Doctor Who
The Unquiet Dead

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C+ | 4 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
Zombie Grandma Is Way Cooler Than All Other Zombies

The Doctor watches some of the blue emanations get sucked -- or dive -- into one of the Taliesin's gas lamps, and vanish, and yells that it's made of gas. He comes running out just as Gwyneth is shoving zonked Rose into the hearse, Dickens following after bitching about "that hobgoblin," and the Doctor watches them drive away. Dickens thinks that Grandma Death was probably a "projection on glass," and wants to know who put the Doctor up to it. The Doctor tells him to fuck off and grabs a coach, but Dickens holds him back, because it's Dickens's coach. So the Doctor smiles, of course, and yanks Dickens inside. They take off, Dickens is wigging out on him, but the Doctor doesn't hear it, because his mind is blown, because the coach driver is asking "Mr. Dickens" if everything is okay. "The Charles Dickens?" As the driver's offering to toss the Doctor out, he's going mildly crazy on old Chuck: "You're brilliant, you are! Completely 100% brilliant! I've read 'em all! Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and...what's the other one, the one with the ghost?" Dickens names A Christmas Carol, but the Doctor is talking about "The Signalman," a short story about a man who gets warned by ghosts whenever something bad is about to happen in his train tunnel. Wikipedia says: "Its theme may have been influenced by Dickens' [sic] own involvement in the Staplehurst rail crash on the 9th June 1865. The train on which he was traveling, while passing over a viaduct in Kent, jumped a gap in the line, causing the central and rear carriages to fall onto the river-bed below. Dickens was in the only first-class carriage to survive." Ouch. So there's that.

Anyhow, the Doctor calls it "the best short story ever written" and Dickens rolls over for the belly-scratch. The Doctor refers to himself a few times as Dickens's "#1 Fan," and wordplay hilarity ensues, to the degree that Dickens says, "How exactly are you a fan? In what way do you resemble a means of keeping oneself cool?" The Doctor sets him straight and then starts bitching about "that American bit in Martin Chuzzlewit," calling it "padding" and "rubbish." Oh, when the fan talk goes south. The Doctor: "Ah well, if you can't take criticism...go on, do the death of Little Nell, it cracks me up!" Word to the Doctor, baby. He abruptly remembers that his Companion has been abducted by creepy Welsh morticians, and gets back on track: "She's only nineteen, and it's my fault. She's in my care, and now she's in danger." Dickens gets into it, because an adventure is way better than the two pints of champagne per morning that keeps him in such a ridiculously maudlin mood. "Atta boy, Charlie!" shouts the Doctor, and Dickens says, "Nobody calls me 'Charlie,'" by which he means, "Except the ladies," which the Doctor knows, because: #1 Fan. In terms of overly familiar and fawning creepiness, that even trumps people publicly debating the merits of your Amazon Wish List.

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Doctor Who

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