Ghosts is a Comedy on the BBC created by Laurence Rickard, Mathew Baynton, Jim Hawick, Martha Howe-Douglas, Ben Willbond and Simon Farnaby, and which first aired on the BBC in April 2019.
The storyline follows a young couple, Alison and Mike Cooper, who have inherited a mansion, only to discover it is haunted by ghosts. The ghosts originally feel threatened by new humans moving in — much because they plan to make money out of it — and as such, decide it would probably be a better idea to kill them. Unfortunately, Alison ends up being the unlucky person who is chosen to be sacrificed, and while she is leaning out of the window, she’s pushed out of the window, by Julian, the ghost of a Tory MP who died on the toilet.
For this reason, Alison is currently the only living character who can see the ghosts.
The show recently finished its 4th Series — which ran from the 23rd of September until the 28th of October — and which sees Button House now open for business, with the launch of Alison and Mike’s new gatehouse.
In this blog, I’m going to give each of the episodes in the new series a summary, while giving my views on it as well.
Episode 1 Summary
Episode 1 of the new series sees Alison and Mike welcoming their first gets to their new B&B, with high hopes of getting a glowing review.
Meanwhile, Thomas is perplexed but secretly thrilled by the sudden attention he’s getting from the Plague ghosts, who are now affording him celebrity status, and believes they are interested in his art. The Captain is certain this is not the case.
What I liked about this episode was how we got to see Kitty acting as a PA to Thomas, and how we found out more about the friendship they have with each other.
I also liked how we got to see a different side of Robin — kind of like a Bouncer — where we got to see his more serious side.
But as much as it is good to be positive about everything, I would like to add in the parts I was disappointed in.
Julian has always been one of my favourite characters — next to Thomas — mostly because he doesn’t apologise for anything, ever. For this reason, I did like the idea of Julian and Fanny eathesdropping on the guests, but I think Alison and Mike wanting to find out more about their guests as well just ruins it. Either way, I don’t think we see much of the usual version of Julian other than in the beginning and at the end, when he sneaks away from the house without anyone following him, which was slightly disappointing.
It would have also been nice though to see the end of Captain’s ‘I told you they weren’t interested in your art’ poem to Thomas, but other than these points, I did enjoy the episode.
Episode 2 Summary
Mary tells Julian about her journey of finding self discovery after being killed in the witch trials, as well as how she found her voice.
Meanwhile, Thomas decides to go cold turkey on his Alison addiction — after she gets annoyed at his attempts to flirt with her — which he enlists help from Pat for to keep him on track.
Elsewhere, old friends of Mike check in to the gatehouse and agree to share the surprising secret of their success, while the Captain — thrown by a change to his daily routine — spends time with Kitty, who teaches him to live in the moment.
Alison gets some spare time to spend with Robin, and Lady B remembers some lost friends.
Although I wasn’t expecting Mary’s story to be told in the way that it was — which was slightly disappointing, giving how we still have to fill a bit in regarding her death — I more than understand why it had to be that way, since each episode of Ghosts airs half an hour before the watershed.
I liked how the ‘Thomas goes cold turkey on Alison’ storyline was similar to what you would find with someone coming off drugs. But while I’m on this subject, I also liked how at other parts of the episode, we saw Pat and the Captain as ‘the parents’ to Kitty and Thomas, even if they were born generations apart.
It was also interesting seeing Alison wanting to make time to spend with the ghosts, instead of only shouting at them or shooing them away or not making time for them, as we saw in series 1, 2 and 3.
Episode 3 Summary
The ghosts are shocked by how much Alison has just told them off — the most she ever has, and bar Mary — the only one who didn’t do anything wrong — they agree to come up with a creative way of getting back in Alison’s good books, to show how truly sorry they are, which might include saying sorry in the form of song and dance.
Meanwhile, Alison and Mike have a last minute cancellation at the gatehouse — and after the stressful morning they’ve had already — decide a relaxing day off is all they need.
But soon they discover that a relaxing day off is far more challenging than it actually looks.
Out of all of the episodes, this one is by far my favourite, for a couple of different reasons.
We’ve seen Alison getting annoyed before, but not to the point where she’s completely had it, and refuses to speak to any of the ghosts. For this reason, it was fun seeing her in this episode — having just finished shouting at them when the episode begins and later shouting at them again later on in the episode — which is something we haven’t really seen since the second episode of series 1, and even then, not for that long.
It was also interesting how out of all of the ghosts, Mary was the only one who hadn’t upset Alison, and how the episode framed her much like the good child, who chose not even to get involved with the discussions the others were having about what would be the best way to apologise.
My favourite part of the episode is of course ‘The Sorry Song’, which the ghosts perform to Alison while she is trying to relax with Mike. With Julian controlling a synthesiser, a melody performed by every ghost, bar Mary, and a rap from Thomas, it is seriously the best part of the entire series.
