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3x02, "The Shakespeare Code"

I was mistaken: Shakespeare is not made better in Doctor Who form.  I think I will just have to accept the fact that as much as I want to love and appreciate his work, I simply don't.  I can't (less a possible exception for King Lear and Hamlet).  So having it pounded into my skull over and over that He Is The Most Brilliant Literary Mind EVER began to wear thin rather quickly.  (Many years of hearing colored theories about multiple authors and/or a ghostwriter writing the plays instead didn't help)

It wasn't a bad episode, really; I can see why people like it.  It just didn't have me jumping up and down.  Then again, I'm certainly not about to argue with the era, since I'm as big a fangirl of Queen Elizabeth as the Doctor is of Shakespeare.  I spent the whole episode hoping for her to show up at some point, and fairly squealed with delight when she did.  Only to keel over in pain to find out that the Doctor's made a sworn enemy out of this queen too.  (seriously.  Learn to get along with royalty.  At least the cool figures of royalty that I happen to like.) 

In fact...I think I enjoyed pretty much anything that didn't involve, uh, Shakespeare himself.  (though I do appreciate the random upping of his attractiveness quotient.  If he's going to annoy me, he might as well redeem himself in the looks department) The witches, for example.  The first sight of them just about made me go tumbling backwards over my chair in sheer fright.  And I loved the, um, main one?  The daughter, the gorgeous-despite-being-evil one?  I can't seem to learn any NAMES since THE RECAPIST is DOWN.  *is supremely annoyed* 

Anyway.  They were quite enjoyable characters.  I very much enjoyed her little voodoo dolls, especially the marionette Shakespeare.  And I think right about here is where I give up on essay format.

General Stuff, no particular order  
-Really, REALLY loved the visit to Bedlam; that was a fantastic set.  Plus I'm always a fan of the Doctor's disgust with ill treatment of others ("I think it helps if you don't whip them, now get out!").  Especially if followed up by one of those lovely mind-exploration things.

-Moment of wanting to smack Martha, HARD: Mention of profiting from time travel
-Moment of Martha redemption: Being taken aback by and protesting against the conditions of Bedlam

-"57 academics just punched the air" may be one of the best lines ever written.  Though personally, I think we just found out that Jack is a distant descendant of Shakespeare himself.  

Meta moment 1: "Psychic...paper...long story; oh, I hate starting from scratch."  Hee.  ME TOO.  *takes 5-minute Bitterness Break*

-I was actually wondering if Martha's race + that time period was going to be an issue, so I'm glad she brought it up.  Clueless!Doctor amuses me.  I was also wondering if her extremely immodest top was going to be an issue, but apparently that was not worth a mention.  That does not amuse me.

-HEEEEEEEEEEEEE, OK, this is the best thing I've ever read, courtesy of Claidissa on dwrewatch: 
I wonder how much they had to pay royalties to use those two tiny things.  I bet it went like this:
BBC: Yo, JK.
JKR: *is swimming in pool of money* ‘sup.
BBC: So can we have HP references in our next--
JKR: NO.
BBC: Ah, ah! Hold on! You owe us for using Tennant in Goblet of Fire!
JKR: Ugh, FINE. You can have TWO references. TWO.
BBC: WOO!

And speaking of that...

Rose References
1. Shared Room
Firstly: Can I just say how much I love the smirky grin that breaks through his frowning concentration at the mention of Harry Potter?

Secondly: LOOK!  THERE IS A LEGITIMATE, PLAUSIBLE, CANON-TYPE WAY FOR THE DOCTOR AND THE COMPANION TO BE CHASTELY SHARING A BED.  And this couldn't happen when Rose was still here because why?  (Logically, my brain knows there are a whole host of reasons, but the emotional side is all "WAH!  *pout*")  The point is, it's not just a completely cracktastic fantasy scenario I cooked up in my head.  I feel somehow vindicated.

Thirdly: Despite the fact that it's so horribly AWKWARD and UNCOMFORTABLE to watch when Martha slides down on the bed that I can feel my shoulders hunching up to my ears, and I want to crawl right out of my skin at the expression on her face, I love this scene.  I love the fact that all the awkwardness is piled up over there on Martha's side; the Doctor is just completely oblivious as to any double meanings, and if Martha wasn't over there being all "al;skdjfakl;sdf FLAIL!" inside, I wouldn't find this scene particularly tension-filled at all.  

