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Continuity Nod / Doctor Who

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Classic Series

Due to patchy archives and fact-checking, a lot of attempts at these in the 70s were botched slightly. Inaccuracies are less common once the more fannish culture took over the show in the 80s.

New Series

Series 1

Series 2

  • 2005 Children in Need Special: The Doctor proves his identity to Rose by reminding her of the first thing he ever said to her: "Run."
  • "The Christmas Invasion":
    • This isn't the first time the Doctor's regeneration almost failed... or, for that matter, he spent most of the episode sleeping.
    • On seeing the Sycorax, Mr. Llewellyn asks if they're actually Martians. UNIT Major Blake dryly informs him that Martians look completely different.
    • Big Ben is covered in scaffolding from being rebuilt.
    • Rose's address to the Sycorax is basically her rattling off whatever useless bits of knowledge she's gained about aliens over the course of the prior season.
    • The Doctor regrowing his hand is seen by some fans as an explanation of how Romana managed to do "trial" regenerations in "Destiny of the Daleks".
    • The Fourth Doctor's outfit can be seen while the Doctor is picking out his new clothes.
  • "New Earth": At the beginning, the TARDIS is parked on the (faded) giant chalk "Bad Wolf" graffito from "The Parting of the Ways".
  • "Tooth and Claw":
    • The Tenth Doctor arrives in 19th-century Scotland and uses "Dr. James McCrimmon" as his alias. Jamie McCrimmon was one of the Second Doctor's companions, hailing from 18th-century Scotland.
    • The werewolf, in human form, tells Rose that she has "something of the wolf" about her, and that she "burned like the sun", referencing Rose's brief time as the Physical God Bad Wolf in "The Parting of the Ways".
  • "School Reunion":
    • Sarah Jane calls Rose the Doctor's "assistant", because when she first met the Doctor, he was still UNIT's scientific advisor, and thus had lab assistants rather than travelling companions.
    • The Doctor tells Sarah Jane he couldn't take her to Gallifrey with him because "back then humans weren't allowed".
    • Rose argues with companion from the 1970s (or the 1980s) Sarah Jane over who faced the toughest aliens and monsters, referencing actual episodes of the classic and new series, including the previous week's. During The Sarah Jane Adventures, when she first encounters the Slitheen, Sarah Jane remembers that argument, saying aloud, "Slitheen in Downing Street". The Slitheen also mention their routine job where the family members never came back.
  • "The Girl in the Fireplace":
  • "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel":
  • "The Satan Pit": The Doctor mentions the inhabitants of Dæmos, attributed in "The Dæmons" as the source of demonic imagery in human mythology, among the races who share similar Satan-like characters in their mythologies.
  • "Fear Her":
  • "Army of Ghosts":
    • Rose suggests the Gelth as a possible explanation for the ghosts. The Doctor dismisses the idea on the grounds that the Gelth were just coming through one small rift, while the ghosts are transposing themselves across the entire planet.
    • The Doctor claims to Torchwood that Jackie is Rose after having undergone Rapid Aging by staring into the heart of the Time Vortex.
    • That sarcophagus at Torchwood looks... somewhat familiar.
    • One of Torchwood's lever room technicians is named Gareth.
    • While wondering what's in the sphere, Mickey rattles off several Cyber-things as potential candidates.
  • "Doomsday":
    • The Doctor asks Pete who's become President of Great Britain in his universe: Harriet Jones.note 
    • The Doctor mentions being at Pete and Jackie's wedding. "You got her name wrong."

