Doctor Who (2005– )
16 user 6 critic

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.


Charlie Palmer (as Charles Palmer)


Gareth Roberts

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Episode complete credited cast:
David Tennant ... The Doctor
Freema Agyeman ... Martha Jones
Dean Lennox Kelly ... Shakespeare
Christina Cole ... Lilith
Sam Marks ... Wiggins
Amanda Lawrence ... Doomfinger
Linda Clark ... Bloodtide
Jalaal Hartley Jalaal Hartley ... Dick
David Westhead ... Kempe
Andrée Bernard ... Dolly Bailey
Chris Larkin ... Lynley
Stephen Marcus ... Jailer
Matt King ... Peter Streete
Robert Demeger Robert Demeger ... Preacher
Angela Pleasence ... Queen Elizabeth


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

7 April 2007 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)


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Did You Know?


Phil Collinson called this episode the "most expensive ever", because of the large amounts of CGI and filming in Warwick, Coventry and London. See more »


When the Doctor witnesses Lynley die - of a psychic attack that causes him to drown on dry land, his lungs full of water - he declares that he has never seen anything like it. In fact, the Doctor has seen a death almost exactly like it in the 1971 serial "The Mind of Evil", in which the victim was, likewise, found dead in a dry room, his lungs full of water. (On a side note, this was the first time this version of the Doctor had seen anything like it.) See more »


[as the witches' portal has been opened]
Preacher: I told thee so! I told thee so!
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Alternate Versions

On Disney XD, edits for content were made: Martha Jones using the word "hell" is muted and her race concerns about being in 1599 - "I'm not going to get carted off as a slave or anything?" "Why ever would you think that?" "Well, not exactly white, in case you hadn't noticed." - are completely cut. See more »


References Duck Soup (1933) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

a great episode!!!
17 May 2007 | by rainbow_letlooseSee all my reviews

The Shakespeare code is a great episode for the third series! it shows Martha's first trip in the Tardis.they go back to 1599 to find Shakespeare being possessed by witches to try and open some kind of portal by using one of his plays that he's just written. This episode is good , it had some goofs like when they were relating to 'back to the future' , but they also had some bits where it also had some seriousness like when the doctor was wondering if rose could figure out the mystery if she was with him.(also when the witch crept up on the doctor in the prison cell it kinda made me jump!!! David Tennant you rock as the doc!!!!!!!

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