cast. She demands that he tell her he loves her. Robert attempts to leave, but Brian knocks him out and Kerry bundles him into a car.

Robert and Kerry end up on the road where Kerry apologizes. Robert accepts, but their vehicle runs out of petrol. They find an abandoned home where there is soup on the table. Kerry makes a phone call for help and Robert helps himself to the soup. He then notices that the phone is disconnected from the wall. Kerry calls out to a woman she calls "grandma" for help and an old woman emerges as Robert passes out from the drugged soup. Robert is not in the climax at Ravenhill, but in the final shot with Nurse Kenchington's stolen locket hanging from his neck.

In the second series, Robert escapes his prison while Kerry and "grandma" concoct a love potion for Robert. He finds Debbie, who is now in film work and asks her to keep the stolen Kenchington locket safe. Robert then goes to an audition, unaware that it is a trap by Detective Finney. In the final scene, Robert is lying dead, hidden behind some rubbish bins.

Debbie continues to wear the locket until makeup artist Hattie takes an interest in it. Following a television interview, she opens it to find that it contains what appears to be glitter, and believing it to be of no value, Hattie washes it down the drain. As of the end of series 2, it appears that the contents of the locket were a red herring, and Hattie's disposal of them was of no consequence; it was actually the locket's chain which was valuable, not its contents. In the final episode of Season 2, Kerry tracks down the those who were responsible for Robert's murder and saves Mr Jelly and Mrs Wren from Kelvin's murder attempt, knocks out Ehrlichmann's guard and, as revenge for ultimately being responsible for Robert's death and for insulting her, she telekinetically made his head explode.

Drew Aspinall and Phil Walker[edit]

Drew Apsinall is a disturbed 22-year old who encountered Kenchington and her patients on Halloween when he was 9. His house overlooked Ravenhill and he spent a lot of time obsessing over the institution after he met Kenchington. He was dared to break in and steal something from Kenchinton's office. He stole her locket but returned it after being caught. Kenchington then sadistically frightened him by telling vivid ghost stories, taking him on rounds to the disturbed patients and locking him in an empty cell. He later created a website about Ravenhill which formed part of Psychoville's viral advertising campaign.

Drew contacted a production company making the fictional series Dale Winton's Overnight Ghost Hunt. Phil Walker, a location scout, joined him on a tour of the building the same night as the explosion, with Drew recounting the night he spent in Ravenhill. Kenchington returns to Ravenhill and Drew, believing her to be dead, thinks she is a ghost. She tells him she is not and presses him to see if he stole her locket again. Drew denies the theft and asks her why she was so protective of it. Being worthless to her, Kenchington shoots Drew and leaves to confront the main characters. Phil tries to drag Drew to safety and get help but the two of them are caught in the bomb blast and killed. Phil's camera footage is recovered by Grace Andrews.

Jeremy Goode[edit]

Jeremy (Shearsmith), in the second series, is a librarian who is obsessed with the return of the overdue book "50 Great Coastal Walks of the British Isles, Vol. 2" by a woman who claims she lost it. When angry, or when he believes that things "aren't right", Jeremy sees a figure he calls the 'Silent Singer' (Shearsmith). The Silent Singer is a jagged-toothed man dressed in braided pigtails who pretends to sing (silently) into a walking cane.

After the book is not returned, he sneaks into the woman's house and persuades her daughter to find it for him. Having discovered that her daughter spoke to Jeremy in her bedroom, she sends her mother out to walk their dog. Jeremy follows and attacks her, cutting the grandmother's ponytail off and stealing the dog. He later calls and demands an exchange of the book for the unharmed dog. Meeting in the park, she exchanges the book for her dog. Just as Jeremy discovers she handed him "Volume 1" of the series, he is arrested by the police.

He is later interviewed by Detective Finney, who has "Volume 2" and starts to damage it, forcing Jeremy to talk. Jeremy was also a patient at Ravenhill who brought Kenchington her breakfast every morning. Reading the complicated equations on a her blackboard, he corrects a figure, balancing the equations, impressing Kenchington. They work on the equations together for months before Jeremy goes up for review. Having been cured and about to be released, Jeremy makes up the Silent Singer based on the appearance of a female patient walking past the window. They deny his release, allowing him to stay. However, the Silent Singer actually becomes real in his head and he is not released for seven years. He claims that the locket contains "the secret of eternal life" and does not tell Finney any more. When left alone in the interview room, Jeremy picks up the book but finds all the pages blank and appears to have a mental breakdown as a result, eventually succumbing to the Silent Singer's influence.

