As we approach Easter, it’s important to remember that the best Easter Eggs sometimes aren’t made of delicious chocolate – especially when it comes to the world of pop culture.
No, these days you’re as likely to hear “Easter Egg” used as a term to describe in-jokes, references and callbacks hidden inside your favourite movies and TV shows, which – like their milk-chocolate cousins – have to be hunted down by fans.
But this Easter at RadioTimes.com we’ve done that hard work for you. Over the next few days we’ll be bringing you some of the best hidden Easter Eggs from TV shows and films that we’ve unearthed over the years, as well as some new treats that we’ll be showcasing for the very first time.
Look out for #RadioTimesEasterEgg across our channels until Easter to follow all the releases, but for now prepare to take a step back through time and space – because for our first Easter Egg rewind, we’re delving into the world of Doctor Who.
Our Doctor Who Easter Egg pick– series nine episode 3, Under the Lake
In a show with as long and varied a history as Doctor Who, it’s nigh-on impossible to pick out just one Easter Egg – even picking one from a series is difficult enough – but one of our favourites of the last few years was definitely this mural from the Peter Capaldi era of the BBC sci-fi drama.
Appearing in the background of 2015 episode Under the Lake, the mysterious painting depicts the crew of a sailing ship under attack from a brutal monster, foreshadowing the future attack on the underwater mine from dastardly villain The Fisher King (who bears a close resemblance to the creature).
But the Easter Egg-y goodness only begins there. Note the colour of the three sailors’ outfits, and you’ll see they’re wearing the traditional livery of Star Trek officers – gold for command, blue for science and medical, red for security/engineering/expendability. And if you think that’s a coincidence, the references to Gene Roddenderry’s sci-fi classic don’t end there.
At one point during the episode you can spot a serial number on a closing bay door – 1701 – which exactly matches the serial number of the starship Enterprise, home to Captain Kirk et al. And the gold jumper worn by Jenna Coleman’s companion Clara Oswald also seems to nod to the Starfleet colours, perhaps hinting that she’s truly the one in the Captain’s chair when travelling with the Doctor…
Altogether, it’s a brilliant meshing of two sci-fi champions that’ve both been around for over half a century, and a top Doctor Who Easter Egg for this year’s festivities.
But why stop there? Here’s loads more Doctor Who-y Easter Egg goodness to occupy your time…
The 14 sneakiest Doctor Who video game Easter Eggs
There’s no way you spotted all these secret Whoniverse callbacks.
Bradley Walsh reveals Doctor Who Easter egg that no-one spotted
Did you spot it? We didn’t…
10 Doctor Who DVD Easter eggs you may have missed
From Blink to the behind-the-scenes extras you can’t be without…
The biggest Easter eggs and references from Jodie Whittaker’s first episode
The Woman Who Fell to Earth had more than a few callbacks…
The best Doctor Who Easter Eggs in spin-off Class
The most recent spin-off had a few nods to its parent series.
17 amazing Doctor Who Easter Eggs, callbacks and references in the 2017 Christmas special
Peter Capaldi’s last episode was chock-full of Easter Eggs.
Someone’s discovered an awesome Doctor Who Easter Egg in Assassin’s Creed: Origins
John Barrowman responds to Doctor Who’s sneaky Captain Jack Easter Egg
Did you spot the return of the Vortex Manipulator?
Doctor Who production team confirm subtle Tom Baker Easter Egg in Peter Capaldi’s last episode
Don’t forget to check back this week for more Easter Eggs from the world of TV and Film – this is just the beginning…
Doctor Who returns to BBC One in late 2020/early 2021