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David Bowie in 1977 (Photo: Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Welcome to the Doctor Who’s Day roundup, a gallimaufry of Gallifreyan gubbins culled from the darkest reaches of the internet over the past week.

But this week, we begin not with the Doctor, but another Starman entirely.

This week, tributes have been paid all over the world (and beyond) to David Bowie, who died on Sunday (January 10). One of rock music’s most singular talents, he had a fascination with science fiction and the future, and was well aware of Doctor Who, just as Doctor Who was aware of him.

Bowie references do tend to pop up in the Whoniverse quite often, like the neighbours of Rose Tyler who played his song “Starman” during “Aliens of London,” or when “The Waters of Mars” was set on a Martian community called Bowie Base One (a reference to his song “Life on Mars?”).

But the two best crossovers between Bowie and Doctor Who occured almost exactly 10 years apart. In 1973, he and his band the Spiders From Mars were hanging around backstage at BBC Television Centre, having just performed “The Jean Genie” on Top of the Pops, when they bumped into the cast of the Third Doctor story “Planet of the Daleks” in the BBC bar. Rumor has it they looked so freaky onlookers had to ask which of them were the aliens and which were the band.

And in 1983, Bowie was actually asked to play the scarred outlaw Sharaz Jek in the final Fifth Doctor story “The Caves of Androzani.” He would have done it too, but filming clashed with his tour dates. This, however, is what he would have looked like. So it could have been him all along*:

Sharaz Jek (Photo: BBC)
Sharaz Jek (Photo: BBC)

* Note: it wasn’t.

And the admiration continues to this day. When asked recently who he would most like ask to appear on the show, Peter Capaldi immediately answered: “David Bowie, he would be a very good one.”

Here’s what else has been going on in space and time this week:

David Tennant can’t do a South Africa accent:

• A TARDIS cake has appeared:

• Peter Capaldi shared his memories of the First Doctor:

• And his favorite of the Doctor’s adventures:

• Concept artwork (and a rather fine portrait) of Flemming, maitre d’ of the Starship Harmony and Redemption in “The Husbands of River Song”:

• The second part of BBC AMERICA’s Q&A with Michelle Gomez:

• Gallifreyan contractors make the best of use of space (and time):

Doctor Who website has a couple of videos to beat the January blues.

Matt Smith makes his appearance as Prince Philip in The Crown:

• This is very sweet, a compact Doctor Who Lego adventure:

• And here’s a slightly longer one, with a twist in the tale:

• Someone turned the Doctor Inside Out:

• The Fourth Doctor riding his gramophone/tuba/bicycle doohickey:

• Reddit’s Porkchop38 fused the Tenth and Twelfth Doctors, and it’s… odd:

I was messing around in photoshop so I made this… thing

• The Tenth Doctor carried aloft by the TARDIS:

• And finally, this is all the wonderful in the universe. Try not to spend too long immersed in it, you’ll cause a rift in your own space/time continuum:


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By Fraser McAlpine