Dir. Lesley Manning GB 1992 91 mins (adv 12A)
With: Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene, Mike Smith, Craig Charles, Gillian Bevan
First broadcast on Halloween night, 1992, this elaborately staged pseudo-documentary claimed to investigate paranormal activity in a family home and provoked a huge response from British television audiences at the time. During the course of the “live” broadcast, sinister events become increasingly distressing until the house’s resident poltergeist, Mr Pipes, begins to reach out through the cameras into the world beyond. Although obviously scripted (by Fantastiq guest of honour Stephen Volk), Ghostwatch is an effective and unsettling drama that exhibits huge technical confidence. The programme also raises interesting questions about the nature of reality television and how easily our belief that television can reveal that the truth can be manipulated for the purposes of dramatic entertainment.