Bad Wolf: Wikis


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This article is about the Doctor Who episode. For the folk tale character, see Big Bad Wolf. For a listing of various mentions of the phrase in the 2005 series of Doctor Who, see Story arcs in Doctor Who.
166a – "Bad Wolf"
Doctor Who episode
The Anne Droid "disintegrates" another contestant.
Guest stars
Writer Russell T Davies
Director Joe Ahearne
Script editor Helen Raynor
Producer Phil Collinson
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
Mal Young
Production code 1.12
Series Series 1
Length 1st of 2-part story, 45 minutes
Originally broadcast June 11, 2005
← Preceded by Followed by →
"Boom Town" "The Parting of the Ways"
IMDb profile

"Bad Wolf" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on June 11, 2005. It is the first of a two-part story. The concluding episode, "The Parting of the Ways", was first broadcast on June 18.



The TARDIS crew find themselves trapped in the Gamestation, also known as Satellite 5, where they must battle to survive the cruel games. But when Rose is taken away, the Doctor realizes his most deadly enemies, the Daleks, have returned en masse.


The three TARDIS travellers find themselves separated, waking up with temporary amnesia in various reality television and game shows. The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) finds himself in a Big Brother house hosted by the "Davinadroid" (Davina McCall), Rose (Billie Piper) on the set of The Weakest Link hosted by the "Anne Droid" (Anne Robinson), and Jack (John Barrowman) facing two gynoids, Trine-e and Zu-Zana (Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine) who offer to give him a brand new image, à la What Not to Wear.

All three find out that the shows are more fatal than their twenty-first century counterparts. On The Weakest Link and Big Brother, losing contestants are seemingly disintegrated, while on What Not to Wear, participants undergo major cosmetic surgery. Jack and the Doctor escape from their shows, the Doctor bringing along a contestant called Lynda (Jo Joyner), and find themselves on Satellite Five, which the Doctor previously visited in "The Long Game", now under the control of the Badwolf Corporation.

Lynda is instrumental in explaining gaps in the narrative. She explains to the Doctor that a hundred years previous to the episode's narrative, the satellite's broadcasts suddenly stopped, and as a result, progress on Earth halted. The Doctor realises that he himself was responsible for the change.

The Doctor, Jack, and Lynda progress to find Rose. They find her as she loses in the final round of The Weakest Link, and is promptly disintegrated. They are arrested, but escape their capture and travel to the control room on Floor 500. They meet the Controller (Martha Cope), a cybernetic human, who obliquely tells the Doctor that contest losers are not disintegrated, but transmatted to an empty point in space. The Doctor and Jack discover, to their horror, hundreds of ships containing 400,000 Daleks between them. Detected, the Daleks open a communication channel to the Doctor, who resolves to rescue Rose and then purge the Dalek race once and for all. In response, the Daleks' last action before the episode ends is to start invading Earth.

Cast notes


  • When the Doctor first tries to escape from the Big Brother house, Lynda reveals that a "deadlock seal" prevents contestants from escaping. Deadlock seals are mentioned again in "School Reunion" (2006),[1] "Evolution of the Daleks" (2007)[2] and "42"[3] and are the only kind of seals that a single Sonic Screwdriver is incapable of penetrating alone. Exo-glass, first mentioned in "The End of the World", is said here to require a nuclear bomb to penetrate.
  • The word "transmat" was first used as shorthand for matter transmission in The Ark in Space (1975)[4] and has been the standard term used in the programme ever since.
  • While playing The Weakest Link, Rose successfully answers a question about the Face of Boe, who first appears in "The End of the World",[5] 5 billion years after "Bad Wolf". The Face of Boe is also mentioned in "The Long Game",[6] and appears in a larger role in "New Earth"[7] and "Gridlock".[8]

Bad Wolf

  • The term "Bad Wolf" appears in every episode of the first series (except for the first episode, and two-part stories which only have one explicit reference between the two episodes) between "The End of the World" and "The Parting of the Ways", in which the mystery is cleared up. (See Story arcs in Doctor Who.) It is also seen in further series of Doctor Who and in the Torchwood episode "Captain Jack Harkness" as graffiti inside the dance hall.
  • References to "Bad Wolf" outside the series include its use as a password for the UNIT website,[9] several appearances on the BBC's own web site,[10] and its use in the first three of the New Series Adventures spin-off novels. The BBC Bad Wolf website lists the various clues and possible theories as to its identity.[11]
  • Upon revealing the Bad Wolf Corporation logo to the Doctor, Lynda proclaims the line "Your lords and masters" - a line echoed in "Daleks in Manhattan" by Eric Loren's character Mr. Diagoras.
  • In Turn Left, the term "Bad Wolf" is sent as a message to the Doctor by Rose Tyler, through Donna Noble, to signify the end of the universe.[12]


