REVIEW – GHOST WALK

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“This is how the world ends, Leanne – on a rainy day.”

There is something lurking in the catacombs beneath the city, something that may or may not be supernatural. Leanne runs a Ghost Walk. She takes tourists to visit the most haunted sites – the Hanging Yard, the Witch Pool, and the catacombs. Like any tour guide, she tries to make the experience as spooky as possible, but doesn’t herself believe a word of it – until she starts to hear a voice inside her head telling her that something sinister is going on, something which could lead to the above quote coming true.

The voice may or may not be a ghost – but listeners will immediately recognise it as the Fifth Doctor.
And so begins a clever, tense story that cuts back and forth between the present and the 18th century, that has lashings of atmosphere, pace and characterisation, especially from Fenella Woolgar as Leanne. And despite the fact that we think we know what ultimately becomes of Tegan, Nyssa and Adric, not to mention the Doctor himself, one of the sign of how good the writing is are the moments where I was genuinely wondering how they’d get out of this one.
The companions all get a piece of the action and come across well, but the highlights are Leanne and the Doctor. If you thought that Peter Davison was a bit too young for the role at the time, as he himself does, then it’s nice to see, or at least hear, the “grown up” version. Despite his apparently ghostly status, the Doctor isn’t a passive witness to events, getting in some timey-wimey shenanigans and a bit of bricklaying, amongst other things.

We have, of course, been over somewhat similar ground before. “The Daemons” came to mind in places (at one point I was wrongly convinced that a certain character would turn out to be the Master). However, that is almost inevitable given the programme’s long history, and “Ghost Walk” certainly has enough that makes it different, including the delightful idea of “Schrödinger’s Doctor” – about which I will say no more (or will I?)

Another tribute to the writing (perhaps a bit back-handed) is that certain things that might easily have jarred were carried off with sufficient aplomb to be overlooked, at least by this reviewer. Comparing psychic projection with email – “I’m the Doctor. I’m the link you shouldn’t click” made me LOL rather than cringe, and a few historical anachronisms that may have grated in the hands of a lesser writer just raised a smile (torches and pitchforks? Ducking stools being used on witches?) This was helped by the fact that they weren’t gratuitous, but vital to the story – as were all the tourists’ destinations mentioned above.

In fact the whole thing fits together very nicely, each part clicking into place like a Key to Time. Highly recommended.

Written by Liz R

Synopsis

This title was released in February 2018. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until March 31st 2018, and on general sale after this date.

This is a city of ghosts and no-one knows them better than Leanne. Twice a night she leads tourists to visit the most haunted sites – the Hanging Yard, the Witch Pool, the Screaming House, and, of course, the Catacombs.

Leanne’s realised the ghosts of the city are real. Something’s lurking in the Catacombs – an ancient force that has been growing in the darkness for centuries. Sabaoth is returning and they must be stopped before they devour the world. Leanne knows this, because a ghost told her.

A ghost called The Doctor.

Written By: James Goss
Directed By: Barnaby Edwards

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Fenella Woolgar (Leanne), Sacha Dhawan (Matthew), Stephen Greif (Sabaoth), Carolyn Seymour (Mrs Stubbs), Philip Childs (Giles), John Banks (Louie), Rebecca Tromans (Nancy)

Other roles played by the cast.

Producer David Richardson
Script Editor Guy Adams
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

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