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     Home »  The Sylvester McCoy Era »  Ghost Light
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    Ghost Light Views: 3212
     Monday, March 10 2008 @ 05:18 PM EDT
    For me the thing about Ghostlight is that ti's actually a pretty simple story but it has lots and lots of added texture and that's what seems to cause the confusion.

    I've never quite understood those who thought it would make more sense with all the extra footage put back in. Whenever a lot of extra footage is shot and not used for a show like Doctor Who it's a good sign the script editor was not doing their job.

    Ghostlight didn't need more it needed less.

    Mike

    "There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought."
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     Monday, March 10 2008 @ 05:57 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat] One thing that Cartmel succeeded in (for better or worse) was injecting some mystery into the program.

    Taras
    I've read this position in a lot of places, but, try as I might, I don't see added "mystery" during the Cartmel era. Unless we mistake "confusion" for "mystery". When it's gotten to the point that actors, actively trying to understand the basic plot of a script, can't make heads nor tails of it, it's not a mystery but pretense.


    Mystery not in the individual plots or stories, but mystery around the nature the title character. I am not going to argue that there were great stories during this era, as that is clearly not the case. There was some potential, but it was mostly unrealized. But during the McCoy era, we are being fed hints that the Doctor may not be exactly what we suspect him to be. One of the main mysteries of the earliest Doctor Who stories was the character of the Doctor himself. By The Trial of a Timelord we think we pretty much know all about the Doctor, Gallifrey, and his status amongst his people. The Cartmel era tried to get us to question whether we knew everything there was to know about the character. This era has us start questioning who the Doctor is and what his actual motives are.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Thursday, April 24 2008 @ 10:28 AM EDT
    given my avatar and my forum name you can GUESS how much I love Ghostlight.

    but you are right. its a four part story that never made it past 3.

    it needed more exposition.. but like hitchcock said. the audiance would rather be confused than bored.

    Somewhere the tea is getting cold
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     Thursday, April 24 2008 @ 01:36 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat] One thing that Cartmel succeeded in (for better or worse) was injecting some mystery into the program.

    Taras
    I've read this position in a lot of places, but, try as I might, I don't see added "mystery" during the Cartmel era. Unless we mistake "confusion" for "mystery". When it's gotten to the point that actors, actively trying to understand the basic plot of a script, can't make heads nor tails of it, it's not a mystery but pretense.


    Mystery not in the individual plots or stories, but mystery around the nature the title character. I am not going to argue that there were great stories during this era, as that is clearly not the case. There was some potential, but it was mostly unrealized. But during the McCoy era, we are being fed hints that the Doctor may not be exactly what we suspect him to be. One of the main mysteries of the earliest Doctor Who stories was the character of the Doctor himself. By The Trial of a Timelord we think we pretty much know all about the Doctor, Gallifrey, and his status amongst his people. The Cartmel era tried to get us to question whether we knew everything there was to know about the character. This era has us start questioning who the Doctor is and what his actual motives are.


    Whereas I completely agree that the character of The Doctor was made more mysterious during the Cartmel era as script Editor (to the shows benefit, I might add) I completely disgree that there were no great stories during McCoys tenure as The Doctor. "Rememberance of the Daleks", "Ghost Light" and "The Curse Of Fenric" (ESPECIALLY "The Curse of Fenric") are absolute classics in my opinion and I have yet to understand as to why people would think they are not (please enlighten me someone). Even "Survival" is good once you get passed the awful design of the cats.
    During this time the Character of Ace was fleshed out in a way that no other companion has before (and it could be argued, since) with the final "classic" season being practically devoted to finding out what makes her tick (and then explode like a can of Nitro Nine) whilst making you wonder who exactly The Doctor is, what his history is and exactly how powerful he actually is.

    On a side note regarding "Ghost Light" (since this thread is devoted to it), the story does make sense if the viewer is happy to work at understanding it. This is actually what makes it so good as it requires a level of viewer participation not seen in any other Doctor Who story save, possibly, "Warriors Gate" and requires the viewer to watch it several times to "get it". Add to that the great performances (McCoy and Aldred are rarely better), the creepy atmosphere and the sense that The Doctor is manipulating Ace for his own purposes yet again and you have a belter of a story... Easily 5 TARDIS groans out of 5 for me!!!

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     Thursday, April 24 2008 @ 03:52 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Dalzo] I completely disgree that there were no great stories during McCoys tenure as The Doctor. "Rememberance of the Daleks", "Ghost Light" and "The Curse Of Fenric" (ESPECIALLY "The Curse of Fenric") are absolute classics in my opinion and I have yet to understand as to why people would think they are not (please enlighten me someone). Even "Survival" is good once you get passed the awful design of the cats.

    I like all these stories, and they are the cream of the crop of this era, but all of these have major flaws (in my opinion).

