Steven Moffat has said that the episodes in this first half of this season of Doctor Who are, for the most part, stand alone episodes. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me (and many other Whovians) from speculating about some of the recurring details that have appeared in the last three episodes.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Doctor Who has planted minor, unexplained details throughout a series of episodes only to have it link to a much bigger plot line in hindsight. The things that keep showing up this time around seem a little less significant than say “Bad Wolf,” “Vote Saxon,” or the crack in the Universe, but of course we won’t know what hints are worth noting until they actually pay off.
So, until then, here’s a little list of some of the details that just keep popping up so far this season.
(Warning: spoilers ahead if you haven’t caught up with this season of Doctor Who)
The lights seem to be constantly on the verge of going out recently. In “Asylum of the Daleks,” special attention is paid to the flickering light bulbs around Amy’s mirror just before she’s abducted by the humanoid Dalek. Plus, there was all sorts of dodgy lighting in the actual Dalek Asylum.
In “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” Rory and his dad are seen working a problem light bulb in Rory and Amy’s living room. In “A Town Called Mercy,” The Doctor notices the flickering street lamps in a town that has electricity 10 years ahead of its time. Even in the minisodes leading up to this new season, we see The Doctor changing out the bulb on top of the TARDIS in “Pond Life Part 5.”
There seems to be a darkening this season in general. Moffat had mentioned that there would be new title sequences for each episode, and Bleeding Cool just released a video comparing how the opening titles have been getting darker as the season progresses.
So what’s going on here? We know the Weeping Angels are scheduled to return this season and are somehow linked to the fall of the Ponds. No one loves a good black out like the Weeping Angels, could they be behind all these flickering lights?
The question that loomed in The Doctor’s mind in “Asylum of the Daleks” was where Oswin got all the milk for her souffles. I was more bothered by where she got her eggs, but The Doctor didn’t stop to consider the missing chickens. Still, we got a nice dose of egg references with the running gag of “Egg… egg… egg… eggs…terminate” when Rory encountered the reawakened Dalek, and later when Oswin started to realize that she had become a Dalek.
In “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” The Doctor’s companions don’t just run into full grown dinosaurs, they stumble upon a nest with dinosaur eggs. In “A Town Called Mercy,” The Doctor takes specific care to describe Jex’s space ship as egg-like.
What does it all mean? Your guess is as good as mine.
We were all expecting The Doctor’s new companion to show up during the Christmas special later this year, so it came as quite a surprise when Oswin Oswald popped up in “Asylum of the Daleks.” It wasn’t exactly a Christmas special, but The Doctor mentioned that it was the Dalek’s Christmas to have him and his companions trapped in the Dalek parliament.
Later, in “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” after Rory commented to his father that he no longer had a Christmas list, The Doctor excitedly shouted “I do!” And lastly, in “A Town Called Mercy” The Doctor assesses the situation in Mercy, and asks aloud, “Has someone been going through my Christmas list?”
This might just be a series of teases leading up to the Christmas special where I hope we’ll finally find out how Oswin Oswald/Clara Oswin ends up being The Doctor’s new companion. Or maybe there’s more to the Christmas theme than we know.
In “Asylum of the Daleks,” Oswin set up a self destruct to destroy herself and the rest of the insane Daleks.
In “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” The Doctor left Solomon on his ship after making his ship the target of missiles that were launched from Earth.
To atone for his wrongs and to end the cyborg gunslinger’s hunt, Jex self destructs in his egg-shaped ship at the end of “A Town Called Mercy.”
I’m all for cool explosions, so I’ll be fine if this one doesn’t hint at anything major – especially considering that the TARDIS has already had one dangerous brush with explosion… and we all know what happened that time.
Of course, this could all be one giant Rickroll from the Doctor Who team, intentionally planting in ridiculous details that they know obsessed Whovians will cling to even though they mean nothing. Then again, we might look back at the end of this season of Doctor Who and see all these little details only to realize that we had been given clues for what to expect all along.