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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
Simon Callow has played Charles Dickens several other times on television and stage, including a one-man play called "The Mystery of Charles Dickens". See more »
Dickens uses the phrase "On with the motley." which is anachronistically incorrect. The phrase translates from "vesti la giubba", a line of dialogue from the opera 'I Pagliacci'. The opera wasn't written until 1892, and wasn't translated into English until 1902 (by Enrico Caruso). 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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