Minerva Halliday is on the Orient Express heading north. She spots a sickly man and graciously dubs him The Ghastly Passenger.
As she leaves the dining car, she puts a hand on his shoulder and says, “I believe.” Later that night, a conductor is looking for a doctor for TGP, and Minerva volunteers her services as a nurse. She diagnoses him as being dead. But only mostly dead, so she begins speaking to him.
She met someone like TGP when she was 6 years old in Ireland and understands that he is a ghost. Relieved that someone finally recognizes his plight, he laughs and gains strength from her belief.
She offers to escort him to London. During a layover in Paris, she takes him to Père Lachaise Cemetary. Sadly, they do not stop by the ol’ Jim Morrison place. They do stop at Frédéric Chopin’s grave where he is surprisingly listed as Fred.
Back on the train, Minerva gives TGP several books featuring ghostly characters. Being pre-Kindle, just lugging them around will probably kill him.
In Calais, a group of children gather around the couple. Being believers in ghosts (i.e. young and stupid), they strengthen TGP. Feeling particularly chirpy, he levitates as he tells them his ghost story.
In Dover, TGP is looking full of life. But, darn the luck, Minerva drops dead on the dock. Now they can go off and find a nice castle to haunt together.
The episode is very faithful to the story, even reusing much of the dialog, although the print version is largely levitation-free. The story really works better in print, however, in no small part because it does not have the dreadful electronic score behind it. TGP wears his ashen make-up well, although he does seem miscast. Minerva brings a nice European MILFy vibe to her role as caretaker.
Can’t recommend, but it did have a certain charm to it, especially on the printed back-lit Kindle screen.
- In Roman mythology, Minerva is the Goddess of Wisdom, but has minors in medicine and magic.
- TGP is corporeal, others acknowledge his presence, he can’t move through walls, he rattles no chains; in what sense is he a ghost? In their new home, they will not be haunting, but more like squatting.