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Day 27: Review of The Shakespeare Code (10th Doctor)

Posted by: Whochick

Day 27: Review of The Shakespeare Code (10th Doctor)
The Shakespeare Code - Episode 3.2

I really enjoy this episode of Doctor Who, and I would gladly watch it several times in a row. Perhaps this has something to do with my Shakespeare obsession. Who can say? This episode even has a fellow playing a lute in it. I’ve always wanted to play the lute. Maybe I should have kept up with those guitar lessons all of those years ago. Sigh. All right, enough with my fixation on things Renaissance. (Did I mention that I was once a Medieval Studies major?) This episode is fun and full of pop culture references. What do you think of it?

Episode: The Shakespeare Code by Gareth Roberts
Rating (1 to 5): 4.5
Time: 1599
Place: London (Including the Globe Theater) on Earth
Baddie: The Carrionites
The Doctor’s Death Wish: Confronts 2 different Carrionites (First Time: “-Who would die first? -Well, if you’re looking for volunteers.” The second time one of his hearts stops.)
The Doctor Enjoys: Meeting Shakespeare. Harry Potter book seven. Looking forward to meeting Queen Elizabeth I.
The Doctor Dislikes: Starting from scratch with a new companion. Sadistic jailers.
Rose? Rose would know. (She’d say exactly the right thing.) “…and carries down the distant Rose.” (That name is why The Doctor keeps fighting.)
Who fancies Martha? Shakespeare
Doctor-y Strangeness: Shakespeare sees too much about The Doctor. His old eyes in a young face, the way that Martha looks at him like she’s surprised he exists, his constant performance, and the fact that he travels through time and space. The Doctor manages to get through to Peter Street.
Scary Stuff: The Master of the Revels drowning on dry land.
Does someone local help out? Shakespeare
What we learn: The Doctor failed his TARDIS-flying test? Love’s Labor’s Won is a lost Shakespeare play. Shakespeare can see through the Psychic Paper, but Martha can’t. The Doctor hates starting from scratch with a new companion. Martha’s alias for this episode is that she is from Freedonia. The Doctor carries a new toothbrush with him. The Doctor liked Harry Potter book 7. There are 14 lines in a sonnet. Shakespeare is willing to flirt with The Doctor. The power of a name is old magic. It would seem that there are no male Carrionites. Love’s Labors Won disappeared with the Carrionites. The Carrionites are now stored in The Doctor’s attic. The Doctor (in this form) becomes Queen Elizabeth’s sworn enemy at some point in the future.
My Favorite Bits: Lute! Shakespeare…the rock star. “Hey nonny nonny.” “How can a man so young have eyes so old?” “-All the world’s a stage. -I might use that.”
“-Rage, rage against the dying of the light. -I might use that. -You can’t, it’s someone else’s.” “57 academics just punched the air.” “Creature I name you: Carrionite!” Back to the Future as a method to explain the infinite temporal flux. “Oh, I think that death has been waiting for you a very long time.” “Ba da boom ba!” “…good old J. K.”

Observations and musings:

This is Martha’s first trip in time, and things aren’t quite as she imagined they would be. Shakespeare takes a shine to her, though. Good thing that she’s about to get The Doctor’s heart working, and to come up with the last word for the er…spell. It’s good that The Doctor had her along, but he isn’t the most welcoming of companions.

The Doctor was just going to take Martha for one quick spin in the TARDIS, but then things get interesting. I’m thinking that The Doctor shouldn’t be that surprised. That’s what most of his trips end up like. Also, we see The Doctor starting from scratch with a new companion. He almost explains the psychic paper after Shakespeare isn’t fooled by it, but decides that it would take too long. The Doctor isn’t particularly welcoming to Martha in this episode, allowing himself to be easily annoyed on a couple of occasions. He was even a bit rude while “not sleeping” in the bed that he and Martha had to share. Obviously he still misses Rose. The power of a name is old magic. Interesting that Lilith can’t name The Doctor. Good thing that he can name Mother Doomfinger as a Carrionite. Lilith really shouldn’t have brought up Rose. That just pissed him off. The Doctor has a thing for writers it would seem. He is a huge fan of both Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.

I really like this episode…except Mother Bloodtide’s make-up. Mother Doomfinger manages to get away with her make up job. Maybe it’s her eyes? Yay! The Globe Theater. I saw an all male production of Julius Caesar there. Plus, I helped pay for it. The theater, that is. We had read-athons back in High School to help raise money for the construction. Sam Wanamaker even came to my school. When I was there I visited the column which has a plaque on it with the school’s name and all. If the Carrionites are stored in The Doctor’s attic, can you imagine what other trapped foes might lurk there? I wish that I had time to write up something about all of the Shakespeare references in this episode, but that would take even more time than a review. Rose is the “ghost in the room” in this episode, and we will see more of this as the series continues.

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About the Author

Whochick is a huge Doctor Who fan. She loves the show so much that she not only co-authors a blog on the topic, but also a podcast that you should listen to. Whochick resides in California with her husband (the Shadow Architect), and occasionally refers to herself in the third person.

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