(A small altar with a cross on it flanked by a pair
of candles. The rest of the room is also candle-lit and there are arum
lilies in vases by an open coffin. The bald Welsh undertaker lights the
gas lamp then speaks to his client.)
SNEED: Sneed and Company offer their sincerest condolences, sir, in
this most trying hour.
REDPATH: Grandmamma had a good innings, Mister Sneed. She was so full
of life. I can't believe she's gone.
SNEED: Not gone, Mister Redpath, sir. Merely sleeping.
REDPATH: May I have a moment?
SNEED: Yes, of course. I shall be in the next room, should you require
(Sneed leaves. The man gazes down the corpse of his mother. Her skin
turns blue for a moment then her eyes open. She grabs her son by the
throat and knocks over a vase. The crash brings Sneed back in.)
SNEED: Oh, no. No.
(Sneed frees Redpath from the woman's grasp, forces her down and tries
to put the coffin lid on.)
SNEED: Gwyneth! Get down here now! We've got another one!
(The vigorous corpse pushes the lid off, knocking Sneed out, and kicks
her way out of the coffin side. She walks down the snow-covered street,
groaning, and with blue vapour coming from her screaming mouth.)
(The Tardis is in a rather jerky flight.)
DOCTOR: Hold that one down!
ROSE: I'm holding this one down.
DOCTOR: Well, hold them both down.
ROSE: It's not going to work.
(Rose tries to stretch across half the console.)
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?
DOCTOR: I don't know, let's find out. Hold on, here we go!
SNEED: Gwyneth! Where are you, girl? Gwyneth!
(Gwyneth comes in from outside. Everyone say Hi! to Eve
SNEED: Where've you been? I was shouting.
GWYNETH: I've been in the stables, sir, breaking the ice for old
SNEED: Well, get back in there and harness him up.
GWYNETH: Whatever for, sir?
SNEED: The stiffs are getting lively again. Mister Redpath's
grandmother, she's up and on her feet and out there somewhere on the
streets. We've got to find her.
GWYNETH: Mister 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 eighty six. She can't have got far.
GWYNETH: What about Mister 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. Something terrible is happening in this house, and we've got to
SNEED: And we will, as soon as I get that dead old woman locked up and
safe and sound. Now stop prevaricating, girl. Get the hearse ready.
We're going body snatching.
(The Tardis materialises at the end of a snowy
street. The Doctor and Rose are lying on the floor. It must have been a
DOCTOR: You're telling me. Are you all right?
ROSE: Yeah. I think so. Nothing broken. Did we make it? Where are we?
DOCTOR: I did it. Give the man a medal. Earth, Naples, December 24th,
ROSE: That's so weird. It's Christmas.
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. You can go back and see days that are dead and gone a
hundred thousand sunsets ago. No wonder you never stay still.
DOCTOR: Not a bad life.
ROSE: Better with two. Come on, then.
DOCTOR: Hey, where do you think you're going?
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,
fifth door on your left. Hurry up!
(Old Sampson and his partner are pulling the hearse
slowly down the street.)
SNEED: Not a sign. Where is she?
GWYNETH: She's vanished into the ether, sir. Where can she be?
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. Now, look inside, girl.
Look deep. Where is she?
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: The great man. All the way from London. The great, great man.
MAN: Mister Dickens, Mister Dickens. Excuse me,
sir, Mister Dickens. This is your call. Are you quite well, sir?
DICKENS: Splendid, splendid. Sorry.
(Everyone say Hi! to Simon
MAN: Time you were on, sir.
DICKENS: Absolutely. I was just brooding. Christmas Eve. Not the best
of times to be alone.
MAN: Did no one travel with you, sir? No lady wife waiting out front?
DICKENS: I'm afraid not.
MAN: You can have mine if you want.
DICKENS: Oh, I wouldn't dare. I've been rather, let's say, clumsy, with
family matters. Thank God I'm too old to cause any more trouble.
MAN: You speak as though it's all over, sir.