Fourthly: "Rose'd know.  That friend of mine, Rose.  Right now she'd say exactly the right thing."  *sighs in bliss*  Even better?  *beams hugely*  That's right, we have a Most Wonderful Oneshot to insert right here.  Go assault your brain with delight and find out what's running through the Doctor's mind during this brief pause where he's looking very distant indeed.

Fourthly: Don't you feel better now?  (she says, sniffling a little and hugging a teddy bear)  Anyway.  I love the aftermath that he's open and soft-voiced in reminiscence for a minute there, but as soon as he realizes it, he slams that door and jumps away.  Tell me that abruptness, that pensive look as he stares up at the ceiling in telling Martha he'll take her home tomorrow, isn't him working to get his emotions back under control.

Fifthly: I'm sure my Rose-colored glasses are helping, but I really don't see why people are so offended on Martha's behalf here.  I mean, I can kinda see why Martha herself gets offended at his dismissiveness, but...I don't know; it doesn't translate across the screen.  Possibly I am just cranky that because THE RECAPIST is DOWN (I need to read my recap, damn it!  It's part of the Routine!  Deviating from routine angers me!) I've had to go hunt LJ for reviews, and entirely too many of those reviews involve nettlesome fans who keep insisting that this isn't the Doctor and Rose Show.  Which is clearly incorrect.

(you know, on the one hand, they have a point. On the other, HAHA, WE'RE WINNING.  SUCK IT.  
*As always, please do not tell me if we lose in the future; my brain is currently lodged in April 2007 and all subsequent episodes are a mystery.

2. Power of a Name
"Oh, but your heart grows cold.  A north wind blows, and carries down the distant...Rose."  Forget 57 academics.  That's the line I'll be randomly repeating to myself for days.  Mostly because I'm really fond of its singsong delivery, but then again, "That name keeps me fighting!"  *clings*  It's almost like a Meta Moment.

I'm actually rather fond of this whole scene, with both Martha and the Doctor getting smacked down by turn, and his incredulity at how humans cope with only one heart, but it's the reference that makes it all worthwhile.  I think it's too much for my brain to fully comprehend at the moment.

In Conclusion: Obvious differences aside, I think that was actually better than "Tooth and Claw."  Not bad.
Up Next: You know, I've watched the preview like three times and I still can't figure out what the hell is going on.  But on the bright side, unlike the last three episodes, I haven't already watched a chunk of the better scenes on YouTube. 
--------
In a related note, after spending a couple of frustrating hours trying to find the software you have to download in order to convert pictures and video to put on the media player - seriously, that was a pain in the ass - I succeeded, and now I have one shiny, fully-functioning device.  It is MAGIC.  Christmas in July!
--------
EDIT: *30 minutes later*

....ASKL;DFJASKL;DFJASKL;DFJ SELF, SELF, SELF!  *slaps face back and forth* Why are you on YouTube?  Why are you on YouTube?!  Because my foolish, foolish Self goes "Oh yeah, I was going to link to that montage of Rose references in the "Runaway Bride" entry, but I couldn't find it in my favorite places.  Hey, there it is, in a subfolder!  I think that's it, anyway.  Let me just double check.  *clicks*  Oh!  Remember not to look at the video links on the side.  *covers them* "  

So it's all good!  And then my idiot self accidentally scrolls down just a touch too far and sees the comments.  So now I've got a third potentially heartbreaking thing about the finale rattling around in my head that I'm trying to scrub out of memory because, um, I only read half of it!  Maybe I read it wrong!  GOD, do I need to someone to stand over me, waiting to slap my hand with a ruler?  I'm starting to think I do.
 

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
dreamingwriter
Jul. 14th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
I loved this episode. Probably because of all the Rose mentions! But I think it's just a good episode. Martha's pretty good in it, the Doctor is still bouncy, but missing Rose. All is good. (It'd be better if she was back. *mutters*)
rainbowstevie
Jul. 16th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
I have to admit, the balance between bouncy and slightly-angsty is pretty good.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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