01x03 - The Unquiet Dead

INT. CHAPEL OF REST

Mister Sneed crosses a room where a woman lies dead in her coffin and a man stands over her. The man's name is Redpath. Sneed lights a gas lamp. He walks to the mans side.

SNEED: Sneed and Company offer their sincerest condolences, sir. In this most trying hour.

REDPATH: Grandmamma had a good innings, Mr. Sneed. She was so full of life. I can't believe she's gone.

SNEED: Not gone, Mr. Redpath, sir. Merely sleeping.

A short silence.

REDPATH: May I have a moment?

SNEED: Yes, of course. I shall be in the next room, should you require anything.

He leaves Redpath alone with his Grandmother. Redpath, with his head bowed in grief, does not notice the gas enter her dead body and her eyes snap open. She suddenly grabs Redpath by the neck and throttles him. Mister Sneed bursts back into the room upon hearing the commotion.

SNEED: Oh, no.

The old woman twists her grandson's neck around and he falls to the floor. Redpath tries to wrestle the lid back on the coffin.

SNEED (CONT'D): Gwyneth! Get down here now! We've got another one!

He is not strong enough to get the lid back on the coffin and the old woman kicks the side off.

EXT. SNEED AND COMPANY, STREET

Mrs Pearce walks from the house, wailing.

OPENING CREDITS

INT. TARDIS

Inside the TARDIS, it is mayhem. The whole ship is shaking and alarm is going off.

THE DOCTOR: Hold that one down!

ROSE: I'm HOLDING this one down!

THE DOCTOR: Well, hold them BOTH down!

ROSE: It's not going to work!

THE DOCTOR: Oi! I promised you a time machine and that's what you're getting. Now, you've seen the future, let's have a look at the past. 1860. How does 1860 sound?

ROSE: What happened in 1860?

THE DOCTOR: I don't know, let's find out. Hold on, here we go!

The TARDIS screeches through the time vortex.

INT. SNEED'S KITCHEN

Mr. Sneed is dabbing at his forehead.

SNEED: Gwyneth! Where are you, girl? Gwyneth! (Gwyneth appears). Where've you been? I was shouting!

GWYNETH: I've been in the stables, sir, bringing the ice for old Sampson.

SNEED: Well, get back in there and harness him up.

GWYNETH: Whatever for, sir?

SNEED: The stiffs are getting lively again. Mr. Redpath's grandmother, she's up and on her feet and out there somewhere, on the streets! We've got to find her!

GWYNETH: Mr. Sneed, for shame! How many more times? It's ungodly!

SNEED: Don't look at me like it's my fault! Now come on, hurry up! She was 86. She can't have got far.

GWYNETH: What about Mr. Redpath? Did you deal with him?

SNEED: No. She did.

GWYNETH: That's awful, sir. I know it's not my place, and please, forgive me for talking out of turn, sir. But this is getting beyond, now. (Sneed nods). Something terrible is happening in this house, and we've got to get help.

SNEED: And we will! As soon as we get that dead old woman locked up and safe and sound. Now stop prevaricating girl, get the hearse ready. We're going body snatching.

EXT. STREET AND ALLEYWAY

The TARDIS materializes on a deserted street. Snow is falling.

INT. TARDIS

The controls are steaming and both the Doctor and Rose are lying on the floor laughing. They get up.

ROSE: Blimey!

THE DOCTOR: You're telling me! Are you alright?

ROSE: Yeah. I think so! Nothing broken... did we make it? Where are we?

THE DOCTOR (studying the screen): I did it! Give the man a medal. Earth, Naples, December 24th, 1860.

ROSE: That's so weird... it's Christmas.

The Doctor gestures towards the door.

THE DOCTOR: All yours.

ROSE: But, it's like... think about it, though. Christmas. 1860. Happens once. Just once, and it's gone. It's finished. It'll never happen again. Except for you. (Studies him intently). You can go back and see days that are dead and gone and a hundred thousand sunsets ago... no wonder you never stay still...

THE DOCTOR: Not a bad life.

ROSE: Better with two.

They grin at each other for a few moments. Then Rose slaps his bum and dashes towards the door.

ROSE (CONT'D): Come on then!

THE DOCTOR: Oi, oi, oi! Where do you think you're going?!

ROSE: 1860!

THE DOCTOR: Go out there dressed like that, you'll start a riot, Barbarella! There's a wardrobe through there. First left, second right, third on the left, go straight ahead, under the stairs, past the bins, it's the fifth door on your left. Hurry up!

Rose rushes off to get changed. The Doctor grins after her.

EXT. STREET

Sneed and Gwyneth are driving through the streets looking for the old woman.

SNEED: Not a sign. Where is she?

GWYNETH: She's vanished into the ether sir, where can she be?

Sneed stops the hearse and looks at Gwyneth.

SNEED: You tell me, girl.

GWYNETH: What do you mean?

SNEED: Gwyneth, you know full well.

GWYNETH: No, sir. I can't.

SNEED: Use the sight.

GWYNETH: It's not right, sir.

SNEED: Find the old lady. Or you're dismissed.

Gwyneth looks anxious.

SNEED (CONT'D): Now, look inside, girl. Look deep. Where is she?

Gwyneth closes her eyes.

GWYNETH: She's lost, sir. She's so alone. Oh, my lord. So many strange things in her head.

SNEED: But where?

GWYNETH: She's excited. About tonight. Before she passed on, she was going to see him.

SNEED: Who's "him"?

GWYNETH: A great man. All the way from London. The great, great man.

INT. DRESSING ROOM

There is a knocking at a door. An old man - Charles Dickens is kneading his forehead inside the room.

