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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

Mark Gatiss
Ray Burmiston
Published: Tuesday, 24th December 2019 at 10:30 pm

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.


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 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.


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


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