Fish custard (also called fish fingers and custard) was a food enjoyed by the Eleventh Doctor shortly after his regeneration. Having tried and hated many foods offered by young Amelia Pond in her kitchen, the Doctor found frozen fish fingers and custard. He enjoyed them together, dipping the fish fingers into the custard. Amelia took the Doctor's enjoyment of fish custard in stride, which he noted as a sign of her bravery.
Amy, as an adult, would later invoke this dish in order to convince the Doctor of her truthfulness, referring to it as "fish fingers and custard." (TV: The Impossible Astronaut) Later, a TARDIS voice interface that interacted with the Doctor in the form of Amelia also referenced "fish fingers and custard" as a way to give the Doctor hope so as that he would not give up. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler) These incidents showed how much the Doctor and Amy saw the dish as a symbol of their friendship.
During the Year of the Slow Invasion, the Doctor and the adult Amy and Rory ate fish custard at least once together (and it appears the couple actually enjoyed it). The Doctor said that if he ran a restaurant, it would be all he would serve. He also implied that he had created Yorkshire pudding, comparing it to fish custard, "Pudding, yet savoury. Sound familiar?" (TV: The Power of Three)
Before he regenerated into his next incarnation, the Eleventh Doctor had a bowl of fish custard as his last meal. Clara Oswald entered the TARDIS to find the bowl sitting on the console, almost finished. When the Doctor returned to the console room, he polished off the meal with a satisfied slurp, making his companion chuckle. After this, he sat the bowl back on the console and proceeded with his next regeneration. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
Behind the scenes
- Matt Smith initially claimed it was actually fish fingers and custard he was eating and that he found it "gorgeous." After a number of takes, however, his fish fingers were actually replaced by coconut breaded cakes. (DWA 161) Smith later ate genuine fish custard on the Christmas 2010 episode of The Graham Norton Show.
- In 2019, Matt Smith maintained that his dish genuinely started out as fish fingers and custard, which he again said that he enjoyed, though he admitted that as Adam Smith had him do around a dozen takes for this scene, he was grateful to switch to the coconut cakes with custard once the initial fish fingers got "cold and crusty". He also implied that there was a spit bucket involved.
- Steven Moffat has commented on the phenomenon of Doctor Who fans eating fish custard. He claims that it has "taken over from any other breakfast snack." (CON: Out of Time)
- In the real world, "fish custard" means something different from its Doctor Who usage. Fish custard is a custard that is actually flavoured with, or contains, fish. It is therefore a savoury dish. In reality, the Doctor ate what would be better termed "fish fingers and custard", a term which he has used — but he has also called the dish "fish custard" for short.
- In the days following the broadcast of The Eleventh Hour, many Doctor Who fans, including Charlie McDonnell, posted videos of themselves to YouTube ingesting fish custard, with varying responses.
- 'Doctor Who' Matt Smith on bow ties, fish fingers and U.S. fans at Zap2it
- Wales Comic-Con, Telford, 7 December 2019
- A Look at the Cast and Crew of the new Doctor Who at Chicago Now