STAGE MANAGER: Mr. Dickens! Mr. Dickens! Excuse me, sir, Mr. Dickens, this is your call.

Mr. Dickens does not respond. The stage manager comes into the room.

STAGE MANAGER: Are you quite well, sir?

DICKENS: Splendid, splendid. Sorry.

STAGE MANAGER: Time you were on, Sir.

DICKENS: Absolutely. I was just...brooding. (Stage manager throws him questioning look). Christmas Eve. Not the best of times to be alone.

STAGE MANAGER: Did no one travel with you, sir? An old lady wife waiting out front?

DICKENS: I'm afraid not.

STAGE MANAGER (laughs): You can have mine if you want.

DICKENS: Oh, I wouldn't dare. I've been rather, let's say, clumsy, with family matters. By God, I'm too old to cause any more trouble.

STAGE MANAGER: You speak as though it's all over, sir!

DICKENS: Oh, no, it's never over. On and on I go. The same old show.

They look at the poster announcing his show.

DICKENS: I'm like a ghost, condemned to repeat myself... (Stands) ... for all eternity.

STAGE MANAGER: It's never too late, sir. You could always think up some new turns.

DICKENS: No, I can't. Even my imagination grows stale. (Takes long swig of drink). I'm an old man. Perhaps I've thought everything I'll ever think. Still! The lure of the lime-light! As potent as a pipe what, eh? (Stage manager helps him change his jacket). On with the show.

INT. TARDIS

In the TARDIS, the Doctor is doing some more unnecessary repair work. Rose swans in and he turns off his sonic screwdriver and looks at her in surprise.

THE DOCTOR: Blimey!

ROSE: Don't laugh!

THE DOCTOR: You look beautiful!

Rose stops laughing and smiles instead. There is a pause and the Doctor looks away awkwardly.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): ...considering.

He turns on his screwdriver again.

ROSE: Considering what?

THE DOCTOR: That you're human!

ROSE (amused): I think that's a compliment... Aren't you going to change?

THE DOCTOR: I've changed my jumper! Come on!

He jumps out of the space beneath the controls.

ROSE: You, stay there! You've done this before. This is mine!

She hurries towards the door and opens it.

EXT. STREET AND ALLEYWAY

Rose looks out onto the 1860 street. She makes one footprint in the untouched snow then withdraws her foot again. Then she steps out altogether. The Doctor follows her.

THE DOCTOR: Ready for this?

She smiles and he offers her his arm. She takes it.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): Here we go. History!

They walk off together.

INT. THEATRE

The curtains open for Dickens' show. The audience applaud. The dead old woman is sitting slap bang in the middle of them.

EXT. CARDIFF SQUARE

The Doctor and Rose walk down the street, observing everything. Rose in amazement, the Doctor with his usual grin on his face. He walks in another direction and Rose follows. There are carol singers in the background.

EXT. CARDIFF SQUARE

Sneed and Gwyneth arrive at the theatre.

GWYNETH: She's in there, sir, I'm certain of it.

They alight from the hearse.

EXT. CARDIFF SQUARE

Not far away, the Doctor is buying a newspaper. He unfolds it and scans it.

THE DOCTOR: I got the flight a bit wrong.

ROSE: I don't care.

THE DOCTOR: It's not 1860, it's 1869.

ROSE: I don't care!

THE DOCTOR: And it's not Naples.

ROSE: I don't care.

THE DOCTOR: It's Cardiff.

ROSE (pauses): Right...

INT. THEATRE

Dickens is talking to a rapt audience.

DICKENS: Now, it is a fact, that there was nothing particular about the knocker on the door of this house. But let any man explain to me if he can, how it happened, that Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door, saw in the knocker, without it's undergoing any intermediate process of change, not a knocker - but Marley's face. (Audience gasp). Marley's face! It looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look. It looked like...

The gas is escaping from the old woman. Dickens, seeing as how he is the only one facing the audience, is the only one to notice.

DICKENS (CONT'D): Oh, my lord! It looked... like that! (Points a trembling finger at the old woman). What phantasmagoria is this?

The woman has risen in her seat. She lets out a long, loud wail. The audience scream and trample each other in their hurry to get away.

EXT. CARDIFF SQUARE

The Doctor and Rose hear the screaming. The Doctor grins.

THE DOCTOR: That's more like it!

He tosses the newspaper over his shoulder and runs in the direction of the screaming. Rose follows.

INT. THEATRE

Dickens is desperately trying to get his audience to sit down again.

DICKENS: Stay in your seats, I beg you. It is a lantern show, it's trickery.

Sneed and Gwyneth are struggling against the crowds to enter.

GWYNETH: There she is, sir!

SNEED: I can see that!

The gas zooms around the room.

SNEED (CONT'D): The whole bloomin' world can see that!

The Doctor and Rose enter. They watch the gas zoom around.

THE DOCTOR: Fantastic.

The last of the gas leaves the old woman's mouth and she slumps back in the chair, just a dead body once more. The Doctor approaches Mr. Dickens.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): Did you see where it came from?

DICKENS: Ah. The wag reveals himself, does he? I trust you're satisfied, sir!

The Doctor looks slightly taken aback.

ROSE: Oi! Leave her alone!

Sneed and Gwyneth are making off with the old woman's body.

ROSE (CONT'D): Doctor, I'll get 'em!

THE DOCTOR: Be careful! (Jumps onto stage). Did it say anything? Could it speak? I'm The Doctor, by the way.

DICKENS: Doctor? You look more like a navy.

THE DOCTOR (indignantly): What's wrong with this jumper?

EXT. CARDIFF SQUARE

Gwyneth and Sneed have successfully loaded the body into the back of the hearse. Rose catches up with them.

