British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Shakespeare Code, The

Synopsis
Science fiction adventure series. The Doctor takes Martha on her first trip in the TARDIS. Arriving in Elizabethan England in 1599 they meet William Shakespeare who is writing Love’s Labour’s Won. The witch-like Carrionites are a lost species breaking their way back into the world, and plot to end the world by placing a code in the new play’s closing dialogue. Shakespeare is entreated by the Doctor to redeem the world by the power of words. Shakespeare references abound: Doctor Who often giving Shakespeare inspiration for his lines - Doctor Who ‘all the world’s a stage’. WS: ‘Um, I might use that’. Shakespeare says ‘to be or not to be’, the Doctor suggests he writes it down but Shakespeare considers it ‘too pretentious’. At one point Shakespeare flirts with the Doctor, to which the Doctor responds ‘57 academics just punched the air’.
Series
Doctor Who
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Television
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Transmission details
7 Apr 2007 at 19:00 (Channel: BBC1)
Duration
45 mins

Credits

Director
Charles Palmer
Producer
Phil Collinson
Cinematographer
Ernest Vincze
Writer
Gareth Roberts
Music
Murray Gold
Production Design
Edward Thomas (2)
Costume
Louise Page
Cast
Amanda LawrenceDoomfinger
Angela PleasenceQueen Elizabeth
Chris LarkinLynley, Master of the Revels
Christina ColeLilith
David TennantDoctor Who
David WestheadKempe
Dean Lennox KellyWilliam Shakespeare
Freema AgyemanMartha Jones
Linda ClarkeBloodtide
Matt KingPeter Streete
Sam MarksWiggins

Additional Details

Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Plays
Macbeth
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Globe Theatre; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); witchcraft; Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; Time Travel; Science fiction (television); Love’s Labour’s Won

Notes

General
Scenes for the episode were filmed in Coventry, Warwick and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

In Radio Times (7-13 April 2007, p. 9) Dean Lennox Kelly, who plays Shakespeare, describes his rock star interpretation of the part ‘I just went slightly camp, slightly Johnny Depp in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, a bit of Liam Gallagher, a bit of Kev from SHAMELESS, a bit of me, a bit of eyeliner - there you go!'.

The same evening at 19:45 BBC3 broadcast DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIAL, narrated by Anthony Head, in which actors and the production team (including the series’ executive producer, Russell T. Davies) talk about the interpretation of their roles and how the special effects were achieved.
History
Series three, episode 2.
Reviews
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Shakespeare_Code gives a very detailed account of the plot and Shakespeare references (accessed 4/2007).

Commentary podcast at http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/sounds/

Production Company

Name

BBC Wales

Archive

Name

BFI National Archive

Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/searching-access-collections/research-viewing-services External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7255 1444
Fax
020 7436 0165
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN
Name

Learning on Screen Off-Air Recording Back-up Service

Email
services@bufvc.ac.uk
Web
http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/offair External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7393 1514
Fax
020 7393 1555
Address
For Learning on Screen Members only
77 Wells Street
London
W1T 3QJ

Distributor (Sale)

Name

Retail outlets

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 528 times.