DICKENS: No, it's never over. On and on I go, the same old show. I'm
like a ghost, condemned to repeat myself for all eternity.
MAN: It's never too late, sir. You can always think up some new turns.
DICKENS: No, I can't. Even my imagination grows stale. I'm an old man.
Perhaps I've thought everything I'll ever think. Still, the lure of the
limelight's as potent as a pipe, what? Eh? On with the motley.
(The Doctor is working under the console when Rose
returns, appropriately coiffed and attired for 1860.)
ROSE: Don't laugh.
DOCTOR: You look beautiful, considering.
ROSE: Considering what?
DOCTOR: That you're human.
ROSE: I think that's a compliment. Aren't you going to change?
DOCTOR: I've changed my jumper. Come on.
ROSE: You stay there. You've done this before. This is mine.
[Outside the Tardis]
(Rose opens the door and steps gingerly out into
the fallen snow.)
DOCTOR: Ready for this? Here we go. History.
[Outside the theatre]
(Charles Dickens walks out onto the stage where an
appreciate audience applauds, including one dead woman.
The Doctor and Rose walk down the street while a choir sing God Rest Ye
Merry Gentlemen. They move on before the hearse stops.)
GWYNETH: She's in there, sir, I'm certain of it.
(The Doctor buys a newspaper.)
DOCTOR: I got the flight a bit wrong.
ROSE: I don't care.
DOCTOR: It's not 1860, it's 1869.
ROSE: I don't care.
DOCTOR: And it's not Naples.
ROSE: I don't care.
DOCTOR: It's Cardiff.
(That stops Rose in her tracks.)
(Mister Dickens is giving his reading from A
DICKENS: Now, it is a fact that there was nothing particular at all
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.
Marley's face! It looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look. It looked
(The old woman begins to glow and give off a faint gas.)
DICKENS: Oh, my lord. It looked like that!
(Dickens points, and the audience turns to see.)
DICKENS: What phantasmagoria is this?
(The corpse rises and groans. The audience screams.)
[Outside the theatre]
(The Doctor and Rose hear the screams.)
DOCTOR: That's more like it!
(A blue gas entity is coming from the corpse and
flying around the auditorium. The audience flees.)
DICKENS: Stay in your seats, I beg you. It is a lantern show. It's
SNEED: Excuse me.
GWYNETH: There she is, sir!
SNEED: I can see that. The whole blooming world can see that!
(The police is arriving outside, blowing his whistle.)
(The corpse collapses.)
DOCTOR: Did you see where it came from?
DICKENS: Ah, the wag reveals himself, does he? I trust you're
(Sneed and Gwyneth pick up the corpse.)
ROSE: Oi! Leave her alone! Doctor, I'll get them.
DOCTOR: Be careful! Did it say anything? Can it speak? I'm the Doctor,
by the way.
DICKENS: Doctor? You look more like a navvie.
DOCTOR: What's wrong with this jumper?
[Outside the theatre]
ROSE: What're you doing?!
GWYNETH: Oh, it's a tragedy, miss. Don't worry yourself. Me and the
master will deal with it. The fact is, this poor lady's been taken with
the brain fever and we have to get her to the infirmary.
ROSE: She's cold. She's dead! Oh, my God, what'd you do to her?
(Sneed sneaks up behind Rose and puts a pad of cloth over her mouth.
She struggles briefly then passes out.)
GWYNETH: What did you do that for?
SNEED: She's seen too much. Get her in the hearse. Legs.
(The blue entity flies into a gas light.)
DOCTOR: Gas! It's made of gas.
[Outside the theatre]
DICKENS: You're not escaping me, sir. What do you know about that
hobgoblin, hmm? Projection on glass, I suppose. Who put you up to it?
DOCTOR: Yeah, mate. Not now, thanks. Oi, you! Follow that hearse!
(The Doctor gets into a nearby carriage.)
DRIVER: I can't do that, sir.
