Monday, 24 November 2014
It seems almost bad sport to find TWNHs in televised ghost stories, not least because fans are starved of decent offerings on TV. There is no shortage of generic horror/supernatural dramas ('Penny Dreadful', 'Intruders' etc.) but ghosts usually only appear on TV at Christmas, and the last non-festive tales we recall were 'The Secret of Crickley Hall' and 'Lightfields'. Still it must be said, would anyone outside of TV drama choose to enter a stranger's house alone after dark, and would anyone spend more than, say, 0.3 seconds in a supposedly deserted room that had a fire blazing and several candles lit?
While we're getting the grumbles out of the way, there were distinct nods to both 'The Woman in Black' and 'Oh Whistle & I'll Come to You My Lad' in this story of strange goings-on involving a curmudgeonly pensioner (Michael Palin) who fakes a fall in order to escape his house and be sent into a home.
To reiterate, though, ghosts are fairly thin on the ground on TV, so viewers must be grateful for what they get and this was in many respects a fairly promising first episode (of three) with some genuinely scary moments. Most of those are thanks to some good camerawork, cutting and sound effects, but there are some decently disturbing chills in there. If you're thinking of going to Scarborough for a break, we advise waiting a few weeks 'til the story's told.