Martin’s Close is subtitled “A Ghost Story For Christmas“, and is directed and adapted for TV by Mark Gatiss, from the original story by MR James.
Set in 1684, the Martin in question is John Martin (Wilf Scolding), who’s on trial for murder, allegedly having bumped off a woman called Anne Clark (Jessica Temple) by slitting her throat, and then putting her body in the lake, following a dance in the pub with her.
For the most part, however, it does feel rather dull and directionless as we’re meant to care whether he’ll choose Ms Clark, or the woman to whom he’s meant to be engaged.
Hence, all that stood out is that the judge (played by Elliot Levey – one of those people I’ve seen on this and that is overly camp, and there’s camp narration from Simon Williams, best known for shows like Don’t Wait Up, alongside Nigel Havers.
Even Doctor Who‘s Peter Capaldi can’t save it.
Finally, for me, there’s only one bit that could have any link to make this a ghost story. You’ll know it when you see it, but for that, you’ll have to watch the programme to find out what it is.
Martin’s Close is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but it is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.
Director: Mark Gatiss
Producer: Isibeal Ballance
Writer: Mark Gatiss
Dolben: Peter Capaldi
Judge Jeffreys: Elliot Levey
John Martin: Wilf Scolding
Sarah Arscott: Sara Crowe
Thomas Snell: James Holmes
Ann Clark: Jessica Temple
Scanton: Simon Williams
William: Fisayo Akinade
Hosier: Ian Hallard
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.