Doctor Who Logo 'The Shakespeare Code'
(Story Code 3.2)

by Gareth Roberts
The Doctor and Martha

“All the world’s a stage’ – The Doctor

“Hmm. I might use that.” – William Shakespeare

In London, 1599, a suitor serenades his love, Lilith, before accepting her invite to come up to her room. But once inside, the man is terrified to see his love transform into a hideous witch – and together with her two ‘mothers’, Doomfinger and Bloodtide, she rips him to shreds… Arriving nearby in the TARDIS, Martha is astonished to find herself in Elizabethan England, and together with the Doctor she ponders the implications of travelling in time. Seeing that the newly opened Globe Theatre is not far away, the Doctor offers Martha the chance to see a performance of ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ by the famous writer William Shakespeare. As the production ends and the cast take their bows, Martha’s cries to see the author are taken up by the excited crowd, encouraging the dashing and handsome Shakespeare to make an appearance. Meanwhile, from her seat in one of the boxes, Lilith uses an doll-like effigy to exercise her control over the playwright and compel him to announce the performance of a sequel, ‘Love’s Labour Won’, the following night. The Doctor is intrigued at seeing a production of the Bard’s infamous lost play, and so he and Martha take a room at the ‘Elephant’ tavern, where they meet Shakespeare himself; the author initially dismisses ‘Sir Doctor of TARDIS’ as an over-eager fan, but his attention is won when he catches sight of the attractive ‘Martha of Freedonia’. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Lynley, the Master of Revels, who demands to see a copy of the script for ‘Love’s Labour Won’; when Shakespeare reveals that he has yet to finish the piece, the pompous official Lynley vows to stop its performance. However, as he steps outside the tavern, Lynley bumps into Lilith, now disguised as a serving wench, who steals some of his hair for use in one of her dolls; with the aid of her fellow witches, Lilith then causes the official to drown in the middle of the street, before stopping his heart. Hearing the cries from the people outside, the Doctor and his friends investigate; on seeing Lynley’s corpse, the Time Lord suspects witchcraft to be at work. Back in their room, the Doctor shares a bed with Martha, ignoring her meaningful looks and further upsetting her by comparing her to his previous, more experienced companion, Rose. Elsewhere, Lilith renders Shakespeare unconscious with a potion, and, using a puppet of the Bard, manipulates him into writing ‘Love’s Labour Won’ in his sleep. On finishing her work, Lilith is discovered by the maid, Dolly; she immediately kills the girl and then flies off into the night on her broomstick just as the Doctor and Martha arrive to investigate the cause of the commotion. The next morning, the Doctor, Martha and Shakespeare discuss recent events; suspecting that the answer lies in the words of the play and the Globe itself, the Doctor decides to visit the theatre’s architect, Peter Streete, only to learn that the man is now an inmate of the lunatic asylum, Bedlam. Back at the Globe, two of Shakespeare’s troupe practice their lines, only look on in terror as a hideous spirit momentarily appears in the air before them. Arriving at the asylum, the Doctor uses hypnosis to unlock Peter’s broken mind and discovers that the witches forced him to build the fourteen-sided theatre to their design; however, just as Peter reveals the hags’ current whereabouts, Doomfinger appears out of thin air and stops the man’s heart. The Doctor deduces that the witch is in fact an alien Carrionite, and when the creature hears the name of her race spoken, she vanishes. The Doctor explains to Martha and Shakespeare that the Carrionites are a legendary race from the dawn of time, capable of using the power of words to change the fabric of the universe; it seems that when spoken aloud, the words of the play ‘Love’s Labour’s Won’ will combine with the shape of the theatre and form enough energy to open a portal, which will allow the rest of Carrionites to come through and reshape the Earth into their own, nightmarish world. Rushing to the Globe, Shakespeare arrives in time to stop the play, but the three witches merely use his effigy to render him unconscious, and the performance continues. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Martha try to track down Lilith, and are surprised when she invites them into her house; after putting Martha to sleep with a spell, Lilith explains that her race was banished by the Eternals centuries ago; however, Shakespeare’s grief for his son, who died from the plague, led him to write words of madness – words that enabled her and two of her fellow Carrionites to force their way back into the world. Snatching some of the Doctor’s hair, Lilith adds it to another doll and uses it to stop the Time Lord’s heart; but as she flies away in triumph, she is unaware that the Doctor has two hearts, and when Martha comes to, she helps restart his bewitched organ. While the Doctor and Martha race for the Globe, Lilith, Doomfinger and Bloodtide listen on with glee as the actors speak the final lines of the play, and, above the heads of the astonished audience, a portal opens via the witches’ spying globe, and hundreds of wraith-like Carrionites break through. Having rejoined Shakespeare, the Doctor encourages the Bard to improvise an erudite speech that will undo the witches’ work, and with the help of Martha – and J.K. Rowling – the playwright succeeds in sending the unholy creatures back to whence they came along with all scripts of the play. With the performance over, the crowd erupts into applause, and while Shakespeare, his troupe and Martha take their bows, the Doctor picks up the witches’ globe, in which the hags are now trapped for all eternity, to take back to store in an attic in the TARDIS. The next morning, Shakespeare bids Martha goodbye by composing a sonnet for her, much to the Doctor’s amusement. Unfortunately, the arrival of Queen Elizabeth spoils the moment – recognising the Doctor as her sworn enemy, the angry monarch orders his decapitation, forcing the Time Lord and his companion to make a hasty exit!

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

Directed by Charles Palmer
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

7th April 2007 @ 7.00 pm

*Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha

*Working titles: 'Love's Labour Won' and 'Theatre of Death'