There are few TV shows more inventive and captivating than Inside No. 9. For avid fans, this is an ever-evolving collection of anthologies, ranging from horrible to scary to comforting him.
For the uninitiated, this is a show directed by Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. The pair star in each half-hour episode, which features a standalone plot, a guest star or two, and generally a twist. Everything takes place inside number nine, whether it’s an apartment, house, warehouse or hotel room.
It is now in its sixth series. But where to start ? What is the best episode? We have categorized each series of the show. Two caveats here: Obviously, these are my subjective shots, but if you don’t agree with just one ranking on this list, you’re a jerk. Second, there aren’t really any bad episodes, so it’s just a rating of “amazing” to “yes, pretty good”.
1. The 12 days of Christine (series 2)
Sheridan Smith is absolutely breathtaking in the story of a woman being courted by a firefighter. Like all of the best Inside No. 9 twists, you don’t see it coming. It’s simply devastating and has it all – a blow to the heart, a few unsettling sinister moments, then a giant carpet lift beneath you. Let’s face it, it’s better than most movies.
2. Tom and Gerri (series 1)
Perhaps a controversial choice, but the punch at the end of this episode hits differently. Migg is the perfect odd and unique character, and the setup is dangerously close to home after a few too many national lockdowns. Gemma Arterton is awesome, and the episode lets you know exactly how dark the whole series can get.
3. The bill (series three)
A group of friends argue over who will foot the bill. We’ve all been there, but it’s never been so bad. Set in one place, you don’t know exactly where it’s going, but Philip Glenister is there. This is what we are here for.
4. The Christmas Devil (series three)
Krammpussss! The main plot would be pretty scary, but add the murderous voiceover and it’s a bloody Christmas treat.
5. Bernie Clifton’s Dressing Room (Series Three)
As a sucker for the emotional manipulation the show is so good at, that had to be high. Two magicians get together to try to put the show back on the road. Adjusting the budget makes you feel like you’re in school while watching it. If only they would show it on TVs behind the wheel.
6. A Quiet Night (Series 1)
Two burglars silently slip by as a couple has a fight – an exceptional concept, tense and mischievous, and played out. A great episode that is unlike any other.
7. Diddle Diddle Dumpling (series three)
A man’s obsession with a shoe takes hold of his life. First, everything with Keeley Hawes is going to be good. But it’s actually great in itself – a suburban horror story, with the requisite feelings of doom and paranoia.
8. Deadline (live)
If you thought it wouldn’t work, you are forgiven. Neither do I. And yet, it really is, even up to the bogus error message. A live triumph.
9. To have and to hold (series four)
For a show that does the creepy suburb so well, this is perhaps the most insidious example. A wedding photographer in an unhappy marriage has a dark secret. Some episodes leave a pleasant feeling at the end. This one just leaves you a little sore. Like it should be.
10. Seance Time (series two)
Truly terrifying and starring Pam from Gavin and Stacey. It’s the top 10 in any book.
11. Wuthering Heist (series six)
Either way, doing a whole heist episode without showing the real heist works. It’s self-referential, the fourth wall breaks, but in a smart way.
12. The enigma of the Sphinx (series three)
A mystery plays out through crossword puzzles in the Cambridge donation office. If you can tell they had fun doing it, you’ll have fun watching it – and it is here.
13. Once removed (series three)
If you’ve ever seen Christopher Nolan’s Memento, this is basically it.
14. How do you plead (series six)
And if you’ve ever seen Christopher Nolan’s Inception, the setup is basically the same – a dying, powerful man confined to bed. But far from turning into a mind-boggling action thriller, this episode goes to an unexpected and dark place.
15. Nana’s party (series two)
A farce that escalates during a seemingly normal party for an elderly nan. Everything continues to go hilariously wrong. Inside No. 9 at its most fun.
16. Thinking Aloud (Series Five)
A group of characters speak directly to the camera as a dark mystery unfolds. Admit it, you didn’t see the twist coming, and it made you feel empty at the end. He feels like how good Black Mirror was and holds up well to a new watch.
17. Wrong Direction (Series Five)
Smart and fun. Sometimes Inside No. 9 shows all that can be done in half an hour – and this is one of those times.
18. Sardines (series one)
As the first episode of the series, this is most likely your way to Inside No. 9. If you think about the general concept of the series – a bunch of characters gathered in one space, until secrets start to come out, and finally a heartbreaking twist – so that’s the perfect introduction.
19. The Harrowing (series 1)
Does what it says on the tin. A babysitter accepts a job at a spider web mansion. While perhaps even in the scary stakes at Seance Time, the other episode takes the advantage of offering something beyond simple fears.
20. Cold Comfort (series two)
Played on CCTV screens in a call center, this episode promised a lot. He delivered – most of the time – but not completely. An average episode, with an average amount of spooky drama.
21. The Understudy (series 1)
Positively Shakespearean. One of the duo’s most tragic characters is Shearsmith’s backing character. Fun fact – it’s based on Macbeth. A reference that anyone can get.
22. The referee is a wanker (series five)
Good setup, good twist. It might be too high because I love football, but what are you going to do about it?
23. Lip Service (series six)
When a lonely middle-aged man moves into a dismal hotel room, it feels familiar to him. But – as usual – a few horrific twists and turns bring the blood to the fore.
24. Private view (series three)
This episode, which takes place during a private art exhibition, is perfectly successful. But by the high standards of Inside No. 9, he’s overshadowed by others.
25. And the winner is… (series four)
Eminently forgettable, even if it was good.
26. Zanzibar (series four)
If we’re being honest, it was just too confusing. The hotel caper doesn’t have insane rewatch value, so it languishes in the middle of the leaderboard.
27. Empty orchestra (series three)
The karaoke episode. Move well with sound and capture it
28. The great adventure of love (series five)
Another Christmas episode, but not the one that reaches the heights of the Krampus. It’s discreet, moving, but not the one I rush to see again.
29. The trial of Elizabeth Gadge (series 2)
A perfectly middle age episode. Good to have. You wouldn’t jump. Yeah, it’s a bit silly, but it’s okay.
30. Hurry and Wait (Series Six)
It would have been really nice if they had resisted the temptation to play Adrian Dunbar himself, with constant references to Ted Hastings. I like my thinly veiled parodies to at least be veiled, damn it.
31. Tempting Fate (series four)
Just a little dark, sorry. There’s something about people in forensic suits rummaging through moldy apartments that doesn’t really make you want to watch the episode again.
32. Death Not Be Proud (series five)
Jenna Coleman is good, but this one – compared to other flattering episodes of Tom and Gerri and Tempting Fate – is the weakest of the three.
33. The Stakeout (series five)
Two policemen were sitting in a car and looking at a cemetery. Some people really like this episode – I thought it was forgettable – even though I don’t really like vampire movies.
34. Simon says (series six)
It would have been a good episode, and in many ways, but the evidence of the Game of Thrones pastiche (“fans hated the last episode and want you to cover it again”) kept pulling you out of the magic. . Much too much on the nose.
35. Last Gasp (series 1)
This is by no means a bad episode, and the central idea – that a balloon full of air should be preserved at all costs – is fun. But something must be second to last on the list, and that’s it
36. The Couchette (series two)
Sorry but there’s Jack Whitehall in it so it’s at the bottom of the list.
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