  • When Rose wakes up in the Dalek spaceship, the background sound effects are similar to the sounds of the Dalek City in The Daleks as well as to those in the Dalek control room in the basement of the school in Remembrance of the Daleks and many other Dalek bases throughout the series. The point-of-view angle backing her up against a wall is also similar to how the Daleks were first shown menacing Barbara in that serial's first episode cliffhanger, already echoed once before in "Dalek".
  • The Dalek saucer design is similar to the one seen in the new CGI effects sequences produced for the 2003 DVD release of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, itself based upon the design seen in the 1960s TV Century 21 comic strip The Daleks. Saucer-like Dalek spacecraft are also seen or referred to in The Daleks' Master Plan (1965-1966),[13] Planet of the Daleks (1973),[14] Death to the Daleks (1974)[15] and Revelation of the Daleks (1985).[16]
  • According to the DVD commentary for this episode, the music that is heard as the Dalek fleet is revealed includes a chorus singing "What is happening?" (transliterated: Mah Kor'ei) in Hebrew.
  • The Doctor's promise to "wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky" echoes a vow made by Abslom Daak, the protagonist of the spin-off Doctor Who-related comic strip Abslom Daak, Dalek Killer.


  • A working title for this episode was "Gameshow World".[17]
  • This was the last of the 2005 Doctor Who episode titles to be revealed. Prior to this, the episode was referred to in promotional literature as "The Parting of the Ways (Part 1)", with "Part 2" eventually becoming simply "The Parting of the Ways".[18]
  • According to episode 12 of Doctor Who Confidential, the production team originally intended to show Jack's naked buttocks on screen. The scene was shot, but the BBC's editorial policy department stepped in and vetoed it, the only time they overruled the production team during the 2005 series. Viewers finally got the chance to see Barrowman's posterior in "Day Two" of the Children of Earth story that made up Torchwood's third series.
  • John Barrowman celebrated his birthday during the filming of the What Not to Wear segment; the crew presented him with a toy Dalek (wrapped in 'Barbie' paper) that Barrowman later said (in the DVD commentary for "The Parting of the Ways") he placed by his fireplace. Footage of Barrowman unwrapping the Dalek is included on the DVD.
  • Russell T Davies mentioned that the "arc word" for the subsequent series was mentioned in this series, as well as being an anagram. One of the answers during The Weakest Link scenes was that the Great Cobalt Pyramid was built on the ruins of the famous Old Earth Torchwood Institute; "Torchwood" being an anagram of "Doctor Who". In 2006, a spin-off series titled Torchwood began, set in modern-day Cardiff and involving a team investigating paranormal and alien incidents, and featuring John Barrowman reprising his role of Jack Harkness.

Outside references

  • The Davinadroid voice tells the Doctor that he is on Channel 44000 and asks him not to swear, echoing Davina McCall's requests during live broadcasts to the house in the actual Big Brother program. The Big Brother UK TV Theme is played during this and several other segments of the episode.
  • Apart from the fictional Bear with Me, all the other shows Lynda mentions as coming from the Game Station are based on popular British game and makeover shows: Call My Bluff, Countdown, Ground Force, Wipeout and Stars in Their Eyes.
  • The Doctor's final line of the episode is "I'm coming to get you." This is Davina McCall's traditional announcement to contestants about to be evicted from the Big Brother house in the UK.
  • Some of the questions used in the Weakest Link Scenes were also used in the Doctor Who Special of the actual show. The "Anne Droid" also made an appearance in the special.


  1. ^ "School Reunion". Writer Toby Whithouse, Director James Hawes, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2006-04-29.
  2. ^ "Evolution of the Daleks". Writer Helen Raynor, Director James Strong, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2007-04-28.
  3. ^ "42". Writer Chris Chibnall, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2007-05-19.
  4. ^ The Ark in Space. Writers Robert Holmes, from an idea byJohn Lucarotti (uncredited), Director Rodney Bennett, Producer Philip Hinchcliffe. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 25 January 1975–15 February 1975.
  5. ^ "The End of the World". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Euros Lyn, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2005-04-02.
  6. ^ "The Long Game". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Brian Grant, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2005-05-07.
  7. ^ "New Earth". Writer Russell T Davies, Director James Hawes, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2006-04-15.
  8. ^ "Gridlock". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Richard Clark, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2007-04-14.
  9. ^ Top Secret: Unit
  10. ^ BBC - Doctor Who - The Official Site
  11. ^ Bad Wolf Blaidd Drwg - who is bad wolf? what is bad wolf?
  12. ^ "Turn Left". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Susie Liggat. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2008-06-21.
  13. ^ The Daleks' Master Plan. Writers Terry Nation, Dennis Spooner, Director Douglas Camfield, Producer John Wiles. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 13 November 1965–29 January 1966.
  14. ^ Planet of the Daleks. Writer Terry Nation, Director David Maloney, Producer Barry Letts. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 7 April 1973–12 May 1973.
  15. ^ Death to the Daleks. Writer Terry Nation, Director Michael E. Briant, Producer Barry Letts. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 23 February 1974–16 March 1974.
  16. ^ Revelation of the Daleks. Writer Eric Saward, Director Graeme Harper, Producer John Nathan-Turner. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 23 March 1985–30 March 1985.
  17. ^ A Brief History Of Time (Travel): Bad Wolf / The Parting Of The Ways
  18. ^ The Doctor Who Complete New Series Boxset at the BBC Shop

External links


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