ROSE: What're you doing?!

GWYNETH: Oh, it's such a tragedy, miss. Don't worry yourself, me and the master will deal with it. (Tries to bar Rose from seeing inside the hearse) . The fact is, this poor lady's been taken with the brain fever and we have to get her to the infirmary.

Rose pushes Gwyneth aside and feels the old woman's forehead.

ROSE: She's cold... She's dead! My God, what did you do to her?

Sneed approaches her silently from behind and clamps a tissue full of a drug, probably chloroform, to her mouth. She struggles for a few seconds and then goes limp.

GWYNETH (shocked): What did you do that for?

SNEED: She's seen too much. Get her in the hearse!

Gwyneth bends down to pick up Rose's legs.

INT. THEATRE

The blue gas is still zooming around inside. It dives into one of the gas lamps and disappears.

THE DOCTOR: Gas! It's made of gas!

EXT. CARDIFF SQUARE

By the time the Doctor comes down the steps of the theatre, Gwyneth has just finished pushing Rose's head out of sight into the hearse. She slams the door shut.

THE DOCTOR: Rose!

He runs towards the hearse.

DICKENS: You're not escaping me, sir! What do you know about that hobgoblin, hm?

The hearse drives away. The Doctor stares after it.

DICKENS: Projection on glass, I suppose. Who put you up to it?

THE DOCTOR: Yeah, mate. Not now, thanks.

The Doctor spots a coach and runs towards it, shouting to the driver.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): Oi, you! Follow that hearse!

He jumps into the coach.

DICKENS: You can't do that, sir!

THE DOCTOR: Why not?

DICKENS: Why not?! I'll give you a very good reason why not! This is my coach!

THE DOCTOR: Well, get in then! (Pulls Dickens in. To the driver-). Move!

The coach rumbles off.

DRIVER: Everything in order, Mr. Dickens?

DICKENS: No! It is not!

THE DOCTOR: What did he say?

DICKENS: Let me say this first. I'm not without a sense of humour...

THE DOCTOR: Dickens?

DICKENS: Yes.

THE DOCTOR: Charles Dickens?

DICKENS: Yes.

THE DOCTOR: THE Charles Dickens?

DRIVER: Shall I remove the gentleman, sir?

THE DOCTOR: Charles Dickens! You're brilliant, you are! Completely 100% brilliant! I've read 'em all! Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and what's the other one, the one with the ghost?

DICKENS: A Christmas Carol?

THE DOCTOR
No, no, no, the one with the trains... The Signal Man, that's it, terrifying! (Dickens looks pleased). The best short story ever written! You're a genius!

DRIVER: You want me to get rid of him, sir?

DICKENS: Er, no, I think he can stay.

THE DOCTOR: Honestly, Charles, can I call you Charles? I'm such a big fan.

DICKENS: ...what? A what?

THE DOCTOR: Fan! Number One Fan, that's me.

DICKENS: How exactly are you a fan? In what way do you resemble a means of keeping oneself cool?

THE DOCTOR: No, it means "Fanatic", devoted to. Mind you, I've gotta say, that American bit in Martin Chuzzlewit, what was that about?! Was that just padding or what? I mean, it's rubbish, that bit.

DICKENS (disgruntled): I thought you said you were my fan.

THE DOCTOR: Ah, well, if you can't take criticism... go on, do the death of Little Nell, it cracks me up. No, sorry, come on, faster!

The driver urges the horses on.

DICKENS: Who exactly IS in that hearse?

THE DOCTOR: My friend. She's only nineteen, and it's my fault. She's in my care, and now she's in danger.

DICKENS: Why are we wasting my time talking about dry old books? This is much more important. Driver! Be swift! The chase is on!

DRIER: Yes, sir!

THE DOCTOR (delighted): Thatta boy, Charlie!

DICKENS: Nobody calls me Charlie.

THE DOCTOR: The ladies do.

DICKENS: How do you know that?

THE DOCTOR: I told you... I'm your Number One...

DICKENS: Number One Fan, yes...

INT. CHAPEL OF REST

Gwyneth and Sneed have one end each of Rose.

GWYNETH: The poor girl's still alive, sir! What're we going to do with her?

They settle her down on a table that is evidently used for dead bodies.

SNEED: I don't know! I didn't plan any of this, did I. Isn't my fault if the dead won't stay dead.

GWYNETH: Then whose fault is it, sir? Why is this happening to us?

They leave the room, shutting and locking Rose in. A gas lamp flickers.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, HALLWAY

SNEED: I did the Bishop a favour, once. Made his nephew look like a cherub. Even though he'd been a fortnight in the weir. Perhaps he'll do us an exorcism on the cheap.

There is a knock on the door. They both look up, alarmed.

SNEED (CONT'D): Say I'm not in. Tell them we're closed. Just...just get rid of them.

INT. CHAPEL OF REST

Rose wakes up. She looks slightly out of sorts, and does not notice when the gas from the lamps fills the corpse of Redpath. He sits up suddenly.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, HALLWAY

Dickens knocks on the door again and Gywneth opens it.

GWYNETH: I'm sorry, sir, we're closed.

DICKENS: Nonsense! Since when did an undertaker keep office hours? The dead don't die on schedule. I demand to see your master.

GWYNETH: He's not in, sir.

She makes to shut the door, but Dickens forces it open again.

DICKENS (angrily): Don't lie to me, child!

GWYNETH: I'm awfully sorry, Mr. Dickens, but the mater's indisposed.

Behind her, a gas lamp flares up.

THE DOCTOR: Having trouble with your gas?

DICKENS: What the Shakespeare is going on?

