BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

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ghughesarch
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BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by ghughesarch »

Well, for Hallowe'en, actually. Cunningly disguised as an episode of light, fluffy, daytime soap "Doctors". It's gathered a bit of attention in M R James circles at least, for not being anywhere near as bad as the Beeb's last version of "Oh Whistle and I'll come to you". Still has 13 days left to run on iplayer, and worth a watch.
iplayer, Doctors S16 E124

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Richard A
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Richard A »

I heard about this and had a look on iPlayer a few days after it aired. Of course, to a quality archive Brit TV addict like myself (he said pompously), the clunky production values of a BBC daytime drama are a bit of a shock (and the lead character was mind blowingly annoying with his typical soap style 'face running in debug mode' acting style, i.e. every thought being frantically telegraphed to the viewer) but... it was a lot of fun and I quite enjoyed it for what it was, i.e. a low budget well intentioned homage/spoof.

I think the dream-chase sequence would have been better served with some Miller style piece of cloth and some out of shot crew with fishing rods rather than an actual person, the emergence in the bed was quite good though. Some nice little treats for reference spotters, e.g. the location being Hordernwick for one, the vigorous bed making early on for another and the slowed down scary dream vocals.

And yes, I probably did got more pleasure from watching this than the 'official' 2010 (so-called) remake.

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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Mike S »

There's also Remember Me with Michael Palin starting this Sunday, which looks like a BBC Xmas ghost story in all but name. Needless to say, the BBC Xmas ghost story purists are insisting it 'doesn't count' and refusing to watch it.

marsey
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by marsey »

Thankfully the old stories don't get any worse for repeated viewing, so they more than make up for a lack of decent spooky entertainment.

I think The Treasure of Abbot Thomas is my favourite

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Richard A
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Richard A »

That's the one that I just happened to have watched most recently. Michael Bryant is, of course, superb in it.

Robin Davies
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Robin Davies »

Mike S wrote:There's also Remember Me with Michael Palin starting this Sunday, which looks like a BBC Xmas ghost story in all but name. Needless to say, the BBC Xmas ghost story purists are insisting it 'doesn't count' and refusing to watch it.
Rosiethedog on Roobarbs keeps banging on about this too. Any relation???
Who exactly is "refusing to watch it"?

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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Mike S »

Well, someone called 'Barker' on Roobarb's for a start!

And a few others have said it doesn't count as a BBC Xmas ghost story, as if everything they watch still has to be served up by Auntie Beeb live.

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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Robin Davies »

Mike S wrote:Well, someone called 'Barker' on Roobarb's for a start!

One person. You said "purists"
And a few others have said it doesn't count as a BBC Xmas ghost story, as if everything they watch still has to be served up by Auntie Beeb live.

One person pointed out that Christmas does not occur in November.

Cole
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Cole »

I've just watched this episode of Doctors and thought it had some genuinely creepy moments; the computer screen moment was one such. Not sure how a viewing would have fared at its transmission time of 1.45pm, but I trotted this out at midnight, which may have helped with atmosphere.

It's not the first time Doctors has been of interest; there was the episode, a few years back, where Sylvester McCoy played and actor who was famous for his children's science fiction series as a time travelling Lollipop Man.

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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by brigham »

Cole wrote:
...It's not the first time Doctors has been of interest; there was the episode, a few years back, where Sylvester McCoy played and actor who was famous for his children's science fiction series as a time travelling Lollipop Man.
Ah! That must explain the rumour that he once played Dr. Who!

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Bob Richardson
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Bob Richardson »

Unable to sleep last night, I came downstairs for a Lemsip and turned on the TV about 3am. There was nothing worth watching so I decided to give this a go. In daylight it's probably quite creepy, but in the dead of night, in a house with the heating off, and rain against the windows, it was CHILLING. It deserves a late evening repeat on the network.
"Forfar 5 - East Fife 4"

giallofan
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by giallofan »

This must have baffled most regular viewers of the programme. It's a pity they didn't come up with an original supernatural story set more firmly within the usual settings of the show. That approach might have been more effective and more properly Jamesian. Nothing about this worked for me, and I agree that the lead character was incredibly annoying. It did make me wonder what a daytime supernatural show from the Beeb along the lines of Dark Shadows might look like.

