Doctor: David Tennant (Tenth Doctor)
Companion: Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones)
Dean Lennox Kelly – William Shakespeare
Christina Cole – Lilith
Sam Marks – Wiggins
Amanda Lawrence – Doomfinger
Linda Clarke – Bloodtide
Jalaal Hartley – Dick
David Westhead – Kempe
Andree Bernard – Dolly Bailey
Chris Larkin – Lynley
Stephen Marcus – Gaoler
Matt King – Peter Streete
Robert Demeger – Preacher
Angela Pleasence – Queen Elizabeth I
Directed by Charles Palmer
Written by Gareth Roberts
Script editor Simon Winstone
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Production code 3.2
Series Series 3
Length 45 minutes
Originally broadcast 7 April 2007
The episode begins with a young man romantically serenading a young woman named Lilith. Invited inside, the young man discovers that she is in fact a wrinkled hag. She introduces her two mothers, Doomfinger and Bloodtide, who rush at the screaming youth and apparently rip him to shreds.
Meanwhile, the TARDIS lands in Elizabethan London in 1599. The Doctor, who promised to take Martha on one trip, takes her to a performance of Love's Labour's Lost at the Globe Theatre. At the end of the play, William Shakespeare announces a forthcoming sequel entitled Love's Labour's Won. Lilith uses a voodoo doll to influence Shakespeare to declare that the new play will premiere the following evening.
The Doctor and Martha go to the inn where Shakespeare is staying. The Doctor introduces himself with his psychic paper but it appears blank to Shakespeare, confirming to the Doctor that Shakespeare is a genius. A man named Lynley, Master of the Revels, barges in and demands to see the script before he allows the play to proceed. The trio of witches from the beginning view the scene remotely in a cauldron. Lilith secretly takes some of Lynley's hair and makes another voodoo doll, which she plunges into a bucket of water and stabs in the chest. Lynley collapses on the ground dead. The Doctor calmly announces that Lynley died of an imbalance of the humours, privately telling Martha that any other explanation would lead to panic about witchcraft. Lilith entrances Shakespeare and uses a marionette to compel him to write a strange concluding paragraph to Love's Labour's Won. She is discovered by Shakespeare's lover, whom she frightens to death. Upon hearing another scream, the Doctor runs in and finds the body. Through the window, Martha sees a witch fly away.
In the morning the Doctor, Martha and Shakespeare proceed to the Globe Theatre, and the Doctor asks why the theatre has 14 sides. (In real life the theatre may have had anywhere from eight to 24. ) They decide to visit the architect of the theater in Bethlem Asylum. They find the architect, Peter Street, in a catatonic state. The Doctor helps him emerge from his catatonia long enough to reveal that the witches dictated the Globe's design to him. The witches observe this through their cauldron, and Doomfinger teleports to the cell and kills Peter with a touch. The Doctor identifies the witches as Carrionites, a species whose magic is based on the power of words which allows them to manipulate psychic energy. By uttering the name Carrionite the Doctor is able to repel her.
The Doctor deduces that the Carrionites intend to use the powerful words of Love's Labours Won to break their species out of eternal imprisonment. The Doctor tells Shakespeare to stop the play whilst he and Martha go to thwart the witches. The Doctor explains to Martha that if they don't stop the Carrionites, she and the rest of the human race will fade. The Doctor and Martha confront Lilith, who is expecting them. After subduing Martha, Lilith steals a lock of the Doctor's hair. Taking flight through the window, she attaches the hair to another voodoo doll before stabbing it in the heart, and the Doctor collapses as she flies to the Globe. Martha rushes to the Doctor's side, only to find Lilith's attack has only stopped one of the Doctor's hearts since she was unaware of his Time Lord biology. After Martha helps the Doctor restart his left heart, the duo race to the Globe. At the theater, the actors have already spoken the last lines of the play. A portal opens up, allowing the Carrionites back into the universe. The Doctor tells Shakespeare that only he can find the words to close the portal. Shakespeare improvises a short rhyming stanza but is stuck for a final word until Martha blurts out Expelliarmus. The Carrionites and all the copies of Love's Labour's Won are sucked back through the closing portal. The Doctor finds the three witches trapped, screaming, cursing and proclaiming in their own crystal ball. He takes the ball to place inside the TARDIS for safe-keeping.
The Doctor and Martha talk to Shakespeare before they leave. Shakespeare tells Martha that he knows she is from the future and the Doctor is an alien. Shakespeare calls her his dark lady and recites Sonnet 18 for her. Queen Elizabeth arrives at the Globe, having heard of last night's performance. Upon seeing the Doctor, she sends her guards after her 'sworn enemy'. The Doctor, confused as to how he will later upset the Queen, runs for the TARDIS with Martha, barely making it inside before an arrow embeds itself in the door.