Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S04E07 – The Unicorn & The Wasp

In the seventh episode of the fourth series of Doctor Who, AGATHA CHRISTIE!!!!! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

I believe I’ve elaborated on the concept behind this project of mine, but it may have been before a lot of you joined in on the Mark Party. I started this idea back in the summer of 2009 on a bet, but the concept of me experiencing something for the first time was something I was intrigued by for a while. I grew up in a strict household. Well, that’s disingenuous. “Strict” is not a suitable word. Massively terrifying? Repressive? Wildly disturbing? My mother ruled my childhood with a very specific (and usually absurd) set of rules. It took me a long time to come to terms with what happened to me. (On topic, it probably wasn’t until Mark Reads Harry Potter that I actually faced it and called it what it was: abuse.)

One of the many side effects from living in a pseudo-religious, emotionally abusive childhood like mine was that I missed out on everything. So many of the things that are considered quintessential to the American or teenage experience were moments I either never had or didn’t have until I was nearly twenty. Making out for the first time, holding hands, awkward flirting, dating, having sleep overs, staying up until four in the morning with friends, roadtrips, midnight movies, horror marathons, hikes, and I could seriously keep going. I wasn’t allowed out of the house except for school, I wasn’t allowed friends over, and I could only watch or read or listen to whatever my mom approved for me. Because of this, I honestly missed out on nearly everything

I didn’t miss out on Agatha Christie, though. And it’s one of those weird things I still don’t understand about my mom, who decried my choice of music as evil or Satanic, easily melding my mind to become a dysfunctional member of society, but it was totally ok to watch The X-Files or The Twilight Zone or take me to the theater to see Silence of the Lambs. WHAT.

My older brother left a large box of books in the garage when he moved out; that’s where I first was introduced to The Stand and It and Stephen King’s short stories. There were also at least ten Agatha Christie books, and I pulled out And Then There Were None. (Hey, by the way, Google that book title and be completely terrified by what it used to be called. I HAD NO IDEA.) I had never read anything like it and the ending was so inconceivable to me at the tender age of nine that I immediately snuck back out into the garage to grab The Man in the Brown Suit.

I think in the next year, I read at least thirty Agatha Christie novels. I haven’t revisited them in a long time. (It’s hard to enjoy them once you know the end, isn’t it?) But if you’ve ever wondered why I’m so obsessed with plot twists and SHIT GOT REAL moments, I can easily point right back to Agatha Christie for that one. (And, for the record, I’ll take Miss Marple over Hercule Poirot.)

SO. You can imagine my UTTER DISBELIEF AND JOY and the very concept of this episode. It’s another pseudo-historical episode (written by the same dude who did “The Shakespeare Code,” too!) ENTIRELY ABOUT AGATHA CHRISTIE.

Oh, and it’s FRAMED AS A MUDER-MYSTERY. AKSDLJF ;lkkldjaf a;kahsd;fja;kljasdfj;klas

The entire episode not only feels like a love letter to the mind of Agatha Christie, but it is a much-needed dose of silliness and humor. We’ve just been through three episodes that are VERY, VERY SERIOUS, and include lots of the Doctor postulating about violence and genocide and guns and societies and man, it is a bit much. I think a lot of you pointed out the problems with some of the theories the Doctor has put forth recently, especially GENOCIDE. You know, since the Doctor has genocided (that’s not a word, is it?) entire races MANY, MANY TIMES.

Given what we’ve gone through with Donna and the Doctor this series, I was hoping we’d finally get a chance to do something silly and weird and this episode delivers. I’m going to break from doing a more chronological review so I can just talk about all the wonderful little moments in this episode.


  • Obviously, the real writing feat to this episode is watching the murder mystery unfold before our eyes. Except Agatha Christie IS A PART OF IT. aksldfj a;j a;sdhf a;klsd a;sdhf;akj
  • Straight up, Roger Curbishley is hot. Seriously. And he’s gay in canon! I WIN.
  • Yet another episode that aims to “explain” history. I thought it was weird that it looked like summer in December, but I’m willing to overlook that oversight because THEY EVEN TIED IN DEATH IN THE CLOUDS TO THE STORY. Gareth Roberts/Russell T Davies, you are geniuses.
  • “I think I understood some of those words…enough to know that you’re completely potty!”
  • “No, but isn’t that a bit weird? 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.” Donna Noble, you are literally my favorite ever.
  • Actually, the look on Donna’s and the Doctor’s faces when they realize they’re actually meeting Agatha Christie is exactly how I would react.
  • “Scotland Yard. Pip pip.” Oh Donna, never change.
  • I think the best running joke was Donna constantly suggesting titles or stories to Agatha and then trying to claim copyright on them. Brilliant, I tell you.
  • “Typical. All the decent men are on the other bus.” No, seriously, Donna Noble, why aren’t we best friends.
  • The best scene in the entire episode is, without a doubt, the game of charades after the Doctor is poisoned with cyanide. Completely unaware of how funny the situation is, both characters are utterly indignant at each other for their inability to communicate properly. It’s a hilarious clash of egos and one of the best written parts in series four so far.
  • “How is Harvey Wallbanger one word???”
  • “Agatha Christie! I was just talking about you the other day! I said, ‘I bet she’s brilliant!’ I’m the Doctor, this is Donna. Oh, I love your stuff! What a mind! You fool me every time! Well…almost every time. Well….once or twice. Well….once. But it was a good once!”
  • I’m sorry, but what the fuck is the Doctor doing with a bow and arrow in the forest? COMPUTERS AND CHARLEMAGNE. Oh god, I love this show so much.
  • For a moment at the end of this episode, I thought, “Wait, so they kept Agatha Christie in the TARDIS for ten whole days? But then OH LOL TIME TRAVEL.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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269 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S04E07 – The Unicorn & The Wasp

  1. Starsea28 says:

    I think this episode is neither bad nor good (Black Orchid had the same themes but much better done) but Fenella Woolgar is brilliant as Agatha Christie and then… the poisoning scene.

    This scene is worth every cliche in the episode.

    "SALT! I was miming salt! What's that?"
    "That's too salty!"
    "Oh, that's TOO salty!"


    Also, Harry Potter is amazing and you're never the same after reading it because it changes your life for the better. Just thought I'd state the obvious.

  2. leighzzz31 says:

    This episode is just so much fun for me. It’s basically a game of Clue(do) the Doctor and Donna (and us, the audience!) find themselves mixed up in. I mean, who wouldn’t want to solve a murder mystery with Agatha Christie. That’s right, NO ONE. XD

    I’m not too fond of the actual resolution. It felt as though the writer had written himself into a corner and decided to solve it with a magical insect mutant pregnancy. I was hoping throughout the episode that the answer to the mystery would NOT be extra-terrestrial, that the Doctor had found himself in between an actual human murder plot. Oh, well.

    I did like that they explained Agatha Christie’s disappearance had something to do with the Doctor and Donna. And, of course, I can ignore any inconsistencies or misgivings I may have with the story just as long as I get the interaction between the DoctorDonna. The Doctor telling her she looks lovely put a smile on my face. And then Donna kissing him to give him a shock made me laugh-also all the miming before that XD. And Donna constantly demanding Copyright. Basically this episode filled my quota of Poirot-like murder-mystery and ridiculousness of Doctor Who. I shouldn’t complain.

