Doctor Who: The RTD Years Vol. 1 - Revisiting THE SHAKESPEARE CODE - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: The RTD Years Vol. 1 - Revisiting THE SHAKESPEARE CODE

“To be, or not to be?” Well, if the question is whether to dive into a historical romp penned by Gareth Roberts during Russell T Davies' first tenure as showrunner, the answer is undoubtedly: “To be!” And so, we whisk ourselves away to the cobblestone streets and feather-quilled ambiance of Elizabethan England with "The Shakespeare Code."

A Stage Set for Adventure

London, 1599. Where ruffs are all the rage, and a certain playwright’s star is rising. Davies sets the stage (pun shamelessly intended) not just for a mere time-travel episode but an exploration of the Bard himself - and what might lurk behind the curtains of his genius.

The Doctor, Martha, and the Bard, Oh My!

David Tennant’s Doctor, fresh from the wounds of losing Rose and yet eternally curious, is a storm of energy. From correcting Shakespeare’s drafts to fangirling (yes, the Doctor can fangirl) over meeting the great man, he’s in his element. Then there's Martha Jones, stepping into history for the first time and encountering the realities of race relations in the past. It’s a poignant reminder of Martha's strength and grace.

And Shakespeare? Well, let’s just say Dean Lennox Kelly's performance makes one think, "Ah, so that’s why they all swooned!"

Witches, Witchcraft, and Words

The Carrionites, ancient witches with a penchant for world domination, proved an unusual adversary. Their power hinging on words was a stroke of genius, especially in an episode centered around history's greatest wordsmith. Is Roberts cheekily suggesting the power of a writer? Oh, the audacity!

Scenes that Resonate

Who could forget the moment when the Doctor and Martha try to pass themselves off as commoners? Or Shakespeare’s keen detection that the Doctor isn’t quite "of this time". These exchanges aren’t just comedic gold; they give depth and dimension to the narrative.

Linking the Timelines

Martha, trying to get a grip on time-travel etiquette, recalls "The Fires of Pompeii" and wonders if saving history is all it's cracked up to be. It’s a subtle tie-in, but a reminder of the broader universe of ‘Who’ stories.

The Power of a Final Word

The climax, where words become the weapon, is both thrilling and meta-textual. After all, in the battle against darkness, isn't it always the right words that save the day?

The Legacy of the Episode

Following this tale, Shakespeare’s presence is felt in nu-Who’s tapestry. The mention of the "Sycorax" in his works, Martha's lineage tied to "The Day of the Doctor", and the psychic paper’s “Sir Doctor of TARDIS” are all ripples from this tale. Plus, let’s not forget Queen Elizabeth’s delightful disdain for the Doctor in "The End of Time". Ah, scorned love!

Martha: A Companion in Time

Martha's journey into the past underlined her importance as a companion. Navigating a world that viewed her differently, yet never losing her spirit, she proved that history might shape us, but it doesn't define us.

Conclusion: All’s Well that Ends...Who

"The Shakespeare Code" is more than just a tribute to the Bard. It’s a testament to Davies’ ability as script editor to weave tales that are engaging, humorous, and always a tad wibbly-wobbly. It reminds us that, in the grand theatre of the universe, the play’s always the thing.

And, in true Shakespearean fashion, if brevity is the soul of wit, then this conclusion, dear reader, is as witty as a Dalek at an open mic night.

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