The Shakespeare Code:
|–||In the pre-credits sequence, look out for one of the quickest bloopers you'll ever see, as the hapless about-to-be victim serenading Lilith goes to change chord and accidentally moves his hand up the strings beyond the top of his fret-board — then instantly realizes his mistake and moves it back down the neck of the lute! He's a pro though, and his face doesn't betray any hint of error as the camera pans up.|
|–||Lilith's laugh to camera (just before the title sequence) seems obviously dubbed, since she starts closing her mouth but the audible laughter still continues for a moment. You can also see a brief flash of the actress' blacked-out teeth behind her fangs!|
|–||Throughout the episode we see some nice establishing shots of the river Thames and London Bridge... but where are the ships? The Elizabethan era was a busy time for maritime trade, and the Thames was a major shipping route, so the river should have been choc-a-bloc with traffic at all times. But, strangely, the only vessels to be seen are a couple of tiny rowing boats!
[OK, the Thames is tidal, so at certain times of day it was far too dangerous to pass beneath the old London Bridge in a boat, so the shipping traffic wouldn't have been flowing constantly. But even if it was high tide, there should still have been plenty of boats and ships moored along the banks!]
|–||Not for the first time in the new series, the TARDIS materializes in the middle of a bustling street and seemingly no-one bats an eyelid!|
|–||The Doctor (and the on-screen caption) states that the story takes place in 1599, just after the Globe was built, and of course the plot involves Shakespeare writing his famous "lost" play Love's Labour's Won during the course of the episode while under the influence of the Carrionites. Unfortunately, in the real world LLW was listed as an existing Shakey play by one of his contemporaries in 1598, so clearly it was written earlier than the episode would have us believe.|
|–||The Doctor observes that The Globe Theatre is a 14-sided tetradecagon — and this even has some plot significance later when Martha points out that this is the same number of lines as a sonnet. The problem is, based on all available archaeological evidence, it is generally accepted that the real Globe had 20 sides (as does the modern reconstruction, which is where the theatre interiors were filmed). Even the small minority of experts who disagree reckon the original Globe could have had either 16 or 18 sides — nobody thinks 14!|
|–||The scenery backdrop we see on the Globe's stage is anachronistic — background scenery wasn't "invented" until the mid-17th century, i.e. about 50 years after this episode was set.
[In case you're wondering, Elizabethan theatres usually had a curtain at the back of the stage — unlike modern theatres, where of course the curtain is at the front of the stage.]
|–||While the scenes depicting evening performances in the Globe look great, unfortunately the reality is that plays in Elizabethan times were always performed in the daytime. In fact, that's the very reason the Globe has no roof: to let in daylight, since at the time, long before the invention of "limelights" and gas lamps, there were no other practical means of illuminating a stage after sunset. The handful of flaming torches we see on-screen wouldn't have been used in a million years — not only would they have been woefully inadequate at illuminating the stage — they'd also be a whopping great fire hazard in a crowded wooden building!
[And indeed, history proves the Globe was a firetrap: it burned down in 1613, a little over a decade after the episode's setting — though due to a malfunctioning prop cannon, rather than stage lighting!]
|–||The Doctor's lip-sync goes out of whack in the sequence where he and Martha are leaving the theatre and Martha suggests using a MiniDisc (how quaint!) to record Love's Labour's Won. When the camera is on Martha and the Doctor says "Well..." at the edge of shot, his lips don't move.|
|–||When the unfortunate Lynley starts "drowning" on the street, Martha says "it's that Lynley bloke"... but she was never introduced to him and indeed his name wasn't mentioned at all during the only scene they shared a couple of minutes earlier, when Lynley burst in on Martha and the Doctor's meeting with Shakespeare.
[OK, OK, Shakespeare could have told her Lynley's name off-screen, but that would spoil the fun]
|–||Also, when Martha attempts to give CPR to Lynley and he continues throwing up water, why doesn't she follow the usual procedure for suspected drowning victims and roll him onto his side to help get the liquid out of his airway?|
|–||In one of the close-up shots of Shakespeare's face as he's writing the end of the play while staring straight ahead "hypnotised", his quill visibly isn't moving — then the camera cuts to the page and all of a sudden the quill is furiously scribbling away.|
|–||The outer appearance of Bethlem Hospital is very anachronistic, with its baroque angels on the gates, the neoclassical facade, etc. The whole thing looks at least a century later than the period of the story — and indeed, the set seems to have been inspired by the much grander 1676 version of the hospital in Moorfields, rather than the much smaller and dilapidated building in Bishopsgate which would have existed in Shakespeare's day.
[Though they got the interior right — check out this description from 1598: "It is not fitt for anye man to dwell in... it is so loathsomly filthely kept not fitt for anye man to come into the sayd howse" — doesn't this sound like the Elizabethan version of TripAdvisor..?!]
|–||We see Doomfinger transport herself instantly to Bethlem, so clearly the Carrionites have some sort of teleportation power — plus, we see Lilith levitate herself out of a window to escape after stealing a lock of the Doctor's hair. So earlier on, why didn't Lilith use levitation or teleportation to travel around London, instead of having to borrow a broomstick to fly about?|
|–||When we first see the aerial shot of the Globe with the Carrionite "vortex" coming from the open roof, the camera tracks in toward the Globe and shows little CGI people running away from the theatre, as you'd expect. But in the second aerial shot a minute later, the camera tracks away from the Globe, and if you look closely you'll see little CGI people running backwards — towards the theatre! It's clearly the same shot, only reversed.
[Can't blame The Mill for trying to save money by re-using shots — there is a recession on after all!]
|–||During the climax, when Shakespeare starts quoting the "words of power", why don't the Carrionites simply use the voodoo doll to knock him unconscious again, like they did less than 10 minutes ago?|
|–||When the scripts are blown/sucked through the doorway into the "tornado", the fire burning in the brazier right beside the door doesn't react at all to the draught — when you'd expect the flames to be pulled towards the rush of air.|
|–||The Doctor picks up the "crystal ball" containing the Carrionites and says he has an attic in the TARDIS where he can keep it. Then the Queen arrives and he scarpers with Martha, visibly tucking the crystal ball under his coat — but by the time they get out to the street, it's vanished!
[Maybe he put it in one of his pockets — are they bigger on the inside too??]
|–||Here's a little etiquette test for all you commoners: when the Queen of England enters the room, what do you do? Stand to attention? Bow? Curtsy? Nope: the correct answer (if you're William Shakespeare in the final scene of this episode) — don't bother getting up, just sit there gormlessly and act like nothing was happening!|
|–||Speaking of the Queen, why is she even there? (Other than to provide a dramatic end to the episode, that is!) If Her Majesty really wanted to see Love's Labour's Won she would have summoned the Company for a command performance at the royal court, not dragged herself and her entourage all the way to the Globe unannounced.
[Apparently Liz the First really was a drama buff — if you believe Wikipedia, she had her own personal theatre built solely for the purpose of holding command performances]