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-   -   Ghost Light - What the hell is going on? (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=205831)

Mark_Nguyen March 11 2013 11:21 PM

Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
With the recent revelation that Sylvester McCoy is coming to my local comic expo, I decided to revisit a few of his stories. This one is one I haven't seen end-to-end since the late 90s, and has always rated low because, well, I had no idea what was happening.

Not at all to my surprise, I *still* don't get what's with "Ghost Light". Even after reading the written summary of the story, I just can't understand what any of the characters are getting at, let alone how they interact. All of the "aliens" seem to be speaking randomly and are completely ignorant of any of the others. Honestly, the whole thing seems back to front to me...

I'm wondering who here really liked Ghost Light? Or understood the bad acid-trip it still seems to be to me?

Mark

Starkers March 11 2013 11:29 PM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
Ghost Light is either the greatest episode of Who ever, or else the physical manifestation of the Emperor's New Clothes...

Personally I'm as baffled as you are. The last time I tried to watch it I gave up after the second episode...

DalekJim March 12 2013 01:14 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
Ghost Light is my favourite Doctor Who story and absolutely everything in it makes sense. Give it another watch, there's a lot to soak up but the explanations are all there.

Basically, Light was head of a ship that surveyed all life in the universe in order to catalogue it. A Survey agent working for Light (Originally one of the lizard things!) decided he wanted to be the daddy in charge and sealed Light in the ship. Survey then decided to evolve to the top of Earth's evolutionary progress, a Victorian gentleman. Thus Survey assumes the identity of Josiah. Survey then captures and brainwashes the explorer Fenn-Cooper in to a planned assassination plot against Queen Victoria, so Survey can take over the British Empire.

However, things go wrong and Light escapes his imprisonment. He goes slightly batshit insane when he realises life can never be catalogued and plots to fuck the world up. However, The Doctor manages to convince him that stopping evolution is impossible and thus causes Light to overload. His presence remains in the house though, and is what a young Ace is frightened of in the future.

The Wormhole March 12 2013 01:20 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
I watched Ghost Light for the first time last fall. I too was quite confused.

Stevil2001 March 12 2013 01:22 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
I like it. I don't love it, but I like it. Doctor Who as its trying-hardest.

P0sitr0nic March 12 2013 03:14 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
I remember really liking that one.

Iamnotspock March 12 2013 03:25 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
Quote:

DalekJim wrote: (Post 7789519)
Ghost Light is my favourite Doctor Who story and absolutely everything in it makes sense. Give it another watch, there's a lot to soak up but the explanations are all there.

Absolutely everything? I understand the basics, but maybe you can help me; why is Mrs Pritchard stimulating Control with copies of The Times? Why does the snuff box glow with Light energy? Why are Mrs Grose and the day staff even retained? Why do the night maids disappear without explanation?

Chaos Descending March 12 2013 04:06 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
I detest almost everything about the Seventh Doctor's run. Ghost Light is no exception. Absolutely horrible.

Stevil2001 March 12 2013 04:12 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
Quote:

Chaos Descending wrote: (Post 7790389)
I detest almost everything about the Seventh Doctor's run. Ghost Light is no exception. Absolutely horrible.

I can understand not liking Ghost Light, but this is an attitude I find utterly baffling. My wife (a New Who fan) and I just did a watchthrough of all the Ace stories, and I found it pound-for-pound one of the best periods of the show's history. It bursts with creativity and energy, plays with the show's mythology, creates guest characters that are more than just plot functions, has almost no stock story types. The only Ace story I outright dislike is Silver Nemesis, while Remembrance of the Daleks, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, Battlefield, The Curse of Fenric, and Survival are all top tier stories.

Yeah, I know, different people have different tastes, but sometime different tastes are incomprehensible!

Christopher March 12 2013 04:37 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
The McCoy seasons were uneven; I hated both "Silver Nemesis" and "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy," though I like some of the much-hated ones like "The Happiness Patrol" and "Paradise Towers." (And I kind of like "Ghost Light" too.) But they did have some of the series' most brilliant serials, particularly "Remembrance" and "Battlefield." And even the less successful ones were interestingly experimental. In a lot of ways, that last couple of seasons presaged the modern series, in that it gave us just about the most richly nuanced and complex companion the series had ever had up to that point, and made the Doctor a more complex and ambiguous figure as well. There was definitely a new maturity to the series in those last few years, which I assume came from Cartmel as story editor and from the writers he brought in.

The Mirrorball Man March 12 2013 05:22 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
I don't enjoy the seventh Doctor or his "era" at all, and I feel that some fans give it a pass because of its scope and ambitions. While I can understand that, I feel that those ambitions were not fulfilled. Ghost Light in particular feels like a first draft. It's not confusing because it's complex, it's confusing because it's not written very well.

DalekJim March 12 2013 11:16 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
Quote:

Christopher wrote: (Post 7790494)
The McCoy seasons were uneven; I hated both "Silver Nemesis" and "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy,"

Why did you hate Greatest Show? It's superlative.

Quote:

The Mirrorball Man wrote: (Post 7790656)
It's not confusing because it's complex, it's confusing because it's not written very well.

If Ghost Light is confusing (Which it isn't!), it's because the story was shortened by one episode with late notice. Also, Marc Platt is a great writer. His Cybermen audio Spare Parts makes Rise of the Cybermen look utterly amateurish.

Also, Lungbarrow is a great novel. One of my favourite VNAs.

The Mirrorball Man March 12 2013 11:40 AM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
Quote:

DalekJim wrote: (Post 7791166)
If Ghost Light is confusing (Which it isn't!), it's because the story was shortened by one episode with late notice. Also, Marc Platt is a great writer. His Cybermen audio Spare Parts makes Rise of the Cybermen look utterly amateurish.

Oh, I'm sure he's talented. Anyone can have an off day or two.

Christopher March 12 2013 04:05 PM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
Quote:

DalekJim wrote: (Post 7791166)
Quote:

Christopher wrote: (Post 7790494)
The McCoy seasons were uneven; I hated both "Silver Nemesis" and "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy,"

Why did you hate Greatest Show? It's superlative.

I don't really remember -- I disliked it so much that I rarely rewatched it. Although I tracked down a recap of the story, and I didn't like that much either. Too many characters with weird fairy-tale-ish names, too much self-conscious surrealism. Plus there's the whole clown thing. And I have the impression that I found the production values to be way too cheap and unappealing. I mean, cheap productions were kind of the norm for the original series, but in this case I just didn't like the look and feel of it at all.

DalekJim March 12 2013 04:07 PM

Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?
 
I tend to prefer the surreal, more imaginative stories over the more generic action-adventure ones. I also think Greatest Show is a really good production with some terrific performances and a wonderfully eerie atmosphere. Those clowns were among the last truly frightening things in Doctor Who. Loved Mags the werewolf too. Would have liked her to have been a companion :).

McCoy is my main man and the only story of his I find a chore to rewatch is Time and the Rani. Though Dragonfire is kinda average.


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