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

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  546 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Many people know about William Shakespeare's famous encounter with the Doctor at the Globe Theatre in 1599. But what few people know (though many have suspected) is that it was not the first time they met.

Drawn from recently discovered archives, The Shakespeare Notebooks is the holy grail for Bard scholars: conclusive proof that the Doctor not only appeared throughout Shak
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Harper Design (first published June 12th 2014)
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  546 ratings  ·  90 reviews


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Rinn
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,
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Garrett
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,
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Daniel Kukwa
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Frank Roberts
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.
Daisy
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sarah
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kept, hardback
Cute premise, cleverly done. If you are somewhat familiar with Shakespeare's plays, then this is definitely good for a laugh.
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
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Corrina
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Julia
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
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Flor
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Noortje de Graaff
A really funny read! Several doctors appear in this book, including both the 10th and the 11th doctor and some of the "old" doctors. Might be obvious, but it's a lot more entertaining if you're familiar with the original plays!
Jacquelyn
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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.
Paul Sugarman
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very imaginatively done with integrating the Doctor into many of Shakespeare's plays and life, the Shakespeare pastiches are well done.
Elias
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Casey
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Really funny read! If you love Shakespeare and Doctor Who, this book is perfect ❤
Andy Hickman
“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
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Ben Goodridge
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Charisma
May 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Emily Carter
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Michael
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Rhys Howell
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.
Laëtitia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Veronika
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Philip
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One for completists only really.
Clever idea but in the end just a bit too tedious ?
Carrie Griffin
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great little book. I really enjoyed a good amount of the takes on Shakespeare's plays, especially Macbeth.
Marcos Muñoz
The book works better when it's not forced. Most of the time it presents the Doctor mixed in the plays, not in the life of Shakespeare, though in some occasions to good effect. But it adds little to the story of Bard and the Doctor together, almost looking like the Doctor is only willing to be a character in the stories.

The best moment, in my opinion, is the take on Marlowe's Doctor Faustus with the Master trying to take Shakespeare out of human history.
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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