Series 3

Series 4

  • "Time Crash": The Fifth Doctor mentions LINDA, which has apparently been bothering him.
  • "Voyage of the Damned" nods to the previous two Christmas Episodes by having everyone realize that London isn't a good place to be on Christmas unless you like being at ground zero of an alien invasion.
  • "Partners in Crime":
    The Doctor: No, I've met cat people… you're nothing like them.
  • "The Fires of Pompeii":
    • The Doctor's comment about the Great Fire of Rome nods to the First Doctor serial "The Romans".
    • The Doctor uses the phrase "volcano day", first used by Captain Jack Harkness in "The Empty Child", when he and Donna figure out where they've landed.
    • At the end, the Doctor admits that Donna was right: sometimes he does need someone.
  • "Planet of the Ood":
    • Back in "Partners in Crime", Donna mentioned she'd packed for cold weather. Here, she slips inside the TARDIS to retrieve a winter coat.
    • Donna compares the TARDIS unfavourably to a rocket ship ("You've got a box, he's got a Ferrari!") similarly to how the Doctor compared Jack's Vortex manipulator unfavourably to the old girl in "Utopia".
    • The Doctor gives Donna a brief recap of his last encounter with the Ood: they were possessed by the Devil, or at least something that claimed to inspire the legend. She thinks he's taking the mickey.
    • The Oodsphere is in the same solar system as Sensesphere, which the Doctor mentions he visited a long time ago.
    • Donna has learned to whistle.
    • The destruction of the "circle" around the Ood brain is very similar to a scene from "Time and the Rani".
  • "The Sontaran Stratagem":
    • The Doctor makes an "In-tru-da window!" pun.
    • The Sontarans mention the Time War and how the Doctor fought in it. They're upset that they didn't get to take part.
    • Donna's mother and grandfather recognize the Doctor from their previous encounters with him.
    • Sylvia complains that Donna has been gone for days.
  • "The Poison Sky":
  • "Turn Left": At the end, Rose's appearance and the upcoming danger is heralded by the words "Bad Wolf" appearing everywhere the Doctor looks. This is a shout out to the Arc Words of Series 1, the repeated words "Bad Wolf" appearing everywhere they went, but not with nearly as much frequency.
  • "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End":
    • Probably the longest delay before a continuity nod, in "The Stolen Earth" the Doctor mentions, "Someone tried to move the Earth before, but that was a long time ago...", calling back to "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" in which the Daleks took over Earth and began drilling to its center to install a massive engine and move it to parts unknown. (If you wondered, 45 years. 45 years!)
    • Obscure one: In "Destiny of the Daleks" (Tom Baker era, late 70s), quoth Davros: "Doctor, do you believe your puny efforts can change the course of destiny? ... Destiny, Doctor... Invincible necessity... Power. My power. My invincibility. My supreme plan to control the universe... Errors of the past will be rectified. I will add new design elements to the Daleks' circuitry. They will be armed with new weaponry. Weaponry so devastating that all matter will succumb to its power! I will equip them with all the knowledge of the universe! ... The Daleks NEED ME!" Here, Davros does, indeed, equip them with a universal-knowledge level weapon capable of destroying, quite literally, all matter in the universe.
    • From "Journey's End":
      Davros: Impossible. That face...after all these years.
      Sarah Jane: Davros. It's been quite awhile. Sarah Jane Smith. Remember?
      Davros: Oh, this was meant to be. You were there on Skaro, at the very beginning of my creations!
    • Not as far reaching as most of the above, but upon seeing Gwen, of Torchwood on the TARDIS viewscreen, the Doctor and Rose ask if she has a family history in Cardiff. She says that she does, going "back to the 1800s", indicating that Gwyneth from "The Unquiet Dead", played by the same actress, shared "spatial genetic multiplicity" with Gwen's family.
  • "The Next Doctor": Early in the episode, the title character says "I talk of Cybermen, from the stars, and you don't even blink, Mr. Smith," while talking to the Doctor, which the Doctor seizes on in an attempt to jog his memory, mentioning Sally Sparrow and the Weeping Angels.
  • "The End of Time":

Series 5

  • "The Eleventh Hour"
    • Quite possibly the biggest continuity nods are to the other Doctors. The episode has a prominent one when the Eleventh Doctor is facing the Atraxi and asks them if the Earth is protected. The Atraxi looks at all the various monsters that show up in the series (including those that don't attack earth), then the Doctor asks "What happened to them?" Cue a twenty second montage of every single Doctor from William Hartnell to David Tennant with Matt Smith walking through the image of Tennant to say "Hello. I'm the Doctor."
    • In a DVD/Blu-Ray exclusive scene, the TARDIS gives Amy a sped-up slideshow of all previous companions. Upon seeing that almost all of them are attractive young women, Amy echoes five decades of out-of-universe potshots at the show by jokingly insinuating the Doctor's a Dirty Old Man. The Doctor, meanwhile, is irritated at the TARDIS for not showing Amy more wholesome examples like "the metal dog" (K9).
  • "The Vampires of Venice": Eleven attempts to flash his psychic paper, but accidentally flashes his library card instead. His expired library card. Which expired so long ago, the photo ID on it is of the First Doctor, William Hartnell.
  • "The Big Bang": The 11th Doctor's fez-and-mop combination mimics Seven in "Silver Nemesis".

