Doctor Who – The Shakespeare Code

Reinstated from Scary Rob’s Doctor Who Blog

I’m still waiting for this season to wow me, I have to say. Like last week, we’ve been given a very solid episode but it was just a standard trundle. I liked Gareth Roberts’ script – in a world where we quote Shakespeare almost as a matter of course, there was no avoiding the style of humour here and Roberts handled it brilliantly. The dialogue could have been far clunkier and the humour could have been just plain cringe-inducing, but instead we were given something of a light-hearted treat. Suffice to say that I really enjoyed this episode.

I’m not convinced about Martha, though. I like her character, and Freema Agyeman is infinitely watchable both as actress and eye-candy, but I still feel that the relationship between her and the Doctor is being contrived. I’m sure this feeling will settle down eventually but it irks me that the companion has to be a romantic interest these days. The Christmas special worked a lot better in that respect – the relationship felt more natural for the fact that there was no pressure on the script to create a romance.

Before I go, I really want to praise the Mill and the other visual effects bods to the high heavens; I don’t do it often enough. The recreation of Elizabethan London was absolutely stunning and I was blown away by the long shot of the bridge. The whole thing felt really atmospheric even when the lighting people cocked up the candle flickers (the pulsating lightbulb effect broke the mood, I’m afraid. Though flickering candle light is difficult to simulate, so eight out of ten for the effort…). The sci-fi special effects were also, as usual, stunning.

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~ by Scary Rob on 8 April, 2007.

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