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|“||Tread cautiously Mr. Clarke, lest you find yourself accused. Whatever the cost, the Lord's work will be done...||„|
|~ Mr. Warren's most famous quote when he threatens Mr. Clarke for doubting their loyalty to God.|
Mr. Mathew Warren is the main antagonist of the Inside No. 9 episode "The Trial of Elizabeth Gadge". He is a witchfinder and the business partner of Mr. Clarke, in spite of doing what he deems a noble cause however Mr. Warren is an incredibly corrupt and immoral man who has become blinded by his own prejudice in his attempt to bring about justice for those accused of witchcraft.
He was portrayed by series co-creator Reece Shearsmith who also played Ray, Tom, Hector, George and Dr. Jacob Tyler from the same series, as well as Edward Tattsyrup, Papa Lazarou, Geoff Tipps, Ross Gaines, Bernice Woodall, Judee Levinson and Cathy Carter-Smith in The League of Gentlemen, Mr. Jelly, Maureen Sowerbutts, Jeremy Goode and Silent Singer in Psychoville, Malcolm Webster in The Widower and one third of the Vogons in the film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy.
Mr. Warren first appears when he and Mr. Clarke are summoned into the village Little Happens by Sir Andrew Pike in order to determine whether or not the accused Elizabeth Anne Gadge is a real witch or not. He immediately shows himself as being the more corrupt of the two when he demands extremely high payment for the job, to which Mr. Clarke expresses his annoyance towards while Pike complies sheepishly. Soon afterwards Elizabeth Gadge is brought before them and Warren almost immediately is set upon damning her to the abyss, using the most loose, nonsensical and random accusations and points in her accuser's story to do so.
This continues further into the trial in spite of Mr. Clarke managing to debunk several holes in the story of Gadge however Warren refuses to hear any of it, after a while the story takes a turn into Gadge's sexual exploits and more grotesque endeavours about the townsfolk unfold leading to the entire audience laughing, infuriating both of the witchfinders but especially Warren who threatens with full intent to charge any of the next patrons who laugh into being charged and executed for witchcraft. Shortly after this the court springs into chaos as the trial goes into even more controversial territories leading to Warren dismissing everyone present, something Mr. Warren and Pike agree with.
The witchfinders then conduct several tests on Gadge in order to locate the Devil's mark upon her, with Warren using it as an opportunity to torture Gadge through endless means before deciding to take a break for the night and determine her fate in the morning, Warren then disbands Gadge to be tortured and tested on further. Warren and Clarke then discuss the ethics of their work, with Warren being appalled at Clarke's growing unease at what they're doing, going as far as to ask if what they're doing is actually the Devil's work. Without skipping a beat Warren threatens Clarke, telling him that should he keep going down this path then he too will be judged as a witch, horrifying his partner. Just then Pike returns and Gadge is brought before the group having been stretched and tortured throughout the night. Warren declares they will hold a burning for her and the three parties disband.
Sometime later Clarke switches Gadge and Warren's places so he will be the one burned instead of Gadge by torturing him in similar methods that he requested be used on Gadge. Clarke tells Warren that he's become blinded and prejudiced in his work and has himself turned into methods akin to that of a demon and therefore is too dangerous to be left alive. He allows Gadge to go free, although ironically enough she kills him just as Warren himself is burned at the stake.
Ironically enough Warren and the townsfolk were actually correct about Gadge being a witch yet they themselves weren't even convinced of that fact, showing Warren's biggest hypocrisy yet triumph as he died.
Mr. Warren was a corrupt, biased, greedy, cruel, sadistic and selfish man who cares very little about the lives he ruins through his efforts on witch finding and only ever has his eye on the money. He tries to justify his actions by acting on the word of god however he has became so blind and warped in his career that he can't separate his own selfishness from genuine duty, making him more delusional and unhinged than his partner Mr. Clarke.
Mr. Warren was a handsome, well dressed, slim man with pale skin, blue eyes, thick shoulder length curly hair and a neatly styled beard and moustache. He always wore dark regal wear alongside black leather boots. He also had a cloak and witchfinder hat that he would occasionally wear outside.
- Mr. Warren at Pure Evil Wiki.
League of Gentlemen
Inside No. 9