INT. CHAPEL OF RST

Rose suddenly notices the corpse behind her. She jumps in alarm as he starts making zombie noises at her.

ROSE: Are you all right? You're kidding me, yeah? You're just kidding.

He climbs out of the coffin.

ROSE (CONT'D): You are, you're kidding me, aren't ya?

He takes staggering steps towards her.

ROSE (CONT'D): Okay, not kidding.

She runs to the door and tries to open it.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, HALLWAY

The Doctor forces his way in and presses his ear to the wall.

GWYNETH: You're not allowed inside, sir!

THE DOCTOR: There's something inside the walls.

INT. CHAPEL OF REST

Rose backs against the door. The old woman's body rises from the other coffin and Rose gaps.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, HALLWAY

THE DOCTOR: The gas pipes. Something's living inside the gas.

INT. CHAPEL OF REST

Rose lobs a vase at Redpath. It does nothing but cause him to stumble slightly. Rose rattles the handle frantically.

ROSE: Let me out! Open the door!

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, HALLWAY

Gwyneth, the Doctor and Dickens hear her. Gwyneth closes her eyes in dismay.

THE DOCTOR: That's her.

He runs off to her rescue. Dickens's follows.

INT. CHAPEL OF REST

ROSE: Please, let me out!

Both corpses are walking towards her.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, CORRIDOR

The Doctor charges past Sneed.

SNEED: This is my house!

Dickens charges past him too. He shakes his finger at Gwyneth as she runs after them.

SNEED (CONT'D): I told you!

INT. CHAPEL OF REST

Rose is still hammering on the door as the corpses get closer and closer.

ROSE: Let me out! Somebody, open the door! Open the door!

Redpath clasps a hand over her mouth, muffling her scream. At that moment, the Doctor kicks the door in.

THE DOCTOR: I think this is my dance.

He releases Rose from Redpath's grip.

DICKENS: It's a prank? It must be. We're under some mesmeric influence.

THE DOCTOR: No, we're not. The dead are walking. (Grins down at the panting Rose). Hi!

ROSE: Hi! Who's your friend?

THE DOCTOR: Charles Dickens.

ROSE: Oh. Okay.

THE DOCTOR (to the corpses): My name's the Doctor. Who are you, then? What do you want?

REDPATH: We're failing. Open the rift, we're dying. Trapped in this form, cannot sustain, help us.

Both Redpath and his grandmother raise their heads to the ceiling. The blue gas leaves them with a wailing sound and both corpses fall to the floor.

INT. SNEED'S PARLOUR

Gwyneth is pouring them all tea while Rose is having a go at Sneed.

ROSE: First of all you drug me, then you kidnap me, and don't think I didn't feel your hands having a quick wander, you dirty old man.

The Doctor sniggers.

SNEED: I won't be spoken to like this!

ROSE: Then you stuck me in a room full of zombies! And if that ain't enough, you swan off! And leave me to die! So come on, talk!

SNEED: It's not my fault, it's this house! It always had a reputation. Haunted. But I never had much bother until a few months back. And then the stiffs...

Dickens looks mildly offended.

SNEED: ...the er, dear departed started getting restless.

DICKENS: Tommyrot.

SNEED: You witnessed it! Can't keep the beggars down, sir! They walk. And it's the queerest thing that they hang on to scraps...

Gwyneth gives the Doctor his tea.

GWYNETH: Two sugars, sir, just how you like it.

The Doctor looks at her retreating back curiously.

SNEED: One old fella who used to be a sexton almost walked into his own memorial service! Just like the old lady going to your performance, sir! Just as she planned.

DICKENS: Morbid fancy.

THE DOCTOR: Oh, Charles, you were there.

DICKENS: I saw nothing but an illusion.

THE DOCTOR: If you're going to deny it, don't waste my time. Just shut up.

Dickens is stunned.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D) (to Sneed): What about the gas?

SNEED: That's new, sir, never seen anything like that.

THE DOCTOR: Means it's getting stronger, the rift's getting wider and something's sneaking through.

ROSE: What's the rift?

THE DOCTOR: A weak point in time and space. The connection between this place and another. That's the cause of ghost stories, most of the time.

SNEED (with revelation): That's how I got the house so cheap.

Dickens sneaks un-noticed from the room.

SNEED: Stories going back generations. Echoes in the dark. Queer songs in the air and this feeling like a... shadow. Passing over your soul. Mind you, truth be told, it's been good for business. Just what people expect from a gloomy old trade like mine.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, CORRIDOR

Dickens, wandering the corridors alone, examines the gas lamps.

DICKENS: Impossible.

INT. CHAPEL OF REST

Dickens goes back into the room where Rose was locked up and takes the lid off Redpath's coffin, where Redpath is lying peacefully, his arms crossed across his chest. He waves his hands in front of his face, shakes him a bit, and fumbles around underneath the coffin, all the time oblivious to the Doctor watching him with his arms folded in the doorway.

THE DOCTOR: Checking for strings?

DICKENS: Wires, perhaps? There must be some mechanism behind this fraud!

The Doctor unfolds his arms and walks over to Dickens.

THE DOCTOR: Oh, come on, Charles. All right. I shouldn't have told you to shut up. (Places a hand on Dickens' shoulder). I'm sorry. But you've got one of the best minds in the world. You saw those gas creatures.

DICKENS: I cannot accept that.

THE DOCTOR: And what does the human body do when it decomposes? It breaks down and produces gas. Perfect home for these gas things, they can slip inside and use it as a vehicle. Just like your driver and his coach.

DICKENS: Stop it! Can it be that I have the world entirely wrong?

THE DOCTOR: Not wrong. There's just more to learn.

