Home Television Comedy Nightingales

Nightingales

1 9 9 0 – 1 9 9 3 (UK)
13 x 30 minute episodes

“There’s nobody here but us chickens”.

Three security guards (Robert Lindsay, David Threlfall and James Ellis) while away the night shift in bizarre ways at the top of a high-rise office block the camera never leaves.

Carter (Robert Lindsay), the frustrated would-be intellectual, clashes over aspirations with Bell (David Threlfall), his unintelligent, animalistic colleague. The two are overseen by their boss, flawed father figure Sarge (James Ellis).

The trio disagree on class, art, sex, existence and defining non-sequiturs, but are mutually dependent in complex ways, heightened by the performances of a strong cast.

The corpse of their deceased fourth co-worker Smith also sits with them. He has been dead for three years but his wages are drawn and divvied up by the other three.

The comedy is surreal and dark and seems to take place in a fantasy world.

In this world, a gorilla is hired as a co-worker, a werewolf conducts a heart bypass and a woman gives birth to consumer goods and insists at gunpoint that she is an allegory.

Plotting characters become ‘Shakespearean villains’ complete with lightning, dry ice and dialogue in iambic pentameter; allusions to Mutiny on the Bounty cause the building to list like a ship and a corpse can be ‘buried at sea’ from the window and guest characters are sometimes killed by the regulars.

Carter
Robert Lindsay
Bell
David Threlfall
Sarge
James Ellis