Staged Returns as David Tennant & Michael Sheen "Panic In" 2022

Staged is back. The lockdown meta sitcom featuring David Tennant and Michael Sheen and their respective (and far more sane and sensible) spouses Georgia Tennant and Anna Lundberg are back. Well, sort of. Streaming service Britbox has released a New Year's special that may inadvertently turn out to be a very real harbinger of doom.

Staged: Tennant and Sheen Return in New Year's Eve Special
"Staged New Year's Eve Special", Britbox, BBC

Just when you thought it was all over, they come back for one more. That was what we all thought when the 2nd series of Staged suddenly came along while we were all still in lockdown in early 2021, mere months after the 1st series. They bickered and caused havoc without leaving their homes. The series was the one comedy that caught the mood better than any other comedy, Tennant and Sheen playing highly-strung and duplicitous versions of themselves infighting and backstabbing reflecting the insanity that was swirling in our heads. Series 2 of Staged ended just as the lockdown was ending and the world was opening up again. Tennant went off and shot Around the World in 80 Days (now being broadcast on the BBC in the UK and PBS in the US), Sheen did a bunch of projects. As of this New Year's Eve special episode, Tennant and Sheen are halfway through the second series of Good Omens and in good spirits. Then – in the special episode – things threaten to go all wrong again.

You can just watch the mini-episode here on Britbox' YouTube channel:

You wonder if Staged is some kind of magical spell or harbinger since as of right now, the whole world is freaking out over Omicron, and threats of the world shutting down are looming. Broadway and the West End are voluntarily shutting down due to positive tests and outbreaks in the productions. The Film and TV industry is discussing whether to shut down or delay a return to production after the Christmas break due to skyrocketing infection numbers. Somehow this special and unexpected episode of Staged managed to capture that mood of uncertainty all over again, just in time. Its meta house of mirrors has some spectacular timing, really. Simon (Simon Evans) is still a twat who just has to mess everything up. His (fictional) sister Lucy (Lucy Eaton) is still the one everyone likes more than him. Tennant and Sheen's sanity is on a razor's edge once again. It's like Staged never went away!

Is the BBC really asking for a third series of Staged or is this just a fictional concept for the plot of this special? Your guess is as good as ours, but if everything shuts down again, fiction might become reality and there will be no end to the confusion.

Staged Series 2 is on Britbox UK with extra content.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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