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Doctor Who : Ghost Light [DVD] [1989]

Sylvester McCoy , Sophie Aldred    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
Price: £6.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Doctor Who : Ghost Light [DVD] [1989] + Doctor Who - The Curse of Fenric [1989] [DVD] [1963] + Doctor Who - Battlefield [DVD] [1989]
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Product details

  • Actors: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Sep 2004
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00029QXBO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,897 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


London, 1983: an old house mysteriously burns to the ground. One hundred years earlier, the Doctor and Ace arrive at a sinister mansion in the rural hamlet of Perivale. Horrors old and new await the Doctor amongst the peculiar residents of Gabriel Chase, but it is Ace who must confront her own worst nightmares when she discovers that her past and the house’s future are inextricably linked.

Special Features:
  • Commentary by Sophie Aldred (Ace), Andrew Cartmel (Script Editor), Marc platt (Writer) and Mark Ayres (Musician)
  • Light in Dark Places--A look back at the making of Ghost Light with stars Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Michael Cochrane, Sharon Duce, Ian Hogg and Katharine Schlesinger, plus Mark Ayres and Andrew Cartmel
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes--A selection of exercised scenes sourced from VHS copies of the early edits
  • Shooting Ghosts--A unique look at the studio recording process
  • Writer’s Question Time--Author Marc Platt answers attendees’ questions at a 1990 Doctor Who convention
  • Music-only Option--Listen to Mark Ayres’ score for Ghost Light on an isolated audio track
  • Optional Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix
  • Photo Gallery
  • Production Subtitles
  • Digitally remastered picture and sound quality

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light in the Darkness 10 July 2009
By M Evans
Ghost Light is a superb little story and very, very underrated. It's one of the most dazzlingly original and imaginative stories in the show's history, and a superb looking production. The sets are amazing and really feel like an authentic, creepy victorian house. What I think a lot of fans are put off by is it's dense, convoluted plot - there is so much going on and so many literary references casually bandied about and double meanings that it's very hard to take it all in and repeat viewings are essential to fully appreciate it's subtleties. I don't think the short length of the story (3 episodes) helps as there really is enough material here to easily fill 6 parts with no padding. It's also rather bizarre in places with characters doing odd things, speaking strangely and accepting weird events without question. You really need to watch Ghost Light several times to appreciate it, and I'd also recommend reading the novelisation if you can get your hands on it. As well as being very clever and original, Ghost Light is also damn creepy, being full of dark shadows and grotesquerie, and the main villain, Josiah Smith is truly sinister. An excellent musical score too. I also think that Sylvester McCoy gave his finest performance in this story - his Doctor's dark, manipulative persona is best highlighted in this story. At a time in the programme's history when the show had been getting more bad press than ever, and when it was only weeks away from being axed Ghost Light proved that this long-running show could still surprise us and produced a startlingly original and fascinating story that is one of the best in it's 26 year history. The extras on this DVD are execellent, especially the deleted scenes, if only they'd done a 'special edition' and reinstated these scenes I think the true brilliance of the story would really be brought to light. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review 12 Nov 2010
Leaving aside my pro-Mccoy bias, this serial is incredibly good. This was the last classic Dr who to be recorded and it shows in many ways. Mccoy and Aldred are in brilliant form, complementing each other wonderfully both as partners and when they argue over being in Gabriel Chase. The supporting cast is also brilliant, with no weak links at all. Particular mention must go to Sylvia Syms, with a performance that manages both creepy roboticism and (in part 3) wonderful human regret, and Ian Hogg, who manages a great balance between cold scheming and internal torture. Leaving aside the performances, the production values are superb. The 19th century victorian feel is evident, and, in tandem, with Alan Wareing's direction, gives the story sense of underlying menace. The best part about Ghost Light, however, has to be the script. To quote another reviewer: it is "Good Weird, Brilliant Weird". Some critics have commented that the plot is nonsensical/silly/too many holes etc, and to this I shall say only two things. First, the story makes perfect sense IF you pay close attention to what is going on. It is a story where missing one or two lines of dialogue might make you confused (not helped by the original audio), not a story that is confusing because of bad writing. Second, as with a lot of Mccoy stories, the structure is as much created by overall theme as it is trad narrative. In other words, the plot is not as linear as something like Remembrance because it is about a central theme as opposed to a story (Full Circle is similar in that the planet environment takes precedence over the story's "plot"). Aside from the story itself, the extras are also pretty good. The making of documentary is very good, as is the question segment with Marc Platt (author). Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who at its very best! 16 Feb 2013
I have never been able to understand the slating this clever, complex story often gets. In my opinion this is one of the very best Doctor Who stories ever. The guest cast are uniformly excellent and the guest characters are all engaging. The sets and costumes are wonderful and Alan Wareing's direction is strong. People tend to criticise this story for not making sense, in reality the story does make sense but it may take several viewings before you understand the intelligent story completely.

The Doctor and Ace are both superbly characterized with the Doctor acting as a manipulative father figure to Ace and taking her to a hated place from her childhood in order to get her to open up about what happened there. It's also clear that Ace has matured since her first appearance on the show, she has achieved genuine character development, something most companions fail to do.

It baffles me that people choose to dismiss this story while these are often the same people who will talk about how excellent the sloppy 'The Ark in space' and other overrated stories from the same era were. These people would also claim to be Doctor Who fans but they then criticise stories such as this for no reason. Ghost light is an excellent demonstration of how varied and clever Doctor Who can be. Highly Recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad story but the picture quality? 18 Aug 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This isn't a bad story at all and gives an insight into the portrayal of Sylvester McCoy's Doctor, very dark.

The picture quality on this DVD leaves a lot to be desired as it is very grainy, has a soft focus in places and is unwatchable in some parts. I thought it was a defective DVD or perhaps a fault with my Blu Ray player, but after searching on the internet there are other people complaining about the quality of the picture saying that previous releases prior to this, such as Remebrance of the Daleks, were far superior so just why this is is mystery.

Perhaps the BBC will remaster this and release a "Special Edition"?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars McCoy Doubter No More.
What's the USP of this review? Well, it's by someone who is not a McCoy fan and who until now was quite dismissive of the whole McCoy era. That is until 'Ghost Light'. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Craig
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good story
Published 14 days ago by Ocket Peter
4.0 out of 5 stars A very underrated serial for The Doctor
While Sylvester McCoy's era as The Doctor may have been a mixed bag, it still features several great and underrated serials including Ghost Light from his final season. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Gatekeeper197
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
The last recorded Doctor Who story of the original series, although Survival was actually the last shown. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Mr. Scott Carrick
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
As Advertised.
Published 1 month ago by MICHAEL JONES
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly lit up the night for me
Once more everything well satisfactory including a cracking story
Published 3 months ago by Dennis Peters
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I remembered
Ghost Light suffered from a need to condense a plot so much that it got a bit too chopped up, but rewatching it shows a story that is much better than the confusion I remember from... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Grey Wolf
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghost Light
For 3 episodes only this very strange and dark story goes from one place to another without making much sense. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mr. Michael J. Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Bunch
Sylvester McCoy came out as not the best Doctor in it's history. But when it was a good one it was fantastic. This proved to be the best with almost a behind the sofa feel to it.
Published 13 months ago by GAHA
4.0 out of 5 stars 'With all its doors and windows open...'
It's very good this. To start with, very finely written; all the characters are pursued by demons of their own particular madnesses (except for that nice Mrs Grose), generally not... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Alex Lyon
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