Mark Gatiss Gets Into The Spirit Of Christmas This December

December 05, 2022 1:00 AM ‐ TelevisionParanormalChristmas

This article is more than one year old and was last updated in February 2024.

Count Magnus
Photo: © BBC

The BBC have announced their festive schedule, which includes two festive offerings from actor and screenwriter Mark Gatiss, 'A Ghost Story For Christmas: Count Magnus' and 'A Christmas Carol'.

Mark adapted and directed M.R James' short story, 'Count Magnus' for television by Mark Gatiss. It's the latest ghost story for Christmas from Mark on the BBC, following 'The Mezzotint' in 2021, 'Martin's Close' in 2019, 'The Dead Room' in 2018, 'The Tractate Middoth' in 2013 and 'Crooked House' in 2008.

Mark says, "it's an absolute thrill to be bringing one of M.R. James' most beloved tales to life for this year's ghost story. The Count casts a long shadow and I hope we can all relish being in his thrall this Christmas!"

Set in 1863, Count Magnus tells the tale of the inquisitive Mr. Wraxhall who becomes fascinated by the long-dead founder of a Swedish family, who once made a strange journey to the Holy Land - on most unholy business. Wraxhall is drawn ever deeper into Count Magnus' dark world and discovers that the dreaded aristocrat may not lie easy in his tomb.

The half-hour special will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer over Christmas. It stars Jason Watkins ('The Crown') as Mr Wraxhall, alongside MyAnna Buring ('The Witcher') as Froken de la Gardie, Krister Henriksson as the Narrator, Max Bremer as Nielsen, Allan Corduner (as the Deacon, and Jamal Ajala as Gustav.
Mark Gatiss' A Christmas Carol
Photo: © BBC

Mark also stars as Jacob Marley in a stage production of 'A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story' - his own retelling of Dickens' classic winter ghost story, 'A Christmas Carol' - alongside Nicholas Farrell as Scrooge. Directed for the stage by Adam Penford, this powerful tale of life, love, loss and redemption is as relevant today as when it was first published 179 years ago.

It's a cold Christmas Eve and mean-spirited miser Ebenezer Scrooge has an unexpected visit from the spirit of his former business partner Jacob Marley. Bound in chains as punishment for a lifetime of greed, the unearthly figure explains it isn’t too late for Scrooge to change his miserly ways in order to escape the same fate, but first he’ll have to face three more eerie encounters.

The BBC have also announced several other ghostly treats airing this Christmas including a trip to Button House where the 'Ghosts' are getting together for a special festive episode. Plus a festive instalment of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith's award-winning anthology series 'Inside No. 9'.

'A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story' is a Nottingham Playhouse production for BBC Four and BBC iPlayer.

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