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Series 1, Episode 1

Back. Image shows from L to R: Uncle Geoff (Geoffrey McGivern), Andrew (Robert Webb), Ellen (Penny Downie), Stephen (David Mitchell), Cass (Louise Brealey)
The Nichols family are preparing for the funeral of Laurie, a much loved father, brother, husband and the celebrated landlord of the John Barleycorn Pub.

Preview clips

Further details

The Nichols family are preparing for the funeral of Laurie, a much loved father, brother, husband and the celebrated landlord of the John Barleycorn Pub. Uncle Geoff insists that Stephen should say one last goodbye to his dad at the funeral home, but Stephen is scared he won't know what to say and pretends he's too busy. As the day of the funeral arrives there's an unexpected mourner at the graveside: the charismatic and charming Andrew. He was one of the many children fostered by Stephen's family in the 80s - his parents' favourite. Just about everyone is thrilled to see Andrew, except Stephen who can't seem to remember him at all. Is Andrew who he says he is? And why has he turned up now after 30 years?

Broadcast details

Wednesday 6th September 2017
Channel 4
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Saturday 9th September 2017 12:05am C4
Friday 4th December 2020 11:05pm C4

Cast & crew

David Mitchell Stephen
Robert Webb Andrew
Penny Downie Ellen
Louise Brealey Cass
Geoffrey McGivern Uncle Geoff
Jessica Gunning Jan
Oliver Maltman Mike
Olivia Poulet Alison
Caius Luckyn-Malone Young Andrew
Sebastian Patterson Young Stephen
Guest cast
Matthew Holness Laurie
Tony Gardner Nick Molloy
Carsten Hayes Taxi Driver
Rebecca Herod Woman in Cafe
Laurence Howarth Martin Coburn
Catriona Knox Flight Attendant
Emily Lloyd Saini Sarah Giles (Vet)
Alberto Maneiro Basque Passenger
Naomi Morris Janette
Laurence Ubong Williams Café Waiter
Michael Wildman Tom
Writing team
Simon Blackwell Writer
Will Smith Writer (Additional Material)
Ian Martin Writer (Additional Material)
Will Smith Script Editor
Production team
Ben Palmer Director
Kate Daughton Producer
Kenton Allen Executive Producer
David Mitchell Executive Producer
Robert Webb Executive Producer
Simon Blackwell Executive Producer
Matthew Justice Executive Producer
Mark Henson Editor
Rosy Thomas Production Designer
Tracey Gillham Casting Director
Catherine Willis Casting Director
John Sorapure Director of Photography
Lynsey Moore Costume Designer
Lisa Kennedy Make-up Designer
Oli Julian Composer
Adam Young 1st Assistant Director
Jesse Armstrong Story Consultant
Tony Roche Story Consultant


Mitchell & Webb Return As Brothers Reunited At Funeral

Stephen prepares to take over the family business after his dad's death, but on the day of the funeral there's an unexpected mourner at the graveside!

Featuring: David Mitchell (Stephen), Robert Webb (Andrew), Laurence Howarth (Martin Coburn) & Laurence Ubong Williams (Café Waiter).


Is Back really the next Peep Show? In short, Yes!

It was like eating a vast portion of potato chips. Or not.

Justin Harp, Digital Spy, 7th September 2017

Back review

Back doesn't have the most straightforward of premises; it takes a bit of setting up. But that's done well, and it's worth the effort, because once you're on top of things, it's an interesting place to be.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 7th September 2017

Back, review: the chemistry's still there

Back is far less claustrophobic and far more of an ensemble piece than Peep Show, though some of the acting in the first episode felt a bit too broad.

Alice Jones, i Newspaper, 7th September 2017

Back, episode one - Mitchell and Webb triumph

"Mum's gone for a wicker coffin. Reminds me of the baskets we used to serve pub food in. Dad's like a giant scampi." Pitch-black comedy Back (Channel 4) began with a death in the family and immediately found the funny side.

Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 7th September 2017

David Mitchell and Robert Webb's Back review

If David Mitchell and Robert Webb are a pair haunted by the success of their first sitcom Peep Show then they've put the ghosts to work in their second one.

Matt Baylis, The Daily Express, 7th September 2017

Back: One of the best new shows of the autumn

What's Andrew up to? Is he just a chancer or is he much worse than that? Waiting to find out adds an intriguing, almost psychological-thriller element to what already looks like being one of the best new shows of the autumn.

James Walton, The Spectator, 7th September 2017

Review: Back

It's a set-up perfectly designed to milk David Mitchell's speciality - the outraged loser - to the max and it's the scenes where Stephen is, at one point almost literally, swimming in the piss-poor job he's made of his life that give Back its comic class.

Keith Watson, Metro, 7th September 2017

Back is laugh-out-loud funny - review

David Mitchell and Robert Webb are literally Back with a new dark comedy on Channel 4.

Ian Hyland, The Mirror, 7th September 2017

TV review: Back

David Mitchell and Robert Webb reunite for a new sitcom and, despite the echoes of Peep Show, it looks set to be a pin-sharp comic delight.

Carol Midgley, The Times, 7th September 2017

Back is a promising imposter comedy

David Mitchell could just stand there and pull a face - you know, that face - and I'd be happy.

Rachel Cooke, The New Statesman, 7th September 2017

David Mitchell interview

We took the actor and comedian aside and talked to him about, among other things, his conspicuous policy of not taking cocaine.

Ralph Jones, ShortList, 7th September 2017

David Mitchell and Robert Webb star in this new comedy-drama from Peep Show co-writer Simon Blackwell. Mitchell is put-upon Stephen, stepping uneasily into the shoes of his universally liked dead father, while Webb is Andrew, Stephen's one-time foster brother, returning after 30 years with a portfolio of lived experience and effortless charm. With a dark undercurrent beneath its cosy surface, Back could easily become a modern Ever Decreasing Circles.

Mark Gibbings-Jones, The Guardian, 6th September 2017

Preview - Back

David Mitchell and Robert Webb return with a new Channel 4 sitcom from one of the writers of The Thick of It.

Ian Wolf, On The Box, 6th September 2017

Back: TV preview

Back is not Peep Show: The Next Generation. But it also sort of is, inescapably.

Steve Bennett, Chortle, 6th September 2017

Mitchell & Webb are 'Back' in Channel 4's new sitcom

So I'm happy to report that Back bucks Blackadder. This is a confident, charismatic opener of what promises to be a great little series. Here's to British comedy in rude health.

Sarah Kennedy, The Custard TV, 6th September 2017

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