Doctor Who’s new TARDIS jukebox contains hints about upcoming plot points

Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC)

The jukebox in the new TARDIS could hold some big clues about the future of Doctor Who. Production designer Phil Sims shared this insight with SFX magazine in the new issue, which features Doctor Who's Ncuti Gatwa on the cover.

The new TARDIS debuted during the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials, complete with many new intricate details. Among them is a jukebox, which viewers will have spotted in 'The Giggle.' It’s a working retro Wurlitzer that the production team purchased, SFX magazine learns on a recent tour of the new time machine. When it’s quiet on set, we can hear the liquid inside bubbling away. 

Some of the songs listed on the jukebox include John Smith and The Common Men’s 'Twist At The End', Soft Cell’s 'Tainted Love', Britney Spears’s 'Toxic', Rogue Traders’ 'Voodoo Child' and tracks by Rick Astley, Spice Girls, and David Bowie. There’s also Pat Hodges’s 'I Called Out Your Name (In A Dream)' (as heard in the 1996 TV movie). Maybe best not play that one, eh?

Now we've already seen the Spice Girls used in the show, but it seems like the remaining songs might play a big part in the series too. "The idea is that the Wurlitzer is the hatstand of Tom Baker’s TARDIS, so it’s where there’s been a very carefully chosen bit of furniture or ephemera," Sims tells SFX in our new issue, out on Friday. 

"Russell asked for it. He thought about it. We talked about hatstands, we talked about all sorts of things. We tried different chairs, wingback chairs, all sorts of different chairs or sofas, or bits and pieces. There’s no hatstand – the hatstand didn’t make the cut. But the jukebox did. I don’t know how far ahead he was thinking. But the music’s been a recurring thing, we’ve used the jukebox quite a lot. Music has been really important in this series, certainly since Ncuti’s been the Doctor."

Sims adds about the choice of songs: "I think they’ve all been chosen very carefully. There are some that are deliberately there for the plot."

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The Doctor Who Christmas special airs on Christmas day on BBC and Disney+. The above is just a snippet from our interview with Sims, available in the latest issue of SFX magazine, which features Doctor Who on the cover and is available on newsstands from Friday, December 29. For even more from SFX, sign up for the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

I'm the Editor of SFX, the world's number one sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine – available digitally and in print every four weeks since 1995. I've been editing magazines, and writing for numerous publications since before the Time War. Obviously SFX is the best one. I knew being a geek would work out fine.

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