Throughout the Doctor's travels as a Time Lord, he's met fictionalized versions of many real-life historical figures, from Queen Elizabeth I to Richard Nixon to Vincent van Gogh. However, the guest on the latest episode of Doctor Who was seemingly ripped right from modern-day headlines.
The new episode of Doctor Who called "Flatline," which aired on Sat., Oct. 18., featured a street artist named Rigsy and was set in the city of Bristol, England. This is clearly a reference to the famously elusive street artist Banksy, who is also Bristol-born. But unlike the real-live Banksy, whose face no one has ever seen, Rigsy's identity is clear throughout the episode.
In "Flatline," the Doctor (played by newbie Peter Capaldi) is trapped in his Tardis after trying out its new shrinking feature. The Doctor's companion Clara (played by Jenna Coleman) is left on her own to investigate a case of missing people and some graffiti art that is more dangerous than it seems in Bristol. That's how she meets Rigsy (played by guest star Joivan Wade), and the two assume the role of the Doctor and companion to solve that week's mystery.
Doctor Who has had a few other ties to Banksy and Bristol in the past. A Season 6 episode was filmed in the city with the last Doctor, Matt Smith. There have also been references to Banksy on the show before. The Season 7 episode "The Power of Three" references Banksy along with fellow British modern artist Damien Hirst. Banksy was also the name of a nightclub owner in a Season 1 episode of the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, "Day One," though that was probably just a coincidence.
Since Doctor Who and Banksy both have passionate followings of fans, it's no surprise that many have created their own crossover art depicting the British TV show in the artist's style. (There are plenty more than just that link if you feel like doing some Googling.) They're probably not worth as much as an original Banksy, but you can't really put a price on loyalty to your fandom, now can you?