Doctor Who season 11 has been quite the controversial run of the immortal sci-fi series. Even without touching on Jodie Whittaker’s casting, new showrunner Chris Chibnall’s approach to the show – stripping out much of the familiar elements to encourage fresh audiences – hasn’t sat well with many old-school fans.
There’s been the general perception that the season shied away from referencing the series’ past, which is interesting, because this latest run actually managed to feature a reference to each of the Doctors of the modern series that came before Whittaker. That’s a cool feat that I’m not sure can be applied to any of Peter Capaldi’s seasons, which are often described as being marinated in fan-pleasing Easter eggs.
So, what are these references we’re talking about? Well, here’s a brief rundown:
Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston): In “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos,” the Doctor referenced the time she once turned a Slitheen back into an egg using the powers of the TARDIS. That’s an unlikely callback to the weird ending of 2005’s “Boontown.”
Tenth Doctor (David Tennant): “Kerblam!” saw the Time Lord recall the time that she faced a giant wasp with Agatha Christie, which the Tenth Doctor and Donna did in 2008’s “The Unicorn and the Wasp.”
Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith): The very same episode also saw the Doctor receive a delayed parcel in the TARDIS – a fez, the favorite headgear of Doctor number 11.
Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi): Whittaker’s immediate predecessor was referenced in her debut episode, “The Woman Who Fell To Earth.” When apologizing for being out of sorts upon encountering her friends for the first time, the Doctor mentions that “half an hour ago, I was a white-haired Scotsman.”
Following on from these nods to the past, the Doctor’s number one enemies the Daleks are widely rumored to be making their return in the upcoming New Year’s special, “Resolution.” If that does turn out to be the case, then those claiming season 11 ignores the history of Doctor Who might want to rethink their argument.