DOCTOR: Why not?
DICKENS: I'll tell you why not. I'll give you a very good reason why
not. Because this is my coach.
DOCTOR: Well, get in, then. Move!
(The driver cracks the whip and the carriage moves
down the street.)
DOCTOR: Come on, you're losing them.
DRIVER: Everything in order, Mister Dickens?
DICKENS: No! It is not!
DOCTOR: What did he say?
DICKENS: Let me say this first. I'm not without a sense of humour.
DOCTOR: Charles Dickens?
DOCTOR: The Charles Dickens?
DRIVER: Should I remove the gentleman, sir?
DOCTOR: Charles Dickens? You're brilliant, you are. Completely one
hundred percent brilliant. I've read them all. Great Expectations,
Oliver Twist and what's the other one, the one with the ghost?
DICKENS: A Christmas Carol?
DOCTOR: No, no, no, the one with the trains. The Signal Man, that's it.
Terrifying! 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.
DOCTOR: Honestly, Charles. Can I call you Charles? I'm such a big fan.
DICKENS: A what? A big what?
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?
DOCTOR: No, it means fanatic, devoted to. Mind you, I've got to say,
that American bit in Martin Chuzzlewit, what's that about? Was that
just padding or what? I mean, it's rubbish, that bit.
DICKENS: I thought you said you were my fan.
DOCTOR: Ah, well, if you can't take criticism. Go on, do the death of
Little Nell, it cracks me up. No, sorry, forget about that. Come on,
DICKENS: Who exactly is in that hearse?
DOCTOR: My friend. She's only nineteen. 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!
DRIVER: Yes, sir!
DOCTOR: Attaboy, Charlie.
DICKENS: Nobody calls me Charlie.
DOCTOR: The ladies do.
DICKENS: How do you know that?
DOCTOR: I told you, I'm your number one
DICKENS: Number one fan.
[Chapel of Rest]
GWYNETH: The poor girl's still alive, sir! What're
we going to do with her?
SNEED: I don't know! I didn't plan any of this, did I. It isn't my
fault if the dead won't stay dead.
GWYNETH: Then whose fault is it, sir? Why is this happening to us?
(Gwyneth and Sneed leave. The gas lamp flares and there are whispered
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.
(Someone knocks on the door.)
SNEED: Say I'm not in. Tell them we're closed. Just, just get rid of
(Sneed goes back down the corridor. Rose wakes up
as blue gas from the lamp animates young Mister Redpath, who had been
placed in a coffin.
Gwyneth opens the front door to Charles Dickens and the Doctor.)
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.
DICKENS: Don't lie to me, child. Summon him at once.
GWYNETH: I'm awfully sorry, Mister Dickens, but the master's
(A gas lamp flares.)
DOCTOR: Having trouble with your gas?
DICKENS: What the Shakespeare is going on?
[Chapel of Rest]
(Rose sees her companion.)
ROSE: Are you all right? You're kidding me, yeah? You're just kidding.
You are kidding me, aren't you?
(Redpath climbs out of the coffin and walks zombie-like towards her.)
ROSE: Okay, not kidding.
(Rose runs for the door.)
(The Doctor goes past Gwyneth to the flaring gas
GWYNETH: You're not allowed inside, sir.
DOCTOR: There's something inside the walls.
(Mrs Redpath reanimates in her coffin.)
DOCTOR: The gas pipes. Something's living inside the gas.
[Chapel of Rest]
ROSE: Let me out!
ROSE [OC]: Open the door!
DOCTOR: That's her.
ROSE [OC]: Please, please, let me out!
(The Doctor runs down the corridor and into Sneed.)
SNEED: How dare you, sir. (to Dickens.) This is my house!
DICKENS: Shut up.
SNEED: (to Gwyneth)I told you.
[Chapel of Rest]
ROSE: Let me out! Somebody open the door! Open the
(Redpath grabs Rose. The Doctor kicks the door in.)
DOCTOR: I think this is my dance.
