5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A rare and curious mix!,
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This review is from: Ghost Stories from the BBC: The Signalman / Stigma / The Ice House (DVD) (DVD)
Given the age of these examples of rare and classic BBC programming they stand up surprisingly well despite the obvious limitations inherent in the sound and image. Moving away from the classic tales of MRJames, LeFanu and Dickens was not a good decision as it reduced the audience for this annual event and probably resulted in it's demise. "Stigma" and "The Ice House" are far removed from the style and content of the other films but are still of interest. "The Signalman" of course is very fine but "Stigma" would probably been more at home in the Hammer House of Horrors TV series as its tale of witchcraft in 1970's Avebury is decidedly out of keeping with the rest of the series - though very effective and enjoyable. It's "The Ice House" however which is the true anomaly. This very "theatrical" piece with clear overtones of Pinter is totally misplaced here and led to considerable disappointment with fans when it was originally screened. That said, and dated though it is, it is a fascinating and unsettling piece whose ambiguity, allegorical sub-text,visions of a decidedly worrying after-life and images of dead folk, incestuous siblings and truly fearful garden plants (sic) linger well after the episode is over. Hell really does seem to be "other people" in this enigmatic, very formal and deliberately mannered, self-conscious romp.
So all in all, this triple bill is essential viewing for connoisseurs and lovers of ghost stories alike.
But DON'T view the "introductions" until you have seen the episodes - they give far too much away!