407. The Unicorn and the Wasp
- Broadcast: 17 May 2008
- Viewers: 8.41m
- Availability: DVD: Series 4 Volume 2
In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 10 days. Was it amnesia? A nervous breakdown? Or a Giant Alien Wasp..? The Doctor and Donna join forces with the world’s most famous crime novelist to encounter a body in the library, poisoned cocktails and a Vespiform seeking revenge.
Written by Gareth Roberts
Directed by Graeme Harper
The Doctor – David Tennant
Donna Noble – Catherine Tate
Agatha Christie – Fenella Woolgar
Lady Eddison – Felicity Kendal
Reverend Golightly – Tom Goodman-Hill
Colonel Hugh – Christopher Benjamin
Robina Redmond – Felicity Jones
Roger Curbishley – Adam Rayner
Greeves – David Quilter
Davenport – Daniel King
Professor Peach – Ian Barritt
Miss Chandrakala – Leena Dhingra
Mrs Hart – Charlotte Eaton
Donna: "What do you think, flapper or slapper?"
The Doctor: "Flapper. You look lovely."
The Doctor: "Oh, smell that air, grass and lemonade, and a little bit of mint.Just a hint of mint, must be the 1920’s."
Donna: "You can tell what year it is just by smelling?"
The Doctor: "Oh yeah."
Donna: "Or, that big vintage car coming up the drive gave it away."
The Doctor: "You don’t miss a trick."
Agatha Christie: "And I’d stay that way if I were you. The thrill is in the chase, never in the capture."
Donna: "Agatha Christie didn’t walk around surrounded by murders. Not really. I mean, that’s like meeting Charles Dickens and he’s surrounded by ghosts. At Christmas."
The Doctor: "Well…"
Donna: "Oh come on! It’s not like we could drive across country and find Enid Blyton having tea with Noddy. Could we? Noddy’s not real. Is he? Tell me there’s no Noddy!"
The Doctor: "There’s no Noddy."
Agatha Christie: "No matter. The stories are true. I found my husband with another woman. A younger, prettier woman. Isn’t it always the way?"
Donna: "Well, mine was with a giant spider but… same difference."
Agatha Christie: "You and the Doctor talk such wonderful nonsense."
The Doctor: "What does a Vespiform want?"
Agatha Christie: "Doctor, stop it. The murderer is as human as you or I."
The Doctor: "You’re right. Oh, I’ve been so caught up with giant wasps, I’d forgotten. You’re the expert."
Agatha Christie:" I’m not, I told you! I’m just a… purveyor of nonsense."
The Doctor: "No, no, no, no, no, no, no. ‘Cause plenty of people write detective stories but yours are the best. And why? Why are you so good, Agatha Christie? Because you understand. You’ve lived. You’ve fought and you’ve had your heart broken. You know about people. Their passions, their hope and despair and anger, all of those tiny huge things that can turn the most ordinary person into a killer. Just think, Agatha. If anyone can solve this, it’s you."
The Doctor: "She just discovered her husband was having an affair."
Donna: "You’d never think to look at her. Smiling away."
The Doctor: "Well, she’s British and monied. That’s what they do. They carry on. Except for this one time. No-one knows exactly what happened. She just vanished. Her car will be found tomorrow morning by the side of a lake. Ten days later, Agatha Christie turns up in a hotel in Harrogate. Said she’d lost her memory. She never spoke about the disappearance til the day she died. But whatever it was…"
Donna: "It’s about to happen."
The Doctor: "Right here, right now."
The Doctor: "She is the best selling novelist of all time."
Donna: "But she never knew."
The Doctor: "Well, no-one knows how they’re going to be remembered. All you can do is hope for the best. Maybe that’s what kept her writing. The same thing keeps me travelling. Onwards?"
This episode takes place on December 3rd 1926.
A later edition of Agatha Christie book, ‘Death in the Clouds’ featured a wasp on the front cover. Russell T Davies said this was his inspiration for the giant wasp used in the episode.
Writer Gareth Roberts based the episode on his favourite Christie book: Crooked House.