Review: Doctor Who – 3×2 – The Shakespeare Code

The Shakespeare Code

So I finally made my way through The Shakespeare Code after missing it on Saturday and then finding my PVR hadn’t bothered to record it (that’s Bastard the PVR for you).

Not bad, was it? Definitely in the upper echelons of new Who. But I’m struggling to find things to say about it other than the usual. You see it all felt a bit mechanical. I don’t why. I liked it. It wasn’t full of cringe-inducing awfulness. There were some very nice touches to it, and some good characterisation and dialogue for everyone involved. Some of the make-up was a bit rubbish and Freema had a few duff moments, I suppose, but that’s the upper limit of my severe criticisms of the piece. Not very severe, were they?

But there was nothing to lift it to the level of Girl in the Fireplace or The Impossible Planet. It was just good, not excellent. But for the life of me, I can’t work out what was wrong with it. Was it the hint of “Will be used in schools in future as course material” quality to it? Was it the way the baddies were stopped with just a not very good, Charmed-esque rhyme? Was it the ever so slightly wrong-looking Elizabethan backdrops? I don’t know.

How very very strange. Anyone got more of a clue than me?

Hmm, did I just open myself up to something there?


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.