Some minor Spoilers ahead. Be warned.
The way the Doctor befriends and utilises the gang of street urchins in this episode is reminiscent of the relationship between fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars, a gang of children who he paid to help gather information for his cases. Three of the urchins bear the same names as previous companions of the Doctor: Perry (Peri ‘Perpugilliam’ Brown, who travelled with the fifth and sixth Doctors), Harry (fourth Doctor companion Harry Sullivan) and Dot (Short for either Dorothy – aka seventh Doctor companion Ace – or Dorothea, better known as first Doctor companion Dodo).
The story about the tailor who comes to little boys who suck their thumbs and cuts the thumbs off with giant scissors is taken from 1845 German book Der Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann, a collection of short children’s stories designed to curb misbehaviour. Presumably the Doctor keeps a copy in the TARDIS to help keep the many children he encounters in line…
Then there’s Knock, Knock, airing this weekend…
According to Doctor Who Magazine:
There will be a line in the episode where young Harry reveals that his granddad is off ‘greypacking’ (backpacking for OAPs) with his boyfriend at the Great Wall of China.
It remains to be seen how the connection will be made overt. Will the Doctor spot a family resemblance, perhaps?
“It was a reference that I enjoyed hugely,” teased writer Mark Bartlett, “because I love Harry Sullivan and housemate Harry has, I think, a similar sort of attitude, of energetic sort of pluck.”
But will he be an “imbecile” like his grandfather was in “Revenge of the Cybermen. We’ll see…
Knock Knock. Written by Mike Bartlett and directed by Bill Anderson.
Bill is moving in with some friends and they’ve found the perfect house – so what if it’s strangely cheap to rent, and the landlord is a little creepy?
The wind blows, the floorboards creak, and the Doctor thinks something is very wrong. What lurks in the strange tower at the heart of the building – and why can’t they find any way to enter it?