Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Doctor Who Vs. Agatha Christie: Part 2

BBC2 first transmitted Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures in September 2004. This 90-minute biopic - told in flashback from Agatha's point of view - examined her famous disappearance of 1926. Here, her psychiatrist concluded that the novelist (portrayed by Olivia Williams) had been in a fugue state at the time, and her amnesia was genuine (see Part 1).
The programme was repeated on BBC4 in 2008, and featured these five Doctor Who cast connections:
  • For Anna Massey (Older Agatha) see Vs. Strange, here
  • Raymond Coulthard (Archie Christie) voiced Loki/Edgar/Hawks for Cobwebs (Big Finish, 2010)
  • Anthony O'Donnell (Kenward/Poirot) played Commander Kaagh in The SJA: Enemy of the Bane and The Last Sontaran
  • for both Mark Gatiss (Kenyon) and Bertie Carvel (Max Mallowan) see Sherlock here
Series 4 story, The Unicorn and the Wasp (TX: 17/5/2008) depicts the events (albeit fictional) leading up to Agatha's disappearance. By the end of the episode, the action has moved from the atypical Christie 'whodunit' setting - the English country house - to Silent Pool, where the novelist's car was actually found abandoned. Here, Agatha (now played by Fenella Woolgar) is briefly possessed by the alien firestone, and falls unconscious. The Doctor now realises that this incident caused her memory loss, and takes the writer to Harrogate ten days later (ie. the day before she was discovered). In the TARDIS, the Doctor shows Donna a copy of Death in the Clouds (1935), a book in which a wasp sting is an apparent cause of death - so Agatha's amnesia was not complete. Even by the year 5 billion, Christie is still the best selling author of all time.

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