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I think that without a doubt this is one of the most horrible characters I've ever proposed so I want to get this out of the way quickly.

What's the Work?

Inside No. 9 is a science fantasy, comedy/horror, anthology series written, created by and starring 99% of the time Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. Each story is set in its own world naturally as it's an anthology however one constant aside from Steve and Reece playing roles in each episode is that there's occasionally a Hare Statue which pops up which is a kind of genie.

This particular episode Wise Owl is the latest episode and one of the darkest in the series (which believe me is saying something).

Who is He/What has he Done?

Wilf is the main antagonist of the episode. He is a voice actor who is renowned and respected for his role of Wise Owl in several child safety PSAs during the 1970s. Beneath his warm and wise exterior however Wilf is not all that he seems.

A family man Wilf lived with his wife and two children Ronnie and Joanne. While outside they appeared to have a decent life Wilf was in fact an abusive and cruel man who constantly sexually abused his son. On Joanne's birthday the children didn't want to wait for their mother to come home to light her cake candles and in response a very drunk Wilf ranted that Joanne should just do it since the matches are child proof anyway, when Ronnie tried to object Wilf angrily retorted his character's catchphrase "Wise Owl knows best." After this he led the latter upstairs and raped him, oblivious to the fact that Joanne had set fire to nearly the whole house, only realising after she had died.

To save his own reputation Wilf blamed Ronnie for happened and forced him to take the fall, eventually breaking the latter's mind completely before leaving him to rot in a mental institution. Shortly after this Wilf abandoned his family completely and left home, keeping his reputation, alcoholism and career intact.

Decades after their previous encounter a grown up and still heavily traumatized Ronnie tracks his father down and squats in his home for several days awaiting the latter's return. When Wilf eventually does come home Ronnie confronts him for what he did and Wilf can only offer up weak justifications and retorts in response, Wilf then beckons Ronnie to sit beside him and seemingly is about to comfort him before once again starting to rape him as he did when he was a child, in a fit of fury Ronnie tries to kill his father by stabbing and slashing at him however stops and simply leaves, with Wilf begging and pleading his son to come back as the latter runs off into the night, presumably to expose his father's true nature and crimes to the authorities.

Heinous Standards

Inside No. 9 has a very high heinous standard and so far has three characters approved; Mr. Warren, Dennis Fulcher and Viktor and it's no stranger to truly horrible characters such as the previously mentioned three but there's also characters like Dr. Jacob Tyler and Adrian who are similarly vile.

With that being said what exactly makes Wilf stand out? He sexually abused his own son for years before throwing the latter into a mental institution, tried to do exactly that again when confronted about his actions in the present, was responsible for his own daughter's death and blamed his son for it to save his own neck and as a result completely destroyed the latter both emotionally and mentally before abandoning his family completely and dropping contact with them.

Considering resources he's just an ordinary man with no real power of his own beyond that of which he has over his family, a power which he absolutely abuses to his full advantage. Additionally while not all of his crimes are physically shown we get a clear picture of them and what is shown to us from not only the animated portions of the episode but also from just everything about Ronnie in the present day we get a clear idea of the damage his actions have really caused.

Mitigating Factors

None whatsoever; he doesn't care about what happened to Joanne or take any responsibility for that nor does he show regret for making Ronnie take the fall for it. He also doesn't care about Ronnie in spite of what he tried to do to convince the latter otherwise he just used him, abused him and locked him away to save his own skin.


I think he's an easy yes, honestly one of the most horrible characters I think I've ever proposed.