“Geronimo!” “The Day of the Doctor” needed to accomplish two things: please hardcore fans, the kind of people who think Doctor Who went downhill the day it changed from black and white to color, and make enough sense that newcomers persuaded by the hype could enjoy it. Remarkably, it was able to pull both off, with enough winks to previous episodes to satisfy the Whoverse, while still running smoothly, efficiently, and entertainingly enough for those whose knowledge of Doctor Who is “big blue box,” “time travel,” and “$100 tacos for $100.”
Not only that, but it set up a new direction for a series that’s creatively struggled of late. Now, the Doctor has a mission: to find Gallifrey, and to Steven Moffat’s credit, the rewriting of history doesn’t feel like a cheat. (It helps when John Hurt is, ultimately, the one who makes the decision.) Recapping the plot of “The Day of the Doctor” is hopelessly confusing, so let’s instead take a look at some of the best Doctor Who Easter eggs and nods to history (hey, Number Four) planted throughout the reference-heavy episode. Now when’s Sherlock back?
1. 76 Totter’s Lane was where the Doctor first landed…
2. …and Coal Hill School is where much of the first episode took place. It was there that original companions Ian and Barbara taught the First Doctor’s granddaughter, Susan.
3. Terrible character, GREAT scarf.
4. As one Redditor noticed, the code that Clara enters into the timey-wimey machine is 17-16-23-11-63, or the date and time of the very first Doctor Who episode at 5:16 p.m. on November 23, 1963.
5. Those shoes look familiar? They should: they’re the ones worn by River Song in “The Time of Angels.”
6. “We need a new destination because…I don’t want to go.” Those last five words were also the final words D-Ten uttered in “The End of Time.”
7. If it turns out Tom Baker is an actual alien, I wouldn’t be surprised.
8. OK, this isn’t an Easter Egg at all, but OMG MALCOLM F*CKING TUCKER.
Can’t f*cking wait.