The Dead Author
Typewriter gets off to a promising start with its opening episode, one that has a few consistency issues but manages to eventually set the tone and mood nicely for the series to follow.
The episode begins in Bardez, Goa 1983. A little girl, Jenny, comes down to see her grandad while he is writing on a typewriter; she tells him there’s a ghost in her room. She tells him that it’s under her bed which prompts him to look there next. As he does, he sees Jenny hiding underneath. He looks up again and sees Jenny’s doppelganger, which we now assume is a ghost, looking creepily at him.
We flash-forward to the present after this where a group of kids (Sameera, Gablu and Bunty) meet for their ghost club in a boat. The girl, Sameera, talk to them about writer Madhav who died the night he started writing his ghost book, The Ghost of the Sultanpore. When his body was found, the completed book was also discovered next to him but no one knows who wrote it. Unfortunately, their meeting is cut short when a strange man with one leg chase them out.
Intrigued by the story, they decide to investigate and head to the Bardez mansion. As they reach the front gates, they see that there are new arrivals moving into the house; the Fernandez family. While the trio look on curiously, Sameera’s dad, a policeman, arrives and berates her daughter for not being at school. They all decide to introduce themselves to the new family where we find out that the mother is Jenny, the same little girl we met at the beginning of the episode. Together with her husband Peter and her children Nick and Anya, she is moving back into her childhood home as the house belonged to her grandfather, Madhav.
Later on, Anya walks around the attic and is interrupted by one of the removal men who is taking a box away which contains an old typewriter. In another part of the house, Jenny is reminiscing before being interrupted by the removal man and her daughter who begs her to keep the typewriter.
Later that night, the removal man meets with someone else in a bar’s toilet. The latter asks him if he brought him the typewriter as agreed to which the removal man replies that he was unable to take it away. He insists on getting his money regardless and threatens to talk to people about their deal which prompts him to strike, bashing his head on the sink.
As the news of a death from the bar has reached the police station, Jenny arrives to ask about finding her Nanny from many years ago. However, without a name they’re not able to help her. She then heads back home where she later hears the typewriter come to life, the keys echoing ominously through the hallways. She reaches the office but sees no one there.
At school, Sameera asks Nick to join their ghost club and explains that they want to catch ghosts in his house. They are also introduced to their new math teacher, Amit Roy, who happens to be the killer from the bar.
Sameera’s dad, Ravi, then decides to go investigate the death in the toilets. They meet with the owner, but he has no idea who that man was. He also asks him about the Bardez mansion before explaining that author Madhav was into the occult and that Jenny’s mother died, falling out of a window. The Nanny, Sara, left with her husband soon after that tragedy. We also find out that the Nanny’s husband used to help Madhav by providing him with corpses for his occult research. No one has seen them since however it is strongly hinted that the man who chased the kids out of the boat may well be that nanny’s husband.
The episode then ends at night, with the typewriter coming to life once again in the Bardez mansion, spelling the words “Ghosts do exist” and the same ghostly doppelganger of Jenny looking down at her in bed.
This new Netflix original gets off to a bit of a slow start. While the introduction of all the characters is done quite skillfully and helps set the scene, the tone of the show can feel a bit of a hit and miss at times as it begins to find its footing. It’s still early days for Typewriter and there’s still time for the series to pick up the pace but for now, the opening episode does pretty well to move the pieces and introduce all our characters.