This is a twice a week feature (Wednesdays and Fridays) where Christa of Hooked on Books and myself will be watching and discussing all of the reboot of Doctor Who. Posts will contain spoilers for that episode and ones before it, so you may want to watch the episode before reading. I hope you’ll join us in enjoying this fantastic show, and don’t forget to check out Christa’s post (with past posts over here) as well! Allons-y!
The Shakespeare Code by Gareth Roberts
The Doctor takes Martha back to 1599 (just one trip mind you!) to meet Shakespeare. About to perform his newest play, Love Labours Won, the Doctor and Martha quickly realize there’s something rotten in the city of London…
As far as I’m concerned, this is the perfect second episode for viewers who are mourning Rose. Davies knows the viewers are going to have difficulty accepting Martha just because she is the first companion after Rose, so what does he do? Let’s give them Shakespeare! And while we’re at it, have some Harry Potter! And might as well throw in a Back to the Future reference while we’re at it. Also, let’s show that Martha is really useful and smart. And make them see that the Doctor can be a jerk, but only a little bit, so that they’ll be on Martha’s side.
And guys, it totally works. Even the first time I watched this episode I could feel myself softening to Martha. Although, my hackles still rise seeing them in bed together. I mean, Rose never got to share a bed with the Doctor on screen… *pouts* But this time around I did hate the Doctor a little bit for bringing up Rose because it so obviously hurts Martha. I know it’s in character for him to not notice the feelings of those around him, but I still wanted to smack him a bit. BUT the great thing is that he complains about how Rose always knew the right thing to say at the right time, and in this episode Martha fills that job TWICE: first with the sonnets having 14 lines thing and second when she provides “EXPELLIARMUS” to defeat the witches. I also like that Martha totally calls the Doctor on his jerkiness, that she questions things, that she has a better sense of direction than he does, and that she puts her doctor skills to the test.
Now I, of course, can’t finish this review without commenting on the man of the hour: Shakespeare. Shakespeare is seriously hot. I am in love with David Tennant’s Doctor, but he actually faded into the background for me when Shakespeare took the stage. Unf. And I don’t even like facial hair. I love how intelligent Shakespeare is. Like, he’s totally not fooled by the psychic paper. He figures out that the Doctor is a time traveller. He’s just so brilliant and lovely and I would love it if he came back in a future season.
“No, no. Don’t do that. No.” – the Doctor (flashback to Scotland, anyone?)
“Nightey night Shakespeare.” – the Doctor
“Big mistake because that word keeps me fighting.” – the Doctor (SOB SOB SOB)
The combination of HP and Shakespeare is so on purpose. JKR is the Shakespeare of her time because words have power and hers are powerful.
-I’m kind of tired of all female societies being shown as evil…
-the Doctor’s name is referenced!!!
-Really, who are the Eternals? Is that another name for the Time Lords?
-Queen Elizabeth I…he really hasn’t met her yet?