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The television series titled The League of Gentlemen tells the story of nearly a hundred characters living in the fictional town of Royston Vasey, which was based on an actual town in the UK. It ran for three series, with an additional Christmas special. The show features a macabre sense of humor with each series focusing on a main plotline, with several subplots. Often, a scene resembled a typical scene from a horror film, although the show was listed as a dark comedy. The show was originally sketch based; however as the series progressed it became more of a sitcom or comedic soap opera style.

The first series followed a plot centered on a new road being built in the town, causing gossip among its inhabitants about new people coming into town. This was the only series that followed the original sketch styling. Series two sought to solve the cause of an epidemic of nosebleeds among the townspeople. Series three highlighted a new character each week, but kept the stories intertwined into a main plot. The Christmas special focused on three characters and their visits to the town vicar, airing between series two and three.

The show was written by a quartet of actors and writers, most notably Mark Gatiss. The other three creators were Jeremy Dyson, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. The main characters were played by all but Dyson, while wearing various guises and makeup.

The League of Gentlemen was produced and distributed by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and was aired on Comedy Central in the US. All three series and the Christmas episode totaled 19 episodes, running between 30- 60 minutes each. The series originally aired on BBC Two in 1999. All 19 episodes were directed by Steve Bendelack.

1 Season, 20 Episodes
December 27, 2000
Horror & Suspense, Comedy
Cast: Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith, Jeremy Dyson
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League of Gentlemen Full Episode Guide

  • At the Charity Shop, Vinnie and Reenie are washing clothes and ironing bags, when a bag blows out of the window. Later, Vinnie spots it on a country road and sets off in hot pursuit. It is almost within her grasp when she has an accident and plummets down a steep bank, ending up impaled on railings. The Charity Shop has to advertise for a new volunteer. Keith, a mysterious stranger, gets the job. He helps Brian with some missing pieces of a game, giving him a ruby brooch to use. Later Brian returns; the brooch belonged to his wife Katie who has been missing for 10 months. There is a familiar throaty laugh - Keith is Papa Lazarou. He tries to strangle Brian but Reenie hits him with a copper kettle. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Royston Vasey, Kenny Harris, owner of the Dog Cinema, learns that his former friend, Dougal Siepp, is planning to open a Cat Theatre. Would-be magician Dean Tavalouris is trying out his act but having little luck with his audience, especially when Miggy and Bongo steal his camera. Papa Lazarou has escaped. He runs down the High Street and enters arrives an ordinary-looking house, closely followed by Brian and Reenie. In the front room is a small child, Simba Brown. Upstairs Brian finds photos belonging to the real Keith. There's a scream, Brian rushes down to help Reenie and is grabbed by Papa Lazarou. They are tied up and drugged. Brian wakes to find himself in a cage. Papa Lazarou calls for Katie to be brought in. She is inside a lion and Brian is to be put inside an elephant. Meanwhile Reenie is in a lone cage, inside a bear. Later, a sign in the charity advertises for volunteers. A cheerful Keith emerges and walks down the High Street as Papa Lazarou. A burly woman bumps into him; it is Charlie in his wig and he has dropped a necklace. As Keith tries to hand Charlie the necklace, the Legz Akimbo van plummets into the wall.

  • Joke-shop proprietor Lance King bribes hospital disc jockey Mike King to arrange an under-the-counter arm transplant for him. The result isn't quite what he expected; his new limb is female and seems to have a mind of its own. Lance wonders who the original owner was, but all Mike knows is that it came from the hospital incinerator. Barbara is in hospital as well, and passes mortician Owen Fallowfield, who is lecturing his students on the fine art of modern-day embalming. Meanwhile, Glen and Big Barry are trying to get on with their job, but are hampered by breathtaking incompetence and the constant need for food until the terrifying Lisgoe gives them a lesson in debt collection and turns the soft-hearted Barry into a brute. The Lady-Arm leads Lance to new gravestone, inscribed to Sister Bernadette McCluskey. That night, Lance has a nightmare featuring the Lady-Arm and a plan of good works. Drastic action is needed - but the Lady-Arm is strong and attempts to cut it off are met with resistance. In the struggle, the banister gives way and Lance falls, but the Lady-Arm is still gripping the doorjamb. Later, Mike King offers to drive Lance home from hospital. But before he can get into the car, Lance's armless shoulder begins to twitch. He is dragged powerfully to the road where Pauline stands, her face covered by the red plastic bag with a white van hurtling towards her. Lance knocks Pauline out of the way, and is hit by the van and fatally injured. Meanwhile, the van has careered out of control and crashed into a brick wall. As fate would have it, the van belongs to Legz Akimbo.

  • It's Christmas Eve at the Chapel of Hope, and vicar Bernice Woodall is forced to listen to three festive tales from her parishioners.

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