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Gatiss, Mark 1966- (Sam Kisgart)

Gatiss, Mark 1966- (Sam Kisgart)


Born October 17, 1966, in Darlington, Durham, England; partner's name Ian. Education: University of Leeds, B.A. (hons.).


Home—North London, England. Agent—PBJ Management, 7 Soho St., London W1D 3DQ, England.


Actor, writer, and comedian. Produced several British television programs, including Global Conspiracy, 2004, The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, 2005, and The Worst Journey in the World, 2007.


Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Perrier Award, 1997; Sony Silver Award, 1998, for radio comedy; Golden Rose of Montreux, 1999; British Academy of Film and Television Arts award, 2000, for Best Comedy; Royal Television Society Award, 2000, for best entertainment; NME Award, 2001, for best television program; South Bank Show Award, 2003, for best comedy; University of Huddersfield, honorary doctorate.


James Whale: A Biography, or, The Would-Be Gentleman, Cassell (New York, NY), 1995.

(With David Miller) They Came from Outer Space! Alien Encounters in the Movies, Visual Imagination (London, England), 1996.

(With Jeremy Dyson) The Essex Files: To Basildon and Beyond (novel), Fourth Estate (London, England), 1997.

(With Jeremy Dyson, Steve Pemberton, and Reece Shearsmith) The "League of Gentlemen" Scripts and That, BBC Books (London, England), 2003.


Nightshade, Doctor Who Books (London, England), 1992.

St Anthony's Fire, Doctor Who Books (London, England), 1994.


Last of the Gadarene, BBC Worldwide (London, England), 2000.


The Roundheads, BBC Books (London, England), 1997.


The Vesuvius Club: A Bit of Fluff, illustrated by Ian Bass, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.

The Devil in Amber, Simon & Schuster (London, England), 2006, Scribner (New York, NY), 2007.

Also contributor of stories to the "Doctor Who" series, including Phantasmagoria and Invaders from Mars. Author of two plays. Writer for a number of television programs, including The Web of Caves, 1999, The Kidnappers, 1999, The Pitch of Fear, 1999, The League of Gentlemen, 1999-2002, Doctor Who, 2005-06, and The Worst Journey in the World, 2007. Also writes as Sam Kisgart.


Mark Gatiss is a British actor, writer, and comedian, known foremost for his membership in the British comic group The League of Gentlemen. Gatiss earned his degree from the University of Leeds and immediately started writing. He has written plays, various television programs, and comedy with The League of Gentlemen. A huge fan of the post-television time-travelling Dr. Who, Gatiss has written several stories in various "Dr. Who" novel series. In 1997 he wrote The Essex Files: To Basildon and Beyond, a spoof on the X-Files that challenges reality and the laws of nature in Essex, England.

In 2004 Gatiss published The Vesuvius Club: A Bit of Fluff with the illustrations of Ian Bass. Set in Victorian England, the novel introduces Lucifer Box, an acclaimed portrait painter, who is a secret agent for the British government. The government requests Box to uncover who has been killing the top scientists and find out the involvement of the mysterious Vesuvius Club. With the utmost skill, confidence, and care for his physical appearance, Box mixes sexual encounters with men and women while uncovering the mystery around sites in Europe. His art student, Bella Pok, and a rent boy from Naples, Charlie Jackpot, aid him in his journey.

Reviews for The Vesuvius Club were mostly positive. Shelley Mosley, writing in Library Journal, commented that "this unexpected, outrageous, morbid, and wickedly funny book will make an entertaining addition to public libraries of all sizes." A reviewer on the Agony Column Web site took a playful tone while commenting on the novel, saying that "Gatiss writes with a very dry wit and sense of humor, but have no fear other than fear itself." The reviewer noted that "Gatiss and his illustrator Ian Bass have actually ratcheted back the weirdness for this spectacular debut," adding that "the illustrations and design touches provided by Ian Bass take this book to another level." Overall, the critic considered the book "a wonderfully oddball illustrated novel." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews concluded by describing the book as "cheeky, decadent fun, from start to finish."

Gatiss followed Box's first adventure with The Devil in Amber in 2006. Box is on assignment in 1920s New York watching fascist kingpin Olympus Mons and his gang, the Amber Shirts. When he is framed for murder he escapes on a boat for England trying to piece together clues for Mons's plan for world domination, including a lamb, something hidden at the Norfolk convent of Saint Bede, and a medieval prayer intended to call the Devil. In a London Telegraph review, Matthew Alexander commented, that like the first novel in the series, The Devil in Amber "is an ironical, affectionate romp through the clichés and conventions of the genres he draws upon." Alexander also called it a "racy adventure."



Debrett's People of Today, Debrett's Peerage Ltd. (Detroit, MI), 2007.


Films in Review, July 1, 1996, John Nangle, review of James Whale: A Biography, or, The Would-Be Gentleman, p. 116.

Guardian (London, England), November 3, 2004, Angelique Chrisafis, author interview.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2005, review of The Vesuvius Club: A Bit of Fluff, p. 818.

Library Journal, October 15, 2005, Shelley Mosley, review of The Vesuvius Club, p. 52.

Reference & Research Book News, November, 1997, review of James Whale, p. 146.

Sight and Sound, November, 1995, review of James Whale, p. 39.

Telegraph (London, England), November 19, 2006, Matthew Alexander, review of The Devil in Amber.

Times Literary Supplement, November 19, 2004, Jon Barnes, "A Fop on the Case," p. 24.


Agony Column, (December 14, 2005), review of The Vesuvius Club.

Internet Movie Database, (November 23, 2007), author profile.

League of Gentlemen Web site, (November 23, 2007), author profile.

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