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Mark Gatiss and Lee Ingleby in Crooked House (2008)

Crooked House is a supernatural drama mini-series which aired on BBC Four in December 2008.

The three-part series was broadcast on consecutive nights from 22 to 24 December 2008. It was written and co-produced by actor and writer Mark Gatiss,[1] who found fame in the BBC series The League of Gentlemen. The three linked episodes form a portmanteau story, influenced by the writings of M. R. James and Amicus horror movies,[2] and a Māori death-mask belonging to Gatiss. They concern the ghostly secrets of fictional Geap Manor, a recently demolished Tudor mansion.[3]

The first story, "The Wainscoting", is set in the late 18th century. Gatiss plays a museum curator who is given a strange door-knocker, which inspires him to share his dark researches into the Manor. The first tale related the story of Joseph Bloxham, who buys and improves the Manor after capitalising on an investment which ruined his fellow speculators. Strange noises are heard behind the newly installed wainscoting, the wood of which came from the gallows known as 'Tyburn Tree'.[3]

The second story, "Something Old", takes place in the 1920s, where, at the Manor, a lavish costume ball is being held. During the ball young Felix de Momery announces his engagement to Ruth, much to the surprise and annoyance of his grandmother and his friends, Billy and Katherine. The young couple's future seems to be inextricably linked with another tragic wedding day and a ghostly bride who haunts the corridors.[3]

In the third episode, "The Knocker", Ben himself discovers that, even though demolished, Geap Manor continues to cast a long shadow. Recently split from his girlfriend, he finds the cosy blandness of his modern house suddenly altered by events from the distant past, and by the sinister figure of Sir Roger Widdowson.[3]

The cast included Mark Gatiss, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Philip Jackson, Lee Ingleby, Jean Marsh, Samuel Barnett, Daniela Denby-Ashe, Anna Madeley, Andy Nyman and illusionist Derren Brown.[1] The series was directed by Damon Thomas.[4]


  1. ^ a b [1] BBC Press Release
  2. ^ Hussey, Bill (18 December 2008). "Interview with Mark Gatiss: Part One". Horror Reanimated. Retrieved 2008-12-30.  
  3. ^ a b c d Radio Times December 2008
  4. ^ [2] Crooked House on the Internet Movie Database

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