Thursday, June 12, 2008

Doctor Who and Shakespeare—The Enduring Connection

Hamlet. Dir. Rodney Bennett. Perf. Derek Jacobi and Patrick Stewart. 1980. DVD. Ambrose Video, 1980.

The connection between Doctor Who and Shakespeare has been made in the show numerous times. The characters frequently interact with Shakespeare and / or his day and age.  But what people sometimes forget is that the actors in Doctor Who have frequently played Shakespeare.

Lalla Ward, for example, played Ophelia in the BBC production of Hamlet—an Ophelia a bit too meek and submissive for my tastes, but one well-acted nonetheless. [As an added bonus, she played opposite Patrick Stewart's {Cap't Jean-Luc Picard to you} Claudius—see image below.]

The big Doctor Who / Shakespeare news is this. The current Doctor, David Tennant, will be playing Hamlet in Stratford-upon-Avon this summer!

And Patrick Stewart is set to reprise the role of Claudius!

Oh, to be in Britain this summer.

The rumor is that a Dalek will be playing Polonius, giving a certain . . . whatsit . . . je ne sais quas to the production.

In preparation for that, some marvelous person has taken the time to edit up (in the mode of Radio Free Vestibule's "Laurence Olivier for Diet Coke," for which q.v.) a sample of David Tennant as Hamlet.

Observe the wonder:

Bonus Image: Patrick Stewart as Claudius.
Links: BBC Hamlet.

No comments:

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.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest