The League of Gentlemen
Scripts and That

Author: Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith
BBC Books
RRP 25.00
ISBN 0 563 48775 5
Available now

For the first time ever, the scripts of all three television series and the Christmas special of
The League of Gentlemen are published in their entirety. This book offers fans a look into the making of the series and is packed with never before seen oddities. Drawings, pictures and annotations compiled by the League of Gentlemen are all revealed for the first time. Discover the origins of all your favourite characters and classic sketches and learn about the deleted scenes as well as some of the hundreds of ideas that never made it onto the small screen. The book also contains a full listing of all the characters and is packed with exclusive pictures and behind the scenes shots...

Like most sane, rational people with a life, I don't usually give script books the time of day. I've never seen the point! How sad is it to read the scripts of a TV series when generally they offer no new information on the show or individual episodes? Surely you're better off watching the episodes. Scripts and That is a welcome exception to the rule.

The first thing to impress is the size of the thing. Nearly A4 in size, this collection packs in just over 600 pages and what a cover. All of your favourite characters are depicted by the twisted style of Stuart Pearson - with sketches of the four actors as themselves on the back cover.

Open the book and you'll soon realise that you're not going to be presented with your usual dry script book. The League of Gentlemen have got together and really thought things through rather than just stick a hardcover onto copies of their scripts. It opens with a rather cutting cutting from the Daily Mail which offers up a pretty fair review of the third series of The League of Gentlemen. While season one, two and the Christmas Special where dark, cleverly plotted and didn't insult the audience intelligence, the third season listened to some critics who claimed the show was "up itself". So, for season three they went for more of a shock tactic to cater for the obviously growing lowbrow audience - Maybe they should have replaced Tubbs and Edward's catchphrase to "Are you lowbrow?") Sadly this meant that out went the subtle movie references and homage's to be replaced by knob gags. Did anyone really think that seeing Pauline shagging was funny?

But, enough of my whinging. This book is crammed full of location photos and deleted gags, from all three seasons and the Christmas Special, that never made it to the finished cut (and for many of them you can see why). It looks good, it reads well and you'll forget this is just a script book at heart.

If all script books where as well thought out as this then more people would take them seriously. Excellent.

Ray Thompson

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