Saturday, 17 May 2008

4x07 - The Unicorn and the Wasp

The peace and quiet of the garden of a manor house is disturbed by the sound of the TARDIS materializing. The Doctor steps out, followed by Donna. There's a loud buzz as they walk towards the house.

DOCTOR
Smell that air. Grass and lemonade ... and a little bit of mint. A hint of mint, must be the 1920s.

DONNA
You can tell what year it is just by smelling?

DOCTOR
Oh yeah!

DONNA
Or maybe that big vintage car coming up the drive gave it away.

A vintage car pulls up at the entrance to the manor. The butler, Greeves and a young footman, Davenport come out of the house.

GREEVES
The Professor's baggage, Richard, step lively!

Davenport goes for the baggage, while Professor Peach steps out of the car and walks to the entrance.

GREEVES
Good afternoon, Professor Peach.

PROFESSOR PEACH
Hello, Greeves old man.

A vicar rides up the drive on his bike.

PROFESSOR PEACH
Ah, Reverend.

REVEREND
Professor Peach! Beautiful day. (he gets off the bike) The lord's in his heaven, all's right with the world.

GREEVES
Revered Golightly. Lady Eddison requests you make yourselves comfortable in your rooms. Cocktails will be served on the lawn from half past four.

PROFESSOR PEACH
You go on up, I have to check something in the library.

REVEREND
Oh?

PROFESSOR PEACH
Alone.

REVEREND
This is supposed to be a party! All this work will be the death of you.

During this, the Doctor and Donna have been hiding in a bush, listening in on the conversation.

DONNA
Never mind Planet Zog, a party in the 1920s, that's more like it!

DOCTOR
Problem is, we haven't been invited. (he gets the psychic paper out, grinning) Oh I forgot, yes we have!

***
In the library, Professor Peach is examining a piece of paper closely with his spectacles on.

PROFESSOR PEACH
I was right! Kept secret all these years, it's unbelievable. But why didn't they ask ... Heavens!

He notices someone coming up to him, but then he relaxes.

PROFESSOR PEACH
Oh, it's you. I was just doing a little research. I say, what are you doing with that lead piping?

Buzzing, a giant wasp closes in on Professor Peach.

PROFESSOR PEACH
But that's impossible!

***
OPENING CREDITS

DAVID TENNANT
CATHERINE TATE

THE UNICORN AND THE WASP
by Gareth Roberts
***

The Doctor taps on the TARDIS doors impatiently.

DOCTOR
We'll be late for cocktails!

Donna steps out of the TARDIS wearing a 1920s style brown dress.

DONNA
What d'you think? Flapper or slapper?

The Doctor looks her up and down enquiringly, but then smiles as he speaks, linking arms with her.

DOCTOR
Flapper. You look lovely!

***
In the garden of the manor, a footman adjusts the music player. Classical music plays as Miss Chandrakala claps impatiently at the staff, noticing the Doctor and Donna heading for them.

MISS CHANDRAKALA
Look sharp, we have guests!

DOCTOR (waving)
Good afternoon!

Davenport walks over to serve them.

DAVENPORT
Drinks sir? Ma'am?

DONNA
Sidecar, please.

DOCTOR
And a lime and soda, thank you.

Davenport walks away while Greeves introduces Lady Eddison.

GREEVES
May I announce, Lady Clemency Eddison.

Lady Eddison walks over to greet the Doctor and Donna. The Doctor holds his hand out for a shake.

DOCTOR
Lady Eddison.

LADY EDDISON
Forgive me, but who exactly might you be... and what are you doing here?

DOCTOR
I'm the Doctor. And this is Miss Donna Noble... of the, Chiswick Nobles.

DONNA (putting on a posh accent)
Good afternoon, my lady. Topping day, what? Spiffing! Top hole!

DOCTOR (to Donna)
No no no no, no. Don't do that, don't.

He gets out the psychic paper and presents it to Lady Eddison.

DOCTOR
We were thrilled to receive your invitation, my lady. We met at the Ambassador's reception.

LADY EDDISON
Doctor, how could I forget you? But one must be sure with the Unicorn on the loose.

DOCTOR
A unicorn? Brilliant! Where?

LADY EDDISON
The Unicorn. The jewel thief. And nobody knows who he is. He's just struck again, snatched Lady Babbington's pearls right from under her nose.

DONNA (to the Doctor)
Funny place to wear pearls.

Greeves introduces two newcomers, and elderly man in wheelchair and a young man pushing him.

GREEVES
May I announce, the Colonel Hugh Curbishley, the Honourable Roger Curbishley.

LADY EDDISON
My husband. And my son.

COLONEL
Forgive me for not rising. Never been the same ever since that flu epidemic back in '18.

ROGER (to Donna)
My word, you are a super lady.

DONNA
Oh, I like the cut of your jib. Chin chin.

DOCTOR (shaking hands with Roger)
Hello, I'm the Doctor.

ROGER
How do you do?

DOCTOR
Very well.

Davenport offers Roger a drink.

DAVENPORT
Your usual, sir?

ROGER
Ah, thank you Davenport. Just how I like it.

DONNA (to the Doctor)
How come she's an Eddison but her husband and son are Curbishleys?

DOCTOR
The Eddison title descends through her. One day Roger will be a lord.

The butler introduces another woman walking into the garden.

GREEVES
Robina Redmond!

LADY EDDISON
She's the absolute hit of the social scene, a must. (she greets Robina as they shake hands) Miss Redmond!

ROBINA
Spiffing to meet you at last, my lady. What super fun!

The Reverend walks into the group Greeves introduces him.

GREEVES
Reverend Arnold Golightly.

LADY EDDISON (shaking hands)
Ah, Reverend. How are you? I heard about the church last Thursday night. Those ruffians breaking in.

They have walked together over to where Colonel is sitting on his wheelchair.

COLONEL
You apprehended them, I hear.

REVEREND
As the Christian Fathers taught me, we must forgive them their trespasses. Quite literally.

