The Time of the Doctor Poster – Easter Eggs & Clues

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Guest contributor Connor Johnston hunts down the hidden easter eggs in the poster for “The Time of the Doctor.

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The Christmas countdown has officially begun! As we were all so caught up in the excitement for the 50th Anniversary it seemed most of us forgot that in a very short amount of time, we will say goodbye to Matt Smith as he enters the TARDIS for the last time. A few days ago the BBC released the first bunch of promotional material for this year’s Christmas Special, The Time of the Doctor. This included an official synopsis and posters (landscape and portrait).

The official synopsis reads:

Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them – the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.

The posters include many hidden treats for eagle-eyed fans, some more easy to find than others, and i’ve done my best to pick them all out for you, and include a few theories around each aspect that are floating around the web. You can see them both above in high definition glory here.

Here is the breakdown of the first images from the Christmas special.

WARNING: If you want to avoid all spoilers for the special, please steer clear of the paragraph titled: “The Twelfth Hour”, as it does mention some spoilers from a few days ago.

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Cyberman Head

cyber-handles-christmas-special-2013The first aspect of the poster is the easiest to spot. The Doctor (played by Matt Smith) is clutching tight to the severed head of a 2013 design Cyberman.

Theories on the web have varied about how in fact this Cyberman was beheaded, and why it has such a central focus to the poster. Two of the most popular and most plausible (we will ignore the suggestions of the Doctor going Super Samurai …. For now) are that:

  • The Cybermen have been the first victims of a trap set for all the most dangerous species in the universe (an obvious link to the official synopsis)
  • (More of a thought then a theory) A scene will take place where Clara reacts in the same way as Amy did in The Pandorica Opens by smashing the head against a wall, which could amount to the cracks in the armour -- and serve as a direct link to Matt’s previous “travelling assistant”
  • The Cybermen are caught in the heart of an explosion… Of a certain blue box?

One thing we know for sure is that the Cybermen will feature in this year’s Christmas Special, and we can only hope that this appearance can be more successful then in their last festive outing in The Next Doctor. (Although I’m sure we can all hear Mercy Hartigan screaming “Off with their heads!“)

“The Silence” aka “The Three Wise Men”

doctor-who-christmas-specials-silents(1)Lurking in the snow-fog (that’s a word now) are three prominent -- “Wait what? Nothing’s there!”

Ha… Funny. Lurking in the back of the image are three creatures of Order of the Silence. The first two stand with a haunting arrogance in their posture, and the third’s arm is lifted, with its big freaky fingers (There’s no delicate way to put it) outstretched towards the Doctor and Clara.

The reason I like to refer to these figures as the Three Wise Men, is due to the fact that I have a sneaky suspicion that the Silence know a bit more then they let on. I agree with many people who have recently stated that they find it hard to see the Silence as villains after the events of The Name of the Doctor -- and I have a feeling that we might all be very surprised if or when their true motives are revealed.

God help anyone stuck under the mistletoe with a Silence this Christmas… At least it won’t be a kiss to remember.

Weeping Angels”

doctor-who-christmas-specials-arms-poster(1)This December will see the return of one of the scariest and chilling (hehehe) monsters known to Who-kind: The Abzor The Weeping Angels!

It seems somewhat fitting that the Weeping Angels are present for Matt’s final adventure, due to the massive part they had in the demise of the Ponds. It will be extremely interesting to notice how both the Doctor will react to them, being the first time he will have encountered them since the death of Amy and Rory, and how Clara will react to them during her first meeting.

The Weeping Angels are back, and may be taking the term “they freeze when you look at them” too seriously…

“The Twelfth Hour”

doctor-who-christmas-special-poster-clock(1)In the far right of the poster, the bell tower that featured in the teaser trailer is seen. Suspended on the tower is a clock, and the two hands of the clock are pointing to the Twelve. This seemed to cause quite a bit of excitement concerning the alleged subtle reference to the 12th Doctor making his debut (more than his eyebrows). It’s also obviously a clear tie to the title of the special, The Time of the Doctor. It’s through writing this section of the article that I’ve formed my own theories regarding the interesting spoiler that was leaked a few days ago regarding the regeneration of the 11th Doctor.

Please skip the next paragraph to avoid a spoiler mention on regenerations…

It was revealed that in the Christmas special Matt Smith’s Doctor will confess that he is actually 13th Doctor, the Twelfth and therefore the final regeneration, which led me to realise that the clock might in fact be a reference to Smith, rather than Capaldi. From this idea came a thought- what if a Time Lord’s regeneration cycle, in certain cases, like a clock, resets at 12? I’m no Moffat, so I don’t attempt to make sense of this idea, but I do suspect a clock will resonate in some way.

Cardigans Are Cool

doctor-who-christmas-special-poster-clara(1)How very nostalgic that Clara’s cardigan is patterned with bow ties, an obvious and direct link to one of the 11th Doctor’s running gags -- “Bowties are cool”! I’m overly certain that this extremely clever decision made by the behind the scenes team will get an onscreen reference by the Doctor, and although it may not remotely add to the plot, it will still be a nice touch.

Great men are forged in fire

Eagle-eyed Whovians will have seen that a familiar face is present in the many outbreaks of fire in the poster. The face in the flames between the Doctor and the Cyberman head on the portrait version is, of course, that of Peter Capaldi… the Next Doctor! If you haven’t noticed I’m trying to avoid using numbers for the moment, it’s all very confusing!

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No doubt, the fire is a reference to the golden regeneration energy the new Who regenerations have had, a scene I’m equally dreading and anticipating for obvious reasons, and there’s no doubt it will be spectacular.

Random Ramblings

doctor-who-christmas-specials-bow-tie(1)There are two other aspects of the poster that I’m still undecided on. It was pointed out to me by a very clever friend that the pattern of Matt’s bow tie seems similar to the pattern of David Tennant’s tie from the 50th Anniversary special. It may be a tad far fetched, but the spotting of the similarities was to impressive for me not to include!

The second aspect of the poster that I am unconvinced on is another hidden flame image in the landscape version of the poster. I’m almost certain that there is a face in the flame, but I have no idea to who or what it belongs to. A few ideas suggested are a Classic 1960’s Cyberman or even a Snowman from last year’s Christmas special, puppets of the Great Intelligence…. or it could just be a flame…

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Well, that’s all I could pick from the Christmas special posters, did you spot them all? If I’ve missed anything or you’ve got some more interesting theories make sure to comment them below.

No spoilers in the comments. Speculation only please!

It’s the end… but the moment has been prepared for! Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor premieres on the 25th of December. See the 10 second teaser below.

Step back in time...