Tuesday 16 October 2012

693 Ghost Light Part Two

EPISODE: Ghost Light Part Two
TRANSMITTED: Wednesday 11 October 1989
WRITER: Marc Platt
DIRECTOR: Alan Wareing
SCRIPT EDITOR: Andrew Cartmel
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who : Ghost Light

Gwendolyne shows the Doctor the body of a policeman, housed in one of the specimen drawers. Josiah's Neanderthal butler Nimrod saves Ace, but she smashes a window in the underground chamber filling it with light. The Doctor finds Josiah and takes him to the cellar, rescuing Ace & Nimrod but as dawn nears all the residents of the house retreat to their rooms. The Doctor wakes Inspector MacKenzie and gets Nimrod to tell his story. Ace & MacKenzie discover Gwendolyne & her mother, the housekeeper Mrs Pritchard, under sheets in the attic along with Josiah's discarded body and the stuffed form of Revd Matthews regressed to that of an ape. Nimrod goes to see the advice of Redvers Fenn-Cooper. At 6pm the inhabitants of the house comes to life but the Doctor uses the list to summon from the basement Control, a dishevelled figure dressed in rags, and it's companion light whose glowing presence fills the room.

I watched this and hadn't a clue what was going on. Yes, I can condense it down to a simple summary like that but that just doesn't do it justice. The amount of odd detail being thrown at us here is just so confusing. References to Java seemingly being a euphamism for death like Redvers' reference to the interior alluding to madness, Gwendolyne being the daughter of Mrs Pritchard and the owner of the house who Josiah has murdered, the evolutionary argument between the Revd Matthews and Josiah.... and then there's the cellar with the odd monsters and what seems to be a stone space ship.

Guest Cast: Ian Hogg as Josiah Samuel Smith was famous for playing Detective Sergeant Alan Rockliffe in Rockliffe's Babies and its follow-up Rockliffe's Folly. Lady Pritchard is played by Sylvia Syms who's got a long TV and film career while her daughter Gwendolyne is played by Katharine Schlesinger who had her name spelt wrong in the title slides. She'd recently been in a BBC Sitcom No Frills at the time of this episode's broadcast. John Nettleton as Reverend Ernest Matthews, to will almost certainly recognise as playing Sir Arnold Robinson the Cabinet Secretary in Yes Minister

Three of the cast have been in Doctor Who before but Frank Windsor, as Inspector Mackenzie, was most famous for playing another policeman Detective Sergeant John Watt in Z-Cars from 1962 to 1965 (Second Z-Cars Guest Star this year after James Ellis as Peter Warmsley in Battlefield), and thereafter its spin-offs Softly, Softly and Softly, Softly: Taskforce. He previous appeared in Doctor Who in the 1983 story King's Demons as Ranulf. Appearing as Redvers Fenn-Cooper is Michael Cochrane. Previously in Black Orchid as Charles Cranleigh. Since then his brother Martin Cochrane has appeared in Caves of Androzani as General Chelak and his sister in law Kate O'Mara was in Mark of the Rani and Time & The Rani as The Rani. Carl Forgione playing Nimrod, was previously in Planet of the spiders as Land but also has a Star Cops appearance to his anme as the Tour Guide in This Case to Be Opened in a Million Years.

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