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Doctor Who : Ghost Light [DVD] [1989]

3.9 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Doctor Who : Ghost Light [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 Sept. 2004
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00029QXBO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,296 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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Format: DVD
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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By CGHD on 12 Nov. 2010
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 chiming in tune with anyone else's. The result is often more of a mad house than a haunted one, with Redvers breathlessly quoting Joseph Conrad, while Gwendoline (a name cribbed from TIOBE if ever there was one) smartly sings 'That's The Way To The Zoo' where there's 'such a lot of nuts', but it's no peaceful asylum; there's a gibbering wraith in the cellar, a cruel housekeeper attended by black-uniformed maids that enter via secret panels, and only after sunset; meanwhile the vicar has come to tea, and he is not happy.

The background to all this seems to be the dawn of Darwinism; Josiah is trying to evolve into a human so he can escape his ship, Control does evolve, Light cannot cope with evolution, Nimrod is stuck on one of its lower rungs, as are the husks, and the cream of Scotland Yard turns back into primordial soup. Oh, and the vicar regresses into an ape.

It's not always easy to know just what is going on, nor what the intended relationship was between Josiah, Control and Light, but with Josiah out to kill 'The Crown Saxe-Coburg' and thus take over the British Empire, it's quite clearly gone badly wrong. Actually, the story goes at such a clip that and is told with such style that I'm not too bothered about the details - I can take them on trust. The more Control becomes a 'ladylike', the less happy Josiah seems to be, so that has to be a good thing, and while Light sets a certain amount straight, he also does huge damage, and we're all better off when he's back in his box.

It's told with almost gleeful relish, and has something of the feel of an MR James ghost story.
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