The Unicorn and The Wasp
By Gareth Roberts
“The thrill is in the chase, never in the capture.”
Since the relaunch the new producers have made it a point to have The Doctor meet some historical figures. Series 4 selection is kind of interesting. The Doctor and Donna travel back to the 1920’s and meet up with Agatha Christie. What makes this interesting is that The Unicorn and The Wasp takes place the day before she disappears for 10 days. It is pretty clever of Gareth Roberts to have these events intertwine with this episode and having a science fiction explanation for her disappearance is pretty cool.
The main basis for The Unicorn and The Wasp is a murder mystery. That is pretty clever and one of the main things that drew me in when I saw the next time trailer. Plus there were plenty of old time murder mystery homages in this story if you keep your eyes open but the obvious one was Professor Plum getting killed in the library with a lead pipe. That was classic and very much like the game Clue. Plus it had a giant wasp doing the killing to add that bit of science fiction to it.
The Unicorn and The Wasp was a very fast paced story that played it for laughs and that worked extremely well and made that much more enjoyable. I enjoyed this change of pace since most of the stories have had a serious tone to them so far. It was strange to see that this story was directed Grahame Harper as he is mostly known for action and are dark and on a more serious tone. Well I guess he can do both and he did a great job on The Unicorn and The Wasp.
I liked the fact that David Tennant was channeling Tom Baker throughout this story. Well, the Tom Baker from seasons 16 and 17 when he was a bit out of control and manic. It was good to see him silly in a story that was intended to be silly and not over the top as he usally is from time to time. Plus it was good to see David Tennant not be so serious for once also if that makes sense after the sentences above.
Catherine Tate was good in this story and it was funny seeing Donna taking credit for some of Agatha Christies future stories. It was also funny watching Donna taking in the reveal as if she was sitting at home watching a mystery movie with her friends. That was just a classic Donna moment and one that is very memorable.
Gareth Thomas best stories so far has been his historicals where The Doctor has meet authors from Earth’s history. I hope he does this again for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor as I really enjoyed these stories more than the ones he wrote with Craig and The 11th Doctor. This story was very enjoyable to watch right down to the whole mystery aspect and the way Donna saves The Doctor from being poisoned. It is one of the more entertaining stories in the David Tennant era and has a good blend of mystery and science fiction.