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Easter egg

The term Easter egg referred to two distinct concepts, one of which was related to a part of the celebration of the holiday of Easter on Earth, and the other referring to a secret feature on a digital versatile disc.

Traditional meaning[]

The Tenth Doctor enjoys a chocolate Easter egg. (TV: Planet of the Dead)

As a part of Easter, many humans exchanged brightly-coloured chicken eggs or egg-shaped candy, typically by hiding them and then encouraging the recipients to find them.

A popular form of confectioner's Easter egg was made of chocolate and wrapped in coloured tin foil. The Tenth Doctor ate part of one of these before giving the remainder to Christina de Souza, concerned sugar might damage his teeth. (TV: Planet of the Dead)

DVD feature[]

With the advent of digital entertainment, it became possible to hide some portions of a recording. Principally employed on DVDs, Easter eggs were not obvious on casual inspection of the recording's menu. On more careful examination, or through the use of sequences entered into the playback device's remote control, these "bonus features" could be accessed. Often, the content (or even existence) of the Easter egg would be further obscured when the manufacturer deliberately failed to mention the content on the packaging or in the list of contents.

In 2007, an Easter egg featuring the Tenth Doctor was discovered on seventeen different DVD releases, including Falling Star and Breakfast in the Rain in Great Britain, This lead to some interest among Internet users, like Larry Nightingale, due to the message's cryptic nature. It was later discovered that the message was recorded in 1969 and addressed to Sally Sparrow, as part of a temporal paradox caused by the interference of the Weeping Angels. Those particular seventeen DVDs were all the ones Sally owned at that time. Billy Shipton, a video publisher who was transported back to 1969, put the message on the DVDs in such a way that not even the makers of the discs were aware of it.

Unknown to anyone except the Doctor, the Easter egg message was encoded so that if any of the DVDs containing it was brought into the TARDIS, it activated a prerecorded message identifying it as a control disc, good for a single TARDIS journey. Upon inserting the disc into a DVD drive in the TARDIS' control console, the TARDIS dematerialised and returned to 1969. (TV: Blink)

Behind the scenes[]

  • Various Doctor Who branded easter eggs have been sold by Kinnerton.[1]
  • In the Doctor Who Confidential episode End of an Era, Billie Piper revealed that chocolate Easter eggs plagued the filming of Journey's End. According to her, the cast of the interior TARDIS scene — during which Earth gets towed home — had consumed copious quantities of eggs during filming. As a result, many of the actors were on a sugar rush, and prone to bouts of hyperactivity and giggling.

List of Doctor Who easter eggs[]

A "hidden" Doctor Who logo which gives access to the Easter egg contained on the region 2 release of The Mind Robber

Many classic-series Doctor Who DVD releases contain Easter Egg content, usually accessible by highlighting hidden areas on menu screens or, in a couple of cases, by letting an episode play to the very end.

†Was a special feature on the original release.

When the third series of Doctor Who was released to DVD, the Blink Easter egg message was, appropriately enough, included in the set as an Easter egg.