Doctor Who (1963)

Season 26 Episode 5

Ghost Light, Part One

Aired Saturday 5:15 PM Oct 04, 1989 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes

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Episode Summary

England, 1883. The Doctor brings Ace to a house called Gabriel Chase. But strange things are going on in the house. A deranged explorer searches the halls, the odd owner promotes his theories and something dangerous lurks in the cellar…

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  • A return to past brilliance.

    Ghost Light, Part 1 showed that after years of production turmoil and confusion as to the future of the show Doctor Who could still deliver episodes featuring good writing, good performances and an element of class. This makes it all the more disappointing that this was the final season of the show before it got cancelled.

    Ghost Light reminds me of the 2005 episode The Unquiet Dead with its Victorian setting and ghostly subject matter. It even matches that story in terms of quality. The chemistry between Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred as The Doctor and Ace is at a peak here, thanks mainly to the script's fleshing out of Ace's past as a troubled teenager.

    Due to a variety of characters, a mysterious setting and perfect execution in performance and direction, Ghost Light Part One is a perfect start to this three part adventure.moreless
Ian Hogg

Ian Hogg


Guest Star

Sylvia Syms

Sylvia Syms

Mrs Pritchard

Guest Star

Sharon Duce

Sharon Duce


Guest Star

Michael Cochrane

Michael Cochrane

Redvers Fenn-Cooper

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Other MIstake: When Nimrod opens the door behind which Redvers is bathed in light, the key dangles from the lock, rather than being firmly latched.

    • Equipment Visible: In Redvers' office, Sophie Aldred's radio mike can be seen tucked into the back of her trousers when she runs to the door.

    • Continuity: Ace is wearing a ring when she waves to the stuffed bird. But it's gone when she picks up the snuff box.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Rev. Matthews: I see that all the stories about you are true. You have no shred of decency. Even parading your shameless wantons in front of your guests.
      Ace: Does he mean me, Professor?
      Rev. Matthews: I have it. This is some experiment related to your mumbo-jumbo theories. Perhaps she'll evolve into a young lady.
      Ace: Who you calling "young lady", bug-brain?
      [The Doctor steps in to separate the two.]
      The Doctor: No such luck. Quiet, Eliza. Be a good girl. I'm making some small talk.

    • The Doctor: Let me guess. My theories appall you, my heresies outrage you, I never answer letters and you don't like my tie.

    • Ace: There must be things you hate.

      The Doctor: I can't stand burnt toast. I loathe bus stations, full of lost luggage and lost souls... And then, there's unrequited love, and tyranny, and cruelty...

    • Gwendoline: I think Mr. Matthews is confused.

      The Doctor: Never mind. I'll have him completely bewildered by the time I'm finished.

  • NOTES (2)

    • DVD: Doctor Who: Ghost Light (BBCDVD 1352) released in September 2004. Released in U.S.A./Canada (Warner Home Video E2218) in June 2005.

      Video: Doctor Who: Ghost Light (BBCV 5344) released in May 1994. Released in U.S.A./Canada (Warner Home Video E1318) in June 1996.

    • Novelisation: Doctor Who - Ghost Light by Marc Platt (ISBN 0 426 20351 8) first published by W H Allen in 1990.