Monday, February 25, 2013

Doctor Who-The Unquiet Dead

                         Upon arriving in what he thinks is London in 1860,a quick glance at a newspaper by the doctor reveals he and Rose are  actually at Cardiff in 1869. They are unknowing participants in two events. At the Sneed Funereal Home,a group of cadavers have begun walking the streets on their own. And on this night,Christmas Eve as ,Charles Dickens is lecturing on the Cardiff Stage that evening when he plays witness,along with the doctor,to one of these cadavers-an elderly woman expelling an enormous level of floating blue energy. The doctor ends up riding with Sir Dickens,of whom he is a great admirer while Rose is knocked out with chloroform  by Mr.Sneed having witnessed the body. All of them end up at the Sneed Funereal Home where they all learn the truth of what has been happening. It completely co-ops Dickens,having taken the position of a realist,that such fanciful things are happening around him. But aside from the fact the doctor has already deduced they are dealing with a gaseous creature,another wrinkle has appeared in the delicate fabric of the situation. 

                         The doctor also eavesdrops on a private conversation between Rose and Sneed's servant Gwenyth where she reveals herself to be a psychic "seer" who is more aware of the situation,including the future world from which Rose comes,than believed. The doctor concludes this is because she was born near a rift between her universe and another. During a seance with the still skeptical Dickens,Gwenyth reveals these gaseous beings are the last survivors of a species called the Geth,who wish to use the bodies of dead humans to survive after being killed in the time war that killed the doctors people. Offering herself as a  medium between humanity and the Geth,Gwenyth again makes another surprising revelation: the Geth are not in fact few in number,but are a mass number of aliens who wish to murder humanity to make use of their bodies. Because she realizes her mistake,even after death,Gwenyth burns down the funereal home to close the rift and keep the Geth from destroying humanity. The doctor and Rose depart,having at least bought some wonder back into Dickens' life shortly before his death.

                  This story very much hearkens back to two important elements of the classic Doctor Who series: the historical stories of the first doctor era as well as the Hammer horror elements of the early fourth doctor stories. Charles Dickens,facing the end of his life during the beginning of the cynical aspect of the Victorian age,is soon confronted with a very different and intimidating new way of understanding the world: that the ghosts and phantoms he once rejected in his prose were in fact beings from another world he simply couldn't comprehend,even with his own advanced mind. We also learn of Rose's high level of respect in this story. She shows complete sympathy for Gwenyth,the humble servant girl,who sacrifices herself out of her understanding of her own differences. She also vocally objects to the Geth's insistence on using the dead as couriers for their own life forces.  These come together to help the doctor understand Rose better,and actually admit that her ability to broaden her own morality made her a welcome aspect of his travels. This is also the first mention of "bad wolf",a plot element that would become highly significant in the first series of the Doctor Who relaunch.
Post a Comment