Skip to content

302. The Shakespeare Code

The Shakespeare Code



The Doctor and Martha travel to Elizabethan England, where the famous playwright William Shakespeare is being controlled by three witches called Carrionites. The Doctor and Martha must stop the evil beings, and Shakespeare must give the performance of his life.


Written by Gareth Roberts

Directed by Charles Palmer

The Doctor – David Tennant
Martha Jones – Freema Agyeman
William Shakespeare – Dean Lennox Kelly
Lilith – Christina Cole
Wiggins – Sam Marks
Doomfinger – Amanda Lawrence
Bloodtide – Linda Clarke
Dick – Jalaal Hartley
Kempe – David Westhead
Dolly Bailey – Andree Bernard
Lynley – Chris Larkin
Jailer – Stephen Marcus
Peter Streete – Matt King
Preacher – Robert Demeger
Queen Elizabeth – Angela Pleasence


Martha: "Not going to get carted off as a slave am I?"
The Doctor: "Why would they do that?"
Martha: "I’m not exactly white, in case you haven’t noticed."
The Doctor: "I’m not even human. Just walk about like you own the place, works for me."

The Doctor: "Oh, how to explain the mechanics of the infinite temporal flux? I know, Back to the Future. It’s like Back to the Future."

Martha: "The film?"

The Doctor: "No, the novelisation. Yes the film! Marty McFly goes back and changes history."

The Doctor: "When you go home you can tell everyone you’ve seen Shakespeare."
Martha: "Then I can get sectioned."

Martha: "That’s amazing! Just amazing! Was worth putting up with the smell. And those are men dressed as women, yeah?"
The Doctor: "London never changes…"

Shakespeare: "I must work. I have a play to complete. Will I get my answers tomorrow, Doctor? And I’ll discover more about you and why this constant performance of yours."
The Doctor: "All the world’s a stage."
Shakespeare: "Hmm. I might use that."

Shakespeare: "Made me question everything, the futility of this fleeting existance, to be or not to be… Ooh. That’s quite good."
The Doctor: "You should write that down."
Shakespeare: "Mm. Maybe not. Bit pretentious?"

Lilith: "And as for you, sir Doctor… fascinating. There is no name. Why would a man hide his title in such despair? Oh, but look… there’s still one word with the power of days…"
The Doctor: "The naming won’t work on me."
Lilith: "But your heart grows cold, the North wind blows and carries down the distant… Rose…"

The Doctor: "Expelliarmus"!
Shakespeare: "Expelliarmus!"
The Doctor: "Good old J.K.!"


This episode takes place in 1599.

The working title for this episode was "Love’s Labours One".

Filming locations included Coventry, Warwick and the recreated Globe Theatre in London.

The witches were originally going to be fairies. Fairies were used in the Torchwood episode "Small Worlds".

Shakespeare appeared in a 1965 episode of Doctor Who called "The Chase".

The Doctor uses the title, "Sir Doctor of TARDIS" as given to him by Queen Victoria in Tooth & Claw.

Gareth Jones will be writing an episode of the fourth series.