David Mitchell and Robert Webb are return to Channel 4 this evening with brand comedy Back.
Continuing at 10PM tonight (Wednesday), Back is described as an “acerbic new comedy” written by Emmy-award winning Simon Blackwell whose credits include Veep, In The Loop and Peep Show).
The series first recorded a pilot last year before being commissioned for a full six-part series.
So what’s it all about?
Stephen’s (David Mitchell) father, a local legend and pub landlord, has died so Stephen is set to – finally – take over the pub. Mum Ellen and sister Cass have no interest in the family business – they’re ‘creative’, with weed to buy and energy-centres to rebalance.
With his dad dead, it’s now Stephen’s chance to shine – his only achievements so far have been marriage (followed by divorce), a failed stint as a lawyer in London and a slightly disappointing pub refurb. But when the charming Andrew (Robert Webb) turns up out of the blue at his dad’s funeral, Stephen’s plans go awry.
Charismatic Andrew has lived in Sydney, Amsterdam, Lisbon, the Loire valley and Berlin but crucially, spent five formative months in 1989 fostered by Laurie and Ellen as a 15-year-old. To Stephen, Andrew was just one of a string of 30-odd foster kids who he spent his childhood resenting. But Andrew remembers every single detail and sees that time as the most important of his life.
Now Andrew’s back, and keen to revisit the closest thing he’s ever had to a family. Ellen loves Andrew. Cass loves Andrew. Even Laurie’s erratic brother Uncle Geoff loves Andrew. But Stephen doesn’t love Andrew. He thinks he’s a glib, dangerous sociopath who’s about to steal his family, his business and his life.
In tonight’s final episode, Andrew (Webb) has transformed the John Barleycorn into a huge success with a brilliant new look and a talented French chef. Stephen (Mitchell), feeling depressed and defeated, is drinking even more heavily than usual.
Laurie’s birthday memorial is fast approaching and Stephen needs some help writing a speech to better what will surely be Andrew’s amazing oratory. When other former foster children turn up, Andrew’s back story starts to be brought into question.
Buoyed up by this, Stephen throws every ounce of his manic energy into finding out the truth about Andrew’s past. And when he finally does, it’s a revelation that looks like it could change everything.
Meet the cast and characters of Back below…
Stephen – DAVID MITCHELL – Stephen is ready to take over the pub after the death of his dad Laurie. This is his chance to shine, to show who he can be, to try to live up to the memory of his dad. But then Andrew shows up and everyone’s memory starts playing tricks.
Andrew – ROBERT WEBB – The time Andrew was fostered with Stephen’s family, 30 years ago, was the best five months of his life. Everyone loves Andrew… but Stephen doesn’t. He thinks he’s a glib, dangerous sociopath who’s about to steal his family, his business and his life.
Cass – LOUISE BREALEY – Stephen’s sister, Cass is creative, original, bold and adventurous. Her art is her life and travel is in her blood.
Geoff – GEOFF MCGIVERN – Uncle to Stephen and Cas, Geoff is their late dad Laurie’s younger brother. He runs a failing farm and sometimes wears a balaclava in the street to reclaim it from sex criminals and terrorists “who have decimated the balaclava industry”.
Ellen – PENNY DOWNIE – Mum to Stephen and Cass. She felt a bit trapped and stifled by Laurie. He didn’t approve of her dope-smoking, or her spiritual journey. Now she’s free to try new things, like Christianity and LSD, free to talk about her affairs and flings.
Back continues at 10PM on Channel 4 tonight (Wednesday) with the last of six episodes.