"What about the gas?" asks the Doctor, off Dickens's shocked look. Dude, I've been telling you to shut up the whole episode! Just because he's the Doctor you're taking it seriously? Sneed says that the gas stuff is new, and the Doctor figures that the Rift is getting wider, allowing more stuff through. "What's the Rift?" Rose Companions. I wish every time they did this, the Doctor would say, "Excellent question, Rose," and then everybody does a shot. Like, every single time. How fun would that be? How fast would you be dead? So fast. "A weak point in time and space," says the Doctor. "The connection between this place and another. That's the cause of ghost stories, most of the time." Sneed realizes that this had bearing on his real estate steal long ago, but, like, he already knew it was haunted, so all the Doctor is saying is that it's haunted, basically. Effin' Sneed. Dickens goes walkies, I guess because he doesn't like being told to shut up, but who does? Better question: what is Sneed talking about? "Stories going back generations. Echoes in the dark. Queer songs in the air and this feeling like a...shadow. Passing over your soul." Is he talking about Constantine Maroulis? I bet he's talking about Constantine Maroulis. The Doctor grins at Rose, who's staring at Sneed, who finishes up: "It's been good for business. Just what people expect from a gloomy old trade like mine." Because the loss of a loved one, already enjoyable, is just so enhanced by Sneed's creepy ass talking about how his one closet door always just pops open, like, from beyond.
Dickens checks out the gas lamps in a corridor, and listens to them whispering. He goes to the viewing room to inspect Redpath's corpse, first waving his hands in front of the guy's face, and then feeling around him in the coffin. The Doctor does that thing he does where he watches you act like an idiot while leaning in a doorway, arms folded. "Checking for strings?" he asks. "Wires, perhaps? There must be some mechanism behind this fraud!" It's cool that Dickens just has the one thing going on. This would have been during the Spiritualism craze, correct? So he's being all Ayn Randy and better than the masses by going after all occurrences of the supernatural so that he can prove how great he is? How annoying. The Doctor apologizes for telling Dickens to shut up, and puts his hand on Dickens's shoulder: "I'm sorry. But you've got one of the best minds in the world. You saw those gas creatures." I love how he's like, "Where's your better now?" Like in high school when I figured out I was being a dicknail by drawing a line between Docs and Airwares, and that I didn't have to listen to Stone Temple Pilots or Janet Jackson in the closet with all the lights turned off and every blanket in the house over my head in order to keep my cool. Stupid, right? It's hard to get back into that headspace even for purposes of goal measurement. "I cannot accept that," says Dickens, and there's an interesting moment where the Doctor's eyes crawl all over Dickens's face and body and eyes and mouth and I don't know what's going on there. He's making a point, and in a sexy way, but I don't know if the Dickens is really ready for that kind of interstellar jelly. "And what does the human body do when it decomposes?" See? Sexy. He explains that decomposition produces gasses, which the gaseous creatures can then use to "slip inside and use it as a vehicle, just like your driver and his coach." Dickens hits the anvil on the head: "Stop it! Can it be that I have the world entirely wrong?" And the Doctor, marvelously: "Not wrong. There's just more to learn." I wish he would send out postcards with just that on them to everyone ever. It saves so much time.