Back (TV Series 2017– )

TVSeries


Back (TV Series 2017– )

Sitcom following estranged foster-brothers Stephen and Andrew as they vow to take over the family business following the death of their father.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
UK
IMDb   7.4 /10
Metacritic   85 %
TheMovieDb    7.7 /10
RottenTomatoes  96 %
FilmAffinity   6.5 /10
Creators
Creator Simon Blackwell
Information
Release Date2017-09-06
Runtime24mins
GenreComedy, Drama
Content RatingTV-MA (TV-MA)
Awards1 win & 1 nomination.
CompanyBig Talk Productions, That Mitchell & Webb Company
CountryUK
LanguageEnglish
Stephen 12 episodes, 2017-2021
Andrew 12 episodes, 2017-2021
Cass 12 episodes, 2017-2021
Ellen 12 episodes, 2017-2021
Jan 12 episodes, 2017-2021
Mike 12 episodes, 2017-2021
Geoff 12 episodes, 2017-2021
Alison 12 episodes, 2017-2021
Julian 8 episodes, 2017-2021
Young Andrew 7 episodes, 2017-2021
Sebastian Patterson
Sebastian Patterson
Young Stephen 6 episodes, 2017-2021
Wendy 5 episodes, 2021

Back (TV series)

Back is a British sitcom starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. It was filmed and is set in and around Stroud, Gloucestershire. The Channel 4 series was created by Simon Blackwell, and its first series was broadcast from 6 September – 11 October 2017.

A second series of six episodes was announced in November 2017; filming was scheduled to begin in October 2019. On 19 September 2020, Webb announced that the second series' shooting had concluded. Series two began airing on 21 January 2021.


Plot

After the death of his father, Laurie, 42-year-old Stephen is set to take over the family business, the John Barleycorn pub, in Stroud, Gloucestershire. His plans are interrupted when Andrew, a former foster child briefly raised by Stephen's parents, returns to his life eager to renew his relationship with the family. While Andrew quickly charms the rest of Stephen's family – including his mother Ellen, sister Cass, and uncle Geoff – Stephen resents Andrew and views him as "a glib, dangerous sociopath who's about to steal his family, his business and his life". Andrew fondly remembers the time he spent living with the family as happy, whereas Stephen remembers the same time as miserable.


Cast

  • David Mitchell as Stephen Richard NicholsSebastian Patterson as Young Stephen
  • Sebastian Patterson as Young Stephen
  • Robert Webb as Andrew Thomas DonnellyCaius Luckyn-Malone as Young Andrew
  • Caius Luckyn-Malone as Young Andrew
  • Penny Downie as Ellen May Nichols, mother of Stephen and Cass
  • Louise Brealey as Cassandra Leslie "Cass" Nichols, Stephen's sister
  • Geoffrey McGivern as Geoff, Stephen’s uncle and Laurie's brother
  • Matthew Holness as Laurie, Stephen's deceased father, who appears in flashbacks
  • Olivia Poulet as Alison, Stephen's ex-wife
  • Oliver Maltman as Mike, barman
  • Jessica Gunning as Jan, barmaid
  • Michael Wildman as Tom, Alison's partner
  • John Macmillan as Julian, clergyman
  • Julie Dray as Juliet, the French chef
  • Anna Leong Brophy as Bryony
  • Emily Lloyd-Saini as the vet
  • Penny Ryder as Wendy
  • Clive Francis as Phil
  • Julian Kostov as Luca

Episodes

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
166 September 201711 October 2017
2621 January 202125 February 2021

Series 1 (2017)

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.K viewers
(millions)
11"Episode 1"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell6 September 20171.75m

Failed lawyer Stephen's father has recently died, and he makes plans to take over the family's pub. On the day of the funeral there is an unexpected mourner at the graveside: Andrew, who was Stephen's foster brother from March - August 1987.

