Dog-like alien Karvanista was the unexpected star of Doctor Who series 13, with Craige Els’ grouchy Lupari becoming a hit with fans over the course of the six-part Flux event series (and with a surprisingly tragic finale story).
However, that wasn’t actually the first time we saw Els in Doctor Who. Eagle-eyed fans might have noticed the Scouse actor (out of his Karvanista make-up) playing a friend of new companion Dan (John Bishop) during the latter’s short introductory teaser released in January 2021.
“That was Chris [Chibnall’s] idea as a nice, little Easter egg, to have me appear and sort of introduce John’s character,” Els told RadioTimes.com.
“All the things that are read out, you know, about the lucky number, and this, and the letter ‘D’ as in Doctor and Dan – I loved it. And I think it was just basically good fortune that I’m actually from Liverpool, and so is John.”
However, while fans were 10 months away from seeing Karvanista on screen, the Who production team did include a little clue about Els’ main role in the series – though so far, nobody has noticed the Easter egg.
“I don’t know if you noticed, but the costume that I’m wearing – I wear like a blue-checked shirt, and the colours in the shirt were exactly the same as Karvanista’s armour,” Els revealed.
“That was the genius of [costume designer] Ray Holman. Yeah, there were little hints to it.”
In a way, then, Karvanista was watching over Dan for nearly a year longer than we thought. Talk about man’s best friend.