It's been almost five years since Peter Capaldi was first announced to portray the then-latest regeneration of Doctor Who's central Time Lord, and we're now gearing up for his highly anticipated successor. Star Jodie Whittaker and new showrunner Chris Chibnall have their work cut out for them in introducing the franchise's first female Doctor, but the new video teaser below should inspire some cheeky applause from fans, thanks to a nifty Matt Smith-era callback (and lots of World Cup coverage). Check out the new Doctor and her three new companions!
The video promo doesn't contain any episodic footage for fans to get all theory-crazy over, which makes some sense, given the show's post-production process can get pretty lengthy with all the visual effects and sci-fi chicanery. But it does manage to tell it own interesting story through bringing the Doctor into each of the new companions' lives, while also laying out the season's tonal approach, which appears to be moody lighting layered over mysterious bemusement, and sprinkled with various foods. Let's break those three intros down, starting off with a most unmistakable Who reference.
The third companion that appears is Bradley Walsh's Graham, whom we still don't know too much about. But we can gather that he's the kind of guy who sits down at a diner with a beverage to get his current-affairs reading done. Once he got a quick visit from Jodie Whittaker's Doctor, though, he realized his reading material had been replaced with a copy of the British humor mag Beano. And not just any issue of Beano -- which is still going strong -- but the very same 1981 Summer Special issue that Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor was reading in the Season 7 episode "The Rings of Akhaten."
It's not the most detail-infused easter egg, and until we know a bit more about the Graham companion, we can't gather too much about what the link means, but it's still an awesome connection to a former Time Lord. And hopefully speaks to Chris Chibnall's reverence for everything that has come before, as opposed to an urge to make everything his own. (Incidentally, Beano reprinted the 1981 edition back in 2013 as a nod to Doctor Who.)
What's more, that isn't even the only possible callback to Matt Smith's former Doctor, even if it's the most easily detectable one. In the first segment, Tosin Cole's Ryan is having a meal when Number 13 swoops through and nabs a bite from his plate. I might be very wrong here, but it looks a lot like she's taking a fried fish finger and is dipping it into custard, and even though neither food appears to be on the plate organically, it's still a safe guess. Why? Because Smith's Eleven found a new favorite food in "fish fingers and custard" after his regeneration. Plus, few foods look quite like custard being used as a dip.
It's a tad harder to find a concrete easter egg for Mandip Gill's Yasmin, who's settled in for a (presumed) family dinner and found her once-empty pizza box suddenly filled with a new pie after Jodie Whittaker's Doctor dashed through. Pizza has long played into Doctor Who, from the existence of the chains Jubilee Pizza and Geronimo Pizza to the food's general presence in other episodes, so there may very well be something I'm not picking up on here. But in any case, we're clearly going to be meeting a new Doctor who has an appetite for life, both figuratively and literally.
Doctor Who Season 11, complete with a Christmas special, will air on BBC America at some point this fall. Stay tuned for more news about the show, as San Diego Comic-Con will almost definitely bring us all kinds of new fun facts about the new season. Until then, though, head to our summer premiere schedule to see what else is on the way.