Inside No. 9 spoilers follow.
Inside No. 9 viewers were left confused and puzzled by last night's (May 18) episode.
The episode was the fifth to air in the show's eighth season and was broadcast in its usual Thursday slot. However, the show wasn't quite what viewers expected.
Viewers sat down to watch the episode initially billed as "Hold on Tight", an outing set to take place on a bus that also starred Coronation Street and Last Train to Christmas actor Robin Askwith.
🚌 All aboard! It’s going to be a bumpy ride with #InsideNo9.
Guest star @Robin_Askwith joins @ReeceShearsmith and @SP1nightonly in another twisted comic tale, made by BBC Studios Comedy Productions.#InsideNo9 | 10pm Thu 18 May | @BBCTwo @BBCiPlayer | #MadeByBBCStudios pic.twitter.com/VhKt4fu7Wj
— BBC Studios (@bbcstudios) May 18, 2023
Promotional images were released for the BBC Two show in the lead-up to the episode (as they are each week), with this week's including images of Robin, Reece and Steve on a double-decker bus. But no bus appeared in the episode, and Reece and Steve were nowhere in sight.
An announcer told those who tuned in live that the episode was different than planned and a change had been made to the schedule.
Viewers then watched Lee put three cohorts of contestants through their paces on 3 by 3, a "new general knowledge quiz" featuring three sets of three-person teams competing for a "big cash prize".
Although many would probably have enjoyed the random run-of-the-mill game show, things took a dark turn just moments before it ended. Quickly thereafter, the Inside No. 9 credits rolled.
Stunned viewers, still coming to terms with the schedule change, were united on social media as they applauded the show's creators for fooling the nation.
"Last nights episode of Inside No. 9 was the best piece of tele in years," one fan tweeted.
Another wrote: "My god. Is there anything Inside No. 9 can't do? Every episode this season has been an absolute banger. The best British show on telly. Still!"
"The chills that went down my spine seeing the rolling credits gradually change - Brilliant!" a third said on Twitter. "The small sense of dread building in the pit of my stomach made for such a unique and unforgettable viewing experience. For once I don't mind missing the bus."
One puzzled viewer said: "So you mean to tell me Reece and Steve got an actor to take promo pics and filmed a few bits and pieces for the trailer for an episode they didn't actually write???"
The episode is available on BBC iPlayer but doesn't feature the announcer saying there had been a schedule change.
Season eight concludes with episode six next week, but will viewers be tricked again?
Inside No. 9 airs on BBC Two.
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