Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode83Our companion miniseries continues! This week Deb picked the story, so join her, Erika, Lynne, and Tansy as we chat about Rose in “The Unquiet Dead”. It may not be the first story you think of when you think of Rose, but Deb explains why it’s a great pick to demonstrate some of her Roseiest characteristics.

What do you think of “The Unquiet Dead” as a Rose story? Does it display her companionness completely? Or would you pick a different story for her? Let us know in the comments!

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Download or listen now (runtime 1:22:08) 

Comments on: "Ep 83 – The Unquiet Headstrong Companion" (9)

  1. Richard S. said:

    Pretty sure I’ve only watched The Unquiet Dead twice, both times on TV, several years ago. In the run-up to the launch of New Who, it was a story I was looking forward to, for a couple of reasons. I’d been enjoying Gatiss’s writing on TV. And, when I lived in Earls Court in my final year of college, I would often see Simon Callow walking (in a black cape?!) down the street, and he usually gave a smile or nod of acknowledgement to anyone who recognised him.

    When I finally saw the ep… I enjoyed the first half, but I felt disappointed that the climactic music & sound FX were too loud for me to hear what the aliens were saying, or what they were even called. Also had problems with the scene of the zombie actors not trying very hard to reach thru the cage to the Doctor & Rose, who were easily within grasping distance IMHO.

    But I also remember the scenes with Rose & Gwyneth, and an increasing awareness that Billie Piper was really really terrific in the companion role, in terms of moving the plot forward and engaging with the secondary characters and the TV audience. She was certainly the best choice for the job, and far better than I’d imagined from my image of her as slightly annoying teen pop star or wife of (future Top Gear presenter) deejay Chris Evans.

    If I had to pick a Rose story, it would either be Dalek or The Parting of the Ways, partly for reasons of them being my fav eps of that season, but also because each one is resolved by Rose’s intervention.

    Looking forward to the Time Meddler next week (and in the new series??), and Mark Gatiss on an upcoming BBC1 ep of Who Do You Think You Are?, an essential watch, if his previous interview on Desert Island Discs is anything to go by.

  2. It has been a while since I commented here on the blog, it may even have been since before I got an opportunity to chat briefly with Erika at CONvergence in Minneapolis (sorry I missed saying hello Lynne; at least I can say I was in the audience for at least two of the panels you were on).

    I just wanted to pipe up and say: Listening to you all remains one of the most important appointments of my week. There was much to enjoy in this episode—observations from each of you included delicious food for thought. A couple of the happy things were happy things of my own, particularly the comics.

    I would also to point out that the generosity of the Verity community is not limited to a few generous listeners. Those of us that put money where their mouth is do certainly deserve much credit; but the time, effort, and resources (including money) that the six Verities contribute is not lost on this listener—and if I’m right, other listeners will agree. I believe you guys get a lot back because you give a lot in the first place. So, speaking only for myself: Thank you and you’re welcome. Please keep it up.

    Regarding The Unquiet Dead, I think I have been prompted to give it another viewing soon. I’ve always been fond of this story (and I’m an ardent admirer of Eve Myles), but there were aspects of the progression of the Doctor/companion relationship talked about that suggest I’ve forgotten more than I remember about this episode.

    In the past month or two I’ve been watching several of the much, much older stories (so I will be sure to have seen the episodes when they are covered on Lazy Doctor Who). Clearly I need to re-watch some New Who, as well.

    To quote Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, “So much time, so little to do… Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.”

  3. I think this is a great one! We get to see Rose’s love of adventure – from playing dress-up to stepping out into a world a century removed from her own to meeting Charles Dickens while running from ghosts. We see her stand up for herself against mistreatment, and for Gwyneth when the others want to use her. We see her compassion and her interest in others; she sees that she and Gwyneth are not that different, and she tries to get to know her as best she can. And then, she faces death courageously, grateful for the opportunity to see a larger world.
    I love Rose as a character, and I love this episode both for itself and for the opportunity of getting to know her.

  4. Bill Woodrow said:


    Cool run looking at the Companions, I’m a huge Sarah Jane Smith, Nyssa and Jamie fan myself.

    Jo Grant is my personal number one as DWIFC Australia (I was the ACT rep in the 80s) ran a convention in 1988 at Dickson College in Canberra and Katy Manning was our guest of honour!

    I recently got the Series 1-7 Bluray set and it’s been fun watching 1-4 remastered for Bluray.

    I just wanted to make a small note that Dr Who series 8 is not available on the Australian Netfix yet, bummer.

    I’m not bothering with a VPN and an American account now that I have my Australian one and I’m sure it will be coming soon. For now I’ll just have to keep pulling out my disks until series 9 airs.

    Thanks again for the great work.

    PS I’m loving Lazy Dr Who and have listened to all of ‘The Memory Cheats’ and have just started Erika’s Babylon 5 podcast. There is a lot of cool stuff on the incomparable network.

  5. Henrik said:

    The “unquiet”, “headstrong”, companion?! YES! An episode devoted to Tega…


    You’re talking about [expletives deleted] Rose.

    Never mind.

    Unbridled joy averted.

  6. Hi all, long time listener, first time caller.

    Genuine question, not at all challenging for the sake of it (promise promise promise).

    I’m genuinely excited about Ms Black’s casting, a great step forward, and definitely my happy thing for the week.

    I found myself wondering: if she turned out to be terrible, would I call her out the way I would a cis actor? Or would my political leanings give her a bit of a pass? And if so, is that patronising?

    I’d be really interested to know what the community and any Verities reading think.

    • I don’t tend to call out actors who turn out to be terrible, particularly on contemporary work. One of the ways that I personally try to function as a fan is to remember that everyone involved with making the show is a living, breathing PERSON with feelings. Television is made by committee. Everyone does their best, but that doesn’t guarantee that it works out. I try to critique the *work* not the person. I may fail on occasion, but if I do so, that’s on ME. So I don’t have a good answer to that question. I expect and hope that the casting director has done their job well enough that it shouldn’t be an issue.

      • I second everything Lynne said. Especially the part about the casting director. Andy Pryor has done a truly fantastic job over the course of the New Series. His track record is amazing. So I’m hoping the question is moot in the first place.

        That said, I have all kinds of inherent biases that color how much I enjoy an actor’s performance. Some are physical, some have to do with acting style, some are relayed to their voice, or even whatever costume they get stuck in the first time I see them. I always try to see past as much of that stuff as I can, but any and all of them do affect me, and as long as I do my best to recognize those biases, I don’t feel guilty about it. So sure, what I know about an actor offscreen might change how I enjoy their performance. When I know an actor has done awful things in real life, it makes it harder to watch them. That’s not the case for everyone, and that’s fine. We each come to media in our own way. As long as we do it with our eyes open, I think it’s fine!

  7. […] (If you want a more in-depth Verity! discussion about “The Unquiet Dead”, check out episode 83.) We talk about Rose’s first proper outings with the Doctor and what they mean to that […]

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