Review The Ghosts Of Motley Hall -s01e01-The Last Uproar

Discussion in 'TV: Reviews' started by michaellevenson, May 19, 2018.

  1. michaellevenson

    michaellevenson Member: Rank 6

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    Motley Hall, ancestral home of the Uproar family, has been uninhabited for 20years-at least by humans. Living there now are four ghosts from different periods in history, but when they discover that Motley is to be pulled down they are forced into action. Unexpectedly a fifth ghost joins them, Matt the stable boy, up until now confined to an afterlife in the stables, now the only ghostly resident of Motley able to leave the house and wander the grounds. A regular visitor is estate agent Gudgin, who occasionally, to his horror, sees The White Lady.

    Freddie Jones...Sir George Uproar
    Sheila Staefel...The White Lady
    Peter Sallis.....Mr Gudgin
    Arthur English....Bodkin
    Nicholas Le Provost...Sir Francis "Fanny" Uproar
    Sean Flanagan.....Matt

    NEXT EPISODE https://www.imdforums.com/threads/the-ghosts-of-motley-hall-s01e02-old-gory.4902/
     
    #1 michaellevenson, May 19, 2018
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  2. michaellevenson

    michaellevenson Member: Rank 6

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    Solid first episode that introduces the ghosts. Freddie Jones as the loud mouthed Sir George was good played in an bombastic scenery chewing manner. Sheila Staefel as The White Lady was always my favourite, the character and the actress were just so well suited. Arthur English was popular at the time, popping up in all sorts of comedy shows and his character Bodkin is the sort of conscience of the group, a jester from Elizabethan times keeping the ghosts amused with jokes and the occasional song. Nicholas Le Provost I admit I've not seen in anything else, but he seems perfect for the role of the cowardly Fanny. I like the little twist in having a younger actor playing the great great grandfather of the much older George.
    This first episode basically introduced us to them all and had two little puzzles for them to solve. Who defaced Sir George's portrait? Matt the stable boy, who had learnt after centuries being confined to the stables, how to transfer himself out and into the house. After realising Matt scribbled on the portrait and blowing his top Sir George and the others took Matt under their wing , pleased to have someone new to talk to, and who isn't confined to Motley. We learn the ghosts can move about in a similar way to Marty Hopkirk in Randall+Hopkirk.
    Sean Flanagan who played Matt tragically died not long after in 1981.
    The ghosts easily disrupted the plans of the two visiting business men planning to pull Motley down by making each other appear conmen to the other. Peter Sallis has a nice recurring role in this as Gudgin the poor guy trying to sell Motley and looking after the place suspecting and 99% sure it's haunted. With the same writer and director as Catweazle, this show has a similar feel to it, being the next project worked on by both.
    8/10
     
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  3. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    Having memories of this series, although little memory of actually watching it much, I started this episode wondering if there would be more to it than just a RENTAGHOST type caper every week, and that visually it would be more impressive than just a stage play shot on videotape.

    I was pleased to see - and I write here at the half way mark, as it is paused during the commercial break - that the writing is already showing more depth than that.

    Arthur English is already giving his character, Bodkin, a degree of poignancy. The clown who nobody wants to hear the jokes of, not even Matt, the stableboy who has never even heard them before. Bodkin comes across as a kindly soul, but one who is sadly resigned to being pretty much ignored and overlooked by everyone.

    Behind the daftness, there is sadness. Bodkin's master sounded like a complete and utter tosser (into water no less) and Matt's story of being killed by the cold in the stable means that these characters all(?) lived unhappy lives. There is depth to the background of this show.

    I will avoid going into huge, sprawling essays about how this series commits an unforgivable sin by it's contention that GHOSTS ARE REAL IN THIS SHOW, and I will not go into the physics of what can make a ghost sneeze. It doesn't matter.

    If we accept the one aspect of the premise, that ghosts are real, then there is a lot of fun to be had with the show.

    Have resumed the second half and - after an amusing spot of bellringing with the wailing lady, Peter Bloody Sallis has turned up! I hope this means that, like Catweazle, we can expect to see a varied crop of familiar faces over the ensuing episodes?

    Thus follows the resolution of the tale, with a nice bit of teamwork from the ghosts saving the day - and the hall.

    Freddie Jones as Sir George Uproar is shown to be, behind the bluster, a completely useless man of decision and action. The crocodile thing was funny and well played by Sallis and Jones.

    I thought, when I started, that I might struggle with this show being largely on videotape and on a static set, after the film quality and location shooting of CATWEAZLE, but the opening shots of this are nicely shot on atmospheric film and the performances and writing are compensating and overcoming whatever format it is shot on.

    So, at the conclusion of this first outing, I find I like the characters and hope to hear more of their backstory. I hope also that their adventures will continue to be nicely plotted and that more gems of comedy, akin to the lovely crocodile anecdote, will be sprinkled along the way.

    Laying the groundwork, so it won't be hitting it out of the park yet, but it still earns itself a solid...

    6 out of 10
     
  4. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    That is sad.

    My assumption, when watching, was that while the rest of the cast are almost certainly "ghosts" now, that the youngest member of the cast would most likely still be around.

    A pity to hear that that is not the case.
     
  5. michaellevenson

    michaellevenson Member: Rank 6

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    Sheila staefel is still around at 82years old, and Nicholas Le Provost is now 71, the others are indeed dead.
     
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