Andrew Steele

The Man in Black (2009)

The Man in Black is a 2009 series which was the sequel to 1980s series; Fear on 4.

Note that an earlier BBC series of the same name aired for eight episodes in 1949.

Series 1

1. The Tower

Ro and Zee head up to the top floor of a tower block though find the lift isn't working. Approaching their destination via the stairs, to rob an elderly resident, they find a sign warning them off continuing. They proceed and arrive at the door of the man, Mr. Fisher, who they know locally and turns up shortly after in the elevator. While in the flat, they discover that Fisher is odd and is able to get ahead of himself, and that his flat has strange quirks. Peering into a room, they discover a number of very old items which thye hope to sell for good money, including gold. Fisher appears and says that the stuff can't be sold as it doesn't want to leave. The pair soon become violent when trying to find out how much the items are worth, and coax out of him a large amount of money hidden away. Zee picks up an old sword, and ends up stabbing Mr. Fisher with it as the two prepare to leave. Removing the sword, Mr. Fisher's gasping breath says "thank you" leaving the two to run off. Realising they have forgotten their loot, Zee refuses and continues to head downstairs. However, they find themselves back at the flat door. Going into the flat, they discover that Mr. Fisher is no longer there and the flat is unaffected as though nothing has happened. Looking at the loot again, Zee works out that they are stuck in the tower forever.

2. Project Purple

Professor Maggie Shaw is heading home, but is stopped by a former partner who asks her to come and help him with her ex-husband Max, and now the victim of an accident. She is awoken the falling morning at an underground bunker with other doctors who were performing a dubious experiment before his brain shut down. Attempting to help, she struggles to get information about the experiment until a friend Oliver opens up Max's files. He reveals a recording of Max's final moments before the accident, in which Project Purple is revealed. This involves producing a sound - the Purple Sound - which allows control of a person but caused a shut down of the brain and is able to wipe the mind's of people. Tom discovers them, and agrees that she should now know the full story, and there are more than fifty other people affected in a similar way. The scientists attempt to restore brain function by playing an opposite sound, and use Max as the test subject, which works successfully. Once recovered, Maggie suggests that Max destroy his work for fear of it being misused but he refuses citing the various ways he believes it will improve humanity. Max allows Maggie to leave, knowing that she won't talk as does Tom who quits. However, in the car, Tom gets out to use the toilet and locks Maggie in the car before playing the Purple Sound.

3. The White Hare

A young couple, Caspar and Izzy, move to a rural area in search of a new life. On the way to their new cottage, they narrowly avoid a crash while trying to miss a hare running across the road. Out for a walk, they head to a nearby farm in search of milk and find the farmer and his niece, Kaddy, are rather hostile towards them. The following day and heading into town, Izzy experiences a similar hostility while at the shops. Returning home, they discover the dogs are loose and the farmer preparing to shoot. When the pair head out for a walk they get caught in a rain storm, having to take shelter in a ruined house. While in the house, the dogs chase a white hare out of the house resulting in more shots from the farmer when he continues to insist they are after his sheep. Back at home, Izzy believes that Kaddy is a witch due to an old legend surrounding hares though Caspar fails to believe her. The dogs escape again from the house, and on retrieving them they discover a dying sheep. Taking it back to the house, preparing to bury it, they find it coming back to life and begin to take care of it. Kaddy appears while Izzy is alone, and with Izzy convinced she is trying to get the dogs killed, she locks her in the bedroom. When Caspar returns, he finds that Kaddy has escaped through the window, but couldn't climb the fence before being eaten by the dogs.

4. Hide and Seek

Amelia Stowe is confined to bed with her eyes bandaged while recovering from a major operation to remove a brain tumour. She agrees to take part in psychiatrist Doctor Bewlay's experiment to unlock her early memories of sounds and conversations which involves spending time with a tape recorder in the room while being hypnotised. The following day, while reviewing the tapes, Doctor Bewlay and Amelia find the tape recorder has no recording. Her second session results in a voice appearing in the room who wants to play hide-and-seek and calls her Millie - a childhood name - as she recalls a memory from her childhood. Screaming out, Amelia tries to convince Nurse Sargent of the voice. Explaining to Doctor Bewlay that she heard the voice first in the dream, he suggests that the hypnosis could be bad for people who have been through previous traumatic events. Amelia is able to get Doctor Bewlay to perform another hypnosis session while she describes the events of her dream. Relaying the events, she describes a baby brother who she believes her family loves more than her. Amelia realises that Doctor Bewlay calls her Millie as she rips off her bandages. Nurse Sergant appears and while putting the bandages back on, tells her that Doctor Bewlay does not exist and the hospital has no psychiatric ward.

