Saturday, 20 April 2013


This would be the Tom Baker episode of the theoretical one-per-Doctor run, surely...

Even though it does a bigger flashier version of an idea from Timelash of all things, one of those mad throwaway ideas even the bottom of the barrel contains.

So, not the same house Clara died in. Looks similar, and had sudden cold and icing up windows, but no.

The Doctor acting scared in an OTT Old Dark House way compared to genuinely frightened, something fun and then a real uncertainty to send kids behind the sofa. The Doctor missing things, worrying, still being brave, more relatable than more godlike readings.

Palmer and Grayling (his “assistant” as “companion” sounds much too forward!) could easily carry the story - and more stories in future.

“The TARDIS is like a cat, slow to trust.” Hmm.

And a fairly obvious it’s-not-a-ghost twist, then a second twist for the monster as well. And meanwhile, Emma being an empathic psychic is just accepted. Well, you can get them both in character generation, although being Special Traits it’s best to ask the GM first...

It also takes up most of the space of Century House, the unmade Ten-and-Donna episode where much the same thing happens... in the present, during the filming of an episode of Most Haunted. (You’ll get to see my version of that one of these days when I get back to running and writing up The Door...) Shakycam and night vision and a Blair Witch quality might have been interesting, but the 70s setting and The Stone Tape stylings give it a more classic feel.

What to take away as a GM? Have a backup mystery if your first mystery is too obvious? Consider the effect of the TARDIS on an isolated location horror story. Play up some clich├ęs for fun and play others straight...


  1. This would be the Tom Baker episode of the theoretical one-per-Doctor run, surely...

    I had it pegged as the McCoy episode, myself.

    The Doctor presents himself and Clara as figures of authority. He has an ulterior motive that doesn't emerge until much later in the episode. The house itself struck me as much an echo of Gabriel Chase from Ghostlight as any manors around which Four romped, of which there were admittedly many in the gothic years.

    1. All good points, indeed, yes.

      (Although the 70s setting does rather fit Pertwee and Baker, T., of course.)

      So then the Tom one might be the Victorian Gothic in three weeks' time...