Well, by now Who fans have presumably watched the first Pond Life minisode, and the show's coming back on Saturday. So here's another of my old reviews, originally posted on Brontoforumus on 2008-03-28.

The Seventh Doctor era gets a lot of (presumably well-deserved) flack, and some fans blame McCoy and Aldred for the waning quality and ultimate cancellation of the show. Others blame the writers, and Ghost Light seems to vindicate that view, as it shows McCoy and Aldred do a perfectly good job when they have a decent script to work from.

Ghost Light tends a bit toward the confusing and I found myself hitting up Wikipedia to explain what it was I'd just seen when it was over, but that's not necessarily a negative; some of my favorite sci-fi is inscrutable.

It's something of a mishmash of references to such works as The Shining, Pygmalion, and Heart of Darkness, with a dash of Douglas Adams thrown in. But the Victorian haunted-house ambience is suitably creepy, and most of the cast -- creepy housekeeper, insane hunter, lord of the manor who wears glasses indoors, caveman, crazy hooded figure, monstrous angel -- is interesting. The Seventh Doctor comes across as a mysteryman who manipulates Ace to force her to confront fears out of her past, and when he confronts Light in the final act, reminds the audience that he is indeed both ancient and alien. Ace is a far more complex character than most companions in the original series, and paves the way for Rose and Martha to have involved and (sometimes) interesting backstories 15 years later.

All in all, it's better than the Tom Baker/Terry Nation/Douglas Adams Dalek story I watched two weeks ago, and that has to count for something.

$12.99 on Amazon -- worth buying. Or you can stream it -- free if you've got Prime, $1.99 for each episode ($6 total) for a 7-day rental, or, inexplicably, the same price for a purchase.