If you think the Doctor has mastered his time-travelling schemes so well that he’ll never make a mistake? Well darlings, think again.

By some sort of dumb luck, the Doctor and Rose find themselves in Cardiff. In retrospect, the place is seen to be the Canada from America’s point of view or the Twilight compared to the Titanic. In other words, Cardiff’s seem to be a big joke.  That aside, we are introduced to one of the best and greatest novelist of all time—Charles (FREAKING) Dickens! Talk about major, major celebrity appearance right there! There are several literary references strewn in the fabric of the dialogue. It sure takes a well-read person to nitpick all of them but even an average person can surely enjoy all its pun-ny glory.

With all the fanfare conveniently set aside, we come to know of a certain blue vapour that has been awaking the asleep of this small town. This episode is also conveniently set in that old, squeaky funeral parlor that seems to be a main fixture in too many recurring childhood nightmares. We are then introduced to the Rift in space and time which these creatures seem to have a fancy in. The cries of the dear departed seem honest and wholesome as the Doctor, with the help of the kind Gwyneth, give in and help them.

One wrong move and everything goes wrong as these spirits, known as the Gelth, are really trying to score some of the living for the devious desires. They are, in fact, out to steal the world as we know it. The audience also becomes privy to the hazards of being involved in the Time War. This makes the viewers see how bloodied and how damaged the Doctor (or, in fact, anyone) can be. Gwyneth was reduced to an object which was the medium for the transportation of the Gelth. Her body was the bridge for the Gelth to finally cross the Rift. This scene shows how people or things can consciously take advantage of people who do things out of the kindness of their hearts. Gwyneth represents the collateral damage, the innocent, and the ones who were sacrificed willingly for the greater good.

Dickens, being the utter genius that he is, notes the Gelth is ultrasensitive to gas. He turns the gas on full and gives way to a sacrifice that will inevitably favour of the whole world. The Doctor and Rose rush out just in time as Gwyneth flicks the solitary flame that sends her and all of the Gelth into their fiery deaths.

To cap things off, Dickens thanks the Doctor and Rose for their help and segues to referencing to another novel that although remains unfinished, gives the dialogue some effective boost. In its totality, the episode shows how much we feel alive when we are at the brink of death. The story is a irony of sorts, one that leaves the audience satisfied but still wistful—wondering what it takes to bring such beautiful past back.

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