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Shout Out / The Ministry of Time

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  • Director Javier Olivares is an outspoken fan of Doctor Who, which can be noted in both the series' plot and the initial skepticism of the Spanish Whovians. Olivares has gone to describe the series as "a mix of Doctor Who and Mortadelo y Filemón".
  • Olivares has also cited Poul Anderson's Time Patrol and Tim Powers's The Anubis Gates as influences.
  • Considering Nacho Fresneda being cast as a soldier of the Tercios being recruited for a secret government mission (and getting mostly positive reviews), Alonso being jokingly called "Captain Alatriste" several times and getting the book to read it, the second episode including scenes in a dark Siglo de Oro tavern (and the first having a brief scene in an equally illy-lit 1500s Madrid street), and Velázquez protesting in the third episode that his paintings are being restored the wrong way and now look "like a Spanish TV series", the first season is basically a Strongly Worded Letter to Telecinco about how to make a better Alatriste TV adaptation than they did.
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  • While it might be unintentional, the earlier openings of the series evokes strongly the Russian animation-esque visual style of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, an anime series whose premise orbits similarly around Time Travel. The plot of both series also shares a dark-haired, no-nonsense female character bent on changing history for the better (Lola Mendieta in El Ministerio and Homura Akemi in Madoka) who has an ambivalent relationship with a sweet, naive female lead entasked with protecting her world (Amelia Folch and Madoka Kaname, respectively).


Episode 1 ("El tiempo es el que es")

  • Julián compares Thibaud's plan to kill El Empecinado before he organizes the guerrilla war against the Napoleonic occupation to the plot of Terminator. There is a Call-Back to this in a pre-Season 2 promo (Alonso, Amelia and Velázquez watch Terminator) and another in Episode 9.
  • Julián adopts the alias "Curro Jiménez" as an Actor Allusion to Rodolfo Sancho's father, the late Sancho Gracia, who played the titular bandolero. The circumstances (an impromptu decision while in a tavern from around the time the reference work was set in) is also reminiscent of Back to the Future.

Episode 2 ("Tiempo de gloria")

  • Lope de Vega recites Orlando Furioso while he handily beats a man over a woman.
  • Julián recites a stanza of Maneras de Vivir, from '80s rock band Leño.
  • Amelia reads Lope's La Dama Boba ("The Foolish Lady") at the end of the episode. Her own actions in the episode are more in line with the book's plot that she realizes.
  • The 16th century agent is named Gil Pérez, just like legendary miracle of the 1593 transported soldier.

Episode 3 ("Cómo se reescribe el tiempo")

Episode 4 ("Una negociación a tiempo")

  • Groundhog Day is namechecked, as the gate they have to use runs on similar rules.
  • Several to the Spanish series Isabel, which is from the same crew:
    • Actress Michelle Jenner reprising her role as the Queen of Spain and Julián, whose actor played his husband in the series, remarking that she seems familiar.
    • Cisneros, also played by the same actor as in Isabel, looks to Julián when Isabel asks if her husband has been informed.
    • The Isabel motiff plays during the scene where Levi heals young Isabel's hand.

Episode 5 ("Cualquier tiempo pasado")

  • Since both series are produced and aired by the same channel, rumor was that, after the nod to Isabel, some Cuéntame Cómo Pasó character would make a cameo. It turns out that, unlike Isabel, Cuéntame is a fictional series in-universe and Julián jokingly refers to the 1981 safe house as "the home of the Alcántaras".
  • More obscurely, the jacket that Julián wears in this mission and that he complains makes him look like his father, was worn first by Cuéntame's main character, Carlos Alcántara.
  • Velázquez meets with Picasso, who states that Velázquez is the greatest Spanish painter ever, much like it happened with Van Gogh in Doctor Who's episode "Vincent and the Doctor".
  • The character Paul Walcott's name is probably a reference to the villain Patrick Walcott from Águila Roja, also produced by RTVE.
  • An American time traveller is imprisoned in a Medieval castle.
  • The new receipt is left in a mail office in the 1930s with instructions to be delivered to Irene decades later.

