3. The Unquiet Dead

Series 1 - 2005

Writer: Mark Gatiss
Produced By: Phil Collinson
Director: Euros Lyn


For Rose's first trip into the past the Doctor takes the TARDIS to Christmas Eve in Naples, 1860. However, the TARDIS lands in 1869... in Cardiff.

Funeral director Mr. Gabriel Sneed has a problem; the dead are being reanimated, and are wandering around Cardiff. A dead woman, who has become reanimated and killed her son, finds her way into a recital by Charles Dickens of a Christmas Carol.

The Doctor and Rose hear screams coming from a theatre and rush to investigate. A strange blue spectre has escaped from the old woman and is lose in the theatre. Mr. Sneed and a maid, Gwyneth, arrive at the theatre. Thinking Rose knows too much, Mr. Sneed chloroforms her, and Rose is bundled into the back of a hearse.

The Doctor sees this, and comanders a coach to follow the hearse. The coach belongs to Charles Dickens, and initally Dickens does not want to help, until the Doctor reveals he is a great fan.

At the funeral parlour, the Doctor, Rose and Dickens confront Sneed and Gwyneth. Gwyneth lets slip that she has extraordinary mental powers when she knows how many sugars the Doctor has in tea, and that Rose's father is dead, and that Rose comes from a world where metal boxes roam the streets, and the skies.

Gas is the link to the spectre, and the Doctor suggests a seance, with Gwyneth as the medium. Gwyneth makes contact with the Gelth, who are facing extinction, and are using the dead bodies to give themselves form. They say they are few, and ask for help.

The Doctor, much to Rose's disgust, wants to help the Gelth. They need bodies, and Earth has plenty of dead bodies. There is a rift under the house, and Gwyneth is able to establish a bridge for the Gelth. The Gelth then show their true nature. They are few - only a few billion. They plan to take over all the bodies on Earth.

Trapped in a room of animated cadavers, Dickens comes to the rescue by releasing gas into the room. The gas draws the Gelth from the dead bodies and into the gas. Nearly suffocating, Rose and Dickens get out of the house. The Doctor tries to save Gwyneth, but realises she is already dead.

After the Doctor gets out, Gwyneth strikes a match, and the house explodes.

Regular Cast

  • Rose Tyler: Billie Piper

Guest Cast

  • Charles Dickens: Simon Callow
  • Redpath: Huw Rhys
  • Mrs. Peace: Jennifer Hill
  • Gabriel Sneed: Alan David
  • Gwyneth: Eve Myles
  • Stage Hand: Wayne Cater
  • Driver: Meic Povey
  • The Gelth: Zoe Thorne
  • Stunt double for Mrs. Peace: Lucy Allan
  • Prostitutes: Claire WIlliams, Felicity Boylett
  • Tramps: Bryn Dawes, David Marc Thomas
  • Gentleman: John Pope
  • Lady: Paulette Stansbie
  • Double for Sneed: Simon Kesans
  • Zombies: Harry Damsell, Owain Rodderick, John Richardson, Nigel Starke, Alan Donnington, Julian Bosley, Caroline Axworthy, Mary Cox, Nadine Brown
  • Additional roles: Wyn Davies, Morris Howard, Chris Jones, Mark Jones, Rebecca Jones, Anthony Richards, John Beynon, John Norton, Craig Yates, Debbie Holmes, Steven Hamnet, Melanie Cowie, John Mallon, Sylvia Strand, Billy Watkins
  • Additional dialogue recording: Duncan Bett, Ceri Mears, Charlotte Merry, Kathryn Dimery, Claire Cage
  • Double for Gelth Hair: Charlotte Cottle

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 3. The Unquiet Dead Saturday, April 9, 2005 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM 8.9M

Click here to show repeat broadcasts on the BBC


  • Unit Q2, Newport

Outside Locations

  • Beaufort Arms Court, Monmouth
  • Cambrian Place, Maritime Quarter, Swansea Marina
  • Church Street / St. Mary's Street, Monmouth
  • Headlands School, St. Augustine's Road, Penarth
  • New Theatre, Park Place, Cardiff
  • St. Augustine's Road, Penarth