The Real Ghostbusters

Season 1 Episode 3

Mrs. Rogers Neighborhood

Aired Unknown Sep 27, 1986 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
26 votes
  • The Ghostbusters are called out to a haunted house, owned by a seemingly sweet, innocent little old lady. But both the house, and the old lady (and her pet bird) hide terrifying secrets. The first episode of the series to really hit the mark...

    This review contains spoilers.

    The first two broadcast episodes of 'The Real Ghostbusters' ("Ghosts Я Us" and "Killerwatt") were perfectly adequate tales, but did feel to slightly be going through the motions, as the series found it's footing. This third broadcast episode (fourth produced), "Mrs. Roger's Neighborhood", really raises the bad in terms of what the series can achieve.
    It is a much more engrossing story, with much more depth to it (well, for a 25 year old kids cartoon, at least), with some actually quite scary moments.

    At the beginning, we see a seemingly simple house, which suddenly morphs and becomes… well, possessed. Afterwards, I did kinda wonder about this element; was it an innocent old lady's house that evil spirits invaded? Did the old lady die and come back evil? Or was the scene just to illustrate that "there's more than meets the eye here, folks"? Probably the latter, but as with many RGB stories, I did ponder on what could have brought about the circumstances.

    Either way, the Ghostbusters are soon investigating the haunted house – and trapped inside it; while the supposedly innocent old Mrs. Rogers (and her pet bird) are left back at HQ. Cue a series of events that play out far stronger than the first two episodes (as good as they were on their own merits).

    As well as the overall story, the general quality level of the script is raised with this one, with much sharper dialogue. I really liked the whole "Watt" "Say what?" routine(s), surely a deliberate nod to the famous Abbott & Costello "Who's on first?" skit.

    Also by this episode, character voices are far more on key to what we would become used to, particularly regarding both Janine and Egon. I did notice that Slimer sounded much "gruffer" than he would usually be, though.

    The exaggerated cartoon-iness of the first two stories is also being toned down by this point; in fact, other than Ecto-1 making rubber-like movements as it grinds to a halt at a couple of points, the style of this episode is very much as would become the norm for the series.

    The evil demon Watt is a scary adversary (even if the name "Watt" is noticeably similar to that of Killerwatt, seen in the previous broadcast episode of the same name, though with no given connection between the pair).
    But when Peter becomes possessed by Watt at the climax of the story, it makes for some truly scary scenes, possibly some of the scariest stuff RGB ever did.
    I have relatively few examples of the series from when it was shown on Children's ITV here in the U.K. (and every time they repeated (reran) most episodes, a different edit version was used), but I would really imagine that some of the scary shots regarding the possessed Peter were edited to tone down the story, for CITV's young-child-friendly audience.

    I enjoyed this episode (which I hadn't seen for MANY years until I came to watch it on DVD this evening) so much that I gave it a 10. It's not quite one of my all-time favourite half-hours of television, but I rate it 10 for it's sharp dialogue, interesting story, genuinely scary moments, and for setting the quality template that would be in place for the show until it was (some might say disastrously) retooled into 'Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters' later on.