Sunday, December 24, 2017

It was like we never left

Rather than watching each of the anniversary episodes of The League Of Gentlemen when they first aired, I waited so as to be able to digest them all in one go - and last night was the night. It was a decision that paid off.

The three new episodes were just as grotesque, dark, bloody, disgusting and downright hilarious as ever, with the macabre elements perhaps even turned up a notch. There were lovely touches and cross-references at every turn (a treat for nerdish fans of the previous three series) - most notably Mickey returning home from work in a fireman's outfit.

Most of the characters you would hope to see made an appearance at some point - I was particularly pleased to see Geoff Tipps and Les McQueen given plotlines, while sweary vicar Bernice made a perfect replacement for Roy Chubby Brown as the mayor of Royston Vasey. Arguably the best scene, though, was one of their occasional stand-alone monologues, in which Mark Gatiss played a bingo caller reminiscing on the job - it was bleak, touching and funny all at once.

My only complaint would be that it was all over far too soon. As the concluding dialogue between Val Denton and Benjamin hinted, though, the door remains open for further visits to Royston Vasey in the future. Here's hoping that becomes a reality.

In the meantime, however, we can at least look forward to a fourth series of Inside No. 9, which returns to BBC2 on 2nd January - ideally timed to make the grim post-festive period that bit more bearable.

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