Ad breaks ruined the tension of Channel 5 ghost story The Small Hand say viewers

Many shared their annoyance at the repeated ad breaks getting in the way of the suspenseful atmosphere

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When it comes to horror, you tend to get the most out of a story if you’re fully immersed – allowing for as few interruptions as possible that might serve to ruin the atmosphere. 

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And some of those watching Channel 5’s adaptation of The Small Hand (a horror novel from The Woman in Black author Susan Hill) on Boxing Day were left frustrated by something they felt was getting in the way of the building tension – the dreaded ad break.

Starring Douglas Henshall and Louise Lombard, the drama was seen as one of the highlights of the channel’s festive schedule, but it seems that some viewers were unable to get past the constant adverts. 

One Twitter user wrote, “This would have been better being shown on the BBC. Poxy adverts, breaking the heightened tension in a ghost story.”

Another claimed, “Just get into the atmosphere of @Ch5 Susan Hill’s Ghost Story and the f***ing adverts come on.”

A third viewer said, “Nothing like an ad break to kill the atmosphere of a ghost story stone dead,” while a fourth wrote, “Watching #GhostStory on C5. An ad break after 8 mins. We’ve only had two scenes.”

In general, the show received something of a mixed reception, with many taking to Twitter to decry the adaptation.

One wrote, “I think we need to send for Simon Serrailler to investigate the murder of #SusanHill‘s #TheSmallHand currently being committed on Channel 5,” while another added, “The only spooky thing in this adaptation is how free the script writers have been with Susan Hill’s impeccable original.”

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Not everyone agreed, however – and it seems that some viewers were left somewhat spooked by the adaptation, with one fan tweeting, “Serves me right for watching #TheSmallHand #GhostStory and the first half (the good half) of Hammer’s The Woman In Black. Went upstairs to turn the lights out and saw a crumpled up duvet doing a very good impression of something from an MR James story.”