Doctor Who – The Shakespeare Code

Brief review of the latest episode…

The season continues to delight. Scary halloween witches (who are, naturally, aliens…so no need to get all offended-pagan on ’em), Shakespeare, Elizabethan England (with far better costuming than Showtime’s The Tudors), clever plot, Harry Potter references….excellent all around.

The thing that strikes me is just how tight this season’s episodes are. The production team has really hit their stride — the writing, the effects….not a wasted scene, or moment that made me cringe. Best words in best order.

My favorite lines of the episode:

“The light of Shadmock’s hollow moon doth shine on to a point in space betwixt Dravidian Shores and Linear 5930167.02, and strikes the fulsome grove of Rexel 4; Co-radiating crystal activate!” (The rather unusual final speech from Love’s Labors Won)

“It’s just another kind of science. You lot chose maths. With the proper numbers and equations, you can split the atom. The Carrionites use words.”

and, of course:


Cracking stuff. An excellent run-down of references, in-jokes, etc. can be found at the episodes’ wikipedia entry.

12 Replies to “Doctor Who – The Shakespeare Code”

  1. Yep. Loved it, too. Lots!

    I have only one very minor complaint; Martha’s question about Bedlam seemed out of place. For one, it was classically “companion-y” in its structure (i.e. What’s that, Doctor?), and second – I really think she would have known what it was, considering her chosen profession. So I would have preferred her line to be “Do you mean Bethlehem Hospital, the mad house?”

  2. I think the only reason that I noticed the line is because everything else about the episode was so fantastic and clever. The production team has really come full-force into their own thing with this season.

  3. Re: “Good old, J.K.!”

    My favorite Pertwee episode (since I’m a Hammer-horror nut), and one of my favorites of the entire run of the show, in fact.

  4. … and, of course, “No, like Back to the Future to novelization, yes, of course, the film!”

    Complete agreement all ’round (including the oddity of a London med-student not knowing what “Bedlam” was).

    The season’s off to a great start and I’m honestly liking Martha even more than Rose. In fact, my sole concern is the “oh, Rose…” (sigh) thing will continue throughout.

  5. That’s my concern as well….although, to be fair, with as far as they went into the Doctor/Rose love story thing, they almost have to continue the pining for an entire season, because otherwise the characterization would ring false (going from the tragically unspoken “I love you” to “ah well, who’s next?”).

    If I were writing, I’d have ZERO romantic sparks between Martha and the Doctor, thereby reinforcing that his relationship with Rose was special in its uniqueness. No need for as much pining, that way.

  6. Yeah I’m kind of hoping for no romantic sparks between the Doctor and Martha, either, but I don’t know that either of us will get our wish, given their already slightly flirty relationship. Time will tell, however.

  7. SO there w/ you!

    Martha may be the first companion ever to sit the Doctor down & say “You WILL answer my questions or I’m not moving.” A nice continuation of Rose’s good beginning (all her anger in “End of the World” that, alas, devolved into the usual blind obeisance by the end of the second season).

    & yes, already hugely tired of the sighing & pining.

  8. too late…

    but maybe they’ll quash them soon. The only person _I_ want to see sparking Tennant this season is Barrowman. CAN. NOT. WAIT!!!!

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