“Staged” brings out its biggest gun this episode—bigger than Sam Jackson—but I can’t spoil because it’s way too perfect. There are some great jokes going back to the first episode as we find out how David Tennant and Michael Sheen are going to be able to get over themselves and work on this play together.
Well. Not exactly because the episode starts with Tennant ready to quit the play and not just because Sheen has discovered another thing Tennant doesn’t know but really should know so gets to mock him for it. There’s a little comeuppance for Sheen later one—in the big gun segment, which is perfect—but then the ending sequence kind of makes it all about Tennant being inept again.
It’s funny stuff. And eventually as close to wholesome as “Staged” has ever gotten. But it does lead to the most affecting character development on the show being Lucy Eaton and Simon Davis, as adult siblings who manage to reconnect during lockdown in no small part due to Davis being a bit of a dip, and then Sheen’s concern for his elderly and always offscreen neighbor. The Sheen subplot means more for Anne Lundberg.
Meanwhile, all the Tennant household gets a screenwriting subplot so David doesn’t feel too inferior to novelist wife Georgia. Again… making David Tennant the dopey dad is a waste of talent and way too easy. Though given the lockdown constraint, I guess it should get a pass. Right?
There’s another great scene from Nina Sosanya as the play producer who manages to know more about what’s going on without talking to the stars than Davis who is talking to the stars.
It’s a very nice finish to the series; makes you wonder if they had the special guest star in mind all the time. Because sometimes deus ex machina stunt casts are the right choice.