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Doctor Who: Ghost Light (Doctor Who Library (Target) #149)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  145 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Perivale, 1983

A column of smoke rises from the blazing ruins of a forgotten, decaying mansion.

Perivale, 1883

In the sleepy, rural parish of Greenford Parva, Gabriel Chase is by far the most imposing edifice. The villagers shun the grim house, but the owner, the reclusive and controversial naturalist Josiah Samuel Smith, receives occasional visitors.

The Reverend Ernest Math
Paperback, 160 pages
Published November 28th 1990 by Carol Pub Group (first published November 1990)
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Matthew Kresal
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It is no secret that several stories of the later years of the original series of Doctor Who suffered from edits made for reasons of running time rather then plot necessity. Ghost Light was one of the best examples of this and it does indeed remain a Doctor Who story that raises a lot of questions. Some of those questions through have been answered and have been for some time. The Target novelization of the story, published in 1990 and novelized by Marc Platt (the same writer who wrote the telev ...more
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ghost Light is a psychedelic tale about transformation. The Doctor influences his companion Ace as evolution unfolds around them in a tense, dramatic 19th century house inhabited by an alien survey team who have pretensions to become human. Light, the arch-villain of the story, is something quite unlike anything else ever seen in Doctor Who. This novelisation captures the horror of the script and allows us the point-of-view of many of the characters, thus enabling us to better understand a dense ...more
A Bald Mage** Steve
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
A good story that's to clever for its own good.... 6.5/10
Sep 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-if
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]After enjoying most of Marc Platt's other work, including his novelisation of Battlefield, I was looking forward to reading this. I'm afraid I was disappointed. Once again, I realise just how vital the direction and acting of the TV version can be; and the intensely visual and subtle original just loses most of its vitality and mystery on the printed page. In particular, we lose the striking visual appearance of Nimrod the Neanderthal ...more
Sean LeBeau
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: doctor-who
Throughout this whole book I kept thinking to myself, "I can't tell if this is really bad or really good." I'm going with really mediocre. Like the original serial on which it is based, this novelization had the potential to be one of the greatest Doctor Who stories ever. The core story is there, and it's good. But the book feels like someone took the script (which had probably already been bastardized) and tried to make it into something it wasn't. There main culprits here are the characters' t ...more
I could almost say I'd finished this being a little way into the final disc of 6 but the story was moving too slowly to stand driving round and round any longer to get it finished before the library closed on the day it was due back and with someone else having requested it.

I'm sure it wasn't entirely the story's fault that it seemed to take forever... but some of it was, and that was a pity because it was atmospheric, original and interesting and had some fascinating characters. Well read too..
Michael Mills
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Few stories better exemplify the newfound ambition of late 80s Doctor Who than Ghost Light. There's a surfeit of ideas and influences (Arthur Conan Doyle, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Darwin, Richard O'Brien), and if they don't all quite come together, you can at least see they're all pushing in the same direction: Ghost Light wants to be a story about class and religion and personal demons, and all the rest of it all at once. It's realised what Doctor Who can do and is so excited: it's also a s ...more
Nov 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, doctor-who
The Doctor Who episode "Ghost Light" is known for being a bit hard to follow upon a first viewing. The story was compressed and too much left out of the broadcast. With multiple viewings, especially in context of Ace's total character arc, it makes more sense. I had been told the novelization fills in a lot of the gaps. I suppose it does, but the story remains one of the stranger, but certainly one the most ambitious, of any classic Doctor Who tales. Props to Marc Platt for not following the sam ...more
John Nondorf
Dec 02, 2016 rated it liked it
In the DVD extras on the "Ghost Light" episode, which was the most confusing Doctor Who I've ever seen, it was stated that much was cut from the story to meet time constraints and that the book version told the story better. I do think it is a good story overall, but there are just too many characters and the narrative point of view shifts in jarring and confusing ways. A decent quick read, but it could still be better.
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Marc Platt is a British writer. He is most known for his work with the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who.

After studying catering at a technical college, Platt worked first for Trust House Forte, and then in administration for the BBC. He wrote the Doctor Who serial Ghost Light based on two proposals, one of which later became the novel Lungbarrow. That novel was greatly anticipated
More about Marc Platt...

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