'Spaced': The beginning of 'The World's End'?


Having been one of the ‘chosen ones’ to have been able to see a pre-screening of the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg film, The World’s End, my mind immediately began to wander (no comments, please) as I left the cinema to just how much I love the earlier Channel 4 comedy series, Spaced. Brilliantly conceived and written by Jessica Hynes (Twenty Twelve) and Simon Pegg, co-starring the greatness of Nick Frost and directed by Edgar Wright to perfection, it’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 15 years since Spaced premiered.

Thinking back on their prior efforts before they made the leap to the big screen with Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and now, The World’s End, there is obvious cinema-love going on here. With Spaced it was brilliant. Thankfully, one of the beauties of the Internet is that, most likely, when you think of something, someone has already compiled everything together in brilliant fashion. In this case, the Digital Spy folks have done just that with Spaced. A huge tip of the hat to them for putting my post-screening thoughts into words and video.

Spaced “Robot Fight Club”
 

 
The first rule of Robot Club is, you do not talk about Robot Club!” With a ‘what if’ nod to what would happen if the worlds of Philippa Forrester, host of Robot Wars and Brad Pitt, star of Fight Club crossed paths, this episode featured Tim (Pegg) and Mike (Frost) attempt to reclaim their masculinity by constructing their own Robot Wars-style machine and do battle in an underground fight club. What happens? In a word, carnage.

Spaced “Star Wars: Team Briefing”
 

 
Here, Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back nods all around as the Colin rescue briefing scene below, complete with role assignment and a a bit of a tricked up John Williams remix.

Spaced “The Matrix: Say Hello to my Little Friend”
 

 
This clip is actually better than any The Matrix sequel to be honest. In the premiere of series 2, Daisy returns to find herself targeted by a pair of sharp-suited ‘agents’ played by Mark Gatiss and Kevin Eldon. The standout moment happens in a pub (maybe a precursor to The World’s End perhaps?) and a fast-paced fight scene.

Spaced “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Kitchen Nightmare”
 

 
Daisy (Hynes) takes a job in a restaurant kitchen only to have her soul crushed by boss Tina, (Cuckoo’s Nest’s Nurse Ratched) played by Joanna Scanlan. The usual Edgar Wright attention to detail plays out with the near-perfect aligning of other characters in the scene to their movie counterparts to pay tribute to this Jack Nicholson classic.

Spaced “Pulp Fiction: Pop Fiction”
 

 
Jessica Hynes is Bruce Willis and Nick Frost is John Travolta in this great bit saluting Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 masterpiece. While Pulp Fiction has been parodied endlessly over the past two decades, nobody has really tackled this moment before or since Spaced.

Thanks again to Digital Spy for their compilation, thanks to those that made the original movies and special thanks to Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes, Edgar Wright and Nick Frost for their deep appreciation of cinema. The World’s End premieres Friday, August 23 in theaters across the U.S.