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Doctor Who: The Shakespeare Notebooks
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Doctor Who: The Shakespeare Notebooks

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  578 ratings  ·  96 reviews
Newly discovered entries and drawings in William Shakespeare’s journals reveal for the first time the astounding relationship between the great Bard and the Doctor.

Since his first adventure in 1963, the Doctor has enjoyed many encounters with William Shakespeare. Now, BBC Books has rediscovered notebooks, long thought lost, compiled by the Bard in which he divulges the inf
Hardcover, 1st, 224 pages
Published June 12th 2014 by BBC Books (Ebury Publishing)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  578 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book for free from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

I really wanted to like this book. I really did. It has such promise – after all, any Doctor Who fan knows that the Doctor has met many a historical figure on his travels. In fact, those are often my favourite episodes of the show – not the ones where he travels to the future, but where he goes back in time and we get to see recognisable figures from history.

I do believe,
Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Fun, but not fantastic.

In it's defense, it was never supposed to be anything but a lark - a whole book of excerpts from Shakespeare plays interpolated and bastardized with a bunch of Doctor Who references? This is not a complete story, rather a an audit class in Shakespeare, and sprinkled throughout are the Doctor (in many incarnations, some repeating, and some you have to carefully look for), the Master, the Ponds, Donna, Peri, Jaime and Zoe and others from the show, along with Julius Caesar,
Frank Roberts
Oct 08, 2014 rated it liked it
The ideal reader will be well versed in both Shakespeare and Doctor Who, including Classic Who. This book is comparable to The Empire Striketh Back or The Jedi Doth Return.

Uneven, some parts being better than others. Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest were my favorites.
Daniel Kukwa
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
There are a few off notes for me in this volume (the Sonnets, the visit to Tara, the overly-dense critique of "Julius Caesar"), but the remainder is nothing short of comic brilliance. There's far too much to choose from, but some of that brilliance includes: the 6th Doctor's verse about Peri in "As You Like It", Romana busting out in "Pericles", the utterly bonkers and hilarious Sontaran/Vortis mash up that just rips up "Midsummer Night's Dream", the final short story about Shakespeare's best be ...more
Laura Collins
*3.5 stars!

This book is so fun and entertaining! Reading it right now was perfect because I'm going to read some Shakespeare in preparation for uni and also Doctor Who starts back in a month!

I did skim read over the sections on plays I haven't read yet because there's such small little detailed jokes you only understand if you've read the play. My favourite sections were Macbeth and The Tempest notes and overall this was really fun!
I'm with most other reviewers on this one in that I thought this book was cool, but not fantastic. Though I enjoyed many of the parodies of Shakespeare, I've seen it done better. I felt I could appreciate many of the Doctor Who in-jokes (being a moderate fan of the show), and the links made between the two, but they didn't make me jump out of my seat in pure fangirling-this-is-utter-genius-excitement very often. The parts I most enjoyed were the least clever I suppose - the ones playing out like ...more
Maribeth B.
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a really fun book that will appeal to Whovians who also enjoy Shakespeare. It does have a lot of Classic Who references, which sometimes threw me off since I've only ever seen "NuWho." However, I don't consider that a bad thing! In fact, it was fun to read about Doctors 1-8. I'd be reading one particular "Whovianized" play, and all of a sudden realize, "OH, this is Tom Baker!" Or "OH, wait a sec, this is Peter Davison!"

Sadly, for me, this was published before the Twelfth Doctor and Clar
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardback, kept
Cute premise, cleverly done. If you are somewhat familiar with Shakespeare's plays, then this is definitely good for a laugh. ...more
Anna || BooksandBookends
I received a free copy of this book by the book's publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love both Doctor Who and Shakespeare so I thought this was going to be something which I would really enjoy. I'm not sure what I anticipated from the book, but to be brutally honest I was slightly disappointed. Though at first glance it may appear to be a children's book, that is something which it certainly is not. If you want to read this and enjoy it thoroughly you need to have at lea
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love the Doctor Who episode “The Shakespeare Code”, so I was interested when I heard about this book. On reading it, it is both brilliant and hilarious, but will probably appeal most to those who are both Doctor Who fans and Shakespeare fans.

The book is a collection of sonnets and scenes from plays, rewritten to include the different incarnations of the Doctor and his Companions. It really is amazing just how attracted aliens are to England–it’s a bigger tourist destination than Disney World!
I loved this, but I’m a Whovian and I love Shakespeare and I know many plays very well. I don’t know, but I don’t think this book would be as well liked by someone who likes either Shakespeare or “Doctor Who,” but not the other.