Yes; it would have been nice seeing what initially made Alison lose it, instead of hearing about it while the ghosts argue with each other, as well as after the second telling off, but in fairness, it is hard to fit everything into a 30 minute timeframe.
Episode 4 summary
Button House is dealt a major blow after one ghost gets sucked off — leaving most of them needing emotional support. Kitty looks to Pat for moral support — which he is more than happy to oblige — but ends up in even more deep water when he tries to offer words of comfort.
Meanwhile, Mike realises there have been some crossed wires over an event booking, that sees him having to host a children’s birthday party for two little girls.
It was a massive shock when one of the ghosts was sucked off (I’m not spoiling which one is), but the rest of the episode had me hypothetically holding my breath, while laughing at most parts but feeling like I wanted to cry by the end.
I laughed especially at Pat’s attempts to not upset Kitty, as well as at Mike, who mistakes an 8 and 6 year old’s birthday party for an 86 year old’s party. Other moments I found especially funny were when the entertainer arrived (prepared to host an adult party but — because Mike forgot to tell him — is forced into entertaining children), as well as each time Thomas talks about himself instead of the ghost that moved on, and when Alison ends up saying the worst thing you could ever say at a children’s birthday party — that you have to treasure everyone in your life while they are there as they could be gone the next minute.
But while a large portion of the episode is emotional, I did notice a look on Alison’s face while the children’s birthday party is taking place. Is it possible that we will see a baby Cooper being announced soon?
Episode 5 summary
Alison discovers that her and Mike’s neighbour, Barclay, has been scheming behind their backs, with a plan to threaten the success of their gatehouse business.
For Alison, this warrants all out war — which she enlists help from Julian for to help decide on what she should do next.
Meanwhile, the ghosts discover a new ghost on the field next to them, call Maddocks, who they make a rota to visit, while Mike attempts to mix things up for future guests, by secretly investing in some not-so-cheap equipment that Alison wouldn’t approve of.
It was nice seeing the return of Barclay Beg-Chetwynde (played by Geoff McGirven), who we hadn’t seen since the beginning of Series 3, and yet again can be described as the worst neighbour ever.
I found myself love / hating him all over again in this episode more than I have in the past, and it was good finding out a bit more of what Alison’s relationship is with him, which I don’t think we’ve seen much of since Series 1.
But it was also nice seeing Alison take some of Julian’s advice on how to get back on Barclay, which helps show a fun side to her character.
Episode 6 Summary
Episode 4 may have been stressful enough, but episode 6 had me feeling like my heart was in my mouth even more!
Alison and Mike receive some exciting news about their gatehouse, but tensions soon rise after a prop of a bear appears on the scene, which Mike and Fanny are rather pleased about, but Alison and Robin are less passionate about,
Meanwhile, Pat and Thomas learn about Veganism — which inspires them to try and force Alison into throwing all meat out of the house — while Julian is confronted by a hard truth that he is determined to prove everyone wrong about, while Kitty attempts to adopt a new way of speaking.
As someone who favours the slightly more unrealistic relationship between Thomas and Alison, the beginning of this episode made me happy. I liked how we got to see the areas where Mike and Alison disagree with each other, and what all happens after they disagree. But as the episode went on, I began to feel even more stressed about what all was happening on screen.
Robin was still funny, but seeing him distressed by the bear prop made me worry. Each time the prop was moved. I got even more worried, especially when it sent a light over towards the portrait of Humphrey — sort of like it was burning it — which even makes Humphrey’s Head wake up. My anxiety levels went even higher when only Mike came along (who of course can’t see the ghosts) but after he moved the prop, I felt better.
The more enjoyable parts of the episode I liked, such as when Kitty changes the way she speaks after talking to Julian, and how Julian reacts to finding out that the Captain calls him morally bankrupt.
But yes; this episode will have you on the edge of your seat as much as Episode 4 does. You also find out something about Robin in this episode as well.
So overall, I think series 4 of Ghosts is an emotional rollercoaster that is well worth watching, full of constant twists about numerous characters.
There’s moments you’ll laugh at, moments that will have you feeling shocked and sad, at other points you’ll feel happy, and there’s also other points that will have you feeling curious!
It isn’t as narrative driven compared to Series 3, but the episodes do still follow a story — being that Button House has opened for business and no one is sure how the ghosts will react to that.
It definitely will leave you feeling curious about what the future holds.
Even the parts I’ve described feeling disappointed about are easy to ignore, and it is with consideration about all of that, that I will rate Series 4 of BBC Ghosts 5 stars.
3 thoughts on “BBC Ghosts Series 4 Review *Spoilers included*”
How do you feel about the American version of Ghosts compared to the British version?
Short answer: It’s good enough but I much prefer the original UK one, but I will happily do a blog comparing the two, if I get a few more requests to do one.
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Interesting, I’d be interested to know why!