    But I am sad to learn there is no Noddy . He was a central part of my childhood.

  3. Hotaru-hime says:

    THIS EPISODE. I have been waiting since "Rose" for you to get to this episode.
    This was the first episode of Doctor Who I ever watched (really the second, since I watched about five minutes of The Sound of Drums, but obviously didn't understand anything) and I went nuts for it! That beautiful scene of detoxification!! Glorious! AND AGATHA CHRISTIE! I had heard of Agatha Christie but had never read any of her books until I watched this episode. The very first book I read of hers was the same as yours- And Then There Were None/Ten Little Indians. It thrilled me to the bone.
    But it was so gloriously fun and it's really what the heart of Doctor Who is- TIME-TRAVELING FUN! I mean, I love the dramatic plot lines, but I love episodes like this, that have some seriousness to it, but is really just the Doctor and his companion(s) having a blast!

  4. Michelle says:

    The charades are hilarious! LOVE. "Here try this." "What is it?" "Salt." "Too salty!"

    "Committed genocide many times" may be the phrase you're looking for. 😉

  5. valely199 says:

    "Oh, it's a song!!!"
    Donna is perfect in that moment.

  6. Mitch says:

    I LOVE THIS EPISODE SO MUCH. All the moments of "Wait… what the FUCK just happened?" make it even better, for me, because this is Doctor Who and the alien can be a giant wasp if we want!

    Also, ugh, Ten Little [Blank]s. I first read my Da's edition, which has it as Indians, and even that's no good, but the original… ugh.

    • anobium says:

      It's named after a venerable traditional English nursery rhyme, you know.

      …that really doesn't help, does it.

  7. Openattheclose says:

    Mark, if you can, you should watch the deleted scenes from this episode. They originally planned a different opening and ending. Unfortunately, I can't find them on youtube at the moment.

  8. diane says:


    Does this make Agatha Christie a companion?

    • Tauriel says:

      I don't think a single trip in the TARDIS automatically validates companion status. For instance, I don't consider Adam (from Series 1) as a companion…

  9. NB2000 says:

    I'll admit up front that I've never actually read any of Agatha Christie's books (shame on me I know), despite that I LOVE this episode.

    As you said Mark it's a very much needed bit of lightness after a stretch of pretty damn gruelling episodes. The charades scene may just be the funniest scene in the entire series. Although the questioning of the guests with them all having flashbacks (and the Doctor getting caught up in it too) are a pretty close second IMO.

    Got to love the little nod back to The Shakespeare Code with the Doctor pulling out the Carrionite Snowglobe with them still screaming away.

    "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." As someone who grew up with the Cosgrove Hall cartoon of Noddy I ALWAYS giggle at that part, and then get the theme tune ( )stuck in my head.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      *watches theme*

      I remember that show! But nobody else from my childhood does! Thank God, I was afraid I was going insane. (And the fact that Donna knows about it immediately makes it more awesome.)

  10. Karen says:

    So although I generally watch Doctor Who for character stuff and I love it when Doctor Who delves into bigger philosophical questions and deeper themes, I can’t help but love this episode. Much like with “New Earth”, there’s just something so fun about this episode that I can’t help but enjoy myself while watching it.

    Ok, it’s a bit cheesy, but it’s totally genre aware. It’s really just a super fun romp. The setting alone was enough to make me like it. I love the 1920s. Like the HBO series Boardwalk Empire that aired a couple of months ago? I ATE THAT UP. I just think it’s a really neat time period, so setting the story at this specific moment was brilliant as far as I’m concerned. Also, it allowed the writers to use the real life mystery of Agatha Christie’s disappearance in the ‘20s as a framing element to the story.

    Sure, the actual plot behind this episode is a bit lame. Giant metamorphing wasp/vicar who is an illegitimate child and there’s something about a mystical jewel. Blah blah blah. Idrc. To me, what’s important about this episode is just all of those wonderful fun individual moments and scenes that comprise the story.

    Come on, I mean it opens with a professor being murdered. In the library. With a lead pipe. IDEC. IT IS AMAZING AND HILARIOUS. This is practically a game of Clue come to life. The professor, the colonel, the reverend, the jewel thief (who is totally a Miss Scarlet), the maid (Mrs. White), and I suppose that makes Lady Eddington into Mrs. Peacock.

    There are plenty of laughs throughout the episode.

    Donna Noble: No, but isn't that a bit weird? 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 Noble: [mimicking the Doctor] 'The plucky young woman who helps me out'?
    The Doctor: No policewomen in 1926.
    Donna Noble: I'll pluck you in a minute!

    But I think the most memorable bit comes from after the Doctor has been poisoned. It is one of the best bits of comic acting that David Tennant has done. OMG. And he and Donna just play off of each other so well. And the charades culminating in Donna laying a kiss on the Doctor. OMG. LULZ FOREVER. ILU DONNA. AND ILU, DOCTOR.
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    The magical chair of flashbacks also makes me giggle. The Doctor just sits down it in after he and Agatha are done with their interviews and reminisces about Charlemange for no apparent reason. Hehe
    <img src=""&gt;
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    It’s so much fun watching Agatha Christie and the Doctor get their detective on.
    <img src=""&gt;

    The scene where Agatha and the Doctor monologue and lay out exactly what all the secrets are and solve the mystery is fabulous. The finger pointing bit is really amusing. Also, I just love Donna giving us a popcorn… or erm… grape eating gif. (I don't happen to have it saved, but I'm sure someone will post it.)

    P.S. Davd Tennant’s dad has a cameo in this episode. He’s one of the waiters at the lawn party. I believe this is him in the background of this screencap, but correct me if I’m wrong.

    <img src=""&gt;

    • Openattheclose says:

      Yes, I am pretty sure that is his Dad.

      "The magical chair of flashbacks also makes me giggle. The Doctor just sits down it in after he and Agatha are done with their interviews and reminisces about Charlemange for no apparent reason. Hehe"
      Oh, I love that part! The Colonel starts reminiscing about Can-Can girls, and then he can't get out of his reminiscing. And it even affects the Doctor!

      I also love the pointing fingers scene with Donna munching on her grapes. Absolute perfection. I do love a good popcorn munching gif.

    • nanceoir says:

      Yay, Sandy McDonald! I always get a kick out of his brief comments in the Confidential episode. And, after having seen David and Sandy on "Ready, Steady, Cook", I always look forward to this episode that much more. (Seriously, Sandy's about the most adorable person ever.)

    • Dani says:

      LOVE the charades, but I feel a bit sorry for Donna, 'cos he had a mouthful of walnuts and sardines when she kissed him :[

  11. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    OK, this is going to be long…

    The dialogue for this episode was peppered with Agatha Christie titles.

    As Professor Peach discovered the secret and was interrupted, he gasped, “Why didn’t they ask…? Heavens!” – `Why Didn’t They Ask Evens?` was a 1934 thriller.

    Agatha told Golightly that writing about “Murder is easy” – a 1939 mystery story.

    Donna asked incredulously about, “The body in the library?” – a 1942 Miss Jane Marple novel.

