Neverwhere Logo 'Neverwhere'

by Neil Gaiman
Neverwhere Cast

Office worker Richard Mayhew leads a simple, safe and extremely boring life; however, all that is about to change… One evening, while walking to a dinner date with his overbearing fiancée, Jessica, Richard encounters a young girl lying injured on the pavement. Ignoring Jessica’s selfish protests, Richard abandons his fiancé and carries the girl back to his flat, where he tends to her wounds and allows her to rest. It isn’t long before Richard receives a visit from two sinister men, Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar, claiming to be the girl’s brother; however, Richard is immediately suspicious, and quickly sends them on their way. Now recovered, the girl – Door – is horrified to find that she is in “London Above”; needing to return to “Down Below” immediately, Door sends a message for help by pigeon, and to Richard’s surprise, she soon receives a reply via a note brought by a rat. Following its instructions, Door sends Richard to meet a flamboyant character known as the Marquis de Carabas, who agrees to help Door in return for her owing him a big favour. After stopping off on a rooftop to give an eccentric man named Old Bailey a mysterious silver box, the Marquis accompanies Richard to his flat. Door bids good-bye to Richard and then leaves for ‘The Floating Market’ with her new protector. Richard returns to his everyday life, only to discover that no one knows him any more – his workmates, his landlord, even Jessica have no idea who he is. After receiving a death threat from Mr Croup on a disconnected phone, Richard realises he has no choice but to look for Door and the Marquis for help. Asking a tramp for directions to the Floating Market, Richard is led to an underground chamber, only to be seized at knifepoint by the Lord Rat-Speaker. Just in time, Richard’s life is spared by the arrival of the rat he met earlier, who orders that he be taken to the Floating Market by a young girl named Anaesthesia. Elsewhere, in their offices in the sewers, Croup and Vandemar are reprimanded by their client for failing to capture Door, required for her ability to open any lock. Arriving at home, Door is devastated to learn that her entire family has been murdered; she also finds a video recording made by her father in his final moments, instructing her to seek help from the Angel Islington. Making for the Market, Richard and Anaesthesia meet a warrior woman named Hunter; together they cross a dangerous bridge – but only Richard and Hunter survive the ordeal. Arriving at the Market, Richard rejoins Door and the Marquis, who are busy auditioning bodyguards; Hunter is hired after easily overpowering her competition, but as the quartet leave on their journey to Islington, the loser is killed by his employers: Croup and Vandemar. Richard, Door, Hunter and the Marquis take a short cut via Earl's Court, meeting with the eccentric Earl and his entourage on a rackety old tube train; however, the Earl still harbours an old grudge against de Carabas, and insists he disembark immediately. Once de Carabas has left, the Earl becomes convivial, and advises Door to find the Angelis in the British Museum. Paying a visit to Old Bailey, the Marquis learns that the statuette he took from Door's father's study represents the mythical Beast of London. Hunter refuses to leave London Below, leaving Richard and Door to enter the British Museum alone; inside they find the place full of people, all attending a private party organised by Jessica, at which a rich businessman named Stockton will unveil the restored painting of an Angel that he has sponsored. Narrowly avoiding an altercation with Croup and Vandemar, who gloat of a traitor in their midst, Door and Richard create a distraction and step into the painting – the Angelis – as it opens up and transports them on their way to Islington. Returning to their offices in the sewers, Croup and Vandemar receive a visit from the Marquis, who bargains for information on their paymaster in exchange for a tasty item of Tang Dynasty Sculpture; having obtained as much information as he can, the Marquis makes a hasty exit, but the two assassins renege on their deal, and after capturing de Carabas they brutally torture and kill him. Door and Richard share a drink with Islington, who tells them that a key from the Blackfriars will help show them who killed Door's family. After Islington’s drink knocks them both out, Door and Richard come to and find themselves reunited with Hunter in the subterranean house of a voluptuous woman named Serpentine; after sharing a surreal meal beside a noisy Underground line, the trio set off for Blackfriars. Here the monks set each of them a test, but when Hunter and Door easily pass, Richard is informed he must face ‘The Ordeal’. Finding himself back in Blackfriars tube station, Richard’s sanity is pushed to the limit as images of his friends attempt to convince him that his recent experiences are a result of a nervous breakdown – while in the real world, Richard’s physical body steps towards the live rails beyond the busy platform. Just in time, Richard regains his senses, and he is transported back to the monks, and allowed to take the key that they have guarded for centuries. After receiving a call from their paymaster – none other than the seemingly angelic Islington – Croup and Vandemar dump the Marquis' body in the sewer. Door, Hunter and Richard attend the next Floating Market, now held aboard HMS Belfast; after narrowly missing Old Bailey, who is busy buying de Carabas’ corpse from a couple of scavengers, they meet an old friend of Door's, Hammersmith, who makes a copy of the key. Richard becomes enchanted by a beautiful woman, a ‘Velvet’ named Lamia, and hires her as a guide. Up in the ship crow’s nest, Old Bailey brings the Marquis back to life using the mysterious box he was given earlier; as the resurrected de Carabas nurses his slit throat, he reveals that he deliberately got himself killed so that he could then overhear Croup and Vandamar discussing their secrets. Lamia takes the group to the next stage of their journey: Down Street, which is situated inside an old townhouse. As the group descends into the depths, the captivating Lamia attempts to drain Richard of his heat and life-force, but she is promptly stopped by the timely intervention of the Marquis, and forced to flee. As the two men make to rejoin Door and Hunter, they see Croup and Vandamar lying in wait; Richard attempts to warn his friend, but his way is blocked by Hunter, now revealed to be the traitor in their midst. After the protesting Door has been dragged away by her two assailants, the Marquis forces Hunter to reveal the identity of her paymaster; they learn that Islington is behind everything, needing Door to release him from the chamber in which he has been exiled from Heaven. Richard and the Marquis set off to rescue Door, accompanied by their prisoner, Hunter; but then a terrifying creature suddenly appears in the tunnel ahead – and with a bellow of rage the savage Beast of London charges towards them…