A female stranger leaves a dog in a café, while Stephen is there. He takes it home after the manager of the café refuses to take it.
22"Episode 2"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell13 September 20171.08m

Stephen learns that his father left five percent of his pub business to Andrew. Stephen decides to buy five static caravans to rent out and one is delivered to a field, which Stephen moves into. Andrew organises a trendy outdoor food festival, at which some attendees use Stephen's caravan as a toilet. His ex-wife Alison and her partner Tom are trying for a baby and use Stephen's caravan to have sex; Tom insists that Stephen guard the door to prevent the festival goers entering. The festival is a financial loss.

Stephen's mother Ellen becomes a Christian and unsuccessfully encourages Stephen to join her.
33"Episode 3"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell20 September 20171.04m

Andrew suggests many improvements to the pub, including better-looking bar staff. Stephen disagrees with the changes, but they go ahead and garner an increased number of customers and many excellent TripAdvisor reviews. Stephen accuses Andrew of creating reviews under fake identities. Stephen makes bad reviews pretending to be customers, which Andrew thinks were done by the new staff, so Andrew brings back the old staff.

Alison tells Stephen that she has put her house up for sale and intends to move to a large city.

Cass tells Stephen that she is sexually attracted to Andrew and is considering having sex with him.
44"Episode 4"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell27 September 2017N/A

Cass says she is going to go travelling, which for 20 years she has been saying that she is going to do. Stephen and Andrew visit the pub's suppliers, discovering that Laurie and Ellen enjoyed an open marriage.

They remember an acquaintance who disappeared in 1987 without explanation and wonder if they killed him. During the trip, Stephen meets a young woman who prefers him to Andrew. After Stephen and Andrew come home, Cass tells Andrew that she is not going to travel because she is in love with him. He encourages her to travel the world for five or six months and to sell her share in the pub to fund the trip.

The pub catches fire, caused by cigarettes which Geoff allowed the customers to smoke.
55"Episode 5"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell4 October 2017N/A

The family clean up and repair the pub after the fire. Ellen blames Stephen for allowing the insurance for the pub to expire.

Cass sells her share of the pub to Andrew, and goes travelling. Geoff intends to sell his farm to developers who want to build a housing estate there.

Stephen loses the dog whilst walking it in the woods. He finds a man's corpse in a tree whilst looking for the dog. He is unable to find the dog and does not have a signal on his mobile phone. Andrew is jogging through the forest and Stephen tells him about the situation. Andrew phones the police on his mobile and gives a television interview, claiming that he found the body and is the pub's landlord. He also befriends the man's widow.

Cass returns after four days with a new boyfriend, having travelled no further than Lille, where she met him. A man falsely claims that he has the dog, and tries to extort a thousand pounds from Stephen by threatening to kill it. Stephen and Andrew meet the extortionist in a car park. Laurie's brother Geoff, who knows that the dog has come home, turns up and beats the extortionist with a baseball bat.

Alison tells Stephen that there is an access road planned for the estate, which will go through the area, and that they will be offered 40% above market value to sell the pub.
66"Episode 6"Ben PalmerSimon Blackwell11 October 20171.02
Andrew has made the pub successful with its new French chef, Juliet. Cass says she split up with her boyfriend. Geoff and Cass have themselves tested for bowel cancer, which Laurie and his father died of; they both test negative. A gathering of family, staff and friends is held in the pub for what would have been Laurie's 69th birthday, to which Ellen invites some of her former foster children. One of them, Chris, says that he lived in the same accommodation as Andrew when they were 14 or 15 and that he is unsure that he is the real Andrew. Stephen researches Andrew's history and finds out that Andrew served a prison sentence in France for maiming a child whilst drink driving. Stephen confronts Andrew with his discovery and tells him to sell his share of the pub to him and leave – otherwise he will tell everyone about the crime. He also accuses Andrew of stealing his life. Andrew agrees to sell up and leave. Juliet, who was friends with Andrew when he lived in France, reveals that it was her mother who was drink-driving when the car hit an 8-year-old boy – and that Andrew took the blame and served 16 months in prison. Ellen tells Stephen that he is not Laurie's son and is the product of one of her flings. Juliet moves back to France.

