In a railway cutting, a solitary figure of a signalman is observed from above standing by the track by a man (referred to as 'The Traveller' in the cast list) who, shielding the sun from his face with one arm, waves the other and calls down 'Hello, Below There'. This is how the first in the BBC's seventies series of 'Ghost Stories For Christmas' started and it is an adaptation of a classic ghost story by Charles Dickens.
The signalman seems fearful and makes no attempt to speak to the traveller. Observing the signalman's demeanour towards him, the traveller states that the signalman appears to be afraid of him. To put him at ease, he reassures the signalman that there is nothing to fear about him. Reassured, the Signalman welcomes the Traveller into his lonely signal box. In front of a fireplace, the two men speak of the signalman's work. His labour consists of a dull, monotonous routine, but the signalman feels he deserves nothing better, as he wasted his academic opportunities when he was young.
During their conversation the Signalman is repeatedly distracted by a ghostly vibration on his signal bell that only he can hear. The Traveller remarks on the bell and the red light at the entrance to the tunnel before changing the subject to how an accident in the tunnel must be a terrible thing, the Signalman looking slightly wide-eyed at this tells him that a tunnel collision is the 'worst to be feared'.
To comfort the disturbed man, the Traveller states that he almost believes he has met a contented man at peace as the Signalman does his duty no matter what and that he has no desire to be anywhere but his signal box. The Traveller agrees to meet the man the next night when the Signalman starts his next shift. Holding his light so that The Traveller can find his way back up the path The Signalman asks him not to call out.
At the inn later that night the Traveller hears the faint whistle and chuffing of a passing train before retiring to bed, and in his sleep dreams of The Signalman telling him not to call out and, even though he could not hear it as the time, of the bell bathed in the red light of the tunnel and making its vibrating ring.
The next evening as the fog settles in, the Traveller returns to find The Signalman waiting for him. The signalman imparts the reasons for his initial fear of him; his waving action and word action mimicked a ghostly spectre which rings his bell and appears to him at the red tunnel light just before a series of accidents. The spectre has appeared to him twice; first before a tunnel disaster, the second before a young bride fell to her death from a passing train.
To reveal any more would be to spoil the ending for you but it's a great ghost story and virtually impossible to find - especially at this price! And apart from the ghost story itself, there is an extra feature on the dvd: the actor, John Nettleton, performing a reading of the original ghost story, so you get twice the chills! For your money you get a laser-etched dvd, housed in a brand new clamshell dvd case, complete with glossy artwork (see picture above) and first class recorded delivery postage and packing, to ensure your dvd reaches you in tiptop condition! even with postage and packing, it still comes in a lot less expensive than if you bought it on another well-known auction website - that's if you could find it there, which you won't as it was deleted in this format in 2003! Grab a bargain!