Adapted by Port and Wiseman from the British show of the same name, Ghosts begins when Sam’s distant relative shuffles off her mortal coil, the city folk inherit Woodstone Manor, and all the ghosts within. Following an injury, Sam can now communicate with the specters, including the apparitional eight who died at the site: a Viking, Lenape Indigenous American, Revolutionary War captain, Victorian lady of the manor, 1920s jazz singer, free love hippie, 1980s Scout leader, and Wall Street trader. Beyond the core haunts, there are ghosts of cholera patients in the basement, British soldiers in the shed, a robber baron in the vault, and a decapitated greaser from the 1950s who just roams around. And there are more ghosts on the way (keep an eye out for our Ghosts upcoming teasers video).
Together, “the livings” and the dead help each other. The ghosts offer their perspective after seeing it all throughout the ages, says Wiseman, while “Sam and Jay can help them with intractable roommate issues that have come up over the centuries.” The livings can also assist in using the internet to track down relatives of the dead, while the formerly alive can join in for a game of Dungeons & Dragons.
“[Sam’s] constantly trying to be the mother to all of these ghosts, and take care of everyone’s needs,” says Ambudkar about McIver’s character, who suddenly finds herself with mediumship abilities. “It’s a great dynamic to see her be so strong, forceful, and overwhelmed, but deeply want to be loved at the same time.”
“That’s what makes her accessible,” agrees McIver, who calls the role a “field day” as an actor. “She is this person who is overbearing and overwhelming, but she’s doing it with a desperate need to be approved of.”
Meanwhile, despite not being able to see the ghosts, Ambudkar’s Jay believes what Sam tells him about the hauntings. Plus, the character has a deep wealth of pop-culture awareness and can warn against Sam interfering with the former lives of the spirits. The quick acceptance by Jay is a surprise when other genre fare may instead leave the hubby character thinking his wife is hallucinating.
“We thought it’d be more fun if [Jay] was excited for this, and almost kind of jealous even,” says Wiseman, as opposed to the character being a non-believing cynic.