Russell T. Davies has revealed that he hid some not-so-secret clues as to the identity of the Thirteenth Doctor in his new Doctor Who book months before the announcement was made.
Being something of a mega-fan (and having a few friends in the know of course) former showrunner Davies had the inside track when it came to the announcement and the gender of the new Doctor.
Davies told Radio Times:
“Let’s just say I’m friends with all these people, with [current showrunner Steven Moffat] and with [new boss Chris Chibnall] And we’ve been friends for years. So I knew what was in the air. I knew kind of.”
So when Davies was contacted by the BBC to illustrate a new volume of Doctor Who poems written by James Goss called Now We Are Six Hundred, he couldn’t resist slipping in a few references to the series’ exciting future – even if he wasn’t sure of the specifics at the time.
“There’s a poem called Contents, which I thought ‘Well I’ll draw a trunk, and in that trunk there’s something representing every single Doctor.
“And that was tough, and that was me sitting there scratching my head for a long time on some of them. And I got there! And there’s also a handbag in there, you’ll be glad to see.”
That’s not the only secret hiding in plain sight. Davies also drew an illustration of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor looking knowingly at a female mannequin inside the TARDIS, while another illustration appears to feature Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor in action – albeit in disguise for a poem called The Death List.
Davies elaborates on the illustration:
“Oh yes, The Death List…which has the kind of masked, unknown secret Doctor running around. On page 23, if you look at the swirl of those clothes she’s wearing women’s stilettos and the numbers 1 and 3 are hidden in the folds of those clothes.
“That’s a female Doctor running around! Well, I suppose anyone could wear high-heels, but there’s a curve there you wouldn’t get on a male figure.”
Even if the production crew had told a little white lie to Davies, he had a contingency plan…of sorts. If you count removing then potentially inaccurate images from the book as a plan.
“I kind of knew anything could happen, so there was time with the publishing of it to have removed any of those,” he told us. “But actually they’re all quite speculative.
“Even if we hadn’t gone with Jodie Whittaker, that photograph of Peter Capaldi looking at the female mannequin represents that time when everyone’s saying there could be a female Doctor anyway.
“The illustration still stands, even if they’d gone and cast [Coronation Street star] William Roache as the Doctor. You could still have got away with that drawing.”
Davies also shares a few more hidden titbits contained within the pages of Now We Are Six Hundred which is available to pre-order now from Amazon for release on Thursday 14th September for £6.99.