DICKENS: I've always railed against the fantasies. Oh, I loved an illusion as much as the next man, revelled in them, that's what they were. Illusions! The real world is something else. I dedicated myself to that. Injustices. Great social causes. I hoped that I was a force for good. Now you tell me that the real world is a realm of spectres and jack o' lanterns. In which case - have I wasted my brief span here, Doctor? Has it all been for nothing?

INT. SNEED'S KITCHEN

Gwyneth is lighting another gas lamp when Rose comes in and starts washing up.

GWYNETH: Please, Miss! You shouldn't be helping! It's not right!

ROSE: Don't be daft. Sneed works you to death. (Hands her the cloth to dry up). How much do you get paid?

GWYNETH: Eight pound a year, miss.

ROSE: That much?

GWYNETH: I know. I would've been happy with six.

Rose looks dumbfounded.

ROSE: So, did you go to school or what?

GWYNETH: Of course I did. What do you think I am? An urchin? I went every Sunday. Nice and proper.

ROSE: What, once a week?

GWYNETH: We did sums and everything. To be honest, I hated every second.

ROSE: Me too.

They both laugh.

GWYNETH (as if this is completely outrageous): Don't tell anyone, but one week, I didn't go and ran on the heath all on my own!

ROSE: I did plenty of that. I used to go down the shops with my mate Shareen. And we used to go and look at boys!

Gwyneth stops laughing at once and looks scandalized.

GWYNETH: Well, I don't know much about that, miss.

She turns back to the washing up.

ROSE: Come on, times haven't changed that much! I bet you've done the same.

GWYNETH: I don't think so, miss.

ROSE: Gwyneth! You can tell me! Bet you've got your eye on someone.

GWYNETH: I suppose. There is one lad...

Rose looks extremely chuffed.

GWYNETH (CONT'D): The butcher's boy. He comes by every Tuesday. Such a lovely smile on him!

ROSE: Oh, I like a nice smile. Good smile, nice bum.

Again, Gwyneth looks shocked.

GWYNETH: Well, I have never heard the like!

Rose just laughs. Then, Gwyneth laughs too.

ROSE: Ask him out! Give him a cup of tea or something, that's a start.

GWYNETH: I swear, it is the strangest thing, miss. You've got all the clothes and the breeding but you talk like some sort of wild thing!

ROSE (shrugs): Maybe I am. Maybe that's a good thing. You need a bit more in your life than Mr Sneed.

GWYNETH: Ah, now that's not fair. He's not so bad, old Sneed. He was very kind to me to take me in. Because I lost my mum and dad to the flu when I was twelve.

ROSE: Oh, I'm sorry.

GWYNETH: Thank you, miss. But I'll be with them again, one day. Sitting with them in paradise. I should be so blessed. They're waiting for me. Maybe your dad's up there waiting for you too, miss.

ROSE: Maybe. (Nods, then realises). Um, who told you he was dead?

Gwyneth realises what she has said and turns quickly back to the washing up.

GWYNETH (lightly): I don't know, must've been the Doctor.

ROSE: My father died years back.

GWYNETH: You've been thinking about him lately, more than ever.

ROSE: I s'pose so... how do you know all this?

GWYNETH: Mr. Sneed says I think too much. I'm all alone down here. I bet you've got dozens of servants, haven't you miss.

They laugh.

ROSE: No, no servants where I'm from.

GWYNETH: And you've come such a long way.

ROSE: What makes you think so?

GWYNETH: You're from London. I've seen London in drawings, but never like that. (Stares at Rose intently). All those people rushing about. Half naked, for shame. And the noise... and the metal boxes racing past... and the birds in the sky... they're metal as well. Metal birds with people in them. People flying. And you, you've flown so far, further than anyone! The things you've seen... the darkness... the big bad wolf... (Staggers backwards, afraid). I'm sorry! I'm sorry, miss!

ROSE: S'alright...

GWYNETH: I can't help it, ever since I was a little girl. My mum said I had the sight. She told me to hide it!

THE DOCTOR: But it's getting stronger. More powerful, is that right?

Rose and Gwyneth both jump as they turn to see the Doctor standing in the doorway.

GWYNETH: All the time, sir. Every night. Voices in my head.

THE DOCTOR: You grew up on top of the rift. You're part of it. You're the key.

GWYNETH: I've tried to make sense of it, sir. Consulted with spiritualists, table wrappers, all sorts.

THE DOCTOR: Well, that should help. You can show us what to do.

GWYNETH: What to do where, sir?

THE DOCTOR: We're going to have a seance.


INT. SNEED'S PARLOUR

They are all sat around a table.

GWYNETH: This is how Madam Mortlock summons those from the Land of Mists. Down in Mid Town. Come. We must all join hands.

DICKENS: I can't take part in this.

He gets up.

THE DOCTOR: Humbug? Come on, open mind.

DICKENS: This is precisely the sort of cheap mummery I try to un-mask. Seances? Nothing but luminous tambourines and a squeeze box concealed between the knees. This girl knows nothing.

THE DOCTOR: Now, don't antagonize her. I love a happy medium.

ROSE: I can't believe you just said that.

THE DOCTOR (to Dickens): Come on, we might need you.

Dickens sits down again.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): Good man. Now, Gwyneth. Reach out.

GWYNETH: Speak to us. Are you there? Spirits?

Dickens rolls his eyes.

GWYNETH (CONT'D): Come. Speak to us that we may relieve your burden.

She raises her eyes to the ceiling. A murmuring fills the room.

ROSE: Can you hear that?

DICKENS: Nothing can happen. This is sheer folly.

ROSE: Look at her.

