Nighty Night-Series 1 (2004)

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Released 2-Nov-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Animation
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 170:34
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Tony Dow

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Julia Davis
Kevin Eldon
Angus Deayton
Rebecca Front
Ruth Jones
Michael Fenton Stevens
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Ennio Morricone

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Episode six only

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Premiering in Britain on BBC Three in January 2004, Nighty Night screened to positive reviews from television critics. However, the first series also caused a fair amount of controversy with some audiences. The brazen character of Jill Tyrell and her extreme malevolence offended many. The general themes of the series are always delicately balanced over the perilous territory of poor taste. In my opinion though, Nighty Night cleverly avoids crossing that line.

    The original concept and the extraordinary cast of characters make for a production that is wickedly hilarious, albeit on a very dark level. As an audience, we feel the awkwardness experienced by Jill's victims and also the frustration of her totally self-obsessed personality.

    Nighty Night is superbly written by Julia Davis, who also stars in the lead role of Jill. Julia's previous writing and acting credits include Human Remains and Big Train.

    Series One opens with Terry and Jill Tyrell (Kevin Eldon and Julia Davis ) sitting in a doctor's surgery. Terry is told he has cancer and must commence treatment immediately. Instead of Jill offering him love and support, she enrols herself with a dating agency.

    Jill is paired up with Glen Blub (Mark Gatiss) who describes his personality as Scottish. He is a socially awkward widower with an embarrassing, involuntary nervous condition.

    Don and Cathy Cole (Angus Deayton and Rebecca Front) are new to the neighbourhood and have moved in across the road from Jill. Cathy suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and is cared for by her doctor husband, Don. Jill develops a fatal attraction for Don; she manipulates every situation and audaciously exploits Cathy's meek nature and her mobility impairment in an effort to seduce Don.

    Jill also owns and manages a beauty salon, which is run in a sea of incompetence. Her employees, Linda (Ruth Jones) and Joy (Kitty Fitzgerald), constantly incur Jill's wrath as disaster follows disaster.

    The local vicar, Gordon (Michael Fenton Stevens) and his wife, Sue (Felicity Montagu) run fellowship groups and offer well-meaning support to members of their parish. Their being good-natured community members is a blessing for Jill as they are easy pawns in her web of deception.

   What follows is a brief summary of all six episodes in the first series. These summaries contain spoilers that may effect your enjoyment of the series. Therefore, if you haven't seen the series, but plan to in the future, it may be advisable to skip this episode summary.

Episode One (28:16)

    Terry is diagnosed with cancer. While he's in hospital, Jill signs up with the Lasso The Moon dating agency. She is paired up with Glen and the two meet on a blind date. Unimpressed with her dating partner, Jill soon gives him the slip. She finds an immediate sexual attraction to her new neighbour, Don. She begins her wicked game of lies and deception in an effort to seduce her man. When Terry confesses to a past one-night-stand, Jill decides to announce news of Terry's sudden death to her friends.

Episode Two (28:34)

    Jill accidentally meets Glen in a sex shop and gives him the slip again. Jill takes Cathy shopping in an effort to tire her out, the ulterior motive being that Cathy might be too tired to attend a dinner party at Jill's house later and Don may arrive on his own. Later that same night, while Cathy is sleeping, Jill claims to be worried about her breasts and gets Don to examine them. Terry is responding very well to treatment in hospital and may be released soon.

Episode Three (28:30)

    Terry's cancer has all but vanished. Jill tells the doctor that she will deliver Terry the good news, but gives him the opposite news. She informs Terry the cancer has increased dramatically in size. Jill gives Cathy a gift of a videotape program entitled Celebrating Celibacy. She convinces Cathy that regimented use of this programme will bring amazing health benefits. As Don's sexual tension builds, so does Jill's flirtation around him. She slips a piece of her lacy underwear into Don's jacket pocket. When Cathy finds the knickers, she believes Don is having an affair and tells him to leave.

Episode Four (28:18)

    Jill moves in with Cathy to "help" in her crisis with Don. Terry is being discharged from hospital, but before he is officially told, Jill whisks him out of the hospital. She has arranged a place for Terry at a hospice and tells him that the cancer is now so big that it can't even fit on the x-ray. When Don returns home, he finds Jill has dressed up like an ex-mistress of his by the name of Sandra. When Cathy walks into the room just as Don is helping Jill out of a tricky position, Cathy gets the distinct impression Jill is the one having the affair with Don.

