It’s almost second nature for sci-fi to be self-referential—not just to itself, but to the wider pantheon of shows and movies. Doctor Who is no stranger to these references, but last week’s episode, “Face the Raven,” had one that was typically Doctor Who: An Easter Egg, hidden inside another Easter Egg!
Warning: Mild spoilers for “Face the Raven” below!
The mashup was spotted by the eagle-eyed Radio Times, in a scene where Clara Oswald convinces her friend Rigsy to transfer a strange alien death sentence forced upon him onto her–to try and buy them more time to solve the mystery behind it. You know, your usual Doctor Who shenanigans.
The object of interest is the poster on the left in the above shot—and if you’re a diehard Star Wars fan, you might recognize the alien gobbledegook text on it. That’s because it’s not just any alien gobbledegook: it’s Aurebesh, the fake typography of the Star Wars films that is the defacto written word of the galaxy far, far, away. For years, fans have decoded its appearances in myriad Star Wars stories to find out what it says—and this aurebesh here is no exception.
Except, it’s not something from Star Wars. It’s a reference Back to the Future, and to another infamous method of Time Travel beyond The Doctor’s TARDIS: It says “Delorean.”
What a weird little thing indeed. A reference within a reference!