Galaxy Santa

Dragnet for Santa

Narr: Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is false. Only the names are true, to protect this author from being accused of making up strange names. This is the city: Los Angeles,...

R. L. Copple's Blog

“Santa Claus Is Leaving Our Planet”
Allusion Key

Last week I posted my Christmas story for this year, “Santa Claus Is Leaving Our Planet.” Introducing that story, I challenged the reader to first find the correct TV show referred to, and then to find all seven of the allusions to that TV show in the story. If you haven’t read that story and attempted to find those references, I recommend doing so before reading further here. If you’ve read the story and are here to see if you found them all or you don’t care, you just want the answers, then read on. If you’d like, post in the comments how many out of eight you got right.

Follow the dots a little ways down to start!
















1) “. . . Santa’s sleigh is like a time machine. Santa could be the Doctor for all we know.”

~This is the overt reference to the TV show, Doctor Who, to which I added seven other allusions. The other TV references mentioned or alluded to are Star Trek: the Original Series (in the discussion about how their dad read/sang the song like William Shatner and Andy calls him Captain Kirk) and Mission Impossible (Samantha says, “I have a mission for you, should you decide to accept it.”) Any other references were purely unintentional.

2) He paused, waiting for a reply that didn’t come. He was not amused.

~In the 2006 Dr. Who episode, “Tooth and Claw,” Rose tries to get Queen Victoria to say “I am not amused,” a saying attributed to her but without much historical evidence. Rose finally get her to say the phrase at the end of the episode.

3) The corners of his mouth turned up. “Does that mean I get to tape you into a box?”
“Something like that, about the size of a phone booth, I’d suspect. Plus you’ll get to ride in Santa’s sleigh.”

~The Doctor travels around in a time machine/space ship called a TARDIS, an acronym for “Time And Relative Dimension In Space.” TARDISes can appear outwardly like any common item, but the Doctor’s became stuck as a British police call box—a type of phone booth exclusively used for contacting the police. However, one never sees any other TARDIS (that I recall) look like anything other than a police box until the modern reboot, and is likely that the “stuck” explanation was a later addition from the modern Dr. Who episodes.

4) Santa: “Time is a squishy, slimy reality. Has to be for me, you know.”

~In the 2007 episode titled, “Blink,” the Doctor uses the phrase “wibbily wobbly timey wimey” in explaining how time “operates.” My version here, though not nearly as memorable, should be enough to trigger that connection in any Doctor Who fan.

5) Santa held up a finger. “. . . Not everyone is as smart as me.”

~The Doctor usually sees himself as the smartest and most “clever” person in the room. And usually he’s right. But in recent years that arrogance has been mitigated to a degree, usually by the influence of his companions.

6) Santa nodded. “Now get a seat and hold on. This time-warp stuff gets a little tricky.”

~The Doctor would like to think he’s in full control, but sometimes his time travels don’t go as planned as the TARDIS has a mind of its own. Most notable is the first episode when Matt Smith becomes the Doctor, “The Eleventh Hour” in April of 2010. He miscalculates in returning to young Amy the promised few minutes after he left. Instead he arrives several years later when she’s a young adult. Whoops!

7) Santa pulled a lever, flipped a switch, spun a couple of dials, and then banged on the dash. Lights flashed randomly across the console. A huge tube, swirling with every color of the rainbow, materialized before them.

~Anyone who’s seen the controls of the TARDIS and how the Doctor goes around flipping this switch, pulling that lever, spinning various dials in seemingly random fashion, and sometimes banging on the controls to get them to work, will get this allusion of Santa operating his sleigh for time-warp in a similar fashion.

8) Santa: “Besides, I believe they’ll understand you better than you might think.”

~In Doctor Who, the TARDIS generates an automatic translation effect so as to allow the show’s writers to use English for all alien species and still be relatively realistic. So if Samantha was with the Doctor, she’d have no problems communicating with the aliens in a common language. Santa’s comment to Samantha allude to that aspect of Doctor Who.

The final question to answer: Is Santa Claus from Gallifrey?

About R. L. Copple
R. L. Copple enjoys a good cup of coffee and a fun story. These two realities and inspiration from the likes of Lester Del Ray, J. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, among others, caused him to write his own science fiction and fantasy stories to increase the fun in the world and to share his fresh perspective.
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