When I first started watching Doctor Who I remember this episode as one I wanted to re-watch. I always wondered if Mr.Sneed and Gwyneth had encountered the living dead before so I thought it would be good area to explore for VortExtra. I also wanted to see Charles Dickens, hoping that something good would happen because it was Christmas, to give more of an atmosphere of something bigger happening.
It was the 23rd December 1869 and in her dimly lit room a young girl, named Gwyneth, moved frantically in her sleep. Her head was filled with thoughts of a future - a future of death, unless someone stopped them. All her life, she had dealt with these visions, they were like a gift, but a gift that was both a blessing and a curse at the same time.

Mr.Sneed had taken her in, looked after her as if she was his own daughter, after her parents had died of influenza - something Gwyneth was in constant fear of getting too. She loved him, in an odd kind of way.

An unearthly glow began to appear around her. Calm blue, with red bleeding through. Her mouth, which had been closed, opened and she drew in a sharp breath, the glow filtered into Gwyneth's mouth and she said in a hushed tone, “My angels...”. Then all was still.

Meanwhile downstairs, Gabriel Sneed was wiping his brow and checking his pocket watch. Tiredness was taking its toll, but his customer had still not said his last goodbye to his recently deceased fiancé. He was about to enter when he noticed the gas light flicker. He wandered over and was about to inspect it when the door creaked open...

He turned to see the young gentleman, but something was wrong. He would not of been so suspecting if it had just been the bags under his eyes. But something was amiss, he looked evil. His eyes had turned an ungodly colour. Mr.Sneed wasn’t afraid, for this had happened quite frequently of late. He held the man back and pushed him backwards before yelling for Gwyneth over his shoulder.

Gwyneth awoke almost immediately after Mr.Sneed had called for her. She was mostly refreshed, but would have loved to rest for a short time longer. But with what had been happening recently, she could not be so idle for too long. She dressed quickly in her simple clothes before heading downstairs.

Mr.Sneed was still fending off his now obviously deceased customer, who had now been joined by his recently deceased fiancé. Gwyneth burst into the room, almost expecting the events. “Help me girl,” cried Mr Sneed, before turning back to face his adversaries. These unpleasant dealings upset him, but what could he do? Gwyneth was a great asset to the old man and soon they had forced the dead down into the morgue before locking it. Mr Sneed gave a sigh of relief and mopped his brow before finally heading to bed. Hopefully, Mr.Redpath would have a more pleasant visit tomorrow when he came to see his grandmother...

Gwyneth couldn't get back to sleep and decided to secretly borrow on of Mr.Sneed’s books from the library. She tiptoed to her room and began to read. She often did this in the dead of night. She read for about an hour before giving in to her heavy eyes. She tiptoed back downstairs and put the book back exactly where she had found it and headed back upstairs. Gwyneth was glad of this hour, which was now part of her pre-bedtime routine - a true opportunity for her to relax from the stress of her unusual life.

Elsewhere that same night, Charles Dickens, notable author of his time, was sat, head in hands at his desk. To his right there lay numerous scrunched up pieces of paper, full of words that would never see the light of day. He thought about his family and how it would be Christmas in just two days, but instead of joy, he felt misery. The truth of the matter was he didn’t want to think about his family. It was Christmas time and where was he – Cardiff! He couldn’t believe, wouldn’t believe, that this was what his life had become. Was this it? Writing just to forget? Maybe tomorrow his life would change forever. Maybe, if he really believed...

© Copyright Mark Joselin, Simon Breeze & Doctor Who Online, 2012.
Page Updated: 29/4/2012

Written by:
Mark Joselin

Artwork by:
Simon Breeze

Narration & Music by:

Siobhan Gallichan

Doctor Who is © Copyright to the BBC. No infringement intended.