On the DVD: The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special on disc contains the hour-long main feature accompanied by a diverse and entertaining array of extras. There's another illuminating group commentary; a 20-minute documentary "Tales from Behind the Crypt", in which we get to see excerpts from the team's first ensemble effort, "Highgate House of Horror"; a chat with composer Jody Talbot; and the League themselves "In Conversation" with Paul Jackson in the complete Radio 4 broadcast. A selection of out-takes, extended scenes, character biographies and a photo gallery are all worthwhile, but best of all is a Jackanory special with Mark Gatiss as the Victorian Dr Chinnery telling the Gothic tale of "The Curse of the Karrit Poor", a spot-on Arthur Conan Doyle spoof. --Mark Walker
Set on Christmas Eve in the dark and strange northern town of Royston Vasey, the unsympathetic Reverend Bernice (Shearsmith) is about to settle down to a quiet night in, until three unexpected visitors arrive and treat us to an hour of scary stories in a similar, though far more macabre way, to "A Christmas Carol".
Firstly, a depressed Charlie Hull (Pemberton) tells of a "cheese-dream" where his jealous wife Stella (Shearsmith) ruins his chances at a line-dancing competition through a strange group known as "Solutions"...
Next, an elderly man named Matthew tells of his terrifying experiences in the German town of Duisberg during Christmas 1975, at the hands of German exchange teacher Herr Lipp (Pemberton) and his wife Lotte (Gatiss), who may or may not be vampires...
Then, as the night closes in, hopeless veterinary Mr Chinnery (Gatiss) explains the reason behind his own misfortunes, dating back to Victorian London, a practice called Purblind, Boothby and Canker, and the mysterious curse of Karrit Poor...... Read more ›
The Christmas Special was a bold attempt to create a dark, gothic Hammer or Amicus style horror tale. The special is split into three main stories with Reverend Bernice providing the linking mechanism between them in a portmanteau style. The League of Gentlemen imitated this style of horror superbly with some very funny and dark storylines.
The DVD contains very interesting special features which any fan of the "League" would enjoy. These include an hour long radio interview with the "League" revealing fascinating insights into their past and how their characters evolved etc.. Also included are out-takes, extended scenes, an interview with the composer Joey Talbot and an interview with the "League" showing extracts from an early collaboration called "Highgate House of Horror"
For fans of League of Gentlemen this is a must-have buy and is a thoroughly enjoyable DVD for all fans of dark humour.
Loosely themed around ‘A Christmas Carol’ we visit Royston Vasey in the present day for the tale of Stella and Charlie, a marriage made in hell. Charlie loves line dancing, Stella loves… another man. The obvious way out of their predicament is to visit the local women’s group ‘Solutions’. With her Spiderman mask Stella trots off for advice, guidance, and the threat of Anne Robinson in case they swizz her.
We then visit Herr Lip, his wife Lotty, and of course his church full of choir boys. The usual torrent of ‘innocent’ misunderstandings commence, with Herr Lipps new house guest getting more than he wanted for Christmas
We return to Royston vasey for our final story, and at long last discover the reason for Mr Chinnerys absolute incompetence, a real treat as we get to meet a Victorian Barbara who is having trouble with her bustle, not to mention the Victorian Pauline and Mickey (love)
All stories are intertwined by extremely entertaining links delivered by the wonderful vicar, Bernice (and friends).
A superb special that needs no introduction, or indeed prior knowledge of the series, you’ll either love seeing your old favourites, or be left regretting not watching the previous series
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