Part 1, in three episodes, introduces Luper and his best friend Martino Knockavelli as young boys in Wales, amidst auditions for their parts. In Utah, the adult Luper (JJ Feild) tangles with a family of Mormon Nazis and is jailed for consorting with a minor (Caroline Dhavernas). He next turns up in Antwerp working as a natural history correspondent and is arrested as a spy. The Mormons arrive in Antwerp, as well as Luper's lookalike, Florian Crepis, who is promptly arrested as well. The love of Luper's life, Cissie Colpitts (Valentina Cervi), who shares her name with three characters in Drowning by Numbers, is also introduced. Many baths are taken, as the characters contend with the impossibility of drama after Beckett and storytelling after Kafka.