Episode 6 ("Tiempo de pícaros")

  • Several to El Lazarillo de Tormes, as Lázaro himself is actually a young man that the trio meets on the way to Salamanca, and that they end up saving from being killed.
    • Which leads to this line from Julián:
    Julián: Saving Lázaro de Tormes... It's like they told me I had to save Mortadelo y Filemón.
  • Walcott claims that he can travel back in time through a tunnel powered by nuclear energy.

Episode 7 ("Tiempo de venganza")

  • Dividing and showing various events in vignettes, suspiciously similar to 24.

Episode 8 ("La leyenda del tiempo")

  • Silvia infatuated with Julián. Silvia is Amelia's granddaughter and has a big chance that she might be related to Julián too. This has been seen before.
  • Julián reads (and quotes) Lorca's Poet in New York.
  • The play at the Student Residence is a version of Zorrilla's Don Juan Tenorio. Alonso is inspired by the play to make revenge on his wife's second husband for mistreating her.
  • TV host Jordi Hurtado is revealed to work for the Ministry and his current mission is going to the past to shoot more programs of his show, Saber y Ganar.

Episode 9 ("Tiempo de leyenda")

  • Obviously, El Cantar de Mío Cid. Especifically, how the Cantar doesn't always align with the real man's life, despite being the source of his image in popular culture.
  • Driving the point home, Rogelio went to the Middle Ages to get documentation for the 1961 film El Cid, the reason most non-Spaniards are familiar with El Cid today.
  • Spínola, in a fight, shouts "Yippie-kai-yay, hideputas", medieval Spanish version of a certain action film hero's Catchphrase. Also an Actor Allusion given that he is played by Ramón Langa, who voices the actor of said action film hero in Spain.
  • The ending is an elipsed sortie against a CGI besieging army many times over, like the climatic scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
  • David Sainz from webseries Malviviendo has a cameo as a Ministry agent and gets to drop his Catchphrase "that's flow".

Episode 10 ("El tiempo en sus manos")

  • To Frequency, with time-travel shenanigans being used to capture a murderer and things vanishing after history is changed.
  • The murderer the team is going after is called Morán. Had his name been Sebastian, then it would have been far easier.
  • And he is a Serial Killer of women that travels to the future with the main character in hot pursuit, like in Time After Time.
  • New Ministry agent Jesús Méndez's nickname is Pacino because he looks like Al Pacino in Serpico. Also, when he says Al Pacino is the best actor in the world, Salvador promptly mentions that he prefers Laurence Olivier.
  • Upon arriving at the Ministry and learning that he is over thirty years in the future, Pacino wonders if this is real or he's actually in a coma.
  • The 1981 newspaper reporting about the disappearance of Pacino is El Caso. This is a nod to another TVE series, which premiered three weeks after this episode was aired, set in the editorial office of said newspaper. In fact, each of the series' Twitter accounts tend to refer to each other pretty often.
  • The title of the episode ("The time on his hands") was the Spanish localized title of the 1960 adaptation of The Time Machine.

Episode 11 ("Tiempo de hidalgos")

