Three viral teasers over the past week have dropped tantalising hints about the 60th Anniversary. Including what’s likely a trailer during Eurovision this weekend!
Eighteen years ago the first episode of Russell T Davies’ Doctor Who was interrupted by a most surprising source. A control room mishap meant that the live microphone feed of presenter Graham Norton as he prepared for Strictly Dance Fever was played over Rose Tyler’s tense visit to the Henrik’s basement. Now, as we prepare for the first episode of Davies’ Doctor Who return for the 60th Anniversary, we may be about to see a reversal of fortunes to make the showrunner hoot. Because it looks like Norton’s next big gig, presenting Eurovision, may be about to be interrupted by Doctor Who!
At least that’s the prevailing theory after three brief, viral style, teasers for the 60th Anniversary on BBC One. Each one broke into the trailers between episodes like a pirate transmission, with reversed sound, and seas of numbers. Even the fake trailer they interrupt seems to contain clues. Sadly, these aren’t officially available online but here’s the rundown on what you may have missed.
“Cryptic. I hate that.”
The first teaser shows the Doctor getting into what seems like a taxi, Donna looking worried, and a soldier with eerily glowing eyes. Among the sea of numbers were the binary codes for 19-26-80… potentially a reference to 1980’s Doctor Who Weekly #19-26, the run containing The Star Beast comic that we know the first anniversary special draws on for inspiration. Meanwhile, played in reverse the audio features Donna wondering, presumably of the Doctor, “why did this face come back?” While the Doctor, appropriately, grumps “Cryptic. I hate that.” If there’s a hint in the fake program the teaser breaks into, it may be the image of a fly getting swallowed by a Venus flytrap. Could the Doctor and Donna be walking into an elaborate trap with their reunion?
It also contains the binary code version of “EV1305.” Eurovision on the 13th of May?
The second teaser features the Doctor and Donna in trouble as they roll back in shock on the floor of some spaceship. This time the reversed voice message is the Doctor saying “She mentioned Gallifrey!” while hidden in the text is the sequence “32025031NOISIVORUE.” Which similarly reversed reads “EUROVISION13052023.” If there was any doubt of a connection with Eurovision night, that quietened them. This time the fake program showed a breathtaking view of the cosmos with a voiceover saying “This is the edge of creation…” Perhaps a sign of just how high the stakes are, with the whole universe in danger.
Brooding Eilish MCMXXVI
The third teaser shows Neil Patrick Harris’ mysterious villain in white and tails, embracing chaos in the streets and he dances through the riots and his laughter echoes through the soundtrack. He also somehow manages to look menacing while juggling in his shopkeeper persona. Menacing enough to clearly terrify the Doctor and Donna, who flee. Meanwhile the audio, played in reverse, appears to be the Doctor saying “He’s in everyone’s heads.” Meanwhile text hidden among the images reads “Brooding Eilish MCMXXVI”… the Roman numerals for 1926. A clue to the villain’s original name and time? Or perhaps another reference to the original Star Beast comic in Doctor Who Weekly #19-26. But who is Brooding Eilish? Could we be getting a musical guest appearance for the anniversary soundtrack?
Even the cascade of falling cards in the fake program being interrupted and its voiceover “These are the rules of the game,” hint at something of his nature. A player of games perhaps? A maker of toys, even. Another possible clue is a sequence featuring a diamond, four hearts, and one heart. The 60th Anniversary, a human and… two Time Lords in one?
Brace yourself… Eurovision is coming! And so is Doctor Who!
It’s all pointing in the direction of a longer, proper trailer landing on our screens during Eurovision 2023 on BBC One on Saturday the 13th of May. Though Blogtor Who suspects it will keep something of that interrupted signal style about it. As if you needed any more reason to watch this weekend’s main event!
Doctor Who returns in November with three 60th Anniversary specials on BBC One in the UK and Ireland, and Disney+ worldwide