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I watched with glee, tears, a bottle of Jack Daniels
November 2, 2010 9:38 AM   Subscribe

An Open Letter to Mark Gatiss A personal reaction to the horror aficionado's recent series. (Watch here on iPlayer.)

"My brother died a couple of years ago, aged 46. I spoke about his love of horror at the funeral and how it had informed my upbringing.

I haven't become a horror connoisseur as he had been. I'm more into documentaries and science and things that are measurable with boring data and that you can illustrate with a fucking pie chart. "
posted by mippy (26 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Not available in your area."
Here's a YouTube link for those like me.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:18 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


That is a lovely thing. I haven't watched the BBC4 programme yet but I have it on Plus. But really, this wasn't about the programme was it?
posted by Summer at 10:21 AM on November 2, 2010


I'm thrilled. I've always enjoyed good horror films, and had a hard time finding them amongst the cruft. I'm hoping to mine a few choice picks that I might've missed out of this.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:23 AM on November 2, 2010


Mark Gatiss: My family values is rather lovely.
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mark Gatiss: Rocket man - Gatiss talks about his horror series and his TV version of The First Men in the Moon.
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM on November 2, 2010


It's a great little series. My Amazon list overfloweth. More TV with interesting, knowledgeable people talking about stuff they care about, please!
posted by cromagnon at 10:49 AM on November 2, 2010


And will we see this on BBC America, or a documentary about tits? I know which I;d put my money on showing up.
posted by Artw at 10:53 AM on November 2, 2010


I've been watching Sherlock, cocreated by Gatiss (although I have yet to see the episode he scripted). I have been quite happy with what I have seen -- updating Shelock Holmes to 21st century London could have been a rather stale twist, like all those Shakespeare plays that are set in the 20s for no reason at all. But the script for the first episode positively crackled, and the caricaturization are great fun -- which is an even greater feat when you consider just how many television shows nowadays borrow from Holmes, in that the feature an egocentric, brilliant detective (or doctor, in the case of House) whose bizarre personal behavior is barely tolerated because of his peculiar genius for sussing out the truth.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:57 AM on November 2, 2010


It's very, very fun.

Perplexingly again in the US it's not on BBC America - it's hidden away on PBS under Masterpiece Mystery.
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on November 2, 2010


Hidden away, yes, but available to many, many more people on PBS than on BBC America -- so yay for that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:16 AM on November 2, 2010


The reason the wonderful Sherlock is on PBS is because it was actually co-produced by WGBH in Boston. I wish the BBC actually owned BBC America and it wasn't just a licensed name.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:19 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been reading Gatiss' Bond-pastiche-by-way-of-Wilde espionage novels. Between them, Sherlock, and his work on Doctor Who (Victory of the Daleks notwithstanding), I'm ready to try almost anything Gatiss puts out.
posted by immlass at 11:23 AM on November 2, 2010


Heh, I like Gatiss a lot, and I'm sure he's part of the glue that keeps Who together, but IIRC none of the episodes he's worked on have been all that great.
posted by Artw at 11:25 AM on November 2, 2010


Was a great series and make me reasses some old films I had kinda dismissed (like The Omen and the latter Universal ones) and track down a few I've never seen.

Like Gatiss I loved be allowed to stay up late during the summer as a kid to watch horror double-bills the BBC used to put out (usually a Universal and a later - for then, Hammer or Amicus)

Though they don't have quite the same impact as when I was a youngster - I caught one of hte I did see one of the latter Hammer Draculas a bit back and it was slow and duill as all hell. However the Amicus portmanteaus are still a lot of fun.

The series gets a bit depressing at the end with the realisation that, post the last horror bomb of the 70s, most of the horror output has been trashy remakes and other bilge.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:30 AM on November 2, 2010


I've been reading Gatiss' Bond-pastiche-by-way-of-Wilde espionage novels. Between them, Sherlock, and his work on Doctor Who (Victory of the Daleks notwithstanding), I'm ready to try almost anything Gatiss puts out.

And his husband is the illustrator! They are very fast, trashy reads.
posted by The Whelk at 11:38 AM on November 2, 2010


Open Letter to Mark Gatiss.

Dear Mark,

Thank you for bringing Benedict Cumberbatch into my life.

Droolingly yours,
Squeak
posted by Squeak Attack at 11:42 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The series rocked. BBC4 is fucking brilliant.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 11:48 AM on November 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dear Mark,

Thank you for bringing Benedict Cumberbatch That Coat into my life.

Droolingly Covetously yours,
zennish

Seriously, I am in love with that coat. I'm too damn short to pull it off, there's no way they even make a coat like that for women and it's a 1500£ coat but damn it all I want it.

but you know thank you Mister Gatiss for Mister Cumberbatch too. Cumberbatch! I can't stop saying it. So awesome!
posted by zennish at 12:01 PM on November 2, 2010


I've been watching Sherlock,... the script for the first episode positively crackled, and the caricaturization are great fun -

I had no idea that that guy who helped create Sherlock did this. I'm definitely going to have to watch this now.

Because Sherlock was brilliant (it was the text message thing from the first episode, I don't know why, but that perfectly captured my interest and amusement).
posted by quin at 12:07 PM on November 2, 2010


We watched part one of this last night (available through the usual illicit services if you're not in the UK), after hearing Gatiss discuss it on Robin Ince and Josie Long's Utter Shambles Podcast. It's really lovely and informative.

I love the trajectory that a certain kind of UK celebrity seems to go through. "I've gotten modestly big and somewhat well known through my comedy work! At last: I can do that documentary series I've always dreamed of!"
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:46 PM on November 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Don't forget about Crooked House, his utterly gorgeous little portmanteau horror series that got in some properly delightful creeps.

The 2008 Mayhem Horror Film Festival had him talking about one of his favourite movies - Blood on Satan's Claw. Seeing his genteel and yet menacing glee in discussing the film...it really made this cheesy and mishmash of a film so much better.

(Plus, my husband got one of his original Gatiss-penned Doctor Who novels signed. And it was like his nerd dream...)
posted by Katemonkey at 3:45 PM on November 2, 2010


quin: "Because Sherlock was brilliant (it was the text message thing from the first episode, I don't know why, but that perfectly captured my interest and amusement)"

Astro Zombie: "But the script for the first episode positively crackled"

Steve Moffat wrote the first episode, Gatiss wrote the third. With all respect to Gatiss it's Moffat who I'm following.
posted by markr at 5:01 PM on November 2, 2010


Horror fans should check out The American Nightmare (available on Youtube here)
posted by Molesome at 8:22 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Steve Moffat wrote the first episode, Gatiss wrote the third. With all respect to Gatiss it's Moffat who I'm following.

Likewise. But Gatis' episode was damn good as well. Pity about the middle one (which, I suppose wasn't bad - just mediocre and sandwiched between two excellent ones).
posted by Francis at 3:32 PM on November 4, 2010


I halfway expected Fu Manchu to show up in that one...
posted by Artw at 3:38 PM on November 4, 2010


I really enjoyed Gatiss's History of Horror, and it taught me a new term: the Lewton Bus (which is a bit like a Cat Scare).
posted by hot soup girl at 7:39 PM on November 4, 2010


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