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50 Best Easter Eggs in the DOCTOR WHO 50th Anniversary Special [List]

Doctor Who "Day of the Doctor" (2013) - Policemen walks past signs

Here's a list of the most amazing and touching Easter Eggs in the DOCTOR WHO 50th Anniversary Special "Day of the Doctor."

Not everyone is a fan of Doctor Who. But if you're one of the millions of long-time fans, then last week's Doctor Who special episode was full of awesome references to old episodes. The show set records for viewers all over the world and maybe introduced a bunch of new fans to the world of Doctor Who.

The show's been on for 50 years, so there's a lot of history there. There are a bunch of little facts and trivia bits for long-time fans, so you may have missed some things. Or maybe you're a "Whovian" but the episode moved so fast you missed a few things. Either way, this list should get you up to speed quickly.

Here are some of the best "Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey" stuff you missed while watching "The Day of the Doctor." Where possible I've included images and the episode the reference first came from.

I know it goes without saying, but SPOILER ALERT!

1. Original Doctor Who Opening

"Day of the Doctor" opens with the title sequence and theme arrangement from the 1963 series' debut. They even added the same scratchy old-timey sound.
Episode(s): "An Unearthly Child" (1963)

2. No Title Sequence
Almost every episode of Doctor Who begins with a title sequence that usually shows the title, episode name, names of the principal actors and writer.  "Day of the Doctor" is the first episode that does not include a pre-credits sequence since the first episode.
Episode(s): "An Unearthly Child" (1963)

3. Policeman Walks Past I.M. Foreman

The very first Doctor Who episode shows a policeman walking past a sign for I.M. Foreman, the scrapyard the TARDIS was located in. He's even wearing an old style policeman's "Bobby" hat!
Episode: "An Unearthly Child" (1963)

4. Monochrome Opening
The first few seconds of "Day of the Doctor" are in monochrome and the color slowly fades in. The first few seconds of "The Two Doctors," the last multi-Doctor episode, are also in monochrome and fades to color.
Episode: "The Two Doctors" (1985)

5. Coal Hill School

The Doctor's granddaughter, Susan Foreman, attended Coal Hill School on Earth in 1963. It's also featured in the 1988 serial "Remembrance of the Daleks."
Episode: "An Unearthly Child" (1963), "Remembrance of the Daleks" (1988)

6. School Governor Chairman Ian Chesterton
The school sign says the chairman of the school governors is Ian Chesterton. Chesterton was a science teacher at the school and one of the First Doctor's original three companions.
Episode: "An Unearthly Child" (1963)

7. Headmaster Coburn
The headmaster is W. Coburn, which refers "An Unearthly Child" director Waris Hussein and writer Anthony Coburn. An obscure nod, but a good one.
Episode: "An Unearthly Child" (1963)

8. Eleventh Doctor's Motorcycle

Clara (Jenna Coleman) rides the Eleventh Doctor's (Matt Smith) anti-gravity motorcycle out of Coal Hill School. He rode it in the Anti-Grav Olympics in 2074. He came in last.
Episode: "The Bells of Saint John" (2013)

9. Clock Shows 5:16 P.M.

Clara rides her motorcycle past a clock showing 5:16. This is the time "An Unearthly Child" originally aired on November 23, 1963. Originally, Doctor Who was an afternoon family show to teach kid's history. Man, things have changed.
Episode: "An Unearthly Child" (1963)

10. Riding a Motorcycle in the TARDIS 
A motorcycle was previously ridden into the TARDIS in the 1996 TV Movie by Grace Holloway (Daphne Ashbrook). The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) rode a moped out of the TARDIS in "The Idiot's Lantern."
Episode(s): Doctor Who TV Movie (1996), "The Idiot's Lantern" (2006)

11. "Greyhound Leader" Call-Sign
When the TARDIS is picked up by UNIT (UNified Intelligence Taskforce), the call sign used by the helicopter is to refer to UNIT is 'Greyhound leader.' The UNIT callsigns of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) are 'Greyhound One', 'Greyhound Leader' and 'Greyhound.' Private Carl Harris also had the codename "Greyhound 15."
Episode(s): "The Web of Fear" (1968)

