A Literary Look at the Whoniverse

The Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) has finally received the keys to the TARDIS and Doctor Who has regenerated again. With all the excitement about Doctor Who, I thought it would be interesting to note some of the clever literary references hidden inside the travels of a certain police box. As an added bonus,  it will be nice to see an article this week where you don’t have to worry about any spoilers.


dr2Reference 1: The Readers’ Planet

Episode “Silence in the Library”

Featuring the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)

It is the 51st century and the Doctor and Donna (Catherine Tate) are facing horrible shadow creatures called the Vashta Nerada. I would feel bad for the duo, except for the fact that the planet they are on is basically a giant library, just imagine the majesty of a library the size of a planet. An added bonus in a Twilight Zone “there’s finally time” twist, the library is completely deserted. All the books you can imagine and nobody clicking a pen in your ear, popping gum, or yelling at you for reading too loud. Amazing. Having access to that many books is surely  worth the risk of having the flesh eaten off of your body in an incredibly painful manner.



Reference 2: The Helping Hand

Episode “The Unquiet Dead”

Featuring the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston)


It is Christmas Eve and we’re talking about literature and England so it’s only proper to see an appearance from the Christmas Carol writer himself, Charles Dickens. It’s 1869 and what better way to ring in the holiday than with a melancholy Dickens and zombies (okay not zombies but an alien race called the Gelth inhabiting corpses). Dickens manages to help the Doctor and his companion Rose (Billie Piper) by figuring out how to stop the gas like creatures and ultimately saves the day. All this and a reference to The Mystery of Edwin Drood, what more could you ask for.



dr5Reference 3: The Best Selling Novelist of All Time

Episode “The Unicorn and the Wasp”

Featuring the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)

So who exactly is the bestselling novelist of all time, at least according to the Whoverse? It’s Agatha Christie. In an episode that not only has a murder mystery type plot, but also explains the ten day real life disappearance of Agatha Christie, the Doctor and Donna try to uncover the hidden vespiform (a wasp like shape shifter) at a dinner party.

dr 4

It’s kind of an adorable villain

Not only does Agatha Christie come in handy and help the Doctor while almost dying in the process, but we learn something about the Doctor. He reveals his own copy of Agatha Christie’s novel Death in the Clouds, showing the lasting power of a good mystery novel.



Reference 4: The Plot Chase

Episode “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”

Featuring the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)dr 7

A British story that features a box that is bigger on the inside. No I don’t mean Doctor Who, I am referring to C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a story that this Doctor Who episode draws inspiration from. It’s Christmas time and Doctor Who, while trying to fulfill a promise to Madge, lavishes her two children Cyril and Lily with gifts. One such gift is a box that contains a portal to another world. Of course, while Cyril, Lily, and the Doctor travel on this planet the Wooden King and Queen try to recruit the young humans to save their life force, all this without parental supervision. In the end, Madge comes to the rescue and Christmas is saved. Kids, portals, and saving a mysterious land, all seem to be part of a continuing Christmas tradition in England.



Reference 5: The Globe Theater

Episode “The Shakespeare Code”

Featuring the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)

How can Doctor Who not mention the bard? Of course there has to be a Shakespeare episode. The Doctor takes Martha (Freema Agyeman) to the Globe Theater to see a performance of Love’s Labour’s Lost, where Shakespeare promises to produce a sequel entitled Love’s Labour’s Won. dr 9This seems like a wonderful day trip until you realize that Shakespeare is under the influence of Carrionites. Through a code placed within Shakespeare’s play, the Carrionites open a portal that will let them all enter this world. In order to defeat the Carrionites, Shakespeare has to create an additional line to his play. With a little help from Martha and another British author, J.K. Rowling, (Expelliarmus) the day is saved. All that action, a Harry Potter reference, and we finally figure out who Shakespeare’s Dark Lady is. Well played Doctor Who.

An intergalactic century spanning love triangle of epic proportions

An intergalactic century spanning love triangle of epic proportions



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