Doctor Who

Season 3 Episode 2

The Shakespeare Code

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 07, 2007 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (36)

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  • What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

    This was one of my favourite episodes of new Doctor Who. I am a big reader, and a fan of Shakespeare plays and I loved the word play thoughtout this episode. I enjoyed spotting Shakespearean references, and often chuckled while my 11 year old looked at me askance in that tolerant way she reserves for when I am thinking of something 'old'.

    Dean Lennox Kelly was a charming Shakespeare and in true Russell T. Davies fashion (but not new when discussing Shakespeare), bisexuality was hinted at.

    I liked that in the Doctor Who universe witches became an alien life-force, but have been integrated into our mythology, and became an influence for Shakespeare.

    The use of naming something to derive control over it is another old theme (we all know Rumplestiltskin) and it was interesting that Lilith could not name the Doctor, and that her own name has been associated with demonology and witchcraft for many centuries.

    However, given the emphasis on naming it was interesting the famous Shakespeare quotation:

    "What's in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;"

    was not referenced, given that it's saying that it doesn't matter what something is called, its essence remains the same. And of course, in this case, the significance of 'rose' is not lost either.

    And of course the shout-out to modern witchcraft interpretation (Harry Potter) and time travel (Back to the Future) did not go unnoticed.

    I could explore the nuances in this episode for pages; suffice to say, it is one of my favourites.
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