Friday, March 16, 2012

Doctor Who Watch A Thon Season 1 Episode 3 "The Unquiet Dead"

As an effort to justify our somewhat obsessive T.V watching Meghan (Of Coffee and Wizards and @MegTao on Twitter) and myself have decided to undertake a Doctor Who Watch-a-long. We'll be starting with the beginning of the 2005 relaunch and will be posting about one episode each Friday, on our respective blogs. We hope you'll join in – whether as a re-watch or to discover the Doctor for the first time!

*just a heads up each post will contain spoilers for that episode and then ones before it*

Written by: Mark Gatiss
Directed by: Euros Lyn
Episode Summary
Rose takes her first trip back in time and she and the Doctor travel to 1869 London. They take in a reading from none other than Charles Dickens but in the middle of the performance, a zombie-like creature interrupts the performance and there is a ghostly apparition. Rose is kidnapped and taken to the home of an undertaker where alien creatures are living in the gas lighting system and taken possession of the dead. Rose manages to get information from Gwyneth, the parlor maid, that points to her as the central point of contact for the alien beings. 

Thoughts on the Episode

Although an incredibly creative episode (Charles Dickens fighting ghosts!) this one is admittedly not one of my favourites. There's a lot of really great things in it but also a lot of things that make me do this face: 

So for this post I'm going to talk about what I did like and then what I thought was not so good.

The Good
  • Did I mention that Charles Dickens is in this episode? He's such a fabulous character with so much energy and charm (although at the beginning he's such a spoil sport). As a reader it made me giddy to have an episode feature such an important literary figure. Also I LOVED his little exchanges with the Doctor - from the Doctor explaining was a "fan" was to Dickens asking if his books last. Excellent chemistry between the two. 
  • The setting. They're back in 19th century England and they've got the outfit and scenery to match. One of my favourite things about Doctor Who is the sheer randomness of location from episode to epsiode. From space to the 19th century, never a dull moment. 
  • There is a fairly awesome explosion at the end of this episode. It's a well known fact that every episode gets 62.7% better when there's a good explosion.
The Not So Good
  • Everything happens way to easily in this book. Maybe I'm just the suspicious type but I don't think I would go along with everything as easily as everyone else did in this book. Examples?  (not direct quotes!)
"Oh you have physic powers? No biggie lets talk about something else." 
"Oh you're an alien race I've never heard of before and I've talked to you for 30 second. You seem trustworthy - we'll do something crazy to help you"
"Oh I've never really used my physic powers for anything major before but I'll totally risk my life so that you can walk around in dead people. No biggie." 

  • Seriously people think about your decisions for more than half a second. This whole situation could potentially been avoided if everyone just took a deep breath and counted to 10 before acting.
 Overall this is still a really fun episode and despite my complaints I've watched in a million times now. (Seriously I can't stress my excitement over Charles Dickens enough - he's like a rockstar to me). Not the best Doctor Who effort but not the worst either.

Favourite Quotes

“What fantasmagoria is this?” - Charles Dickens upon seeing the first "ghost"

“Talk about bleak house.” - The Doctor upon entering the morgue.


  1. Haha, I LOVE this ep despite all the crack that goes on.

  2. I love all the puns in this episode. "I love a happy medium." The Doctor is such a comedian XD

  3. I really liked this episode just because of Dickens. I loved at the end when he asked if his books last. This was a really weird episode though. I find it odd when The Doctor has a hard time saving the day or makes more than one major mistake.

  4. Ha! I have just started watching Doctor Who, for the first time ever. I this is the most recent episode I watched. It was definitely unique.