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Series / You, Me and the Apocalypse

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"See that [the comet]? 'That's what's going to kill everyone. Any second now. It doesn't matter who you are, who you pray to, black or white, straight or gay, rich or poor. Yeah, it's Judgment Day! The actual apocalypse! And where am I? In Slough. Or rather, under Slough, watching it on telly."
Opening narration

You, Me and the Apocalypse is a comedy drama, co-funded by Sky and NBC.

A comet, 8 miles wide, is about to collide with Earth, wiping out all life. In a bunker under Slough, Berkshire, UK, ex-bank manager Jamie watches the events live on television — along with various other characters, from all over the world. The series explores who they are and how they came to be in Slough, following their lives from 34 days before the impact when news of the comet was first announced.

In Slough, Jamie (Mathew Baynton) is in a rut. On his birthday, the seventh since his wife Layla (Karla Crome) went missing, he is arrested by the police and accused of cyber-terrorism. He is given a photo, taken in Moscow, of Layla and... himself! Upon discovering from his mum Paula that he is adopted and may have a twin brother, he sets out to find Layla as the world goes to hell.

In New Mexico, librarian Rhonda McNeil (Jenna Fischer) is in jail, accused of hacking into the NSA. She is actually covering for the real hacker, her teenage son Spike (Fabian McCallum). On the day of Jamie's birthday, she and fellow prisoner Leanne (Megan Mullally), a white supremacist, are broken out of jail by a group called "Deus Ex Machina", led by Ariel, a man who looks suspiciously like Jamie...

In the Vatican, Sister Celine (Gaia Scodellaro) leaves her convent for a job interview with Father Jude (Rob Lowe), a foul mouthed, chain-smoking Vatican priest assigned to the recently reopened office of Devil's Advocate, tasked with confirming miracles and running background checks on potential saints. The two are tasked with investigating the Second Coming of Christ by the Church as the comet approaches.

And in Washington DC, General Arnold Gaines (Paterson Joseph) and his assistant/boyfriend Scotty (Kyle Soller), brother of Rhonda, prepare the government's response to the crisis, involving "Operation Saviour".

Over the next 34 days, their lives will interact as they head for their final destination — Slough.

This show provides examples of:

