TV  Well, that was good wasn't it?  Another banger in what's turning out to be the best run of episodes in quite some time.  It's almost as though someone's taken a longer season of Doctor Who and picked out the best episodes.  It's the back eight of the old Series 7 done properly without the episodes thrown together in a rush.   

Of course there one aspect that Doctor Who fans will be debating for years and that's the appearance of one Richard E Grant in the homage to Dimensions in Time when the Doctor's trying to convince his new friend that he isn't the villain of the week.  For some of us TV Movie veterans it's quite funny that the kiss is probably the least controversial aspect of the episode.

I have to confess I missed it first time around because I was making sure my boy was present and correct but the socials, Screen Rant and a dozen other news sites were posting about it at great length within seconds so I picked up on it pretty quickly.  It's absolutely flipping outrageous but I'm amazed they also  didn't slap Rowan Atkinson's face in there for good measure.

The general assumption seems to be that he's representing what's generally called the Shalka Doctor, the false dawn for a new era begun on the BBC website in 2003 at just the moment when Russell's revival was announced.  That Screen Rant piece pretty much covers all the angles but I'd also point to the TARDIS Wikia entry if this all news to you.

The only problem is Scream of the Shalka isn't easily available.  There was a DVD release back in 2013 but despite much of the rest of the Whoniverse now appearing on the iPlayer, Shalka's not up there.  It's original spot on the Doctor Who website still exists but requires Flash and Flash is gone as is the page which explains what any of that means anyway.

Perhaps this cameo suggests they're going to upload it to the iPlayer, maybe from the DVD master although the Internet Archive is hosting a gorgeous 4K blow up from the original Flash files and something like that should be the aim.  The novelisation is still out there and its audiobook version which I was about to describe as recent but was originally released in 2016.

That wasn't alt.Ninth's only appearance.  A few of the pieces feature a nicely painted portrait of the character they've presumably found through googling but was from his second and final adventure, The Feast of Stone, a short story by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright posted to the BBC's Cult website when it did interesting things like have a minisite about vampires.

But the most curious element of all this is the image of REG which has been used.  He looks older - he looks much as he does now.  Did he visit Cardiff and have his picture taken especially for this Easter egg?  The co-writer of the episode, Kate Herron was showrunner on the first season of Loki which featured him as an alternative version of that title character so it's not too unlikely.  Huh.