Marc Platt

Doctor Who: Ghost Light
  • Doctor Who: Ghost Light

  • Perivale, 1983. A column of smoke rises from the blazing ruins of a forgotten, decaying mansion. Perivale, 1883. In the sleepy village of Greenford Parva, Gabriel Chase is by far the most imposing edifice. The villagers shun the grim house, but the owner, the reclusive and controversial naturalist Josiah Samuel Smith, receives occasional visitors. The Reverend Ernest Matthews, for instance, Dean of Mortarhouse College, has travelled from Oxford to refute Smith’s blasphemous theories of evolution. And in a deserted room upstairs, the Doctor and Ace venture from the TARDIS to explore the decaying mansion... Who - or what - is Josiah Smith? What terrible secret does his house conceal? And why does Ace find everything so frighteningly familiar? Ian Hogg, who played Josiah Smith in the original Doctor Who TV serial, reads Marc Platt’s complete and unabridged novelisation, first published by Target Books in 1990.

Born in Wimbledon in the early 1950s, Marcus Platt attended technical college to learn catering before giving up a job with Trust House Forte to work at the BBC on the administrative side, involved in the cataloguing of data regarding the BBC’s radio output followed by a post as a selector in the BBC’s Sound Archives. He was a Doctor Who fan from the programme’s start, which led him to become a member of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society and a contributor to fanzines and Doctor Who Magazine. He submitted a number of ideas to the series towards the end of its initial run. One of these eventually became Ghost Light (1989). He went on to adapt his own story and Ben Aaronovitch’s scripts for Battlefield for the Target range of novelisations. He wrote two original novels for Virgin (Cat’s Cradle: Time’s Crucible, 1992; Lungbarrow, 1997). He also penned the spin-off video Downtime, featuring the Brigadier, Sarah Jane Smith, Professor Travers and the Yeti, and novelised his script of this production for Virgin in 1996. Platt continues to contribute to the Doctor Who universe with several audio scripts for Big Finish’s range of plays and entries in a number of short story anthologies also published by Big Finish. He has also written for the 2007 audio revival of Blake’s 7. His audio story Spare Parts was the inspiration behind the 2006 Doctor Who television story Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel, for which Platt received an on-screen credit, although he himself did not write the teleplay. Author biography by David J. Howe, author of The Target Book, the complete illustrated guide to the Target Doctor Who novelisations.