Today we’re looking at ‘Robot of Sherwood’, and the buzz on the street is this.
You’ll note the TARDIS door: closed in one shot, open in the next. Clearly, fandom concludes, this MEANS something. It’s not just one of those continuity errors, or a question of the door being blown open by the wind. It’s a quite deliberate VISUAL CLUE that is of VITAL SIGNIFICANCE to the arc.
To which we here at ‘God is in the Detail’ Central say –
Let’s be clear on this. The jacket in ‘The Time of Angels’ was a continuity fluff Moffat noticed after the episode had been shot and which was too expensive to re-do, so he capitalised upon it and wrote it into that last episode. In a similar way, this TARDIS door is clearly just a door that was left open by one of the production assistants while they were setting up for the next shot. It doesn’t mean anything at all. While we’re on it, I’d be willing to bet that George Lucas didn’t know when he planned the synopses for Episodes IV and V that Luke and Leia’s kisses would turn out to be incestuous, but that he did know that GREEDO CLEARLY SHOT FIRST.
However! If you want the real inside scoop on those seemingly trivial details in ‘Robot of Sherwood’ that seem completely insignificant but which are actually going to be VERY IMPORTANT LATER ON, then you’re in the right place. We’ll start with a good look at Clara.
Yes, yes, she’s very pretty; a veritable study in scarlet (well, it’s more a sort of orange, but that doesn’t really work). However, it was Gareth who spotted the clear visual connection between Clara’s headgear, Madame Kovarian’s patch and Davros’s third eye.
But it gets better.
We’ll take the words ‘Madame Kovarian’, and we’ll remove the letters that also feature in ‘Davros’, and thus we get:
A D A M E K O V A R I A N
Leaving us with ‘MAME KAIAN’, which (if you swap one of the ‘M’s for a ‘D’) can be rearranged to form ‘A NAKED AIM’. Clearly this means that the TARDIS door is open because the Eleventh Doctor has been hiding inside it, in the nude. With an arrow.
(You would not BELIEVE what I had to search through to find those. Honestly. The stuff that’s out there on the internet.)
Speaking of targets, that brings us to this:
There are five targets, clearly alluding to ‘The Five Doctors’. The target that is used for the final round is pierced by six arrows, five of which are shown here.
Following this, the Doctor destroys the target. This is a CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS REFERENCE to the ‘Do I feel lucky?’ monologue at the end of Dirty Harry, in which it is unclear whether Clint Eastwood fired six shots or only five.
Harry Callaghan was the name of Clint Eastwood’s character in the Dirty Harry films. Harry Sullivan was a character who travelled with – yes, that’s right – THE FOURTH DOCTOR. You see how these references keep cropping up? THIS CANNOT BE A COINCIDENCE. THIS IS A CLEARLY PLANN-
Sorry, I spilled some Tizer on the Caps Lock and it got stuck. Better now.
This is a clear reference to the arc. Both Fourth Doctor and Tenth Doctor were mentioned before. Remember the pigs in my ‘Deep Breath’ post? Here they are again.
Now, let’s look at Clara.
Notice that there are fourteen candles in shot. This clearly represents fourteen Doctors – the thirteen canonical ones and the Shalka Doctor, who was played by Richard E. Grant, in a story that also featured David Tennant, who plays the Tenth Doctor.
Notice also the way the camera is positioned here. The candles are directly above the goblet, in such a way as to suggest that the goblet is actually on fire. The Goblet of Fire was the Fourth Harry Potter book. I will repeat that: the Fourth Harry Potter book. Moreover, the film of Goblet of Fire includes the sinister Barty Crouch Jr., as featured below in a scene that didn’t happen, but which really should have done:
And who, pray tell, is playing Barty Crouch? That’s correct: David Tennant, WHO IS ALSO FAMOUS FOR PLAYING THE TENTH DOCTOR. (Although he really ought to have finished that polyjuice transformation scene by mumbling “New teeth. That’s weird.”)
I swear, I don’t know how it works; I just pluck them out of the air…