The Stone Tape Instant Video | DVD
Directed by Peter Sasdy
Written by Nigel Kneale
Starring Michael Bryant, Jane Asher, Iain Cuthbertson, Michael Bates, Tom Chadbon
Originally Released: December 25, 1972
In the most recent Doctor Who episode, entitled Hide, which we reviewed on the latest TARDISblend, the Doctor finds himself meeting a duo of "ghost hunters" in a mansion. Investigating the alleged haunting, the Professor explains to the Doctor a rundown of the sightings in the building, and incidents including the discovery of cans of Spam and a letter hidden behind a boarded up stone steps. This key moment in the episode is a direct reference to a notable BBC story from the 1970’s called The Stone Tape, and was a key influence on that episode.
Being an obstinate Whovian, I was curious to learn more about The Stone Tape, and was pleasantly surprised to find it streaming from Amazon. Not only does the classic televised play feature essential plot elements that would be implied in the Doctor Who episode of Hide, but it’s also implied that Hide is almost somewhat of a sequel (in a manner of speaking, to a degree, maybe) of The Stone Tape.
In tribute to the classic haunted house/ghost horror movies of the 1970s, Doctor Who enters into the paranormal of a poltergeist fare, with Hide as Series 7 continues. In a story written by Neil Cross, and directed by Jamie Payne, the Doctor (Matt Smith) and companion Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) arrive at Claiburn House on November 25, 1974, where they meet two ghost hunters.”
In the gigantic mansion, Professor Alec Palmer (Dougray Scott) and his assistant, an empath named Emma Grayling (Jessica Raine) are investigating a strange apparition that has been appearing on the site since well before it was built. The Doctor and Clara begin to assist them with their investigation, suspecting more to the story than just being a ghost story; while the Doctor may have an additional reason for visiting Claiburn House in 1974…
During TARDISblend 62, we discuss the tributes made to classic horror movies and stories from the Seventies, and take a look at the numerous references to Classic Doctor Who. We also look at the connections with made with the upcoming docudrama focusing on the beginnings of Doctor Who, called An Adventure In Space And Time.
As usual, we make some Classic Who recommendations too… All this and more on the latest TARDISblend!