1x03 – “The Unquiet Dead”
Doctor: [over the noise of the TARDIS] You've seen the future, how about I show you the past? 1860? How does 1860 sound?
Rose Tyler: What happens in 1860?
The Doctor: I have no idea, let's find out! Hold on! Here we go!
Ok, I’m not even going to lie. A huge part of the reason this episode gets an ‘A’ from me is that it features Charles Dickens and I’m a bit of a Charles Dickens stan, just like Nine is. :D The first historical episode of the new series! Exciting! Haha. I love that because it’s Dickens and he has ghosts in “A Christmas Carol”, RTD and Mark Gatiss had (pseudo)ghosts be the Bad Guys of the Week for the Dickens episode.
This is a decent episode. The plot with the Gelf is actually really interesting. We see another residual effect of the Time War and the reason that the Doctor is so keen to help them is almost definitely because he feels guilty for being the one who caused the destruction of their planet in the first place. And that desire blinds him to potential problems.
Charles Dickens: Incredible. Ghosts that are not ghosts, but beings from another world, who can only exist in our realm by inhabiting cadavers.
The Doctor: Good system. It might work.
Rose Tyler: [about the Gelf] You can't let 'em run around inside of dead people!
The Doctor: Why not? It's just like recycling.
Rose Tyler: Seriously though, you can't.
The Doctor: Seriously though, I can!
I think that sometimes the Doctor can just bowl people over and he gets a bit caught up in himself and doing what he wants to do. Like Donna points out in “The Runaway Bride”, sometimes he needs someone to stop him. And Rose shows that she can be that person, even though he totally ignores her here. She does at least prove that she’s not afraid to challenge him, and doesn’t just like his BS go on by. (P.S. She was totally right in the end.)
In general, Rose is so very Rose in this episode. Wandering off again! Having moxie! Being compassionate with Gwen! But also a bit condescending! Haha. But in the end, even though it looks like she might die soon, she regrets none of it. She's already a bit in love with life on the Tardis.
Rose Tyler: Think about it, though. Christmas 1860. It happened 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.
The Doctor: Not a bad life.
Rose Tyler: Better with two.
That moment when Rose first steps into the snow is wonderful. She loves this life. She loves to travel and see new things. This is why I love her. She travels for the joy of traveling and exploring and I identify a lot with that. Wanting to stay with the Doctor isn’t all about her feelings for the Doctor (though I don’t deny that that certainly enters into her decisions and actions, but it’s also about life in the Tardis in general. She loves it.)
Finally, the scene where Rose and the Doctor are trapped in the basement is epic.
Rose Tyler: We'll go down fighting, yeah?
The Doctor: Yeah.
Rose Tyler: Together?
The Doctor: Yeah.
[they link hands]
The Doctor: [looking at Rose] I'm so glad I met you.
Rose Tyler: Me too.
[they smile at each other]
Already we can see that Rose has impacted the Doctor for good. He knows that he’s not alone anymore, and he’s glad of it.