  • Aliens in Cardiff: The series being set in Slough of all places.
  • All There in the Manual: Publicity beforehand gave the US President's name as "Farrell", but it is never mentioned in the show. Similarly, Dave's, Celine's, and Leanne's last names (Bosley, Leonti, and Parkins respectively) are never mentioned in the show neither.
  • Always Identical Twins: Jamie and Ariel.
  • Apocalypse Cult: Father Jude and Sister Celine are investigating some of these.
  • America Saves the Day: Or at least gives the impression it is. Apart from a few token mentions of other countries, the US President seems to be the only world leader dealing with the crisis.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 5.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Ariel disguises himself as Jamie and safely makes it to the bunker, leaving Jamie outside to die.
  • Betrayal Insurance: One of Ariel's favourite tactics.
  • Big Bad: Ariel is ultimately the villain of the series though he is more of a menace to Jamie than anyone else.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Oh boy, where to start...
    • Jamie and Ariel's father is Father Jude.
    • And their grandmother is the woman behind the bunker, who abandoned her kids and is, as far as people are concerned, legally dead.
    • And as well as Jude, she is also mother to Scotty and Rhonda.
    • Plus Jamie has a daughter, Frankie, with Layla.
    • Finally, in the last episode it is revealed that Celine is pregnant with Jude's child.
  • Breather Episode: The appropriately-titled "Calm Before the Storm" (second-to-last episode). Half of it, anyway.
  • Britain Is Only London: Averted, only a couple of scenes have been set in London. Most of the UK scenes have been set in Berkshire, or Scotland.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Father Jude has his own approach to things, he smokes like a chimney, swears like a sailor, drinks, has a generally casual attitude and butts heads with his superiors but he is a devout priest with real faith in his God and a caring man.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Celine, fitting with the miracles theme.
  • California Doubling: Used and averted.
    • Malta and South Africa double up for New Mexico; Watford and St Albans in Hertfordshire double up for parts of Slough and the Vatican.
    • Other Berkshire scenes in Slough and Windsor were filmed on location however, and Malta also appeared as itself in one episode.
    • In a subtle example, a TV newscast based in Oklahoma uses the skyline of Columbus, Ohio, as a backdrop.
  • The Cuckoo Lander Was Right: Jamie's insane birth-mother seems to be correct in her belief that Jamie is the son of God as he manages to perform an actual miracle but Ariel defeats him anyway.
  • Crisis of Faith: Besides many people heading this way once news of the comet is announced, Father Jude and Sister Celine must fight their growing feelings for each other. Celine later has a proper crisis of faith after Jude dies.
  • Couch Gag: Every episode begins the same way, with Jamie narrating from the bunker. However, different characters are revealed to also be with him in each episode, and the end of his narration changes from time to time. In the final two episodes his narration changes from overall thoughts on his condition to reflections on the events of these episodes.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Ariel, for Jamie.
  • Defecting for Love: Layla was originally Hawkwind, wife of Ariel. She posed as "Layla" as part of Ariel's plan to ruin Jamie's life, but fell in love with him for real.
  • The Determinator: Despite the apocalypse being minutes away, Sky News' Anna Jones still goes into work and broadcasts the final moments.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jamie's father, Father Jude. Jamie in turn does not know about his daughter.
  • Doorstep Baby: Jamie was left in a car park in Slough.
  • Downer Ending: The world is mostly destroyed and a few survivors are gathered in a bunker belonging to a nasty old lady who only wants her relatives around for blood donations and intends to dispose of the others, plus Ariel wins. The only real Hope Spot is Mount Genesis, the American governmental bunker full of chosen women and a sperm bank.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The approaching comet.
  • Evil Twin: Ariel, the Internet terrorist and murderer for Jamie, the bank manager. Jamie learns of Ariel's existence after being arrested for his crimes.
  • The End Is Nigh: Yes, complete with sandwich boards and signs.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Played for Laughs:
    Ariel: Jesus, Jamie, you don't put someone's foot in a food processor! There are lines!
  • Fish out of Water: Rhonda, in prison.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Thanks to the every episode opening, we know before the finale who will make it into the bunker and survive the apocalypse. Subverted in the end, as it turns out that it's Ariel, not Jamie, in the bunker, and the real Jamie is lying naked outside...
  • Funny Background Event: The day before the comet hits, Jamie passes (and fails to notice) a group of Hare Krishnas fighting and punching each other.
  • Genre-Busting: Part drama, part comedy with both supernatural and sci-fi elements.
  • Girls Behind Bars: Rhonda and Leanne.
  • Give Me a Sign: Sister Celine, just before news of the comet is announced and then later after Father Jude's death.
  • Government Conspiracy: The US President is to lead "Operation: Savior". And lies to the public when it fails, telling them it succeeded.
  • Hacked by a Pirate: When Deus Ex Machina hack into anything, a recording of Ariel in his White Horse mask starts playing on the screen, he also has a cartoon white horse that appears on his own devices.
  • He Knows Too Much: Poor Father Jude, turns out the Vatican aren't above disposing of people who don't approve of fake messiahs.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Rajesh stays outside the bunker in order to close the door. By ramming it with a van.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Ariel, the cyberterrorist, mentions he and his lieutenant are atheists.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Spike.
  • Hollywood Law: Hacking into the NSA is not treason. On the other hand, it could get you a much longer sentence than five to ten years, especially if you're being made an example of.
  • How We Got Here: The series starts in the bunker in Slough, minutes before the comet strikes, and flashes back to show how everyone got there.
  • Hyperlink Story:
    • The series starts as three separate storylines, with a fourth starting in the second episode:
      • Jamie and Dave's search for Layla.
      • Rhonda and Leanne's escape from prison and subsequent road trip.
      • Father Jude and Sister Celine's crusade to weed out fake messiahs.
      • Scotty and Arnold's "Operation Saviour".
    • In the sixth episode Rhonda and Scotty's storylines converge, reducing the number of storylines to three. Also, Jude and Celine visit Jamie, and Ariel leaves Rhonda's storyline and enters Jamie's.
    • In the ninth episode Celine moves in with Jamie and his family after Jude's death, reducing the storyline count to two.
    • It is only 5 minutes before the comet strike that all characters meet and Jamie stays outside to help Rajesh with the truck.
  • Kangaroo Court: Rhonda is tried by a military judge, denying her right to a jury trial. He also gives her lawyer no notice of the trial, so they aren't able to put on any witnesses. Naturally she is then swiftly convicted and sentenced to death by hanging that same day, without time for appeal. All of these things violate the United States' Constitution and statutory laws, but it's obvious the government doesn't care since she's being treated as a terrorist.
  • Karma Houdini: Ariel steals Jamie's identity, leaves him to die, and survives.
  • May–December Romance: Paula and Dave.
  • Named Like My Name: Ariel, "just like the Little f**king Mermaid".
  • Never Suicide: Father Jude.
  • Newscaster Cameo: Sky News' Anna Jones appears as herself in the opening sequence.
  • No Place for Me There: Basically, the response of General Gaines and Scotty when offered a place in the bunker. After the things they've done (including killing the President), they both think they don't deserve a place in whatever future the chosen women manage to build.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Layla figures out that she's talking to Ariel, not Jamie, when he calls her "babe".
  • Professional Slacker: Dave, Jamie's friend and roommate.
  • Raised by Natives: Celine was taken in by the convent after being found homeless and penniless, and she joined the order later on.
  • Separated at Birth: Jamie and Ariel.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Celine and Jude.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The perky 60s love song "Happy Together" plays on the soundtrack as the world ends.
    • Bonus points for the song containing the lyrics "When you're with me baby, the skies will be blue for all my life" - as a huge dust cloud, debris from the comet collison, blacks out the skies over Slough.
  • Taking the Heat: Rhonda, for her son.
  • Terrified of Germs: Ariel.
  • Twin Switch: Ariel finds it easy enough to steal Jamie's identity twice.
  • Unwanted False Faith: Many of the "messiahs" that Father Jude and Sister Celine investigate are examples of this, including Frankie, Jamie and Layla's daughter.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Every episode opens in the bunker, minutes before the impact, before flashing back to X days earlier.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Max, Ariel's partner-in-crime wants to use the secret bunker to save his family from the apocalypse. As Ariel doesn't need him anymore, he shoots Max through the head so as not to be slowed down.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: 34 days left for humanity.