GWYNETH: I feel them. I feel them!

The gas creatures begin to fill the room.

ROSE: What're they saying?

THE DOCTOR: They can't get through the rift. Gwyneth, it's not controlling you, you're controlling it. Now look deep. Allow them through.

GWYNETH: I can't!

THE DOCTOR: Yes you can. Just believe it. I have faith in you, Gwyneth. Make the link.

Gwyneth looks almost pained. Then suddenly, she lowers her head and opens her eyes.

GWYNETH: Yes.

Three gaseous figures appear behind her - the Gelth. Dickens' mouth drops open.

SNEED: Great God. Sprits from the other side!

THE DOCTOR: The other side of the universe.

GELTH: Pity us. Pity the Gelth. There is so little time, help us.

THE DOCTOR: What do you want us to do?

GELTH: The rift. Take the girl to the rift. Make the bridge.

THE DOCTOR: What for?

GELTH: We are so very few. The last of our kind. We face extinction.

THE DOCTOR: Why, what happened?

GELTH: Once we had a physical form like you. But then the war came.

DICKENS: War? What war?

GELTH: The Time War.

The Doctor and Rose glance at each other.

GELTH (CONT'D): The whole universe convulsed. The Time War raged invisible to smaller species but devastating to higher forms. Our bodies wasted away. We're trapped in this gaseous state.

THE DOCTOR: So that's why you need the corpses.

GELTH: We want to stand tall. To feel the sunlight. To live again. We need a physical form, and your dead are abandoned. They're going to waste, give them to us!

ROSE: But we can't!

THE DOCTOR: Why not?

ROSE: It's not... I mean, it's not...

THE DOCTOR: Not decent? Not polite? It could save their lives.

They stare at each other for a moment.

GELTH: Open the rift. Let the Gelth through. We're dying. Help us. Pity the Gelth!

They disappear and Gwyneth collapses forwards onto the table. Rose gets up immediately and goes to her.

ROSE: Gwyneth!

DICKENS: All true.

ROSE (to Gwyneth): Are you okay?

DICKENS: It's all true.

The Doctor is silent.

INT. SNEED'S PARLOUR

Rose is mopping Gwyneth's forehead as she lies asleep on a couch. Slowly, her eyes open. She fidgets.

ROSE: It's alright. You just sleep.

GWYNETH: But my angels, miss. They came, didn't they? They need me?

The Doctor is leaning on a wall just behind Rose.

THE DOCTOR: They do need you, Gwyneth. You're they're only chance of survival.

ROSE (turns angrily): I've told you, leave her alone. She's exhausted and she's not fighting your battles.

The Doctor leans his head back and sighs. Rose turns back to Gwyneth and offers her a drink.

ROSE: Drink this.

SNEED: Well, what did you say, Doctor? Explain it again. What are they?

THE DOCTOR: Aliens.

SNEED: Like... foreigners, you mean?

THE DOCTOR: Pretty foreign, yeah. From up there.

He points skywards.

SNEED: Brecon?

THE DOCTOR: Close. They've been trying to get through from Brecon to Cardiff but the road's blocked. Only a few can get through and even then they're weak. They can only test drive the bodies for so long, then they have to revert to gas and hide in the pipes.

DICKENS: Which is why they need the girl.

ROSE: They're not having her.

THE DOCTOR: But she can help. Living on the rift, she's become part of it, she can open it up, make a bridge and let them through.

DICKENS: Incredible. Ghosts that are not ghosts but beings from another world who can only exist in our world by inhabiting cadavers.

THE DOCTOR: Good system. It might work.

Rose gets up and walks over to the Doctor.

ROSE: You can't let them run around inside dead people!

THE DOCTOR: Why not? It's like recycling.

ROSE: Seriously though, you can't.

THE DOCTOR: Seriously though, I can.

ROSE : It's just... wrong! Those bodies were living people! We should respect them even in death!

THE DOCTOR: Do you carry a donor card?

ROSE: That's different, that's...

THE DOCTOR: It is different, yeah. It's a different morality. Get used to it or go home. (Rose is silent. He speaks in softer tones -). You heard what they said, time's short. I can't worry about a few corpses when the last of the Gelth could be dying.

ROSE: I don't care, they're not using her.

GWYNETH: Don't I get a say, miss?

Both Rose and the Doctor turn to look at her.

ROSE: Look. You don't understand what's going on.

GWYNETH: You would say that miss. Because that's very clear inside your head, that you think I'm stupid.

ROSE: That's not fair!

GWYNETH: It's true, though. Things might be very different where you're from. But here and now, I know my own mind. And the angels need me. Doctor, what do I have to do?

THE DOCTOR: You don't have to do anything.

GWYNETH: They've been singing to me since I was a child. Sent by my mum on a holy mission. So tell me.

The Doctor smiles at her.

THE DOCTOR: We need to find the rift. (Approaches Sneed and Dickens). This house is on a weak spot, so there must be a spot that's weaker than any other. Mr. Sneed. What's the weakest part of this house? The place where most of the ghosts have been seen?

SNEED: That would be the Morgue.

ROSE (still disgruntled): No chance you were gonna say "gazebo", was there?

Everyone looks at her.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, MORGUE

The key turns in the Morgue, and they all troupe in, lead by the Doctor.

THE DOCTOR: Talk about Bleak House.

ROSE: The thing is, Doctor, the Gelth don't succeed. 'Cause I know they don't. I know for a fact there weren't corpses walking around in 1869.

THE DOCTOR: Time's in flux. It's changing every second. Your cozy little world could be rewritten like that. (Clicks his fingers). Nothing is safe. Remember that. Nothing.

DICKENS: Doctor, I think the room is getting colder.