5. Bombers' Moon

Jarvis, Carr and Nisbet are soldiers trapped in a blizzard at a remote outpost in Afghanistan. The three are out of supplies, and a fellow soldier who headed out to find help has been missing longer than he should. They are also shut in with Corporal Rashid who they believe is bad luck. Worrying that they are sitting ducks, a voice is heard on the radio though a bad signal prevents them from communicating. In the confusion, Rashid pulls the pin on a rusty landmine which results in them having to manufacture a pin. Meanwhile, Corporal Keith who is navigating the blizzard begins to see and hear from an apparition of his young child. Back at the outpost, the soldiers see a bright light as Keith returns, having been shot and soon passes away. Jarvis heads out to fix the generator, and also begins to see an apparition of a model cut out of a newspaper that he treats as a girlfriend. When Carr questions his sanity, Jarvis kills him before using his metatarsal to secure the mine. As the enemy closes in on the outpost, Rashid attempts to sacrifice himself using the landmine.

Series 2

1. Phish Phood

Accountant Jim is being helped to get on the Internet by his niece, and his new email account has him immediately dealing with spam. He soon loses money in a 419 scam, and vows never to fall for another again before getting scammed on a fake lottery prize. His niece tries to convince him that he needs to stop freely handing out his bank account details. He decides to give it one more go, and ends up talking to Russian Ludmilla who he was previously spammed by. She requests a picture of him, before convincing him to send her a lock of hair via the "NSFTU port". However, when the connection is interrupted, Ludmilla's website vanishes. Trying to find out more from his niece, she is confused at what is going on. Several days later, his niece arrives to find him becoming more reclusive and has joined a chat room to plot revenge on people that have scammed him. They soon convince him however to pull out some teeth, to put in the NSFTU port, before the amount of scam attempts increase, as his niece attempts tries to get him to disconnect.

2. Death Do Us Part

A couple, John and Kate, are in a beautiful location, and Kate questions whether he is going to propose. John sees a figure moving around in the background, and heads off to see who it is, before getting shot. He awakes in hospital to find that they were in a hunting area, and the bullet passed through without causing lasting damage. Hearing heavy breathing behind a curtain, he finds that no-one else can hear it, and that he is actually in a private room. On being released from hospital, he begins to see figures unseen by others, though tries to be distracted by organising a quick wedding with Kate. Meeting who he thinks is a church caretaker, the old man tells John not to get married. John realises it is the same man who has been following him, and warning him off Kate and advising that their marriage will end badly. Kate discovers blood on her wedding dress, and John reveals that it is a warning from the old man. John's friend tries to tell him of a theory that a traumatic event is allowing John to see the future, as she is late for the wedding due to a storm. Arriving just in time, John and Kate tie the knot as the old man and the storm disappears, and John immediately feels better, knowing that whatever happens now is up to them.

3. Flesh

In Crawley, a virus has killed a number of teenage-aged people and resulted in the schools being closed. Matti checks on her teenage son, Jamie, who is home and sulking over her new relationship with George, and is proving to be a handful and eventually storms out. Talking with George, he gets stuck in a roadblock who hangs up rather abruptly, who sees a group of teenagers attacking a man. However, news comes through that people believed dead are coming back to life. Jamie returns some time later with blood on his clothes, but refuses to talk about what has happened. Eventually confronting him, Matti discovers he was out walking with friends before being attacked by a fellow school pupil, who takes a chunk out of Jamie's arm. Speaking with Sylvia, Jamie's friends mother, discovers Bryony has come home and attacks her mother, before saying "hungry" down the line. George finally arrives, and describes zombie-like teenagers attacking people who he saw kill a younger child. Matti finds the teenagers congregating outside, and the two argue about whether to let a friend of the family in. George discovers that Jamie has also been bitten, but his attempts to stop Matti going back to him, results in him attacking his mother as the gathered teenagers outside break in.