    In an era where programs were rarely repeated, requiring repeated viewing to comprehend is not a workable concept.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Thursday, April 24 2008 @ 06:34 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    [Quote  by:  Dalzo] I completely disgree that there were no great stories during McCoys tenure as The Doctor. "Rememberance of the Daleks", "Ghost Light" and "The Curse Of Fenric" (ESPECIALLY "The Curse of Fenric") are absolute classics in my opinion and I have yet to understand as to why people would think they are not (please enlighten me someone). Even "Survival" is good once you get passed the awful design of the cats.

    I like all these stories, and they are the cream of the crop of this era, but all of these have major flaws (in my opinion).

    In an era where programs were rarely repeated, requiring repeated viewing to comprehend is not a workable concept.


    I wouldn't mind hearing some of those flaws (at least with Curse Of Fenric and Rememberance Of The Daleks) as with those stories I feel they are as close to perfect as Doctor Who ever got... Go on... Change my mind Big Grin

    And as for making a story requiring repeated viewings being a mistake, Doctor Who was getting regular video releases at this point and home video recorders were commonplace... I still have my original recording of this story!!!

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     Thursday, April 24 2008 @ 07:09 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Dalzo] I wouldn't mind hearing some of those flaws (at least with Curse Of Fenric and Rememberance Of The Daleks) as with those stories I feel they are as close to perfect as Doctor Who ever got... Go on... Change my mind Big Grin

    Rememberance Of The Daleks is not a Dalek story, just like most post Genesis stories with "Dalek" in the title. It is a Davros story. We have a bit of his continued transition towards being a Dalek, but little else. I see this as a retread of Destiny, but with two sets of Daleks. Other than blowing each other up or getting beat by a bat, the Daleks are mostly useless here. Why do the half Daleks need a little girl to be their battle computer? They used to be the scourge of the galaxy. Once Davros is on the scene, they are useless. They either blindly obey Davros or little girls!?!

    The flaws in Fenric are more subtle, and I am not in the mood to trash this story.

    Now, there are many good things in these stories as well, but I wouldn't classify them in with the best of the best of best of Doctor Who

    [Quote  by:  Dalzo] And as for making a story requiring repeated viewings being a mistake, Doctor Who was getting regular video releases at this point and home video recorders were commonplace... I still have my original recording of this story!!!

    Unless someone was a fan, they would not buy a video of a story that they didn't "get". There is a difference between a story being so textured that you pick up new touches with a repeat viewing, and one that requires you to watch it again to truly understand what is going on. This is one sure way to alienate the casual viewer.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Friday, April 25 2008 @ 06:44 AM EDT
    Can I just say, Ace in that suit. WOOF! Razz

    Please check out my blog, as I attempt to watch and review EVERY Doctor Who episode! http://journeythroughtimeandspace.blogspot.com/
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     Friday, April 25 2008 @ 06:51 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    Rememberance Of The Daleks is not a Dalek story, just like most post Genesis stories with "Dalek" in the title. It is a Davros story. We have a bit of his continued transition towards being a Dalek, but little else. I see this as a retread of Destiny, but with two sets of Daleks. Other than blowing each other up or getting beat by a bat, the Daleks are mostly useless here. Why do the half Daleks need a little girl to be their battle computer? They used to be the scourge of the galaxy. Once Davros is on the scene, they are useless. They either blindly obey Davros or little girls!?!

    The flaws in Fenric are more subtle, and I am not in the mood to trash this story.

    Now, there are many good things in these stories as well, but I wouldn't classify them in with the best of the best of best of Doctor Who

    [Quote  by:  Dalzo] And as for making a story requiring repeated viewings being a mistake, Doctor Who was getting regular video releases at this point and home video recorders were commonplace... I still have my original recording of this story!!!

    Unless someone was a fan, they would not buy a video of a story that they didn't "get". There is a difference between a story being so textured that you pick up new touches with a repeat viewing, and one that requires you to watch it again to truly understand what is going on. This is one sure way to alienate the casual viewer.


    Hmmm, I see where you are coming from but I still disagree. I think this story is the least about Davros then any story since Genesis. He isn't even revealed until midway through the final episode (although admittedly, you are led to believe that the girl is Davros). This story is far more about the Dalek civil war that is obviously raging. As for The Daleks being useless, it is the renegade Daleks (ie, not Davros' Daleks) who manipulates Radcliffes men (including Mike) into betraying his own kind and, of course, Ace.
    Now, as for the girl being used "for her imagination" in the Battle computer, I agree that it was wrong in "Destiny" for the Daleks to have developed the faults of a machine and lose their imagination when it comes to warfare, but this had been established by Rememberance so kidnapping a human girl for her imagination to outwit Davros is consistant. You could also argue that they are not obeying "a little girl", but following The Battle Computer (which may have been developed in order to break the deadlock against The Movellans) which is using and abusing the girl in order to enhance it's programme! You can even look at "Daleks In Manhatten" for further evidence. A Dalek (I forget it's name) mentions how humans always survive, how there has been many New Yorks. You could argue that the reason Humans always survive the Daleks is because of their imagination, and children are the most imaginative humans there are!
    Either way, even if using the girl is a flaw in the story, it allows for some quite creepy scenes (possessed children always freak me out) so I just don't have a problem with it!

