Rose takes her first trip back in time and she and the Doctor travel to 1869 Cardiff. They take in a reading from none other than Charles Dickens but in the middle of the performance, a zombie-like creature interrupts the performance and there is a ghostly apparition. Rose is kidnapped and taken to the home of an undertaker where alien creatures are living in the gas lighting system and taken possession of the dead. Rose manages to get information from Gwyneth, the parlor maid, that points to her as the central point of contact for the alien beings. Written by
Originally, the story had been set in 1860. Towards the end of the scripting process, it was decided to shift the timeframe to 1869, during charles Dickens' waning days. Russell T. Davies had also envisioned a scene midway through the episode in which the Doctor responds to Rose's assertion that recorded history can't be altered by taking her to a devastated 2005, inspired by a similar scene in 1975's Pyramids Of Mars. Drawing the eerie depiction of George's travel through time in The Time Machine (1960), Mark Gatiss scripted this to show the TARDIS scanner filling with Gelth-animated zombies as time marched on. However, it was ultimately felt that the return to the TARDIS interrupted the flow of the story too much and so the scene was removed, with the threat to the future now established through dialogue between the Doctor and Rose. See more »
At the end, The Doctor and Rose treat Charles Dickens by making the TARDIS dematerialise in front of him. The engines begin to grind but the twin engine pumps do not move. See more »
Sneed and Company offer their sincerest condolences, sir, in this most trying hour.
Grandmama had a good innings, Mr. Sneed. She was so full of life. I can't believe she's gone.
Not gone, Mr. Redpath. Merely sleeping.
May I have a moment?
Yes, of course. I shall be in the next room should you require anything.
[after Sneed leaves, the body rises up and strangles Redpath. Sneed rushes back in]
Oh, no. Gwyneth! Get down here now! We've got another one!
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The first of the modern era Doctor Who TV episodes to provide viewers with an enjoyably creepy adventure, this sees The Doctor and Rose heading back in time. They end up in Cardiff, meeting the famous Charles Dickens (Simon Callow) and encountering a number of corpses that stubbornly refuse to stay dead.
Written by Mark Gatiss, this episode is a whole lot of fun, and I'll admit that I've always been more partial to the Doctor Who episodes that mixed in a number of supernatural elements, as this one does.
It helps to have Callow as Dickens, a character he has played on numerous occasions, and the performances from Alan David and Eve Myles are also very good, with the latter playing a woman who can recognise the Bad Wolf due to impact more and more upon this season.
It may not seem like much, but the fact that the first three episodes of the major relaunch of the show ended up so perfectly encapsulating the best of the show, without bringing out the BIGGEST villains (you know the ones I mean), is an unexpected delight. The fact that the rest of the season, and the next few years, would keep up the high standard is nothing short of a minor miracle.
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