The Unquiet Dead
I haven’t watched this episode in a long time—probably since right after the season one (yes, SEASON ONE) DVDs came out. Having re-watched it this Tuesday, here are my thoughts as I watched the episode. These comments will probably appear elsewhere in an edited format.
1- I forgot how great the theme was for this season. I remember turning on the tv for the first time to watch the new show and then jumping up and down with joy when I heard the theme. It was just so fabulous to have the show back and to hear the theme song!
2-Love the eye-acting in the teaser—both the dead grandma & the undertaker. The scream is great, especially as it leads straight into the theme.
4- So many of the ideas established in this episode were built upon later. It’s become quite an important episode.
5- Of course, costume drama is one of the things BBC does best. I really like these historical dramas. Dickens & Shakespeare are two of my favorite “guest stars” from these new episodes. What this episode does need, though, is a clever Robert Holmesian double-act. Since this is the first time in the past for the audience & for Rose, it gets treated with great reverence—and so it should.
6. I like The Doctor as a Dickensian fan-boy! It mirrors the Tennant/ Davidson scene in Time Crash very nicely.
7. Ok—“a feeling like a shadow passing over your soul”—a hint that these, perhaps, are not nice, friendly aliens they claim to be.
8. I like the scene between Rose & Gwen—similar to her scene with the blue mechanic girl in “End of the World.” Both of them serve nicely to humanize the girls and make their death scenes so much more poignant. I think that this is also the most powerful Bad Wolf mention. Though, I should mention, that a good Catholic girl should NOT hold a séance. Creepy Gelf/ Troglafane cross-over w/ the voices. I like how the Doctor believes in this plan, especially when Rose is reluctant for “decency/ morality” reasons. He gives her a high-minded lecture, then she turns out to be right.
9. I did notice the exact moment that Gwen dies this time (I missed it before)—when Rose is thrust away. It is a well-played and distinct bit of acting.
10. Great scary fangs on the bad Gelf! Poor terrifying Undertaker!
11. Ok, zombies pounding on the gate is creepy, but kind of dumb. They are a bit useless.
12. Go, Chuck! Way to figure out obvious clues!
13. I like this Doctor and Rose clasping hands. It’s touching here—not like in the following season.
14. The Dead/ Undead Gwen is frightening and sad. Apparently, though, her sacrifice only delayed the rift’s opening, as it is clearly there in Boom Town, although the Doctor here claims that she closed it.
15. There is a stunning lack of crowd attention to an exploding house in Cardiff’s Christmas streets in the middle of the night. Perhaps they’ve just had a giant goofy robot overhead—no, wait, that was London, wasn’t it.
16. Frankly, any ending that doesn’t make the uncle the villain in Edwin Drood would be welcome—he’s just too obvious a suspect.
17. The Doctor seems, just for a moment, to regret that he can’t tell Dickens who he really is.
18. The snow falling is such a nice detail as the Tardis vanishes.
19. I must say that I’m quite pleased about the absolute lack of running randomly down corridors in this episode.
20. Overall, one of my favorite New Who episodes, still.