Series 6

Series 7

  • "Hide": The Doctor completes the psychic device needed to access the pocket dimension that the "ghost" is trapped in with a crystal from Metebelis 3.
  • "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS":
  • "The Crimson Horror": In the flashback where the Doctor and Clara are shown arriving in 1893, after Clara asks the Doctor why he's so determined to take her to Victorian London, he mentions that he "once spent a hell of a long time trying to get a gobby Australian to Heathrow Airport" — referring to Fifth Doctor companion Tegan Jovanka, who was a flight attendant.

50th Anniversary Specials

  • "The Day of the Doctor" has one that rivals the one in "The Eleventh Hour": not only do they show all the Doctors, but they're not in flashbacks, they're all there in person (yet still stock footage) helping the current Doctors.
  • "The Time of the Doctor": The Eleventh Doctor uses the Seal of the High Council. The same one he stole from the Master in his third incarnation back in "The Five Doctors". He even outright mentions that moment.

Series 8

  • "Time Heist":
  • "Mummy on the Orient Express": The Doctor is having an involved conversation with himself about whether or not he should be investigating. The "other person" is him doing an impression of the Fourth Doctor's distinctive voice and accent.

Series 9

Series 10

Series 11

Expanded Universe

Big Finish Doctor Who

  • "The Spectre of Lanyon Moor" features a character called Professor Morgan who was first mentioned in passing by Professor Amelia Rumford in the TV story "The Stones of Blood" as an archaeological acquaintance of hers. She particularly mentioned him with regard to Cornish fougos, a major plot point in this story. Both Professor Rumford in the earlier story, and Professor Morgan in this one speak of attending a Megalithic Symposium, and refer to a colleague called Leamington-Smith, who is apparently an "idiot".
  • "The Kingmaker" features a scene in which a stranded Fifth Doctor leaves a note for his future self to find. It is "later" mentioned to have been delivered by "some bloke with big ears and a Northern accent", an apparent nod to Christopher Eccleston. In that same story, Tom Baker provides a cameo in the form of a clip from a history documentary, presented as the Doctor's taped notes (not actually Tom Baker, but a very convincing impression by Jon Culshaw).
    • Another character with an accent similar to Eccleston's also gets in a "Fantastic". Big Finish: tweaking the limits of BBC licensing restrictions for over 10 years.
  • And the Fifth Doctor audio "The Whispering Forest" features the Green Crescent medical symbol from "New Earth". At the end, the Mara sarcastically asks if the Doctor is leaving Purity because it's "too green for you", referencing the final line of "Kinda".
  • In "1963: The Space Race", the Doctor comments that the last time the TARDIS' air conditioning broke, he spent seven months trekking across China with Marco Polo.

Doctor Who New Adventures

  • All sorts of nods to past continuity (notably the Third Doctor era) were referenced in Who Killed Kennedy, where the plotline worked in many of the Doctor's adventures, from a ground level point of view. In his author's note, David Bishop acknowledged the Kurt Busiek/Alex Ross graphic novel "Marvels", which gave a ground level view of the Marvel Universe.

Doctor Who Missing Adventures

  • In Millennial Shock by Justin Richards, the Fourth Doctor offers someone a jelly baby, and the person looks at the sweet in bewilderment. "It was a dolly mixture. He knew it was a dolly mixture." This is a reference to a scene in "Image of the Fendahl", where the Doctor offers a skull a jelly baby, while actually holding a liquorice allsort. (When a viewer pointed this out, Word of God was that the Doctor does this to confuse people.)

New Series Adventures

Past Doctor Adventures

  • Subtle one: in Seeing I by Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman (set on an Earth colony in the 23rd century) the Doctor is in a prison/mental institution called the Oliver Bainbridge Functional Stabilisation Centre, where people who Know Too Much are held. At the end of Blue Box by Orman (set in 1980s America), we're told that the villain ended up in the Bainbridge Hospital, which appears to be the same thing, only run by the US Government instead of a megacorp.


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