    Agatha referred to a “secret adversary” – the 1922 book that introduced Tommy Beresford and Tuppence Cowley.

    “N or M?” asked the Doctor, trying to read the scrap of paper – This was a Tommy and Tuppence tale from 1943.

    Agatha referred to their “nemesis” still being around – this was the title of a 1971 case for Miss Marple.

    Mrs Hart said the murder had put the “cat among the pigeons” – a 1959 Poirot tale.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      Miss Chandrakala said that the professor’s book was a “dead man’s folly” – a Poirot investigation from 1956.

      Declaring the monstrous Vespiform was a trick, Agatha exclaimed, “they do it with mirrors” – this is a 1952 Miss Marple mystery.

      Lady Eddison commented commented on her housekeeper having an “appointment with death” – a Poirot case from 1938.

      “Cards on the table!” Colonel Hugh exclaimed – referencing a 1936 Poirot case.

      Agatha said the Doctor was poisoned with, “sparkling cyanide” – a best-selling poison mystery from 1945.

      The Doctor began his summing up by referring to the “endless night” – a 1967 suspense mystery.

      After this, Agatha described Eddison Hall as a “crooked house” – one of Christie’s favourite mysteries from 1949.

      Lady Eddison explained that Christopher was “taken at the flood” – a Poirot tale from 1948.

      Looking at the suspects, the Doctor said, “The moving finger” points – a poison-pen mystery solved by Jane Marple in 1943.

      “Death comes as the end,” said Agatha as the Vespiform drowned – this would be the title of her 1945 mystery set in Ancient Egypt.

      Donna prematurely referred to “Murder on the Orient Express” – the famous 1934 Poirot tale.

      “Murder at the vicar’s rage” was obviously a bad pun on `Murder at the Vicarage` – Miss Marple’s first appearance, from the 1930.

      Cut from the pre-titles, was a scene involving an elderly Agatha, remembering the Doctor as “the man in the brown suit” – a thriller published in 0924.

      At an early draft stage, Russell briefly considered the exchange:

      DONNA: It’s like Ten Little –
      THE DOCTOR: Niggles aside, let’s look in the library.

      But he decided it was too risky, so cut it.

      • You Are Not Alone says:

        Well done with all the references!

      • E.L.S.O.S says:

        This is the best comment known to all of mankind.

        Well done, you!

        • nyssaoftraken74 says:

          Should say – blatantly ripped from DWM Series 4 Special. But even so, it was a lot of typing! 🙂

      • jackiep says:

        Did you get them ALL?

        The question about 10 little… was almost a bet between RTD and his co-author on whether he could manage to squeeze that one in!

      • Claire says:

        Also referenced are…

        "After the Funeral" – inspired (or directly took) the Colonel's faked disability and the Unicorn posing as Robina Redmond.

        "Yellow Iris" – simply, there's a vase of yellow irises on the dining table. "Yellow Iris" was a short story in the collection, "The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories" and was later expanded into "Sparkling Cyanide".

        And, obviously, "Death in the Clouds" and "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd"

      • Andrew (Chagrin) says:

        I got an almost embarrassing number of these.

        I've read quite a few Christie novels..

  12. Kaci says:

    Tennant and Tate are so good at the physical stuff–the miming in Partners in Crime, the charades here…it's one of the many reasons why I love them so much. As far as historical pieces about writers, this one doesn't get me as much as The Shakespeare Code did, but it's still pretty damn good and a lot of fun at this point in the season. Still, I can't wait for some of the episodes you'll be reviewing next week!

  13. Emily Crnk says:

    BEST MOMENT: all of it.

  14. flamingpie says:


    God. I love this episode with a burning passion. I'm usually much more of a fan of the darker or more depressing episodes (probably my favorites we've watched so far are Army of Ghosts/Doomsday and the series three ending arc), but this episode happens to be the one funtiemz episode that makes my top ten list. It's just… SO FUN. It's not afraid to be silly or cheesy and it's absolutely hilarious.


  15. who_cares86 says:

    For some reason fandom doesn't seem to like this episode can't for the live of me think of why. OK the giant wasp is bit silly but it's not meant to be taken seriously.

    • flamingpie says:

      fandom doesn't seem to like this one? Maybe it's just the corner of fandom I'm used to but I've never seen anything less than indifference toward it and the majority of reactions were pure love.

      • Openattheclose says:

        Yes, that is what I have seen too, but I don't frequent the major Who boards, except for this one. This one counts, right? I'm counting it.

        • nanceoir says:

          I vote that it count, 'cause it's the most fun.

          And the only active place I visit for discussion. 😀

          • flamingpie says:

            It definitely counts. Why would anyone go anywhere else? Here we're free to disagree and it's still civil!

            I love this place. XD

            • psycicflower says:

              <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

            • nanceoir says:


              Also? I've been rewatching Torchwood (and The Sarah Jane Adventures) in an effort not to jump too far ahead of Mark's posts, and I find myself thinking about what Mark and other commenters here might have to say about it, or wanting to remember something for discussion… and then I remember that it's not a discussion that's happening. THIS is the power of this place: I want more discussions from all the lovely people, and when I don't have them, I start making 'em up!

    • knut_knut says:

      I've heard it's because of the giant wasp. Whatever! Agatha Christie WAS my childhood! I love how silly this episode is!

      • jackiep says:

        In all fairness, a major plot point hinges on Felicity Kendall shagging a wasp? A point which was brought out hilariously in the DVD commentary by the actresses involved.

        • knut_knut says:

          It IS kind of ridiculous. Maybe it's because I have a piece of coal for a heart, but if the guy I was with turned into a wasp I don't think I'd be ok with it, even if he was ~the love of my life~

  16. psycicflower says:

    Hey, by the way, Google that book title and be completely terrified by what it used to be called. I HAD NO IDEA.
    My thought's while doing that: What could be so bad about a book ti- OH MY GOD! WTF

    ‘I say what are you doing with that lead piping.’ This episode is the perfect bit of fun that we all need after the last few episodes. I mean a giant killer wasp is a bit silly really but it's just too fun of an episode to worry about something like that.

    ‘Professor Peach in the library with a lead pipe.' While the poisoning scene is love along with the stereotypical murderer reveal scene, my favourite is when the Doctor and Agatha are questioning everyone about what they were doing when Professor Peach was murdered and you get to see what they were actually doing. Constitutional completely alone = romantic rendezvous with gay footman. Preparing self in toilet = checking gun. Reading military memoirs = looking at nude pictures and remembering can can dancers. Taking tea = quicky from your flask.

    I also love all the clothes in this episode. And Donna's hair. I wish I could wear 1920s style clothes everyday. <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    'Typical. All the decent men are on the other bus.' Or taken. Or fictional. *sigh*

    • Openattheclose says:

      The thing that gets me about that title, is even without getting into the derogatory contents of the original, "And Then There Were None" sounds like a much more interesting title anyway.

      • psycicflower says:

        I've never read any Agatha Christie before but "And Then There Were None" is definitely a title that grabs my attention.