ROSE: Here they come.

The Gelth flood into the room. Their leader positions itself in an archway. It has the voice of a child.

GELTH: You have come to help! Praise the Doctor! Praise him!

ROSE: Promise you won't hurt her!

GELTH: Hurry! Please. So little time. Pity the Gelth.

THE DOCTOR: I'll take you somewhere else after the transfer. Somewhere you can build proper bodies. This isn't a permanent solution, alright?

GWYNETH: My angels. I can help them live.

THE DOCTOR: Okay, where's the weak point?

GELTH: Here, beneath the arch.

Gwyneth positions herself beneath the arch.

GWYNETH: Beneath the arch.

Rose rushes to her.

ROSE: You don't have to do this.

Gwyneth places her hands on Rose's cheeks.

GWYNETH: My angels.

Rose staggers backwards.

GELTH: Establish the bridge, reach out of the void, let us through!

GWYNETH: Yes. I can see you! I can see you! Come!

GELTH: Bridgehead establishing.

GWYNETH: Come! Come to me! Come to this world, poor lost souls!

GELTH: It is begun! The bridge is made!

Gwyneth's mouth opens and the Gelth pour out of it.

GELTH (CONT'D): She has given herself to the Gelth!

DICKENS: There's rather a lot of them, eh?

GELTH: The bridge is open. We descend.

Suddenly, the figure becomes demonic. The gas turns from blue to red.

GELTH (CONT'D): The Gelth will come through in force.

DICKENS: You said that you were few in number!

GELTH: A few billion. And all of us in need of corpses.

The bodies rise.

SNEED: Gwyneth... stop this! Listen to your master! This has gone far enough. Stop dabbling, child, leave these things alone. I beg of you...

ROSE: Mr. Sneed! Get back!

A corpse grabs Sneed from behind and holds him still while another of the Gelth fills his body through his mouth. The Doctor and Rose leap back. Mr Sneed looks up at them through blank, dead eyes.

THE DOCTOR: I think it's gone a little bit wrong.

SNEED: I have joined the legions of the Gelth. Come. March with us.

DICKENS: No!

The corpses advance on the Doctor and Rose.

GELTH: We need bodies. All of you. Dead. The human race. Dead.

They are backing the Doctor and Rose against a dungeon door.

THE DOCTOR: Gwyneth, stop them! Send them back! Now!

GELTH: Three more bodies. Make them vessels for the Gelth.

DICKENS: I... I can't! I'm sorry!

The Doctor looks behind him, spots the dungeon door, pushes Rose in there with him and slams it shut again so they are both locked in there.

DICKENS (CONT'D): It's too much for me! I'm so...

He jumps and runs from the Morgue as one of the Gelth screeches and swoops at him. The corpses are clambering to get in the dungeon.

GELTH: Give yourself to glory. Sacrifice your lives for the Gelth.

THE DOCTOR: I trusted you. I pitied you!

GELTH: We don't want your pity! We want this world and all its flesh.

They are rattling the door.

THE DOCTOR: Not while I'm alive.

GELTH: Then live no more.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, HALLWAY

Dickens has run from the Morgue and rests panting against the door. The gaseous creatures swirl around the knocker, making it look exactly like the knocker from his story "A Christmas Carol", and he runs again.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, MORGUE

The Doctor and Rose are flattened against the dungeon wall while the Gelth are rattling the door.

ROSE: But I can't die. (Looks at the Doctor for reassurance). Tell me I can't! I haven't even been born yet, it's impossible for me to die! Isn't it?!

THE DOCTOR: I'm sorry.

EXT. SNEED AND COMPANY, STREET

Dickens has run from the house altogether. One of the Gelth has followed him.

GELTH: Failing! Atmosphere hostile!

The figure dives into a gas lamp.

DICKENS (realising): Gas... Gas!

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, MORGUE

ROSE: But it's 1869, how can I die now?

THE DOCTOR: Time isn't a straight line. It can twist into any shape. You can be born in the 20th century and die in the 19th and it's all my fault. I brought you here.

ROSE: It's not your fault. I wanted to come.

THE DOCTOR: What about me? I saw the fall of Troy! World War Five! I pushed boxes at the Boston Tea Party, now I'm going to die in a dungeon! (Horrified). In Cardiff!

ROSE: It's not just dying. We'll become one of them.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, HALLWAY

Dickens rushes back into the house and begins to turn all the flames off the gas lamps, so that the gas is released into the air. Wheezing slightly, he covers his nose and mouth with a handkerchief.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, MORGUE

ROSE: We'll go down fighting, yeah?

THE DOCTOR: Yeah.

ROSE: Together?

THE DOCTOR: Yeah!

They link hands.

THE DOCTOR: I'm so glad I met you.

Rose looks up at him, surprised.

ROSE: Me too.

They smile at each other. At that moment, Dickens rushes into the room.

DICKENS: Doctor! Turn off the flame, turn up the gas! Now fill the room, all of it, now!

THE DOCTOR: What're you doing?

DICKENS: Turn it all on! Gas the place!

He turns another one on.

THE DOCTOR: Brilliant. Gas!

ROSE: What, so we choke to death instead?

DICKENS: Am I correct, Doctor? These creatures are gaseous!

THE DOCTOR: Fill the room with gas, it'll draw them out of the host. Suck them into the air like poison from a wound!

The corpses all decide to turn on Dickens instead.

DICKENS: I hope... oh, Lord. I hope that this theory will be validated soon.

The corpses advance dangerously on him.

DICKENS (CONT'D): If not immediately.

THE DOCTOR: Plenty more!

He smashes a gas canister against the wall and all the creatures are sucked from the bodies with a scream.