(The Doctor pulls Rose away from Redpath.)
DICKENS: It's a prank. It must be. We're under some mesmeric influence.
DOCTOR: No, we're not. The dead are walking. Hi.
ROSE: Hi. Who's your friend?
DOCTOR: Charles Dickens.
DOCTOR: My name's the Doctor. Who are you, then? What do you want?
(Redpath replies with several voices.)
REDPATH: Failing. Open the rift. We're dying. Trapped in this form.
Cannot sustain. Help us. Argh!
(The gas leaves Redpath and his mother and returns to the gas lamp. The
(Gwyneth pours tea.)
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.
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, the er, dear departed started getting restless.
SNEED: You witnessed it. Can't keep the beggars down, sir. They walk.
And it's the queerest thing, but they hang on to scraps.
(Gwyneth places the Doctor's cup on the mantlepiece beside him.)
GWYNETH: Two sugars, sir, just how you like it.
SNEED: One old fellow 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.
DOCTOR: Oh, Charles, you were there.
DICKENS: I saw nothing but an illusion.
DOCTOR: If you're going to deny it, don't waste my time. Just shut up.
What about the gas?
SNEED: That's new, sir. Never seen anything like that.
DOCTOR: Means it's getting stronger, the rift's getting wider and
something's sneaking through.
ROSE: What's the rift?
DOCTOR: A weak point in time and space. A connection between this place
and another. That's the cause of ghost stories, most of the time.
SNEED: That's how I got the house so cheap. Stories going back
(Dickens slams the door as he leaves.)
SNEED: 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
(Dickens stops by a gas lamp and tries to listen to
[Chapel of Rest]
(Dickens takes the lid off Redpath's coffin, and
waves his hand in front of the dead man's face. The Doctor watches from
the doorway as Dickens searches the coffin.)
DOCTOR: Checking for strings?
DICKENS: Wires, perhaps. There must be some mechanism behind this
DOCTOR: Oh, come on, Charles. All right. I shouldn't have told you to
shut up. 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.
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?
DOCTOR: Not wrong. There's just more to learn.
DICKENS: I've always railed against the fantasists. Oh, I loved an
illusion as much as the next man, revelled in them, but that's exactly
what they were, illusions. The real world is something else. I
dedicated myself to that. Injustices, the 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?
(Gwyneth lights the gas lamp. Rose starts the
GWYNETH: Please, miss, you shouldn't be helping. It's not right.
ROSE: Don't be daft. Sneed works you to death. How much do you get
GWYNETH: Eight pound a year, miss.
ROSE: How much?
GWYNETH: I know. I would've been happy with six.
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
ROSE: Me too.
GWYNETH: 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. We used to go and look at boys.
GWYNETH: Well, I don't know much about that, miss.
ROSE: Come on, times haven't changed that much. I bet you've done the
GWYNETH: I don't think so, miss.
ROSE: Gwyneth, you can tell me. I bet you've got your eye on someone.
GWYNETH: I suppose. There is one lad. The butcher’s boy. He comes by
every Tuesday. Such a lovely smile on him.
ROSE: I like a nice smile. Good smile, nice bum.
GWYNETH: Well, I have never heard the like.
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: Maybe I am. Maybe that's a good thing. You need a bit more in
your life than Mister Sneed.
GWYNETH: Oh, 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 shall be so blessed. They're waiting for me.
Maybe your dad's up there waiting for you too, miss.
ROSE: Maybe. Er, who told you he was dead?
GWYNETH: I don't know. Must have been the Doctor.
ROSE: My father died years back.
GWYNETH: But you've been thinking about him lately more than ever.
ROSE: I suppose so. How do you know all this?
GWYNETH: Mister Sneed says I think too much. I'm all alone down here. I
bet you've got dozens of servants, haven't you, miss?