ROGER
Some of these young boys deserve a descent thrashing.

DAVENPORT (with a meaningful look)
Couldn't agree more, sir.

DONNA (to the Doctor)
Typical. All the decent men are on the other bus.

DOCTOR
Or Time Lords.

ROGER (to Lady Eddison)
Now, my lady, what about this special guest you promised us?

LADY EDDISON (pointing to Agatha Christie, who is entering the group)
Here she is, a lady who needs no introduction!

Everyone starts clapping.

AGATHA
No, no, please. Don’t. Thank you, Lady Eddison. Honestly, there’s no need.

She holds out her hand to the Doctor.

AGATHA
Agatha Christie.

DONNA
What about her?

AGATHA
That’s me.

DONNA
Nooo. (Agatha laughs) You’re kidding.

DOCTOR (shaking her hand)
Agatha Christie! I was just talking about you the other day. I said, “I bet she’s brilliant”. I’m the Doctor and this is Donna. Ohhh, 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!

AGATHA
You make a rather unusual couple.

DOCTOR
Oh, no no no no, we’re not married.

DONNA
We're not a couple.

AGATHA
Well obviously not. No wedding ring.

Donna looks at her fingers.

DOCTOR
Oh oh, you don’t miss a trick.

AGATHA
I'd stay that way if I were you. The thrill is in the chase, never in the capture.

Lady Eddison comes over.

LADY EDDISON
Mrs Christie, I’m so glad you could come. I’m one of your greatest followers. I’ve read all six of your books. Is, ah, Mr Christie not joining us?

AGATHA
Is he needed? Can’t a woman make her own way in the world?

COLONEL(laughing)
Don’t give my wife ideas.

ROGER
Now Mrs Christie, I have a question. Why a Belgian detective?

The Doctor goes and snatches the Colonel's newspaper.

DOCTOR
'Scuse me.

AGATHA
Belgians make such lovely buns.

Everyone laughs.

ROGER
I say, where on earth is Professor Peach? He’d love to meet Mrs Christie.

REVEREND
Said he was going to the library.

The Doctor beckons to Donna and she walks over.

LADY EDDISON
Miss Chandrakala, would you go and collect the professor?

MISS CHANDRAKALA
At once, milady.

DOCTOR
The date on this newspaper.

DONNA
What about it?

DOCTOR
It’s the day Agatha Christie disappeared.

***
Miss Chandrakala knocks on the library door.

MISS CHANDRAKALA
Professor Peach!

She opens the door.

MISS CHANDRAKALA
Professor?

Her mouth opens in horror.

***
DOCTOR
She’d just discovered her husband was having an affair.

DONNA
You'd never think to look at her. Smiling away.

DOCTOR
Well, she’s British and moneyed. That’s what they do. They carry on. Except for this one time. No one knows exactly what happened, she just vanished.

Newspapers spin to show headlines like 'Mystery Writer Disappears'. Then we see flashes of what the Doctor is talking about: a vintage car by a lake...

DOCTOR (VO)
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.

...and Agatha standing in front of 'The Harrogate Hotel', looking confused.

DOCTOR
Said she'd lost her memory. She never spoke about the disappearance till the day she died, but whatever it was…

DONNA
It’s about to happen.

DOCTOR
Right here, right now.

Miss Chandrakala comes out of the house running.

MISS CHANDRAKALA
Professor! The library! Murder! Murder!

***
The Doctor, Donna and Agatha enter the library. The Doctor runs to the body, he bends down and takes his glasses out. Greeves arrives next.

GREEVES
Oh my goodness.

DOCTOR
Bashed on the head. Blunt instrument. Watch broke as he fell, (he checks the watch on Professor Peach’s hand) time of death was quarter past four.

He gets up and starts searching the papers on the desk.

DONNA
Bit of pipe. (she lifts up a pipe lying next to the body) Call me Hercule Poirot, but I reckon that’s blunt enough.

Agatha Christie picks something out of the grate.

DOCTOR
Nothing worth killing for in that lot, dry as dust.

DONNA
Hold on. The body in the library? I mean, Professor Peach, in the library, with the lead piping?

The voices of the other members of the party drift in to the room. They gather in to the room, look down in horror and disgust, and all talk simultaneously.

LADY EDDISON
Let me see.

COLONEL
Out of my way!

LADY EDDISON
Gerald!

REVEREND
Saints preserve us!

RUBINA
Oh how awful...

AGATHA
Someone should call the police.

DOCTOR
You don’t have to. (he flashes the psychic paper around) Chief Inspector Smith from Scotland Yard. Known as the Doctor. Miss Noble is the plucky young girl who helps me out.

LADY EDDISON
I say.

DOCTOR
Mrs Christie was right. Go into the sitting room. I will question each of you in turn.

AGATHA
Come along, do as the Doctor says. Leave the room undisturbed.

Everyone but the Doctor and Donna leave.

DONNA
"The plucky young girl who helps me out" ?

The Doctor gets down on the ground.

DOCTOR
No policewomen in 1926.

DONNA
I’ll pluck you in a minute. Why don’t we phone the real police?

DOCTOR
Well the last thing we want is PC Plod sticking his nose in.

He scrapes some slime off the floor with a stick.

DOCTOR
...especially now I’ve found this! Morphic residue.

DONNA
Morphic? Doesn’t sound very 1926.

DOCTOR
It’s left behind when certain species genetically re-encode.

DONNA
The murderer’s an alien.

DOCTOR
Which means, one of that lot is an alien in human form.

DONNA
Yeah, but think about it. There’s a murder, a mystery, and Agatha Christie.

DOCTOR
So? Happens to me all the time.

He smells the slime then puts in under Donna’s nose.

DONNA
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.

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!

DOCTOR
There’s no Noddy.

DONNA
Next thing you know, you'll be telling me it's like Murder On The Orient Express, and they all did it!

While she speaks they exit the library and meet Agatha at the bottom of the staircase.

AGATHA
Murder on the Orient Express?

DONNA
Oh, yeah. One of your best!

