You’re a successful TV comedy writing partnership and your creation has become one of the most adored and quoted BBC comedies of recent years. You want to make it into a movie. Do you: a) Throw together a vaguely plausible plot for the most recognisible characters, shoehorning in as many catchphrases as you can, then take the money and run? Or b) Concoct a highly self-conscious adventure in which your neglected old characters battle with new ones for your attention, with you (played by yourselves) pursued by both parties between real and fictional worlds?Fans of the increasingly ambitious ‘League of Gentlemen’ TV series won’t be surprised to learn that the quartet have chosen the latter option. The Apocalypse is about to hit Royston Vasey, so three locals – Herr Lipp (Steve Pemberton), Hilary Briss (Mark Gatiss) and Geoff Tipps (Reece Shearsmith) – cross to the real world via a portal to find out why, and discover that their creators have abandoned them to work on a film – a restoration melodrama, ‘The King’s Evil’. But have the Gents managed to pull it off, as Herr Lipp might say? Convoluted and self-absorbed as it might sound, their film is, happily, a real gagfest, right from the magnificent opening scene. They’ve succeeded in incorporating their many influences (everything from ‘Adaptation’ and Ray Harryhausen to Peter Greenaway and the Farrelly brothers) into a story that hangs together against considerable budgetary odds. A definite contender for this year’s award for best film within a film about a struggle to make a film out of a TV series.
|Release date:||Friday June 3 2005|
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith|