Ah, ‘The Crimson Horror’. Terrible things ‘appening oop North. Some of which are going to be VERY IMPORTANT LATER. Mark my words.
First: it’s a lamp.
Except it’s not a lamp, is it? It’s an upturned bell. And what rings in the TARDIS every time there’s a crisis? Yes, the Cloister Bell. Moreover, note how the engraved pattern on this particular lamp strongly resembles a bunch of flowers. And what did Clara leave at her mother’s grave? Yes, flowers. Which, by the way, is a homophonic parallel to ‘flours’. And who uses flour? Yes, a Baker. As in Tom? And Colin? All of this is CLEARLY SIGNIFICANT. A wibbly wobbly crisis is looming, and it all revolves around Clara’s mother. And the Fourth and Sixth Doctor.
Now, look at Strax and Vastra.
Actually, don’t look at Strax and Vastra. Look on the wall. You see the posters? Notice how ‘Decay’ is visible just between Strax and Vastra. Now think back to ‘State of Decay’, in which local dignitaries would take the prime of young villagers into a shadowy structure, where they were never seen again. Recall also that the ship in that was called the Hydrax, WHICH RHYMES WITH STRAX. Conclusions: the vampire bats are not dead; they are only SLEEPING.
Also note: CIRCUS, plainly visible in blood red, which is an obvious throwback to ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ – which, like ‘State of Decay’, also features The Three Who Rule (Ragnarok, in this case). Remember the werewolf in that story? Clearly related to the one Rose and the Tenth Doctor fought in ‘Tooth and Claw’ (which I know is one of SJ’s favourites). And, of course, that’s what they’ll have been doing when they encounter the Eleventh Doctor in November.
Now, observe this.
Nine companions. No, it’s not the Fellowship of the Ring. It’s a CLEAR and UNAMBIGUOUS reference to Doctors One through Nine, which is why you’re only going to be seeing Ten and Eleven in November. They are presented here in human form, suggesting that the Doctor’s memories of his previous selves will be almost irreparably warped after his ordeal in the series finale in just over a week. It will be the Tenth Doctor and Rose who bring him out of his fugue. Anyone read ‘The Eight Doctors’? This is like that. Also note that two of them are carrying wooden clubs, which clearly echo the First Doctor’s cane and the Seventh’s umbrella. (Ella. Ella. Eh. Eh. Eh.)
To cement this theory, here’s a shot of the deadly poison, sitting in a vial, which is housed in…
…a laundry basket? No. A BALLOON basket. Now, who do we know who had a hot air balloon? Yes, Jackson Lake. Who, if you remember, was also suffering from a fugue state where he had suppressed his true memory. Aha! You see? It all fits. Particularly when you recall that Jackson Lake fought the Cybermen, WHOM WE ARE ABOUT TO ENCOUNTER. And that this happened in 1851, which is 42 years before the setting for ‘The Crimson Horror’, and that ’42’ is ALSO an episode of Doctor Who. And (and!) that the Silence had the Doctor ‘killed’ at a LAKE, so as to avoid the revelation of his real name, WHICH WE ARE ABOUT TO LEARN.
(Except we’re not, of course. Oh, and as an aside, it’s also worth noting that if Jackson Lake’s balloon had really lived up to the name he gave it, then ‘Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS’ would have been a much shorter episode, and all the better for it.)
Finally, here’s the Doctor, not proposing to Ada.
See the box? It says E. RUTLAND & SON STOURBRIDGE. If you drop the ampersand from this, the remaining letters can be rearranged to form ‘STRONGER OUTRUN DISABLED’, which is an obvious reference to the Doctor running away from the wheelchair-bound Davros.
…well, we were due a Dalek story, weren’t we?