  • Once again, to "Vincent and the Doctor", with Miguel de Cervantes as Vincent, visit to the future to learn about his role in history included.
  • To Don Quixote, obviously, since getting the book published is the mission of the episode (and Alonso takes it to the past to read it), but the crew shows their work by referencing parts of Don Quixote that are not well known, such as The Captive's Tale and Grisostomo's Desperate Song. Several other works by Cervantes and Lope de Vega are mentioned.
    • During Miguel de Cervantes' visit to the future, there are images of different adaptations of Don Quixote.
  • A future famous writer from around 1600 struggles to get his play performed.
  • An Older and Wiser Lope de Vega reflects on his past as a young Spanish Armada soldier and Chick Magnet, rekindling with a Spanish lady that makes him feel rejuvenated, and working with two "Englishmen" in hopes of getting his plays performed in London, without realizing that they are actually plotting against him and his country? All done in Ruled Britannia. Lope being surprised to hear of La Dama Boba years ahead of time and writing the title down to maybe make a play about it is a Historical In-Joke but also another possible nod to Ruled Britannia, where Lope wrote that book decades before he did in real life.
  • While in Shakespearean (well, Cervantine) times, the villainous Walcott poses as an English nobleman: Lord York.
  • The two Americans teleport in a way very similar to Star Trek.
  • It is implied that whatever method the Americans actually use to travel in time takes a toll on their health, as shown by Walcott getting a nosebleed.
  • After the Americans escape with the Don Quixote manuscript, Alonso's copy of the book begins to fade away.
  • The time travelling company is named Darrow after the main character in The Anubis Gates.
  • Gil Pérez mentions his favorite movie, 1981 El Crack (also an Actor Allusion, given that the actor playing him acted in said film).

Episode 12 ("El monasterio del tiempo")

  • There's an amusing nod to Casablanca towards the end.
  • Angustias' Braveheart-inspired speech to the nuns.
  • The crew modelled the "comedy in a time of foreign military occupation" plot on 'Allo 'Allo!.

Episode 14 ("Tiempo de magia")

Episode 15 ("Tiempo de valientes (I)")

  • During his stint in the 1898 Philippines, when asked how he came up with the method he used to help an injured soldier breathe, Julián claims he once saw a certain Dr. House do it.
  • Pacino is revealed as a big fan of Spanish horror series Historias para no dormir (roughly, "Stories to prevent you from sleeping"). He watches it with Amelia and Alonso.

Episode 16 ("Tiempo de valientes (II)")

  • There is a direct reference to the 1945 Francoist propaganda film Los últimos de Filipinas, of which the episode is a thorough deconstruction of.

Episode 17 ("Óleo sobre tiempo")

  • When Elena says goodbye to Alonso, she tells him "if you need me, whistle".
  • This exchange between Julián and Alonso while they dine together:
    Alonso: What a pity Amelia could not come. I would have liked to know her opinion.
    Julián: On what? On the food?
    Alonso: And... and of other things, too.
    Julián: Isn't mine good for those?
    Alonso: You are not a woman.
    Julián: (laughs) Yes, nobody's perfect.
  • The side effects of the Darrow time travel system remind of those of temporal oscillations in Lost.
  • Velázquez in full Blade Runner mode:
    Velázquez: All this talent, all this effort will be lost like tears in rain.
  • Lola makes "an offer you can't refuse" to Salvador.

Episode 18 ("Separadas por el tiempo")

Episode 19 ("Tiempo de lo oculto")

  • Sonia, desperately trying to find anything that will prove she has not traveled back in time, points to a beggar, saying she has seen him in Isabel and Águila Roja. Also an Actor Allusion/Casting Gag, because yep, he had been in those.

Episode 20 ("Hasta que el tiempo nos separe")

Episode 21 ("Cambio de tiempo")

  • Phillip II's ways of ruling over history are reminiscent to the Big Brother in 1984 (more on that in the Nightmare Fuel page)

Episode 22 ("Con el tiempo en los talones")