Gary Bakewell (Richard Mayhew), Laura Fraser (Door), Hywel Bennett (Mr. Croup), Clive Russell Mr. Vandemar), Paterson Joseph (Marquis de Carabas), Trevor Peacock (Old Bailey), Elizabeth Marmuir (Jessica), Richard Leaf (Iliaster), Sean O'Callaghan (Lord Rat-Speaker), George Jackos (Landlord), Peter Capaldi (Islington), Tanya Moodie (Hunter), Amy Marston (Anasthesia), Nick Holder (Varney), Michael Culver (Portico), Tasmin Greg (Lamia), Freddie Jones (The Earl), Stratford Johns (Mr Stockton), Phillip Fowler (Lear), Timothy Bateson (Halvard), Arthur Whybrow (Tooley), Adrian Irvine (Clarence), Alison Read (Guard 1), Anthony Cochrane (Guard 2), Julie T. Wallace (Serpentine), Earl Cameron (The Abbot), Damien Lyne (Gary), Evroy Deer (Brother Fuliginous), Charlotte Harvey (Mother), Samathan Glenn (Daughter), Tony Pritchard (Hammersmith), Max Brazier (Paintbrush Kid), Holly Gaiman (Kid), Geraldine McNulty (Sylvia), Patrica Hane (Bag Lady)

Directed by Dewi Humphreys
Produced by Clive Brill
Series Devised by Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry
A Crucial Films Production for BBC North

TX (BBC 2):
Part 1: 'Door' – 12th September, 1996
Part 2: 'Knightsbridge' – 19th September, 1996
Part 3: 'Earls Court To Islington' – 26th September, 1996
Part 4: 'Blackfriars' – 3rd October, 1996
Part 5: 'Down Street' – 10th October, 1996
Part 6: 'As Above, So Below' – 17th October, 1996

*Introducing Richard Mayhew, Door, the Marquis de Carabas and Hunter