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DVD Review

DVD cover

Most Haunted (Almost) Live Series 7


Starring: Yvette Fielding and Paul Ross
Universal Pictures UK
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 19 October 2009

Join Yvette Fielding and the team as they go in search of the paranormal in Turin, Italy for five nights; spend three days and nights in the dark as they stake out underground haunts in London; and find out if they're mad enough to go the distance and spend a full week hunting around an old derelict asylum in Wales...

Most Haunted (Almost Live): Series 7 collects together three different allegedly live events featuring the Most Haunted team. I say "allegedly" because everything else is so obviously faked that I wouldn't be surprised if the location footage was prefilmed and passed off as live. One of the main reasons for this is that the locations they go to are normally off limits to the public and so organising access to these places would have been at a time to suit the owners rather than the production.

Each of the stakeouts is spread over its own DVD in this three disc collection. The footage is heavily edited to squeeze each program, or night, into a 30 minute (or less) window.

Disc one, Satan's City, is a five night affair broadcast from Turin, Italy. The show started on 26 March 2008. Brian Sheperd was the main medium for this show, and to say he is pathetic is a serious understatement. Throughout the shows on this disc he constantly looks to Yvette for guidance. So, when she tries to steer him in the right direction, he quickly does as he's told. On more than a couple of occasions she has to correct him about who he's in contact with - which is just laughable. No doubt he's worried about his future on the show - mediums just seem to come and go. Maybe mediumship has replaced media studies as the new preferred English university course for those at a loose end - there seems to be so many of them about.

These episode also feature all your favourite ghostly goings on including stone throwing, groaning, tapping and making Karl Beattie and Stuart Torevell (who incidentally was born on April Fool's Day) be pushed around or possessed by spirits.

My biggest issue with this show was that in each episode presenter Paul Ross explains to us that the team, including Yvette, have no idea where they are or what to expect. He then introduces a background film which tells the history of the location which is narrated by Yvette. Remember, the show is live, so it's not as though Yvette recorded this video after the investigation. Ross actually says: "Remember, Yvette and the team can't hear this bit. They have no real information of what might be lurking inside."

In the ouija board sessions you can also clearly see they pushing the glass with their finger, it keeps slipping off as they can't get a proper grip. This is most obvious when Lesley Smith (allegedly an historian) joins the team for the evening.

In fact, the most scary thing about this investigation are the clothes Yvette appears in at the very start of the show.

Disc two, Total Darkness, sees the team on a three day and night investigation in which they won't see daylight until the final show is over. This was originally broadcast on 29 August 2008, Each day the team investigate a different location: London Tombs, Aldwych tube station and the Cabinet War Rooms.

This disc, once again, makes me suspect that everything is already prerecorded, as the team do away with their link to the studio as they will be underground for the duration. Oh, come on. If the studio can get a live feed they can certainly get a two-way communication going too.

Those worried that there might be no ghostly activity will be pleased to hear that er... there's plenty more stone throwing, tapping, groaning, and Karl and Stuart get attacked again.

The final disc, Village of the Damned, was 2008's Halloween event. Over the course of seven night (Saturday 25 October to Friday 31 October) the team investigated an old vacant, crumbling asylum in North Wales.

Unintentionally hilarious results occur when Yvette attempt to summon the Devil. Halfway through the incantation Yvette commands Satan to appear, but then adds "please". There's also a great little addition back in the studio, where we are warned, in all seriousness: "Please don't try to raise Satan at home." I nearly had to change my underwear, I laughed so much.

This investigation also highlighted something I'd spotted in the other shows. When Karl is separated from the group as part of an experiment, Yvette always asks the ghosts to attack Karl in some way. And in a few too many instances they attack him just before she's finished explaining what she wants them to do. Maybe the ghosts are also psychic.

Even the PR company seemed to be ashamed of this release. We received no press release or other indication that this collection was being released via e-mail, and when the discs arrived in the post there was nothing with them to indicate who had sent them (or why, for that matter). Maybe it was a kindly spirit.

Anyone who still believes that this show is a serious investigation into the paranormal needs to go and get their head examined. I couldn't help thinking that this was a more modern equivalent of that old in-joke the Mornington Crescent game.

There are no extras, praise the Lord.

Just to reiterate - this is pants... Great big tractor pants that your granddad wouldn't be caught dead wearing. Want more ranting? Check out my review of Most Haunted: Series 9.


Darren Rea

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