Wednesday, January 25, 2023

King James the First in Doctor Who

“The Witchfinders.” By Joy Wilkinson. Perf. Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, and Alan Cumming.  Dir. Sallie Aprahamian. Doctor Who. Series 11, episode 8. BBC One. 25 November 2018. DVD.  Studio Distribution Services, 2019.

As I noted recently, I haven't been watching Doctor Who that much. But I feel the need to be culturally literate, so I've slogged on to see what it's like to have a female doctor.

And that means that I made it to an episode with King James I. And it was an episode that had something to do with witches! "Here we go," I thought. "The last time we met up with Shakespeare in Doctor Who was in the episode called 'The Shakespeare Code'—another one with witches and an appearance (albeit a brief one) of an English monarch (in that instance, it was Queen Elizabeth I)." Note: Yes, I have many parenthetical phrases when I think as well as when I write.

I certainly didn't expect Shakespeare to show up in this episode. But I thought there might be some nice self-referential elements. I mean—Queen Elizabeth I & witches and James I & witches—surely the second monarch would reference some of the rumor flying about during the first monarch's reign!

But, no. We don't get that.

But we do get James revealing a bit of his biography. And I suppose we should be content with that.

Links: The Episode at IMDB.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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