Dir: Jonathan Gershfield
Starring: Mackenzie Crook and Gemma Arterton
A tube driver finds that compensation can be paid for suffering three fatalities in one month, and seeks to find the third
The central plot to this black comedy sees Mackenzie Crook as a tube driver who has accidentally killed two people whilst driving his train. He is then told by his colleagues about a little-known ‘rule’ at London Underground that no-one talks about: three ‘under’ within a month and you lose your job, earning yourself ten years’ salary in one lump sum. Therefore, he aims to find someone who wants to commit suicide by diving under his train. Understandably, the film provoked a fair deal of controversy, with complaints from tube drivers and union bosses, but beneath all this, the film really wasn’t very good anyway, and after its release became largely forgotten. Most of the filming was done on the Jubilee and Northern Lines with Crook in the cab of 1990s-built tube stock. Crook did do some driving, at slow speed in Highgate depot, but during the main sequences the trains were driven by an instructor who was crouched out of sight behind Mackenzie Crook. The first death scene featured a man that was accidentally killed after he is pulled on to the tracks by his dog, and this was filmed at Charing Cross (Jubilee Line). The second passenger killed by falling on to the tracks after having a heart attack was filmed at East Finchley (Northern Line). The tracks here, that run to and from Highgate depot, feature prominently at the end and there are some decent shots of 1995-built stock. Yet other stations do feature in the film. There are some shots of Camden Town on the Northern Line, as well as a scene filmed at London Marylebone station (masquerading as Liverpool Lime Street!), with a Class 165 ‘Turbo’ DMU visible in the platforms. In another scene, Mackenzie Crook is standing on the roof of Camden Roundhouse and a Virgin Class 390 ‘Pendolino’ can be glimpsed passing by in the background. In the scene towards the end where Colm Meaney is having a shave, a distant train is visible through the bathroom window. On this occasion though is not clear as to what it is as the background is largely out of focus. Finally, the staff ‘messroom’ overlooks the platforms of Harrow-on-the-Hill station, and a number of trains of A stock can be seen passing beneath. Northern Line driving vehicles that are identifiable in the film include No’s.51513, 51617, 51626 and 51635. As part of the extras available on the DVD, there is a Making Of documentary and some additional shots of the trains feature, showing that the leading driving vehicle at Charing Cross is No. 96072 (1996 stock).