DOCTOR
But not yet.

AGATHA
Marvellous idea though.

DONNA
Yeah. Tell you what, copyright Donna Noble, okay?

DOCTOR
Anyway! Agatha and I will question the suspects, Donna, you search the bedrooms. Look for clues. (whispering) Any more residue.

He gives her a magnifying glass.

DOCTOR
You'll need this.

DONNA
Is that for real?

DOCTOR
Go on. You're ever so plucky.

Not too pleased, Donna heads upstairs, while the Doctor beams at Agatha.

DOCTOR
Right then! Solving a murder mystery with Agatha Christie, brilliant!

AGATHA
How like a man to have fun, while there's disaster all around him.

DOCTOR
Sorry, yeah.

AGATHA
I'll work with you, gladly. But for the sake of justice. Not your own amusement.

DOCTOR
Yeah.

***
DOCTOR
Now then, Reverend. Where were you at a quarter past four?

REVEREND
Let me think. Oh yes, I remember.

Flashback scene begins: we see him hanging clothes in the wardrobe.

REVEREND (VO)
I was unpacking in my room.

DOCTOR (VO)
No alibi then.

AGATHA (VO)
You were alone?

The flashback ends.

REVEREND
With the Lord, one is never truly alone. Doctor?

***
DOCTOR
And where were you?

ROGER
Let me think... I was, um... Oh, yes, I was taking a constitutional, in the fields behind the house.

Flashback begins.

ROGER (VO)
Just taking a stroll, that's all.

DOCTOR (VO)
Alone?

ROGER (VO)
Oh, yes, all alone. Totally alone! Absolutely alone. Completely, all of the time.

In the flashback, we see him meeting Davenport and the pair of them walking off hand in hand.

ROGER (VO)
I wandered lonely as the proverbial cloud, there was no-one else with me, not at all.

Flashback ends.

ROGER
Not ever!

***
DOCTOR
And where were you?

ROBINA
At a quarter past four? Well, I went to the toilet when I arrived, and then um...

Flashback starts.

ROBINA (VO)
Oh, yes, I remember.

She is indeed in the bathroom, but we see her pulling out a small revolver from her handbag.

ROBINA (VO)
I was preparing myself, positively buzzing with excitement about the party... and the super fun of meeting Lady Eddy.

Flashback ends.

DOCTOR
We've only got your word for it.

ROBINA
That's your problem, not mine.

***
DOCTOR
And where were you, sir?

COLONEL
Quarter past four? Dear me, let me think... Ah, yes, I remember.

Flashback starts.

COLONEL (VO)
I was in my study, reading through some military memoirs. Fascinating stuff.

We see that he was actually watching some erotic pictures.

COLONEL (VO)
Took me back to my days in the army. Started reminiscing...

Flashback within the flashback: the Colonel remembers a revue with cancan dancers.

COLONEL (VO)
Mafeking, you know... Terrible war.

DOCTOR (VO)
Colonel, snap out of it!

The Colonel gets out of the revue flashback, but is still in the first one of watching pictures in his study.

COLONEL (VO)
I was in my study...

DOCTOR
No no no. Right out of it!

The flashback ends.

COLONEL
Oh, sorry. Got a bit carried away there.

***
DOCTOR
And where were you at a quarter past four, my lady?

LADY EDDISON
Now let me see...

Flashback begins.

LADY EDDISON (VO)
Yes, I remember. I was sitting in the Blue Room, taking my afternoon tea.

We see her drinking spirits from a bottle.

LADY EDDISON (VO)
It's a ritual of mine, I needed to gather strength for the duty of hostess. I then proceeded to the lawn where I met you, Doctor. And I said, "And who exactly might you be and what are you doing here?" And you said, "I am the Doctor and this is Miss Donna Noble."

DOCTOR (VO)
Yes, yes, you can stop now.

Flashback ends.

DOCTOR
I was there for that bit.

LADY EDDISON
Of course. (she burps) Excuse me.

***
All suspects questioned, the Doctor and Agatha are walking up and down the room, trying to solve the mystery.

AGATHA
No alibis for any of them. The secret adversary remains hidden. We must look for a motive, use "the little grey cells".

DOCTOR
Oh, yes, little grey cells, good old Poirot.

He sits down to the chair the suspects were using.

DOCTOR
Do you know, I've been to Belgium, yeah.

Flashback begins.

DOCTOR (VO)
I remember...

We see him in a forest, cutting way with a machete, armed with bow and arrows.

DOCTOR (VO)
I was deep in the Ardennes, trying to find Charlemagne. He'd been kidnapped by an insane computer.

AGATHA (VO)
Doctor!

Flashback ends.

DOCTOR
Sorry.

AGATHA
Charlemagne lived centuries ago!

DOCTOR
I've got a very good memory.

AGATHA
For such an experienced detective, you missed a big clue.

DOCTOR
What, that bit of paper you nicked out the fire?

AGATHA
You were looking the other way!

DOCTOR
Yeah, but I saw you reflected in the glass of the bookcase.

AGATHA
You crafty man.

They smile at each other.

AGATHA
This is all that was left.

The Doctor rushes to her and they try to decipher the writing.

DOCTOR
What's that first letter? N or M?

AGATHA
It's an M. The word is maiden.

DOCTOR
Maiden! What does that mean?

AGATHA
We're still no further forward. Our nemesis remains at large. Unless Miss Noble's found something.

***
Upstairs, Donna tries to open a door but it is locked. Greeves appears suddenly and she lets out a surprised little scream.

GREEVES
You won't find anything in there.

DONNA
How come it's locked?

GREEVES
Lady Eddison commands it to be so.

DONNA
And I command it to be otherwise. Scotland Yard, pip-pip.

Reluctant, he moves forward to unlock the door.

DONNA
Why's it locked in the first place?

GREEVES
Many years ago, when my father was butler to the family, Lady Eddison returned from India with malaria. She locked herself in this room for six months until she recovered. Since then, the room has remained undisturbed.

He opens the door and Donna steps in.