4. Angels in Disguise

Elderly woman Emily is to move into a residential home, and her relatives, David and Andrea, bring up her imaginary friend Nathaniel who regularly comes to visit her since she was a child. Moving into her home, David and Andrea, find that her house is set out for visitors despite having no one around. David continues to worry about whether he has done the correct thing, while their money issues from a failed business play on their minds. While decorating, they discover a man in the house who apologises for intruding though does not reveal who he is, though returning later he says he is Nathaniel, and refuses to leave until he gets a cup of tea. Speaking to Emily, she says that Nathaniel is an angel. Andrea takes to giving Nathaniel his tea when he continues to arrive, and with all their attempts to find out who is he failing, take to poisoning his tea in an attempt to get rid of him before Andrea resorts to hitting him with a hammer. Under Andrea's direction, the pair dispose of the body in a reservoir. A news article is later read to Emily which it reports that Andrea and David committed suicide by drowning under financial pressure. Emily returns home to serve Nathaniel his tea.

5. The Old Road

Cali is travelling to friend Rue's house-warming party and taking cat, Mr Whiskerson, with her to return her now that Rue owns her own home. Cali programmes the GPS to get her there and is guided up an old Roman road. While talking to Rue on the phone, she loses phone reception as well as the map on the GPS. Some time later and feeling like she has been on the road for a very long time, the car starts to develop a number of faults. The GPS voice-over also starts to talk with some corruption, and seems to be indicating she will die. Resorting to calling a mechanic who advises that he will get to her as soon as she can, and while stopped, finds a knocking on the bottom of her car. Listening to her voicemail, she discovers that the mechanic is on his way and will be there in two minutes, while the GPS warns her that she will die in two minutes. Believing that he is going to kill her, Cali gets out of the car and while searching for Mr. Whiskerson who escapes, she decides to try to find the way to Rue's. A van speeds along the road, and hits Cali. The mechanic stops, and attempts to call for help, and screams out why "they" can't leave them alone. The following day, Rue checks her messages and hears the voice of her friend, and discovers a message left after her death.

Series 3

1. Connect

Rosie starts her first shift at the student advisory service where she receives a call from a girl who says that her friend is not himself, but hangs up abruptly saying goodbye using Rosie's name, despite Rosie not revealing her name. Rosie reveals to boss Mike that she lost an ex-boyfriend, Sam, through suicide after they broke up. The girl continues to ring with updates on her friend. At work, while the phones are quiet, Mike and Rosie get closer but another strange call from the girl interrupts events by reading a verse, which she also recalls reading the day Sam died. Rosie sets about finding who the girl is and what she wants as her hair begins to fall out. Another phone call with the girl allows her to hear Sam in the background screaming. Mike and Rosie end up sleeping together as she uses it to try and blot out her feelings. The following day, Mike discovers that no one has been recorded on the tape, and believes her to be mentally unwell. The phone calls continue to Rosie's mobile - blaming her for Sam's death as she heads to the library and hears a screaming Sam. Ending up locked in the library over the holidays, she passes away leaving Sam feeling guilty who himself begins to receive phone calls from a girl who has a friend that isn't herself.

2. The Printed Name

Jack, a failing writer and owner of a print shop discusses helping son Rob write ghost stories like he used to with his mother when he was younger.Thomas Morgan, a mysterious businessman, enters the struggling shop, and promises security for the future of the shop by way of buying a share of the business by way of a derelict property his desires. Jack and Rob awaken to find the printing press running the following morning, and discover it has printed out a number of copies of his manuscript. Managing to get the produced story published, he gets the go ahead for a second story, though struggles to come up with an idea. Rob attempts to convince him that the story came from the press and not him, and that he doesn't want him to change from being a shop owner. Receiving a contract from Morgan, Jack is determined to sign it and pursue his writing career with Rob protesting, believing the man to be evil. As Halloween approaches again, Jack has become a renowned author however Morgan arrives as scheduled with regard to the contract they signed. Morgan demands his "piece of derelict property" which happens to be Fiona, Rob's dead wife, who has been operating the press and is to be taken hostage by Morgan, as his third book as produced by the press, reads. Jack is left alone by Rob and goes on to hang himself.

