Big Train. Image shows from L to R: Simon Pegg, Kevin Eldon, Julia Davis, Mark Heap, Amelia Bullmore. Copyright: Talkback Productions.

Big Train

BBC Two sketch show. 12 episodes (pilot + 2 series), 1998 - 2002. Stars Simon Pegg, Kevin Eldon, Mark Heap, Julia Davis, Catherine Tate, Amelia Bullmore, Rebecca Front and others.

Press Clippings

Putting the 'cape' into capers

The cape, not to be confused with its longer length kin, the cloak, is a versatile item of comedy clothing with a long and storied history. Depictions of cape-wearers go back as far as 300 BC to the nomadic Pazyryk culture of Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The blue, geometric designs of the capes characteristically worn by Aztek kings were made with intentionally laborious dyeing techniques to create a symbol akin to the difficulty in forging a great katana in feudal Japan. And most famously and popularly, the cape is a powerful symbol associated with 20th century superheroism. British comedy, perhaps unsurprisingly, has made use of the myriad cape tropes for its own hilarious ends, but not as frequently as one may imagine for such a popular device.

David E. J. A. Bennett, Capers Magazine, 4th May 2021

Big Train at 20: writers discuss favourite sketches

It's been 20 years since Arthur Matthews and Graham Linehan's sketch show Big Train debuted on BBC Two.

Tom Fordy, The Telegraph, 8th November 2018

In praise of​ Big Train

A tribute to the underrated 90s sketch-comedy gem.

Rob Keeling, Cult Box, 16th April 2018

Big Train at 20

The spectacularly surreal sketch show with a cast of future stars.

Mark Butler, i Newspaper, 8th March 2018

Big Train - box set review

A sketch-show starring Simon Pegg and Julia Davis sounds like a fantasy these days - but in 1998 they were just part of this hugely talented ensemble.

David Renshaw, The Guardian, 25th April 2013

Big Train: Cult comedy & early platform for top talent

Simon Pegg, Catherine Tate and Amelia Bullmore were among those in the surreal sketch show.

Victoria Gooch, The Guardian, 25th April 2012

Big Train seems to be achieving belated cult status. There are several reasons for the delayed reaction, perhaps most notably the cast's subsequent successes: in the second series from 2002, which is showing this weekend, Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg and Green Wing's Mark Heap are joined by a pre-fame Catherine Tate and a pre-EastEnders Tracy-Ann Oberman. But it is the off-the-wall humour of the writers, Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews, the creators of Father Ted, that really makes this one comedy repeat worth devoting a significant part of your weekend to.

David Chater, The Times, 20th May 2006