GREEVES
There's nothing in here.

DONNA
How long's it been empty?

GREEVES
Forty years.

DONNA
Why would she seal it off? All right, I need to investigate, you just... butle off.

She closes the door behind herself and starts to look around. She finds a big teddy bear on the bed, then hears a buzz.

DONNA
1926, they've still got bees. Oh, what a noise! All right, busy bee, I'll let you out. Hold on, I shall find you with my amazing powers of detection.

Lifting up the magnifying glass, she walks to the window. She pulls aside the heavy curtains hiding the view, and sees a giant wasp. She screams as the wasp breaks through the glass.

DONNA
That's impossible!

Threatened by the wasp, she backs to the window.

DONNA
Doctor!

The wasp is about to attack, but she holds out the magnifying glass and focuses the sunlight on it's body, stopping it for a moment.

DONNA
DOCTOR!

She runs out of the room and shuts the door. The wasp stings through the wood and she screams. The Doctor and Agatha arrive running.

DONNA
It's a giant wasp!

DOCTOR
What d'you mean, a giant wasp?

DONNA
I mean, a wasp that's giant!

AGATHA
It's only a silly little insect.

DONNA
When I say giant, I don't mean big, I mean flippin' enormous! Look at its sting!

They look down at the huge sting, stuck into the door.

DOCTOR
Let me see.

He gets into the room but it's empty.

DOCTOR
It's gone. Buzzed off.

Agatha bows to examine the sting.

AGATHA
But that's fascinating...

DOCTOR
D-D-D-Don't touch it! Don't touch it! Let me...

He collects some slime from the sting into a test tube.

DOCTOR
Giant wasp... Well, tons of amorphous insectivorous lifeforms, but none in this galactic vector.

AGATHA
I think I understood some of those words. Enough to know that you're completely potty.

DONNA
Lost its sting though, that makes it defenceless.

DOCTOR
Oh, creature this size, got to be able to grow a new one.

AGATHA
Can we return to sanity? There are no such things as giant wasps!

DOCTOR
Exactly. So, question is, what's it doing here?

***
The household staff discuss the events in the kitchen.

MRS HART
A murder? That’s put the cat among the pigeons and no mistake!

MISS CHANDRAKALA
It is not the stuff of gossip Mrs Hart, continue with your work.

DAVENPORT
But who’d want to do in the old professor? He was always asking questions about that book of his, what’s all that about?

MISS CHANDRAKALA
A dead man’s folly, nothing more. Though perhaps if he asked about... I must go and see milady.

She walks outside, a gargoyle falls off the roof and she screams as it heads towards her. The Doctor, Donna and Agatha hear the thud and run outside. They kneel beside Miss Chandrakala.

MISS CHANDRAKALA
The... poor... little... child...

She dies. There is a buzz, the Doctor looks up and sees the giant wasp.

DOCTOR
There!

The wasp flies off and they run into the house.

DOCTOR
Come on!

DONNA
Hey, this makes a change, there’s a monster, and we’re chasing it.

AGATHA
Can’t be a monster, it’s a trick, they do it with mirrors!

The Doctor, Donna and Agatha run up the stairs and find the wasp.

AGATHA
By all that’s holy!

DOCTOR
Oh, but you are wonderful!

The wasp flies at them.

DOCTOR
Now, just stop, stop there!

DONNA
Oi, fly boy!

She points the magnifying glass at the wasp and it flies off.

DOCTOR
Don’t let it get away! Quick! Before it reverts back to human form.

They run down the stairs and stop at the end of an empty corridor.

DOCTOR
Where are you? Come on! There’s nowhere to run. Show yourself!

The doors along the corridor open and all the guests and family emerge from their rooms.

DOCTOR
Oh, that’s just cheating.

***
Everyone gathers in the drawing room.

LADY EDDISON (in tears)
My faithful companion, this is terrible!

DAVENPORT
Excuse me, my lady, but she was on her way to tell you something.

LADY EDDISON
She never found me. She had an appointment with death instead.

DOCTOR
She said "The poor little child". Does that mean anything to anyone?

COLONEL
No children in this house for years, (looking at his son and Davenport) highly unlikely there will be.

LADY EDDISON
Mrs Christie, you must have twigged something, you’ve written simply the best detective stories.

REVEREND
Tell us, what would Poirot do?

COLONEL
Heavens sake! Cards on the table, woman, you should be helping us.

AGATHA
But, I’m merely a writer.

ROBINA
But surely you can crack it, these events, they’re exactly like one of your plots.

DONNA
That’s what I’ve been saying! Agatha, that’s gotta mean something.

AGATHA
But, what? I’ve no answers. None. I’m sorry, all of you, I’m truly sorry, but I’ve failed. If anyone can help us then it’s the Doctor, not me.

***
Donna sits outside with Agatha.

DONNA
D’you know what I think? Those books of yours, one day they could turn them into films, they could be talking pictures.

AGATHA
Talking pictures? Pictures that... talk? What do you mean?

DONNA
Oh, blimey, I've done it again.

AGATHA
I appreciate you trying to be kind, but you’re right, these murders are like my own creations. It’s as though someone’s mocking me, and I’ve had enough scorn for one lifetime.

DONNA
Yeah... Thing is, I had this bloke once, I was engaged, and I loved him, I really did. Turns out he was lying through his teeth. But d’you know what? I moved on. I was lucky, I found the Doctor, it’s changed my life. There’s always someone else.

AGATHA
I see. Is my marriage the stuff of gossip now?

DONNA
No! I just… sorry.

AGATHA
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
You and the Doctor talk such wonderful nonsense.

DONNA
Agatha, people love your books, they really do, they’re gonna be reading them for years to come.

AGATHA
If only! Try as I might it’s hardly great literature, now that’s beyond me. I’m afraid my books will be forgotten, like ephemera.

She spots something.

AGATHA
Hello, what’s that? Those flowerbeds were perfectly neat earlier, now some of the stalks are bent over.

She takes a small box out of the flowerbed.

