Ghost Light

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Ghost Light


Pages 149
ISBN 0-426-19201-8
Publication Date 20 September 1990


Perivale, 1983

A column of smoke rises from the blazing ruins of a forgotten, decaying mansion.

Perivale, 1883

In the sleepy, rural parish of Greenford Parva, Gabriel Chase is by far the most imposing edifice. The villagers shun the grim house, but the owner, the reclusive and controversial naturalist Josiah Samuel Smith, receives occasional visitors.

The Reverend Ernest Matthews, for instance, dean of Mortarhouse College, has travelled from Oxford to refute Smith’s blasphemous theories of evolution.

And in a deserted upstairs room, The Doctor and Ace venture from the TARDIS to explore the Victorian mansion…

Who – or what – is Josiah Smith? What terrible secrets does his house conceal? And why does Ace find everything so frightening familiar?



  • Prologue: The Mystery of the Crystal

  1. Tropic of Perivale
  2. Gabriel Chase
  3. Uncharted Territory
  4. Gaslight Boogie
  5. Josiah’s Web
  6. That’s the Way to the Zoo
  7. Ace’s Adventures Underground
  8. Creature Comforts
  9. Out of Control
  10. Twice Upon a Time
  11. Trick of the Light
  12. Beautiful Soup

  • Epilogue: An End and a Beginning


  • There is an extra opening sequence detailing the young Ace’s visit to Gabriel Chase and the Doctor steering the TARDIS there.
  • It is established that Matthews saw Josiah and Gwendoline in London and has come to Gabriel Chase partly because he wants to save her innocence.
  • The novelisation includes several scenes and lines that were scripted and/or filmed but cut from the televised version: Ace tipping Josiah off by tampering with a telephone, and the Doctor saying they have to leave the house and be invited back in, The Doctor playing a boogie-woogie on the piano, Gwendoline visiting Redvers, Mackenzie trying to leave the house and being stopped by Light, who causes the front door to become immovably locked, Mrs Pritchard telling two maids, one of whom is armed with a machete, to dispose of Mackenzie, and Nimrod handing in his notice to Josiah (a scene rehearsed for the televised version, but never actually recorded).
  • It is explained that Josiah has The Times delivered to Control as a taunt since he knows she won’t understand it.
  • Ace finds cave paintings in the passage leading to the stone spaceship. These were to have featured in the televised version, but had to be omitted for reasons of cost.
  • Ash sees Control on her first visit to the spaceship. Mrs Grose also sees her and tells The Doctor she is resigning.
  • It is explained that Mrs Pritchard tricked Redvers into wandering into Light’s spaceship, causing his insanity.
  • When Light emerges from the lift, he walks straight through The Doctor standing in his path, an effect planned for the televised version, but which eventually proved impossible to achieve on-screen.
  • Light travels around the world viewing the lifeforms there.
  • It is implied that Josiah brought the ship back to Earth While Light slept.
  • Control plans to get Josiah better quarters eventually.
  • There is a lot of insight into The Doctor’s mental processes, better explaining his motivation at various points.

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