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 Dr. Terrible / ... (6 episodes, 2001)
Graham Duff ...
 Josh / ... (4 episodes, 2001)
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12 November 2001 (UK)  »

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Referenced in Sheila Keith: A Nice Old Lady? (2005) See more »

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A great idea on paper but lacking something in execution
9 April 2015 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

When I first heard about Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible I remember being pretty excited. Not only was this the latest Steve Coogan vehicle but it also was basing itself around old British horror movies that I was very fond of. Unfortunately the idea was greater than the execution and the series didn't attract the predicted audience figures and was not recommissioned for a second season. It's a shame that the series wasn't better, as the potential in the idea is so obvious, while the cast used throughout is really very impressive. It also has pretty decent production values with some fine period detail in all the instalments. The biggest single issue is with the writing, as despite being a comedy it really isn't very funny too often and some of the story lines are handled in quite a clunky manner.

The three studios synonymous with British horror of the 60's and 70's are spoofed, namely Hammer, Amicus and Tigon. The entries focusing on the latter two are probably the best instalments in the whole series. 'And Now the Fearing' mimics the horror anthology series specialised by Amicus and unlike the others is set in more modern times in the early 1970's, so it really stands out from the other instalments on that basis alone. 'Scream Satan Scream' is the final episode and it parodies the 17th century-set Tigon horror films, most obviously Witchfinder General (1968). In it, Coogan plays probably his most well-conceived character - the sleazy Captain Tobias Slater, Witch Locator. The remaining episodes, however, aren't as good as these and overall are at best somewhat middling. Overall, I enjoyed the series up to a point, in that I like the concept of it and it is certainly good in places but its not essential stuff really and would probably have been more enjoyable if more care had been taken with the writing.


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