DONNA
There you go, who’d ever notice that? You’re brilliant!

***
Ins the room they were questioning the suspects, the Doctor opens the box. It's full of strange tools.

DOCTOR
Oh! Someone came here tooled up. The sort of stuff a thief would use.

AGATHA
The Unicorn? He's here!

DOCTOR
The Unicorn and the wasp...

Greeves enters the room.

GREEVES
Your drinks, ladies. Doctor.

DOCTOR
Very good, Greeves.

They take the drinks and the butler leaves.

DONNA
How about the science stuff, what did you find?

The Doctor pulls out the test tube.

DOCTOR
Vespiform sting. Vespiforms have got hives in the Silfrax galaxy.

AGATHA
Again, you talk like Edward Lear.

DOCTOR
But for some reason, this one's behaving like a character in one of your books.

He sips at his drink.

DONNA
Come on, Agatha, what would Miss Marple do? She'd have overheard something vital by now, because the murderer thinks she's just a harmless old lady.

AGATHA
Clever idea. Miss Marple? Who writes those?

DONNA
Um, copyright Donna Noble, add it to the list.

DOCTOR
Donna...

DONNA
Okay, we could split the copyright.

DOCTOR
No. Something's inhibiting my enzymes. ARGH! (in agony) I've been poisoned!

DONNA
What do we do? What do we do?!

She crouches beside the Doctor, trying to find a way to help, while Agatha smells his drink.

AGATHA
Bitter almonds! It's cyanide! Sparkling cyanide!

The Doctor runs out of the room, stumbling. Donna and Agatha follow him.

***
They burst into the kitchen. The Doctor staggers to Davenport and grabs him.

DOCTOR
Ginger beer!

DAVENPORT (offended)
I beg your pardon?

DOCTOR
I need ginger beer!

He struggles to a the kitchen shelf, sweeping off stuff while he searches for ginger beer.

MRS HART
The gentleman's gone mad!

The Doctor founds the bottle and drinks of it, then pours the rest on his head.

AGATHA
I'm an expert in poisons, Doctor. There's no cure! It's fatal!

He spits out the rest of the drink.

DOCTOR
Not for me! I can stimulate the inhibited enzymes into reversal... Protein! I need protein!

He leans on the worktop, panting in agony, while Donna and Agatha search the kitchen supplies.

DONNA
Walnuts?

DOCTOR
Brilliant!

She hands him a jar of walnuts and he gobbles it down. Mouth full, he can only gesture to Donna, shaking his hand up and down.

DONNA
I can't understand you! How many words?

He shows up one finger.

DONNA
One! One word!

He keeps shaking his hand while Donna is guessing what he means.

DONNA
Shake, milk shake, milk? Milk? No, not milk? Hm, shake shake shake... Cocktail shaker! What do you want, a Harvey Wallbanger?

He finally manages to swallow the walnuts.

DOCTOR
Harvey Wallbanger?!

DONNA
Well, I don't know!

DOCTOR
How is Harvey Wallbanger one word?!

AGATHA
What do you need, Doctor?!

DOCTOR
Salt, I was miming salt! Salt! I need something salty!

DONNA
What about this?

She shows him a brown bag.

DOCTOR
What is it?

DONNA
Salt!

DOCTOR
That's too salty!

DONNA
Oh, that's too salty!

Agatha hands him a jar.

AGATHA
What about this?!

He opens the jar and gobbles the contents.

DONNA
What's that?

AGATHA
Anchovies!

The Doctor gestures again.

DONNA
What is it? What else? It's a song? Mammy? Um, I don't know, Camptown Races?

DOCTOR
Camptown Races?

DONNA
All right then, Towering Inferno!

DOCTOR
It's a shock! Look! Shock! I need a shock!

DONNA
Right then. Big shock, coming up!

She grabs him and kisses him. She lets him go, and the Doctor breathes out a cloud of grey smoke. Donna, Agatha and the kitchen staff stare at him, shocked.

DOCTOR
Detox! (he wipes his mouth) I must do that more often!

Donna gives him a nasty look.

DOCTOR
I mean, the, the detox.

AGATHA (in disbelief)
Doctor, you are impossible! Who are you?

***
There is a clap of thunder and lightning. In the manor, the group is having dinner together in the dining room.

DOCTOR
A terrible day for all of us. (pause) The Professor struck down, Miss Chandrakala taken cruelly from us… and yet we still take dinner.

LADY EDDISON
We are British, Doctor. What else must we do?

DOCTOR
Then someone tried to poison me. Any one of you had the chance to put cyanide in my drink. But it rather gave me an idea.

REVEREND
And what would that be?

DOCTOR
Well … poison. Drink up! (he gets suspicious looks from everyone) I’ve laced the soup with pepper.

COLONEL
Ah, I thought it was jolly spicy.

DOCTOR
But the active ingredient of pepper is piperine. Traditionally used as an insecticide. (they all stare at each other, confused) So, anyone got the shivers?

There is a strike of lightning and the window is blown violently open, the candles blow out and the room goes all dark.

COLONEL
What the deuce is that!?

DOCTOR
Listen… listen, listen, listen!

Silence. They all listen and hear a waspy buzz.

LADY EDDISON (looking around)
No, it can’t be...

There's another strike of lightning.

AGATHA (rising)
Show yourself, demon!

DOCTOR (as they all begin to move)
Nobody move! No, don't, stay where you are!

The Vespiform shows itself.

DOCTOR
Out, out, out, out!

They spread out. The Doctor, pushing Agatha in front of him, ends up in a small room together with Donna and Greeves.

DOCTOR
Not you, Agatha. You’ve got a long, long life to live yet.

He takes a sword from a wall decoration.

DONNA
Well, we know the butler didn’t do it!

DOCTOR (running back)
Then who did?

They find that most of the people didn’t leave the dining room: Robina is sitting in astonishment, gasping, the Colonel is topsy-turvy on his wheelchair, Lady Eddison is at the head of the table, Davenport is on the ground, and the Reverend is to the side of the room.