For instance, this has scenes from “Macbeth,” with the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe as the witches, then the murderers, who aren’t, and the Doctor does something to make Banquo look like a ghost, only to Macbeth. Then there are scenes with the Doctor and the Ponds making "Romeo
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I enjoyed it, not as good as the series but very pleasant. The best part for me it was the romeo and juliet/ amy and rory story! I was just so happy to see my favs companions in my fav play. I also really like the midsummers night dream, the macbeth one and the notes on hamlets speech.
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, science-fiction
A cute crossover, but will be much more enjoyable to people who know a lot of Shakespeare AND are familiar with both the classic and the new series of Doctor Who. If you aren't well-versed in any of these three subjects, you'll only understand a fraction of this book. ...more
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wish there were more modern Doctors and more modern companions here, but the combination of two of my favorite things makes this automatically great.
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good, silly fun. Some of the ideas here would have made for a few good episodes.
Tim Weakley
I think you would have to be the ultimate Dr Who fan to get every reference in this book, and maybe a Shakespeare scholar to boot! Having said that, it was very enjoyable.
Katharina Pauls
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really funny read! If you love Shakespeare and Doctor Who, this book is perfect ❤
Paul Sugarman
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very imaginatively done with integrating the Doctor into many of Shakespeare's plays and life, the Shakespeare pastiches are well done. ...more
Nicholas Zacharewicz
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Much like the series that makes up half of the material of this book, it is best described as consistently inconsistent (a description I have to credit to a friend).

When the mixture of Shakespeare and Doctor Who works well, I think it works quite well and makes for an entertaining (and, yeah, very British read). But when that combination fails to really gel together, I think the pieces read like high school fan fiction written by someone I'd otherwise love to meet, someone genuinely excited by
Jun 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Whovians AND Shakespearan scholars
I won't be the first to say "I really wanted to like this book"... and I'm certainly won't be the last. Which is quite disappointing as the idea behind that book is both clever and hilarious, but the execution is uneven and even it's ideal readers (Whovians with a working knowledge of Shakespeare plays or Shakespearean experts with an ear for pop culture) will certanly find plenty bones of contention here. While Shakespeare's appearance in the third season of the revived series was a hightlight ...more
Andy Hickman
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
“Doctor Who: The Shakespeare Notebooks”
by Justin Richards (Editor), James Goss, Jonathan Morris, Matthew Sweet, William Shakespeare, Mike Collins (illustrator) (London: Random, 2014)

Brilliant and clever. However if the reader is not familiar with “classic” Doctor Who characters nor with Shakespeare's material then it won't have the full impact.

“Shakespeare seems to have become somewhat obsessed with the enigmatic 'doctor' to whom he refers. Within the Notebooks this figure seems to appear in va
Ben Goodridge
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read this kind of mash-up; when you deconstruct one form of literature with another, your readers have to be conversant in both. I never read "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies" because I hadn't read "Pride & Prejudice" and most of the references would have gone over my head.

On the other hand, I have read a little Shakespeare...

I remember thinking as I read "Pride & Prejudice" that there was nothing wrong with it that a zombie apocalypse wouldn't have corrected. Reading this book's tak
May 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, plays, 2-stars
If you look at the title of this book and then look at my contact photo, you will see a subtle similarity. Can you catch it, if you can't.... well. I saw this book and knew that I had to get my hands on it. However, it was a bit of a disappointment since Doctor Who is obviously one of my favorite shows.

There is not much to explain about the rating other than that it wasn't that good.

One thing that I was really confused about was if Shakespeare was writing the Doctor into his plays or if the The
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved every minute of it. It’s the perfect combination of Shakespeare and Doctor Who. Of course, the Doctor can’t stay a way from a genius like Shakespeare.
The extracts fr the various plays are awesomely written. They feel like written by the Bard himself. I especially liked Macbeth. I was missing Much Ado though. Would’ve been hilarious to have 10 and Donna be Benedick and Beatrice through some kind of shenanigans 😄 but alas, no such luck.

Still enjoyed it very much and I cannot wait to use it
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this. I admit I enjoyed some part more than others. I also suspect some of the jokes went over my head as I have not seen all of the original series, and my knowledge of the history surrounding certain of the plays is limited.

However I knew enough about both to recognise the brilliance and subtlety that went into some of the jokes, which allowed me to appreciate that there were more I missed.

A but of fun, but don't expect to enjoy every page.
Emily Carter
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally write reviews but absolutely loved this book. It was amazing! Definitely the best of the Doctor Who extra books brought out so far.

Having said that, it's not a book for you if you don't like Shakespeare, obviously! You need to know a little about his plays, to appreciate The Notebooks more.

All in all if have a Shakespeare fan and a Doctor Who fan it's basically the perfect book.

I'd recommend it to any Doctor Who fan who likes Shakespeare.
Rhys Howell
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some of the stories/pieces were very good, more of them less so. Lots of clever bits like the story in footnotes but I feel I neither know the Shakespearean nor Whovian canon well enough to get the most from this book, hence my low rating. However if you're a scholar of the bard and the doctor I'm sure you'll get on with it better. ...more
Oct 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I really like the concept, but it got a bit tiresome in some sections. However, there were some really nice bits, especially when there was more out of the box thinking, rather than just, "the doctor was actually in this play too" repeated. I also appreciate the fact that multiple doctors appeared, and not just the newer ones. All in all, a nice collectible for fans. ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Claims to be a transcript of Shakespeare's lost notebook, in which are sketches of plays and added scenes, all indicating Shakespeare knew and met the doctor. Fun if you like both the bard and the doctor. ...more
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Justin Richards is a British writer. He has written many spin off novels based on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, and he is Creative Director for the BBC Books range. He has also written for television, contributing to Five's soap opera Family Affairs. He is also the author of a series of crime novels for children about the Invisible Detective, and novels for older children. ...more

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