The Unquiet Dead
The good: the two thirds of the story, Charles Dickens and the developing relationship between Rose and the Doctor.
The bad: the last third of the story and the ‘suddenly we look evil Gelf.’
I had forgotten just how good Eccleston is as the Doctor; he often plays the character for laughs but it works because often you feel the humour is being pushed so as to hide the fact that this regeneration of the Doctor is really quite morose at heart. I sit watching these episodes really wondering what a second Eccleston season would have looked like. I’d pay good money to have found out.
Plot-wise, this feels very Seventh Doctor and it sets itself up well and then, regrettably, rushes towards a conclusion. Indeed, it’s very ‘Ghostlight’ and, now having watched the behind the scenes material, you get the impression that that is the kind of material Mark Gatiss, the writer, would like to be working on. The original plot, about a Spiritual Hotel, sounded very 7th Doctor. The commentary was slightly more informative than that of ‘The End of the World,’ although there were frequent moments where you knew the commentators were watching the episode rather than finding something interesting to say.
Coming up next: Aliens of London/World War III – Not my favourite two-parter ever.