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. All those people rushing about half naked, for shame. And
the noise, and the metal boxes racing past, and the birds in the sky,
no, they're metal as well. Metal birds with people in them. People are
flying. And you, you've flown so far. Further than anyone. The things
you've seen. The darkness, the big bad wolf. I'm sorry. I'm sorry,
ROSE: It's all right.
GWYNETH: I can't help it. Ever since I was a little girl, my mam said I
had the sight. She told me to hide it.
DOCTOR: But it's getting stronger, more powerful, is that right?
GWYNETH: All the time, sir. Every night, voices in my head.
DOCTOR: You grew up on top of the rift. You're part of it. You're the
GWYNETH: I've tried to make sense of it, sir. Consulted with
spiritualists, table rappers, all sorts.
DOCTOR: Well, that should help. You can show us what to do.
GWYNETH: What to do where, sir?
DOCTOR: We're going to have a séance.
(Everyone is gathered around a table.)
GWYNETH: This is how Madam Mortlock summons those from the Land of
Mists, down in big town. Come, we must all join hands.
DICKENS: I can't take part in this.
DOCTOR: Humbug? Come on, open mind.
DICKENS: This is precisely the sort of cheap mummery I strive to
unmask. Séances? Nothing but luminous tambourines and a squeeze box
concealed between the knees. This girl knows nothing.
DOCTOR: Now, don't antagonise her. I love a happy medium.
ROSE: I can't believe you just said that.
DOCTOR: Come on, we might need you.
(Dickens sits down between Rose and Gwyneth.)
DOCTOR: Good man. Now, Gwyneth, reach out.
GWYNETH: Speak to us. Are you there? Spirits, come. Speak to us that we
may relieve your burden.
(The whispering starts.)
ROSE: Can you hear that?
DICKENS: Nothing can happen. This is sheer folly.
ROSE: Look at her.
GWYNETH: I see them. I feel them.
(Gas tendrils drift above their heads.)
ROSE: What's it saying?
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!
DOCTOR: Yes, you can. Just believe it. I have faith in you, Gwyneth.
Make the link.
(Blue outlines of people appear behind Gwyneth.)
SNEED: Great God! Spirits from the other side.
DOCTOR: The other side of the universe.
(The figures speak with two children's voices, and Gwyneth speaks with
GELTH: Pity us. Pity the Gelth. There is so little time. Help us.
DOCTOR: What do you want us to do?
GELTH: The rift. Take the girl to the rift. Make the bridge.
DOCTOR: What for?
GELTH: We are so very few. The last of our kind. We face extinction.
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 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.
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.
DOCTOR: Why not?
ROSE: It's not. I mean, it's not
DOCTOR: Not decent? Not polite? It could save their lives.
GELTH: Open the rift. Let the Gelth through. We're dying. Help us. Pity
(The Gelth go back into the gas lamps and Gwyneth collapses across the
DICKENS: All true.
ROSE: Are you okay?
DICKENS: It's all true.
(A little later, Gwyneth has been laid on the chaise longue.)
ROSE: It's all right. You just sleep.
GWYNETH: But my angels, miss. They came, didn't they? They need me?
DOCTOR: They do need you, Gwyneth. You're they're only chance of
ROSE: I've told you, leave her alone. She's exhausted and she's not
fighting your battles. Drink this.
SNEED: Well, what did you say, Doctor? Explain it again. What are they?
SNEED: Like foreigners, you mean?
DOCTOR: Pretty foreign, yeah. From up there.
DOCTOR: Close. And 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.
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.
DOCTOR: Good system. It might work.
ROSE: You can't let them run around inside of dead people.
DOCTOR: Why not? It's like recycling.
ROSE: Seriously though, you can't.
DOCTOR: Seriously though, I can.
ROSE: It's just wrong. Those bodies were living people. We should
respect them even in death.
DOCTOR: Do you carry a donor card?
ROSE: That's different. That's
DOCTOR: It is different, yeah. It's a different morality. Get used to
it or go home. 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?
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?
DOCTOR: You don't have to do anything.
GWYNETH: They've been singing to me since I was a child, sent by my mam
on a holy mission. So tell me.
