Spaced (Channel 4, 1999-2001)
Spaced is a sitcom that I didn’t actually see first time round when it began in 1999. When Channel 4’s first spin-off digital channel E4 launched at the start of 2001 one of the first things that they showed was a Spaced marathon of the first series so I thought that I would take the opportunity to finally see the show for myself, and that’s when I really got into it because by the end of the repeat run I had become a huge fan.
Spaced really helped to boost the career of Simon Pegg who had been in a few comedy shows before this but hadn’t really made much of an impact, and he co-wrote the show with his co-star Jessica Stevenson who has also gone on to further success. One day artist Tim and writer Daisy meet by chance and pretend to be a couple to move into a flat. They were joined by some other characters, and what a great bunch of characters they were.
Spaced was a really enjoyable experience with so many creative ideas including homages to other famous programmes, films and games packed into every episode. The other characters included Tim’s adventurous mate Mike who was always having adventures, the shy artist Brian (who was played by Mark Heap and as far as I’m concerned you can’t go wrong with him on board and again he put in a great performance), Daisy’s friend Twist who she actually has nothing in common with, and the miserable Marsha. There were also some great characters who only appeared in a few episodes including Tyres and Bilbo who was played by Bill Bailey. Peter Serafinowicz also turned up too.
Spaced ran to a couple of series and 14 episodes and won a few awards, but there are no plans for a third series. But it didn’t end there though, with the team going on to make Shaun Of The Dead which could essentially be seen as Spaced – The Movie. And later Simon Pegg and Nick Frost would team up again in the films Hot Fuzz, Paul and The World’s End which could all also be compared to Spaced.
Spaced was so great, I really do think that it is one of the best sitcoms of its era and brightened up Channel 4, and I liked it so much it was one of the first DVDs that I ever bought and as well as enjoying the show it really showed me the potential of what could be done with extras on discs including commentaries and creative features. A variety of music was also used throughout the show and the soundtrack to the first series was released on CD. In more recent years Spaced has still occasionally been repeated on various channels and almost 15 years after it ended it’s still great to watch.