Hattie[edit]

Hattie (Pemberton), in the second series, is a movie makeup artist. Her nephew, Chris, has an Iranian boyfriend, named Sharouz, who is a waiter in the local café. Because his visa expires soon, Chris asks Hattie to marry Sharouz so he can stay in the country. Taking the plan too far, she marries and sleeps with the petrified Sharouz. Later, desperate to keep him as her husband, she chains him to the bedroom radiator to prevent him escaping. At work, she prepares Debbie for her television interview and after getting it open, tips the contents of Kenchington's locket (glitter dust) down the drain. Debbie, thinking that the K on the front of the locket is an H, gives the locket to Hattie.

Chris, returning early, rescues Sharouz during a wedding photoshoot, leaving Hattie mentally unbalanced. She instead takes the wedding photographer hostage and chains him to the radiator. Detective Finney later arrives to arrest her and discovers that Michael and Peter Bishop, posing as detectives, took the locket with them.

Grace Andrews and Kelvin[edit]

Grace Andrews (Imelda Staunton) and her assistant Kelvin (Daniel Ings) are both introduced in the Hallowe'en special as working for an unknown organisation which is trying to pinpoint where all the other characters are, tracking their every moment in the hope of finding the locket. Andrews is always obsessed with new technology and laments that her workplace isn't like Minority Report and is more like a village post office. In Episode 6, she is arrested for the murders of the Main Characters, seen in the previous episodes, as she accidentally reveals it on her plasma TV.

Detective Finney[edit]

Finney (Mark Bonnar) only appears in the second series. He first talks to Jelly, Lomax and Michael at Jolly's funeral but finds few leads. He later interviews Joy and, after failing to gain any new information from her paralysed patient Jennifer, unexpectedly stabs her through her neckbrace with a pencil, killing her. In the second episode, he leads Robert to a false audition and, again, murders him shortly afterwards. In the third episode, he pretends to be Lomax's long-lost son Billy and sits with him for a while. Failing to discover what happened to Kenchington's locket, he hangs Lomax and makes it appear like suicide. In episode four, he goes undercover as a cleaner at Sunnydale and, thinking an old lady to be Mrs Wren (who is in fact her friend Pat, wearing Mrs Wren's cardigan), kills her quickly. In a phone call, he then asks whether to go for "the clown or the kid" next. Instead, he interrogates Jeremy, and then arrests Hattie, to try and trace down the locket, only to find out that Michael and Peter Bishop have beaten him to it. In the final episode of the series he tracks down David, intending to kill him, but discovers Jennifer, who reveals that she has "told someone" about Finney killing Joy. David then hits Finney with a plank of wood before placing him in Maureen Sowerbutts' coffin. The coffin is cremated, killing Finney.

Web presence[edit]

Shearsmith and Pemberton collaborated with Rob and Neil Gibbons to produce fictional web content to accompany the show including an interactive treasure hunt.[8] Fake websites and promotional websites were created for many of the characters to allow viewers of the programme to get "an overall Psychoville experience."

A new Psychoville Experience was created for series two, with a new interface and a selection of new fictional websites released after each episode. Viewers were asked to find a number each week and input them into a keypad to unlock a 'secret chamber' at the end of the series. The chamber once opened reveals the revived head of the Nazi Doctor Ehrlichmann (Kenchington's father). Five questions are asked and a certain amount correct gets you a free 'freeze and reanimation ticket' from CG Medistore and andrewsnanotech to print out. The websites were again written by Shearsmith and Pemberton.[9]

Cast[edit]

The main characters in the first series of Psychoville (left to right): Joy Aston, Oscar Lomax, Mr Jelly (back), Robert Greenspan (front), David Sowerbutts and Maureen Sowerbutts.
Actor Character No. of
Episodes
Notes
Reece Shearsmith Mr Jelly 12 Children's Entertainer
Maureen Sowerbutts 12 David's mother
Brian MacMillan 3 "Evil Queen" in Snow White
Jeremy Goode 6 Obsessive Librarian
The Silent Singer 6 Appears to Jeremy when something bad is happening
Phil Walker 1 TV location scout
John Christie 1 Appears to David in a vision
Steve Pemberton David Sowerbutts 14 Ex-Ravenhill resident
Oscar Lomax 8 Ex-Ravenhill resident
George Aston 9 Joy's husband
Hattie 5 Shahrouz's blackmailing wife
Judge Pennywise 1 Clown in Mr Jelly's nightmare
Daniel Kaluuya Michael "Tealeaf" Fry 13 Oscar's home help
Dawn French Joy Aston 9 Ex-Ravenhill resident
Jason Tompkins Robert Greenspan 9 "Blusher" in Snow White, ex-Ravenhill resident
Eileen Atkins Edwina Kenchington 9 Nurse at Ravenhill Hospital
Imelda Staunton Grace Andrews 7 Wants Kenchington's locket
Vilma Hollingbery Claudia Wren 6 Care home resident and Jelly's assistant

Supporting cast[edit]

