THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN: SCRIPTS AND THAT

The League Of Gentlemen is my all-time favourite TV series. Often referred to as a “comedy” it is admittedly one of the few things to make me laugh out loud, but it really is laughter in the dark, as I tend to regard this as a documentary of my hometown of Morley, West Yorkshire. The dark surrealism that runs throughout all three series and the Christmas Special is only a slight turn of the dial up from what I remember growing up in a place that could so easily have been Royston Vasey. At the peak of the series’ popularity, in 2003, BBC Books published a lavish full-colour hardback collection of the scripts for all the episodes. Wrapped in a remarkable dustjacket that features an incredible Stanley Spencer-esque painting by Stuart Pearson Wright, it’s a unique document that reproduces all the scripts, including many cut scenes, along with behind-the-scenes photographs, marginalia and Biro doodles that give a real sense of the inspired energy that went into the creation of the programme. Here’s a few examples:

I sincerely doubt that the BBC would publish anything like this today. You’ll get books based on the new Attenborough series, of course, but something like this, made with such love and attention to detail… forget it. Nor will you ever see a series like this made by the BBC of 2022. No wonder I live in the past, before it all went to shit.

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