Doctor Doctor Who Guide

With 'Rose' we saw an 'invasion Earth' style story with lots of action and witty dialogue. Then along came 'the End of the World' and we were pitched into a futuristic action style story with arguably even more laughs than Rose. Both were in my opinion great 45 minute episodes full to the brim with 'excitement, adventure and that sort of thing'. Episode 3 had some tough competition on 9/4/05!

At the end of the day, 'the Unquiet Dead' has come out top of the first three episodes in the new series. Why? Read on...

The script was beautifully written from Mark and his dialogue sparkles all the way through. All the guest cast are given lovingly crafted characters. Like in the days of Bob Holmes, each character has a story to tell. Particuarly touching was Gwyneth's tale to Rose where we learn a little of her tragic background. Add Dicken's to the mix, superbly played by Callow (he's great in anything he does), and you have a story laden with very interesting and very believable characters. You feel for these people and share their grief and unhappiness along the way. Who doesn't feel shocked and hurt when the Doctor tells Dickens to 'shut up'?

The Doctor and Rose are perfect yet again. The Doctor takes a bit of a backstep as we learn a little bit more about Rose. Again she's visibly excited about travelling. But here we see a little bit more of Rose's caring side. Her close conversations with Gwyneth (we learn that Rose's Dad is dead), her outrage over the Doctor's suggestion of using human corpses as Gelth body substitutes and her feelings of loss for Gwyneth and the news that Dickens is soon to die 'he was so nice' are superbly handled by Billie. The Doctor may take a back step in what we see and learn from him, but the bond between the pair is surely the closest a companion duo has ever been. 'I'm so glad i met you...' and Rose replies 'me too'. When i heard this i nodded with agreement.

Victorian settings always work in Doctor Who. I don't know why, but they do. Perhaps the BBC can make them so more convincingly? Watching this was like stumbling into part 7 of 'the Talons of Weng Chiang' only this time the atmosphere was so much better. This is not the only root to the shows past in this story. The Doctor meeting Dickens is similar to the Doctor seeing George Stevenson in 'the Mark of the Rani. The Doctor gives them confidence at the end of both stories. Did i even hint subtle similarities to 'Remembrance of the Daleks' at times? The undertakers behaviour to Redpath ('i'll be in the other room if you need me') and the line 'i think its gone a little bit wrong' is very similar to 'i think i may of miscalculated'. It's these little touches that make this so much like Doctor Who!

The story itself? Its very simple, but then again it has to be at only 45 minutes long. The Gelth need bodies as their's were lost in the Time War. The Auton's planet was destroyed in a war the Doctor couldn't save, so was Gallifrey and now the planet of the Gelth... the look on the Doctor's face when the Gelth reveal about their roots sais it all! So they're stealing human cadavers rather like the Zygons stole human bodies from Victorian London in 'the Bodysnatchers'. 

There is nothing to criticise 'the Unquiet Dead' on. Its job was to tell a good story and it does these exceedingly well. It looks good, sounds good and is superbly acted and directed throughout. It is also genuinely frightening at times and is easily the most eerie since the end of the Hinchcliffe era. This is truly deserving of the title 'classic' so far in the series. Well done to all those who contributed to its creation... WELL DONE! 10/10

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