Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

This is one Doctor Who plot that I didn't examine too closely.

It was a whodunit, and I can never keep up with those.

Agatha Christie has a great reputation for writing such things, but since I've only ever come across her work in its original form once, I just don't know whether it's deserved or not. For me, The Mousetrap didn't hold together at all well, but y'know, maybe if I see it again I'll realise that I was wrong.

Putting a Doctor Who spin on things however, this 1920s whodunit sees Agatha Christie herself faced with solving a murder, not to mention also determining which aristocratic dinner-guest is secretly a giant wasp-monster that keeps eating people.

And you have to admire a brief like that – what other show could come out with such inspired silliness, and play so much of it so straight?

Yet even I found myself bothered by such questions as why the unicorn hung on at the house after stealing the necklace, and how everyone could tuck into dinner just after the Doctor had been poisoned, not to mention how on Earth Christie got outside and into a car so quickly towards the end. Like I said, maybe a good thing that I wasn't examining the plot too closely.

And this might well have been a brilliant story. Although it's set on Earth, there are actually no zombies, and it all looks like a straightforward traditional piece of Who. Even the moment when the Doctor, whilst trying to recover from being poisoned, gasps at Donna that he needs to be shocked, works well, because the kiss she consequently gives him is logical, and therefore I thought funny. And just for a change has no romantic undertones. Donna is such a maneater that the Doctor's repulsed fright is exactly the shock he just asked for.

But overall, I'm afraid that this was one episode that was very hard to get into, and will be very quickly forgotten by this viewer. Not out of choice, mind, but because of... the music.

By the end of this 40-minute escapade, I think we'd had, maybe as much as an entire minute without an orchestra continuously barfing all over the soundtrack.

Without wishing to sound too whinging, (although I know this will) for me it actually did render the whole thing unwatchable. Yes I know I did actually watch it, but I really don't want to spend another 40 minutes squinting with my ears. What a shame - it was by Gareth Roberts too, who I think is a great writer.

Perhaps they will be good enough to give the DVD a "no music" option?

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