    • jackiep says:

      The Doctor's hesitation before answering the "flapper or slapper" question is nice, given that in the 1920s they actually more or less meant the same things, but by the 2000s flapper was respectable and slapper was still not! Nice that the Doctor paused and realised that his life probably depended on giving Donna the right answer. He is slowly learning diplomacy…

  17. fakehepburn says:


  18. elusivebreath says:

    I absolutely adore this episode! Like you, Mark, I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie, HOWEVER I love Poirot so much more than Miss Marple! Eh, idk, she annoys me sometimes. My first book was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and now that you mention it, maybe reading Christie’s books is where my love affair with ingenius plot twists began? Anyway, glad you loved this is episode too for all its silliness 🙂

  19. Angie says:

    Seems like every time I talk about Doctor Who, 90% of my phrases include the words "I LOVE." I can't help it.

    * Mmmmm, big vintage car. Hey, when are they going to bring back Bessie? Just a mention, a cameo, anything?
    * Ahaha The Doctor party crashes with his psychic paper.
    * Professor Peach in the library with the lead pipe. I WIN AT CLUE. OH FUCK THAT'S A GIANT WASP DNW RUN AWAY.
    * OMG I LOVE DONNA'S dress. So pretty. I love how The Doctor doesn't hesitate telling her she looks lovely, with no awkwardness. None of that "… for a human" stuff. ;D
    * Donna tries out her "posh" accent, the Doctor's all "…no, no, no, no"
    * Such pretty clothes throughout this episode. I love the look of the 1920s, but I could never pull off the clothes. I'm more of a '30s-'50s girl.
    * HELL YEAH LITERARY GIANT EPISODES FTW. Agatha Christie was such an interesting lady. I love it when The Doctor gets all fanboy. I've been a fan of Dickens, Shakespeare, and Christie long before I started watching Doctor Who, and it's such fun to watch these episodes. <3
    * That library. THAT WHOLE LIBRARY, I WANT IT. Angie, stop lusting over the cars and dresses and libraries and books and music and phonographs and typewriters and things and pay attention to the episode.
    * Afternoon tea and a snort of gin. I love these flashbacks, showing us what really happened.
    * The charades scene is hilarious.
    * Aha! We've had a Dickens callback and now a Shakespeare (Code) callback! (The Carrionites!)


    • flamingpie says:



      • Openattheclose says:

        JK Rowling! I needs this in my life.

      • grlgoddess says:

        If you count the expanded universe, the Doctor's met Shakespeare at least three or four times before Shakespeare Code, so they could totally go for it!

      • electric ashera says:

        YES OSCAR WILDE PLEASE. There would be wittiness, booze, period clothes, and queer aliens. Hmm. Now that I write it like that it's also begging for a Captain Jack cameo…

    • PeterRabid says:

      An Edgar Allan Poe episode would have to be really freaking scary. Well, Moffat, work your magic!

    • Openattheclose says:

      "Mmmmm, big vintage car. Hey, when are they going to bring back Bessie? Just a mention, a cameo, anything?"
      That reminds me, is this the first time the Doctor has driven a car in New Who?

      "That library. THAT WHOLE LIBRARY, I WANT IT. Angie, stop lusting over the cars and dresses and libraries and books and music and phonographs and typewriters and things and pay attention to the episode. "
      No, don't stop! I share your love of that library. When I own a house, I don't care if it is only a two-room bungalo, one of those rooms WILL be a library, though obviously not as big as the one in this ep.

      • Angie says:

        ME TOO. My dream house will have a library, and it will look reminiscent of the one in Beauty and the Beast, complete with sliding ladders. And deep, cushy window seats. And a fireplace. And secret passageways. Of course. I mean, every library needs a secret passage.

        • Openattheclose says:

          Ugh, I WANT.
          <img src=>

          • psycicflower says:

            SO MUCH WANT

          • flamingpie says:

            CAN THAT BE MY HOUSE?

          • grlgoddess says:

            If someone doesn't want that room, they clearly have no soul.

          • Hotaru-hime says:

            THIS. This is the reason Beauty and the Beast is one of my top three favorite movies. THAT FUCKING LIBRARY, UNF. I wanted to be Belle SO BAD so I could have that library.

          • arctic_hare says:

            I always say that if I ever win the lottery, the dream home I build with the money will have a library like that in it.

            • Openattheclose says:

              Yeah, I don't need to have an indoor swimming pool or a fancy movie theater or bowling alley or whatever. I just want the best library ever built in a private residence.

              • ThreeBooks says:

                Or you can have a pool… INSIDE THE LIBRARY!

                • Openattheclose says:

                  OMG this is an amazing idea! If I ever have this, you are all invited over to read and swim! Oh, and watch Doctor Who.

                  • ThreeBooks says:

                    Yessss. I think that is the only thing that can make a library better: A pool inside it, with like little glass walls so that if you splash too hard there is NO WAY the books can be wetted. (That's actually a real world btw.)

                    And yeah, books + hot tub = Aaaaaahhh~

    • Starsea28 says:

      How would you write an episode that includes Poe yet is still okay for kids? Not even sure if Moffat could pull it off.

      • flamingpie says:

        I dunno, when I was a kid I heard simplified versions of Poe stories, like the tell tale heart. I'm sure it could be done.

        • kaybee42 says:

          We did Poe at school in years 7 and 8 (age 11 to 12) so it wouldn't be TOO hard to do one for 9- 10 year olds?
          We did the black cat (terrifying!), the masque of the red death (not quite so bad, but not as iconic), the tell tale heart (iconic and not too scary, but a bit too obvious, maybe?) and the raven (scary but not too scary, iconic but not obvious… ) if there could be a story that somehow related to the raven, that would be BRILLIANT!

      • Avit says:

        The American accents would probably be too much trouble. Poe never visited England, did he? Wasn't he practically indigent his whole life?

        • calimie says:

          No, he did! When he was young! It was an influence on some of his stories.

          His family wasn't poor, maybe later? But I don't think he really ever went without.

          • Starsea28 says:

            His foster family wasn't poor but his foster father basically disowned him after his wife died because he decided Poe was unreliable.

            • calimie says:

              Well, to be fair, he was unreliable, but it's still really sad he was disowned. I had forgotten that.

              • Starsea28 says:

                Yeah, and since he was brought up as a gentleman, he didn't have a trade or the habit of working. All he had was his writing and at that time, the main money was going to European authors. :-/

          • Avit says:

            OIC, cool. Actually, come to think of it, young Poe would be intere–

            –kind of tragic, actually, which I suppose is the point…

        • Starsea28 says:

          Um, actually he did visit England with his foster parents and even went to school here.

          OOOH. CHILD!Edgar Allen Poe and Eleven. YES PLS.

    • carma_bee says:

      I would love it so much if Bessie came back. The next time there is another UNIT episode, there needs to be Bessie! Or even an episode where he mentions it. Then a companion can make fun of him for loving an old car so much.

    • jennywildcat says:


      THIS, THIS, THIS, THIIIIIIIIIS!!!!!!! *flails*

    • Hypatia_ says:

      I so very much want him to meet J.K. Rowling. J.K. COULD PLAY HERSELF. I'm sure it won't happen, but it would be amazing.

      • anobium says:

        There was actually a point where RTD was seriously considering inviting JKR to do that very thing – guest star as herself in 'Doctor Who'. He decided not to, though.

