The Riddle of The Sphinx proved that The Bill wasn’t just streets ahead of the rest of the series so far, but that it has strong competition.
Based around crossword puzzles with Nina (Utopia‘s Alexandra Roach) letting herself into her professor’s study (which is room No.9, naturally), he – Professor Squires (Steve Pemberton) – is referred to as The Sphinx, and is the person who sets these puzzles in the student paper.
Personally, I’m terrible at crosswords but not only did I enjoy the brilliant banter between the two leads, with timing and suspense that is first-rate, but also the actual puzzle solving as well. My late father used to be well into his crosswords but I never quite understood how they work. I might now give them a try.
With many a line in dry humour, such as when Nina says to the Prof, “You teach Classics. Is that like Gone with the Wind and Pretty Woman?”, with a neat almost-cameo from Reece Shearsmith as Dr Tyler, again, I don’t want to say to much, so I’ll restrict it to the basics that there are times when it’s not for the faint-hearted, but the cast ham it up nicely in the Tales of the Unexpected style and it’s still a very satisfying episode.
The Riddle of The Sphinx is broadcast next Tuesday on BBC2 at 10pm, and the series continues every Tuesday at the same time.
Inside No.9 Series 3 is available to pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD. You can also buy Series 1 and 2 on DVD together, plus the recent releases of Inside No.9 Series 1 on Blu-ray and Inside No.9 Series 2 on Blu-ray, and after broadcast, you can also watch this episode on BBC iPlayer until March 30th.
Director: Guillem Morales
Producer: Adam Tandy
Screenplay: Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton
Professor Squires: Steve Pemberton
Nina: Alexandra Roach
Dr Tyler: Reece Shearsmith
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.