Doctor Who (2005– )
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The Shakespeare Code 

The Doctor takes Martha to London in 1599, where William Shakespeare's new play is being used by three witches in an evil plan.


(as Charles Palmer)



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Episode complete credited cast:
Dean Lennox Kelly ...
Sam Marks ...
Amanda Lawrence ...
Jalaal Hartley ...
Dolly Bailey
Peter Streete
Robert Demeger ...


As The Doctor and Martha travel for the first time together in the TARDIS, they land unexpectedly in 1599 Tudor London, where the world is under threat from the evil Carronites, and only history's most notorious playwright William Shakespeare can help to save the world Written by Anon

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Release Date:

7 April 2007 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 5.1)


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Did You Know?


This is the first episode in which the Doctor and his companion are shown sharing a bed (though platonically on the Doctor's part). It is also the first episode in which a companion is actually shown making sexual advances (albeit subtle) towards the Doctor. (Martha's advances are defused when the Doctor starts talking about Rose.) See more »


The architecture of Bedlam is about 100 years out of date. See more »


Martha Jones: Thing is, though, am I missing something here? The world didn't end in 1599. It just didn't. Look at me, I'm living proof.
The Doctor: Oh, how to explain the mechanics of the infinite temporal flux. I know: Back to the Future. It's like Back to the Future.
Martha Jones: The film?
The Doctor: No, the novelisation! Yes, the film! Marty McFly goes back and changes history.
Martha Jones: And he starts fading away- Oh my God, am I gonna fade?
The Doctor: You and the entire future of the human race. It ends right now in 1599 if we don't stop it.
See more »


References Doctor Who: Enlightenment: Part One (1983) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

More than a bit childish and not well researched...
26 January 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm certainly no Shakespeare snob, but you'd think that a bunch of British writers (as much as they like to shove The Bard in everyone's face) would be more well versed in his writings than this. How many times do we have to hear snippets of Shakespeare's lines spoken in everyday conversations, with Shakespeare suddenly saying, "Ooo...that's good. I think I'll use that" before it becomes hackneyed? Answer...once. As an example, The Doctor says, "The play's the thing!", then tells Shakespeare he can use it. Why? Without the surrounding context from Hamlet, it's not a pithy line, and makes no sense. The full line is, "The play's the thing, wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King!" It refers to Hamlet's sudden realization that he can use a troupe of actors to play out his uncle's assassination of his father (the King) in order to guilt the former into some sort of admission of guilt. The single line, "The play's the thing" has no value in poetry, and makes no sense without the rest of the scene and the characters. It's like saying, "I have a dream" to Martin Luther King, Jr., and then telling him he can use that line. Without the rest of the speech, it's not very impressive.

This happens over and over in the episode, making me think that none of these writers has ever actually seen (or understood) a Shakespeare play. Pretty embarrassing, and not worthy of a show with such a huge, devoted following.

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