DOCTOR: We need to find the rift. This house is on a weak spot, so
there must be a spot that's weaker than any other. Mister Sneed, what's
the weakest part of this house? The place where most of the ghosts have
SNEED: That would be the morgue.
ROSE: No chance you were going to say gazebo, is there?
(A cold basement where the recently departed lie
under white sheets.)
DOCTOR: Urgh. Talk about Bleak House.
ROSE: The thing is, Doctor, the Gelth don't succeed, 'cos I know they
don't. I know for a fact there weren't corpses walking around in 1869.
DOCTOR: Time's in flux, changing every second. Your cozy little world
can be rewritten like that. Nothing is safe. Remember that. Nothing.
DICKENS: Doctor, I think the room is getting colder.
ROSE: Here they come.
(A Gelth comes out of a gas lamp by the door and stands under a stone
GELTH: You've come to help. Praise the Doctor. Praise him.
ROSE: Promise you won't hurt her.
GELTH: Hurry! Please, so little time. Pity the Gelth.
DOCTOR: I'll take you somewhere else after the transfer. Somewhere you
can build proper bodies. This isn't a permanent solution, all right?
GWYNETH: My angels. I can help them live.
DOCTOR: Okay, where's the weak point?
GELTH: Here, beneath the arch.
GWYNETH: Beneath the arch.
(Gwyneth stands under the arch, inside the Gelth.)
ROSE: You don't have to do this.
GWYNETH: My angels.
GELTH: Establish the bridge. Reach out to the void. Let us through!
GWYNETH: Yes, I can see you. I can see you. Come!
GELTH: Bridgehead establishing.
GWYNETH: Come to me. Come to this world, poor lost souls!
GELTH: It is begun. The bridge is made.
(Gwyneth opens her mouth, and blue gas comes out.)
GELTH: She has given herself to the Gelth. The bridge is open. We
(The sweet blue apparition turns flame red with sharp teeth. It's voice
deepens and hardens.)
GELTH: 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 dead get up.)
SNEED: Gwyneth, stop this. Listen to your master. This has gone far
enough. Stop dabbling, child, and leave these things alone, I beg of
ROSE: Mister Sneed, get back!
(A corpse grabs Sneed and snaps his neck. A Gelth zooms into his
DOCTOR: I think it's gone a little bit wrong.
SNEED: I have joined the legions of the Gelth. Come, march with us.
GELTH: We need bodies. All of you. Dead. The human race. Dead.
DOCTOR: Gwyneth, stop them! Send them back now!
GELTH: Three more bodies. Convert them. Make them vessels for the
(Dead Sneed backs Rose and the Doctor up against a metal gate.)
DICKENS: Doctor, I can't. I'm sorry. This new world of yours is too
much for me. I'm so
(The Doctor and Rose hide behind the metal gate, where the corpses
cannot reach them.)
GELTH: Give yourself to glory. Sacrifice your lives for the Gelth.
DOCTOR: I trusted you. I pitied you!
GELTH: We don't want your pity. We want this world and all it's flesh.
DOCTOR: Not while I'm alive.
GELTH: Then live no more.
(Dickens runs out of the house, but blue gas seeps out round the door.
He runs down the street, chased by a Gelph.)
ROSE: But I can't die. Tell me I can't. I haven't even been born yet.
It's impossible for me to die. Isn't it?
DOCTOR: I'm sorry.
GELTH: Failing! Atmosphere hostile!
(The Gelph dives into the street lamp.)
DICKENS: Gas. The gas!
ROSE: But it's 1869. How can I die now?
DOCTOR: Time isn't a straight line. It can twist into any shape. You
can be born in the twentieth century and die in the nineteenth and it's
all my fault. I brought you here.
ROSE: It's not your fault. I wanted to come.
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 in
ROSE: It's not just dying. We'll become one of them.
