7Q. Ghost Light

Season Twenty Six - 1989

Script Editor: Andrew Cartmel
Produced by: John Nathan-Turner
Writer: Marc Platt
Director: Alan Wareing
Designer: Nick Somerville
Incidental Music: Mark Ayres


The Doctor and Ace visit Gabriel Chase, Perivale, in 1883. In 1983 it is a house that Ace blew up. On the face everything seems normal, but after dark the place turns nasty.

There is an long running argument about evolution. On one side is Reverend Matthews, who is set against Darwin's theories. On the other is Josiah Samuel Smith, who is himself the evolved form of a creature brought to Earth by a spaceship located in the basement.

Smith plans to assassinate Queen Victoria and return the British Emipire to its former glory. During the time in the house Ace frees the space craft's owner, Light, who was attempting to catalogue all life in the Universe. Realising that evolution on Earth has caused his catalogue to become obsolete, Light plans to destroy the planet. He disintegrates when the Doctor convinces him that evolution is inevitable, and that Light himself was also evolving.

Josiah Smith reverts to an earlier form while Control and a Neanderthal take off in the space craft.

Regular Cast

  • Ace: Sophie Aldred

Guest Cast

  • Josiah Samuel Smith: Ian Hogg
  • Mrs. Pritchard: Sylvia Simms
  • Redvers Fenn-Cooper: Michael Cochrane
  • Control: Sharon Duce
  • Gwendoline Pritchard: Katharine Pritchard
  • Nimrod: Carl Forgoine
  • Rev. Ernest Matthews: John Nettleton (1-2)
  • Mrs. Grose: Brenda Kempner (1-2)
  • Inspector MacKenzie: Frank Windsor (2-3)
  • Light: John Hallam (3)
  • Husks: Keith Harvie, Jack Talbot
  • Day Maids: Katy Jarrett (1), Sue Somerset (1)
  • Night Maids: Emma Darrell, Vivienne Darke, Diana Frances, Fiona King

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 686. Part One 1 Wednesday, October 4, 1989 7:35 PM - 8:00 PM 4.2M 68%
BBC 1 687. Part Two 1 Wednesday, October 11, 1989 7:35 PM - 8:00 PM 4.0M 68%
BBC 1 688. Part Three 1 Wednesday, October 18, 1989 7:35 PM - 8:00 PM 4.0M 64%
1: Position is outside the top 100


  • Television Centre Studio 3

Outside Locations

  • House nr. Warmell, Dorset

Working Titles

The Bestiary

Life Cycle


This was the last regular classic series Doctor Who story to be made