LADY EDDISON (feeling herself)
My jewelry! The Firestone! It’s gone! Stolen…

DAVENPORT (in horror)
Roger...

Roger is lying with his head in a bowl, a knife in his back. Robina screams. Lady Eddison walks over to his son's body shaking her head in disbelief. She hugs him as she talks.

LADY EDDISON (crying)
My son … my child!

***
In the drawing room, Agatha sits on the sofa and the Doctor stands in front of the fireplace, thinking. Donna walks in and sits next to Agatha.

DONNA
That poor footman. Roger’s dead and he can’t even mourn him. 1926, it’s more like the dark ages.

AGATHA
Did you enquire after the necklace?

DONNA
Lady Eddison bought it back from India. It’s worth thousands.

DOCTOR (pondering)
It can sting, it can fly. It could wipe us all out in seconds, why is it playing this game?

AGATHA
Every murder is essentially the same. They are committed because somebody wants something.

DOCTOR
What does a Vespiform want?

AGATHA
Doctor, stop it. The murderer is as human as you or I.

DOCTOR (sudden realisation)
You’re right!

He walks over and kneels to Agatha.

DOCTOR
Ah, I’ve been so caught up with giant wasps that I’ve forgotten. You’re the expert!

AGATHA
I'm not, I've told you! I’m just a... purveyor of nonsense.

DOCTOR
No, no, no, no, no! Because 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… 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!

***
Everyone has gathered in the drawing room. The Doctor is standing in front of the group.

DOCTOR
I’ve called you here on this endless night, because we have a murderer in our midst. And when it comes to detection, there’s none finer. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you … Agatha Christie!

The Doctor takes a seat next to Donna as Agatha takes his spot.

AGATHA
This is a crooked house. A house of secrets. To understand the solution, we must examine them all. Starting with you…

Agatha pauses, looking in the direction of Lady Edison, but then turns to Robina.

AGATHA
...Miss Redmond.

ROBINA
But I’m innocent, surely?

AGATHA
You’ve never met these people and these people have never met you. I think the real Robina Redmond never left London, you’re impersonating her!

ROBINA
How silly! What proof do you have?

AGATHA
You said you went to the toilet…

DONNA
Oh, I know this. If she was really posh, she’d say ‘loo’.

Agatha reaches down to the coffee table and lifts up the Unicorn's box.

AGATHA
Earlier today, Miss Noble and I found this on the lawn. Right beneath your bathroom window. You must have heard that Miss Noble was searching the bedrooms, so you panicked. You ran upstairs and disposed of the evidence.

A flashback shows exactly what Agatha had just explained.

ROBINA
I’ve never seen that thing before in my life.

LADY EDDISON
What’s inside it?

Agatha opens the box to reveal its contents.

AGATHA
The tools of your trade, Miss Redmond. Or should I say… (showing the tools to everyone) the Unicorn!

Everyone stares at Rubina, shocked.

AGATHA
You came to this house with one sole intention. To steal the Firestone!

Robina looks Agatha closely in the eye, before getting up from her seat. Her voice, her accent, her whole attitude changes.

ROBINA
Oh, alright then. It’s a fair cop. Yes, I’m the bleedin' Unicorn. Ever so nice to meet you, I don’t think. I took my chance in the dark and napped it. Go on then, you knobs. Arrest me, sling me in jail!

She pulls out the Firestone from inside her dress and tosses it to the Doctor.

DONNA
So, is she the murderer?

ROBINA
Don’t be so thick. I might be a thief, but I ain’t no killer.

AGATHA
Quite. There are darker motives at work. And in examining this household, we come to you … (Agatha eyes Lady Edison again, but then turns away) Colonel!

COLONEL
Damn it, woman! You with your perspicacity! You've rumbled me.

He stands up from his wheelchair.

LADY EDDISON
Hugh, you can walk! But why!?

COLONEL
My darling, how else could I be certain of keeping you by my side?

LADY EDDISON
I don't understand...

COLONEL
You're still a beautiful woman, Clemency. Sooner or later some chap will turn your head. I couldn't bear that. Staying in the chair was the only way I could be certain of keeping you. (turning to Agatha) Confound it, Mrs Christie, how did you discover the truth?

AGATHA
Um, actually I had no idea. I was just going to say you're completely innocent.

COLONEL
Oh... ugh.

AGATHA
Sorry!

COLONEL
Well, well shall I sit down then?

AGATHA
Yeah, I think you better had.

He sits down and Lady Eddison holds his hand.

DONNA
So he's not the murderer?

AGATHA
Indeed, not. To find the truth let's return to this. (she takes the Firestone from the Doctor) Far more than the Unicorn's object of desire. The Firestone has quite a history. Lady Eddison.

LADY EDDISON (shocked)
I've done nothing!

AGATHA
You brought it back from India, did you not? Before you met the Colonel. You came home with malaria, and confined yourself to this house for six month, in a room that has been kept locked ever since, which I rather think means...

LADY EDDISON
Stop, please.

AGATHA
I'm so sorry. But you had fallen pregnant in India. Unmarried and ashamed, you hurried back to England with your confidante, a young maid later to become housekeeper Miss Chandrakala.

COLONEL
Clemency, is this true?

LADY EDDISON
My poor baby. I had to give him away. The shame of it.

COLONEL
But you never said a word...

LADY EDDISON
I had no choice. Imagine the scandal. The family name! I'm British, I carry on.

DOCTOR
And it was no ordinary pregnancy.

LADY EDDISON
How can you know that?

DOCTOR
'Scuse me Agatha, this is my territory. But when you heard that buzzing sound in the dining room, you said "It can't be." Why did you say that?

LADY EDDISON (whispering)
You'd never believe it.

AGATHA
The Doctor has opened my mind to believe many things.

Flashback starts, showing what Lady Eddison says.

