Mark Gatiss hopes to bring more festive ghost stories to BBC Four

The Sherlock and Dracula co-creator said he'd love to alternate between originals and adaptations each Christmas

Credit: Ray Burmiston

Mark Gatiss has graced BBC Four with another Christmas ghost story this year, with 2019’s M.R James adaptation, Martin’s Close, following last year’s original The Dead Room.

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And the Sherlock and Dracula co-creator has said he plans to bring more spooky festive tales to our screens in the future, bringing back a tradition that first started in the 1970s. 

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other media, Gatiss said, “It’s such a privilege to do this, I’d love to carry on and I’m sure we’d all like to do one next year. 

“It’s a lovely space, it’s a kind of safe space – thank God we’ve got BBC Four, hopefully for a long time, because it’s the sort of place these things belong.”

And Gatiss also gave a few hints about some stories that could be ripe for future adaptations, with Count Magnus and Casting the Runes – both also written by James – touted as possibilities. 

Martin's Close
Martin’s Close

“The one everyone has always wanted to do is Count Magnus, which eluded the great Lawrence Gordon Clark [who helmed the A Ghost Story For Christmas series in the 1970s],” he said. “Unfortunately it’s set in Sweden – but it’s possible!”

But Gatiss isn’t only interested in giving us Yuletide frights via adaptations – he’d love to deliver some more original ghost stories as well,  and claims it’s all about striking a balance between the two.

I’d love to experiment with it,” he said. “It’s a funny thing, in an ideal world I’d like to do an adaptation and a new one in rotation, to keep it fresh and to keep things sort of feeding into it.”

Whichever form they come in though – originals or adaptations – many fans will just be happy that Gatiss is keeping this particular tradition alive.

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Martin’s Close airs on Christmas Eve at 10pm on BBC Four