Blimey, when you hear the words “sonic lipstick” and “vibrating” spoken within 10 seconds of each other by the Goddess that is Elisabeth Sladen, then you know you’re in for a treat. Now please forgive this slightly adolescent and puerile start to this review of an excellent Stephen Cole story, but I had to get that off my chest as it did make me giggle somewhat.
The Ghost House is a seemingly simple tale of a time-traveling house that suddenly appears on Bannerman Road. Sarah Jane discovers the anomaly in her dressing gown (of all things!) but the local milkman reckons it’s been done for a TV make-over show.
We then discover that this specific place (and time zones) have been chosen for a reason. Good or bad? I’ll let you guess (I shan’t spoil the surprise). Cole neatly divides the story between now and 1884 and expertly delivers some shivers. Rani is the first to go back in a top scene that will get you looking behind – just in case.
What waits in store is a misunderstood alien bounty hunter whose name translates in Russian (it was found in Russia) as “Death, Kill, Massacre.” Sladen portrays the character with much humour and, “Deathy” (as it gets renamed), comes off as a cross between Gok Wan and Jabba The Hutt.
And this got me thinking. Deathy becomes part of the SJ Gang very quickly and you’ll be sad when the extra~terrestrial leaves. One can only hope that the makers of The Sarah Jane Adventures consider welcoming an alien to the team on the television show – it would be an intriguing addition.
Although The Ghost House gets off to a slow start, the atmospheric scenes and excellent production values more than compensate for this. When the ‘real’ baddie appears, we are treated to some terrific sound effects that WILL chill. Don’t listen on your own!
As is the norm with audios, older listeners will have to suspend their age a little – the writing is basic and pitched for the appropriate age group. There are also a lot of introductions (Luke, Clyde, Rani and Mr Smith are all treated as if we’ve never met them), which is a bit odd because I cannot imagine anyone buying this (great price too, I might add!) who wasn’t familiar with all the characters. But, those points aside, the SJA audio range continues to impress.
The Ghost House is out now.