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Doctor Who - The Shakespeare Code

episode 3.2

UK 2007
produced by
Phil Collinson, Russell T. Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by Charles Palmer
starring David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, Dean Lennox Kelly, Christina Cole, Sam Marks, Amanda Lawrence, Linda Clark, Jalal Hartley, David Westhead, Andrée Bernard, Chris Larkin, Stephen Marcus, Matt King, Robert Demeger, Angela Pleasence
written by Gareth Roberts, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Martha Jones, Shakespeare

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doctor Who (David Tennant) takes his new companion Martha (Freema Agyeman) to London 1599, to meet Shakespeare himself (Dean Lennox Kelly), but almost immediately after they have arrived, mysterious murders seem to occur that seem to have to do with Shakespeiare's new play Love Labours Won, with the Globe Theatre and with witches. But the Doctor, a man of science, doesn't believe in witches, and soon enough he finds young Lilith (Christina Cole) and her two sisters (Amanda Lawrence, Linda Clark) being actually the last of a long died out alien race who feed on words and need exactly the right words to bring the rest of their race back to life ... and who better to find the right words than Shakespeare, and where better to recite them than in th eGlobe Theatre, which an architect (Matt King) has built exactly to their specifications before going mad - and so at the premiere of Love Labours Won, the alien race is indeed brought back to life and immediately tries to take over earth ... but with the help of the Doctor, Shakespeare finds exactly the right words to drive them back to oblivion again ...

Angela Pleasence makes a cameo appearance as Queen Elisabeth, who wants the Doctor's head.

 

Pitting Doctor Who against witches might sound like a fun idea ... but when the witches are identified as nothing more than another alien race trying to conquer the earth, this is a bit of a disappointment, and when its said they can cast spells (and be bound by spells) just because they feed on words, that's downright silly and lacks the typical sci-fi mumbo jumbo the series has become famous (and likeable) for.

Still, a fun take on Shakespeare himself keeps this from being a total desaster. Some pop culture references (Back to the Future, Harry Potter) on the other hand seem terribly out of place in this episode.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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