- “A festive dinner party spirals into an evening of intrigue and murder for the hapless employees of Rooster Teeth. After one guest is mysteriously killed, the remaining nine must find a way to survive the night... and root out the killer among them. Agatha Christie would, like, love this.”
- — Official Website
- “You've all got blood on your hands. And now you're all going to pay.”
- — Michael Jones, And Then There Were Nine (Ep. 1)
Ten Little Roosters (TV Mini-Series) was an American Rooster Teeth Live action eight-part comedy crime and murder mystery TV Web series created by Rooster Teeth that first aired on November 4, 2014. The first episode premiered on the 4th November 2014, with the following episodes being released on Tuesday until the finale in December. It is the predecessor to Eleven Little Roosters. Each episode is uploaded to Rooster Teeth's YouTube channel a day after its release on the Rooster Teeth website. The show featured an interactive murder mystery component and is inspired by Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. A semi-sequel series, The Eleven Little Roosters, originally announced during RTX 2015, premiered on January 16, 2017. A prologue series, Assassin Superstars 360 premiered on December 20, 2016, and the official series will debuted on January 16, 2017. This time, with the exception of the survivor, characters will be original characters, and not RT employees playing fictional versions of themselves. After the survivor escapes, he is recruited by an international spy agency to root out The Mole in a group of 18 assassins and spies from 11 agencies around the world.
The series is an homage/affectionate parody of Agatha Christie's 1939 murder mystery novel And Then There Were None with many elements alluding to the original book - ten guests are accused of previously committed crimes, are killed off one by one, and their only clue is a poem left by the murderer (said poem can be read in full here◊). The first episode can be seen here - the following episodes are released once per week on Tuesdays, with the finale airing on December 23. After the first episode, viewers were asked to submit guesses as to who is the killer and who will be the survivor (confirmed to not be the killer). After each episode airs the viewers are also asked to guess who will die in the next episode, as well as how they will die.
The series takes place at the Rooster Teeth studios in Stage 5 during the inogu...inaugg...first (inaugural) festive dinner party banquet held by Burnie Burns for nine of his employees (Lindsay Jones, Gus Sorola, Chris Demarais, Miles Luna, Gavin Free (technically him and a clone, but they're treated as one person), Adam Ellis, Michael Jones, Barbara Dunkelman, and Ryan Haywood). However, the festive evening dinner party banquet goes and spirals downhill when Michael accuses each and everyone (all the other guests) but himself of committing serious crimes in the past, saying that one person is guilty of "cold-blooded murder", that is, killing people close to them, but he says that only one of them is guilty of 'cold-blooded murder'. It turns into an evening of intrigue, mystery murder for the hapless employees of Rooster Teeth. Shortly afterwards one of the guests (Michael) is mysterious and ominously killed, the rest of the guests stumble upon and find a poem taped to the wall entitled and written in the style of the original 'Ten Little Soldiers/Ten Little Indians' poem, and from the first episode it becomes clear that the poem is outlining the murders and telling the fatal sinister fates of several party guests over the course of the night. Everyone is locked in, and they must figure out who the killer is before they all die. After one guest is mysteriously killed, the remaining nine must find a way to survive the night... and root out the killer among them. As the evening goes on it becomes clear that the verses of the poem are outlining the murders of several guests over the course of the night, and the guests have no choice but to try and survive the night locked in with a corrupted backstabbing 'cold-blooded' murderer...It's a race against time, and it's every man for himself.
Ten people are stuck in the Rooster Teeth office with a murderer. All ten people have done something terrible and must pay for their actions. Who will die? Who will survive?
The first episode takes place at the First Rooster Teeth Banquet, a formal event hosted by Rooster Teeth co-founder Burnie Burns in appreciation of nine of his staff members. The night quickly turns sour when Achievement Hunter's Michael Jones accuses everyone in the room of their awkward and gruesome past crimes and threatens to turn them into the authorities. However, Jones soon falls over dead by way of a poisoned drink, and from there on its all Clue-the-movie-style mystery and mayhem as the rest of the staff tries to figure out who's out for blood before they also find themselves without a mortal coil.