DICKENS: It's working.

The Doctor and Rose are free to come out of the dungeon.

THE DOCTOR: Gwyneth! Send them back! They lied, they're not angels.

GWYNETH (simply): Liars.

THE DOCTOR: Look at me. If your mother and father could look down and see this, they'd tell you the same. They'd give you the strength. Now send them back!

ROSE (choked): Can't breathe.

THE DOCTOR: Charles, get her out.

Dickens grabs Rose's arm, but she shakes him off.

ROSE: I'm not leaving her!

GWYNETH: They're too strong.

THE DOCTOR: Remember that world you saw? Rose's world? All those people, non of it will exist unless you send them back through the rift.

GWYNETH (firmly): I can't send them back. But I can hold them. Hold them in this place, hold them here. Get out.

Her hand goes to her apron pocket and she takes out a box of matches. Rose rushes forwards.

ROSE: You can't!

GWYNETH: Leave this place!

The Doctor grabs Rose's shoulders.

THE DOCTOR: Rose, get out, go now, I won't leave her while she's still in danger, now go!

Dickens and Rose leave the Morgue. The Doctor holds his hand out for the matches.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): Now give that to me.

Gwyneth does not respond.

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, HALLWAY

Dickens leads Rose back through the dark house, filled with gas.

DICKENS: This way!

INT. SNEED AND COMPANY, MORGUE

The Doctor places his hand on Gwyneth's neck, feeling for a pulse. His face falls.

THE DOCTOR: I'm sorry. (Places a kiss on her forehead). Thank you.

He runs from the Morgue. Gwyneth takes a match out of the box and waits for a few moments, to be sure the Doctor is safely out of the house. Then she strikes the match.

EXT. SNEED AND COMPANY, STREET

The whole house goes up in flames, the Doctor diving out of the doorway only just in time to join Rose and Dickens. Rose fixes him with a look that plainly asks why Gwyneth is not with him. The Doctor looks back at her.

ROSE: She didn't make it.

THE DOCTOR: I'm sorry. She closed the rift.

DICKENS: At such a cost. The poor child.

Rose has not looked away from the Doctor.

THE DOCTOR: I did try, Rose, but Gwyneth was already dead. She had been for at least five minutes.

ROSE: What do you mean?

THE DOCTOR: I think she was dead from the minute she stood in that arch.

ROSE: But... she can't have, she spoke to us. She helped us - she saved us. How could she have done that?

DICKENS: There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Even for you, Doctor.

ROSE: She saved the world. A servant girl. No one will ever know.

All three of them gaze at the burning house.

EXT. ALLEYWAY

The Doctor, Rose and Dickens have arrived back at the TARDIS.

THE DOCTOR: Right then, Charlie-boy, I've just got to go into my um... shed. Won't be long!

He fits the key in the lock.

ROSE (to Dickens): What're you going to do now?

DICKENS: I shall take the mail coach back to London. Quite literally post-haste. This is no time for me to be on my own. I shall spend Christmas with my family and make amends to them. After all I've learned tonight, there can be nothing more vital.

THE DOCTOR: You've cheered up!

DICKENS (enthusiastically): Exceedingly! This morning, I thought I knew everything in the world and now I know I've just started! All these huge and wonderful notions, Doctor! I'm inspired. I must write about them!

ROSE: Do you think that's wise?

DICKENS: I shall be subtle at first. The Mystery of Edwin Drood still lacks an ending. Perhaps the killer was not the boy's uncle. Perhaps he was not of this earth. The Mystery of Edwin Drood and the Blue Elementals. I can spread the word! Tell the truth!

THE DOCTOR: Good luck with it. Nice to meet you. (Shakes Dickens' hand). Fantastic.

He turns back to the TARDIS door.

ROSE: Bye, then. And, thanks.

She kisses him on the cheek. Dickens looks taken-aback.

DICKENS: Oh, my dear, how modern. Thank you, but, I don't understand, in what way is this goodbye? Where are you going?

THE DOCTOR: You'll see. In the shed.

He opens the door of the TARDIS.

DICKENS: Oh, my soul. Doctor, it's one riddle after another with you. But after all these revelations, there's one mystery you still haven't explained. Answer me this: who are you?

A pause.

THE DOCTOR: Just a friend. Passing through.

DICKENS: But you have such knowledge of future times. I don't wish to impose on you, but I must ask you. My books. Doctor, do they last?

THE DOCTOR: Oh, yes!

DICKENS: For how long?

THE DOCTOR: Forever!

Dickens tries to look pleased and modest at the same time.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): Right. Shed. Come on, Rose...

They both turn to the door.

DICKENS: In, in the box? Both of you?

THE DOCTOR: Down boy. See ya!

The Doctor and Rose enter the TARDIS and shut the door after them.

INT. TARDIS

ROSE: Doesn't that change history if he writes about blue ghosts?

THE DOCTOR: In a weeks time it's 1870, and that's the year he dies. Sorry. He'll never get to tell his story.

They both look at the screen where they can see Dickens is still standing outside.

ROSE: Oh, no! He was so nice.

THE DOCTOR: But in your time, he was already dead! We've brought him back to life! He's more alive now than he's ever been, old Charlie-boy. Let's give him one last surprise.

He hits a button and the engines rev up. They smile as they watch Dickens' face when the TARDIS disappears before his eyes.

EXT. ALLEYWAY

Laughing, Dickens' walks away from where the TARDIS stood.

EXT. CARDIFF SQUARE

Dickens emerges into the Square.

PASSER-BY: Merry Christmas, sir.

DICKENS: Merry Christmas to you. God bless us! Everyone!

END