Zanzibar is the name of the hotel in which the first episode of Inside No.9 Series 4 is set, and it looks at the residents on the 9th floor.
It’s a difficult episode to describe because most of it centred around everyone talking at cross purposes, with situations getting confused between them all, and the fact that Rory Kinnear has a dual role in this also adds to the characters’ confusion, even though it’s plainly obvious to us for the most part.
I could see what writer/performers Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton were trying to do with the blend of crossed wires, and I can appreciate how complex it must’ve been to write it, but it just didn’t gel for me and ended up being crazy-confusing in the final act. Inside No.9 episodes can be a bit ‘Marmite’ on occasion (i.e. you either love them or hate them) but this was… not great.
Despite some good acting, the fact that everyone talks direct to the camera, most of the time, and in Shakespearean-type language, felt a bit wearing. Also, it took a little getting used to that we don’t get to see inside the rooms, so everything just takes place in the corridor.
And I’m sure if a hotel still had a room 911, they’d change the number.
Zanzibar is available to watch on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after broadcast.
Also available to buy:
- Series 3 on Blu-ray
- Series 3 on DVD
- Series 1 on Blu-ray
- Series 2 on Blu-ray
- Series 1 and 2 on DVD together
Director: David Kerr
Producer: Adam Tandy
Writers: Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith
Music: Christian Henson
Fred: Jaygann Ayeh
Henry: Reece Shearsmith
Prince Rico/Gus: Rory Kinnear
Mr Green: Bill Paterson
Alice: Marcia Warren
Robert: Steve Pemberton
Amber: Hattie Morahan
Colette: Helen Monks
Tracey: Tanya Franks
Vince: The Actor Kevin Eldon
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.