GHOSTS SERIES 3 | TV PREVIEW PART 1
In the first of three looks ahead to hot UK TV series currently in production, Buzz’s Billie Ingram-Sofokleous gives this historically and phantasmagorically inclined comedy, expected to land in autumn 2021, the once over.
From the marvellously zany brains of the original cast of Horrible Histories comes the third series of Ghosts on the BBC. Set in what seems to be the present day, and the grand if dilapidated manor of Button House, Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and her husband Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) are on the search for their first house when they inherit the family legacy, and the madness ensues.
We meet Lady Fanny Button, a former owner of the house in the Edwardian era; The Captain, who fought in the First World War; and Pat, who has a touching reunion with the Scout who shot him through the neck with an arrow. There’s Thomas Thorne, a poet of great renown from the Regency period; Kitty, a friendly but naïve Georgian lady; Robin the caveman – who has a wonderful connection to the moon – Julian Fawcett, a disgraced MP who died during a scandal and is naked from the torso downwards and Mary, a lady from the Stuart era who was burnt at the stake during the Witch Trials.
In the manor’s basement lurk a large group of ghosts (played by the main cast) who died during the plague and were buried in the pit. Their faces may be disfigured by buboes, but they have a vast knowledge of the boiler. There is also a rarely seen ghost, Jemima, who can be heard by other people from the corporeal world. She often sings nursery rhymes and is considered creepy, even by the ghosts.
In the second series, we were met with plots that built on the first, and storylines both complex and crafted with love, and I for one have been singing its praises. The ensemble cast is something that has often been done in UK comedy, but it takes a lot for it to be done well – and this series has been heavily set with dark gags and very British references to voices that have been heard before.
Expect the multilayered nature of both series to get only more exciting as we settle into the third. Ghosts’ characters have had episodes resolving their backgrounds for some context, the audience meeting the ghosts concurrently with the main characters, but it is done with humour as we find out what makes Thomas, Lady Button and Pat tick. If, like me, you enjoy Blackadder, Upstart Crow or Yonderland this show is for you.
Info and streaming: here
words BILLIE INGRAM-SOFOKLEOUS photos MARK JOHNSON / STEVEN PESKETT