This Country

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This Country
This Country BBC title card.png
Genre
Created by
Written by
  • Daisy May Cooper
  • Charlie Cooper
Directed byTom George
Starring
  • Daisy May Cooper
  • Charlie Cooper
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series2
No. of episodes13
Production
Executive producer(s)Stephen McCrum
Producer(s)Simon Mayhew-Archer
Editor(s)Craig Harbour
Running timeapprox. 25–28 minutes
Release
Original networkBBC Three (online)
Picture format16:9 1080i
Original release8 February 2017 (2017-02-08) – present

This Country is a British mockumentary sitcom, first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Three on 8 February 2017. Created by, written by and starring siblings Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper, the programme is about the day-to-day lives of two young people living in a small village in the Cotswolds.[1] The programme centres on themes of social clumsiness, the trivialities of human behaviour, the eccentricities of living in rural England, and the boredom and social isolation of young people in small communities.[2][3] Following rave reviews and over four million iPlayer requests, on 18 July 2017 the BBC renewed the programme for a second series, the first episode of which released on 26 February 2018.[4] On 20 April 2018, the BBC renewed the programme for a third series, as well as a 40-minute one-off special.[5]

The Coopers play the central characters, cousins Kerry and Lee "Kurtan" Mucklowe.[6] Their father, Paul Cooper, plays Kerry's father Martin Mucklowe, while their uncle, Trevor Cooper, plays local man and antagonist Len Clifton.[7][8] Although credited to "Ivy Woodcock", the voice of Sue Mucklowe—Kerry's mother, never seen on screen—is provided by Daisy May Cooper.[9] The series' name comes from a passionate line by Kerry and Kurtan in the Series 1 finale, where they both exclaim that "This country is ours!".

Cast[edit]

  • Daisy May Cooper as Kerry Mucklowe
  • Charlie Cooper as Lee "Kurtan" Mucklowe, Kerry's cousin
  • Paul Cooper as Martin Mucklowe, Kerry's estranged father
  • Trevor Cooper as Len Clifton
  • Paul Chahidi as Rev. Francis Seaton, the parish vicar
  • Ashley McGuire as Mandy Harris
  • David Nightingale as Steve "Nugget" Nuggins, Kerry's uncle
  • Eliza Hunt as June Winwood
  • Michael Sleggs as Michael "Slugs" Slugette
  • Celeste Dring as Kayleigh Hudson
  • Liam Steward-George as PC Webber
  • Matthew Rees as Robert Robinson
  • Badger Skelton as Levi Johnson
  • Preston Nyman as "Weak" Nathan Kay
  • Alfie Simmons as Neil "Count Fartula" Pedley
  • Laura Checkley as Shaz Gallagher
  • Gerran Howell as Jacob Seaton, the Vicar's son
  • Kerry's mother voiced by Daisy May Cooper

Production[edit]

The series was filmed on location in and around the small town of Northleach, Gloucestershire. Daisy Cooper said: "All the material is based around stuff that happens in Cirencester, but when we went to the channel they thought that Cirencester was a bit too big and Northleach is a smaller village, and sort of isolates the characters a bit more. Makes them more claustrophobic."[3]

A pilot (entitled Kerry) was filmed in 2014, with the character of Kurtan absent, but has not been made available to the public as of 2018.[10] Filming for series 1 commenced in September 2016, and was completed within 3 weeks.[3][7] A second series was quickly confirmed, with filming taking place over Summer 2017 and its first episode released on 26 February 2018.[11]

A one-off special is set to film over Summer 2018, with series 3 set to go into production in 2019.[12]

Broadcast[edit]

As a BBC Three (online) production, each episode of This Country is premiered on Mondays via BBC iPlayer, the corporation's digital streaming platform. Episodes are then rebroadcast by BBC One on the following Tuesday evening.

