There were numerous references to Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," namely: (a) the three-part name itself ("The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe"), (b) the family (children) going to a large mansion in the country to escape the bombing in London, (c) "Digby" sounds a lot like "Digory," Professor Kirk's first name, (d) the Doctor refers to the TARDIS as his "wardrobe," (e) there is a snow-covered woods on the other side of the box, (f) time moves differently on the other side of the box, (g) the line "What do they teach these children...?", (h) the door knocker on the tree house resembled a lion (Aslan, perhaps?), and (i) the spirits of the trees were sentient in Narnia as well.
The scene of the time vortex that is displayed in front of the ship that the Doctor and the Arwell family travels through, is the same scene that's been used in the intro throughout the fifth and the sixth season of the show.
Matt Smith's iconic hairstyle for the Eleventh Doctor had to be contained somewhat in order to fit in the helmet of the spacesuit he was wearing in this episode. A behind-the-scenes photo shows this resulting in a bizarre style of "helmet hair"
A late change to the script saw Lucy Arwell renamed "Lily". Lucy Pevensie was the pivotal character of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, but it was felt that having a young girl named Lucy was an homage too far.
The concept of the Wooden King and Wooden Queen was another image drawn from Steven Moffat's childhood nightmares - in this case, a figure glimpsed standing by his bedroom door as he awoke in the dark.
Bill Bailey was pleased to be given a comedic human character, explaining, "The fact that I am almost playing a human means the expressions are easier to do. If I was an Ood, with a face full of tentacles, that would have been harder to bring the funny".
When asked about the tone he wished to create, Farren Blackburn replied: "I would say there is a kind of mix. It goes through several worlds. It's most definitely a classic action-adventure but I think it merges into the Edwardian children's story and there's a sort of Tim Burton-esque magic about it as well. I think there's a magic throughout the episode, but there is an underlying suspense and tension and darkness to it as well. So I think it merges those three things with an awful lot of Christmas about it".
The looks of the wooden King and Queen in The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe (2011) are heavily influenced by the 2004 Danish animated fantasy drama feature film "Strings" and mostly the wooden puppets in the film. Claire Skinner (Madge Arwell) provided the voice of Jhinna in that film.
The beginning scene where a "triangular" (as is not triangular, it's rectangular and seems triangular by the angle of the camera) spaceship approaches to a planet might be a reference to the first scene in "Star Wars IV: A New Hope" as it's very similar, just that it is not Earth but Tatooine.