Ghosts of Motley Hall - Five ghosts who
lived in a cobweb-filled English mansion on the children's British fantasy
comedy THE GHOSTS OF MOTLEY HALL/ITV/1976-77.
The Ghosts of Motley hall included:
- Sir George Uproar, (Freddy Jones), a
Victorian general who had lead his troops their deaths.
- Bodkin (Arthur English),
an Elizabethan jester who served the original Uproar, Sir Richard
mysterious White Lady (Sheila Staefel) who roamed and moaned through the halls
of Motley (she couldn't remember whom she was).
- Sir Francis "Fanny" (Nicholas Le Prevost), an 18th-century gambler and
dandy whose lifestyle of drinking and dueling did him in.
- Matt (Sean Flanagan), a teenage stable boy from the 18th century who died
of pneumonia and decided to take up residence in the hall. He was the only one
of the five who could leave the mansion because he was not subject to the
Comfortable enough within the prison walls of Motley Hall, the
ghosts had become comfortable with their confinement, but when Sir Humphrey, the
latest member of the Uproar family died (an elephant crushed him in 1976), their
mansion soon found itself eyed by real estate developers who wanted to upgrade
or demolish the place.
Mr. Gudgin (Peter Sallis) the local real estate agent was
a confederate of the ghost's concerns and tried to keep undesirables from buying
the mansion. The ghosts, too, did their best to haunt the place and keep
potential buyers away.
Eventually (on the final episode), after 400 years of
haunting the estate, an exorcism released the ghosts from their curses so they
could finally make their journey to the after-life.
The series was written by
Richard Carpenter the creator of the popular children's drama CATWEAZLE/1970-71.
Opening Narration from the Series
"There has been an Uproar at Motley Hall since the days of Queen Elizabeth the
First. And although the dust now lies thick on its historic floors and weeds
choke its once-fine gardens, there are Uproars still at Motley Hall. The house
imposing, grand, decaying, unused, is not yet quite empty.
There are five Ghosts in Motley Hall. The oldest is Bodkin, an Elizabethan Fool
employed by Motleys first owner, Sir Richard Uproar. Bodkin eventually died of
flu, the result of being thrown in the lily-pond by Sir Richard, and he has
haunted Motley with his bad jokes ever since.
There is the White Lady, the mystery of Motley. A conventional sort of ghost,
she goes in for wailing and moaning now and again, but she can usually be
cheered up by Fanny—Sir Francis—Uproar, a dashing if rather dim eighteenth
century Uproar who died of a fatal combination of drink and dueling.
General Sir George Uproar is the noisiest of the lot. A soldier of the
nineteenth century, he was the backbone of the British Army until he fell down
stairs and broke his neck.
And finally there is young Matt, a stable lad of the Regency period, and the
only one of Motley's ghosts who is able to leave the house and rove freely in
the grounds. Matt is the eyes and ears of Motley Hall, warning the other ghosts
when danger threatens—be it demolition, redevelopment, or new house owners who
know nothing of ghosts and their ways.
Like residents of some lonely guest house, the ghosts of Motley Hall, each from
a different era in the house's history, are compelled to get along with each
other as best they might, and try somehow to keep the twentieth century away
from their doorstep, that they might remain undisturbed as the sole occupants of
their ancestral Motley Hall home."
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