Christmas Books: Inside No. 9 The Scripts Series 1 - 3

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As anyone familiar with their work will know, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton do not do things by halves. This book features the scripts for the first three series of the groundbreaking Inside No. 9, but this is anything but a hastily cobbled together printout from a word document. 

For starters there is an introduction which gives us the full genesis of the series. I interviewed the duo just before the first series started in 2014 but they give a much fuller account here. Thye didn't tell me, for instance, that the series was tentatively called Happy Endings. Or that at one point the BBC wanted them to make a sitcom out of the Nana's Party characters. Or even that they were going to use the number 5 until they decided that Chanel had got there first. 

In the new introductions to each series we learn a lot more about their influences, from famed short story writer Raymond Carver to a three-hour interview with a murder spects that they found on YouTube that helped to inspire the structure for the CCTV-led Cold Comfort. And, of course, series two included The Twelve Days Of Christine, often regarded as their finest half hour. Read it and weep...

The intro to series three gives us some fascinating insight into their writing process - Thye do regular office hours and like a gothic Gilbert and George go to the same restaurant for lunch every day, ordering the same food and coffee. It was here that they overheard a discussion about paying a bill which gave them the idea for...The Bill. 

It's worth noting that the scripts here are the shooting scripts. Some lines had to be cut when episodes overran so you get the treat of reading words that never appeared on screen. There is even a different ending to Diddle Diddle Dumpling which was never broadcast.

I've heard rumours that there are further playful hidden 'Easter Eggs' in the book in the same way that there are in the series. If there are I'm not going to help you spot them though. You'll just have to find the for yourselves. And even if you don't there are still plenty of surprises and pleasures to be had inside these pages.

Buy Inside No. 9 The Scripts Series 1 - 3 here.


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