Doctor Who isn’t just a science fiction show, it’s a British science fiction show, which means a few of the references made in the long-running BBC show may go over the heads of those of us across the pond. With the help of my British husband, we’re going to explain some references that the average American audience may have missed.
Here’s a look at the episode, “The Power of Three.”
After the black cubes appeared all over the world, a man named Professor Brian Cox was interviewed and said, “Are they extraterrestrial in origin? You’ll have to ask a better man than me.”
Cox is a particle physicist and the BBC’s go-to guy for science, much like Carl Sagan was in the 1970s and Michio Kaku and Neil Degrasse Tyson are today.
Cox has appeared in multiple (and several award-winning) science documentaries, such as Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe.
For a look at how awesome he is, check out his TED talk, here.
“I’m cream crackered.”
When Brian said, “I’m cream crackered,” what he meant was, “I’m exhausted.” You can tell what he means from context—he fell asleep immediately after—but wait, what?
Welcome to Cockney rhyming slang. According to CockneyRhymingSlang.co.uk,
Rhyming Slang phrases are derived from taking an expression which rhymes with a word and then using that expression instead of the word. For example the word “look” rhymes with “butcher’s hook”. In many cases the rhyming word is omitted – so you won’t find too many Londoners having a “bucher’s hook” at this site, but you might find a few having a “butcher’s”.
(Another example is the substitution of the word “wife,” which rhymes with “trouble and strife.” Because of this, Cockney men have referred to their wives as “trouble.”)
So “cream crackered” is a rhyme of “knackered,” which means extremely tired. However, had Brian been fully utilizing Cockney rhyming slang, he would have merely said, “I’m creamed.”