- Actors: Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith, Jeremy Dyson, Paul Hays-Marshall
- Format: Dolby
- Classification: 15
- Studio: BBC
- VHS Release Date: 9 Oct. 2000
- Run Time: 180 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00004WZYQ
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 207,747 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
The League Of Gentlemen - The Entire First Series [VHS] 
The League of Gentlemen welcome you to Royston Valley, the bleak provincial town populated by bizarre and eccentric characters ranging from Local Shop owners Tubbs and Edward (it's a local shop for local people) to pre-op transsexual Barbara and never-was-been pop star Les McQueen. The complete, Golden Rose of Montreaux-winning first series is featured here.
Critically acclaimed and rapidly breeding a cult following, the bizarre BBC television series The League of Gentlemen is to sitcoms like The Good Life or even Friends what David Lynch's films are to Frank Capra movies. Instead of the usual one-family-in-suburbia or group-of-pals set up, Gentlemen centres on the whole town of Royston Vasey. A Northern village of, to say the least, eccentric characters, the weird people of Royston Vasey look like they've been intermarrying for too long and are suffering from a particularly demented variety of xenophobia that drives them to extremes of tetchiness and psychosis. There's the local shopkeepers Edward and Tubbs, who go to murderous lengths to ensure their shop remains for local people only; the Denton family, toad-breeders obsessed with maintaining their household rituals at all costs; inept veterinary surgeon Dr Chinnery, who's never yet saved a patient; Barbara, the local transsexual taxi driver (one of the show's more well adjusted characters); Pauline the demonic Restart Officer at the local Job Centre; and Lance, the sadistic owner of Lance's Joke Shop which sells poisonous sweets and the ever-popular finger in a matchbox (with a real finger), among many others.
Slow to start at first, the show really gets into its stride by the sixth episode when events start to tie up and take a turn so fiendishly complicated, there's no point in even trying to explain it all. Most of the characters are performed by three of the four core members of the group--Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith (co-writer Jeremy Dyson doesn't actually perform on stage), sporting a disturbing variety of prosthetic demi-masks and latex make-up--who started the concept off with a stage show and then transferred it to radio before taking it on TV, which may explain why The League of Gentlemen seems blithely oblivious of normal sitcom conventions and has a stately air of surrealism that feels like The Archers as written by playwright Eugene Ionesco. It's brilliant stuff. Leslie FelperinSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Never again will you want to borrow a pen; forever will you hold your butcher in the deepest suspicion; those seaside novelty snowstorms will acquire a "precious" status; you will view your minicab driver in a different light. In short, Royston Vasey will become a place you really wish you COULD visit for a holiday... even if it does mean you will never leave again!
"The League of Gentlemen" succeeds where so many comedy series have failed- it is brilliantly written, fantastically acted, the attention to detail is unrivalled, there are ongoing themes which are developed each episode (by virtue of the opening credits), and there is actually a plot and consistent storyline. What is most terrifying of all is that most of us will be able to identify a grain of people we already know in the bizarre characters who inhabit Royston Vasey.
Buy it - it is a must. Once you've watched it (plus the final episode of the second series), then order the "Local Book for Local People". If you like your comedy pitch black, surreal and intelligent, you will not be disappointed. Most importantly, somehow I cannot see this one dating over the years; it truly deserves the much over-used label of 'classic'.
The characters are full of well, character I suppose with the local people loving Tubbs and Edward offering ‘seventy, eighty alright a pound’ for strangers to leave and never come back to their shop and home, but that’s just where there problem lies as once you’ve arrived in Royston Vasey ‘you’ll never leave’. Other characters include a transgender taxi driver who goes by the name of Barbara and has a voice deeper than Barry White, Harvey and Val Denton who are obsessively clean and equally obsessed with toads, charity shop ladies that only take things with a ‘special mark’ on them and many, many more.
Inspiration has been drawn cleverly from a variety of sources including cult films such as ‘The Shining’, ‘The Wicker Man’, ‘Don’t Look Now’ and even Disney’s jungle book, that is just how well the League work with their ideas, drawing up whole lives for characters right down to their favourite canned fruit of peaches in syrup. The League have been likened to Monty Python and other British comedies and has now become a somewhat iconic cult programme in its own right.Read more ›
The League of Gentlemen were the logical recipients of the BAFTA award for best comedy last year; with genius writing, perfect directing and inspired acting not to mention the highly skilled and creative make-up artists involved (even the background music is spot on). May the League Be With Us for at least another series yet... please?!
...throw a 'sickie' from work, shut the curtains (sometime soon after breakfast) and take a step off this planet to visit Royston Vasey and its inbred inhabitants - some barely human. I promise, you will never want to leave (neither will you ever view your local butcher/job center/corner shop in quite the same light..)...
And it's exactly the same with this video. No matter how many times you watch it, from Babs the cab driver, to the rich woman (whose name I cannot remember for the life of me), to Pauline, there is something funny to hear! It is neccessary to understand, and appreciate dark humor, but this is the first comedy series, since things such as Red Dwarf, the Brittas Empire, and other such things, which had me cracking up so much that, at some points, I thought I might wet myself.
It's the kind of comedy, that I knew I would like from the very beginning (having missed it on TV), and the very first scene of the letter being read by the old woman, I was hooked. I received it a few days before Christmas, and only stopped watching it to eat, and I think I'll watch it again, after writing this review!
There is a disclaimer to this, however: You'll see earlier in the reviews, the one-starrer; if you cannot understand dark humor, at all, I strongly advise you against this show. But, I do not think it is such a major thing, as some people may have said -- I have friends, who are usually bored by dark comedy, that loved this, and were laughing almost as much as me. Applause to League of Gentlemen, and I can't wait for the second series on video, and the third on TV!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The League Of Gentlemen is an absolute scream! It's a load of total nuthingness and maddness thrown together to create the best compilation of humor ever produced!! Read morePublished on 24 Nov. 2001
For anyone who has stood in a rural village corner shop or pub and felt totally alone, or indeed scared by the locals, this show is the truth behind their wanting stares! Read morePublished on 25 July 2001
I can't see why all the rave reviews above commend this disturbingly surrialistic larger(i.e.beer)humor. I found it gross,perverted to the point of depravity and totally unfunny. Read morePublished on 15 July 2001
I completely missed the Series when it was on t.v. so borrowed the video on someone else's recommendation: I was not disappointed! Read morePublished on 21 Jun. 2001
The dark sinister town of Royston Vasey beckons you all to come and meet it's bizzare residents. If you like comedy that pushes back the boundaries of good taste then this is a... Read morePublished on 20 Jun. 2001
Truely original comedy programmes come along once in a blue moon. The League of Gentlemen is happily one of these. Read morePublished on 1 May 2001 by grogcat
The League of Gentlemen - what can I say? I own quite a few comedy series on video, but this is the only one that really does stand up to repeated viewing, as there's always... Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2001
There are not enough hours in the day to keep watching this superb,brilliant video. I just hope that Reece,Mark and Steve hurry up and bring out the next series on tv & video... Read morePublished on 30 Jan. 2001 by email@example.com