3. Lights Out

Sarah Morris is being checked into a prison, where she will be hosted on a wing that hasn't been used in decades. She meets her cellmate Izra and some other prisoners, who suggest that there are ghosts in the old wing. Sarah quickly falls on the wrong side of Agnes, though Izra suggests that there are other scary things that she needs to avoid. In the dark corridors, they hear screaming and in the morning, find that a cellmate has been killed - one of a number who have been murdered apparently by demons at night. When Agnes attacks Sarah, she also hands her a book. The guard questions Sarah as to whether she has any stolen property on her, as well as warning her to stay away from Agnes. She also refuses to believe the tales of ghosts in the corridor. Back in her cell, Sarah and Izra discuss the circumstances of how they ended up in prison, and wake up to find Agnes has been badly beaten during the night. Sarah sets about dealing with the ghosts once and for all, rather than wait for her turn. Sarah reads the book, which is a journal, handed over by Agnes, and discovers the guard is behind sacrifices of prisoners to the spirits. Sarah confronts them as they set about attacking another prisoner, and tries to offer her help. The guard turns up knowing that her journal has been released to the world, leading to a confrontation between the guard, Sarah, Izra and the ghosts.

4. Uncle William's House

Young mum, Chrissy, has moved into her uncle William's house, though her uncle is in hospital in a coma. Chrissy meets friendly neighbour Andrew, and begins to hear a voice through the baby monitor, seemingly from a neighbours house. She also discovers a notebook and box hidden away in the house seemingly belonging to William. Taking to visiting William in the hospital, his unconscious body attempts to make a grab for her baby, Jack. While preparing dinner alone one night, Chrissy is listening to the baby monitor and discovers a conversation with other parents who appear to be threatening their baby. Chrissy is concerned, and discusses Jack's father Franklin with Andrew, who she describes as controlling, though the two fall out when Andrew suggests that she is the one being controlling having previously called him over when she became scared. Listening to the baby monitor again, Chrissy hears a voice say that he intends to come for the life he is entitled to, and mentions Jack by name. Running out of the house with Jack, Chrissy encounters a man, Adrian, while lost and looking for the pub where Andrew is. Seeing her back to the house, Chrissy and Jack camp downstairs together where she receives a phone call from the hospital to say William has died. She returns to Jack, and finds that he has stopped breathing, and begins to perform CPR which gets him breathing again. However, as both Andrew and the ambulance crew arrive, she believes that the baby with them is no longer Jack. On the baby monitor, she hears a Jack's voice.

5. Perfect Home

Strangers Heron and Felice find themselves having missed the last bus on their way home on a wet night, with the pair questioning each other about themselves. She also brings up a number of disappearances which have occurred in the area recently. The pair head off to get coffee and head for a dry location in a nearby shopping arcade. Felice asks him again what brings him to the area, and claims she has seen him around previously as she suspects he is after company. Heron in return says that he wants to offer people help and believes that Felice is frightened. Heron suggests that her rebellious nature can be changed and recalls details of Felice's life he wouldn't be expected to know, including her real name being Karen, which frightens her off. The following night, Felice returns with a cup of tea as a peace offering where he discusses how he came to know about her family situation. Inviting him to her flat under the guise of needing help moving out, the pair go on to discuss issues that Heron has had with his own family. Felice discusses a man named Hogan, who Heron knows is one of the people who has disappeared, and does not trust Felice to tell him the truth, believing her to be planning on attacking him. However, heading down a derelict street Heron demands she head through the gates at the end and into a building which he reveals will be her new home and features the dead bodies of her mother and father.

Series 4

1. Containment

Helen is working in her new job at a storage unit when she hears a noise and discovers a young girl named Lucy on one of the floors, but falls, injuring her ankle, while trying to find out more about her. Back at home, Helen receives a visit from ex-partner Tom and the pair end up arguing about the death of their son Peter. Handling a problem on the third floor again, Helen continues to hear the noise of a drum playing and an arcade game as Lucy reappears saying that she has been in touch with Peter. Helen meanwhile spends a large amount of her free time in a storage unit holding Peter's items and watching videos of her time with Peter and Tom, while also hunting for Lucy's appearance on the CCTV system. Discussing the events with colleague Andy, she recalls Peter being hit by a car just outside their home. Looking through some of the belongings in the storage unit, Helen discovers a picture featuring Lucy. Lucy soon appears and says that Peter is waiting for her, though she wants Helen to be her mother. Following Lucy, Helen hears the echoes of her sons voice though realises that she has been duped into looking after Lucy forever. Tom arrives and discusses the situation of Helen's disappearance with Andy, before spending some time on the third floor contemplating the events leading up to her going missing as Lucy appears.

