This episode was carried out with such reckless abandon and dangerous incompitence that I'm surprised the lack of mental energy in the creative team didn't cause the space time continuum to rip open and suck the entire BBC Wales operation into the Rift. Now I know there are the die hard Who fans that will disagree with a number of the points I'm about to raise and let me just say first off I'm not a Who-hater. There was a lot to love about the first 2 series and I regularly watch, and will continue to watch, this show. However, having said that, the writers need to seriously take their pens out of their asses and start writing these episodes in something other than their own faeces if I'm going to be able to watch any future episodes with out knawing my own arm off in frustration.
Okay, here is the list of the various, and numerous, point through which this episode failed miserably.
I say this as my own personal opinion and with full understanding that millions of teenage girls everywhere will probably disagree, but I loathe Tennant when he attempts to play to cooky over-exaggerated Doctor. The 'Back to the Future' reference in this episode was quite apt seeing as I always get the feeling that Tennant is continuously trying to mimick the genius of Christopher Lloyd as Doc. Brown but always falling a good few cents short. I wouldn't mind that kind of character, but Tennant just bobs around and over-emphasises and shouts and sings the "Ghost-busters" theme and in general looks like a moron. Normally I can just bottle it up and tolerate it but this episode, especially the nonsense with his 2nd heart starting, found him slightly more insufferable than usual.
This is a sci-fi show, and yet this episode didn't even attempt to explore any sci-fi ideas. Indeed I wouldn't be surprised if this episode had actually been written by, and not just featuring, people in the middle ages because science on the whole was left to one very neglected side. Just because they called a voodoo doll and "DNA conversion module", that still doesn't account for that whole "power of words" nonsense or the Carrionites ultimate plan to returning Earth to the time of magic. Again, I would have been willing to accept the whole witches motif, just so long as there was a scientific explanation behind it. But no, they rode on brooms and saw the Doctor through a cauldron and got sucked into a crystal ball. We were all suppose to just not ask any questions.
3) The Shakespeare quotation jokes:
We've all seen Blackadder: Black and Forth and the jokes about the Doctor using quotes and then Shakespeare saying "oooh, I'll have that" were just obvious and cliched. The meeting with the bard offered so many other cool possibilities and yet the writers here chose the most simple and unimaginative one.
4) The sexual tension:
Since when were companions allowed to fall in love with the Doctor? That whole idea, which floated around heaps last series and ruined Rose for me, just pisses me off. It's such an easy way to try and get ratings and fill airspace with the same old cheesy nonsense. He's got two hearts and he's a giant wang (see point 1) and yet every girl falls in love with him instantly. To Martha Jones I say this: you're in Elizabethan England with a time travelling alien, get some perspective! To the writers I say this: Go back to university and complete your creative writing course you hacks!
For someone so concerned about preserving the Space Tim continuum (such as in "Father's Day") the Doctor seems surprisingly unwilling to get out of his futuristic clothes. Indeed the clothes, which would have instantly drawn attention to everyone, went completely unnoticed accept by a fleeting remark by William Shakespeare. Well I guess red leather was all the rage in Elizabethan fashion.
6) "Author! Author! Author!":
William Shakespeare is a playwright, not an author.
7) The ending:
Come on Shakespeare, you're the wordsmith, only you can use your literary power to send the evil witches back into their evil crystal ball!!! What is this, Disney? Am I six years old? And thanks for comparing Shakespeare to J.K. Rowling. Possibly the most childish and disrespectable ending in history.
This episode was saved from a complete 0.0 rating by only a few compitent factors, namely Freema Agyeman, whose is doing pretty well at acting around the mine-field of idiocy and cliche that was this script even better than poor Billie Piper, the score which as ever was first class, and the special effects. Other than that, I would compare this episode to a tall glass of warm, recently expelled bile, but even stomach lining deserves more respect than that.