One of the noticeable things about NuWho’s first years was that references to older “classic” episodes were rare, and when they did pop up it was done so subtly they were easy to miss, with confirmation of the two shows being part of the same universe not coming until the return of Sarah Jane Smith in Series 2.
But showrunner Russel T Davies faithfully (and skillfully) managed to drop in a few allusions to the original series in NuWho’s first year, and 5 for 5 takes a look at those Easter Eggs from the Classic Series.
END OF THE WORLD – ROSE ASKS WHY ALIENS SPEAK ENGLISH.
In just her second adventure with the Doctor, Rose is intrigued by the fact that she can understand alien dialect despite knowing only English. The Doctor explains that it’s a result of the “Gift of the Tardis” a telepathic field generated by his ship which allows travellers to comprehend all languages of the Universe. This conversation harkens back to the 1975 story The Masque of Mandragora when Sarah Jane Smith asks the same question of the Fourth Doctor. And his response is similar to the Ninth’s, telling Sarah it was a “Gift of the Time Lords” that he allowed her to share.
UNQUIET DEAD – THE DOCTOR SAW THE FALL OF TROY
Another subtle nod to the early years of Who comes in the Unquiet Dead during the (almost) death scene in a Cardiff cellar when the Doctor complains that he is about to die despite seeing and escaping numerous other disasters like the fall of Troy, which came in the 1965 serial The MythMakers. This episode also marked the departure of the First Doctor’s companion Vicki, who, has we have mentioned, probably had an utterly horrible post-Tardis life.
BAD WOLF – WEB OF FEAR
An even vaguer reference to Classic Who comes in the series 1 penultimate episode Bad Wolf, when Rose appears on a futuristic (and lethal) version of The Weakest Link. One of the questions is “Who is the oldest being in the The Isop Galaxy?” (the answer being the Face Of Boe). The Isop Galaxy’s first and so far only appearance was in the 1965 story The Web Planet when the TARDIS landed on the planet Vortis, home to the insectoid Menoptera and Zarbi. Even the HardCore Whovian might’ve missed that.
PARTING OF THE WAYS – FLOATING DALEKS
This Dalek themed Easter Egg that takes us all the way back to the days of the Second Doctor. The appearance of an immobile Dalek Emperor in The Parting of The Ways was an homage to the first Dalek Emperor seen in 1967’s The Evil Of The Daleks, but eagle-eyed viewers may notice even another tribute to Evil of the Daleks in the same scenes.
Look close and you’ll notice the four floating Daleks guarding the Emperor differ just slightly from standard Daleks, having black domes rather than the completely bronze colouring of the Time War Daleks. This is a direct reference to the Emperor’s guards in Evil of the Daleks, who were similar to standard Daleks in every way, except by their distinguished black domes. Well played RTD.
ROSE – AUTONS
This is an obvious one, but a big one. The first episode of NuWho featured the terrifying alien mannequins known as the Autons, which also terrorized the Earth in the Third Doctor’s 1970 first adventure Terror of the Autons. Even the guns for hands have been kept in place.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!