  20. arctic_hare says:

    This episode was a fun little bit of fluff, I enjoy the Clue shoutouts. I'm not as enamored of it as everyone else, though, possibly because I've been spoiled by the movie Clue, which is pretty much my favorite comedy movie ever and I compare all humorous murder mysteries to it. It was still enjoyable, though, just not my favorite "meet a historical figure" episode.

    I don't have any sort of proper review because I don't recall much of the episode, having only seen it once, and I don't have it on hand to rewatch, and I've loads to do today besides. Monday, though, I shall resume being long-winded.

    • Andrew (Chagrin) says:

      Clue may very well be my favourite movie of all time. It's SO GOOD. Better than it has anyright being.

      • arctic_hare says:

        It's kind of amazing: there have been so many bad movies made out of video games, most of which had plots you'd think would lend themselves to something of a better quality than what ensued, but in the end the best game-to-movie adaptation came from a BOARD GAME with no real plot to speak of. It shouldn't be so awesome, but it is, because the script was so funny, and the characters were perfectly cast (one of the best movie casts I've ever seen, really).

      • electric ashera says:

        Well, but it has Tim Curry. Tim Curry makes anything and everything better.

      • Karental says:

        SIT!……..Not you sir (eye roll)

    • notemily says:

      I'm a big fan of "Murder By Death" for classic mystery comedies. It has Truman Capote in it! AND MAGGIE SMITH FUCK YEAH.

  21. leighzzz31 says:

    the new version is nightmarish-i jumped away from the screen when i first saw it. who comes up with that? "oooh, let's destroy people's childhood, why don't we?"

  22. Starsea28 says:

    It's so wonderfully timey-wimey and cyclical like that. XD

  23. You Are Not Alone says:

    The Man in the Brown Suit
    How odd, Anne Beddingfeld thought, that the stranger caught her eye, recoiled in horror, and fell to his death on the rails of Hyde Park Underground Station. Odder still was a doctor in a brown suit who pronounced him dead and vanished into the crowd.
    ^Hee forever!
    The charade scene will forever be wonderful.
    Fenella Woolgar was delightful as Agatha.
    David Tennant’s dad played a butler briefly in the garden party at the beginning!
    How cool that you were Agatha Christie enthusiast before this episode. I was starting my first-ever AC book, Murder on the Orient Express, when I watched it. Thank you Donna Noble, for spoiling the ending! Still, I had watched a couple of movies and could definetely recognise the tropes being parodied somewhat, like the hilarious interrogation scene even more, complete with the wibbly screen and harp music when they flashbacked and we got to see the lies they told. Also, LOL Cluedo: “Proffesor Peach. In the Library. With a lead piping?”
    Did you notice all the titles that were slipped in the dialogue to various degrees of subtlety? List: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd; Why Didn’t They Ask Evans; The Body in the Library; The Secret Adversary; N or M?; Nemesis; Cat Among the Pigeons; Dead Man’s Folly; They Do It With Mirrors; Appointment with Death; Cards on the Table; Sparkling Cyanide; Endless Night; Crooked House; The Moving Finger; Taken at the Flood; Death Comes as the End; Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder at the Vicarage.

    • CJBadwolf says:

      "Odder still was a doctor in a brown suit who pronounced him dead and vanished into the crowd."

      Oh that is just awesome.

  24. echinodermata says:

    As with the last ep, I think I appreciate this ep more than a lot of people do, although I think this ep is more popular than the last. If there's fun and exciting stuff happening, I can mostly just sit back and enjoy without poking at the plot holes and science fail and what have you.

    AGATHA CHRISTIE! Absolutely lovely. I love Ten's and Donna's enthusiasm for her. And I love yours too, Mark.

    And I love Donna's "that’s like meeting Charles Dickens and he’s surrounded by ghosts. At Christmas." I never liked that episode too much, but I'm glad it exists if only for this Donna line.
    Then she gets a magnifying glass to solve mysteries <3 I love this episode. And then she tries to use it to find a bee that turns to be A FLIPPIN' ENORMOUS WASP! So it's kind of cheesy, but I kind of love it anyway. (Although I do wish there were a literal unicorn in this ep.)

    Basically, this entire episode is cheesy and ridiculous and full of nonsense, but that's pretty much why it's so good. This is not an episode that is taking itself seriously. Ffs, they have Agatha Christie needing to solve an actual murder. This is an episode to simply sit back and enjoy.
    <img src=""&gt;
    Lolol, this entire scene – I don't know how many times I've watched it but it still makes me convulse with laughter.

    Anyway, actual plot and shit also happens, but I love this episode for the lols. And I love Agatha Christie being beloved in the year 5 billion.

  25. who_cares86 says:

    "Mine was with a giant spider, same difference." Oh Donna.

  26. Treasure Cat says:

    I love this episode with all of my soul and being and I have several thoughts about it. Can I list them? OK THEN IF YOU INSIST :3
    1. Agatha Christie is a huge bonding point for me and my mum. Its only in the last two years or so that Ive really been friends with my mum, before that we used to fight a lot a lot, but both my mum and I totally love Agatha Christie. Her books have always been something we agree on and can talk about for ages, so when Dr Who (another thing we both love) brought her in it was like the best Saturday night ever, sitting and watching it with her.
    2. The fucking giant wasp holy shit. I hate wasps, they are one of two things I have a phobia of (the other being spiders). I had nightmares for days but I was ok with that because its nice when Dr Who terrifies me.
    3. The charades scene. I dont think I need to say more. Im giggling just thinking about it.
    4. HOLD THE PHONE, Marple over Poirot? Mmm Im the other way around. Poirot's little grey cells <3 Plus David Suchet is adorable.
    5. I think the acting in this episode was generally superb. Serious and yet comic at the same time, just perfect.

    • PeterRabid says:

      I had similar bonding with my friend over Agatha Christie. Our school library was very small, but it had over three dozen AC novels in the Spanish section. We didn't really have similar tastes in literature, but when I first read "Murder in Mesopotamia" (btw, the Spanish version has one of the creepiest covers ever) I pretty much forced it on her. From then on we were just "Have you read _______ yet?" and "That ending was amazing!" To this day we still reminisce over Agatha Christie and I let her borrow from my collection.

    • Starsea28 says:

      Agatha Christie is a huge bonding point for me and my mum. Its only in the last two years or so that Ive really been friends with my mum, before that we used to fight a lot a lot, but both my mum and I totally love Agatha Christie. Her books have always been something we agree on and can talk about for ages, so when Dr Who (another thing we both love) brought her in it was like the best Saturday night ever, sitting and watching it with her.

      This gives me warm fuzzy feelings inside. 🙂

  27. echinodermata says:

    Please try avoiding statements like your first line, since you're talking about stuff Mark hasn't watched. It may not feel spoilery, but if you want to say stuff like that, just take it to the spoiler board.

    I definitely agree that this was a good time to have such a fun episode.

  28. Tauriel says:

    This could’ve been such an awesome pure historical episode, pity they spoiled it with that ridiculous plot with the alien wasp. Doctor/Donna are utterly fantastic, though, especially the poisoning bit. 😀

  29. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    One little thing I want to mention (to balance my huge post from before) about Series 4 in general.

