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"An Unkindness in London" is the first episode of season one of The Irregulars. It first aired on Netflix on 26 March 2021.

Summary[]

As Jessie's nightmares grow worse, Bea accepts Dr Watson's job offer to investigate four kidnapped babies - and receives some unexpectedly posh help.

Plot[]

In Victorian London, half-sisters Bea and Jessie live with their friends Billy and Spike in the cellar of a pub called the Duck and Quiver. Jessie has nightmares of being trapped in a dark cave with a threatening creature. In the morning, Bea and Jessie acknowledge Bea's 17th birthday before noticing Spike and Billy are missing. Bea goes to search for them. As she steps out, she spots a man watching her from 221B Baker Street. Bea finds the boys at an underground boxing ring, where Billy is preparing for a match. She forces him to leave.

Leo looks out the window

Leo looked out the window wishing to go outside for his birthday.

In the royal palace across the city, Prince Leopold, the youngest son of Queen Victoria, is also celebrating his birthday. Because his haemophilia leaves him vulnerable to injury, he is rarely allowed outside. But as it is his birthday, he asks for permission to leave the palace to see the city. The request is granted, but he is accompanied by his servant Daimler and forced to stay in the carriage.

In the cellar of the Duck and Quiver, Bea confronts Billy about his fighting. Billy insists that they need the money to pay for a doctor for Jessie, and to pay back to their landlord, Mrs Hudson, who is threatening to kick them out. Bea becomes upset when Spike suggests they consider the workhouse. During the conversation, Jessie slips out of the cellar and wanders into the street in a trance. She sees a sinister figure in an alley, and runs in front of Leo's carriage, with Bea saving her at the last moment. Daimler gets out and scolds Bea, but she stands up to him, impressing Leo. The carriage drives off as Bea comforts Jessie.

Bea approached by Watson

Bea was approached by Watson so that she could solve a paranormal mystery with her friends.

Concerned about her sister, Bea meets with her mother's friend, Sister Anna, at her mother's grave. Bea points out that her mother, Alice, had strange dreams also before her death, but Sister Anna dismisses the thought. After she leaves, Bea spots the same man from 221B watching her, and runs away. He chases her, finally catching her in an alley, and offers to pay her for some work. The man introduces himself as a doctor, and reveals that he and his partner run an independent detective agency. He explains that for their current case, they require the help of someone familiar with the disreputable parts of London. Four newborn babies have recently disappeared, with the most recent kidnapping happening the previous night from an upstairs room with a locked window. Neither the older sister, who shared a room with the infant, nor the mother downstairs saw anyone. The only clue was a single raven feather found beneath the crib. The Doctor explains that the sister, Susan Shipley, has now also disappeared, and offers to pay Bea if she can locate the girl. Bea agrees.

Billy and Spike interview

Billy and Spike helped interview Susan, who told them about the kidnapping.

Spike is quickly able to locate Susan. She admits that on the night of the kidnapping, she had snuck out to meet with her boyfriend and left the window open. She also reveals that she had heard raven noises outside her window for several nights in a row. However, at that moment the group is attacked by a swarm of ravens. Bea, Spike, and Billy manage to escape, but the ravens kill Susan by pecking out her eyes.

Bea returns to 221B, where she reports that Susan was killed and tries to end her involvement with the case. However, the Doctor refuses to pay her unless she brings him more information about the crimes. When he briefly steps into another room, Bea notices another man laid out on a couch in the back. The Doctor quickly returns with a list of the other missing babies, which Bea angrily takes and storms out.

Leo meets Bea

Leo met Bea where she remembered having seen her before.

Leo, having snuck out of the palace with the intention of seeing Bea again, manages to find the Duck and Quiver. He introduces himself to Bea, who is reading the documents about the missing babies. She explains the investigation to him. Leo notices that all the missing babies were born on the same day in the same hospital, and suggests they check the birth registry at the town hall to prevent another kidnapping. They discover that six babies were born that day. With four already kidnapped and one having died at birth, they only have one baby left to check on. Leo suggests that someone must be controlling the birds.

Bea and her friends go to confront the kidnapper. Jessie asks to come, but Bea flatly refuses, and expresses concern for Jessie's health. She leaves angrily with Spike. Bea gives Billy a decoy baby, and he climbs into the room to place it in the crib. However, while he is distracted by trying to prevent the mother from entering, a raven flies in and grabs the infant. The teens chase the raven, which delivers the baby to a hooded man. Billy confronts him about the kidnapping, but the man claims the baby is his. When Billy moves to grab it, the man releases a swarm of birds from beneath his cloak and disappears. Bea realizes that the man is looking for his lost child, and connects it to the sixth baby that died in the hospital. She reviews the birth register, and learns that the mysterious man is Arthur Hilton, the head ornithologist at the London Zoo.

Jessie has a nightmare

Jessie had another bad nightmare, but as taken to a man in a white linen suit, who helped her escape.

Back at the Duck and Quiver, Jessie has another nightmare, in which she is grabbed by the throat by the sinister figure. However, the dream dissolves in a swarm of moths, and she finds herself in front of a small cabin in the bayou. A man in a white linen suit approaches. He says that he'd like to help her, and reveals that he brought her there himself. Sensing the dream fading, he tells Jessie that the man her friends are looking for recently got strange powers. The man asks her to find out where Hilton got his powers, and explains that Jessie can enter his mind by touching his arm. Jessie refuses, but the man explains that accepting her abilities is the only way to stop the nightmares. Jessie wakes up, and tells Spike they have to go find the others.

Jessie enters man's mind

Jessie was able to enter Hilton's mind and access her powers.

Bea, Leo, and Billy find Hilton's hideout in the zoo's aviary, but are suspicious when they see no birds in the structure. They confront Hilton, and Bea tries to convince him that his baby is dead. However, he insists that someone swapped out the infant, and summons the birds to attack the group. Jessie and Spike arrive and manage to run inside just as Bea closes the doors. As the birds dive-bombing the windows in an attempt to enter, Jessie runs over to touch Hilton. She enters his memories, and learns that after her death the baby was taken to the morgue without Hilton ever getting the chance to see her. Unable to cope with his grief, he blocked the memory and fell under the delusion that his baby had been stolen. She also witnesses Hilton gain his powers through use of a spirit board. Overcome with the realization of his actions, Hilton breaks down and releases his control over the birds. Billy finds the missing babies upstairs, and Leo runs away.

Bea returns to 221B to collect her payment. Finding the door open, she enters to the sounds of a fight and sees Waton getting up off the floor as someone jumps out a back window. The Doctor pays her, and tells her that all the babies were returned to their homes and that Arthur Hilton has been committed to Bedlam. Bea demands that the Doctor tell the truth about why he needed their help, and he reveals that something dark has come to London and that he will need Jessie's powers to stop it.

Cast[]

Main cast[]

Guest stars[]

  • Rory McCann as the Bird Master/Arthur Hilton
  • Edward Hogg as Daimler
  • Lisa Dwyer Hogg as Sister Anna
  • Micah Loubon as Luke Porter
  • Marli Siu as Susan Shipley

References[]

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