Episode 18: The Unquiet Dead

The Daleks Aren’t Robots team return to the Ninth Doctor in our first modern Who episode not penned by Russel T. Davies.

How do we feel about the new writer, and can Kari handle the story’s portrayal of Charles Dickens?

Find out!

Daleks Aren’t Robots!? is a podcast in which two Whovian friends take two non-Whovians on a deep dive through the show from the very beginning.

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Theme: Garage – Monplaisir

Podcast Contents Include

Editor’s Note: The following are my original notes for the podcast, slightly edited for readability. They’re very far from the full contents of the pod, though.  – Kari

SUMMARY

We see a dead old woman come to life and escape the undertaker and his maid, killing her grandson; the undertaker and maid The Doctor and Rose aim to go to Naples in 1860 but end up in Wales in 1869. They meet Charles Dickens and stumble across an undead woman, who then falls over.

Rose is kidnapped by the undertaker and the Doctor pursues with Dickens. They get to the undertaker’s house.

Rose learns the maid, Gwyneth, can read her mind and has “the sight.” The specter appears and says they’re the Gelth and they can’t exist properly there, and if Gwyneth opens the way for them they can possess dead bodies and survive that way.

They were all killed in the Time War.

There’s a brief argument about whether allowing them to possess bodies would be OK and Gwyneth opens the way. The Gelth turn out to be evil, they kill the undertaker and Gwyneth explodes the house with her in it to stop them, the second woman to immolate herself on behalf of the Doctor in a row.

OUR TEAM

Rose:

  1. I like Rose in this one. She stands up to the Doctor as much as she can, and doesn’t let him bully her. Her misgivings about Gwyneth helping the Gelth prove correct.
  2. Her hair looks really period appropriate in this one. The dress isn’t quite right, but that might be more in the way it’s worn than the dress itself.
  3. We learn her dad is dead.
  4. She does get locked in a room and menaced again, this time by zombies, and the Doctor saves her by grabbing her hand and yanking her five feet or so, just like in the first episode.

The Doctor:

  1. The Doctor is kind of a jerk in this episode. He wants to give people’s corpses to the Gelth without their consent, and he’s also kind of nasty to Rose about it.
  2. He DOES apologize to Dickens though, which was nice.
  3. I have no idea how he knows the stuff he knows. He just seems to know things intuitively for some reason.
  4. He does seem to have ADHD or something as well. Is this a non-neurotypical Doctor?

The Tardis:

  1. Still sounds hungry, and was referred to as a “shed” in this ep. 😦

THE OTHERS

  1. Charles Dickens is a main character in this, but I’m not sure why. It’s a ghost story and it’s December 24th but Christmas doesn’t come into the story at any point. Dickens is portrayed as a skeptic, how close is that to reality?
  2. Sneed is the Undertaker, he’s sort of an ordinary person. He is killed.
  3. Gwyneth is the maid who lived in the house on the dimensional rift that the Gelth “haunted.” She’s a nice ordinary girl but she grew up tied to the rift and her mom told her she had The Sight. She can communicate with the Gelth, has a strong sense of morals and is very Christian. She believes the Gelth are angels and she helps them, then sacrifices herself to save the world.

THE SETTING

  1. The Doctor says that history can be rewritten in a snap. So they CAN change things? Or is he lying. Or was First lying? Or is Doctor Who continuity a laugh and a half, amIrite.
  2. Cardiff in Wales. Which apparently is a terrible place or a joke or something? The dialogue twice implies “ew, Cardiff,” and as a nonBrit I don’t know why, it seems perfectly nice to me.
  3. Generic Victorian.

THE PRODUCTION

  1. How accurate is Dickens?
  2. “What the Shakespeare”? Why the weird fake swears?
  3. “Prevaricate”?
  4. Do the Gelth come back? At one point I said “Because the Doctor killed them!” Then they said it was the Time War so… DID the Doctor kill the Gelth?
  5. How many women have immolated themselves for the Doctor? Is this gonna be a trend?

General

Lawrence Miles “Review Issues”

Reviews

BTS

Phantasmagoria

Ghost Club Dickens

Dr. Who Confidential

Too Scary

Mark Gatiss Interview

Cast Information

Mark Gatiss Video Diary

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