12. The Moment

The War Doctor (John Hurt) steals a device from the Time Lords called "The Moment." The device is first mentioned in "The End of Time" when The Partisan says, "But we know his intention. He still possesses the Moment. And he'll use it to destroy Daleks and Time Lords alike." No wonder they were scared.
Episode(s): "The End of Time" (2009)

13. The Big Red Button
While searching for the controls of the Moment, the War Doctor asks "Why is there never a big red button?" The Tenth Doctor said he could never resist pressing a "great, big, threatening button." The Eleventh Doctor wishes for a "big friendly button" in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS." This is also a reference to the "Red Button" used by BBCs digital television service to debut the comedy skit "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot".
Episode(s): "The Christmas Invasion" (2005), "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" (2013)

14. Big Bad Wolf

The Moment uses an interface that takes the form of someone familiar to the Doctor: Rose Tyler (Billie Piper). Actually, she corrects herself and says "Big Bad Wolf." In "Parting of the Ways" Rose looked into the "Heart of the TARDIS" and the Time Vortex filled her creating the entity calling itself "Bad Wolf." She had enormous power and the Doctor sacrificed himself to save her by transferring the energy through a kiss. That's why it was hilarious when the War Doctor says he could kiss her and Bad Wolf says, "that's definitely gonna happen." The interface is hot.
Episode(s): "Parting of the Ways" (2005)

15. UNIT'S Black Archive
UNIT maintains a secret vault of alien artifacts called "The Black Archive" It's first seen holding the Tunguska Scroll in the Doctor Who spin-off series "The Sarah Jane Adventures" episode "Enemy of the Bane."
Episode(s): "Enemy of the Bane" (2008)

16. Vortex Manipulator 

The Vortex Manipulator in the Black Archive is a time travel device used by Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman). It's also an awesome fashion accessory.
Episode(s): "An Empty Child" (2005)

17. Activation Code of Vortex Manipulator

The activation code of the vortex manipulator is "1716231163" which matches the air date of the first episode of Doctor Who: November 23, 1963 5:16PM. The date is in GMT time and European format: 17:16 and 23/11/1963.
Episode: "An Unearthly Child" (1963)

18. River Song's "Spoilers"
The Tenth Doctor asks the Eleventh Doctor where he's going. The Eleventh Doctor replies, "Spoilers." This is the famous catchphrase of the Doctor's wife, River Song (Alex Kingston) when the Doctor asks her for clues of his future.
Episode(s): "Silence in the Library" (2008)

19. Wicked Witch of the Well
The Eleventh Doctor calls to Clara through a wormhole and has her pretend to be the "Wicked Witch of the Well." They called Hila Tacorien a "Wicked Witch of the Well" through a wormhole after she was trapped in a pocket universe at Caliburn House.
Episode(s): "Hide" (2013)

20. Kate Stewart
Kate Stewart is commander of UNIT. She's first seen in the Doctor Who direct-to-video spinoff Downtime (1995) as the estranged daughter of retired Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and single-mother of the young Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. She's later seen as UNIT's Head of Scientific Research in "The Power of Three."
Episode(s): Downtime (1995)

21. Osgood

Kate's assistant, Osgood, is also the name of UNIT Sgt. Tom Osgood. It's unknown if they're related. She's also Kate Stewart's daughter, so it's nice to know UNIT has a policy of nepotism.
Episode(s): "The Dæmons" (1971)

22. The Fourth Doctor's Scarf

Osgood's scarf looks like the one worn by the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker). The Eleventh Doctor says, "nice scarf" as if it's familiar to him. It is a nice scarf.
Episode(s): "Robot" (1975)

23. Scarf Trip

Osgood uses her long scarf to trip the Zygon duplicate after they step on it. In the Fourth Doctor's first adventure "The Robots" he uses his scarf to trip his enemy. We knew that scarf was good for something.
Episode(s): "Robot" (1975)

24. Malcolm Taylor
Kate Stewart twice mentions her subordinate, Malcolm. In "Planet of the Dead" Lee Evans played a UNIT Scientist named Professor Malcolm Taylor.
Episode(s): "Planet of the Dead" (2009)

