Doctor Who: Ghost Light (Story #156)

5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

Like the haunted house set-up

Confusing story


Ace and the Doctor…crime solvers!

The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace (Sophia Aldred) arrive at Gabriel Chase in 1883.  Ace realizes she has a past with the house and that the house might be housing something unnatural.  As the Doctor tries to uncover the truth about Gabriel Chase and the while the real potential threat could be brewing underneath.  A being called Light (John Hallam) has made Gabriel Chase his home…and he could be a danger to Earth.

Doctor Who:  Ghost Light aired in the twenty-sixth season of the long-running BBC series.  The serial aired in three episodes from October 4, 1989 to October 18, 1989.  Following Doctor Who:  Battlefield, Doctor Who:  Ghost Light was collected as part of The Sylvester McCoy Years as Story #157 (or Story #156 depending on how you count the unaired Tom Baker story Doctor Who:  Shada).  The DVD is currently out-of-print.


Oh, Ace…you and your wacky adventures!

This is just a bad time for Doctor Who and Doctor Who:  Ghost Light is an example of why.  The serial is dull, hard to follow, and anchored by weak actors.  It is easy to see why Doctor Who was cancelled shortly after this serial, but it is sad to see it go out like this.

It is very hard to understand what is even going on in Ghost Light.  There are multiple plots about aliens and Neanderthals and world domination…all crammed into three episodes.  It was heavily edited as a serial, but I don’t think four episodes would have saved the story from the confusing plot.


I’m a golden god!!!

The series also continues as part of Ace’s origin.  It is revealed that Ace burned the house down in 1983 because she sensed evil in it.  In general, not much focus had been put on Doctor Who’s companions’ past and it was a good decision to start tying them in more.  Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.  It was the format that the current series of Doctor Who ended up following.

Doctor Who:  Ghost Light is a very forgettable entry in Doctor Who.  It is forgettable partly in that you have no clue what is happening…and unfortunately, you don’t really care.  I liked the idea of Doctor Who taking place in a haunted house and really enjoyed Doctor Who:  Black Orchid which had a similar feel.  Doctor Who:  Ghost Light was followed by Doctor Who:  The Curse of Fenric.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Battlefield (Story #155)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Curse of Fenric (Story #156)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response