For those who thought of the current spate of Christmas Specials beginning with David Tennant’s arrival as the Doctor are sadly not quite fully versed in nu-Who. RTD quite cleverly crafted the first few episodes of Christopher Eccleston’s single season back in 2005.
Rose was fast and furious to get viewers old and new alike up to speed, literally, with modern Doctor Who. The End of the World was a showcase designed to show-off what could be achieved within the limits of budgeting and effects. The third story, and #2 in our Christmas countdown, was a deliberate throwback in style and intent, The Unquiet Dead was not only a story set in the past, but done at Christmas time, and a zombie-story (of sorts) to boot. And what a joy it was. You can’t get more Dickensian than a story which features the man (Simon Callow) himself.
It was understandable that long-term fans would gravitate immediately to this story more than others for the more traditional elements within the story, but the reason it rings in at #2 here is that 5+ years on (and also incidentally the only story in our list NOT to be shown on Christmas day itself) it that deftly turned Dickens own story a bit on Dickens himself, keeping the joy for the character but also providing a touchstone for viewers as well.
Watch it again during the season if you can.