Episodes[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
168 February 2017 (2017-02-08)15 March 2017 (2017-03-15)
26 (+1)26 February 2018 (2018-02-26)2 April 2018 (2018-04-02)
10 October 2018 (2018-10-10) (special)

Series 1 (2017)[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Scarecrow"[13]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charle Cooper8 February 2017 (2017-02-08)
Kurtan enters the annual village scarecrow-making competition with high hopes of winning first prize and getting his photograph "on the front page of The Gazette." His hopes are dashed when he finds there has been a mix-up with the allocation of pitches and he must set up his scarecrow at the distant and little-visited Trowley Bottom Farm. Kerry is apparently challenged to a fight by youths from a neighbouring village.
2"Mandy"[14]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper15 February 2017 (2017-02-15)
Kerry and Kurtan are celebrating the news that their former woodwork teacher from school has died. Kurtan becomes obsessed with discovering what happened to Robert Robinson, a classmate whom neither Kerry nor Slugs can recall. Mandy, the local "hard woman", informs them that she is setting up business as a tattoo artist and intimidates Kerry into agreeing to have a tattoo, despite demonstrating that she has no artistic talents.
3"Oven Space"[15]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper22 February 2017 (2017-02-22)
Kerry and Kurtan are awaiting the arrival home of their uncle, "Nugget" Nuggins, who is being released from prison. It becomes apparent that while Kerry looks up to Nugget and is excited by the prospect of his return, Kurtan is not so enthusiastic and is terrified of the man. The cousins argue bitterly over whose food should occupy the top shelf of the oven.
4"King of the Nerds"[16]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper1 March 2017 (2017-03-01)
Following an argument with her mother about money, Kerry decides to look for a job. With an assurance of potential earnings of £15,000 per month, she is persuaded to join a pyramid scheme, taking out a loan of £200 to buy her way in. Assisted by Kurtan she attempts to establish a door-to-door sales operation. Kurtan is instead more interested in playing Warhammer with his new "nerdy" friends, Neil and Nathan.
5"Peeping Tom"[17]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper8 March 2017 (2017-03-08)
Kerry's estranged father Martin is accused of voyeurism and kicked out of his home by his girlfriend Sandra. Kerry attempts to establish a new relationship with him while he is temporarily living in a caravan in a field. Kurtan and Slugs become rivals for the attentions of Kayleigh Hudson, a girl who has just moved to the village.
6"GNVQ"[18]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper15 March 2017 (2017-03-15)
Kurtan is offered a place at Swindon College, studying for a GNVQ in health and social care. Kerry has difficulty coming to terms with the idea that he will be leaving the village—and her—behind. Rev. Seaton attempts to act as an intermediary to reconcile their differences.

Series 2 (2018)[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Random Acts of Kindness"[19]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper26 February 2018 (2018-02-26)
Kerry has turned over a new leaf and is trying to give back to her community. Meanwhile, Kerry's cousin, Kurtan, is coming to terms with his decision not to go to Swindon College and is struggling to get back into the swing of village life.
2"Threatening Letters"[19]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper5 March 2018 (2018-03-05)
Kerry starts to receive some threatening letters that cause her to feel unsettled within the village. Thankfully, Kerry's neighbour, 'Big' Mandy Harris, is on hand to help and advise. Meanwhile, Kurtan takes a labouring job with Kerry's father, Martin, and learns some invaluable life lessons.
3"Minor Injuries"[20]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper12 March 2018 (2018-03-12)
It's the first Saturday of the month and Kurtan tries to make a pilgrimage to Swindon to buy the new clothes of the season. However, engineering works on the bus route and a lack of alternative transport options disrupt his plans. Meanwhile, Kerry helps the vicar run the local football practice.
4"The Vicar's Son"[21]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper19 March 2018 (2018-03-19)
When the vicar's son returns to the village, he begins to hang out with Kurtan, who soon realizes that something is decidedly wrong with the young man. Meanwhile, filling in for the vicar on tea-time visits, Kerry comes to like them much more than she expected.
5"Steam Fair"[22]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper, Charlie Cooper, Tom George, and Simon Mayhew-Archer26 March 2018 (2018-03-26)
It's Kerry's birthday. But will she and Kurtan, faced with a flock of sheep, the "Fox Twins" legend, a rude stranger, and a vengeful bus driver, be able to get to Kerry's beloved local steam fair?
6"Family Loyalties"[23]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper2 April 2018 (2018-04-02)
Kurtan has a job at a bowls club but he's taking it rather seriously. Kerry is excited to be helping her father in his business, but she doesn't realise it's not legit work.
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
"The Aftermath"[24]Tom GeorgeDaisy May Cooper, Charlie Cooper, Tom George, and Simon Mayhew-Archer10 October 2018 (2018-10-10)
With seven months having passed since Kerry and Martin were arrested thanks to their “business work”, the village is having to adapt to reality again. Now Martin is in prison, Kerry is doing anything to establish connections with his past, while Kurtan begins to learn some harsh truths about why he no longer works at the bowls club.

