Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Doctor gets Cozy

What can be cozier than a nice, big, fluffy scarf? Or perhaps a sturdy trench coat to keep out the wind and the rain? Paper bags full of Jelly babies?  Queen Victoria fighting wherewolves? Old fashioned phone booths that are bigger on the inside? Not much that I can think of!

Concrete angels that come to life when you look away, and then zap you into the past when they touch you? That's fairly cozy for aliens...

But not quite as cozy as Agatha Christie and the giant man-wasp.

Dr. Who, series 4, episode 7.

David Tennant stars as the tenth doctor, a Time Lord who runs around time and space fixing little problems that threaten to destroy whole worlds.

In the episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp" Fennella Woolgar stars as the world's most popular novelist, Agatha Christie, who just happens to be attending a dinner party with a cast full of the usual suspects: a kindly old Colonel, a retiring clergy, one "Professor Peach." Any mystery with Agatha Christie's name attached could do no less!

Of course, there was a murder, in the library, with a lead pipe. But who dunnit? And what's with the giant wasp? With The Doctor as the egomaniac detective with uncanny knowledge of the world(s), Donna Noble as the plucky young girl who charges ahead to solve the crime, it's a mashup that fans of British TV, comic sci-fi, and cozy mysteries will all love.

The mystery of who did the killing is rather quickly solved, only to be replaced by "What is this giant wasp, and how do we kill it?" Giving homage to Christie, her little gray cells are the only ones that can sort out this mystery. And when she does, a mystery that has hung over Christie's real life all these years is also "solved."

I loved the humor of this episode, a light note in an otherwise intense era for Dr. Who. It is rather a relief to find that the whole world isn't in danger, that The Doctor isn't brooding over worlds lost, and that his plucky girl detective isn't brooding over love for him.

Woolgar is everything I hope that Christie was in real life. She's beautiful, intelligent, and capable of solving any riddle. In this episode she struggles with self doubt--something that was very real in her personal life in the time this show covers. Part of me hankers to know what really happened when Christie disappeared, but real life is so disappointingly real. The Unicorn and the Wasp, like all of Dr. Who, is an escape, for the viewer and maybe even, a little bit, to the memory of our dear Agatha.

Want to know more about Dr. Who? Check out his wikipedia page.

You can find The Unicorn and the Wasp and a hundred other Dr. Who episodes on Netflix, as well as whole series of Poirot and Miss Marple.


  1. Traci, I think you've introduced a series my hubby and I will love!

    Thank you!

    ~Nancy Jill

  2. You are so welcome! They really are "boy show" but the writing is so good that it is one of my favorites. : )


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