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

on Tuesday, May 17, 2011
'Psychoville' Series 2: 'Episode 2' // Words: Saam Das

SYNOPSIS: "Comedy series. The search for the missing locket continues with the investigation turning to Christopher Biggins for answers." (

Last week, in my review of the opening episode of the new series of 'Psychoville', I noted that if there was one moment of "high drama" per episode that this series would be another winner. Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith duly delivered a breathtakingly outrageous moment. Two words: Tina Turner.

The manner in which the Tina Turner scene transitioned seamlessly from humour to sadness by way of terror demonstrates not only high quality writing but excellent direction too. TV directors are sometimes overlooked so ever-present 'Psychoville' director Matt Lipsey deserves credit for the way he has consistently managed to juxtapose horror and humour so successfully in collaboration with Shearsmith and Pemberton.

Had the Tina Turner moment not appeared then the Martine McCutcheon moment may well have been the highlight of the episode - inspite of the characters involved in the segment being less than engaging thus far. Or perhaps even the cameo of a famous film director, who I was sat next to (almost anyway) at the premiere of 'The King's Speech'. (Does it count as a namedrop if I don't actually drop their name?)

While there were several terrific moments, I was somewhat disappointed with the manner in which the fate of our former panto dwarfes Robert (Jason Tompkins) and Kerry (Lisa Hammond) was revealed - losing much of the mysticism that made 2009's series finale particularly fascinating. Sure, the locket is as mysterious as ever and the "silent singer" crops up again in this episode but I do feel that the resolution of the Robert storyline perhaps could have been spiced up.

The other storylines still seem to be finding their feet, with new avenues also appearing. Mr Jelly's (Shearsmith) next steps may be most promising in terms of the horror front, although with 'Psychoville' nothing is ever quite what it initially seems. I must admit that I'm a little concerned that there may be too much going on but I suspect I may be punished for my lack of faith by the end of the series. I sort of hope so anyway.

Watch 'Episode 2' on BBC iPlayer until 22:29, Tuesday 14 June 2011.

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