  • Since the main plot of the episode revolves around Alfred Hitchcock's visit to the San Sebastián Film Festival, the episode is pretty much a tribute to him, chock-full of references to his filmography.
    • For starters, the very title of the episode is a reference to "Con la muerte en los talones", the Spanish title for North By Northwest.
    • The MacGuffin is explained by Pacino. A bit of meta humour when you realize Hitchcock himself becomes the episode's Living MacGuffin.
    • Hitchcock's predilection for blondes is explicitly indicated.
    • Vertigo:
      • Marta being given a necklace of pearls.
      • Marta dying at the bottom of the stairs OK, she doesn't, but it's there.
      • Someone being illuminated with blue light while sleeping.
      • The Vertigo effect.
      • A woman with her hair in a spiral bun.
    • Rear Window:
      • Salvador stuck in a room, sitting on a wheelchair, with a cast on his leg.
      • Salvador and Irene watching someone doing something suspicious with a set of binoculars.
    • Psycho:
      • The Soviet agent moving a plastic curtain aside and attacking Pacino with a knife. With "Psycho" Strings!
      • Pacino, Amelia and Alonso in the car, with the camera pointing to them from the front.
    • Torn Curtain:
      • Killing someone by stabbing them in the neck with something.
    • Rope:
      • The Soviet agent using a rope to kill Pacino.
    • The Birds:
      • Amelia's dress when she first arrives to 1958 is similar to Tippi Hendren's in that film.
      • Two seagulls appearing behind Alonso after he arrives.
    • Alfred Hitchcock Presents:
      • Hitchcock's silhouette.
  • Salvador complains about being in the wheelchair, comparing himself to "the bald guy from X-Men".
  • The shot of the Francisco Morales' walkman at the end is quite similar to Peter Quill's introduction in Guardians of the Galaxy. Coupled with the fact that it was a present from his mother.

Episode 23 ("Tiempo de espías")

  • An obvious one to The Man Who Never Was, since Operation Mincemeat is what the mission involves.
  • The beginning in the tavern ends up with a shooting between Nazis and rebels, the waiter dying, a well-dressed woman talking with a German officer and ending up being taken. This was seen once upon a time in Nazi occupied France.
  • Pacino mentions Ian Fleming, James Bond and Get Smart... as well as Anacleto, Agente Secreto, a Spanish comic book that parodies James Bond and Get Smart.

Episode 24 ("Tiempo de hechizos")

  • Pacino telling Bécquer the story of his shipwreck is actually the plot of Titanic (1997).

Episode 25 ("Tiempo de ilustrados")

  • Pacino lampshades the Rescue Romance plan comparing it to the first Back to the Future film.
  • Pacino calling Bolívar a Pink Floyd guy.
  • Goya telling Velázquez, who is a great admirer of his work, to "Go yourself to the shit!"note  is a reference to actor Fernando Fernán Gómez's angry response to a fan.

Episode 27 ("Tiempo de esclavos")

  • After finding a clue in the suspect's bedroom in the palace, Pacino says "Definitely these people have never watched Columbo".

Episode 29 ("Tiempo de conquista")

  • Pacino's disguise while in 1518 is identical to Captain Jack Sparrow's, and he moves in the jungle just like Jack.

Episode 31 ("Refugiados por el tiempo")

Episode 32 ("La verbena del tiempo")

  • The episode's time travel plot is about La verbena de la Paloma and its premiére.
  • Some of Angustias' movements during the episode are a homage to Spanish actress Lina Morgan.
  • Arteche (the guy that is more or less a de-clawed Spanish version of Wolverine) tells the forensic doctor that he will go medieval on his guts if he does not drop his scalpel.
    • He is also stated to be the inspiration for the Spanish novel Un soldado español de veinte siglos.

Episode 34 ("Entre dos tiempos")

  • Historias para no dormir, mentioned first in Episode 15, returns as the Ministry's actions allow its creator Chicho Ibáñez Serrador to make it - and we get treated to its beginning.

Episode 35 ("Perdidos en el tiempo")

  • Serpico gets several mentions, with both Pacino and Lola citing part of the dialogue.

Episode 36 ("El laberinto del tiempo")

  • Multiple to Pedro Almodóvar, who is the historical character from one of the missions the patrol has to carry out.

Episode 37 ("Bloody Mary Hour")

Episode 38 ("La memoria del tiempo")

Episode 40 ("El tiempo vuela")

Episode 42

  • The episode is a giant reference to Terminator, which gets lampshaded by Julián.
  • The shot of Lola guiding Julián through a narrow stairway in a ruined wall echoes a similar scene from Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo where Kaworu and Shinji do the same in the NERV ruins.

Alternative Title(s): El Ministerio Del Tiempo


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