The Shakespeare Code: Fear Factor 4 (Chilling)
How scary is Doctor Who? Our brave Fear Forecasters present a minute-by-minute guide to The Shakespeare Code.
(0) The Fear Forecasters sit down as the evening draws in to watch a balcony scene. "Like Romeo and Juliet," says Adam, who's started studying Shakespeare at school this year. "But Juliet's not a male actor, like they would have had in those days." Samuel's engrossed in the drama already. "I think she's complaining."
(1) The young woman transforms into a hideous crone: "Oh, that's freaky!" gasps Samuel. Now she's biting her victim. More witches appear and Amy dives behind the chair. "Yeesh!" says Samuel, "I wish we were watching this in the daytime!" "This," Harry predicts, "will be a scary one!"
(3) Giggles from the boys as a chamber pot is emptied near the Doctor and Martha. Amy wrinkles her nose. Adam and Samuel laugh at the Doctor's comment about butterflies. And then... "Eww!" groans Samuel, "Martha's stepped in that poo! She didn't notice it." "No-one seems to have noticed the TARDIS," notes Adam.
(4) Big laugh from the parents when Martha comments: "Then I could get sectioned!" "What does that mean?" asks Adam. But he's immediately distracted by a theatre scene, where all the actors are men. "See?" insists Adam, "I told you so!"
(5) "I didn't think Shakespeare looked like that," ponders Samuel. "Yeah, he should be bald" adds Harry. They've seen pictures of the Bard before. Martha says the same thing about portraits. "See?" says Samuel, "I told you so!"
(7) "That's a funny rag doll," observes Samuel. Adam meanwhile is pondering what he knows about Shakespeare. "Loves Labours Won? I don't think there's a play called that." A moment later, Martha says the same thing: "I'm not an expert but..."
Adam is delighted. "See?" he says, "I told you so." Dad rolls his eyes... this one-upmanship has no end in sight. "I can see The Elephant," he interrupts hopefully. "Do you think that building is the Castle, then?" Adam groans. "Do they sell elephants there?" asks Amy hopefully.
(9) "Hey nonny nonny," leers Shakespeare, and everyone laughs.
(10) "Hang on..." says Adam. Somehow, Shakespeare isn't fooled by the Doctor's psychic paper! "Woah, he's good, " notes Harry.
(12) The witch's victim spews out gouts of water in the street, and Amy shuts her eyes. "That is cool!" says Samuel, though his tone suggests otherwise. Adam has gone quieter too as the victim drowns in broad daylight.
"Where did all that water come from?" wonders Samuel. "Well, there's hydrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere..." Adam speculates. (He's enjoying science at school too.)
(13) Shakespeare is in his gloomy room. "This is scary... but cool," decides Adam. He points to the skull: "Alas, poor Yorick." He smiles when the Doctor says "All the world's a stage."
(15) Lucky Doctor! He's read the final Harry Potter book. "These witches are scarier than at Hogwarts," Samuel decides. the Doctor is explaining now: "It looks like witchcraft, but it isn't." "Oh yes it is!" insists Samuel. "Is it... or isn't it?" demands Harry, confused?
(16) Shakespeare is being stalked by a witch! She blows green smoke over him. "Scary!" says Samuel. "She's got morning breath, dad." Dad breathes into his own hand self-consciously. Shakespeare's head strikes the table. "Oh, that's gonna hurt in the morning," Samuel tells him.
(17) Now the witch is manipulating Shakespeare like a puppet. Wow! The boys are shocked and surprised, until Shakespeare's funny "possessed" face makes them laugh. "He looks like Andrew Lloyd-Webber," says Samuel. "I don't like witches," decides Amy.
(19 They're standing in the Globe. "Hey, I've been there with the school!" grins Adam. "And I'm going there next year!" says Samuel.
(20) the Doctor's hair is awry. "David Tennant's hair is all sticking up again!" laughs Adam.
(23) There's a vile shade on screen. "We had one of those in our bedroom before we redecorated," says dad. Adam groans.
(24) Bedlam is alive with screams. "Too many sound effects!" says Harry, covering his ears. Amy's finding this really scary, too. Adam asks "Did they really have mental hospitals back then?" Mum and dad laugh when Shakespeare ponders "To be or not to be."
Adam looks at them: "I don't think there'll be any quotations from The Tempest," he says (the play he's studying this year), "because that was the last one he wrote."
(25) Peter is staring madly at the Doctor. Adam is agog with amazement. Samuel has spotted Peter's horrid teeth: "He's been chewing BluTack. That will give him morning breath, too." Harry and Amy look on, aghast.
(26) The Carrionite vanishes. Adam and Samuel look impressed. "Now the witches will be angry. They look really cross." Adam nods: "You can get masks like that at Halloween."
(27) The play is on. "Hurray!" grins Adam. "Look who's in the audience... witches!" Amy's worried. "Oh no...!"
(29) Mum and dad grin when the actor grumbles about Shakespeare's interruption: "Everyone's a critic."
(31) The witches clap carefully. Samuel claps along with them, his fingers splayed wide just like them: "Don't chip your nails, that could be a weakness for witches." Adam knows better: "I think that's a weakness for all girls."
(32) "Witch house?" asks the Doctor. Adam claps a hand over his eyes: "That's such a terrible joke it could be one of yours, dad." Amy doesn't get it.
(34) The boys are really enjoying the over-the-top actors performances. A big laugh for the line about "co-radiating crystal activate". "He's at it again!" says Harry from behind his fingers as the Doctor almost snogs the witch.
(35) Harry and Amy think Martha's unconventional CPR is hilarious. "Ba da boom ba!" echoes Harry, and does a little dance.
(36) The play goes on! "No. No NO NO NO NO!" urges Harry, but to no avail. Amy grips the chair tightly.
(37) The Elizabethan audience flees in terror. "Exit stage left," observes Adam dryly.
(38) The alien witches swirl into horrid existence. Samuel: "What are they...rats?" He grabs his head in his hands. "Millions of witches!" wails Harry.
(39) A huge laugh from everyone as Martha concludes the speech with a Harry Potter word: "Expelliarmus!" "It's a disarming spell," laughs Samuel. Amy and Harry exchange a puzzled, but relieved, glance.
(40) The boys are impressed with the conclusion to the performance. "Come on, it's the end of the play... clap!" Samuel exhorts the audience. And they do!
(41) Martha tells Shakespeare she doesn't fancy him because "your breath doesn't half stink." Adam and Samuel exchange a look: "Morning breath," they chorus.
(42) Adam laughs at "Hamnet". And he's delighted when Shakespeare decides he likes the word "Sycorax". "She's in The Tempest! 'Hast thou forgot the foul witch Sycorax, who with age and envy was grown into a hoop?'" he quotes. Mum studies him proudly.
(43) "I know who that is!" shouts Harry as Queen Elizabeth I turns up. Samuel spots a connection: "The queen is the Doctor's sworn enemy. Again!" "Why's Shakespeare laughing?" asks a worried Amy.
(44) the Doctor and Martha flee into the TARDIS. "It looks like Martha Jones is going home," says Samuel wistfully. "I bet that arrow drops to the ground when the TARDIS is gone," says Adam. And Amy, finally, comes out smiling from behind her chair.