5for5 NuWho @10: Series 4 Easter Eggs


Our Easter Egg hunt through NuWho takes us up to Series 4, which in itself was chock full of continuity goodies as it brought back all of the Doctor’s companions from the new series, and presented another MASSIVE Classic throwback with the return of Davros. Along the way there were mentions and references to the original run, and like our previous posts, it took a bit of digging to find them…



Early on in this episode, the Doctor and Donna (having discovered that they were in Pompeii at the worst possible time) dash back to the TARDIS, only to find it has vanished. They track it to the home of one Lucius Caellius (who looks rather familiar)

    "The Eternity Gate...and these wrinkles are waiting for you Davey Boy"

“The Eternity Gate…and these wrinkles are waiting for you Davey Boy”


…who claims to have bought the ship, believing it to be a piece of art. Whostorians might have recognized this setup as being very similar to a brilliantly funny scene in 1979’s City of Death, when the TARDIS (parked at a Paris art gallery) is also mistaken for art by Basil Fawlty John Cleese and Eleanor Bron.




Donna’s first other worldly adventure with The Doctor lands the two on the Ood-Sphere in the year 4126, where the duo help free the Ood from slavery to the merciless Ood Operations corporation. Early on in the story, the Doctor identifies their location as being close to the Sense-Sphere of the Sensorites. Fans of the classic series would know that the Sensorites are a race well known to the Doctor, as he and the original TARDIS crew faced them in the titular 1964 episode. It was also one of the first episodes to make reference to the Doctor’s homeworld.

I really thought the Sense Sphere was a movie theatre

I really thought the Sense Sphere was a movie theatre



Really this two parter is one big Easter Egg as it features a Classic Villain (Sontarans) and a Classic ally (UNIT)

But once you get beyond the two major throwbacks, there are even more references to Classic Who, almost of all which revolve around UNIT. Where to start? How about UNIT soldier Ross Jenkins, a clever reference to another UNIT soldier named Jenkins from the classic series, who was famously ordered to put “five rounds rapid” in “the chap with the wings there” by Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart in 1972’s The Daemons. And the Brigadier himself gets a mention (the first in the new series) as he is reported as being trapped in Peru. And even more UNIT continuity connections are found when the soldiers use their call signs, like Greyhound, which haven’t changed since UNIT’s early days in the 70s.

"Peru? I couldn't get stranded in Malibu?"

“Peru? I couldn’t get stranded in Malibu?”



Certainly one of the most memorable episodes of NuWho, this Steven Moffat two parter might also hold the record for holding the most subtle references to the show’s original run, because you really have to dig to find them. But, the keen viewer (using freeze frame) would have noticed that when the Doctor snatches a book from the shelves, it’s surrounded by other Who-related titles including The French Revolution (seen in the hands of Susan in An Unearthly Child) Black Orchid (from the 1982 episode of the same name) and the Tardis Operating Manual (spotted in Destiny of the Daleks)

"When I say, Give a Hoot, read a book...I MEAN IT!!"

“When I say, Give a Hoot, read a book…I MEAN IT!!”



Another fantastic offering from Series 4, this Doctor-less adventure saw Donna navigating the dangers of a parallel universe created by her decision to Turn Left in her car, resulting in her never meeting The Doctor, thus leading to his death. (Long story) And even though we had to wait until the very end, (like the last minute) there is indeed a throwback to Classic Who when the TARDIS’s warning system, the Cloister Bell, tolls omniously as the story concludes. It links back to the last time the Cloister Bell was heard in 1981’s Logopolis.

"I rang it to scare the fleas out of my hat"

“I rang it to scare the fleas out of my hat”



And finally, in the first episode of the thrilling 2 part finale to Series 4, the Doctor and Donna visit the Shadow Proclamation to get help locating Earth, which has vanished. After realizing that Earth is just one of many missing worlds, the Doctor notes that he was aware of a plot many years ago to move the planet Earth…and although he doesn’t refer to them by name, he is of course referring to his best enemies, the Daleks, who tried such a thing way back in The Daleks Invasion Of Earth (also famous for being the first episode to depict a companion leaving, when Susan decides to stay behind)

"Taco Tuesday is SO over"

“Taco Tuesday is SO over”


How did we do? Any Classic Easter Eggs from Series 4 that we missed?


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