1)Well, after starting out with an "Earth invaded" story, and following up with a "crisis out in space" story, we now re-visit another of the old show's story types, the "pseudo-historical". (A side note on Doctor Who terminology as I learned it:  When I was first reading about the show, the sources I was reading tended to describe stories set in Earth's past in two ways - as "historicals" or as "pseudo-historicals".  Historicals were stories set in Earth's past which contained no science fictional elements other than the presence of the Doctor, his companion(s) and the TARDIS.  Pseudo-historicals were stories set in Earth's past which did contain science fictional elements other than our heroes and the TARDIS - typically invading aliens.  Historicals mostly died out by the early Troughton era - with one exception in the Davison era - whereas pseudo-historicals contain down unto the present day.  In point of fact, more recent sources I have read describe all stories set in the Earth's past as "historicals".  I deplore this laxness on the part of the younger generation.)


2)This story was written by Mark Gatiss, who I knew of from the Doctor Who novels he had written. I gather he is known also as an actor, but I've never seen any of his work outside of the show. I thought that this episode was reasonably well-written.  I particularly liked the scenes between Rose and Gwyneth where Gwyneth calls Rose out for judging her by Twenty-First Century standards. I also liked the opening with the extreme creepiness of the grandma coming back to life quickly undercut by the mortician's "not again" reaction.


3)They end up in the wrong place, again.  Another example of the TARDIS bringing them where they were needed, rather than they wanted to go.  I've always rationalized it that the TARDIS is subtly guidng their journeys - even before this issue was discussed in "The Doctor's Wife".  Team TARDIS has always ended up places where shenanigans were about to occur far too often for it to have been a coincidence.


4)I thought Simon Callow was pretty good as Dickens - occcasionally some of his dialogue was a bit stilted "In what way do I resemble a device for moving air around?" springs to mind as an example. It was also fun seeing the Doctor as an obnoxious Dickens fanboy - a bit of a dig at the "Whovian" fanboy, perhaps? And it's Dickens saves the day at the end - a new trend for this show, the Doctor travels the universe watching other people save the world.


5)Some fun scenes between the Doctor and Rose - I liked hown he made her change clothes, but didn't himself, and I liked the bit where she realized how different he was when they argued over whether or not the Gelth should be allowed to use the corpses. And I thought it showed his character nicely when his guilt over the war clouded him into trusting the Gelth more than he should've.


6)First mention of the Rift here, of which much more will be made later. And we first hear the war referred to as the "Time War" here as well. I'll set aside my thoughts on the unworkability of the whole concept of a "Time War" for one of the epsidoes in which the Time War is more extensively featured, I think.


7)I've watched an awful lot of Dark Shadows since I first saw this episode - re-watching the scene with the seance, I couldn't help but think: "Be funny if they called up Josette."


8)Some Favorite Lines:

"The stiffs are getting lively again."


"Now don't antagonize her - I love a happy medium."


"Your cozy little world could be re-written like that!"  The show has always see-sawed back and forth on the idea of whether history can be altered or not.


And of course we had to end on:

"God bless us, everyone."


Overall:  Not a bad little episode, I thought. Seeing it again makes me want to go out and find a biography of Dickens to read.


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2)This story was written by Mark Gatiss, who I knew of from the Doctor Who novels he had written. I gather he is known also as an actor, but I've never seen any of his work outside of the show.

For a recent example, he does a nice turn as {SPOILERS DELETED} in Sherlock (which is well worth your time if you haven't seen it).

Yes, I've been thinking about Sherlock. I haven't quite decided.  I've always had a hard time accepting anyone other than Basil Rathbone as Holmes, but I've heard some good things about it.

Not a Jeremy Brett fan, Baron?  

Did they make brief mention later on regarding Torchwood's Gwen and the housemaid being related...since they were both played by Eve Myles?  

Trivia time...name three actresses who have played two roles in Doctor Who since the 2005 return.

Yeah, they mentioned it in the story you'd've expected them to mention it, Doc.  That's easy: Eve Myles, Freema Agyeman and Karen Gillan.

Ah...but there is another.

The Baron:

"I've always had a hard time accepting anyone other than Basil Rathbone as Holmes"

My favorites include Arthur Wontner, Basil Rathbone, Ronald Howard (his TV series REALLY grew on me the 3rd time I watched it, about a year ago), Peter Cushing, Ian Richardson, Jeremy Brett.

The others are all just a little too "different" or "off"... HOWEVER, Tom Baker DID get absolutely the BEST script of all the many adaptations of "THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES" ever made *, so that film is a solid favorite of mine, if only for that.  (It totally blows the Jeremy Brett version out of the water. But then, again, so do the Rathbone, Cushing and Richardson versions... and the Cushing version hardly follows the book at all!)

*leave it to Barry Letts & Terrence Dicks!!!

I think I've only seen "THE UNQUIET DEAD" once so far, and that was when it first aired.  I do remember being quite impressed. I think at the time, the general worry was just HOW many ways the new show could go TOTALLY wrong (since we'd already seen that happen, virtually on an ongoing basis), and I think the SHOCK was probably that the new revived series seemed to be getting so much "RIGHT"!

I just cannot fathom the INTENSE dislike for the new series I've been seeing at the IMDB boards. Put simply, with a few notable exceptions (to be expected on any series), the revived DOCTOR WHO was simply one of the MOST ENJOYABLE TV experiences I had in the last DECADE. Before long, I came to feel the new DOCTOR WHO was the BEST-written show on TV.  I liked the stories, I liked the story structures, I liked the pacing, I liked the ATTITUDE.  Mind you, I could probably have done without a new "Master"...

Oh yeah, and ONE episode put me into an INTENSELY emotional state that lasted TWO WHOLE DAYS. (But I won't say which one.  Yet.) 

: )

Cute, Doc.

Doc Beechler (mod-MD) said:

Ah...but there is another.

I tend to think of it as, after introducing Rose and setting up the premise of the show, first they take a trip to the future, then they take a trip to the past. It’s only a pseudo-historical if the Gelth weren’t involved in the events. :)

I like to compare Simon Callow’s performance as Dickens with Lost in Space’s Jonathan Harris’s on Bonanza.

I must've missed Jonathan Harris on Bonanza - I could imagine that would be memorable.

Doc Beechler (mod-MD) said:

Ah...but there is another.


Jessica Hynes, but we know there are several more.

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