Explore the multiverse with new E4 series Tripped
“the best bit of direction i’ve ever been given was, ‘Have you ever played Arkham Asylum on Xbox, and he goes into detective mode?’” Referring to a special gadget that highlights usable objects and scenery, director Jamie Stone’s advice to stars George Webster and Blake Harrison reveals that E4’s new sci-fi comedy Tripped owes a deep debt to videogames and other assorted geekery.
Resembling Misfits crossed with Doctor Who, the four-part series plays fast and loose with the concept of parallel universes. Based on a pilot by Who writer Jamie Mathieson called Alt (which we reported on a year ago, but never aired), it is written and co-created by The Missing’s Harry and Jack Williams. With Webster joking, “You look like Aragorn, so run like Aragorn,” Harrison sports an impressive beard and wears a dandyish long-coat when Red Alert meets the pair at a Surrey film studio.
With Danny and his parallel universe counterparts a veritable world away from The Inbetweeners’ feckless Neil, Harrison admits that it’s been “an interesting balancing act”, keeping track of his character’s various iterations. “There are certain things that you’re allowed to play with and make different,” he says. “What’s great is how the costume and make-up departments have done a fantastic job of helping us do that. You just look at them and know they’re different. So finding and playing those differences has been a lot of fun, but you still have to keep it rooted in the fact that this is still technically the same person, it’s just their life that’s slightly different.”
“I gave mine Tourette’s, and a twitch,” continues Webster. “There’s reasons for that, as you’ll see. Psychologically, he’s quite damaged.”
Overcome by his best mate Danny’s decision to wed his girlfriend Kate (played by Georgina Campbell), Webster’s perpetually stoned slacker Milo has his world turned upside down after “War Danny” crashes down to earth in his living room. As Red Alert looks on, Harrison breaks a coffee table in half before dusting himself down and embarking upon a ferocious sword fight with Richard Gadd’s otherworldly assassin, Callum. “We genuinely really hate each other, so I really want to take his head off,” he laughs, while according to Webster, “I genuinely don’t do anything in life, so I just sit there and watch it.”
Comparing its visiting different dimensions to Secret Wars and Spider-Verse, Tripped has much in common with recent superhero crossovers. “With both War Danny and War Milo, you could argue to a point that they’re heroic,” says Harrison. “Without giving too much away, there are definitely some heroic elements there.”
“We play on that whole hero thing,” teases Webster. “These guys are heroes and then different things happen and shit goes down!”
With Harrison revealing “there’s been a few death scenes; multiple death scenes for multiple us-es,” dying is not necessarily the end for Danny and Milo. “The thing is, no one really dies in sci-fi anyway,” laughs Harrison. “There’s always a way to bring them back; even if you stick their brain in a robot or something like that.”
“Stick them in a tight little bottled city like [Superman’s] Kandor,” adds Webster. “And then bring them back out.”
Without giving too much away, there are definitely some heroic elements there
Tripped is on E4 in November.