(Dickens runs back into Sneed's house and turns the gas lamps off then
on again. He holds a handkerchief to his mouth to try and stop himself
choking on the unlit town gas as he goes.)
ROSE: We'll go down fighting, yeah?
(They hold hands.)
DOCTOR: I'm so glad I met you.
ROSE: Me too.
(Dickens runs in.)
DICKENS: Doctor! Doctor! Turn off the flame, turn up the gas! Now, fill
the room, all of it, now!
DOCTOR: What're you doing?
DICKENS: Turn it all on. Flood the place!
DOCTOR: Brilliant. Gas.
ROSE: What, so we choke to death instead?
DICKENS: Am I correct, Doctor? These creatures are gaseous.
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 leave the Doctor and Rose, and start shambling towards
DICKENS: I hope, oh Lord, I hope that this theory will be validated
soon, if not immediately.
DOCTOR: Plenty more!
(The Doctor rips a gas pipe from the wall. The Gelphs leave the
DICKENS: It's working.
(The Doctor and Rose come out of the alcove.)
DOCTOR: Gwyneth, send them back. They lied. They're not angels.
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
ROSE: I can't breathe.
DOCTOR: Charles, get her out.
ROSE: I'm not leaving her.
GWYNETH: They're too strong.
DOCTOR: Remember that world you saw? Rose's world? All those people.
None of it will exist unless you send them back through the rift.
GWYNETH: I can't send them back. But I can hold them. Hold them in this
place, hold them here. Get out.
(Gwyneth takes a box of matches from her apron pocket.)
ROSE: You can't!
GWYNETH: Leave this place!
DOCTOR: Rose, get out. Go now. I won't leave her while she's still in
danger. Now go!
(Rose and Dickens leave.)
DOCTOR: Come on, leave give that to me.
DICKENS: This way!
(Gwyneth doesn't move. The Doctor feels for a pulse
in her neck.)
DOCTOR: I'm sorry.
(He kisses her forehead.)
DOCTOR: Thank you.
(The Doctor runs out. Gwyneth opens the box and takes out a match. The
Gelph swirl around her as the Doctor runs through the house.)
(The Doctor runs out and KaBOOM! The Doctor goes
flying across the street.)
ROSE: She didn't make it.
DOCTOR: I'm sorry. She closed the rift.
DICKENS: At such a cost. The poor child.
DOCTOR: I did try, Rose, but Gwyneth was already dead. She had been for
at least five minutes.
ROSE: What do you mean?
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.
[Outside the Tardis]
DOCTOR: Right then, Charlie boy, I've just got to
go into my, er, shed. Won't be long.
ROSE: What are 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.
DOCTOR: You've cheered up.
DICKENS: Exceedingly! This morning, I thought I knew everything in the
world. 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.
DOCTOR: Good luck with it. Nice to meet you. Fantastic.
ROSE: Bye, then, and thanks.
(Rose shakes Dickens' hand then kisses his cheek.)
DICKENS: Oh, my dear. How modern. Thank you, but, I don't understand.
In what way is this goodbye? Where are you going?
DOCTOR: You'll see. In the shed.
DICKENS: Upon 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?
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?
DOCTOR: Oh, yes!
DICKENS: For how long?
DOCTOR: Forever. Right. Shed. Come on, Rose.
DICKENS: In the box? Both of you?
DOCTOR: Down boy. See you.
ROSE: Doesn't that change history if he writes
about blue ghosts?
DOCTOR: In a week's time it's 1870, and that's the year he dies. Sorry.
He'll never get to tell his story.
ROSE: Oh, no. He was so nice.
DOCTOR: But in your time, he was already dead. We've brought him back
to life, and he's more alive now than he's ever been, old Charlie boy.
Let's give him one last surprise.
(The Tardis dematerialises in front of Charles
Dickens' astonished eyes. He laughs, and walks away. Somewhere a choir
sings Hark the Herald Angels.)
MAN: Merry Christmas, sir.
DICKENS: Merry Christmas to you. God bless us, every one!