LADY EDDISON (VO)
It was forty years ago, in the heat of Delhi, late one night. I was alone. And that's when I saw it, a dazzling light in the sky. The next day, he came to the house. Christopher, the most handsome man I'd ever seen. Our love blazed like a wildfire. I held nothing back. And in return ... he showed me the incredible truth about himself. He'd made himself human, to learn about us.

We see Christopher becoming a giant wasp.

LADY EDDISON (VO)
This was his true shape.

Flashback ends.

LADY EDDISON
I loved him so much, it didn't matter. But he was stolen from me. 1885, the year of the great monsoon. The river Jumna rose up and broke its banks. He was taken at the flood. But Christopher left me a parting gift, (flashback shows him giving her the Firestone) a jewel like no other. I wore it always, part of me never forgot. I kept it close. Always.

ROBINA
Just like a man, flashes his family jewels, and you end up with a bun in the oven!

AGATHA
A "poor little child". Forty years ago, Miss Chandrakala took that newborn babe to an orphanage. But Professor Peach worked it out. He found the birth certificate.

DONNA
Oh, that's maiden! Maiden name!

AGATHA
Precisely.

DONNA
So, she killed him?

LADY EDDISON
I did not!

AGATHA
Miss Chandrakala feared that the Professor had unearthed your secret. She was coming to warn you.

DONNA
So, she killed her?

LADY EDDISON
I did not!

AGATHA
Lady Eddison (pause) is innocent. Because at this point... Doctor!

The Doctor rises from his seat and takes Agatha's place.

DOCTOR
Thank you. At this point, when we consider the lies and the secrets, and the key to these events, then we have to consider... it was you, Donna Noble!

He points to Donna who is staring at him in shock.

DONNA
What!? Who did I kill?

DOCTOR
No, but you said it, all along. The vital clue. This whole thing is being acted out like a murder mystery. Which means ... (he points to Agatha) it was you, Agatha Christie!

AGATHA (astounded)
I beg your pardon, sir!

DONNA
So, she killed them?

DOCTOR
No! But she wrote! She wrote those brilliant, clever books. And who’s her greatest admirer? The moving finger points at you... (he points at Lady Eddison) Lady Eddison!

LADY EDDISON
Don't, leave me alone!

DONNA
So, she did kill them?

DOCTOR
No! But just think, last Thursday night, what were you doing?

LADY EDDISON
I was… I was in the library. I was reading my favourite Agatha Christie (flashback shows Lady Eddison reading in the library) thinking about her plots, and how clever she must be. How is that relevant?

DOCTOR
Just think. What else happened on Thursday night?

The Doctor looks at Reverend Golightly who stares back, confused.

REVEREND
I’m sorry?

DOCTOR
You said on the lawn, this afternoon. Last Thursday night, those boys broke into your church.

REVEREND
That’s correct.

Flashback of him walking into the church and finding a robbery.

REVEREND (VO)
They did. I discovered the two of them. Thieves in the night, I was most perturbed.

REVEREND (in the flashback)
What the blazes are you doing boys?

Flashback ends.

REVEREND
But, I apprehended them.

DOCTOR
Really? A man of God against two strong lads? A man in his forties? Or, should I say... forty years old, exactly?

LADY EDDISON
Oh my god!

DOCTOR
Lady Eddison, your child, how old would he be now?

LADY EDDISON
Forty, he’s forty!

DOCTOR
Your child has come home.

REVEREND
This is poppycock!

DOCTOR
Oh? You said you were taught by the Christian Fathers. Meaning, you were raised in an orphanage.

LADY EDDISON
My son... can it be?

DOCTOR
You found those thieves, Reverend, and you got angry! A proper, deep anger, for the first time in your life, and it broke the genetic lock! You’ve changed!

Flashback to the night of the robbery, where we left off. The boys are heading away from the alter with the stolen items.

REVEREND
Put thozzzzze … thingzzzzz... back where you found them! It'zzzz...

Purple light engulfs him and he shakes violently. Flashback ends.

DOCTOR
You realized your inheritance! After all these years, you knew who you were.

He snatches the Firestone off Agatha.

DOCTOR
Oh, and then it all kicks off, cos this isn’t just jewel. It’s a Vespiform telepathic recorder! It’s part of you, your brain, your very essence. When you activated, so did the Firestone. It beamed your full identity directly into your mind. And, at the same time (flashback of Lady Eddison reading 'The murder of Roger Ackroyd' in the library) it absorbed the works of Agatha Christie, directly from Lady Eddison. It all became part of you.

Flashes of the Reverend and random pages from the book.

DOCTOR
Mechanics of those novels formed a template in your brain. You’ve killed, in this pattern, because that’s what you think the world is. Turns out, we are in the middle of a murder mystery. One of yours, Dame Agatha!

AGATHA
Dame?

DOCTOR
Oh, sorry, not yet.

DONNA
So he killed them? Yes? Definitely?

DOCTOR
Yes.

REVEREND
Well ...this has certainly been a most entertaining evening.

Everyone stares at him.

REVEREND
Really, you can’t believe any of this surely, Lady Edizzzz...

DOCTOR
Lady who?

REVEREND (struggling)
Lady Edizzzzzon...

DOCTOR
Little bit of buzzing there, Vicar?

REVEREND
Don't make me angry!

He rises from his seat and stands up in front of the group.

DOCTOR
Why? What happens then?

REVEREND
Damn it! You humanzzzz! Worshipping your tribal sky godzzz! I am so much more! That night, the universe exploded in my mind! I wanted to take what wazzz mine. And you, Agatha Christie, with your railway station bookstall romancezzzzz… What'zzzzz to stop me killing you?

LADY EDDISON
Oh, my dear god. (reaching out towards him) My child!

Purple light surrounds the Reverend while he transforms into the Vespiform.

REVEREND
What'zzzz to stop me killing you all?

Fully transformed, he flies at the people.

LADY EDDISON
Forgive me!

COLONEL
No, no, Clemency, come back! Keep away, keep away my darling!

He pulls her away from the Vespiform. They back into a corner with Greeves and Robina.

