At first, I didn’t think there was anything significant in ‘Nightmare in Silver’. It felt very cluttered, but not terribly coherent. I was struggling. But then a couple of light bulbs went on, and everything started to connect. And so – one day before the final episode of the series – here’s this week’s list of SEEMINGLY INSIGNIFICANT THINGS THAT WILL TURN OUT TO BE VERY IMPORTANT LATER ON.
Firstly, observe the countdown screen.
You see the list of numbers on the left? Well, they refer to the first ten Doctors. Specifically the first one, who is highlighted with an X. This once again indicates the connection between Clara and the First Doctor. But that’s not all. Notice, also, the presence of the word ‘Armed’ in the middle, meaning that reading from the left you get ‘1 Armed’…one-armed what? One-armed bandit? One-armed man?
Mike, the one-armed man from Twin Peaks, as played by Al Strobel. Which, by a curious coincidence, is an anagram of ‘Laser Bolt’. WHICH IS HOW MADAME VASTRA IS GOING TO DIE TOMORROW.
There was also a one-armed man in The Fugitive, in which innocent man Richard Kimble was pursued across the United States by the diligent Inspector Gerard. I mention this not for the sake of random trivia, but because it’s VERY IMPORTANT. Because of this.
It’s the Eastenders girl again, but she was expendable and irritating, so ignore her. Look instead at the windows in the background. Blue, aren’t they? And green. Which is a CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS reference to the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of labour unions fighting for environmental causes. And the co-chair of their board of directors is the International President of United Steelworkers – a chap called Leo W. Gerard. Case closed.
(Coincidentally, in the 1993 film of The Fugitive, Gerard was played by Tommy Lee Jones, but that reminds me of Martha, so let’s not go there. Also Kimble was played by Harrison Ford, and a Ford is a shallow crossing on a River, so let’s really not go there.)
Blue also features here, in this image.
You can see the flag, can’t you? The blue and white one? Blue and white, as in…oh, I don’t know. The state flag for Colorado?
And, of course, the inclusion of a big letter ‘C’ on this flag is pure coincidence.
Yessir. Pure coincidence.
Now, my friends, to Tolkien. Here’s the Unknown Soldier.
Notice what she has? A nose ring? And what literary classic do we know that features a powerful ring? Let’s also remember, of course, that her eyes are angled left, and that if she were facing north she’d be gazing westward, which in turn recalls this:
“There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving”.
Oh, you could do a whole story about ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and Doctor Who, but I don’t have the time. Still, the allusions run deeper, and then there’s a feint and another feint and it all twists in a new direction. Take a look here.
This, if you remember, was the Cyberman’s head sitting on the pile of boxes that are blatantly a pile of boxes. But look at the sign. “Staff only”, I think you’ll find. And Who Carries a Staff? Yes, he does. (Sorry. You see what I did there, right?)
Gandalf carries a staff. Gandalf was played by Ian McKellen. Ian McKellen voiced the Great Intelligence, who appeared in ‘The Snowmen’. “Aha!” I hear you say, “this must mean that McKellen is coming back.” Well, no, it doesn’t. Because the other thing you need to know about Ian McKellen is that he’s currently starring in a dreadful sitcom called Vicious, in which he plays one half of a pair of ageing gay men in an antagonistic relationship. The other is played by Derek Jacobi, who also played The Master.
What does this mean? It means, of course, that we’ll deal with the Great Intelligence next week, and then in the last minute of the episode, Derek Jacobi’s hand will appear in shot and pinch the soldier’s nose ring.
I swear, sometimes I’m so brilliant I amaze even myself.