The series is a homage/affectionate parody inspired by Agatha Christie's 1939 murder mystery novel And Then There Were None, with many various elements in the series appearing alluding to the original bookal, most identical to the plot of the original novel - both stories involves a party of ten people (ten guests are accused of previously committed crimes, are killed off one by one, and their only clue is a poem left by the murderer) being murdered one by one by a mysterious killer, with their deaths being foreshadowed in the form of a poem. However, Josh Flanagan has mentioned that 'Ten Little Roosters' has few other similarities to Christie's novel - 'Ten Little Roosters' has a much more comedic tone than the novel, and the story is deliberately different so that people who have read 'And Then There Were None' are unable to rely on their knowledge of the novel's twists to solve the mystery in the series.
Creator Josh Flanagan described the series as a "proof of concept" for different, interactive experiences that can be offered by a web series. The series is inspired by Agatha Christie's 1939 novel And Then There Were None. Viewers vote on who they think the murderer is, who they think will die, and how that person will meet their end. Correct guesses were entered for a chance to win Rooster Teeth merchandise, and the fan with the most correct answers upon the completion of the show will win a trip to the Rooster Teeth studios or to a convention of his or her choice.
One party guest is murdered each episode. Both the novel and the series involve the party of ten people being murdered one by one by a mysterious killer, their deaths foreshadowed in the form of a poem. However, the show has a much more comedic tone than the novel. Much of the humour is derived from knowledge of Rooster Teeth itself. For example, characters wear wardrobe from their previous productions (Demarais dons his hobbit costume from A Simple Walk Into Mordor while Haywood wears a kilt akin to his Minecraft avatar). In addition, the story is different so that people familiar with the source material are unable to guess the outcome.
The victim dies within the last few minutes of the episode, their death often being the last few shots. The episode ends with a portrait of the murder victim hanging on a wall and a plaque below the portrait with the specific verse of the poem foreshadowing that character's death.
On its original release, the show had an interactive element which doubled as a competition - after each episode aired, viewers had the opportunity to guess the victim and the murder weapon for the following week's episode in a poll that was uploaded shortly after that episode's release. After the first episode aired viewers also had the opportunity to guess the identities of the killer and the survivor, although this particular was taken down shortly before the premiere of the second episode, and it became the only opportunity for viewers to guess those particular identities.
After the first episode, viewers were asked to submit guesses as to who is the killer and who will be the survivor (confirmed to not be the killer). After each episode airs the viewers are also asked to guess who will die in the next episode, as well as how they will die. Every week, if people guessed both the victim and the murder weapon correctly, they were entered into a prize draw and winners were chosen randomly to receive Rooster Teeth-specific prizes. In addition, the person with the most correct guesses at the end of the series won the chance to visit the Rooster Teeth Studios or a convention of their choice.
Rules of the Competition
When the first poll was released in the journal of Josh Flanagan, a number of rules were contained in the journal in order to help the viewers make the best choices for future polls:
- Any character that has been killed in the series is dead for good - no plot twists, no fake deaths etc.
- There is only one survivor at the end of the series, but the survivor is not the same person as the killer.
- The only characters that are involved in the mystery are the ten party guests introduced in the first episode.
- Whilst the plot may thicken over the course of the series, there is only one person responsible for all of the murders.
- In the first episode it is revealed that Gavin has a clone of himself at the party as well - the rules state that whatever happens to one of the Gavins must happen to the other as well i.e. one can't survive until the end if the other has died earlier in the series (to secure this particular rule, the 'Gavins' were counted as one person in the polls).
At the beginning of the competition the viewers had an option of 22 weapons to choose from for the poll (although each week the list would get shorter as a used weapon was taken from the list). However, only seven weapons would be used within the show to kill the victims - one victim had been killed in the first episode (and thus their death could not be guessed in the poll), one of the guests is the survivor, and there was no poll for the killer's murder weapon in the poll. The list of all 22 possible murder weapons can be found below:
- 100% Accurate Minecraft Creeper Suit
- A Literal Red Herring
- Airtight Underground Chamber
- Bathroom Scale
- Bow and Arrow
- Computer Mouse
- Crescent Rose Scythe
- Gasoline and Fire
- Joe The Cat
- King's Crown
- The Power of Math
- Slow Motion Explosion
- Slow Motion Mousetraps
- Snake of Joel
- Sting of a Blue-Ringed Octopus
- Sting of a Scorpion
- Sting The Sword
Whilst the focus of the story and the characters changes each episode, there are a number of elements that remain the same within the format of the series, particularly within the episodes.