Actor Character No. of
Episodes
Notes
Lisa Hammond Kerry 9 "Sniffy" in Snow White
Daisy Haggard Debbie Hart 7 "Snow White" in Snow White
Daniel Ings Kelvin 7 Grace's assistant
Adrian Scarborough Mr Jolly 6[nb 1] Dr Stuart Strachen
Elyes Gabel Shahrouz 6
Elizabeth Berrington Nicola 5[nb 1] A nurse, colleague of Joy
Alison Lintott Chelsea Crabtree 4 Kelly-Su's siamese twin
Debbie Chazen Kelly-Su Crabtree 4 Chelsea's siamese twin
Stacy Liu Jennifer 4[nb 1] Oscar's replacement home help
Christopher Biggins Himself 4 Director and "Prince Charming" in Snow White
Nick Holder Bob Dalton 3 Owner of Snappy the Crocodile
Alex Kelly Karen Dalton 3 Bob's wife
Aaron Smith Ian Dalton 3 Son of Bob and Karen
Sarah Solemani Emily 3 Robin's dinner guest, later David's companion
Nicholas Le Prevost Graham 2 "Murder and Chips" leader
Janet McTeer Cheryl 2 "Murder and Chips" actress
David Smallbone Martin Pike 2 "Murder and Chips" actor
David Bamber Robin 4 "Murder and Chips" actor
Natalie Cassidy Lorraine 2 "Murder and Chips" actress
Alex Waldmann Drew Aspinall[10] 1 Broke into Ravenhill as a child
Matthew Fenton
Daniel Millar AA Man 1 Tries in vain to fix Mr. Jelly's car
Mark Gatiss[nb 2] Jason Griffin 1 "Murder and Chips" auditionee
George Asprey John George Haigh 1 Appears to David in a vision
Eric Loren Albert DeSalvo 1 Appears to David in a vision
Glenn Carter Jack the Ripper 1 Appears to David in a vision
Huw Edwards Himself 1 Appears reading news on Joy's TV
Julian Bleach Doctor/Eddie 1 Appears in the Halloween special
Mark Bonnar Detective Finney
Jason Watkins Peter Bishop 4
  1. ^ a b c Also appears in the Halloween special in stock footage.
  2. ^ Credited as Sam Kisgart

Production[edit]

Filming for the series began at locations around London in October 2008, with plans for the show to be broadcast in 2009.[11] In May 2009 it was confirmed that the series would begin on 11 June,[12] although it was later rescheduled to 18 June.[13] In order to promote Psychoville's launch, digital agency Ralph & Co created a customisable viral video, which enabled users to seemingly broadcast their friends' darkest secrets on a digital billboard at London's Piccadilly Circus.[12]

Ratings and Awards[edit]

Series Timeslot Episode Date of Episode UK viewers (BBC Two)
1 Thursday 22:00 BBC Two
(30 mins. each)
1 - Black Mail 18 June 2009 1.73 million
2 - Lomax 25 June 2009 1.29 million
3 - Jelly 2 July 2009 1.30 million
4 - David and Maureen 9 July 2009 1.41 million
5 - Joy 16 July 2009 1.31 million
6 - Robert 23 July 2009 1.08 million
7 - Ravenhill 30 July 2009 1.45 million
Sunday 22:00 BBC Two (1 hour) 8 - Halloween Special 31 October 2010 1.50 million
2 Thursday 22:00 BBC Two
(30 mins. each)
9 - Survivors 5 May 2011 1.15 million
10 - Dinner Party 12 May 2011 0.99 million
11 - Hancock 19 May 2011 0.74 million
12 - Sunnyvale 26 May 2011 0.66 million
13 - The Hunt 2 June 2011 0.80 million
Monday 22:00 BBC Two (30 mins.) 14 - Andrews Nanotech 6 June 2011 0.63 million

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ http://twitter.com/#!/RadioTimes/status/59990511313891328
  2. ^ http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2011/09/15/13981/psychoville_killed_off
  3. ^ Armstrong, Stephen (31 May 2009). "The League of Gentlemen launch Psychoville". London: Times Online. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  4. ^ Dowell, Ben (9 October 2008). "League Of Gentlemen duo back with BBC2 comedy Psychoville". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "TV Preview: Psychoville + panel discussion". British Film Institute. Retrieved 15 May 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Psychoville". BBC. Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  7. ^ "New show for League of Gentlemen". BBC Online. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  8. ^ Psychoville - disclaimer. BBC. Retrieved 24 June 2009. 
  9. ^ Psychoville - Experience. BBC. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  10. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/psychoville/characters/drew.shtml
  11. ^ Moore, Matthew (10 October 2008). "League of Gentlemen creators write new comedy Psychoville for BBC2". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Bold, Ben (20 May 2009). "BBC launches blackmail viral to promote 'Psychoville'". Brand Republic. Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  13. ^ Armstrong, Stephen (31 May 2009). "The League of Gentlemen launch Psychoville". London: Times Online. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 

External links[edit]