Welcome to Day 27 of my 47-day series 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–so far so good!) 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.
So, today, we spin the Random Number Generator, and eventually it lands on 14, which means our topic is…
“Favorite Easter Egg”
So of course the real “best” Easter egg of Doctor Who is the one that was a major part of the plot in Blink. But here we’re talking about any hidden message or reference that was inserted into a script or episode. Usually, these are references or callbacks to something else from the history of Doctor Who, but made in a way that the connection is not important for the plot. Season 7, leading up to the 50th anniversary, seemed particularly to have a lot of them: references to the Doctor’s granddaughter, the Hostile Action Displacement System, and all those different types of Daleks in The Asylum of the Daleks.
My favorite ever Easter egg comes from that era of the program…
The Seal of the High Council of Gallifrey, The Time of the Doctor
The story is that the Doctor discovers a message being broadcast from a crack in the universe, and realizes that it is coming from Gallifrey, his long-lost home world. He needs to decode it, and so he pulls out of his pocket this nifty little artifact, declaring that he “nicked it off the Master in the death Zone.” This little device helps his friend Handles, the disembodied Cyberman head, to work on the translation.
It’s such a little thing, taking only a couple of seconds of the episode. The writers could have come up with a dozen other ways to have the Doctor translate the message, but instead they chose to include this small element, something that unknowing fans would just ignore, but that those who have been watching the show for longer would recognize. Thirty years previously, when the show last had a major celebration of its anniversary, they made an episode called The Five Doctors. In that story, the Third Doctor (played by Jon Pertwee) encounters the Master (Anthony Ainley) in the Death Zone of Gallifrey, takes the High Seal of Gallifrey from him, and refuses to give it back.
It’s such a tiny little detail to remember, completely unnecessary to include, and yet there it is; written, acted, filmed & edited for our enjoyment. Indeed, as far as I can tell, for my personal enjoyment.
Click here for a master list for this series.