Episode Five (28:26)

    Don arrives home late after a heavy drinking session. He gets into the spare bed very drunk and is surprised to find Jill waiting for him. Any plans of seduction are dashed when Don falls into a heavy sleep. Cathy wakes in the morning to find condoms have been strategically placed all over the house. At long last she finally snaps, punches Jill in the face and kicks her out of the house. Cathy begins arrangements to move to Hopperton, a religious community. Jill bumps into Glen at the sex shop yet again. As she begins her standard plan of avoidance, he reveals that he is quite wealthy. Jill immediately changes her attitude and declares her love for him. She manages to convince Glen to pay all the expenses for Terry's extravagant funeral, while she performs a sex act on him. Terry leaves the hospice totally confused. He arrives at the house to find Jill isn't at home, but discovers paperwork relating to his funeral.

Episode Six (28:30)

     Jill has locked Terry upstairs in the attic. Linda sees Terry at the upstairs window and believes it to be a vision. She confesses to Jill that she and Terry had a one-night-stand some time ago. A farewell party is thrown for Don and Cathy and Jill can't resist a little pole dancing. Cathy is revolted by Don's interest in Jill's dancing and leaves for Hopperton without him. When Don later arrives at Jill's house drunk, she is forced to deal with her problem upstairs - Jill smothers Terry with a cushion.

    The local vicar, Gordon, arrives at Glen's house to meet his fiancé. Gordon didn't realise this person was in fact Jill and she is also horrified to see Gordon. Pulling Glen aside, Jill confesses to him that she killed Terry and they must kill Gordon so that no link can be made. Secretly Jill quickly mixes up some Angel Delight laced with poison and convinces Gordon to eat it as a birthday celebration. Once he collapses, Jill then convinces Glen to confess to both murders over the phone to police. Glen then eats some of the pudding in a suicide pact with Jill - although Jill's not hungry. Once Glen collapses, Jill's on the phone - "Hello Don? It's Jill".

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    Nighty Night has been given a decent video transfer.

    The series is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Nighty Night looks similar to how it appeared on television. Sharpness levels are generally excellent. Blacks are bold and free from any low level noise. Shadows exhibited a high level of detail.

    Colours appeared natural, with no saturation issues. The vibrant colours of Jill's clothes contrasted very well against the generally drab colours of the other characters.

    There were no MPEG artefacts noticed in this transfer. Film-to-video artefacts were negligible and presented no genuine problems. Film artefacts were non-existent.

    English subtitles are available on this DVD. They are easy to read in bold white and are very accurate.

    This is a single sided, dual layer disc. I could not locate the layer change either through viewing or using software. It is obvious from this that the layer change occurs between episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio transfer is equally impressive.

    There is one audio track available on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), which is surround encoded.

    Overall dialogue quality was fine, but some words were a little difficult to pick up due to the thick accents of some characters. A slight increase to your normal listening levels should help significantly. Audio sync was excellent.

    There is no music credited for this series of Nighty Night. The main theme music of the series is actually the My Name Is Nobody theme, which was composed by the prolific Italian composer Ennio Morricone. The incidental music heard throughout this series is not actually credited, but is from a variety of artists including Britney Spears, Mud, Sade and The Pretenders .

    The surrounds were used for music in particular and some ambient and direct sound. This series has no real need for aggressive sound separation, so the audio transfer here is very welcome.

    The subwoofer was quite active during music and occasionally enhanced direct sounds.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The selection of extras on offer is small, but very worthy.


    The main menu is extensively animated, is 16x9 enhanced and features a generous looped sample of Ennio Morricone's theme. Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) surround encoded audio.

Out Takes (4:36)

    This short goof reel is infectiously hilarious. It features outtakes from four different scenes with Julia Davis and Mark Gatiss. Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) audio.

Deleted Scenes   

    These eight deleted scenes can be selected individually or played consecutively using a Play All feature. Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    At the time of this review, there is no R1 version of Nighty Night available.


    Nighty Night is one of my favourite BBC programs of recent years. The dark premise and situations of the series have a surreal quality that I find alluring and never offensive. After many repeated viewings, I still find Nighty Night consistently hilarious. Bring on Series Two.

    The video and audio transfers are excellent.

    The selection of extras is small, but they are worthy inclusions and make for essential viewing. An audio commentary from Julia Davis would have capped off this DVD presentation nicely - maybe in Series Two.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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Comments (Add)
Good for a cringe ! - Bran (my bio, or something very like it) REPLY POSTED
Loved this show! - REPLY POSTED