Doctor Who
The Unquiet Dead

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C+ | 4 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
Zombie Grandma Is Way Cooler Than All Other Zombies

Back at the mortuary, Sneed and Gwyneth are carrying Rose like a sack of potatoes into the very awesome viewing room. This Sneed's set, by the way, is the coolest thing in the universe. It's very muffled and quiet, but so richly-appointed, especially for Cardiff. The hallways all have a thousand curtains down them, and the viewing room has this huge black cushion in the middle and gas lamps everywhere. When I think of Doctor Who, this kind of thing is what I think of: BBC money lavished on shiny, purposeful, beautiful set dressing. "The poor girl's still alive, sir! What're we going to do with her?" Gwyneth's like an old-style Companion, asking the questions that get you to the answers. They put Rose down on the big table, and Sneed kvetches that he's not really working from a plan, and how additionally he is stressed because "the dead won't stay dead." Gwyneth asks whose fault that could possibly be, and why this is happening to them, and they take off. Behind them, a gas lamp flickers over sleeping Rose, and then they go down the heavily-curtained hall. You can smell the dust. "I did the Bishop a favor, once," says Gwyneth. "Made his nephew look like a cherub even though he'd been a fortnight in the weir." Okay, for me, that was the funniest line in the episode. There's a lot of funny here that would probably be more obvious on the page than it is when the people are actually saying the words aloud -- and quickly -- and after a few viewings, more and more lines jump out. This isn't one of those -- it's funny the first time around, because it is extremely fucked up. "Perhaps he'll do us an exorcism on the cheap," hushes Sneed. They both look up, agape, at a knock at the door. Sneed tells Gwyneth to get rid of them.

Rose wakes up, all woozy, and doesn't notice how the blue flickers have entered the corpse of Redpath, the grandson of the very active mature lady next to him. He sits up suddenly. Oooer. I do not do well with dead British gentlemen on the go. Gwyneth answers the door to Dickens's insistent rapping, and tells them that Sneed's is closed. "Nonsense!" says Dickens. "Since when did an undertaker keep office hours? The dead don't die on schedule. I demand to see your master!" I like it when Dickens uses his grandiose shit-talking for the powers of good. She tries to shut the door in his face, but he calls her a liar and they discuss things a bit -- she recognizes Dickens, which is a cool little note, because whatever her faults, Gwyneth's got her shit together as to putting the rich and famous on their asses -- and then the gas lamps inside flare, freaking out the horses. The Doctor asks if she isn't having some trouble with her gas, and all this talk of farting aliens makes me wonder if that wasn't a British kind of joke right there, and then Charles Dickens ruins everything, which is like his theme song: "What the Shakespeare is going on?" Get it? We went to see Thank You For Smoking last night on free passes, and it was awesome where we were sitting, but not half as fucking awesome as from the seats one row back, where it was so hysterical that they had to laugh louder than everyone else in the theater and repeat the funniest lines back to each other the entire time, just to make sure everyone in the entire theater understood how very, very much they got it. It's a very smirky inside-jokey kind of movie, which maybe is what drove these people -- who are not evil people, and perhaps don't get out much -- but man, shit was like a Mensa convention watching Monty Python one row behind us. Drove me up a fucking wall. I just want to look at Aaron Eckhart, and what's continuing to happen to Katie Holmes, in peace, thank you.

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