Horror fans have spent the last couple of weeks binging through the latest Netflix obsession, The Haunting of Hill House, and discovering plenty of nods, references, and Easter eggs to various pop culture properties as well as Shirley Jackson's original novel. One of the most popular Easter eggs discovered so far is a direct reference to Doctor Who, and Hill House creator/director Mike Flanagan has confirmed that the nod was certainly intentional.
The reference appears in the second episode of Hill House, when Olivia is talking to Shirley about the death of one of her kittens. Olivia tries to comfort Shirley, telling her, "When we die, we turn into stories. And every time someone tells one of those stories, it's like we're still here, for them. We're all stories in the end."
That line will sound very familiar to any Doctor Who fan out there. Back in 2010, Matt Smith's version of the Doctor said, "I'll be a story in your head. But that's okay. We're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, yeah."
When Digital Spy approached former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat about the inclusion of the line that he wrote in The Haunting of Hill House, the producer was incredibly flattered. Although he wasn't certain that it was supposed to be a nod to his Who episode, Moffat said, "If that line is a deliberate tribute, I am extremely touched."
As it turns out, the reference was deliberate after all. Flanagan, an outspoken Doctor Who fan, shared the article featuring Moffat's words on Twitter, admitting to the homage.
This is my favorite article so far... and yes, Mr Moffat, it’s absolutely a deliberate tribute. //t.co/YnnVgSMpkj— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) October 12, 2018
"This is absolutely my favorite article so far," Flanagan wrote. "And yes, Mr. Moffat, it's absolutely a deliberate tribute."
The ties that bind Flanagan and this Doctor Who reference go even further than The Haunting of Hill House. In that specific episode of the series, The Doctor says the line to a young Amy Pond. The adult version of the character served as Smith's companion and was played by Guardians of the Galaxy star Karen Gillan. Flanagan cast Gillan as the lead role in his 2013 film, Oculus.
Did you catch this Doctor Who nod in The Haunting of Hill House? What other Easter eggs have you found so far? Let us know in the comments!