Rose steps out of the TARDIS, makes one tiny footprint in the snow, and then draws back again. She steps down to the ground, and the Doctor follows her out: "Ready for this?" She smiles and they link arms. "Here we go," he says. "History!" They walk out into town with gigantic smiles.
The curtains open for Dickens's show, which is a dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol. Either the score or the orchestra gives a flourish as he steps out: Crazy Zombie Grandma is sitting right in the middle of the crowd, staring at the stage. We get closer, and she's still really creepy. Really, really creepy.
The Doctor and Rose walk down the street, looking at everything. Rose is totally blown away by all of it, and the Doctor's just busting with pride, as usual. He walks off down a side street, and there are carolers in the background, and they are not singing in Italian, and how would you be confused about that? With the shop signs and all? Kan Rose Even Read? Near the Taliesin now, they are close by as Sneed and Gwyneth arrive and jump down from the hearse, just as the Doctor is buying a newspaper which informs him that they are in 1869, and not in Naples, but in Cardiff. The Doctor acts like this is finding yourself in Waco, but Rose just kind of shrugs. Score one for Welsh tolerance. Or at least indifferance.
Inside the Taliesin, Kung Fu Zombie Grandma is staring intently as Dickens performs A Christmas Carol from memory (specifically, the part about Marley's face appearing in the door knocker). The audience is deliciously chilled and thrilled by all of this: "It looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look. It looked like..." Dickens sees Grandma Redpath, who has begun leaking strange blue gas and light. "Oh, my lord! It looked...like that!" He shakes and points at the old lady, back to his old drama tricks: "What phantasmagoria is this?" The corpse stands and wails loud and long and horribly. All the people in the audience simultaneously wig and try to run, getting kind of violent in their excitement.
Outside, the Doctor and Rose hear the riot, and he smiles hugely: "That's more like it!" He tosses the newspaper over his shoulder and runs toward the Taliesin, Rose following behind.
Inside, Dickens is trying to stop everybody from freaking out. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't really affect anything: "Stay in your seats, I beg you! It is a lantern show, it's trickery!" He just sounds desperate and needy. While everybody's trying to get out, Sneed and Gwyneth (and Rose and the Doctor) are trying to get in. Gwyneth and Sneed spot the corpse almost immediately, but not because they are good at being morticians -- more because the corpse is screaming and shooting out blue gas all over the place. The Doctor: "Fantastic!" The gases leave completely, and the old woman slumps over in the chair and goes back to being a dead thing. The Doctor approaches Dickens, who's still huffing and puffing up at the front of the audience: "Ah, the wag reveals himself, does he? I trust you're satisfied, sir!" The Doctor's like, "Uh, well then." Rose starts yelling at Sneed and Gwyneth, and chases them off, Grandma Redpath awkwardly in hand. "Be careful!" the Doctor yells after her. How does he deal with it when his Companions get all nosy like this? Like, if Sneed and Gwyneth were a four-hundred-pound brute and a vampiress, instead of a sickly Welsh undertaker and his housemaid, would the Doctor let it go like that? I feel like maybe he would. The Doctor jumps up on the stage with Dickens: "Did it say anything? Could it speak? I'm the Doctor, by the way." Dickens says he looks less like a doctor than a "navvie," which I gather is a laborer of some kind, and the Doctor is indignant: "What's wrong with this jumper?" (By which he still means sweater.)