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Ghost Hunters International

Season 2 Episode 20

Hamlet's Castle

0
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 05, 2011 on Syfy
8.3
out of 10
User Rating
5 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The GHI team, now led by Barry Fitzgerald and including long time Ghost Hunters alumni Kris Williams and Britt Griffith, travel to Denmark to investigate Kronborg castle. In its time, it has been a military stronghold to control the Baltic Sea, the conquered prize of the Swedes, and a prison.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Not a bad start for the new team

    7.0
    This episode marks the beginning of a new era for "Ghost Hunters International". For the first time since the series began and the team was established, Robb Demarest was not the team leader. Pilgrim Films and Syfy chose to retool the team in the hopes that it would revitalize what was seen as an underperforming spinoff.



    Ratings for the franchise have been slipping, after all, and there is some debate over the cause. One could point to the oversaturation of the subgenre, or the practically cookie-cutter format of the "Ghost Hunters" episodes, and come to the natural conclusion that it is a case of franchise fatigue. After all, Syfy has more than 100 episodes to air in whatever order they choose, and even devoted fans are hard-pressed to recognize the new material compared to the old.



    GHI has always suffered from another factor: the lack of sensationalism. Compared to reality-challenged spectacles like "Ghost Adventures" or "Paranormal State", where everything is evil and demonic, right down to the background noise, GHI's relative attempt to adhere to more solid principles was often seen as boring or substandard.



    I've said it many times: GHI is the only show/team that, thus far, has never given me a reason to question their sincerity. Their interpretations, perhaps, but I felt that those interpretations were coming from a consistent and well-documented point of view. The team had a solid philosophical core, and that led to a process that could be understood and respected.



    As I stated in my commentary for the previous episode, the changes to the team leave me concerned. I firmly believe that Pilgrim Films and Syfy will push for more of the antics that have tarnished "Ghost Hunters" over the past few years. That said, I have no reason, at this point, to question the integrity or sincerity of the new team as a whole (or even individually). It all comes down to the episodes themselves, both this season and the impending third season.



    So with that in mind, the new GHI begins with a case at Hamlet's Castle in Denmark:



    The opening scene is a bit more canned than usual, but it does clear up the matter of Britt's status during his brief tenure with the team. Barry/Kris seem to be taking the place of the Robb/Barry lead pair, with Susan now playing the role Brandy used to play in terms of the exposition rundown. Scott doesn't appear to be with the team on this investigation, which is too bad, since the location looks way too big for such a small team. (But then, that has been a recurring problem for the GHI team to handle.)



    Barry and Kris take the honors as the lead team, starting in the ballroom. Seems like they could have used some of Paul's IR illuminators! Rather quickly, they hear noises, and Kris sees an apparent shadow. Unfortunately, nothing is caught on camera.



    Joe and Britt take on the royal living space next. They use the FLIR camera, which is a bit of a waste of time, considering its limitations. They also hear sounds of movement and footsteps, similar to the reports of the client, which is a nice touch.



    Paul and Susan go into the dungeons, as per Barry's request, and Paul sets up a rather nice test. I like the idea of testing the "battery drain" theory directly with the multi-meter, and setting up temperature and EMF instrumentation around it (since those are common environmental factors reported to change during such events). Datalogging instruments would have been the ideal tech for the job (and they might have been, for all we know), as well as a means of detecting frequency for any measurable EMF changes, but it's a far better test than the ridiculous "flashlight test" TAPS usually employs!



    Barry and Kris go to Queen Sophie's room, and Barry pulls out the full spectrum camera. With all the shadows they seem to see in the room, it's probably the best place to use it. After all, it is designed to determine whether or not these supposed entities are more visible in the UV range.



    Britt and Joe move on to the dungeon, following up on the experiences that Paul and Susan had earlier. Like with nearly every other area of the castle, they hear noises all around them. At this point, I can't help but imagine that the crew from "Ghost Adventures" would be going nuts (and getting about 2958 EVPs of noise in the process). It even sounds like someone is tossing pebbles around the place, which is captured readily on the audio.



    Things get a bit more interesting when Barry and Kris call Britt into the control area to ask about one of the DVR cameras. I think this is the first time in years, if ever, that the DVR cameras caught something unusual. Barry and Kris investigate the odd lights, and they have the same kind of experiences as everyone else up to that point. Unfortunately, the lights don't reappear, and there's no apparent attempt to replicate or debunk the lights on camera.



    Joe and Britt move into the chapel, and they seem to see a flash of light, though it's hard to know if it might have been one of the many reflective surfaces in that part of the room. The chandelier does appear to move; it's very obvious on camera.



    Paul and Susan explore the second floor, and I notice at this point that Paul seems to have taken over Barry's previous role as the technology maven. It used to be that Barry was the one to blanket an active area with instruments and tests, but Paul was a lot more oriented on the monitoring equipment this time.



    The whole team converges on the ballroom, and Barry decides to use the "Singapore theory", which is something he's done several times before. (Basically, the idea that the "Ghost Lab" stole and called "era cues".) It's a bit theatrical for my taste, as least as it is edited together, but I don't necessarily think it's a bad idea, given the assumptions at play.



    I'm not so sure about the "OK" EVP; there's a "human" quality to it that makes me wary. I'll just allude to my concerns about the desires of the production company and leave it at that. The light anomalies were odd, and I think they would have been worth further investigation. The movement of the flashlight is not significant, in and of itself, but the subsequent concurrent change in temperature and EMF, however slight, is the kind of "evidence" that most other TV groups would never think to look for, let alone capture.



    All in all, I can understand why the team was so impressed with the location, given that every single location seemed to have shadows and noises, especially the dungeon. If nothing else, the dungeon practically begs for a full follow-up investigation on its own. Despite my initial concerns, I have to admit that this is a very good start for the new GHI.moreless
Barry Fitzgerald (II)

Barry Fitzgerald (II)

Lead Investigator

Britt Griffith

Britt Griffith

Investigator

Kris Williams

Kris Williams

Investigator

Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford

Tech Manager

Susan Slaughter

Susan Slaughter

Case Manager/Investigator-In-Training

Joe Chin

Joe Chin

Investigator

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Also Appearing:
      Investigation: Kronborg Castle - Helsingor, Denmark
      Shane Eno - Danish Paranormal Society
      Bo Hamilton-Wittendorff - Author, Guide to the Occult Denmark
      Harald Lund - Paranormal Investigator
      Anne Thorsner - Historian
      Henrik Jensen - Paranormal Investigator

      Special Thanks:
      Palaces and Property Agency
      Kronborg Castle

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Barry: And you can certainly see where Shakespeare got the inspiration for Hamlet... em, 'To be, or not to be...' That is the big question!
      Kris: (laughing) 'To be or not to be', you're such a dork!

    • Kris: This place is enormous! I've never seen a location this big, and it's just funny to think of some of the places we've visited in the States that call themselves castles- cannot compare to this!

    • Britt: (upon seeing Kronbog Castle) Holy crap, a moat!
      Paul: See now, that's a castle!

    • Shane: There are dungeons down here like you won't believe. So when we get new people on our team, we take them down there for a couple of hours.
      Kris: To train, or scare the hell out of them?
      Shane: Oh, both, I guess.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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