Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Ghost Light (Part One)

Originally Broadcast 4th October 1989
 Written By: Marc Platt

I’m sorry but I have to start off a McCoy review with love for that title sequence. The music is poor and the actual titles themselves shouldn’t look good but I can’t help do anything except love the seventh Doctor opening. Now, where was I?

Arriving in a Victorian House, ‘Ghost Light’ sees one of the strangest and most unusual stories ever for the Doctor, teamed here with Ace.
For a start, my ‘cliff notes’ (the DVD booklet) informs me this was the last ‘Doctor Who’ to be filmed before the 1989 cancellation (despite being second from four in the series line up), I consider this to be ahead of it’s time.

The reason for that is because this feels extremely close to ‘New Who’. The story revolves more around the companion than the Doctor, McCoy gives off an ‘evil’ image of the Time Lord (all three new Doctors feature this often) and, for once, the companion is given the same level of dialogue as the title character, as Ace appears intelligent as well as being given some great, humorous, one-liners she feels more like the Doctor than McCoy a lot of the time due to Platt’s script.

There’s not a lot of story to play with yet, a bit of a weaker aspect of the episode, but Marc’s dialogue is insanely brilliant as is Wareing’s morbid direction. One thing I don’t like too much about this episode is the random sound effects (the bird crying at the episode’s cliffhanger-where was the bird?!) and the music by Ayres isn’t the best Who has seen, it isn’t memorable by any means, yet it gets the job done in a satisfying manner.

The supporting cast are all great here too, even if odd and don’t have a lot to do. My favourite cast member (due to knowing him from other works, such as ‘Black Orchid’ [1982]) is Michael Cochrane who is a fantastic British actor, this serials definitely worth a look just for actors of the highest quality, topped off by having Aldred and McCoy on top form.
Despite this, the cliffhanger is a tad weak and there isn’t a huge story building up from part one, so lets see where this serial takes us next…

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