I noticed 'Vote Saxon' on a poster in the background, something which featured in 'Love and Monsters' (Series two, Absorbaloff)IIRC, but whether that is just continuity or a word arc, I don't know. Plus, I didn't recall a reference to 'Saxon' during the Shakespeare one.
I though Dean Lennox Kelley was awesome as Shakespeare. I caught a little bit of Dr. Who confidential, and I think that saying 'rock star' summed the character up very well.
No idea what Boe will say, but I'm looking forward to it too. What's the guessing it will be related to the 'word arc' this series? If my suspicions are right about Saxon, it could even merely be 'Saxon' or whatever else the word arc is. I reckon it will be one of those cryptic things, where you only know the meaning when it's reached the end of the series.
I think the wider appeal of Dr. Who is the fact that apart from the Doctor himself and all his stuff, it's more about humans that the science fiction. Look at how many episodes have been set on Earth in the past few series. Almost all of them, and, if not, it's set in a human dominated society. Maybe this makes it easier for non-Sci-Fi people to relate to. If you look at Star Trek(<3), in particular, there's more about fancy technology and references to all kind of nerdy science. Dr Who kind of glosses over the lecture, and sometimes it's approach to science is just to use the Tardis as a Deus Ex Machina and write over the laws of physics
I think possibly, it's the look at humanity, not science. While he's so eccentric, the Doctor is very 'human' and the series is well grounded in people, less so in science. (Especially when you look at things like the Cyberwoman episode of Torchwood. The explanation didn't seem sensible, but that's a debate for another day.)
Of course, it also has the heritage. Back in the day, everyone watched it, hiding behind the sofas, so maybe that enthusiasm has been passed on form parent to child. Also, there's a mix of things. I love Dr. Who for the monsters and the science (Cybermen = Epic Win). I personally did not like the infamous 'gas-mask' child two-parter, but my Mum loved it, because it reminded her of how creepy Dr. Who used to be. Meanwhile, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Judoon may not have been a hit, when it comes to serious monsters, like the Cybermen or Daleks, but I loved the sheer cheesiness of them.
And maybe that's it. Maybe the strength and appeal is that it doesn't take itself seriously, in some ways. If it took itself seriously, it would probably be embarrassing and that 'I are broody and realistic, grrr...' tone put me off the recent 'update' of Robin Hood.
However, if think the Doctors too are the key. Eccleston and Tennant's performances were very charismatic. They do have a lovable rouge are about them.
Oh, and yes, Amethyst: Chumphy and I should crash your house. Even if it is just so I can write 'Cybermen >>>> Daleks' on your windows in your own lipstick or permanent marker
With Duty and Service.
Real Life friend of Mrs Chumphy.
(+ amethyst eyes + sazmaphone...oh my!)