7.7/10
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The Signalman (1976)

A lonely Signalman is visited by a stranger.

Writers:

Charles Dickens (story), Andrew Davies (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Denholm Elliott ... The Signalman
Bernard Lloyd ... The Traveller
Reginald Jessup ... The Engine Driver
Carina Wyeth Carina Wyeth ... The Bride
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Storyline

For this the sixth of the BBC's "A Ghost Story for Christmas" series we are presented with an adaptation of a Charles Dickens story rather than one by M.R. James. A traveler (Bernard Lloyd) sees a railway signalman (Denholm Elliott) in a lonely location. The signal box is situated between two steep sided hills close to the entrance to a tunnel. The traveler, shielding his eyes from the glare of the sun with one arm, waves to the signalman and cries out "Hallo, Below There". But he is puzzled when the railway worker not only does not reply to him but actually seems to be afraid of him. When the traveler reassures him that there is nothing to fear about him, the signalman welcomes the stranger into his signal box and begins to tell him a remarkable story. Written by Mark_a_Wood <markawood@hotmail.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Short

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1976 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Signalman See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mark Gatiss described Lawrence Gordon Clark's "The Signalman" as "matchless". See more »

Goofs

The character of The Signalman, on 2 occasions, is heard whistling the tune "Tit Willow" from The Mikado, which wasn't produced until 1885. See more »

Connections

Version of Suspense: The Signal Man (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Adaptation of a Charles Dickens ghost story
9 February 1999 | by Matt-195See all my reviews

BBC adaptation of a Charles Dickens ghost story about a lone Signalman (Elliott) who is haunted by the image of man who appears at the mouth of the railway tunnel to warn of impending disaster. One of the best entries in the "A Ghost Story for Christmas" series, the horror is conveyed through Elliott's state of mind after witnessing an horrific mid-tunnel train collission, and is enhanced by bizarre tonal 'music' and a sense of total isolation. Best viewed late at night, The Signalman has stood the test of time and the image of the eyeless screaming phantom (complete with blue skin!) is enough to send shivers down the spine of even the likes of M R James.


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