25. The Decade of the Third Doctor
There has been a controversy among fans when the Third Doctor era stories took place: the 1970s or 1980s. Kate Stewart, mentions that events occurred in "the '70s or '80s depending on the dating protocol used". So that settles that.
Episode(s): "Pyramids of Mars" (1975)

26. Marriage of Queen Elizabeth

We see the Tenth Doctor marrying Queen Elizabeth I . Doctor's first mentions his marriage in "The End of Time" and their relationship is first referred to in "The Shakespeare Code" when the Queen is going to cut off his head.
Episode(s): "The End of Time" (2009), "The Shakespeare Code" (2007)

27. The Rabbit Speech

The Tenth Doctor finds a rabbit in the woods and says, "Whatever you've got planned, forget it. I'm the Doctor. I'm 904 years-old. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I'm The Oncoming Storm, the Bringer Of Darkness, and... you are basically just a rabbit, aren't you?"

Part of this speech matches what he told a Zygon in the special, "Voyage of the Damned" when he said, "I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I am 903 years old and I'm the man who's gonna save your lives, and all six billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?"
Episode(s): "Voyage of the Damned" (2007)

28. Dalek Saucers
The Dalek saucers hovering over Gallifrey are the same style from 2005s "Bad Wolf" episode.
Episode(s): "Bad Wolf," "The Parting of the Ways" (2005)

29. The Fez

The Eleventh Doctor's has a fixation with fezzes. It starts in "The Big Bang" and shows up again in "A Christmas Carol", "The Impossible Astronaut", and "The Bells of Saint John". Fezzes are cool.
Episode(s): "The Big Bang" (2010)

30. The Doctor Doesn't Like the TARDIS Interior

When the Tenth Doctor sees the Eleventh Doctor's console he says, "Oh you've redecorated! I don't like it."

The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) said this to the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) in "The Three Doctors" and was said again by the Second and Eleventh Doctors in "The Five Doctors" and "Closing Time". In the charity special "Time Crash" the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) complains to the Tenth doctor that he "changed the desktop theme" of the TARDIS and that it's "worse than the leopardskin."
Episode(s): "The Three Doctors" (1973), "The Five Doctors" (1983), "Closing Time" (2011), "Time Crash" (2007)

31. White Roundels

The white roundels in the wall of the War Doctor's TARDIS were in the First Doctor's (William Hartnell) console rooms from 1963.  They look cool, but even the Doctor doesn't know what they're for.
Episode(s): "An Unearthly Child" (1963)

32. The Doctor Nicknames His Regenerations
The Eleventh Doctor nicknames the Tenth Doctor and War Doctor "sandshoes and grandad." In "The Three Doctors" the First Doctor describes the Second and Third Doctor as "a dandy and a clown." in "The Five Doctors" the Second and Third Doctor call each other "scarecrow" and "fancy pants."
Episode(s): "The Three Doctors" (1973), "The Five Doctors" (1983)

33. Sonic Screwdriver Builds a Cabinet

The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors aim their sonic screwdrivers at soldiers in 1560. The War Doctor asks if they plan "... to build a cabinet at them?" River Song said this when the Eleventh Doctor points his screwdriver at The Silence in "Day of the Moon".
Episode(s): "Day of the Moon" (2011)

34. War Doctor's Leather Jacket

The "War Doctor" wears a leather jacket similar to the Ninth Doctor's (Christopher Eccleston) leather jacket. Leather jacket's are cool. Ask the Fonz.
Episode: "Rose" (2005)

35. The Doctor's Glasses

When Clara enters the TARDIS, the Eleventh Doctor is wearing the same glasses as Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) from "Angels Take Manhattan." Later on, the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors praise each other for their glasses.
Episode(s): "The Angels Take Manhattan" (2012)

36. River Song's High Heels

In the Black Archive, there's a pair of red high heeled shoes similar to the ones River Song carried on the beach in "Time of Angels."
Episode: "Time of Angels" (2010)

37. Timey-Wimey Detector

The Eleveth Doctor has a machine that goes "ding" to detect shapeshifters. In "Blink" he invented a machine that he called the "timey-wimey detector" that goes ding when there's "stuff." In that case it detected temporal anomalies.
Episode(s): "Blink" (2007)