    As for your point regarding home videos, I take your point that Ghost Light could well have alienated some viewers (although by this point the damage was done), but it could also have enticed viewers who thought of Doctor Who as a childrens show, or as a show which had run out of steam. For you can call Ghost Light confusing if you like (which it is) but you cannot accuse it of being childish or unimaginative, for it has this in abundance!

    Ahhh, I love a good debate!!! Big Grin

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     Friday, April 25 2008 @ 06:57 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  cybercolin] Can I just say, Ace in that suit. WOOF! Razz


    And rolling around on the floor with Gwendoline (also in a suit)... Double WOOF Razz

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     Friday, April 25 2008 @ 07:54 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Dalzo]
    As for your point regarding home videos, I take your point that Ghost Light could well have alienated some viewers (although by this point the damage was done), but it could also have enticed viewers who thought of Doctor Who as a childrens show, or as a show which had run out of steam. For you can call Ghost Light confusing if you like (which it is) but you cannot accuse it of being childish or unimaginative, for it has this in abundance!

    Ahhh, I love a good debate!!! Big Grin
    How can a story, about which you know next to nothing, change your impression that the series isn't a kid show? On initial viewing, an episode succeeds or fails on the basis of the previous weeks. So "Ghost Light" would have depended on "Battlefield" most immediately, and the previous season. Not much there to dispel the notion of the program as a kids' show, really. And it didn't work. The last season of Doctor Who featured the very worst audience shares of the entire original series. Some weeks were watched by such a tiny sliver of the British viewing public that they completely dropped out of the rankings.

    And not to be facetious, but if you only suspected Doctor Who was childish, it only took a viewing of the opening credits to wholly convince you that it was for kids. Doesn't help "Ghost Light", particularly, that the opening shots of the Doctor and Ace are them mucking around with a carousel horse.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." JNT, 1986
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     Friday, April 25 2008 @ 07:56 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  cybercolin] Can I just say, Ace in that suit. WOOF! Razz
    Um, no, you can't. I mean, of course you can, but that ain't stoppin' me from hurling just thinking about anyone finding that remotely attractive. Potato, potahto, freedom of speech, freedom to vomit.

    No, seriously. Worst attire for a companion ever. And that's saying summat.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." JNT, 1986
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     Friday, April 25 2008 @ 08:22 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]
    [Quote  by:  cybercolin] Can I just say, Ace in that suit. WOOF! Razz
    Um, no, you can't. I mean, of course you can, but that ain't stoppin' me from hurling just thinking about anyone finding that remotely attractive. Potato, potahto, freedom of speech, freedom to vomit.

    No, seriously. Worst attire for a companion ever. And that's saying summat.


    if you really wanted to go down that road you could combine them with the Victorian Touching the velvet Torchwood Galls.


    I suspect thats a website on its own .lol

    anyway. Getting back to the actual subject of the thread.

    reading the scriptbook for GL gives even more insite into the evolution from Lungbarrow inot GL and its interesting to note that JNT said NO to Lungbarrow as it gave away too much of the Doctors Backstory.

    I love that Badger in Lungbarrow is in the Alt first Doc story also by the same writer

    Somewhere the tea is getting cold
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     Friday, April 25 2008 @ 11:52 AM EDT
    Watching the documentaries on the DVD it would seem that even many of those involved in this story have no clue what it was about.
    Personally, I don't mind incomprehensible so long as it is enjoyable or funny or both (this explains my love of Twin Peaks). Boring it wasn't! And that also gives it points in my eyes. The same can be said for most doctor who. It divides us: we love some, we hate some. But it's rarely boring. How many other TV programmes can the same be said of?

    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]
    No, seriously. Worst attire for a companion ever. And that's saying summat.


    So I'd like to know what rates as the best (barring Zoe in the cat suit of course cos that's a given and would be cheating!)

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     Friday, April 25 2008 @ 10:10 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]
    [Quote  by:  Dalzo]
    As for your point regarding home videos, I take your point that Ghost Light could well have alienated some viewers (although by this point the damage was done), but it could also have enticed viewers who thought of Doctor Who as a childrens show, or as a show which had run out of steam. For you can call Ghost Light confusing if you like (which it is) but you cannot accuse it of being childish or unimaginative, for it has this in abundance!

    Ahhh, I love a good debate!!! Big Grin
    How can a story, about which you know next to nothing, change your impression that the series isn't a kid show? On initial viewing, an episode succeeds or fails on the basis of the previous weeks. So "Ghost Light" would have depended on "Battlefield" most immediately, and the previous season. Not much there to dispel the notion of the program as a kids' show, really. And it didn't work. The last season of Doctor Who featured the very worst audience shares of the entire original series. Some weeks were watched by such a tiny sliver of the British viewing public that they completely dropped out of the rankings.


    As I said... by this time the damage had already been done with regards to the ratings and the perception of the show!


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