As the series is a murder mystery, one of the party guests dies each episode (the only exception to this is the finale where the killer dies as well as one of the party guests). The victim dies normally within the last few minutes of an episode, with their death being within the last few shots. In addition, the episode will end with a portrait of that episode's murder victim hanging on a wall, with a plaque placed below the portrait - written on the plaque is the specific verse of the poem that foreshadowing that character's death.
A similar thing happens as the polls are uploaded for the viewers to input their guesses - at the top of the page is an image containing the portraits of all ten party guests. As the weeks continue, the portrait of the latest murder victim gets 'vandalised' in a way that reflects their method of murder.
Episodes of the first series originally aired weekly on Tuesdays from the 4th of November to the 23rd of December. Each episode was uploaded on Rooster Teeth's YouTube channel a day after its release on the Rooster Teeth website:
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"And Then There were Nine"||Josh Flanagan||Josh Flanagan||November 4, 2014|
|Burnie Burns hosts the first official Rooster Teeth company banquet. Michael stands and asks the guests to look under their seats, where they find an envelope. Within each envelope is an incriminating photo accusing the guests of killing someone they knew. Michael pulls out a gun and reveals that one of the party guests is a cold-blooded murderer. However, after taking a drink from his wine glass, Michael begins coughing uncontrollably and drops dead to the floor, poisoned from his drink, and succumbs to the poison. The guests begin accusing one another of the murder, making the decision to leave the building. However, the doors have been locked. Burnie finds a poem taped to a door, and deduces that it is foreshadowing the murders of the rest of the guests.|
|2||"And Then There Were Eight"||Josh Flanagan||Josh Flanagan||November 11, 2014|
|Burnie reveals to Ryan that he is an undercover cop. He hosted the party in order to catch the killer who was responsible for the death of his partner. Lindsay encounters Barbara panicking and standing on a chair because some of the poisonous animals in Joel Heyman's office have escaped. Miles is wandering around the office, trying to convince himself that he can survive the night, but he almost stumbles onto a floor covered in mousetraps. Chris encounters the masked killer, who is wielding gasoline and fire. However, Chris mistakes this threat for the killer wanting to play a game of riddles, which he happily accepts. Eventually, the killer wanders off and leaves Chris sobbing in the corridor. Gavin's clone encounters Adam with his beard trapped in a door. After gaining the clone's confidence, Adam mentions that he has a bow and arrow in his office and that he plans to go after the killer. He and the clone make their way to the office to grab the weapon. However, the clone ends up running into the real Gavin, and they both trip and fall into the floor full of mousetraps, killing them both.|
|3||"And Then There Were Seven"||Josh Flanagan||Josh Flanagan||November 18, 2014|
|Lindsay notices Adam sitting in the control room, his beard caught in a microphone. Adam mentions that the killer has cut the internet in the building and stolen his cellphone. Lindsay mentions that she's also missing some stuff from her office, namely her Ruby Rose costume. Immediately afterwards, Miles is seen wearing the costume, and he makes his way to the recording studio in hopes of getting internet access while singing the theme song of RWBY. He is startled by Ryan, who is standing within the sound booth. Ryan mentions that the Gavins have died, as well as expressing his concerns that he might have been responsible for their murders as well as Michael's, saying that he's wished them dead so often in the past. Barbara is seen entering her office to grab her 'lucky bowling pin', only to find Gus in the office. Chris runs into Burnie after his encounter with the killer and attempts to explain what he saw, but his ramblings about riddles makes Burnie think that Chris hasn't actually seen the killer and is just thinking about Lord Of The Rings. The killer arrives and shoots Chris multiple times with a bow and arrow, killing him.|
|4||"And Then There Were Six"||Josh Flanagan||Josh Flanagan||November 28, 2014|
|Barbara finds Adam with his beard trapped in a gate. After freeing him, Barbara suggests teaming up, but he refuses on account of the fate of the Gavins. Lindsay is revealed to have taken Adam's advice to heart about hiding, however it is revealed that she is simply using the green screen in the office to 'hide' in different locations such as the sea, in space and in a forest. Ryan is found in front of mirror, having become increasingly paranoid and trying to convince himself that he wasn't responsible for the murders of Michael and the Gavins. Miles enters Gus' office, hoping that Gus' computer can access the internet. Gus is more interested in showing Miles his poetry that he has been working on throughout the night. After Miles calls his poetry bad, Gus angrily pushes him away and Miles goes off to try to find another internet source. Meanwhile, Burnie puts on some riot gear and prepares to take on the killer himself, but as he reaches for a weapon, he gets stung by one of Joel's scorpions, which poisons and kills him.|
|5||"And Then There Were Five"||Josh Flanagan||Josh Flanagan||December 2, 2014|
|Ryan wakes up after collapsing, only to realize that he has been trapped a in a room in the ground. Ryan asks for Barbara's help in escaping, but she is unsuccessful in doing so, annoying Ryan. After he accuses Barbara of being the killer and trapping him in the room, an offended Barbara abandons Ryan to try and find an axe to break him out. Gus is still writing his poetry in his office, with scenes of his poetry-writing interspersed with Lindsay's attempts to hide in another office. Adam has now changed into a MoCap suit in an attempt to blend in and has obtained some headphones in an attempt to 'make things less scary' by blocking out scary noises. Adam begins snarking about Miles' outfit, but it is brushed off as Miles remembers that Monty Oum has an emergency beacon hidden in his office to call the police. Gus then hears a knock at the door, which he opens and is killed by the killer with a pitchfork.|
|6||"And Then There Were Four"||Josh Flanagan||Josh Flanagan||December 9, 2014|
|Lindsay does a fake broadcast of The Know in a desperate attempt to get some outside attention of the situation. Barbara wanders in and discovers that Ryan is still trapped in the underground chamber. She leaves to go and find an axe to help him escape. Ryan is slowly running out of oxygen and is trying to distract himself from his imminent death. He escapes from the hole by breaking the glass himself. Adam is shown to be trying to blend into the walls of the Motion Capture area, as Miles uses Monty's computer to try and find his emergency beacon. The killer then appears and strangles Adam to death with a computer mouse.|
|7||"And Then There Were Three"||Josh Flanagan||Josh Flanagan||December 16, 2014|
|The episode opens with an 'In Memoriam' montage accompanied by Barbara playing 'Taps' on her cats piano. As Barbara leaves, she accidentally triggers a tripwire which releases the puma from its cage. The puma pursues all of the guests in turn, starting with Miles who hides behind a gate to escape the puma. Barbara is then chased by the puma but she is able to fend it off by playing her cat piano. Afterwards, the puma chases after Ryan and manages to back him into a wall. Seeing this, Lindsay says that she can speak 'Puma' and distracts it to let Ryan escape. However, Lindsay gets herself mauled and killed by the puma.|
|8||"And Then There Were Two & One"||Josh Flanagan||Josh Flanagan||December 23, 2014|
|Ryan wakes up on the podcast set with his wrists tied after escaping the puma. Sitting across from him is Barbara in a green suit, revealing herself as the murderer. She then shows a camera feed of Miles who is trapped in another room, getting killed due to exhaustion from a treadmill. Barbara reveals that she believes herself to have moved onto a greater plane of existence, and has killed off the other Rooster Teeth employees as they are not 'worthy' of her anymore. She also reveals her plan to frame Ryan for the murders, taking advantage of his reputation as a 'virtual sociopath' and using his GTA V outfit as a disguise whilst committing the murders, in the hopes that the police will link the murders with the poem and that she will escape scot-free. However, Ryan escapes and after a brief fight with Barbara he reveals that the outfit she's wearing isn't just a green costume but is actually Gavin's 100% accurate Minecraft creeper suit which is rigged with explosives. Ryan activates the suit, killing Barbara. A blood-spattered Ryan opens the entrance to the studio, puts on a king's crown and leaves behind the evening of murder as the sole survivor.|
Cast and characters
The Ten Little Roosters
- Lindsay Jones (8 episodes). One of the party guests - She is accused of killing Kdin Jenzen in the first episode. She dies in episode 7 after being mauled to death by a puma (One Got What They Wanted, as she is a cat lover). This makes her the eighth victim of the killer.
- Miles Luna (8 episodes). One of the party guests. It is not known what crime he has committed in the first episode since his envelope only contains dick doodles. He ends up the final death among the roosters, being glued to a treadmill and forced to run until he dies of exhaustion ("One Died Of A Pun": unable to "go the extra mile"). This makes him the ninth and final victim of the killer.
- Barbara Dunkelman (8 episodes, 2014). One of the party guests - acts as the maestro at the party with her cat piano. She is accused of killing Blaine Gibson in the first episode. She is actually the killer, but is killed at the end ("The Killer was killed") by Ryan when he activates the 100% accurate Minecraft Creeper suit she's wearing.
