After a brief respite, the gents down in the bowels of Modern Recap-itulation Central get back to work with a fresh set of caps for The Shakespeare Code. Back in 2007 when this first aired we rated Code next to last for Series 3, but we suspect that, and it’s a bit of an irony for an Anglophile to admit, is that The Shakespeare Code is a bit too British for our Midwestern pedestrian tastes.
But that’s our problem. The Shakespeare Code surely can’t be faulted for its production values. It was reportedly a very expensive episode, and it shows on screen. But for us it all comes down to the witches. Magic, within Doctor Who specifically, can work if it’s properly contextualized. This happened in The Dæmons where magic was quite explicitly explained away as a ‘secret science.’ Not so much in The Shakespeare Code, and these witches here veer a little too close to ‘witchy-poo’ for our taste.
What the heck though. The previous assessment was nine years distant. As an example of that genre-blended staple, the pseudo-historical, The Shakespeare Code is part of a long line of stories stretching from Robot of Sherwood and going all the way back to The Time Meddler.