AGATHA (holding up the Firestone)
No! No more murder! If my imagination made you kill, then my imagination will find a way to stop you, foul creature!

She runs out, the Doctor, Donna and the Vespiform following her.

DONNA
Wait! Now it’s chasing us!

The two get out of the manor and shut the door behind them. Agatha drives up in one of the vintage cars and beeps a horns at them. The Vespiform breaks through the door.

AGATHA
Over here! Come and get me, Reverend!

DOCTOR
Agatha, what are you doing?

AGATHA
If I started this Doctor, then I must stop it!

She drives away. The Doctor and Donna run towards the other car. The Vespiform hesitates for a second, then flies off after Agatha.

DOCTOR
Come on!

AGATHA
It’s all my fault, it’s all my fault, it’s all my fault!

The Doctor and Donna follow her with the other car.

DONNA
You said this is the night Agatha Christie loses her memory.

DOCTOR
Time is in flux, Donna! For all we know, this is the night Agatha Christie loses her life and history gets changed.

DONNA
But where’s she going?

DOCTOR
The lake! She’s heading for the lake. What’s she doing?

The cars stop at the Silent Pool lake. Agatha gets out and holds up the Firestone, which is engulfed in purple glow.

AGATHA
Here I am! The honey in the trap. Come to me, Vespiform...

DONNA
She’s controlling it!

DOCTOR
Its mind is based on her thought processes. They’re linked!

Donna and the Doctor stand beside Agatha.

AGATHA
Quite so, Doctor! If I die, then this creature might die with me.

The Doctor steps in front of Agatha and faces the Vespiform.

DOCTOR
Don’t hurt her! You’re not meant to be like this. You’ve got the wrong template in your mind.

DONNA
It’s not listening.

Donna snatches the Firestone off Agatha and throws it into the lake, the Vespiform chasing after it, drowning in a purple glow. The three of them look down at the lake in sorrow.

DONNA (sadly)
How d'you kill a wasp? Drown it. Just like his father.

DOCTOR
Donna, that thing couldn't help itself.

DONNA (defensively)
Neither could I!

AGATHA
Death comes as the end... and justice is served.

DOCTOR
Murder at the Vicar’s rage. (Donna stares at him) Needs a bit of work.

AGATHA
Just one mystery left, Doctor. Who exactly are you?

The Doctor takes a deep breath to answer, but Agatha suddenly collapses, yelling in pain.

DOCTOR
Oh, it’s the Firestone! It’s part of the Vespiform’s mind. It’s dying and it’s connected to Agatha!

A purple glow engulfs Agatha, but then it stops and she rests silently with her eyes shut.

DOCTOR
He let her go. Right at the end, the Vespiform chose to save someone’s life.

DONNA
Is she alright, though?

DOCTOR
Oh, of course! The amnesia! Wiped her mind of everything that happened. The wasp, the murders…

DONNA
And us! She’ll forget about us.

DOCTOR
Yeah, but we’ve solved another riddle. The mystery of Agatha Christie. And tomorrow morning, her car gets found by the side of the lake.

We see repeat of the flashes from the beginning of the episode: the view of Agatha’s car by the lake...

DOCTOR (VO)
A few days later, she turns up in hotel at Harrogate, with no idea of what just happened.

...Agatha standing at the Harrogate Hotel entrance, looking at the Doctor and Donna in confusion...

DOCTOR (VO)
No-one'll ever know.

...then she slowly walks into the hotel.

DONNA (VO)
Lady Eddison, the Colonel, and all the staff … what about them?

Camera turns to the Doctor and Donna standing outside the TARDIS, near the hotel.

DOCTOR
Shameful story. They'd never talk of it. Too British. While the Unicorn does a bunk, back to London town. She could never even say she was there.

DONNA
But, what happens to Agatha?

DOCTOR
Oh, great life! Met another man, married again. Saw the world. Wrote and wrote and wrote.

DONNA
She never thought her books were any good, though. And she must have spent all those years wondering.

They get into the TARDIS, the Doctor puts his coat on one of the ‘trees’ inside.

DOCTOR
Thing is, I don’t think she ever quite forgot. Great mind like that, some of the details kept bleeding through. All the stuff her imagination could use. Like, Miss Marple!

DONNA
I should have made her sign a contract.

DOCTOR
And, where is it, where is it, hold on…

[He lifts up a piece of the TARDIS floor and gets out a chest.

DOCTOR
Here we go. C...

He opens the chest and rummages the contents.

DOCTOR
That is, C for Cybermen (he throws aside a Cyberman chest plate), C for Carrionites (he discards the Carrionite globe too, then does the same with the head of a stone statue), and... (he finds a book) Christie, Agatha!

He shows it to Donna. It is 'Death in the Clouds', with a giant wasp on the cover.

DOCTOR
Look at that.

DONNA
She did remember!

DOCTOR
Somewhere in the back of her mind, it all lingered. And that’s not all. Look at the copyright page.

He hands the book to Donna and she examines the copyright page.

DONNA
Facsimile edition, published in the year… five billion?!

DOCTOR
People never stop reading them. She is the best selling novelist, of all time.

DONNA (sighing)
But she never knew.

DOCTOR
Well, no one knows how they’re gonna be remembered. All we can do is hope for the best. Maybe that’s what kept her writing. Same thing keeps me travelling. (smiling at Donna) Onwards?

DONNA (smiling back)
Onwards!

They watch the TARDIS console happily as the engines start to work.

2 comments:

JackOLantern said...

Thankyou so much for this! I know I've thanked you like a million times ;) but I really appreciate it. The Unicorn and the Wasp is my personal favorite episode (Agatha Christie!) and I've just been itching to read the transcript.
Thanx again!

Jak Manson said...

I am not a big fan of Doctor Who and I do not like watching it at all, but my best friend does. I am going to have to show him this for sure and have him enjoy this till his heart is content. I mean Doctor Who is all he talks about and he is always watching it. He barely does anything else with his free time either.
Jak Manson | http://www.callahandoors.com/products-services/commercial-doors.php