- Accidental Aesop: The episode was perceived in some quarters as an attack on immigration (since the episode features aliens who come to Earth on the pretence of finding a new home after their planet was blown up, but are actually attempting to invade), even though the subtext was entirely unintentional.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: The Gelth - evil conquerors with no regard to sanctity of other life, or just one of many beings driven mad by the Time War, trying desperately to cling to life themselves?
- Hilarious in Hindsight: There was originally going to be a scene in which the Doctor was mistaken for Sneed's new cleaner. Someone would have stated, "I thought you'd be a woman" to which the Doctor replies "No, not yet". In 2017, that came to pass.
- Unfortunate Implications: This episode caused major controversy when first broadcast, as its depiction of the Gelth as malevolent conquerors posing as harmless refugees was considered to be a metaphorical echo of contemporary racist accusations against real-world immigrants to Britain.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The episode is often read as an allegory for how war refugees should be treated with suspicion and can never assimilate into society. It just happened to come out at a time when asylum seekers were featured heavily in the news.
YMMV / Doctor Who S27 E3 "The Unquiet Dead"