...and right on into the dining room: "Your companion begs an apology, Doctor. Her clothing has somewhat delayed her." The Doctor nods and offers to save Rose "a wee bit of ham," which Victoria jokes Rose could probably eat raw, if she's, as the Doctor says, a feral child. Not actually a joke, Victoria. We are not amused. Reynolds, as he braces his foot to get even further up the Monarch's ass, laughs hysterically and calls her "wise" and "witty." Grossed out, as she should be, Victoria levels him with an appraising gaze: "Slightly witty, perhaps. I know you rarely get the chance to dine with me, Captain, but don't get too excited." Oooh, Sovereign Without Pity! I like this imaginary Queen a whole lot. Almost enough to forgive her for the price every woman in the Western world -- and by an inevitable trickledown, all the dudes who proudly or otherwise kiss dudes as well -- has had to pay for her bullshit. "I shall contain my wit in case I do you further injury," adds the Queen. Reynolds crumbles around his foot and the Doctor changes the subject: "Besides, we're all waiting on Sir Robert! Come, sir! You promised us a tale of nightmares!" Victoria nods, appreciatively: "Indeed. Since my husband's death, I find myself with more of a taste for supernatural fiction." The Doctor knows what she means: "You must miss him." "The field, the chamber, and the street, For all is dark where thou art not." It's not her world she cares to learn; it's Albert's. She looks at the Doctor with new eyes and explains the entire season, sadly: "Very much. Oh, completely. And that's the charm of a ghost story, isn't it? Not the scares and chills, that's just for children, but...the hope of some contact with the great beyond. We all want some message from that place...It's the Creator's greatest mystery that we are allowed no such consolation. The dead stay silent. And we must wait." The Doctor stares at her, no idea what she's really saying, hearing only his own loneliness: "Behold the man that loved and lost, But all he was is overworn." The Doctor, straight from this sad, sweet moment -- and after the abrupt turnaround in my Doctor/Harriet fantasies, I'm not betting they're going to stay eye-to-eye -- "Come! Begin your tale, Sir Robert. There's a chill in the air. The wind is howling through the eaves. Tell us of monsters!"
How about this one: a Scottish man, nondescript, sits quietly in his cage, waiting for the moon. "Don't make a sound," Isobel orders her staff. "They said if we scream or shout, then he will slaughter us." Rose knows cages: "He's a prisoner. He's the same as us." Trapped in a cage with the Devil himself. "He's nothing like us," hisses Isobel, clearly scared to death. "That creature is not mortal." The man in the cage raises his head slowly, and opens his eyes. They are Willow-black, like when all she saw was red, like when she was made of rage. The opposite of golden Rose. Isobel and her staff choke back screams; even Rose stares.