BBC iPlayer: Psychoville (2011) Episode One [Review]

on Wednesday, May 11, 2011
'Psychoville' Series 2: 'Episode 1' // Words: Saam Das

SYNOPSIS: "The survivors of the explosion at Ravenhill Psychiatric Hospital reunite to bury one of their number killed in the blast. But there is to be no rest for the wicked, as new mysteries are unearthed." (

I mentioned in the opening gambit of a recent 'Doctor Who' review that the return of 'Psychoville' was one of only two TV series that I was actually looking forward to watching this year. Despite a bit of a muddled start to the new series, I don't think it's going to let me down.

I suppose half the excitement of watching the first episode to this new series is seeing which characters would return following 2009's explosive series finale. So I won't ruin that completely but I will say that many of my favourite characters are back and more importantly, look to be integral part of the new series.

Some new faces have cropped up also, including some shady government operative types. 'Psychoville', for me at least, seems like a world outside of those kind of spy organisations though. I'm not convinced that this is a sensible route to go down. Although I imagine it will shed light on the importance of the locket which Nurse Kenchington sought in the last series.

Of course, it's too early to make much of a judgement on how the new and existing strands will come together - but that's perhaps one of the good things about the writing of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton - we're almost guaranteed that everything will eventually make some sort of sense. With a great deal of wit along the way.

I'm glad the darkness hasn't escaped the new series, with the socially maladapted librarian's hallucinations being of particular interest in this department. The nods to the first series (the Club, "I know what you did", watermelon etc) are also very welcome and a theme that I hope will continue throughout the forthcoming episodes.

I may have accused this episode of being somewhat drab (despite some golden one liners - "I was enjoying this funeral until you turned up") until the genuinely shocking end to the episode. Wow. If there's at least one such moment of high drama in each episode, I'm absolutely certain 'Psychoville' will be another winner.

Watch 'Episode 1' on BBC iPlayer until 22:29, Tuesday 14 Jun 2011.

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