Adapted by Port and Wiseman from the British show of the same name, Ghosts begins when Sam’s distant relative sheds his mortal husk, the townspeople inherit Woodstone Manor and all the ghosts therein. Following an injury, Sam can now communicate with specters, including the eight deceased apparitions at the site: a Viking, a Lenape Native American, a Revolutionary War Captain, a Lady of the Victorian Manor, a singer of 1920s jazz, free love hippie, 1980s scout leader, and Wall Street trader. Beyond the main hauntings, there are ghosts of cholera patients in the basement, British soldiers in the shed, a robber baron in the safe, and a decapitated 1950s greaser walking around. And there are more ghosts on the way (keep an eye out for our Ghosts next teaser video).
Together, “the living” and the dead help each other. The ghosts offer their perspective after seeing it all through the ages, says Wiseman, while “Sam and Jay can help them with unsolvable roommate issues that have arisen over the centuries.” The living can also help use the internet to find loved ones of the dead, while the living elders can join in a game of Dungeons & Dragons.
“[Sam’s] constantly trying to be the mother of all these ghosts and cater to everyone’s needs,” Ambudkar says of McIver’s character, who suddenly finds himself with mediumship abilities. “It’s a great dynamic to see her so strong, energetic and overwhelmed, but deeply wanting to be loved at the same time.”
“That’s what makes it accessible,” agrees McIver, who calls the role a “field day” as an actor. “She’s this bossy, overwhelming person, but she does it with a desperate need for approval.”
Meanwhile, despite being unable to see the ghosts, Jay of Ambudkar believes what Sam tells him about the hauntings. Additionally, the character has a deep awareness of pop culture and can warn of Sam interfering with spirits’ past lives. Jay’s quick acceptance comes as a surprise when other genre dishes can instead leave the husband character thinking his wife is hallucinating.
“We thought it would be more fun if [Jay] was excited for it, and almost a little jealous even,” Wiseman explains, as opposed to the character who is a non-believing cynic.