The League of Gentlemen: Christmas Special

Watch The League of Gentlemen: Christmas Special

  • 2000
  • 1 Season

The League of Gentlemen: Christmas Special is a dark comedy show from BBC Two, lasting for approximately one hour. It serves as a follow-up to the three series of the original show, which garnered a cult following for its twisted and surreal humor. Set in the fictional town of Royston Vasey, the show's quirky characters remain as eccentric as ever, but with a festive twist.

The special episode opens with an ominous warning from a character known as the "League of Gentlemen Local Shopkeeper," who advises the viewers that this episode is not for the faint of heart. He implores them to change channels if easily frightened or offended, setting the tone for a witty and subversive Christmas special. The episode is divided into several segments, and though they can be watched independently, they come together to form a cohesive story.

The first segment focuses on the town's veterinary clinic, where the vet Dr. Chinnery is attempting to extend the life of a dying tortoise with a groundbreaking but controversial procedure. Meanwhile, the town's butcher Hilary Briss is introducing a new line of meat products made from the local wildlife. The residents of Royston Vasey don't seem to have a problem with eating a wide range of creatures, including hedgehogs, badgers, and squirrels, but when the mysterious new meat product turns out to be human, things take a dark turn.

The second segment follows the adventures of the Royston Vasey Employee of the Year, Geoff Tipps, who is tasked with guarding the town's Christmas lights display. Despite his dedication to his job, trouble arises when two local hoodlums try to sabotage the lights. What follows is a story of redemption and the true meaning of Christmas that also manages to be absurdly funny.

The third segment is the centerpiece of the episode, focusing on a recreation of a Nativity play. The town's amateur dramatics society is attempting to stage the play in the local church, but things quickly go wrong. The actor playing the baby Jesus is missing, the script has been rewritten to include aliens, and the Three Wise Men have accused Mary of being a witch. The hilarity that ensues is typical of the show - broadly satirical, while being brilliantly absurdist.

The fourth and final segment brings back the butcher Hilary Briss, who is offering a special Christmas banquet to the town's elite. The meal includes an exotic range of meats, with the "meat du jour" being a delicacy known as "Bishop's Willy." Unfortunately, it turns out that this dish has a rather gruesome origin, extending the episode's theme of festive meals that are more disturbing than appetizing.

Overall, The League of Gentlemen: Christmas Special is a brilliantly funny and unsettling example of black comedy, typical of the show's style. Its absurd and twisted humor is not for everyone, but for those who enjoy this kind of humor, it remains an essential Christmas watch. The characters remain faithfully grotesque, as does the show's darkly comic sensibility, making for an unforgettable hour of television.

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The League of Gentlemen: Christmas Special
1. The League of Gentlemen: Christmas Special
December 27, 2000
In this twisted and funny British television comedy, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith play different characters who populate a small English village filled with psychos. These holiday themed tales contain all of the disturbing humor that have come to define the show.
  • Premiere Date
    December 27, 2000