Back (TV series)

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Back
Back titles.jpg
GenreSitcom
Created bySimon Blackwell
Written bySimon Blackwell
Directed byBen Palmer
StarringRobert Webb
David Mitchell
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Kenton Allen
David Mitchell
Robert Webb
Simon Blackwell
Producer(s)Kate Daughton
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkChannel 4
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original release6 September 2017 (2017-09-06) –
present
External links
Website

Back is a British sitcom starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb.[1] It was filmed and is set in (and around) Stroud, Gloucestershire.[2] The six-part series was created by Simon Blackwell, and premiered on Channel 4 on 6 September 2017.[3] A second series of six episodes was announced in November 2017.[4]

Plot[edit]

After the death of his father Laurie, 42-year-old Stephen is set to take over the family business, the John Barleycorn pub, in Stroud. His plans are interrupted when Andrew, a former foster child briefly raised by Stephen's parents, returns to his life eager to renew his relationship with the family. While Andrew quickly charms the rest of Stephen's family - including his mother Ellen, sister Cass and uncle Geoff - Stephen resents Andrew and views him as "a glib, dangerous sociopath who's about to steal his family, his business and his life".[5] Andrew fondly remembers the time he spent living with the family as happy, whereas Stephen remembers the same time as miserable.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions)
1"Episode 1"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell6 September 2017 (2017-09-06)[3]1.75m[8]

Failed lawyer Stephen's father died recently; he makes plans to take over the family's pub. On the day of the funeral there is an unexpected mourner at the graveside - Andrew, who was Stephen's foster brother for part of 1987.

A female stranger leaves a dog in a café, while Stephen is there. He takes it home after the manager of the café refuses to take it.
2"Episode 2"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell13 September 2017 (2017-09-13)[9]1.08m[8]

Stephen finds out that his father left five percent of his pub business to Andrew. Stephen decides to buy five static caravans to rent out and one is delivered to a field, which Stephen moves into. Andrew organises a trendy outdoor food festival, at which some attendees use Stephen's caravan as a toilet. His ex-wife Alison and her partner Tom are trying for a baby and use Stephen's caravan to have sex; Tom insists that Stephen guard the door to prevent the festival goers entering. The festival is a financial loss.

Stephen's mother Ellen becomes a Christian and unsuccessfully tries to encourage Stephen to.
3"Episode 3"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell20 September 2017 (2017-09-20)[9]1.04m[8]

Andrew suggests many improvements to the pub, which includes better-looking bar staff. Stephen disagrees with the changes, but they go ahead and bring an increase in the number of customers and lots of excellent TripAdvisor reviews. Stephen accuses Andrew of creating reviews under fake identities. Stephen makes bad reviews pretending to be customers, which Andrew thinks were done by the new staff, so Andrew brings back the old staff.

Alison tells Stephen that she has put her house up for sale and intends to move to a large city.

Cass tells Stephen that she is sexually attracted to Andrew and is considering having sex with him.
4"Episode 4"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell27 September 2017 (2017-09-27)[9]N/A

Cass says she is going to go travelling, which for 20 years she has been saying that she is going to do. Stephen and Andrew visit the pub's suppliers, discovering that Laurie and Ellen enjoyed an open marriage.

They remember an acquaintance who disappeared in 1987 without explanation and wonder if they killed him. During the trip, Stephen meets a young woman who prefers him to Andrew. After Stephen and Andrew come home, Cass tells Andrew that she is not going to travel because she is in love with him. He encourages her to travel the world for five or six months and to sell her share in the pub to fund the trip.

The pub catches fire, caused by cigarettes which Geoff allowed the customers to smoke.
5"Episode 5"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell4 October 2017 (2017-10-04)[9]N/A

The family clean up and repair the pub after the fire. Ellen blames Stephen for allowing the insurance for the pub to expire.

Cass sells her share of the pub to Andrew, and goes travelling. Geoff intends to sell his farm to developers who want to build a housing estate there.

Stephen loses the dog whilst walking it in the woods. He finds a man's corpse in a tree whilst looking for the dog. He is unable to find the dog and does not have a signal on his mobile phone. Andrew is jogging through the forest and Stephen tells him about the situation. Andrew phones the police on his mobile and gives a television interview, claiming that he found the body and is the pub's landlord. He also befriends the man's widow.

Cass returns after four days with a new boyfriend, having travelled no further than Lille - where she met him. A man tries to falsely claims that he has the dog, and tries to extort a thousand pounds from Stephen by threatening to kill it. Stephen and Andrew meet the extortionist in a car park. Laurie's brother Geoff, who knows that the dog has come home, turns up and beats the extortionist with a baseball bat.

Alison tells Stephen that there is an access road planned for the estate, which will go through the area, and that they will be offered 40% above market value to sell the pub.
6"Episode 6"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell11 October 2017 (2017-10-11)[9]1.02[8]
Andrew has made the pub successful with its new French chef, Juliet. Cass says she split up with her boyfriend. Geoff and Cass have themselves tested for bowel cancer, which Laurie and his father died of; they both test negative. A gathering of family, staff and friends is held in the pub for what would have been Laurie's 69th birthday party, to which Ellen invites some of her former foster children. One of them - Chris - says that he lived in the same accommodation as Andrew when they were 14 or 15 and that he is unsure that he is the real Andrew. Stephen researches Andrew's history and finds out that Andrew served a prison sentence in France for maiming a child whilst drink driving. Stephen confronts Andrew with that knowledge and tells him to sell his share of the pub to him and leave - otherwise he will tell everyone about the crime. He also accuses Andrew of stealing his life. Andrew says he will leave. Juliet, who was friends with Andrew when he lived in France, says that it was her mother who was drink driving when the car hit an 8-year-old boy - and that Andrew took the blame and served 16 months in prison. Ellen tells Stephen that he is not Laurie's son and is the product of one of his flings. Juliet moves back to France.

Reception[edit]

The series received good reviews but low viewing figures, similar to Mitchell and Webb's last sitcom, Peep Show.[10][11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leo Barraclough (15 November 2016). "'Veep' Co-Writer Simon Blackwell Pens Comedy 'Back' for Channel 4". Variety. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  2. ^ Mitchell and Webb's Back was filmed in Stroud
  3. ^ a b Rianne Houghton (15 November 2016). "The next Peep Show? Mitchell and Webb are returning to Channel 4 with a brand new sitcom". Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Channel 4 orders more of Mitchell & Webb's Back". British Comedy Guide. 15 November 2017.
  5. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Back - C4 Sitcom - British Comedy Guide". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  6. ^ a b Leo Barraclough (15 November 2016). "Channel 4 orders full series of Mitchell & Webb comedy 'Back'". Comedy. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "First look at the cast of Mitchell and Webb's new comedy Back".
  8. ^ a b c d BARB
  9. ^ a b c d e "Back". Channel 4.
  10. ^ Hawksley, Rupert (11 October 2017). "Back, episode 6 review: this Mitchell and Webb comedy deserves a second series". The Daily Telegraph.
  11. ^ Watson, Keith (7 September 2017). "Review: Back". metro.news.
  12. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (12 October 2017). "Back review: farewell to Mitchell and Webb's squirmingly good sitcom-cum-thriller". The Guardian.

External links[edit]