Ghost Light


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Ghost Light

Serial Code


First Transmitted

4 October 1989

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace)

Guest Cast
Ian Hogg (Josiah), Sylvia Syms (Mrs Pritchard), Michael Cochrane (Redvers Fenn-Cooper), Sharon Duce (Control), Katharine Schlesinger (Gwendoline)*, John Nettleton (Reverend Ernest Mat thews) [1-2], Carl Forgione (Nimrod), Brenda Kempner (Mrs Grose) [1-2], Frank Windsor (Inspector Mackenzie) [2-3], John Hallam (Light) [3].


Written by Marc Platt
Directed by Alan Wareing
Produced by John Nathan Turner


Earth 1883. At the heart of a Victorian house by the name of Gabriel Chase, lies an alien ship. Formillions of years its owner has been asleep, unaware that part of the cargo has evolved into a malevolent creature. When The Doctor brings his assistant Ace to the house to face and overcome a terrible fear from her past, he finds himself catapulted into the secrets lying dormant there. Who or what is the alien presence Josiah? What has he done with the real inhabitants of the house?

More importantly, of what is Josiah so frightened and can it help The Doctor? In order to combat Josiah’s evil presence, The Doctor arranges the release of a more powerful entity called Light – the true owner of the alien ship. However, as events unfold The Doctor discovers he may have awoken an even more dangerous adversary.

For Light means to destroy every living thing on Earth…


  • In Blood Heat, Ace meets an alternate version of her friend Manisha, and we learn that she died of her injuries when her flat was firebombed.
  • The Doctor asks who was it that said Earthmen never invite their ancestors round to dinner. The answer is Hitchhiker’s Guide and Doctor Who writer Douglas Adams
  • An excellent cast assembles for this story, including distinguished stage and screen actress Sylvia Syms.
  • This story had working titles of the Bestiary and Life-Cycle. (Marc Platt also briefly jokingly referred to the story as Not The Bestiary when John Nathan-Turner, disliking the title The Bestiary, asked him to change it.)
  • As revealed in the production notes for the DVD release, the story was renamed Das Haus der tausend Schrecken (translation: ‘The House of the Thousand Frights/Horrors’) in German.
  • A genuine period song is utilised, the highly appropriate ‘That’s the Way to the Zoo’.
  • There is a location-recorded establishing shot of Gabriel Chase, which was committed to tape during work on Survival.
  • The very last Doctor Who scene to be recorded by the BBC as part of the ongoing series was one in which Mrs Pritchard and her daughter Gwendoline are turned to stone.
    Order Ghost Light BBC DVD Page
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