    Isn't it great that the writers are now sufficiently confident in the success of the show that they can start sneaking in little self-referencing in-jokes? Like "are you my mummy?" and "Charles Dickens/ghosts/Christmas" just knowing that the audience will get them.

    • You Are Not Alone says:

      Yeah! I remember the moment in Voyage of the Damned when Midshipman Frame revealed his name was Alonso and I howled with laughter. That’s a joke that depended on remembering a couple of lines from an episode a year and a half previous. Even if you don’t remember, “Allons-y, Alonso!” will still be funny. Also, in S3 they did the fobwatch from Human Nature reveal in Utopia, but even there that moment still works if Utopia is the first episode you’d ever seen. Series 4 does seem to take for granted it’s whole audience is familiar with all previous series of Doctor Who a lot more, a reasonable assumption what with the high ratings and the constant repeats.

  30. Inseriousity. says:

    So many funny moments in this episode. When the Doctor said 'turn to the copyright page' I was hoping for a "Copyright Donna Noble" 🙁

    When I first watched this episode I didn't really like it. I had my mind elsewhere (it was nearly teatime fyi) but on rewatch, it's really funny and makes me laugh all the time.

  31. Spugsy says:

    Oh wow, what a thoroughly entertaining episode. I loved all the Cluedo references and Donna was amazing. The plot was very enjoyable and sufficiently ridiculous to not make it a dour murder-mystery.

    Also “…funny place to keep pearls.” Couldn’t stop laughing.

  32. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S04E07 – The Unicorn & The Wasp | --

  33. You Are Not Alone says:

    Also, they published the Chalemagne and insane computer story on the BBC website to tie in with this episode. No spoilers for future episodes:

    • jennywildcat says:

      Oh that was so funny! Thanks for sharing that.

      You know, ever since I watched "Time Crash," any mention of Belgium makes me laugh uncontrollably. And celery (love the celery ^_^)

  34. (And, for the record, I’ll take Miss Marple over Hercule Poirot.)
    I think all the books I read in my Christie phase were Poirot. I may have read one Miss Marple, and it may have only been a short story, so for me, Christie = Poirot.

    The best scene in the entire episode is, without a doubt, the game of charades after the Doctor is poisoned with cyanide. Completely unaware of how funny the situation is, both characters are utterly indignant at each other for their inability to communicate properly. It’s a hilarious clash of egos and one of the best written parts in series four so far.
    Oh yeah, that scene is flippin' hilarious, and then it gets to—

    “How is Harvey Wallbanger one word???”
    I see you got there too.

    If you enjoyed Fenella Woolgar as Agatha Christie, she's also fun in Jekyll.

  35. Vicki_Louise says:

    Yay! I love this episode. It's daft and silly and ridiculously good fun.

    David Tennant's dad Sandy is one of the footmen in the background! (I've just seen that David's dad has his own Wikipedia page! Awwww)

    Love Fenella Woolgar as Agatha Christie.
    Love the outfits and the jewellery, especially Donna's dress, she looks gorgeous.
    Love Donna sitting there eating her grapes like she's at the cinema eating popcorn.
    I adore Doctor/Donna/David/Catherine &lt;3
    Love Felicity Kendal as Lady Clemency Eddison, she makes the whole 'i've given birth to an alien wasp man' thing seem not as ridiculous as it sounds. Sort of.
    The flapper girl (Felicity Jones) is so pretty. *sigh*
    Everything that comes out of Donna Noble's mouth is made of awesome. And win.
    I love sparkly things, i'm a total magpie, so Lady Eddison's necklace makes me go weak at the knees!
    I love the furniture and all the nicknacks, especially the Chinese (Japanese?) looking room, it's gorgeous.
    I'm absoultely terrified of wasps and bees but the wasp in this episode is just WHAT? SIRIUSLY? OKAY WHATEVER. Meh. Sorry wasp man, please don't sting me!

    My mum use to watch Doctor Who, she watched it for about the first 10 years, but had no interest at all in watching the revised series. So when i wasn't feeling very well about two years and watched series four to make myself feel better, i emotionally blackmailed my mum in to watching it with me and when we got to this episode she was laughing so much she was crying! She now watches every new episode with me, i made her a Whovian again! Hell yeahs.

    I love LOVE the end:
    "But she never knew."
    "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. Same thing keeps me travelling."

    I'm loving the new banner!

    And because it needs to be said:

  36. Albion19 says:

    I love how bright this episode is, visually it's just gorgeous. I wanna dress like that everyday *pouts*

    I was going to post a vid by Nerimon about this ep but maybe it's a bit too negative lol

  37. Spugsy says:

    Apparently RTD said they already had a winter episode in Planet of the Ood and they didn't want more snow, or something?!

    I think it works better in the summer though so I'm glad.

    • who_cares86 says:

      Well they wanted the outdoors 20's cocktail party as the backdrop so it had to be summer instead of winter.

  38. Fusionman29 says:

    Trivia time!

    A. This episode is the 50th episode of the revived series of Doctor Who.
    B. A different opening and conclusion to the episode were filmed. The two scenes take place in the mid-1970s and feature another actress playing the aged Christie, who begins the episode by having flashbacks and dreams relating to her adventure of some 50 years earlier. The ending of the episode featured the Doctor and Donna visiting Christie, upon which she begins to remember what happened and is shown a copy of the facsimile edition of Death in the Clouds from the year 5 billion. When it was decided to abandon the framing sequence, this second scene was remounted in the TARDIS. Both scenes were presented to the public for the first time in the 2008 DVD box set of Series 4.
    C. Some of these characters resemble Cluedo characters.
    * Clemency Eddison resembles Mrs Peacock
    * Robina Redmond resembles Miss Scarlet
    * Colonel Hugh Curshiby resembles Colonel Mustard
    * Professor Gerald Peach resembles Professor Plum
    * Miss Chandrakala resembles Miss White
    * Reverend Arnold Golightly resembles Reverend Green
    D. David Tennant’s father makes a cameo as a footman.
    E. Christopher Benjamin had previously appeared in DW: Inferno and The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
    F. Felicity Kendall, who plays Lady Eddison, was one of the stars of the classic BBC situation comedy, The Good Life. Her co star, Richard Briers appeared in DW: Paradise Towers as the Chief Caretaker.

    Anything I missed?

    • PeterRabid says:

      Also, Robina Redmond was the role Georgia Moffett auditioned for originally. After her audition, they called her up and offered her the role of Jenny instead.

  39. doesntsparkle says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes, it's just so much fun. Silly as hell, but I prefer the silly ones.

    I looked up the original title of "And then there were none," Holy Shit.

    ETA: Does anyone know which book the Doctor was holding up at the end?

  40. Ali says:

    I LOVE Agatha Christie and I LOVE this episode but OMG GIANT WASP WHYYYY?!?!?!?

    NIGHTMARES FOREVER GUYS. I am terrified of wasps as it is. AUGH.

    • who_cares86 says:

      Real wasps frighten me this didn't. It's just them being near me and possibly stinging my ass that freaks me out.

      • Ali says:

        Actually, I do kind of know what you mean. The giant wasp freaked me the hell out, but I think I'm JUST as scared of real wasps.

