Tardis

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Tardis
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Tardis

The clown approaches Hamlet and the skull of Yorick. (PROSE: Hamlet)

A clown was a character in the first performance of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. He appeared only in Act V Scene I and wore a "great coat", "a long scarf with rainbow colours" and a brimmed hat. He also had knowledge of the Time Lords, quipping that Hamlet couldn't be expected to remember everything unless he was one of them, "and even then...".

He approached Hamlet as he watched a gravedigger exhume the skull of Yorick, asking him who he thought the latter was. Upon the revelation of his identity, the clown claimed to have known Yorick, claiming he had "dreadful teeth". He then told Hamlet that he was there for the skull, which was not Yorick but the missing second skull of the Fendahl, which had been lost for centuries. After a brief scuffle with the gravedigger, who was really Lord Grathnave of the Erstwhile Collision, he tripped up Grathnave with his scarf which caused him to fall into a grave of his own creation. Meanwhile, the clown, in possession of the skull, quickly departed.

The inclusion of the clown in the transcript of Hamlet's first performance merited its inclusion in the Shakespeare Notebooks because the character was based upon the Fourth Doctor. (PROSE: Hamlet) Perhaps coincidentally, the play's first draft also featured a representation of the Eleventh Doctor. (PROSE: Notes on a Play) The Fourth Doctor himself had collaborated with Shakespeare on the final draft of Hamlet. (TV: City of Death, PROSE: The Stranger, The Writer, His Wife and the Mixed Metaphor)

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