Ten Little Roosters is an eight-part murder mystery series created by Rooster Teeth. 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.
The series takes place at the Rooster Teeth studios during a banquet held by Burnie Burns for nine of his employees (Chris Demarais, Barbara Dunkelman, Adam Ellis, Gavin Free, Ryan Haywood, Lindsay Jones, Michael Jones, Miles Luna and Gus Sorola). However, the evening goes downhill after Michael starts accusing all of the other guests of killing people close to them, but he says that only one of them is guilty of 'cold-blooded murder'. Afterwards the guests stumble upon a poem entitled 'Ten Little Roosters', written in the style of the original 'Ten Little Indians' poem. 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 'cold-blooded' murderer...
The series is inspired by Agatha Christie's 1939 novel 'And Then There Were None', with various elements in the series appearing almost indentical to the plot of the original novel - both stories involves a party of ten people 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.
On its original release, the show had a 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.
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 Edit
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 ie. 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
Episode Format Edit
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 portait 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:
Episode one: And Then There were Nine
Episode Two: And Then There Were Eight
Episode Three: And Then There Were Seven
Episode Four: And Then There Were Six
Episode Five: And Then There Were Five
Episode Six: And Then There Were Four
Episode Seven: And Then There Were Three
Episode Eight: And Then There Were Two & One
The Players (In order of deaths) Edit
10th. Michael Jones
9th. Gavin Free (Gavin Prime and Gavin Two)
8th. Chris Demarais
7th. Burnie Burns
6th. Gus Sorola
5th. Adam Ellis
4th. Lindsay Jones
3rd. Miles Luna
2nd. Barbara Dunkelman
1st. Ryan Haywood