Doctor Who Hides Harry Potter Reference In Iconic Episode

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

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Sci-fi fans everywhere know exactly how David Tennant’s character looks on Doctor Who…this is the guy who made pinstripe suits, brown coats, and comfy shoes into a fashion institution. In his premiere episode “The Christmas Invasion,” however, we see the exact moment when the character picks his way through an extensive TARDIS wardrobe to get his new look just right. Fans who have eagle eyes and quick reflexes on the pause button can catch something truly unexpected in this Doctor Who scene: a Hogwarts uniform straight out of Harry Potter.

Loads Of Easter Eggs

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As you might expect, this Doctor Who scene has plenty of other Easter eggs that have nothing to do with Harry Potter. For example, look closely and you will see the iconic scarf worn by Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor.

To combat those rainy days, the TARDIS also contains the different umbrellas that were utilized by the Sixth and Seventh Doctors.

Some of the items hidden in this wardrobe were a bit more esoteric than others. For example, there’s a sweater in there worn by the First Doctor’s Companion Steven Taylor in the episode “The Celestial Toymaker.”

In retrospect, this was one of NuWho’s biggest acknowledgments of that mostly lost storyline until the titular toymaker was brought back as a villain in the 60th-anniversary episodes featuring David Tennant.

Tennant Isn’t Just A Doctor

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Speaking of Tennant, he may be synonymous with Doctor Who now, but during the shooting of this episode, he was likelier to be embraced by Harry Potter fans. That’s because he had recently finished filming his scenes as Barty Crouch Jr. in the hit film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

The Hogwarts uniform in the TARDIS wardrobe is there as a very explicit reference to Tennant’s tenure in Harry Potter’s world of witchcraft and wizardry. 

There Was Almost A Doctor Who/Harry Potter Crossover

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When this Doctor Who Christmas special came out in 2005, everyone thought that the Harry Potter reference was nothing more than a cute Easter egg. However, showrunner Russell T. Davies soon had more ambitious plans in mind.

At one point, he secretly conspired with JK Rowling to bring her famous characters into this sci-fi universe in a very inspired way.

The Doctor Who showrunner wanted to have an episode where the Harry Potter creator came down with a space bug that brought her various creations to life. It would have been the Doctor’s job to chase down the various mystical creatures and put them back where they belong.

In retrospect, this is strikingly similar to the first Fantastic Beasts film, which involved Newt Scamander running around the world with a briefcase that’s bigger on the inside in order to round up every magical monster he could find.

It Didn’t Happen Because Of Rowling And Tennant

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Why did we never get this wild crossover between Doctor Who and Harry Potter onscreen? First, JK Rowling declined the opportunity to write the ep, and Tennant was reportedly not happy with the idea. At the time Davies wisely noted that he had to keep his star happy. 

This was seemingly for the best, as JK Rowling is now seemingly focusing all her energy on criticizing trans individuals at the same time that Who writers and Tennant are vocally supportive of those same people. As The Mary Sue reports, Tennant recently said at the Proud Nerd convention “It’s just about people being themselves, you don’t need to be bothered about it. F*** off and let people be!”

The Christmas Invasion

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These days, the Doctor Who icon may have mixed feelings about his time in Harry Potter. However, fans of both franchises can still take delight in the crossover reference hidden in plain sight in “The Christmas Invasion.”

For young nerds everywhere, this Easter egg provides hope that if they never got their letter from Hogwarts, they could still get a visit from their favorite madman in a box.