Together they called themselves, and their comedy series, The League of Gentlemen. In the long history of British comedy, these guys were the most important new arrivals on the telly since say The Comic Strip Presents…, or The Young Ones or even further back to Monty Python. Their show was a fearless mix of horror and comedy which became an international cult hit leading to the inevitable book, movie, and stage production. Along with The Office, the three series of The League of Gentlemen are the crown jewels of this generation of BBC comedy productions. The best of the best.
In 2002, when The League of Gentlemen finished their run on television. Dyson went off to write very good novels and stage shows. Gatiss sharpened his nib working on Doctor Who and then stunned the planet by co-devising and writing Sherlock. The Lennon & McCartney of the band, Pemberton and Shearsmith continued in their own wicked ways writing and starring in the much darker sitcom Psychoville and most importantly Inside No. 9 in 2014.
Inside No. 9 is an anthology series, much in the style of those masterful compendium horror films produced by Amicus Productions in the sixties and seventies like Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965), Tales from the Crypt (1972), and From Beyond the Grave (1974). Each episode offers up one complete mini-movie written by and starring Pemberton and Shearsmith alongside such renowned actors as David Warner, Gemma Arterton, Rula Lenska, Sheridan Smith, Jessica Raine and Roger Sloman. The tales range from haunting ghost stories to Gothic horror to troubling psychological thrillers—all neatly laced with the deadliest of black comedy. And as with the Amicus films, each 30-minute drama has an unnerving and genuinely unexpected twist.
The third series has already started—and it’s utterly fantastic. Which understandably explains why the BBC have already commissioned a fourth one for 2018.
Inside No. 9 is promoted by a lovingly produced movie poster which captures the style and genre of each production. As a fan of the show (and all the work of Messrs. Pemberton and Shearsmith), I thought these posters are something well worth sharing. The first was designed by Graham Humphreys who produced the knock ‘em for six poster for Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead. Each of these beautiful artworks is a mouthwatering appetizer for the main dish—which, as said, if you aren’t already watching then you should be feasting on them right now.
’Sardines’ Season One #1, February 5th 2014, poster by Graham Humphreys .
’A Quiet Night In’ Season One #2, February 12th 2014, poster by Matt Owen.
’Tom & Gerri’ Season One #3, February 19th 2014.
’Last Gasp’ Season One #4, February 26th 2014, poster by Matt Owen.
’The Understudy’ Season One #5, March 5th 2014.
’The Harrowing’ Season One #6, March 12th 2014.
’La Couchette’ Season Two #1, March 26 2015.
’The 12 Days of Christine’ Season Two #2, April 2nd 2015.
’The Trial of Elizabeth Gadge’ Season Two #3, April 9th 2015.
’Cold Comfort’ Season Two #4, April 16th 2015.
’Nana’s Party’ Season Two #5, April 23rd 2015.
‘Séance Time’ Season Two #6, April 29th 2015.
’The Devil of Christmas’ Season Three #1, December 27th 2016.
’The Bill’ Season Three #2, February 21st 2017.
’The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Season Three #3, February 28th 2017.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Before the punk rock comedy of ‘The Young Ones’ Rik Mayall was investigative reporter ‘Kevin Turvey’
The disgusting punk brilliance of ‘The Young Ones’
The Dangerous Brothers: That time Rik Mayall set fire to Ade Edmondson
‘A Field in England’: Director Ben Wheatley talks about his head-trip Civil War movie
Monty Python: The true story behind the ‘Dead Parrot Sketch’
On location with ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’
‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’-themed killer rabbit slippers