        It's not logical, just that buzzing sound they make so you know there's one around…and the idea of this horrible striped little insect stabbing you and pumping it's poison into you…

        Wow, that got a little Freudian there. But you know what I mean. *shudder* I think the giant wasp in this one scared me even more than…*SPOILERS*

  41. pandalilies says:

    This was the episode I cut my teeth on when watching Doctor Who.
    Most people I knew had started with Rose or Martha, but I persistently DID NOT WANT to like Doctor Who.
    …Until this. Bless you, Donna Noble. You won me over.

    This episode remains one of my all time favorites.

    All of the &hearts; forever.

    <img src=""&gt;
    (non-spoilery, but funny. hopefully this will embed correctly)

  42. Ali says:

    Oh, also, props to Felicity Kendal who played Lady Eddison. She's one of my favourite British actresses. 🙂

  43. Hanah says:

    I love this episode. It's amazing. <3 So so awesome. It's ridiculous and stupid and the wasp thing is crazy but oh god, the one-liners and the general battiness is just fabulous! LOVE the scene in the kitchen with a passion that burns. And oh GOD 'And Then There Were None' was my favourite book for years and years, so brilliant. (Though bloody hell that original title…*eyebrow raise*) Never really read any other Christie's though, and right now I can't for the life of me think why not.

  44. feminerdist says:


    The miming scene is my second favorite scene in all of doctor who. Well, maybe it just ties with the miming scene in Partners in Crime. Ah hell, I love them both equally.

    I almost think this scene was improvised. (no, I haven't looked this up officially) but it seems like they just let Tennant and Tate improv the chrades. I can't explain it, but it feels improvised.

  45. Reddi says:

    The post cyanide miming is my favorite scene in all of doctor who. It's so freaking hilarious. And you are right about the clash of egos– amid total destruction it 'gets in the way' and yet the affection one has for the other is never, ever, in doubt.

    Donna is WONDERFUL for the doctor, because despite him having a big time lord brain and her being "merely human" they are equals. I loved the doctor/rose almost-romance, but Donna is the best thing that ever happened to him.

  46. Karen says:

    I'm just letting you know that I'm deleting this thread because it's not explicitly spoilery, but it's unnecessary and has already invited some expectation spoilers.

  47. SusanBones says:

    Hi Mark,

    I like reading your personal stories. Your story of your mother is extremely similar to my best friend's mother. The woman had an almost obsessively strict amount of control on her children. And many of it made no sense, like having to wear your shoes every minute that you were awake. My friend eventually went wild and crazy when she finally got out, although she never did drugs or drank heavily. And it took her years to establish a normal life. Needless to say, I watched the whole thing in wonder, because my world was so extremely different. But we had a great friendship until she went off on her own. She knew she was going on a path that I couldn't follow, just like Lily and Severus, so she went her separate way. I finally heard from her years later. She told me that her father finally apologized to each and every one of the children separately for not stepping in and rescuing the children from the tyranny.

    Re: Dr. Who: I love Donna Noble, and it was a fun episode, but it is not my favorite one.

  48. Ali says:

    On Agatha Christie adaptations!

    My favourite Miss Marple was always Geraldine McEwan, but now the new Marple of recent TV episodes (Julia McKenzie) has completely won me over. 😀

    But David Suchet = Hercule Poirot.
    No-one else could be Poirot for me now. I also saw a brilliant documentary with him about the Orient Express, and he came across as a really nice guy. You could tell it gave the people on the train a real kick to see 'Poirot' there with them, and he was great about it.

    Thoughts anyone? Or is this too off topic? The episode WAS about Agatha Christie after all…


  49. Jerssica says:

    I love this episode, and this is all I'll say about it:
    <3 DONNA

  50. nanceoir says:

    When I watch Doctor Who, I try to watch it in sequence. Unless I'm showing someone a specific episode or only have access to a few episodes (the horror!) or something, I like to start at the very beginning ("a very good way to start") and work my way through.

    However, Series 4 is one that I've watched outside of sequence, and this episode is one that I have no qualms about popping in. It's just such a fun ride. I love everything about it, up to and including the giant wasp thing (ew, wasps and bugs and… nature and stuff). When I want a fun Doctor Who, I need look no further than this. Oh, so much love. (Also, both David and Catherine look marvelous in this episode, too. What? Sometimes shallowness is necessary!)

    In the Confidential episode, David Tennant spends a good deal of time bragging that he was the one who suggested Fenella Woolgar for Agatha Christie. He was all, "I've been trying for years to get my mates on the show," and "I think they should listen to me more often about casting." It was amusing.

    Also amusing was the feature about driving the vintage cars. Fenella managed pretty well, but David's car had trouble. Or was it David who had trouble? No, it must have been the car, right? There was some fun teasing going on.

    They also talked about the difficulties of shooting, having to get medium and close shots of everyone in the scene, moving the camera to get each person, that sort of thing. A lot of camera setups were needed to get the coverage. As the guy (whose name I forget) who played the Reverend explained it, if there were only shots of one person, you'd know that person is the murderer, so they have to get shots of everyone looking suspicious. He also compared his character kind of broadly to the Hulk, which is… rather funny, really.

    Anyway, I really, really, love this episode.

  51. virtual_monster says:

    While everyone's experiences are different and you can never really know if you truly empathise, I recognise some of what it's like to grow up in a massively overcontrolled environment. There was no religious element to my dad's insane control freakery but certainly we weren't allowed out (outside of school) and no one was allowed to come round to our house and everything had to be his way. I'm sure it isn''t normal to respond to news that your parents are getting divorced with a feeling of relief but as a teenager I did.

    What was actually going to say is that I love this episode, listening out for the book titles worked into the script kept me amused all by itself. And I adore Agatha Christie's books anyway, so that was always going to go down well.

    For me the only problematic part of this episode was the giant wasp itself – if it's anything like Terran wasps then it would be a big biology fail on several significant counts – but I can always smile and nod and assume that it only superficially resembles a wasp in every visible detail.

  52. feminerdist says:

    Thank you, Mark, for not spoiling the other title of And then there were none. I just jumped a few feet in my office chair. Shit…

  53. hassibah says:

    So I just skimmed the comments to see if anyone had posted this. It is my first attempt at gif posting so hopefully everything will go smoothly

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    No seriously I look at this whenever I'm in a bad mood.
    I dunno dudes I just love the episode. I already ranked it in the spoiler thread as one of my favourites and while there's a lot that rules about this season incl a ton of kickass serious episodes I just think this episode best encapsulates what's so awesome about ten and Donna's chamistry and how they totally kill me when they're together.

  54. jennywildcat says:

    This episode is so dang fun and it comes at just the right point in the series. It's nice to have a breather between not being prepared and shit getting real. I've never read any Agatha Christie (don't hurt me), but after this episode, I might be persuaded to read some of her stuff – if only I can be in on some of the jokes in this story.

    "How is Harvey Wallbanger one word?" XD XD XD

    It's been said so many times, but I'm adding to the chorus – David Tennant and Catherine Tate are so wonderful together. After "Much Ado About Nothing" does its run with David and Catherine, I hope, I hope, I hope that they put it out on DVD for us who can't afford to go to Britain to see it in person.

  55. Dena says:

    You know, I think after having read so many Mark Reviews things, I now know how to create the perfect Mark Show.

