The Shakespeare Code - Behind the Scenes (Part 3) Excerpts from Benjamin Cook’s set report from DWM #382
It’s becoming light already, so the crew prepares to film the episode’s final scene: Shakespeare’s seduction of Martha, rudely interrupted by the arrival of Queen Elizabeth. “I’ll sit in for Freema on the camera rehearsal,” says Mr. Steffan Morris, the second assistant director.
“Shakespeare is a fool if he goes for that,” laughs Dean Lennox Kelly, who’s playing the Bard. In between takes, he and Freema lounge on the stage, chatting about R&B music and fellow thesp Alan Cumming (”Dean can talk about anything,” she tells DWM).
Suddenly, David appears from behind the scenery, wearing a ruff and a rabbit mask, like the psychotic bunny from Donnie Darko! “Too much?” he asks.
“Far too much!” shrieks Freema. “That’s not a good look, David.”
[…] On stage, Dean is whispering naughtily into Freema’s ear. “Do I make you nervous, sat here next to you?”
“I trust you,” she beams. “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say?”
“That’s the one.”
“Dean used to be a stand-up comic,” David explains, “and it shows. He’s very funny, very quick, very witty, and he’s nailed that slightly rock star take on Shakespeare. It’s clever casting, cos it’s not how a lot of people think of Shakespeare; you look at the young bucks of the RSC, I suppose, don’t you? But Dean confounds your expectations.”
I’ve covered every episode of Classic Doctor Who now as well as the Ninth Doctor’s series, so now I’m looking at the era of the Tenth Doctor!
228: Turn Left
“Donna Noble, you’re the most important woman in the whole of creation.
Format: 1 episode , 45 minutes long
Writer: Russell T. Davies
On the an alien planet, Donna meets a fortune teller, who launches her into a world based on one question: “What would happen if Donna never met the Doctor?” Without the Doctor, the whole world is in ruin, and a mysterious blonde tries to warn Donna of the oncoming darkness… Now a simple refugee, Donna is the only one who can undo the damage. But how?
What I liked:
A great ‘what if?’ story
Catherine Tate is fabulous here
RTD comes up with some really disturbing consequences
What I disliked:
I don’t think this story really needed to have Rose in it.
Overall thoughts: This has long been one of my go to episodes if I randomly fancy watching Doctor Who. I suppose it’s partly because it has a bit of everything and through it you feel like you’ve watched the episodes it references.
It’s your classic sci-fi what if story. If Donna had not met the Doctor, what chaos would have ensued. Well, he’d have died in The Runaway Bride and failed to stop death and destruction in Smith and Jones, Voyage of the Damned, Partners in Crime and The Poison Sky. We always expect a happy ending in Doctor Who so it’s a nice reminder of what could be lost if the Doctor wasn’t around. (Surely there’s a problem in this though that the Doctor wouldn’t have saved in the world in historical episodes like The Fires of Pompeii so how can the world even exist here?).
This episode heavily relies on Catherine Tate in making it work. Mostly she plays the old, boisterous Donna who is hilarious- the scene where she is packing up her belongings is hilarious. But then later there’s the real bravery that we are now more used to seeing. Bernard Cribbins is also wonderful here and surprisingly it’s through him that we really see the horror of this new world. There is a haunting scene where the family are taken to a Labour Camp (”England for the English”) which is so disturbing. Frankly that part of the episode is even more relevant in 2016 than it was in 2008.
Rose returns here but I honestly wish she hadn’t. I mean I like Rose but here’s she’s a plot point who has apparently developed a lisp. She is somehow omniscient here, explaining everything that Donna hasn’t actually seen. How does she know this stuff? At then at one point she spouts some techno babble which is also really out of character. Here return works at the very end when she whispers “bad wolf” into Donna’s ear but for the most part the story would have been better without her.
Still, it’s a great ‘what if’ story and sets up the finale really well,
Next Time: Daleks! Davros! The missing planets! The Children of Time!
The first promotional image for the third and final series has been revealed by Wales Online, and features David Tennant, Olivia Colman and cast newcomer Julie Hesmondhalgh. The article also reveals that Julie’s character will be called Trish Winterman.
David and Olivia return to the roles of Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller as the two detectives resume their fractious working partnership to investigate a serious sexual assault. They will be joined by other returning cast members Jodie Whittaker, Arthur Darvill, Andrew Buchan, Carolyn Pickles, Charlotte Beaumont and Adam Wilson, and many new faces including Sir Lenny Henry, Sarah Parish, Charlie Higson and Roy Hudd. The series is expected to return to ITV early in 2017. Find out more about the new series of Broadchurch here.
To me, it feels like ‘The Doctor’ has to have a long coat, and that’s something imprinted on me from childhood, because he always did. And there’s something heroic in a flapping coat, but at the same time, I need to get rid of it sometimes and just be a scrawny guy in a suit that doesn’t quite fit. - David Tennant
“Do you wanna come with me? ‘Cause if you do then I should warn you, you’re gonna see all sorts of things. Ghosts from the past; Aliens from the future; the day the Earth died in a ball of flame; It won’t be quiet, it won’t be safe, and it won’t be calm. But I’ll tell you what it will be: the trip of a lifetime.”