JezR
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by JezR »

A spooky special episode for Halloween is somewhat a tradition on Doctors so it would not have been as much of a surprise. For example this is the summary page for 2013 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03g8bbs

This year's even gets a behind the scenes feature - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p029q3hm

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Ian Wegg
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Ian Wegg »

giallofan wrote:This must have baffled most regular viewers of the programme. It's a pity they didn't come up with an original supernatural story set more firmly within the usual settings of the show.
Doctors is a fairly run of The Mill (in-joke there) formulaic series but regular viewers, of which I am one, know to expect the occasional off the wall episode. Fridays are a good day to catch them. Sometimes they are spooky like this one, other times out and out comedy.

Thanks JezR for the behind the scenes link.

~iw

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Paul Hayes
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Paul Hayes »

Haven't they also done whole weeks of Austen and Shakespeare-themed episodes in the past, too?

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Ian Wegg
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Ian Wegg »

Paul Hayes wrote:Haven't they also done whole weeks of Austen and Shakespeare-themed episodes in the past, too?
I failed to think of an example to illustrate my point so thanks for that! Yes the "Sense and Sensibility" storyline was a very surreal week.

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Ian Wegg
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Ian Wegg »

Ian Wegg wrote:
Paul Hayes wrote:Haven't they also done whole weeks of Austen and Shakespeare-themed episodes in the past, too?
I failed to think of an example to illustrate my point so thanks for that! Yes the "Sense and Sensibility" storyline was a very surreal week.
Every episode of Doctors this week contains a story based around a Shakespeare sonnet.

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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by fatcat »

I love 'Doctors' when I can get to see it, like the characters,humour and it's tendency to sometimes go a bit wacky, such a nice change from the hell hole world of Emmerdale, Eastenders etc which just consist of immoral characters shouting at each other and big fires.

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Ian Wegg
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Ian Wegg »

Just a heads up that the unmissable annual Doctors Halloween special is tomorrow.

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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by fatcat »

ghughesarch wrote:Well, for Hallowe'en, actually. Cunningly disguised as an episode of light, fluffy, daytime soap "Doctors". It's gathered a bit of attention in M R James circles at least, for not being anywhere near as bad as the Beeb's last version of "Oh Whistle and I'll come to you". Still has 13 days left to run on iplayer, and worth a watch.
iplayer, Doctors S16 E124
Doctors occasionally goes to another plain with some quite raving mad episodes- but a change is as good as a rest and is all good fun.

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Ian Wegg
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Doctors

Post by Ian Wegg »

An interesting episode today, "Connie & Clyde", reuniting Wendy Craig and Bruce Montague nearly 40 years after Butterflies.

Image

Mark
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Mark »

Ah, that's nice, happy memories of Carla Lane's Magnum Opus.!
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

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Ian Wegg
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Ian Wegg »

Yes. I'm not a huge fan of Carla Lane's work but I did think that Butterflies was good.

Reuniting former pairings is another of the slightly wacky aspects of Doctors that lifts it above the normal soap. When Diane Keen was a regular they did an episode with her Cuckoo Waltz partner David Roper. I kept expecting the line "Chris ... Fliss ... Kiss".

There have been other examples but the cast list in IMDB is now far too large to use as a memory jogger.

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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Mark »

Yes, there seems to be more and more referencing of archive TV, see "Endeavor" as well.
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

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Ian Wegg
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Ian Wegg »

Ian Wegg wrote:There have been other examples but the cast list in IMDB is now far too large to use as a memory jogger.
I've remembered a previous example was the episode "Feud" with Su Pollard and Ruth Madoc. Interestingly it aired on 8 Oct 2018, precisely a year before "Connie & Clyde". Another date to keep an eye on in future.

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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by Mark »

The US were at it ages ago though, "Diagnosis Murder" did an episode with cast members from "MASH" (TV and Film) and another with cast from "Star Trek".
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

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Re: Doctors

Post by Darren Fricker »

Ian Wegg wrote:An interesting episode today, "Connie & Clyde", reuniting Wendy Craig and Bruce Montague nearly 40 years after Butterflies.

Image
Thanks for the tip off.

I don't usually watch Doctors but it was quite touching to see those two acting together again.

Also, what appears to be a frothy story has a powerful, poignant twist and is beautifully underplayed.

Give it a go.

JezR
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Re: BBC sneak out a disguised "Ghost Story for Christmas"

Post by JezR »

fatcat wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:26 pm
Doctors occasionally goes to another plain with some quite raving mad episodes- but a change is as good as a rest and is all good fun.
In the raving mad category, the episode on 12/3/2020 had a storyline where a woman thinks everyone she meets is Joe Pasquale. With Joe Pasquale playing all the characters.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000g76n

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