Photo Courtesy of the BBC and CBC.

BBC Ghosts Season 1 Episode 5 Review: “Moonah Ston”

Editor’s Note: This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labour of the actors and other creatives involved in the project(s) mentioned here, Pages and Pictures would not exist. Pages and Pictures stands firmly behind SAG-AFTRA members as they fight for fair labour conditions. 

BBC Ghosts Season 1 Episode 5, “Moonah Ston,” is another opportunity to reflect on another one of Button House’s ghostly residents. The continued focus on these characters’ stories is what makes this series shine. Even the new characters fit in perfectly with this hilarious and chaotic ensemble. With surprising twists and turns and new villains, this episode is the perfect way to lead into the season finale. 

Since being introduced, Robin (Laurence Rickard) has carried a lot of the comedic weight. This character elevates a slapstick style of humor to a kind of charm that’s fun to watch. It would be really easy to make this character one-dimensional and unimportant. Instead, this episode gives him a chance to shine. The fact that he is the oldest ghost in Button House gives him a unique perspective about life and the afterlife. 

This episode shows how essential Robin is to Button House as a whole. As an early human, he has a unique connection to the land. Watching him be brushed aside reads as heartbreakingly authentic. He clearly has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the natural world. It’s clear that his connection to the natural world hasn’t diminished in the slightest over the generation. His story here is also a reminder that connection to one’s roots is always worth celebrating. 

The neighbors also give the ghosts a chance to concretely be involved in Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike’s (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) lives. When it’s just the Coopers and the ghosts, it’s easy for the ghosts to just carry on as they always have. With any outsiders, the chaos is dialed up to the maximum. These are powers that could be harnessed for further use. Watching the ghosts try to help the Coopers out makes them that much more endearing. 

Finally, this episode gives Julian (Simon Farnaby) some additional layers. As a crooked politician, he knows slime when he sees it. That’s why it makes so much sense to see him recognize like in the neighbors as they try to swindle the Coopers out of their own home. He is another ghost who proves that for all of his faults, he too has become an integral part of Button House’s story. It’s charming to see him use his villainous ways for good. 

With one episode left in BBC Ghost’s premiere season, the series shows no signs of slowing down. The formula that this series has developed continues to work to near-perfection. The combination of ensemble work with individualized storytelling is what elevates this sweet comedy above so many others. This penultimate episode removes any doubt that this is an ensemble worth investing in. 

Stray Spooky Thoughts:

-By far the worst part about being a ghost is not being able to pet dogs. Seriously, with all of the potential to explore the tragic backstories of the ghosts, this has to be the absolute worst. 

-The fact that the ghosts are now Friends fans is such an endearing way to introduce these characters from various eras to the modern world.

BBC Ghosts Seasons 1-5 are available to Stream on CBC Gem. 

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