47 Days of Doctor Who–Day #5: Favorite Modern / Pop Culture Reference

Welcome to 47-day series of articles about the revival version of Doctor Who (2005-present).  I’ve come up with  47 topics / questions to answer, all of them basically positive and upbeat about the program.  Each day (or as often as I can actually write these) I’ll pick one of them at random (using this convenient random number generator) and then write up an answer.

Why 47?  It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who?  It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only?  Simply because I remember it better.
Why only positive stuff?  Because really, I write enough snark.

Today is Day #5, and consulting the Random Number Generator, we find that today’s number is 46, which means the topic of the day is this:

“Favorite Modern / Pop Culture Reference”

This is a bit of an odd topic to describe.  In fact, it wasn’t originally on my list.  #46 was actually “Favorite Fan Theory,” but when it came up I realized I could only remember one fan theory that had to do the modern Doctor Who.  So I changed it.  So here we are.

Anyway, back in the “classic” days of Doctor Who, the show would have the occasional modern-day reference, but overall those were pretty rare, and most of them are ones that I only recognized after reading about them (probably because I’m not too alert to a lot of 1970’s British pop culture.)

The new series, I feel, has a lot more of this.  Direct references to The Lion King, Star Trek, Harry Potter, The Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy, and more pepper the series, as well as lots of TV personalities, scientists, and even politicians playing themselves.

One of the earliest of these is, after a bit of thinking, my favorite (at least of the ones that I can remember, I’m sure many have escaped me at the moment):

The “iPod” playing Tainted Love by Soft Cell during The End of the World

I think this stands out to me because the iPod joke was funny (it was actually a jukebox) and because the presence of this modern, though decidedly dated pop-tune in the show’s second-ever episode helped to bring home that this wasn’t my grandfather’s Doctor Who.  (Well, in truth I’m pretty sure that my grandfather never watched Doctor Who, but you get the idea.)  It was a bit jarring to watch Christopher Eccleston bopping to the beat at first, but at the same time it was an appealing confirmation that this series was going to be firmly ensconced in modern day sensibilities.  So, you know, cool.

More next time!

Click here for a master list for this series.


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