Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Blogtor Who Top 50 - No. 49

Here it is! Blogtor's personal countdown of his 50 favourite Doctor Who television stories, one a week till the big day in November 2013. Now, just to point out, this choice is purely my own. So don't expect reasoned debate or objectivity. Or even the need to please every fan out there. This is my list, and I stand by it. I will also add that I've seen every Doctor Who story released (at least twice), so I feel like I know what I'm talking about. Anyway, enough chittle of the chattle, let's begin...

49. The Unicorn & The Wasp
First broadcast 17/5/2008 starring David Tennant

Man, this was such a blast! The rule book was firmly flung out the window with glee as we got flashbacks, whirling newspapers and flashbacks within flashbacks. And Agatha Christie. In an Agatha Christie homage!

The Unicorn & the Wasp is a perfect example of what Doctor Who can achieve when it wants to have a bit of fun, but still seem vital at the same time. Gareth Roberts' script hit the tone on the nose with laughs galore and a mystery to be solved; and The Doctor and Donna in charge. Here the pair play with the material in the most delightful of fashions. Both Catherine Tate and David Tennant know who to play comedy and how to play it to its best.

Given what's coming up for them in just a few episodes time, it's lovely to look back at them having a whale of a time, drinking in the era and displaying, more than ever, the amazing dynamic between the two of them. As Doctor and Companion their friendship and zest for adventure is what makes them so unique (in post-2005 Who). They remind me of Tom and Lis in some ways, two best friends traveling through space and time and getting up to all sorts of mischief. And Unicorn shows it off beautifully.

Elsewhere, the cast aren't too shabby either with returnee Christopher Benjamin, previously Henry Gordon Jago in 1977's The Talons of Weng-Chiang (which I'm sure may pop up later in this chart), full of robust boozy joy and the gorgeous Felicity Kendall burpring her way delightfully through the story, reminding a nation why we fell in love with her so many years ago.

Special mention must go to Fenella Woolgar whose Agatha Christie is full of grace and beauty - and also full of questions. Her attitude to The Doctor is nonplussed and no-nonsense. "How like a man to have fun while there's disaster all around him," she reprimands him. Agatha would have been a fine, fine companion.

It's shot in the most colourful and musical of fashions, coming off like a bubbly comic strip - a dazzling treat for the eyes. Everyone, from the cast to crew seems to having an outright ball with the bouncy script.

What I love most about The Unicorn and the Wasp is that it plays like a good old-fashioned fun Billy Hartnell story. Its light and playful nature marks it as somewhat of an oddity but it's that sheer audacity and frisky vivaciousness that makes me return to it so much.

Check out No. 50 HERE

The Snowmen - New Clip
Matt Smith on The Graham Norton Show
Moffat: "John Simm is The Master"
The Legacy Collection - cover art and details
Peter Jackson "may well" do Who!


Steve Crofts said...

Really love this story ! One episode I can just put on at anytime to watch. Funny without being too slapstick and both David and Catherine having such a great time. One of the 1st episodes of series 4 to be filmed from what I can remember but it seems like they've been together for years !

WordsmithNeil said...

Another great thing about this story is that it's actually the first one that Tennant and Tate filmed together (apart from The Runaway Bride, of course) and it's obvious that there's such amazing chemistry between them right from the start.

The Vodka Yeti said...

Daft fun, but I did smile pretty much throughout. If you like Doctor Who and Agatha Christie, as I do, it ticked all the right boxes.

There's a lovely extra on the 4th series DVD boxset when the Doctor meets Agatha as an old woman.


Simon Bromley said...

I love this ep, too. Can't really add to what's already been said, but it is fun, and the growing Doctor-Donna relationship is wonderful. :)