THE DARKEST UNIVERSE is BAFTA-nominated directors Will Sharpe and Tom Kingsley's surreal and hilarious follow-up to the critically acclaimed BLACK POND. Described by Sharpe and Kingsley as ... See full summary »
How this ever ended up as an actual commission will probably end up as one of life's great mysteries. Something will have seriously gone wrong at BBC Three if this comes back as as a second series.
The show is marketed as "part spoof job interview, part chat show, part panel show and part character comedy". Unfortunately it falls down on all parts. By episode 4 Simon Bird and friends were wandering around on location in silly bug, cow and tiger costumes, in an attempt to take this entire charade seriously.
In a nutshell, an announcement: "The *insert some high authority figure of some well-known organisation or branch* is dead!". There then follows a painfully drawn out sequence of silly questions, daft tasks, the odd strange sketch and some half-baked attempts at comedy featuring three celebrities and one of them (in theory) assumes the post that's become vacant.
The question remains: Simon Bird apparently wrote this. Having done three series of The Inbetweeners, you get the distinct impression that Mr Bird has learnt nothing about comedy despite having worked on one of the best TV series of the millennium to date. So how could Mr Bird actually write and create such a poor program? It probably looks really good on paper. Lots of things do. However I dare say it probably looked even better as an idea of Mr Bird, so something's either gone wrong between head and paper, or (more likely) paper and screen.
Better luck next time. The BBC has commissioned a third series of Life of Riley and a third series of Coming Of Age, both programmes which are so bad. Please don't let King is Dead join the list of "programmes that keep getting recommissioned for unfathomable reasons".
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