‘Doctor Who’ trivia: 12 things you didn’t know about ‘Death in Heaven’

Posted Filed under

Doctor Who Season 8’s finale ‘Death in Heaven’ featured many fan-pleasing nods, in-jokes and references to previous adventures.

> Order Season 8 on DVD on Amazon.

> Order Season 8 on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Here’s some trivia about the episode that you might not already know…


Before Jemma Redgrave joined the UNIT team in 2012’s ‘The Power of Three’, the character of Kate Stewart first appeared in 1995’s ‘Downtime’, an unlicenced direct-to-video production starring Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith. Kate was played by actress Beverley Cressman.


Danny Pink’s body is being stored in the Chaplet Funeral Home – a possible reference to the First Doctor’s companion, Dodo Chaplet.


The portrait of the Brigadier on the wall in Boat One is taken from 1989’s ‘Battlefield’.

Doctor Who Death in Heaven Brigadier 2


The Cyber head that Kate Stewart shows to Missy is the version of Cybermen who first appeared in 1968’s ‘The Invasion’ with the Brigadier, which also featured the Cybermen around St. Paul’s Cathedral.


While pretending to be the Doctor, Clara mentions getting a degree from Glasgow University. In 1967’s ‘The Moonbase’, companion Polly revealed that the Doctor once claimed to have taken his degree in Glasgow in 1888.


‘Death in Heaven’ marks the first time a female name has led the opening credits. It is also the first time that the image of a companion has appeared in the title sequence.


Missy singing ‘Happy birthday, Mr President!’ is a reference to Marilyn Monroe’s famous birthday greeting to President Kennedy – the Eleventh Doctor married Marilyn Monroe in ‘A Christmas Carol’.

Doctor Who Death in Heaven Missy 2


The episode contains flashbacks from ‘The Bells of Saint John’, ‘Deep Breath’, ‘Into the Dalek’, ‘The Caretaker’ and ‘Robot of Sherwood’.


‘Death in Heaven’ is the fourth episode in which Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi have both appeared as the Doctor, following ‘The Day of the Doctor’, ‘The Time of the Doctor’ and ‘Deep Breath’.


After wearing a tribute to the Fourth Doctor’s scarf in ‘The Day of the Doctor’, Osgood is seen here with a bowtie and Converse shoes following her encounter with the Eleventh Doctor and Tenth Doctor. Osgood is one of a number of short-lived characters invited by the Doctor to join him on his travels who died before they had the chance, following the likes of Rita in ‘The God Complex’, Madame de Pompadour in ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’, Lynda in ‘The Parting of the Ways’ and Astrid in ‘Voyage of the Damned’.

Doctor Who Ingrid Oliver Osgood 2


The co-ordinates that Missy gives for the location of Gallifrey (10 – 0 – 11 – 00: 02) were first mentioned in 1975’s ‘Pyramids of Mars’ – the same story that first mentioned the planet being in the Constellation of Kasterborous.


The final scene introduces Shaun of the Dead star Nick Frost as Father Christmas. The Eleventh Doctor previously revealed that Father Christmas was really called Jeff in ‘A Christmas Carol’, while the Ninth Doctor hinted that he himself was Father Christmas and had delivered a red bike to Rose when she was 12-years-old in ‘The Doctor Dances’.


> Order Season 8 on DVD on Amazon.

> Order Season 8 on Blu-ray on Amazon.

What was your favourite moment in ‘Death in Heaven’? Let us know below…