Servant (TV series)
|Written by||Tony Basgallop|
|Directed by||M. Night Shyamalan|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||4 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original network||Apple TV+|
|Original release||November 28, 2019 –|
Servant is an American psychological horror television series created and written by Tony Basgallop who also executive produced alongside M. Night Shyamalan. The series is produced for Apple TV+ and debuted on November 28, 2019. Ahead of the premiere, Apple renewed Servant for a second season.
Six weeks after the death of their 13-week-old son, Philadelphia couple Dorothy and Sean Turner hire a young nanny, Leanne, to move in and take care of Baby Jericho, a reborn doll. The doll, which Dorothy believes is her real child, was the only thing that brought her out of her catatonic state following Jericho's death. While Sean deals with the grief on his own, he becomes deeply suspicious of Leanne.
Cast and characters
- Toby Kebbell as Sean Turner, a stay-at-home consulting chef, recently bereaved father and husband to Dorothy
- Lauren Ambrose as Dorothy Turner, a local television news reporter, recently bereaved mother, and wife to Sean
- Nell Tiger Free as Leanne Grayson, a mysterious young nanny from Wisconsin hired by the Turners
- Rupert Grint as Julian Pearce, Dorothy's brother and Sean's brother-in-law
- Mason and Julius Belford as Jericho
- Phillip James Brannon as Matthew Roscoe, Julian's private detective friend
- Tony Revolori as Tobe, Sean's commis chef
- M. Night Shyamalan as a delivery guy
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date |
|1||"Reborn"||M. Night Shyamalan||Tony Basgallop||November 28, 2019|
|Leanne, a dour 18-year-old, moves into the Philadelphia home of Dorothy and Sean Turner as a nanny for "baby Jericho"—a reborn doll. Following the apparent crib death of the real Jericho at 13 weeks old, Dorothy suffered a "psychotic break", and a therapist suggested the doll as a coping method. Dorothy, who acts as though the doll is real, enthusiastically welcomes Leanne into their home as she returns to her own job. Sean, alone in his grief, is uncomfortable around the devoutly religious Leanne, who also acts as though the doll is real. When Leanne puts the baby down for a "nap", Sean discovers Jericho alive in his crib.|
|2||"Wood"||Daniel Sackheim||Tony Basgallop||November 28, 2019|
|Leanne appears mystified when Sean demands to know whose baby is in his house, telling him that it's his son. Dorothy acts "normally" when she sees Jericho, as though he'd never died. While both women are sleeping, Sean attempts to take Jericho to the police, but is suddenly unable to disarm the security system. He confides in Julian, Dorothy's brother, who, along with their father, is one of the few who knows Jericho died. Sean destroys a homemade straw cross Leanne hung above Jericho's crib. He begins finding painful splinters all over his body and loses his sense of taste. Dorothy begins having flashes of catatonia, the state she was in after Jericho's death six weeks earlier.|
|3||"Eel"||Daniel Sackheim||Tony Basgallop||November 28, 2019|
|Leanne passes out while watching Sean, a chef, kill and prepare eels in the kitchen. Using the address from her application letter to Dorothy, Julian and a private investigator, Roscoe, go to Medicine Bridge, Wisconsin, to investigate Leanne. They discover a burned out house that belonged to the Grayson family, and graves for Leanne, who died as a baby in 2002, and her parents, who also perished in the fire. Julian believes Leanne is an impostоr who is trying to get money from the family through blackmail. Leanne begins to emulate Dorothy.|
|4||"Bear"||Nimród Antal||Tony Basgallop||December 6, 2019|
|After realizing that Leanne is taking Jericho into her own bedroom at night, Sean installs a nanny cam in her room to spy on her. Flashbacks reveal Dorothy suffered multiple miscarriages before Jericho was born. Dorothy decides to take Leanne and Jericho to work with her to meet her coworkers, but Sean intervenes and insists Jericho is too young. However, while watching Dorothy reporting live from a murder trial, Sean spots Leanne in the background with Jericho, watching Dorothy. Leanne watches a DVD from 2011 of Dorothy's reporting, which appears to show Dorothy interviewing a young Leanne at a children's pageant.|
On February 27, 2018, it was announced that Apple Inc. had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. The series was created by Tony Basgallop who also wrote for the series and executive produced it alongside M. Night Shyamalan, Ashwin Rajan, Jason Blumenthal, Todd Black, and Steve Tisch. Production companies involved with the show include Blinding Edge Pictures, Escape Artists, and Dolphin Black Productions. Mike Gioulakis served as the series' cinematographer. On October 3, 2019, it was reported that series is scheduled to be released on November 28, 2019. Ahead of the series premiere, on November 22, 2019, it was announced that Apple had renewed the series for a second season.
Shyamalan stated that he envisions the series to stretch for 60 half-hour episodes, or six seasons.
On August 22, 2018, it was announced that Lauren Ambrose and Nell Tiger Free had been cast in leading roles. On November 30, 2018, it was reported that Rupert Grint had joined the main cast. On December 4, 2018, it was announced that Toby Kebbell had been cast in a starring role.
Servant was filmed in Philadelphia from November 2018 to March 2019. Exterior scenes took place in Philadelphia's Center City near Spruce and 21st Streets. A set for the interior of the Turner home was built in a former paint factory in Bethel Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, where the interior of the Turner home was built.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 84% based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 6.88/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Though Servant's slithering mystery often wanders into dark, crowded corners, its claustrophobic atmosphere and powerful performances build enough tension to keep viewers hooked." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 68 out of 100 based on reviews from 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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- "Servant: Season 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
- "Servant: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved November 30, 2019.