The Doctor and Donna arrive at an English country estate in the 1920s and meet none other than the renowned murder mystery writer Agatha Christie. The Doctor also realizes the importance of the date - it's the day when Christie famously disappeared for 10 days creating headlines across the country and around the world. History records that she reappeared 10 days later claiming to have no memory of where she has been or what she has done. They no sooner arrive than there is a murder, which Donna can't help but find it amusing since the victim is Professor Peach who was killed in the library with a lead pipe. In true Agatha Christie's fashion, the solution to the murder and Agatha's disappearance is found in a false identity and events that occurred long ago. Written by
Because of Agatha Christie appearing as a central character in the story, references are made throughout the dialogue to her works. Donna and others drop the names of several of Agatha's works: Murder on the Orient Express, Cards on the Table, Cat Among the Pigeons, Dead Man's Folly, Appointment with Death, Sparkling Cyanide (also known as Death Remembered), Endless Night, Crooked House, and Murder at the Vicarage. Also, the book that Lady Eddison reads in a flashback is another Agatha Christie work, 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.' See more »
Donna goes upstairs to the locked room with a large magnifying glass. Later, as she walks down the corridor, it is not in her left hand and she uses her right to open the door (which would be difficult if it was in that hand). When we next cut to her, she has that most useful glass again. See more »
I was fairly disappointed by this episode, I have to admit. It wasn't nearly as funny as I expected it to be despite a stellar cast and a promising premise.
In all honesty, I got a little tired of being told Agatha Christie was a genius. I've read several of books and, while always entertaining, they are a bit lacking in the characterisation department, among others. Compared to her contemporaries as well as authors of previous generations, she's hardly the best. They put her on too high a pedestal for my liking. I mean, she's hardly Shakespeare, is she? If I was writing this episode, I'd have tried to get a good feel for her as a person (meaning both the good and the bad) rather than going about it completely uncritically like a fanboy. The series' portrayals of Dickens and Queen Victoria were far better in my opinion for this very reason, particularly the former. Unlike her, they actually seemed to be real people. And Gareth Roberts himself did a much better job of humanising Shakespeare.
Don't get me wrong, she was undoubtedly a talented writer but, that said, I could name a good 20 or 30 other writers from Britain alone whom I would consider better than her.
But the giant wasp rocked.
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