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BBC Ghosts Season 2 Episode 3 Review: “Redding Weddy”

Photo Courtesy of the BBC and CBC.

Photo Courtesy of the BBC and CBC.

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 2 Episode 3, “Redding Weddy,” may feature one of the most poignant stories to date. The spotlight turns to the Captain (Ben Willbond) and the tragedy he faced in life. This entire episode is about finding love and the joy and pain that comes with it. Any chance to delve deeper into the lives of any of the ghosts is so worth it. The Captain is no exception.  

The Captain has, of course, always been an integral part of Button House as a leader. Unlocking more of his backstory allows him to show why he is the way he is in his afterlife. A typical British soldier in every way, this episode makes clear that the Captain was always a stickler for rules and chain of command. Within this, however, it’s equally evident that underneath the rigidity is a massive heart and a man with a lot of love to give.

The Captain’s story could have so easily fallen into tragedy porn. Instead, this feels like an authentic representation of a gay man living during World War II. Havers (Peter Sandys-Clarke) is such a sweet love interest for the Captain. Their relationship is so organically sweet, and it’s easy to invest in them even after knowing them for such a short time. It’s the quiet moments between them that bring out the depth of their love. This is a heartbreakingly short introduction to a relationship that deserved so much more. 

BBC Ghosts Season 2 Episode 3, “Redding Weddy,” also follows Fanny (Martha Howe-Douglas) in her quest to, ahem, find herself. Fanny has already proven she, too, is a woman with a lot of love to give, though it may be repressed deep down in the depths of her soul. While she may not have been able to express her love fully in life, there’s something uniquely poignant about seeing her come into her own during her afterlife. This gives us a poignant look into all Fanny could have been in life without constraint. 

The fact that Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) is the object of Fanny’s affection is both heartwarming and hilarious. This episode is a lovely and hilarious reframing for Mike and makes it clear that, of course, he’s always been desirable. Evidently, his silliness and goofball energy are what make him so easy to love. He isn’t just a lovable sidekick to Alison’s (Charlotte Ritchie) story. His story here proves that he can have a massive impact even when he’s in the background.

Finally, this episode is yet another example of the show leaning into developing Button House as a character in its own right. It has taken on the character of each person who has lived here through the ages. It’s clear that, in addition to the ghosts themselves, this estate is infused with the stories that have been left within its walls: love, the passion, the humanity, and, yes, the chaos. This also sets up its future, which looks brighter and brighter with the Coopers’ vision.

BBC Ghosts proves again that individualized character-driven stories are its strongest. The fact that the series continues to pair heartbreaking drama with zany humour proves that it is one of the most unique sitcoms of its time. It’s been established that each of these ghosts lived incredibly rich lives in their respective times. Every chance we get to see a glimpse of those lives is a chance to appreciate these characters even more. 

Stray Spooky Thoughts:

-Robin (Laurence Rickard) becoming a conspiracy theorist reads as alarmingly authentic. It really does happen that quickly, and it’s darkly hilarious to see how fast and unquestioningly he takes the internet bate. 

-Pat’s (Jim Howick) leadership is something this show hasn’t always highlighted so far. However, he was obviously made a scout leader for a reason. Watching him be a scout leader to these ghosts just makes him that much more endearing.

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

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