Reception[edit]

This Country received positive reviews from critics. Stuart Heritage, for The Guardian, described it as a "perfectly observed" comedy, and wrote: "I found myself rewinding entire scenes because I was too busy howling with laughter to hear what was going on."[2] Sean O'Grady, for The Independent, wrote: "It isn't very often that I am able to recommend something because it made me weep tears of laughter, but I am happy and heartened to say that the latest BBC mockumentary, This Country, is sublime enough to have lifted my spirits heavenwards... [It has] an uneasily well-observed quality that raises the comedic genre almost to an art form." Rupert Hawksley, for The Daily Telegraph, wrote: "It is, by some distance, the funniest thing on television at the moment."[25] Mike McCahill, for Reader's Digest, described the programme as an "increasingly cherishable mockumentary" and essential viewing, observing that "[the] Coopers have created an entire universe in a handful of episodes."[26] Arts critic Bruce Dessau concluded: "It might have well-used stylistic elements of both The Office and People Just Do Nothing about it, but it is sharply-written and deftly performed [and] stays just on the right side of cliché. And most importantly both Kerry and Lee are richly comic."[27]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Royal Television Awards Comedy Performance Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper Won [28]
Scripted Comedy This Country Won
Best Comedy Writer Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper Won
British Academy Television Awards Best Scripted Comedy This Country Won [29]
Best Female Comedy Performance Daisy May Cooper Won
British Academy Television Craft Awards Best Writer: Comedy Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper Nominated [30]
Best Breakthrough Talent Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mutevelian, Sophie (5 February 2017). "Pick of the day: This Country". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Heritage, Stuart (22 February 2017). "This Country: perfect, horrifying TV for anyone who grew up in a village". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Merrifield, Ryan (17 February 2017). "Cirencester siblings Daisy and Charlie Cooper talk about their new BBC Three show This Country". Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  4. ^ Dowell, Ben (18 July 2017). "BBC3 mockumentary This Country returns for a second series". BBC. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  5. ^ Solutions, Powder Blue Internet Business. "Third series for This Country : News 2018 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". www.chortle.co.uk.
  6. ^ O'Grady, Sean (3 February 2017). "TV preview: This Country". The Independent. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Behind the Kurtan". The Cotswolds Gentleman. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  8. ^ Richardson, Jay (25 January 2017). "Country cousins". Chortle. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  9. ^ Jones, Alice (8 March 2017). "This Country's Daisy May and Charlie Cooper: 'It's basically our experience of growing up in the Cotswolds'". i News. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  10. ^ Kerry https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4711118
  11. ^ "This Country: A day on the set of the hit BBC Three series".
  12. ^ "This Country gets a third series and a one-off special".
  13. ^ "This Country, Episode 1" at BBC Programmes
  14. ^ "This Country, Episode 2" at BBC Programmes
  15. ^ "This Country, Episode 3" at BBC Programmes
  16. ^ "This Country, Episode 4" at BBC Programmes
  17. ^ "This Country, Episode 5" at BBC Programmes
  18. ^ "This Country, Episode 6" at BBC Programmes
  19. ^ a b "BBC Three - This Country, Series 2, Random Acts of Kindness". BBC.
  20. ^ "BBC Three - This Country, Series 2, Minor Injuries". BBC.
  21. ^ "BBC Three - This Country, Series 2, The Vicar's Son". BBC.
  22. ^ "BBC Three - This Country, Series 2, Steam Fair". BBC.
  23. ^ "BBC Three - This Country, Series 2, Family Loyalties". BBC.
  24. ^ "BBC Three - This Country, The Aftermath". BBC.
  25. ^ Hawksley, Rupert (13 March 2017). "Is BBC Three 'mockumentary' This Country the best British comedy since The Office?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  26. ^ McCahill, Mike (March 2017). "5 TV shows you should be watching this month". Reader's Digest. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  27. ^ Dessau, Bruce (February 2017). "Review: This Country, Episode 2, BBC Three (And BBC One)". Beyond The Joke. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  28. ^ Smith, Neil (21 March 2018). "This Country wins big at RTS awards" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  29. ^ "2018 Virgin TV BAFTA Television Awards Nominations Announced". BAFTA. 4 April 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  30. ^ "Nominations Announced for the British Academy Television Craft Awards in 2018". Bafta. 22 March 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.

External links[edit]