2. The Punt

At a funeral home, bookmaker Jimmy watches his wife be cremated vowing to be with her to the end. He turns to alcohol having been a recovering alcoholic, though struggles to find a drink. Setting about heading out and finding a pub, he continues to receive calls from Derek whose job it is to keep him off the booze, while the radio repeatedly plays content relating to drink. He comes across a woman in a pub car park who begins following him, and accusing him of having failed. Derek eventually catched up with Jimmy, and advises him that if he won't talk, he should go into a nearby church. Meeting Catholic priest Frank, Jimmy admits he is an alcholic who received a new liver, though the woman soon catches up with again saying that the priest can't save him now. Back at his shop, the woman appears and begins demanding her life back. She accuses him of always gambling his life and banking on a second chance. She pressures him into revealing the events leading up to the surgery, which resulted in the death of his organ donor, and demands that he remove the liver now that he has had his chance.

3. The Beaten Track

On a trip in New Zealand, young couple James and Louise are lost on a road to Queenstown as they try to make it for New Year. The car hits a sheep on the road, though they find that it is already dead with maggots already coming out from the body. Stopping at a motel, James has to relent on pushing on as Louise demands they stay. The motel owner mysteriously warns them off the lake, and in the middle of the night, James overhears the motel owner talking about them and a big feast that is planned. The following morning, they leave the motel and head to the lake where they find a large number of locals partying while Louise gets drunk. After spending some time swimming in the lake, they meet boat owners Aaron and Sandy who offer to take them out on their boat, despite James' objections. They soon find out that Aaron is mayor of the town, though he quickly reveals his hatred of tourists which leaves James and Louise nervous as he announces he is taking the pair as his guests of honour to the big party. The pair are soon forced into performing local customs such as face painting and Aaron suggests that the reason the flies are constantly biting them is that the pair will be sacrificed to them.

4. Reunion

Joy takes a phone call from ex-partner Steve, who arranges to drop off some letters to her mothers including one that may be an invite to a university reunion. She also catches up with pregnant friend Fiona who offers her someone to talk to - a spiritual healer. Joy heads to see the spritual healer and reveals that she wants Steve back, despite his cheating which caused the breakup. He offers her a concoction which she can put in his food to "draw him closer" to her. Meeting with Steve as they organise selling their house, Joy uses the potion which has the desired effect but ends up using too much which causes him to grab her and injures her neck. Steve begins to repeatedly ring her, and eventually attacks her again breaking her rib. On the road to recovery, co-worker Tom questions what has happened to Joy to which she describes the situation with her visit to the doctor. Back home, Joy has a reaction to a bracelet which her mother is wearing after being given it by Steve, causing her to throw it away. Joy finds Steve is in her room, though the pair have an amiable conversation until her mother puts the bracelet back on which causes Steve to attack Joy again as her mother desperately attempts to open the bedroom door.

5. The New Boy

Craig starts his new job in an office working for boss Mr Rubenstein. He meets friendly receptionist Beth who shows him the basement where his office will be. He also discovers that boss Mr Rubenstein can seemingly move around the building magically, as well as server room dweller Nelson. Craig sets about his work which involves copying documents on an ancient copier. While working, Craig begins to hear noises as the machine breaks down which he turns to Nelson to resolve. However, on fixing the copier the machine has printed a number of pictures of a face. Realising that none of his copying work has completed, Craig is left working late to complete his work for the morning. He begins to hear a knocking on the door and a voice telling him to "run", as well as the scream of a woman. He encounters Beth who offers to help him with his remaining work, and also discovers that Rubenstein is her dad. In the basement, Beth makes an advance on Craig though he soon passes out. Reawakening to banging sounds, Craig finds himself stuck in the basement. Nelson and Beth rescue him, during which Craig also finds that the pair are brother and sister. Craig attempts to quit and leave, in which Rubenstein arrives and reveals that they are able to live for generations by harvesting "lost souls".