The Troubled Spirit
Year 1 - Episode 19
A ghost stalks the moon -the ghost of a living man -bringing horror and death in its wake.
- Shooting script 11th November 1974
- Filmed 20th November- 4 December 1974
- Unusually Sylvia Anderson involved herself with this story, according to Johnny Byrne.
- Giancarlo Prete was the first of the Italian actors recruited to the show as a result of RAI funding. Sylvia Anderson and casting director Michael Barnes had been to Italy to find a number of Italian actors, and a number were brought to Britain for screen tests with Martin Landau. According to Sylvia Anderson, Martin Landau felt threatened by the tests, but Prete was not intimidated and was therefore cast.
- The only model effects are stock shots of the base.
- Live action SFX include split screens (there is a long pan from the ghost to Mateo) and the ghost superimposed.
- Note the ghost in the seance first materialises in reverse (see the sleeve)
Original score by Jim Sullivan, recorded at Wembley on Wednesday 20th November 1974. Sullivan is seen peforming in the concert scene. The instrument is a Coral Electric Sitar (the name "Coral" is visible on the instrument).
- The idea seems based on Cleve Backster's 1966 experiments that plants respond to feeding and damage (he used a lie detector to measure the conductivity of leaves). But results were unreliable and his interpretations far fetched (shredded plants gave results that were as good as live plants, so it was claimed that plants liked being eaten, likening the act to Christian Communion). Plants don't have nervous systems so they can't respond to pain or happiness, although environmental stresses will obviously have metabolic effects. Backster, a polygraph operator, not a scientist, published his paper in the International Journal of Parapsychology vol. 10, no. 4, Winter 1968. One of many assessments is John M. Kmetz, Plant perception in The Skeptical Inquirer, 1978.
- Bergman comments we only use 18% of our brain potential. This is based on widespread myth (usually quoted as 10%) that is often attributed to Albert Einstein (no source has ever been found). A functional MRI scanner shows that all parts of the brain are used, not just 18%. Brain functions are localized, so certain parts will be activated when doing different things, just as only certain muscles are used for specific actions.
3 fatalities, Dr James Warren, Laura Adams, Dan Mateo.
Different Hydroponics units are seen in A Matter Of Balance and The Beta Cloud.
The Hydroponics set includes three silo caps from NDA 2 (Breakaway) from on the wall (also seen in Force Of Life).
The ghost first materialises as a mirror image (see the sleeve)
The ghost forces the left side of Mateo's face into the field- but his right side is scarred.
- The original script featured a quintet of musicians including Bergman.
- It is not explained how the exorcism works. In the script, Bergman explains that the forcefield "reverses the polarities" of the wave pattern, thus cancelling it out.
- Mateo's girlfriend always calls him by his surname. In the script she called him "Dan" and, once, "Paul".
- The title is from the 1662 Prayer Book: "The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit, a broken and contrite heart."
- The concept is of a wraith or doppelganger, the ghost of a living person that appears to foretell their death. The idea is common in mythology and folklore; stories often have the subject trying to avoid their inevitable death (Catherine the Great saw her doppelganger and ordered her troops to shoot at it).
- The This Episode sequence includes a brief shot of Bergman from a deleted scene (explaining how his force-field cancels out the energy pattern).