Any programme devoted to the history of horror films is welcome and when that programme is written and directed by bonafide horror film fan Mark Gatiss (as part of his current bid for world domination) then it is doubly welcome. In his new three part series, not surprisingly called A HISTORY OF HORROR, Gatiss provides us with a basic guide through the popular horror film. In no way do I use the word "basic" to deride the show for it is in all ways excellent. For those who know little of the genre it will provide a good grounding and while long-time horror fans like myself and Cerpts probably won't learn much that is new the show does show us a whole coffin load of wonders such as Lon Chaney's original makeup kit, a tour of Universal's Frankenstein village and the opera house set of the first PHANTOM - not to mention Sarah Karloff's wonderful bathroom! The clips are well chosen as are the interviewees such as Gloria Stuart (possibly one of her final interviews) and a British actress who toured in a stage production of DRACULA with Lugosi in the Fifties.John Carpenter tells us that he thinks Val Lewton is "way over-rated" (although Gatiss obviously doesn't agree) and Donny Dunegan contributes memories of working with Karloff and Lugosi on SON OF FRANKENSTEIN. I'm looking forward to the next two episodes and a DVD release. A real winner.