Doctor Who’s top ten references to… Doctor Who

From obscure classic era references to the show going full-on "meta", here are Doctor Who's best nods to its own history from 10-1…

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Not many shows can get away with references themselves, but then not many shows are like Doctor Who, a cultural phenomenon with a wealth of history and material to nod to. 

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But what’s been the best references of the Nu Who era? RadioTimes.com thinks we know, so have compiled the best from 10-1. 

Given just how many of them there are, you’re bound to have a different opinion, however. Feel free to leave it below. 


10. “Earl’s Court was an embarrassment” (The Bells of Saint John)

So, as we know fully well by now, the Doctor’s Tardis is a replica of the old British police boxes that used to be built all across the UK in the ’60s. In London’s Earl’s Court, a replica of one of the little blue kiosks was erected back in 1996, with a fully working phone to call police, as a homage to the days before mobiles. When Doctor Who returned to TV screens back in 2005, however, the box gained new status as a little Whovian tourist attraction. This did not go unnoticed by the show itself, and in the Matt Smith episode ‘Bells of Saint John’, the box is referenced by two characters working for The Great Intelligence trying to find the Doctor’s Tardis. When one receives word, the other says tentatively, “Are you sure this time? Earl’s Court was an embarrassment.” 

9. 11 (Various episodes)

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Throughout Matt Smith’s tenure as the Eleventh Doctor, the show has enjoyed throwing in his special number ever since he got started in first episode The Eleventh Hour. But that’s not all: in ‘Asylum of the Daleks’, the Doctor tells Rory that on a scale of one to ten on how much danger they’re in, it’s eleven. In ‘Hide’, Clara calls whisky the ‘eleventh most disgusting thing ever invented’. Matt Smith even wears a number eleven on his football shirt when having a kickabout with James Corden’s character Craig. And, of course, In The God Complex, Amy, Rory and the Doctor are lured to a hotel where each of them has a special room, with their personal fear hidden within. One can only guess what the Doctor’s room number might be…