Doctor Who - Season 3 Episode 2 - The Shakespeare Code (unboxed spoilers)

Hmm, doesn’t appear to be a thread about this one and it’s been two days now, and I feel like chatting about it, so I’ll take it upon myself. If it sinks like a stone, so be it.

I liked this episode, though it had a different and somewhat sillier feel than Smith and Jones.


I really liked that Martha addressed the concern about her being black in the year 1500-something (“Am I going to be carted off and sold into slavery?!”), and I loved that the Doctor was completely oblivious as to why she would even worry about it.

The witches were very cheesy and a bit hard to take on my first viewing, but after a crash course from Mr. Bunny about the Exaulted History of Cheesy Doctor Who Villains, they worked much better upon my second viewing. It also helped when I learned that they were called Carrionites and not, in fact, “Carrier Knights” like my stupid American ears heard the first time. :rolleyes:

Shakespeare was perfect.

All the Harry Potter references went over my head, and I gather that’s probably just as well.

The Globe Theater looked amazing! In fact, the whole episode looked great.

I personally like all the Doctor’s reminiscing about Rose, but it does strike me that he’s being a bit of a dick to poor Martha about it (main example, the whole conversation in bed - “Rose would know what to say. But you’re a novice; it can’t be helped.”). 'Course once again, the boy pointed out to me that the Doctor has always prided himself on being a bit of a dick, so there you go. Still, I do hope he’ll stop torturing the girl at some point.

Lots of very funny lines in this one that had me cracking up consistently. My personal favourite: The Doctor, yelling at Shakespeare and Martha that there will be time for flirting later.
Shakespeare, with a very saucy look: “Is that a promise, Doctor?”
Doctor, agape: “Oh, 57 academics just punched the air.”

So what did you folks think? Is this season still looking good? Next week’s episode looks fantastic - (I will spoiler this, because it’s from the preview):

The Face of Boe! We’ll finally get to hear his great secret!

Worth the viewing time just to see that!

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at an episode of Doctor Who. It’s the funniest show on TV sometimes. I loved Martha coming from “Freedonia”, too :smiley: .

I really liked it - I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at an episode of Who.


  • David Tennant seems to have grown into the role this series/season, and is in danger of catching up with Tom Baker as my favourite ever Doctor

  • I really fancy Freema Martha looks like she is going to be a much better foil for the Doc than Rose ever was, even although he’s being a bit of a dick to her in this episode

  • Olde London looked great

  • A rollicking good script with plenty of good gags, an inventive and horrific death (the drowning), a complex and interesting Shakespeare and even some minor thought provocation - the “magic” of the witches being a science that uses words rather than numbers

  • The performances of the Shakespeare and young witch actors, and the supporting actors in general

  • The last bit with Queen Elizabeth

Not so Highlights:

  • The speech that Shakey used to resolve the problem wasn’t very good

  • Could have done without the Harry Bloody Potter references

Anyway, I’m just glad that there’s such a good and popular version of Doctor Who back on our screens.

Well, it was the real Globe recreation that they have in London, so you should expect it to be good. Though the effects they used to make it look full to the brim with a crowd of thousands was very well done.

There were probably too many “Shakespeare in Love” -isms in the episode. The Doctor couldn’t have inspired all of his plays, after all.

But it was a fun ride, I enjoyed it a lot, and I do like Martha Jones a lot more and a lot sooner than I had anticipated.

Yeah, I read that a bit after posting this, so I suppose that would make sense eh? :wink: I thought it was amusing that they were only allowed to film in it after a certain time of night, so all the scenes in the theater were filmed at like two in the morning. And apparently the “crowd” was like the same 15 people over and over again.

True, but being a Shakespeare geek I still loved every one of them. “No, you can’t have that one, it’s someone else’s.”

I enjoyed it a lot–it was just so much fun. I do like Martha right off, better than I liked Rose at first.

Okay, this may be a silly question - but how are you USers seeing this now? It’s not airing on US TV yet, is it?


Elza - check your e-mail.

Though it was a bit cheesy I loved the “Shakespeare in Love” -isms. “I like that one… wait, that’s one of mine!”.

And while the Harry Potter references were just as cheesy I still loved the ones that I caught (though I imagine that there were more).

As for The Doctor being a bit of a dick to Martha in re Rose I think that The Doctor is still getting over the fact that Rose is not going to be around any more. I hope that as he warms up to Martha he’ll be a bit nicer.

Count me as another viewer glad that Martha addressed the issue of being black in centuries past England. After watching the last episode I was hoping that they wouldn’t completely ignore the issue when they traveled to Earths past.

I also liked that when faced with a modern perspective on a moral issue (the treatment of the mentally ill) the genius and hero did not immediately defer and abandon the mores of his time.

I just remembered the line I liked best: “It’s political correctness gone mad!” after the Blackamoor, Swabian, Queen of Afric dialogue.

One part I loved was Martha’s Very Excellent Questions when they first arrived.

“What if I step on a butterfly and change the future of humanity?”

“Well, don’t step on any butterflies! What did butterflies ever do to you?!”

“What if I kill my grandfather?”

“Are you planning to?”

Hee hee.

Reviving, as Sci-Fi aired Friday night. As per usual in these threads, anything already aired (in the US, Please) is fair game. Any spoilers from future episodes, or episodes already aired in the UK or Canada, but not in the US should be boxed, please.

Speculation does not have to be boxed.

I enjoyed seeing this one again, and again: it really endeared Martha to me. She asked a lot of the same questions I like to think I would ask if whisked off to the past. And I love the Back to the Future explanation the Doctor gives her as to how the past can change. “Oh my god, am I gonna fade?”

Spoilered as it contains stuff from the rest of Season 3:

[spoiler] It’s interesting hearing folks’ reactions to these early episodes when they haven’t seen the rest of the season, the two biggest gripes I seem to see so far are “I’m sick of hearing about Rose” and “God I hope Martha stops crushing on the Doctor”. Obviously, the Martha crush only got worse as the season wore on, but for all the bitching the Rose-haters have done, did she really get mentioned that much? Smith and Jones and this ep, Martha mentions her in Evolution of the Daleks and the Doctor draws her in his journal in Human Nature, and of course once Jack comes back they have to have the conversation about what happened to her, but other than that it’s just the Doctor’s depression that’s brought to the forefront, and it cracks me up that people want to read into that that he’s so messed up because he misses Rose, and then they get pissed off because Rose keeps getting mentioned. You know, by them.

Sorry, I’m just bitter over having to listen to this subject get rehashed over and over again, when, if people would have just been willing to let it go, it probably would have dropped off the radar long ago. Personally I loved the character of Rose and still miss her, but she’s gone and I’m able to still enjoy the show - you’d think that people who are glad she’s gone would be able to do the same…[/spoiler]

Okay, I won’t spoil this for you, but since you mentioned the Face of Boe…


Just wait until you find out who he is!!!

I don’t get it.


I think it had to do with Shakespeare’s “Dark Mistress” about whom several of his most famous sonnets were written.

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day.”

“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.”

Shakespeare, having flirted with Martha, is now flirting with the *Doctor * - these 57 academics are clearly those who’ve suggested the great man had certain sexual proclivities. :wink:

The “Dark Mistress” stuff was how he flirting with Martha, IIRC (long while since they were on over here).

Rather like Captain Jack Harkness?

(I enjoyed the episode, too.)