38. The Doctor's Phone Number

A UNIT team member checks his phone and sees the Doctor is calling from the phone number 07700900461. This number was first seen in Season 4’s "Stolen Earth" when Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladen), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Torchwood tried to call him. Thousands of desperate fans called the number in 2008 hoping for clues to the future of the show. Hilarious.
Episode(s): "The Stolen Earth" (2008)

39. "I Didn't Know When I Was Well-Off!"
When the twelve Doctors appear, a member of the Time Lord High Council says, "I didn't know when I was well-off! All twelve of them!" This is similar to the Brigadier's line from "The Three Doctors," "Three of them, eh? I didn't know when I was well off." We're always better off with more Doctors.
Episode: "The End of Time"

40. All the Companions
A bulletin board at UNIT has pictures of all the companions of the Doctor: Wilfred Mott, Rory Williams, Amy Pond, River Song, Kamelion, Martha Jones, Peri Brown, Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Nyssa, Donna Noble, Captain Yates, Adric, Sara Kingdom, Tegan, Barbara Wright, Polly Wright, Grace Holloway, Ben Jackson, Ian Chesterton, Susan, Brigadier Winifred Bambera, UNIT Captain Erisa Magambo, and Rose Tyler.

41. Peter Capaldi

When all the regenerations of the Doctor are converging on Gallifrey we see the Twelfth (Fourteenth?) Doctor (Peter Capaldi) for the first time. It's just his eyebrows though. You know he was thinking of some horrible swear words.

42. "My Future is in Safe Hands"
When the Tenth Doctor is leaving he tells the Eleventh, "It's good to know my future is in safe hands." In "The Five Doctors" the First Doctor tells the Fifth Doctor, "It's good to know my future is in safe hands after all."
Episode(s): "The Five Doctors" (1983)

43. "I Don't Want to Go"

When the Tenth Doctor is told he is headed for Trenzalore he says, "I don't want to go..." These are the last words of the Tenth Doctor from "The End of Time." The Eleventh Doctor scoffs and tells Clara "he always says that." It broke my heart just a little though.
Episode(s): "The End of Time" (2010)

44. The Doctor's Body is "Wearing a Bit Thin"

Before regenerating, the War Doctor says his body is it makes sense and his body is "wearing a bit thin." The First Doctor said "this old body of mine is wearing a bit thin" before his regeneration into the Second Doctor.
Episode(s): "The Tenth Planet" (1966)

45. The Doctor's Ears
As the War Doctor is regenerating he hopes his "ears are a bit less conspicuous this time." When the Ninth Doctor first shows up in "Rose" - after his regeneration - he looks in a mirror and says, "Ah, could've been worse. Look at the ears." The size of Eccleston's ears have been a source of humor throughout the series. In "Boom Town" Mickey says, "I mean I don't mind you hanging out with big ears up there." The Doctor yells, "Oi!" The Eleventh Doctor was also known for having "more conspicuous ears."
Episode(s): "Rose" (2005)

46. Hurt Regenerates into Eccleston...Sort of

When the War Doctor (John Hurt) is regenerating, his eyes briefly change into the Ninth Doctor's (Christopher Eccleston). Or is it the Tenth Doctor? I'm so confused. Anyway, Eccleston said he wouldn't come back for the episode, so it's the second time the previous Doctor Who actor refused to come back for a regeneration scene. The first time was when Colin Baker got sacked.
Episode(s): "Time and the Rani" (1987)

47. Reverse the Polarity

The Tenth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor try to "reverse the polarity" of a wormhole. They accidentally reverse the reversal of the polarity. "We're both reversing the polarity! I'm reversing the polarity,and then you're reversing it again! We're not reversing the polarity, we're confusing the polarity!"

"Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow" is the Third Doctor's famous catchphrase from "The Sea Devils" and the 20th Anniversary special "The Five Doctors." It was also used by the Fourth Doctor in "City of Death" and the Fifth Doctor in "Castrovalva" and "Mawdryn Undead." The Tenth Doctor talks about reversing polarity in "The Lazarus Experiment" and "Music of the Spheres" and the Eleventh Doctor uses the Third Doctor's catchphrase in "The Almost People."
Episode(s): "The Sea Devils" (1972), "The Five Doctors" (1983), "City of Death" , "Castrovalva", "Mawdryn Undead." "The Lazarus Experiment", "Music of the Spheres", "The Almost People"

48. Magnetic Clamps

In the Black Archive, there are a set of magnetic clamps on a shelf. In "Doomsday" a set of magnetic clamps save Rose and the Tenth Doctor from being pulled into the breach. It's good to know he's so sentimental.
Episode(s): "Doomsday" (2006)

49. Arthur the Horse

When the Tenth Doctor is riding a white horse in the woods. It looks very similar to "Arthur" the horse from "The Girl in the Fireplace" that came through a time window from 18th century France onto the SS Madame de Pompadour. Of course, it wasn't the same horse. It was a Zygon who let them ride him around the woods. No wonder he was so mad.
Episode(s): "The Girl in the Fireplace" (2006)

50. The Curator

The Eleventh Doctor meets an old man who looks like the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker). He implies they are the same man and is the Curator of the National Gallery. In "The Bells of St. John" the book Summer Falls is written by "Amelia Williams" and mentions a mysterious and eccentric character who went by the name "the Curator."

So there you go. Fifty of the greatest Easter eggs from Doctor Who's "Day of the Doctor." It's amazing Stephen Moffat crammed so many references into one episode, but that's why it's the 50th Anniversary.


What do you think of the Doctor Who special "Day of the Doctor"? Was there a reference that was your favorite or one that I missed?
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  1. You really did cover all of them! Knew a couple but only because I'd read MsMariah's post yesterday.

  2. You could make a really big omelet with all those Easter eggs.

  3. Eggcellent Post! I think you really Eggsterminate all of the known possibilities.
    I think I scared my wife when Tom Bakers booming voice told Matt Smith “You know, I really think you might.” Then he appears on the screen. I screamed like a fangirl...no I'm not embarrassed...much.

  4. That was an epic moment David. Especially after the denials! Moffatt you so crazy!

  5. I want to add a few that I noticed:

    In the classroom scene, the teacher that runs up to Clara, he's wearing basically the same outfit as Eleven's first outfit, except with a proper tie instead of a bowtie. Look at the colors.

    Also in the classroom scene, the words "No More" are on the blackboard (clearboard?). Not really a callback but a foreshadowing.

    Kate Stewart's first scene, when she's on the bench, she makes a remark about the "Ravens being sluggish, to check their batteries." This is a callback to "the Power of Three" when Kate mentions the ravens of death.

    Speaking of Kate, she often talks to a man named Malcolm, don't suppose this is Malcolm Taylor, UNIT scientist from "Planet of the Dead," you know, the one that loves the Doctor?

    There's a moment in the Gallifrey Arcadia headquarters (?) where they talk about the High Council's plans, and the other guy says, basically, screw their plans. Could this be a callback to "End of Time" where Rassilon is meeting with the council, where he throws the white point star through time to Earth?

    In the Black Archive, we get a glimpse of Amy's pinwheel.

    I'm sure there's more.

  6. Oooh! And all those references to Omega! i.e. the founders of Time Lord Society, Rassilon, Omega, and The Other.

  7. These are impressive! I hadn't caught these. Thanks for joining in!

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  8. A great episode and a great list. However, Osgood is not Kate's daughter. Osgood was calling her "mom" as British people do female authority figures. Bond and Eve are not M's kids but they call her "mom" all over the opening of Skyfall.

  9. Great point Craig. I got that from Bleedingcool.com but they corrected it. http://goo.gl/UwObiW
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  10. "Ma'am", not "mom".:)

  11. I was going by the pronunciation, not the spelling - to point out that although one hears "mom" Osgood was saying "ma'am" pronounced mom although that does nothing to explain why it sounds completely like "mom" and certainly would not be pronounced "modom" but "madum" if spoken without the abbreviation, even with a British accent.

  12. You missed one. The wheelchair from the End of Time is in the Archive.

  13. I think there are close to 10 different types of doctors and I have no idea what any of them are. Anyone can fill me in? Say what they are and what they do and maybe an example if you are feeling nice? Thanks.
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