The Mystery of Edwin Drood was a novel on which Charles Dickens was working at the time of his death. In Cardiff on Christmas Eve 1869, Dickens told the Ninth Doctor and Rose that it "lacked an ending". However, he was inspired by their adventure with the Gelth. He intended to introduce characters called "the blue elementals" to help him conclude the novel, and hinted that perhaps he might change the title to The Mystery of Edwin Drood and the Blue Elementals. The next year, (TV: The Unquiet Dead) Dickens died in the middle of writing a sentence in the novel. (PROSE: The Book of the War) It remained unfinished. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)

In 1936, James Whale began directing a film adaptation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood commissioned by Faction Hollywood. With Michael Brookhaven as the film's consulting producer, Faction Hollywood used the film's stage as a physical embodiment of Production Hell to imprison actors, producers, and other movie industry individuals. The story featured a character named "Rosa" and a tomb-searching church warden named "Durdles": Bette Davis was briefly cast as Rosa in 1938, and even decades later, the name "Durdles" would scare any character actor old enough to remember the production. James Whale left a copy of the novel by his bedside when he committed suicide in 1957. Three endings were known to have been recorded, but with the middle parts left unfinished, the film continued its Production Hell into the early 21st century. (PROSE: The Book of the War)

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