Disappearing websites, billboard glitches, voicemails for the Doctor, and maybe even the Series 13 premiere date… It’s all getting very mysterious…
Yesterday it was the surprise disappearance of Doctor Who from all its social media channels. The day before that it was the projection of a Sontaran battleship above Liverpool. Today, it’s video billboards glitching to reveal a glimpse of the Doctor, and clues of an upcoming nationwide alien hunt. Series 13 draws near (‘It’s Coming’ says the messages). But have you seen the aliens?
Many had speculated that the Doctor Who Twitter account, along with the show’s Facebook page, Instagram account, and YouTube channel, would return at 1.13pm today – the ‘1313’ seen in the error message on what used to be the official Doctor Who website. But the moment came and passed. And the show’s online presence is still a mysterious Doctor Who shaped hole in the internet. Not that fans haven’t been given plenty to speculate about on the #DoctorWho and #WhereIsDoctorWho hashtags online.
Fans have spotted glitching video billboards, with the Doctor attempting to break through between ads
Across the UK a new teaser for Series 13 has started to appear on video billboard in public places like train stations and shopping centres. Similar to the teaser seen last week during the breaks between shows like Strictly Come Dancing and Casualty, it’s a snatch of static, test card, and then the Doctor on the TARDIS, urgently, silently, trying to warn us of something. All followed by the message ‘It is Coming’ before another burst of distortion returned the normal ads for shampoos and travel agents. Ben Carlson (@ScouseNavajo21) was among those to record and tweet the mysterious glitch.
— Ben Carlson (@ScouseNavajo21) October 9, 2021
A new hotline has been set up by the Doctor to let her know if you encounter the Sontarans!
But then other fans investigating the parts of the official site still accessible behind the front page error message found something even stranger. Terms and Conditions for a Series 13 promotional event called ‘Have You Seen the Aliens.‘ Clearly, fans are being asked to call in and give their own recorded testimony of their own experiences in the imminent alien invasion. And now what that’s about has started to take shape too…
Smaller video information panels have started to glitch too. But these show the image of the Sontaran ship, and the message ‘IF SEEN REPORT TO 0800 678 3110.’ And if you call that number you get through to the voicemail of… the Doctor! The outgoing message, performed by Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, goes:
You’ve reached the voicemail of…
…the Doctor! If you’re ringing this, it means enemies from across the universe have arrived on Earth and the battle is coming imminently. Who did you see? And where? I need to know as much information as possible! Protect yourself. It’s coming. Be ready.
Bethany (@AllonsyWhovian_) was among those to come across the phone number:
— bethany 🤘🏼 (@AllonsyWhovian_) October 9, 2021
Have you see any further signs of imminent Sontaran invasion? Is this maybe a precursor to promotional public appearances by Sontarans in costume, similar to a previous stunt with Cybermen a few years ago? Does this mean Series 13 features invasion on a planetary scale by the military monsters? And when will Doctor Who return to the internet? And does even the phone number conceal its own clue? Does 3110 hint at 31/10 – a Hallowe’en start date for Series 13? And does the 1313 error message mean anything after all, beyond the obvious Thirteenth Doctor/Series 13 connection?
Lots of questions. Very few answers… yet.