I watched the ITV production of Harry Price: Ghost Hunter that was broadcast on 27th December, but I came away from it with mixed feelings.
Although the production and the acting can hardly be faulted, it seemed to me that apart from the name of the main character, Price, everything else was pure fiction with little to do with Harry Price the person.
I had expected (or hoped) that this drama would have been more of a biography, covering the work of Price over a period of time, but this was a single dramatic portrayal of one alleged case investigated by the eponymous paranormal investigator. Although I have read about Harry Price, there was little – almost nothing – I recognised as factual in this TV show. For more information about the details, I recommend that you read the critique by Tom Ruffles, which gives an excellent outline of the drama itself and the problems with the factual (or not) details.
For me, the biggest problem is that people who might have heard of Harry Price (and many who have not)) will probably come away with a totally wrong idea about the man and his work. Although he was a controversial figure of his day, I don’t think there is much doubt that he was serious in his research into the allegedly paranormal, rather than being the con man he is initially depicted as.
I don’t believe in ghosts or any other aspect of the supposed other-worldly, but I don’t mind if some people want to spend their time properly investigating it; if any of it turns out to be real, that’s OK by me. What does irritate me, though, is that this TV drama is just tagging the name of a real (historical) person on to a piece of pure fiction that could have stood on its own as a one-off fictional drama in its own right.
As Tom Ruffles suggests, this might turn out to be the pilot episode for a future series, but if so, it will do a disservice to Harry Price in particular, and serious paranormal investigation in general.
(Additional note: for some more information about Harry Price, there is a good article about him at The Haunted Museum. Well worth a read.)