BBC Warner

Capt. Picard and The Doctor battling wits to a tragic conclusion? No, it’s not fan fiction; it’s Shakespeare. Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and David Tennant (Doctor Who) star in the film adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Co.’s 2008 staging of Shakespeare’s most famous drama. Tennant takes on the titular character and Stewart reprises his Laurence Olivier Award-winning role of Claudius. Unlike the pensive Kenneth Branagh or a brooding Ethan Hawke, Tennant brings a manic insanity to the prince of Denmark’s film credits. Tennant’s opening monologue is a little too dramatic, but he quickly evens out and conveys a character relishing on the edge of losing control. On the other hand, Stewart is a genius from start to finish. It’s obvious from his delivery that he’s not only fluent in Elizabethan, it’s his native tongue. Asides to the camera, blocking, and the set, though beautiful in its black-and-white contrast, are clearly drawn from the theatrical stage. This isn’t distracting, but the modern touches (occasional odd costuming and camera effects) can be. Iconic sci-fi actors and Shakespeare may seem as mismatched as Klingons and Daleks but for a Time Lord and an Enterprise captain, there’s no doubt the play’s the thing.