Thursday, May 04, 2006



I said I’d reveal Russell T Davies’ secret message across the new season of Doctor Who. And here it is…


Yes, we spotted it at once when, five billion years in the future on New Earth, even the slimmest human in the Universe is served by a sentient Chip, and that wasn’t a one-off. By School Reunion, there were posters up saying ‘Eat More Chips’ and it was a proven fact that eating chips makes you more intelligent (albeit when cooked in super-evolving alien fat). But what about Tooth and Claw, you ask? Well, that’s more insidious, and shows just how long Russell’s been planning this. I’m not going to talk about chips of wood, or boiled mistletoe being an early version of mushy peas, or even the werewolf eating half the cast like a bag of yummy fried tatties. No, the subliminal message was in the following episode of Doctor Who Confidential: it’s the second story of the season and there’s another documentary heavily featuring dishy director Euros Lyn, so what else could go through our heads – other than, ‘Euros! What have you done to your hair!’ – but the second story of last year’s season, also with a documentary heavily featuring dishy director Euros Lyn. And what was the final scene of that story? “I want… Can you smell chips?” asks Rose. “I want chips.” “Me too,” replies the Doctor. The association was so strong that, despite Richard just having cooked dinner, we rushed out to the chippie to supplement it. I’m telling you, it’s proof. Now I’m wondering how they’ll manage to get them into the 18th Century…

So that’s the message of Doctor Who. It’s all about the chips.

(What’s that, Millennium? ‘Torchwood’? Nonsense!)

Meanwhile, I’m trying to work out if I’m feeling so sleepy after spending yesterday tramping round busy, inner-city Hampstead and stately, picturesque Southwark with various Lib Dem candidates, or if it’s just the Very Strong Painkillers (TM) that have ‘these’ll make you drowsy, idiot’ printed on them. It’s a toughie. Still, I’m just back from the doctor’s with a new set – he wouldn’t give me the same ones I got from A&E at the weekend because they’re addictive, tsk – and am about to head out to sunny Leyton, so I have the same experiment to repeat today.

Good luck to all those lovely Lib Dems standing for election, and remember – chocolate and chips have zero calories if eaten with 15,000 FOCUS leaflets.

I think "chips" is RTD's shorthand for "normal everyday life". See also a mention in the London Eye scene in Rose, and Rose's fear of going back to simply "eating chips" in the Parting of the Ways. I'm sure I've forgotten some of them.

What the significance of the fact that the chips were a vector for the Krillitanes' control oil stuff is, I don't know.
Hi Andy

I think you’re entirely right on that, though I should also point out that I wasn’t advancing ‘chips’ as a serious theory (the comment from Millennium half-way through might tip you off) – I just thought it was funny ;-)

Incidentally, you made a comment on Millennium’s blog a little while ago which he didn’t quite know what to make of, so you might like to read the reply I’ve put up there:

I’m looking forward to more of what your own blog has to say on the new series, too. I know that I’m a fine one to talk – having not got round to reviewing any of them yet – but I enjoyed what you had to say about New Earth, with which I generally agreed. Not least about Charlie Brooker. And, after your excellent round-up of political themes in last year’s Who, yes, I’m that Alex Wilcock…
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