The Ghosts of Motley Hall 3.0 – Phantomime

Well, if it’s Christmas and Alfred Marks is playing a genie, it must be time for a panto. This is a ridiculous and very funny episode with a resolution visible from space, but it’s done with such silly spirits that only the crankiest among us could possibly find fault. There are a few completely wonderful gags and a great complication. A teenage girl and her utterly rotten aunts have taken refuge in Motley after a car accident with the snow coming down in buckets. The girl can see all five ghosts and the djinn, but the mean old ladies can’t.

I’m not quite sure about the continuity of this show. I had been wondering during the second series why, if he’s meant to be the caretaker of the property, doesn’t Peter Sallis’s character actually clean up the place. He pays for a new roof at one point, but the floors are thick with dust and broken furniture and there are cobwebs everywhere. At the end of the series, as we saw last time, an incredibly rich man buys Motley, has the place cleaned up, and moves in, and then hands the property over to Sallis’s character in the end. Yet this episode sees the hall back in its decrepit state, with several years of clutter and garbage everywhere. I got curious and popped ahead to look at a couple of clips from series three and it’s all cobwebby and filthy. I wonder why.

That’s all from the Ghosts for now, because we like to rotate shows in and out to keep things fresh. We’ll be back in Motley Hall in September. Stay tuned!

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