‘Inside No. 9’ Episode 4: ‘Last Gasp’ review

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The first episode was a little traditionally kooky-ooky League of Gentlemen in style, whereas the second had the silent movie gimmick to hook the story on. Last week’s episode, ‘Tom and Gerri’, did (or did not) have supernatural elements to it. But this week’s offering has no such glitter or new clothes to hide under. It’s just the story, no more, and no less. Pleasingly, it’s a brilliant nugget of an idea that can drive embittered hacks like this one to self-harm.

As always, the guest cast are fantastic. Tamsin Greig, automatically adding 80% more class to anything she ever appears in, turns up as a Make-A-Wish style representative (and subject to a sublime meta-gag when her character has to correct someone on the pronunciation of her client’s name).

Adam Deacon – most well-known for roles in films like Kidhulthood – spins the morals of the majority of the other characters in the piece. It’s worth noting that there are at least two characters this week that could be played by Reece Shearsmith, but he takes a back seat (the favour is returned later in the series when Steve Pemberton takes a break). His absence indicates a lightness of touch and confidence in the pair’s storytelling that make Inside No. 9 one of the undoubted highlights of 2014 so far.

Aired at 10pm on Wednesday 26 February 2014 on BBC Two.

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