Two Doors Down rarely moves from neat and tidy Latimer Crescent in suburban Scotland where it’s set – but the show itself has made a huge TV move.
The gloriously funny series about ordinary neighbours is now airing on BBC1 after its first six series were shown on BBC2. And like other shows that have made the same switch – Ab Fab, Miranda and The Office – it’s set to become a classic.
Two Doors Down centres on the petty rivalries and jealousies between the residents of Latimer Crescent – sensible Eric and Beth, show-offs Colin and Cathy, young couple Alan and Michelle, and crotchety Christine.
In the last series hard-drinking, acid-tongued Cathy (Doon Mackichan) left Colin for a new life in Egypt, but the show is now welcoming back its most outrageous character.
Bursting in on the birthday party Colin (Jonathan Watson) had arranged for his new girlfriend Anne-Marie in last night’s brilliant opening episode, Cathy reclaimed her home, her man and most of the episode’s best one-liners.
Hard-drinking, acid-tongued Cathy (Doon Mackichan) left husband Colin for a new life in Egypt in the last series, but the show is now welcoming back its most outrageous character
‘Did you visit the Pyramids while you were in Egypt?’ asked Alan (Graeme Stevely). ‘No,’ replied Cathy. ‘But I did buy a giant bar of Toblerone at duty free.’
Truly dramatic happenings such as Cathy’s shock return are the exception rather than the rule in the show, with each episode usually based around the everyday minutiae of life such as a car alarm going off at night, a bout of flu or a defrosted freezer disaster.
‘It’s not a show about action, it’s a show about reaction,’ says Elaine C Smith, who plays the almost permanently po-faced Christine.
‘So much of the comedy comes from the reaction to what someone else does or says. And that needs a lot of coverage, so we shoot the same scene over and over again.’
The effort is worth it. Daily Mail TV critic Christopher Stevens described the show as ‘several cuts above Mrs Brown’s Boys. It’s all scripted to perfection and performed with hypnotic rhythm as the characters swing constantly from world-weariness to sudden, gossipy excitement.’
The show centres on the petty rivalries and jealousies between the residents of Latimer Crescent – sensible Eric and Beth (pictured), show-offs Colin and Cathy, young couple Alan and Michelle, and crotchety Christine
The show’s future is unclear though as co-writer Simon Carlyle died this summer at the age of just 48. The new series is dedicated to him.
‘We’re all still absolutely stricken with grief so that decision – on the show’s future – is just too difficult,’ says Elaine. ‘For now we just want this series to go out and for people to love it.’
- Two Doors Down, Friday, 9.30pm, BBC1 and iPlayer.