After making her brief debut in last year's Doctor Who Christmas Special, "Twice Upon a Time," Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor is finally seen in action in Season 11's teaser trailer, which premiered during the World Cup final. The promo doesn't feature any actual footage from the upcoming season, but instead tells its own story, with the World Cup airing on television sets as we meet the Doctor's three new companions.
Clocking in at 40 seconds, the footage introduces the four lead characters and gives viewers a taste of the tone of Season 11. But it also finds time to sneak in at least one Easter egg from the Doctor Who universe, but possibly more.
The Easter egg can be found during the segment that introduces Bradley Walsh's Graham, who's reading a newspaper inside a diner. But after a swirl of temporal energy, Graham is no longer holding a newspaper, but rather The Beano 1981 Summer Special. If the issue is familiar, it's because it was seen before on Doctor Who: Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor read the same edition in the Season 7 episode "The Rings of Akhaten." That original appearance was so noteworthy it led to a reprinting of the 1981 Summer Special in 2013.
The nod has large implications when it comes to the history of the British television series, and it's certainly interesting for the newest teaser to bring back The Beano five years later. It's a clear callback to Smith's era, and a sign that, like all other iterations of The Doctor, all past lives exist inside Whittaker's version of the Time Lord.
But that may not be the only Easter egg in the trailer. In fact, the sequence that introduces Tosin Cole's Ryan features the young man eating a traditional English breakfast in a restaurant. From within the temporal energy emerges the Thirteenth Doctor's hand to dip food into his plate. It's difficult to say what she's actually holding, but is she placing a slice of toast into egg, or ... a fish finger into custard, in the fashion of Smith's Doctor?
Another segment depicts Mandip Gill's Yasmin enjoying pizza with her friends. We don't see where the pizza comes from, but this could still be a nod to Doctor Who's past. First off, David Tennant's Tenth Doctor once misdialed a telephone number to find Pizza Geronimo on the other end. Now, what was Matt Smith's signature expression again? Oh, right, "Geronimo." But that's not all. The pizza could also be a nod to the Season 1 episode "Dalek," which featured a pizza box from a chain named Jubilee. What's more, Jubilee Pizza is also featured in the first episode of the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, "Everything Changes." In that episode, lead character Gwen Cooper used the pizza in order to get into Torchwood's hub.
There's a lot of history between Doctor Who and pizza, and there are many possibilities as to what Yasmin's scene could reference. But given the vibe of the series, we're inclined to think the pizza might be from Geronimo, because if Graham is reading the Beano Summer Special and if Ryan is eating fish fingers and custard, then another nod to the Eleventh Doctor makes the most sense.
Perhaps this teaser is trying to tell us that Doctor Who is returning to the roots of the Smith era, which mixed adventure, excitement and season-long mysteries that helped the 53-year-old series to expand its reach worldwide.
Doctor Who stars Jodie Whittaker as the latest iteration of the titular Time Lord. Whittaker will be joined by co-stars Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill in a season that will be spearheaded by new series showrunner, Chris Chibnall. The highly anticipated Season 11 lands this fall.