In the run-up to the new series of Doctor Who there was an onslaught of promotional material, from simple trailers and pictures to YouTube Q&As, mysterious picture puzzles and illustrated clapper boards.
But amidst all the build-up and fun we might have missed some crucial secret clues to what we can expect in the new series, all hidden in the unlikeliest of places – a blue bomber jacket on London’s South Bank.
Let us explain. Before series 10 started, stars Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie took to the riverside streets of London to pose by a special drawing that teased the monsters of series 10, with the pair meeting fans and having a jolly old time pretending to fall in a fictional pit. Such fun.
Anyway, if you look closely at Mackie’s outfit you’ll recognise the blue bomber jacket she’s been wearing in several promotional shots for the series (below) – notably, it’s not the denim jacket we’ve seen her in for her first episode.
But if you look EVEN CLOSER at the South Bank pictures you’ll spot that when she wore the jacket something had been added to it – various patches that now appear on the arms and over the distinctive embroidery on the front.
Now, in of itself this isn’t particularly notable – costumes do change over the course of a series or promotional period, after all – but what IS interesting is the fact that these patches could be hinting at future storylines for the series.
If we look at Mackie’s left arm (on the right of the picture), you’ll see a distinctive red symbol accompanied by the word “Truth,” appearing like a slightly unsettling and dystopic logo.
And if you look back through the latest trailer for the series (as some fans have done), the same logo can be espied behind Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, in shots believed to be taken from series 10’s eighth episode The Lie of the Land (which apparently deals with the world being brainwashed, including the Doctor).
In other words, the jacket patch appears to be a clue for what to expect later in the series – and so the other patches on Mackie’s jacket could also be a hint at what’s to come. Let's take a look at a few others.
Spot the spaceship patch? The same logo appeared in episode 2 of the new series on the door of the spaceship used by the colonists, as can be seen in the picture below.
It seems likely, then, that the other patches will be revealed in episodes to come - though for now we have a few ideas as to what they could mean.
Could the CERN sticker just be a reference to Bill’s love of physics, or will the European Organization for Nuclear Research (aka the home of huge particle accelerator The Large Hadron Collider) play a role in an upcoming episode? Is the vaguely academic crest with a castle on her right (aka our left) some official branding for the university where she’s taught by the Doctor, or a hint at the 2nd century-set tenth episode The Eaters of Light?
Oh, and there’s also an orange patch on her right arm (below), which looks like a letter “G” but we’re completely stumped by, unless it’s actually a “C” and is some riff on the returning Mondasian Cybermen. Hmm.
And given that two of the symbols have already been seen in series footage, as well as the fact that these patches were clearly added after the jacket was used in the main promotional material, it seems likely that all these patches have some clue to offer as to what we can expect in episodes to come.
Unfortunately, for now we’re a little undecided as to what they could all mean, and it seems likely that we won’t realise their full significance until we actually see the full episodes they’re teasing.
Still, not to worry – we’re sure there’ll be some official new series 10 gifs released soon to distract us all from our frustrations.
Doctor Who continues on BBC1 on Saturdays at 7.20pm