Ghost Light was a novelisation based on the 1989 television serial Ghost Light.
A column of smoke rises from the blazing ruins of a forgotten, decaying mansion.
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.
Who – or what – is Josiah Smith? What terrible secrets does his house conceal? And why does Ace find everything so frightening familiar?
- Tropic of Perivale
- Gabriel Chase
- Uncharted Territory
- Gaslight Boogie
- Josiah's Web
- That's the Way to the Zoo
- Ace's Adventures Underground
- Creature Comforts
- Out of Control
- Twice Upon a Time
- Trick of the Light
- Beautiful Soup
Deviations from televised story
- There is an extra opening sequence detailing the young Ace's visit to Gabriel Chase and the Doctor steering the TARDIS there.
- It is established that Matthews saw Josiah and Gwendoline in London and has come to Gabriel Chase partly because he wants to save her innocence.
- The novelisation includes several scenes and lines that were scripted and/or filmed but cut from the televised version: Ace tipping Josiah off by tampering with a telephone, and the Doctor saying they have to leave the house and be invited back in; the Doctor playing a boogie-woogie on the piano; Gwendoline visiting Redvers; Mackenzie trying to leave the house and being stopped by Light, who causes the front door to become immovably locked; Mrs Pritchard telling two maids, one of whom is armed with a machete, to dispose of Mackenzie; and Nimrod handing in his notice to Josiah (a scene rehearsed for the televised version, but never actually recorded).
- It is explained that Josiah has The Times delivered to Control as a taunt since he knows she won't understand it.
- Ace finds cave paintings in the passage leading to the stone spaceship. These were to have featured in the televised version, but had to be omitted for reasons of cost.
- Ace sees Control on her first visit to the spaceship. Mrs Grose also sees her and tells the Doctor she is resigning.
- It is explained that Mrs Pritchard tricked Redvers into wandering into Light's spaceship, causing his insanity.
- When Light emerges from the lift, he walks straight through the Doctor standing in his path; an effect planned for the televised version, but which eventually proved impossible to achieve on-screen.
- Light travels around the world viewing the lifeforms there.
- It is implied that Josiah brought the ship back to Earth while Light slept.
- Control plans to get Josiah better quarters eventually.
- There is a lot of insight into the Doctor's mental processes, better explaining his motivation at various points.
Writing and publishing notes
- Alister Pearson's original cover design featured the faces of Josiah Samuel Smith and Light, which were removed in the final cover.
- Dedication: "For Ian, Margaret and the wonderful Alice"
- This novelisation was later released as part of The Earth Adventures Collection.
British publication history
One single paperback edition, priced £2.50 (UK), estimated print run: 25,000 copies.