The Dead Room: A Ghost Story for Christmas by Mark Gatiss (BBC, 2018) A clever short film written and directed by Mark Gatiss. In essence a two-hander between Anjli Mohindra (as a radio producer) and Simon Callow (a sonorous-voiced actor whose past comes back to haunt him, subverting his narration of a new horror story).
P.R.O.B.E. – The Zero Imperative by Mark Gatiss (BBV, 1994) A creepy Doctor Who spin-off that sees Liz Shaw investigating supernatural deaths at a psychiatric hospital. Liz, however, doesn’t actually feature that much, and it’s a little difficult to reconcile the other Who actors (four ex-Doctors, no less!) with their new roles.
Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time by Steven Moffat; dir. Rachel Talalay (BBC, 2017) The Christmas special has some touching performances (Mark Gatiss) and ends on a high with Jodie Whittaker’s first scene, yet for the most part spends too much time prepping the audience for the handover and trying—quite shamelessly—to manipulate our emotions.
Sherlock, Series 4 by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (BBC, 2017) The upping of stakes from series to series has led Sherlock into some very grim territory. The characteristic humour remains, but edges closer and closer to the gallows… before making its peace and dovetailing in the perfectly balanced ending: ‘The Final Problem’.
Sherlock, Series 3 by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (BBC, 2014) Having cherry-picked the most famous Sherlock Holmes stories, Gatiss and Moffat in series three give themselves even more latitude for creative adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s material, scripting three adventures that rely very much on the telling. Freeman and Cumberbatch remain resplendent.