The TV trailer for The Name of The Doctor looks pretty interesting on its own, but hidden amongst the jump cuts and the ominous dialogue is a potential secret that, if true, might just knock your TARDIS-blue socks off. Spoilery speculation beyond the cut!
First off, here's the trailer.
Yes, all very lovely. But what we're interested in is about 13 seconds in, where Clara says 'I'm Clara Oswald, and I was born to save The Doctor...' and something instantly recognisable to Classic Who fans comes blaring past her:
Why, it's Bessie - The Third Doctor's awesome yellow roadster! She's missing her old black canopy, but before we use that to dismiss this mustard-coloured delight as just some random other yellow car, here's the old girl now, residing at The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff (which, might I add, is merely a convenient 4 minute walk away from Roath Lock studios, where the show is filmed...):
... with her old black canopy missing. So yeah. That's totally Bessie. Awesome! But we're not quite done with potential awesomeness yet - and this is where I could be going off the proverbial deep end, but bear with me. Because we're not actually intrigued by Clara here.
Or by Bessie's return.
We're Doctor Who fans. We delight in minutiae.
We're interested in Trees.
Not just any tree, of course. Just one, specifically. One that comes into better view when Bessie goes off camera in the trailer:
Firstly, let's have a bit of a phwoar-moment at Clara's delectable 70's-style waistcoat get up. Lovely stuff. But wait, stop! The tree!
Now, these screencaps are from the 1080p version of the trailer uploaded by the BBC to Youtube - so they're okay quality, but they're a little blurry and artifacted, admittedly. But even then, there's something decidedly off by the background and that tree anyway. It looks a little low quality, especially for a gorgeous, HD series like Doctor Who. And that's because it's taken from some very old footage. Some very familiar old footage.
Take a look below at this sequence from The Five Doctors, specifically around the 2 minute mark, where The Third Doctor is menaced by a space-cone from Gallifrey whilst out driving Bessie:
The hedge-line, the shape of it, the branches... it's blown up in the footage from The Name of The Doctor, and on a slight anti-clock wise tilt (perhaps to make it easier cut out the part of Bessie's window frame in the above shot?), side by side it looks identical to the tree behind Clara - the same footage from all those years ago:
So, what's the meaning of all this!? Is this Doctor Who's Trials and Tribble-ations anniversary moment? Is Clara going to be travelling back in time, not just to past Doctors, but to past episode footage? What other past classics could JLC find her self spliced into? And if so what is she doing there?
It's all very interesting. And we'll all find out what it's about in a week's time...