Series 2 (2021)

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date U.K viewers
(millions)
71"Episode 1"George KaneSimon BlackwellJanuary 21, 2021N/A
Stephen returns from a wellness centre and moves back in the family house to find out that his mother Ellen and the vicar Julian have become a couple. Stephen swears revenge to Andrew with the help of his ex-wife Alison. Meanwhile a new pub opens as a competitor to the Barleycorn. Stephen is offered a manager position at the new pub, but rejects the offer after Andrew and Alison warn him it is owned by scammers.
82"Episode 2"George KaneWill SmithJanuary 28, 2021N/A
Charismatic Mike shows up in the Barleycorn and Ellen reveals that he is one of three men who are potentially Stephen's father. Stephen arranges a paternity test which confirms that he is Laurie's son. Andrew overhears that Alison's parents are increasingly dependent on her support and decides to help the elderly couple without informing Alison.
93"Episode 3"George KaneSimon BlackwellFebruary 4, 2021N/A
Geoff marries Luca to get him a visa because of brexit. Cass moves into 'student' accommodation while she studies a part time A Level. Stephen takes up cycling as part of a health kick, but it as a ruse to cover his drinking and he is hiding vodka in local hedges. Julian and Ellen plan to move to a new parish in Tring. Andrew questions Luca's need for a visa, Geoff dismisses his concerns so he pays Alison to investigate. Cass organises a dinner party with her not so student housemates. Someone else is drinking Stephen's stashed vodka so he lays a trap by replacing it with Rinse Aid. The police become involved in the incident. Andrew starts spending time with Alison's mum while she is busy investigating Geoff's estate.
104"Episode 4"George KaneJohn FinnemoreFebruary 11, 2021N/A
Alison convinces the jogger who Stephen tricked into drinking Rinse Aid to not take it to court. Stephen is in denial about his alcoholism. Andrew continues to spend time with Alison's parents, helping with jobs that Alison intended to do. PÜB has to close due to aspestos so they ask the John Barleycorn to host their quiz and suggest the Barleycorn enter a team. Stephen is tormented by the memory of the last pub quiz organised by Laurie before he went into the hospice. Their team was beaten by the Brights (a champion pub quiz team, who go around after big prizes) when Stephen got the jackpot question wrong. The topic was law, which Laurie paid for Stephen to study, so Laurie was angry at him. The Barleycorn put together a team, so do Cass and her housemates, and The Brights arrive. The Brights are easily winning in the first round. Andrew manipulates into Stephen reporting the Brights for entering the quiz with a minor on the grounds that it's a form of gambling and the two main members are evicted from the quiz. Andrew then defects to the Brights, saying that he feels bad, the others think it's so that he can win. It comes to a tie break of the Brights versus the Barleycorn team and Stephen is against Andrew. Andrew pychs Stephen out and lets Stephen win by getting the answer wrong on purpose.
115"Episode 5"George KaneTBAFebruary 18, 2021N/A
Andrews spends lots of time with Alisons parents, who say they prefer him to Stephen. Luca has stolen all of Geoffs savings and auctioned the farm equipment and run away. Geoff realises that Luca had settled status in the UK all along. Cass comes clean, announcing that she was having an affair with Luca. Maurine is put down at the vets while Stephen is on the phone to the bank about dodgy transactions. Ellen announces that she is engaged to Julian. Alison discovers that her parents are selling the house and getting divorced, and that Andrew was involved in their decision. Ellen is influenced by Andrew into letting him walk her down the isle. Cass briefly thinks she is pregnant with Luca's child. It turns out that the suspicious transactions on Stephens card were Luca on his getaway. Small traces of rat poison were found in Maurine's post-mortem so Alison and Stephen think Andrew poisoned her. They start scheming about how they can get rid of Andrew by murdering him. This plan brings them closer together and they sleep together. In the morning Alison tracks down Andrew's biological mum and wants instead wants to use her mess with him.
126"Episode 6"George KaneTBAFebruary 25, 2021N/A

Reception

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The series received good reviews.