    Donna Noble + Hagrid + Time Travel + Plot Twists + Wash + David Tennant + Weasleys + ???? = Profit. MY FORUMLA IS ALMOST COMPLETE.

    This was one of my favorite Who eps, and Donna is my favorite companion, and I am irrationally happy that you love her. 🙂

  56. Flumehead says:

    I LOVE this episode – so many fantastic scenes. The plot was a bit meh, but Agatha Christie. 😉

    Next episode … You are most certainly not at all prepared. NOT PREPARED AT ALL.

  57. Bilbo-sama says:

    I have never been able to watch the entire episode because of the GIANT WASP.

    Also, have an e-hug. *HUGS*

  58. jackiep says:

    GINGER BEER! Aimed at the gay footman.. LOL LOL LOL! Yeah for rhyming slang!

    And frankly, the look of the Doctor's face when he explained that "there is no Noddy". Briliiant!

  59. Minish says:

    The episode was a bit of fun, but it was mostly irritating to me. I can't bring myself to hate it, though. I pity it too much.

    Also, THAT'S NOT HOW WASPS BUZZ. Unless he was growing wings from his mouth, his speech shouldn't be stammering with buzzing.

    Oh hai, I get annoyed by very pedantic things.

    • virtual_monster says:

      True, but male wasps don't have stings either (the sting is a modified ovipositor). And no arthropod above about a foot long is likely to be able to survive in our current atmosphere without evolving some more efficient lungs – a wasp breathes through spiracles and would rapidly asphyxiate at that size. Assuming its chitinous exoskeleton didn't just collapse under its own weight. It certainly couldn't fly. And as for breeding with a human being…!?

      Basically you just have to tell yourself – it looks like a wasp but it's not like one inside. Because it's alien. And cool. And maybe 'wasps' on that planet do make vocal buzzing sounds.

      If you're looking for proper waspiness, it's an epic fail. Personally, I just let it pass for the sheer fun of it…

  60. Dani says:


  61. kellythered says:

    I honestly do not understand why they went with the titles they did when And Then There Were None was first published, because And Then There Were None IS SUCH AN AMAZING TITLE. It gives me chills! Surely it must have occurred to someone? Why did we have to go with the awful ones?

    • pica_scribit says:

      I had a (non-fiction) book about extinction when I was a kid called "And Then There Were None". I loved it.

  62. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I got about halfway through this episode before I realized that I'd actually already been spoiled by a YouTube video by Charlieissocoollike (the reason I started wanting to watch Doctor Who in the first place).

    I was enjoying the episode up till then, but I remembered what he'd said about it and was prepared for a Love & Monsters-type disappointment. But as it turns out, Charlie made a mistake in describing the episode, so it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I was expecting it to be.

    The (spoiler-free-except-for-the-comments) YouTube video in question:
    And now I'm stuck on thinking about how horrible it would have been if the Reverend wasp actually had fallen in love after killing all those people.

  63. I adore this ep. It's one of my favorites of the season because it has a bunch of things I just love. 1) Agatha Christie (Miss Marple RULES) and references to her work, 2) It's historical and I find the 1920s a fascinating time period (yes I'm a history geek), 3) Murder mystery, there's a reason I'm an Agatha Christie fan, 4) Clue references! My favorite board game as a kid, mostly cause I usually won it 😉 and on top of it you have The Doctor and Donna being their awesome selves. Plus stuff like the Unicorn being a woman (loved that) and did I mention Donna was awesome in this?

  64. swimmingtrunks says:

    I hate that I'm busy lately and catching up really really late so I don't really have anything significant and timely to say that anyone else hasn't, but I just want to put this out there:

    The writers think in the future there are going to be paper books designed and bound in the same format as they are today. LOL. I'm totally an advocate for keeping paper publishing around, but that book looked like it was published in the 80's or 90's, definitely not the year 50000… and some more zeroes. YOU COULD HAVE AT LEAST MADE IT LOOK FUTURE-EY, PRODUCTION TEAM. Retro edition?

    • FlameRaven says:

      That's probably my biggest complaint when they do "future" episodes– for some reason the 51st century or the 42nd century or the year 5 BILLION doesn't look much different from now.

      The most irritating change is when shows written currently do not depict the future as having things like, you know, the Internet. Or some variation on Google. If you're not going to make it super futuristic, at least make it work within current standards. Leaving out crucial technology always feels weird to me. (Basically, any and all examples of the "We Will Not Have Photoshop In the Future" trope)

  65. Laura says:

    This is possibly my favorite episode ever. This is the default episode to pull out of nowhere and watch when I don't have that much time to spare. It always makes me feel happy.

    Oh, and I hadn't read any Agatha Christie before seeing this. Now I have read roughly 20.

  66. Anseflans says:

    I tried watching this episode. Twice. For some reason it never really caught my interest, so I stopped halfway. With all the positive responses here, I guess I'm going to have to try again this weekend! 🙂 I'll get back when I've watched the complete episode.

  67. flootzavut says:

    ILU forEVAH for having a gif of the salt thing. The cyanide poisoning scene is just too hilarious for words. And I love the shock tactic Donna used LOL what is it with the Doctor and snogging his companions, but I don't think anyone saw that coming 😀

  68. electric ashera says:

    I think I might be able to stare at that smirk forever. Eep.

  69. Katarina says:

    I'm a long-time Christie fan (despite her occasional bigotry), so I love this episode LIKE PIE and the review was much fun to read! I do think Christies are fun on a re-read, though – A Murder Is Announced (yay lesbians!) will never cease to be adorable to me.

  70. Ashley says:

    explains Charlemagne and the computer. Excellent story.

    and a bunch more!

    Unicorn/Wasp is one of my favorite episodes of the whole show. And I came in with never having read a single Agatha Christie novel ever. However, I did go out and buy and read "Murder on the Oriest Express" after. I really anjoyed it, and now have "And Then There Were None" that I need to read.

  71. Scott says:

    Mark, if you enjoyed the 1920's party setting then I recommend the Peter Davison serial Black Orchid. It's only about 2 episodes and for several reasons, won't spoil, really stands out amongst pretty much every Doctor Who serial and episode since William Hartnell's era.

  72. Rachel says:

    Love this episode so much. This was the point when I knew Donna was my favourite companion for all time.

    I have a copy of an older version of And Then There Were None (from 1980, which doesn't seem that long ago bizarrely) and it gets so much worse then the title. The cover has a picture of a golliwog on it. Being hanged. And it has a passage in it about how much one of the characters hates Jews

    Also completely off topic, but I recently got a free Doctor Who audio book (it has no relation to the events of the actual series, just a sort spin off story involving the doctor used to sell newspapers) and it says on the blurb "the road splits open without warning and swallows police, security guards and protestors". Immediately made me think of this blog 🙂

  73. Bobcat says:

    Incidentally, you know how they tried to work a bunch of Agatha Christie titles into the script?


    It's like Ten Little-

    Niggles aside, let's look in the library.


    From an early draft of the episode.

  74. lunylucy says:

    Late to the party, but I just wanted to share that "And Then There Were None" completely messed with my pre-teen self as well. IT TOTALLY WRINKLED MY BRAIN, as Troy Barnes would say.

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