Whovians and fans of The Beatles have at least one thing in common: they love searching for hidden clues and coming up with crazy fan theories. Well, the BBC has just dropped a huge one.
— BBC One (@BBCOne) September 19, 2015
Pretty cool, right? The Doctor, Clara and some Daleks parodying the cover of Abbey Road. One British icon of the 1960s paying homage to another.
But the links go much, much deeper. We know that Jenna Coleman is leaving this series, but this picture could hint Clara is heading for a tragic end. Bear with us…
Did you know that Paul McCartney actually died in a car crash in 1967? It’s true. Desperate to keep the band going, the other Beatles replaced him with a lookalike. At least, that’s what the ‘Paul is Dead’ conspiracy theorists believe.
It’s a rumour that has dogged McCartney since the 1960s, with fans listening closely to Beatles albums (even playing them backwards) for ‘hints’, ‘clues’ and ‘evidence’ hidden in their oeuvre.
One of the most popular pieces of evidence is that famous album cover. Look closely at the Fab Four, especially what they’re wearing…
Did you spot that John Lennon is more dressed up than the others, George Harrison is chilling out in denim, Ringo is looking smart in black and Paul McCartney, crucially, is barefoot?
The theory goes that the Beatles are imitating a funeral procession. From right to left, Lennon is a priest in heavenly garb, Ringo is the black-clad undertaker and (skipping one) Harrison is the gravedigger hanging around waiting for after the service.
And what about Paul? Well, Paul is the corpse himself: barefoot because (apparently) that’s how people are buried.
(You might disagree with this if you’ve ever been to a funeral, but remember this was thought up by wacked out Beatles fans.)
Not convinced? Well, did you spot the Volkswagen in the background? Did you happen to zoom into the number plate? No? Then you’re not thinking like a Beatles conspiracist.
See how it ends with “28IF”? That’s because at the point Abbey Road was released, Paul McCartney would have been 28 IF he survived! The ‘LMW’ was explained as a reference to McCartney’s wife Linda “weeping”.
Right, let’s go back to the Doctor Who shot. What do we see?
1. The Doctor is looking flash and imitating Lennon’s pose.
2. Jenna Coleman has bare feet (she’s even pointing towards them).
3. Finally, there’s a Volkswagen in the background, and what does the number plate read?
Jenna Coleman is 29, and Clara will be in November!
Doctor Who weeps! Turn me on Time Lord! The Doctor is the Walrus! CLARA OSWALD IS DEAD!
Even if this is a fake-out, it’s one of the greatest pieces of fan bait we’ve ever seen. Bravo Doctor Who.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ll be scanning Sgt Pepper’s for references to the series nine finale.
Doctor Who returns tonight at 7.40pm on BBC1