- Ryan Haywood (8 episodes). One of the party guests - He is accused of trapping Edgar the Cow in the first episode. He is the one who survives, killing Barbara with the 100% accurate Minecraft Creeper suit.
- Adam Ellis (7 episodes). One of the party guests - He is accused of killing Kerry Shawcross in the first episode. He dies in Episode 6 being strangled by a computer mouse cord ("One Ran Out Of Air"). This makes him the seventh victim of the killer.
- Burnie Burns (5 episodes). The host of the party, and the boss of the other party guests. He is accused of killing Shannon McCormick (as shown in the RT Short "The Recording Session") in the first episode. Is later revealed to be an undercover cop who hosted the party in order to catch the killer who murdered his partner years ago. Gets killed in episode 4 by one of Joel's scorpions ("Life imitated art", because his Red vs. Blue character was killed off by a Scorpion Tank). This makes him the fifth victim of the killer.
- Gus Sorola (5 episodes). One of the party guests - He is accused of killing Baby Gus in the first episode. Dies by pitchfork stab in episode 5 (One Died To Scale, as Baby Gus is shown stabbed by a fork). This makes him the sixth victim of the killer.
- Chris Demarais (4 episodes). One of the party guests - a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings, he turns up to the party dressed up as a hobbit complete with his own sword. He is accused of killing Josh Flanagan in the first episode. Gets killed in episode 3 as he tries to protect Burnie and gets shot with arrows by the murderer ("One Was Martyred"). This makes him the fourth victim of the killer.
- Gavin Free as Gavin Prime/Gavin Two (3 episodes). One of the party guests - turns up with a clone of himself (a reference to the RT Short Secret Door), despite the rules against other guests. He is accused of killing Meg Turney in the first episode. Both Gavin and his clone die in episode 2 after tripping over one another ('One tripped over themselves') and falling onto mousetraps. This makes him the third victim of the killer.
- Michael Jones (2 episodes). One of the party guests - he attempts to blackmail the other party guests in the first episode, and is later revealed to be an actor hired by Burnie in an attempt to catch the killer. He is the first to die among the roosters, dying from poison in episode 1 ("One Choked On His Rage"). This makes him the second victim of the killer, after Mark Keys.
- Luis Vazquez as Puma (2 episodes): "Like the shoe company?" "No, it's kind of a big cat."
- Aaron Marquis as Detective Mark Keys (2 episodes) Burnie's former partner from before the series began. He was technically the first victim of the killer, and his death is what sets up the events for the rest of the series.
- Ashley Jenkins as Gus' Inner Goddess (1 episode)
- Written and directed by Josh Flanagan
- Produced by Brandon Farmahini and Josh Flanagan; executive producers: Burnie Burns and Matt Hullum
- Cinematography by Chad Leathers
- Edited by Josh Flanagan, Brad Anner, Adam Bailey, Chris Demarais, Blaine Gibson and Aaron Marquis
- Make-up by Anna Fugate and Erin Klarer
- Art by Jordan Cwierz (poster and promotional art) and Jon Risinger (death illustrations)
- Sound by Clayton De Wet
- Visual Effects by Brian Behm
- Stunts by Blaine Gibson and Luis Vazquez
- Assistant camera by John Sedlack
- Grip by Luis Vazquez
- Costumes by Kira John; Ruby Rose costume by Anna Hullum
- Music by Brian Piper (cat piano), Trocadero (RvB music) and Jeff Williams (RWBY music)
- Colorist: Alex Walker
- Contest coordinators: Adam Baird, Barbara Dunkelman, Emily McBride and Josh Flanagan
- Achievement Hunter coordinator: Steffie Hardy
- Special Thanks: Agatha Christie, Tim Curry, Anna Hullum, Shane Newville, Monty Oum and Kyle Taylor
- The main reason why Michael, Gavin and Burnie were killed off very quickly and were the first three to die was because they were busy planning, prepping, rehearsing and filming Rooster Teeth's first movie, Lazer Team.
- A first for Rooster Teeth, the audience is encouraged to participate and find out who the murderer is after each episode.
- Based on Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None", also known as Ten Little Indians.
- The Puma is a recurring joke amongst Rooster Teeth shows, starting in Red vs Blue (where Warthog was said to look more like a puma) and in RWBY (When Mercury and Emerald were trying to figure out what kind of cat the faunus shopkeep was in vol. 2)