Sunday, 21 December 2014

Some Christmas Viewing and/or Listening

I'll be dashing hither and yon, and I daresay you will be too - but there may be times during the Christmas and New Year season that you will have an hour or so to kick back, relax, and enjoy some entertainment.

I've been scouring YouTube recently for ghost stories and related matters. Here are a few suggestions (leaving aside ST's own YT channel, of course) for Yuletide enjoyment of a weird, spooky, or otherwise dark nature:

First, a BBC TV drama that suffers from ropey visuals and sound. There's also a very intrusive time code thingy. But it's still a cracker. Wouldn't you like to see Richard E. Grant as Sherlock Holmes and Frank Finlay as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Well, here they are:

Next, an old favourite. I've posted it before, but it's about as seasonal as you can get. 'The Phantom Coach', an animated adaptation of the story by Amelia B. Edwards.

If you want to hear something strange in the way of music, the following link was sent to me by ST regular Jane Jakeman. It's of modern musicians playing oliphants - mediaeval ivory horns, as used by huntsmen, spectral or otherwise. False dreams came out of the ivory gate, remember. Don't have nightmares. Oh, and if you play all four tracks at once it is extra weird.

Now my old friend, radio drama. Not supernatural, but a classic mystery of the sea, the tale of the Mary Celeste has prompted much theorising (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, among others). In this play you get the facts of the case, and the most likely explanation of the disappearance of the captain, his family, and the crew of a seaworthy ship in good weather.

Next, a weird Fortean drama by eccentric actor Ken Campbell, who also appears in it. I suspect the central premise comes from a story by Arthur C. Clarke. Anyway, back to the Eighties for full-on paranoia and a very literal ghost in the machine.

Finally, if you love spaghetti like I love spaghetti, you will endure the cheesy old commercials while you enjoy this Seventies radio adaptation of an American Gothic romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne. CBS Radio Mystery Theatre attempted to review the old radio drama format, with some success. This is over-the-top stuff, and all the more enjoyable for it.

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