World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Bad Wolf

166a – "Bad Wolf"
Doctor Who episode
The Anne Droid "disintegrates" a contestant.
Writer Russell T Davies
Director Joe Ahearne
Script editor Helen Raynor
Producer Phil Collinson
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
Mal Young
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Production code 1.12
Series Series 1
Length 1st of 2-part story, 45 minutes
Originally broadcast 11 June 2005
← Preceded by Followed by →
"Boom Town" "The Parting of the Ways"

"Bad Wolf" is the twelfth episode of the revived first series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 11 June 2005. The TARDIS crew find themselves trapped in the Gamestation, also known as Satellite 5, where they must battle to survive the cruel games. However, when Rose is taken away, the Doctor realises his deadliest enemies have returned en masse.

It is the first of a two-part story. The concluding episode, "The Parting of the Ways", was first broadcast on 18 June 2005.


  • Plot 1
    • Continuity 1.1
    • Outside references 1.2
  • Production 2
    • Cast notes 2.1
  • Broadcast and reception 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5
    • Reviews 5.1


The Doctor, Rose, and Jack Harkness find themselves separated, waking up with temporary amnesia in various television game shows. The Doctor finds himself in a Big Brother house hosted by the Davinadroid, Rose ends up on the set of The Weakest Link hosted by the Anne Droid, and Jack wakes up facing two female androids who offer to give him a makeover on a show similar to 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 disintegrated. On What Not to Wear, participants undergo brutal cosmetic surgery. The Doctor escapes from his show, bringing along a contestant called Lynda. They discover that they are on Satellite Five, which the Doctor previously visited in "The Long Game". It has been renamed the Game Station and is now under the control of the Badwolf Corporation. Lynda explains that 100 years ago, Satellite Five stopped broadcasting and humanity became confused and lost.

The Doctor, Jack, and Lynda search for Rose. They find her just as she loses 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. There they meet the Controller, a cybernetic human. The Controller uses the cover of a solar flare to speak directly to the Doctor, telling him that her masters cannot hear her during the flare. The Controller used a transmat to hide the Doctor and his companions in the games as her masters do not watch them. The solar flare ends before she can tell the Doctor who is controlling her. Jack finds the TARDIS, which he uses to figure out that contest losers are not actually disintegrated but transmatted off of the station. The Controller begins giving the Doctor the coordinates that the transmat leads to, knowing that her masters will hear. The Controller disappears in a transmat beam and wakes up on a spaceship, where she is killed by her masters. Rose wakes up on the floor of a spaceship and is horrified to see a Dalek approaching her. The Doctor and Jack discover a signal coming from the station that is hiding something at the edge of the solar system. They cancel the signal and reveal a fleet of Dalek spaceships. The Daleks open a communication channel to the Doctor, threatening to kill Rose if he interferes. The Doctor refuses to back down and vows to rescue Rose and wipe out the Daleks.

The episode ends with the Daleks about to invade Satellite Five.


In one of "The Weakest Link" sequences, one of the correct answers is revealed to be Torchwood, the first appearance of the name in Doctor Who;[1] it would become the story arc for the second series. When the Doctor first tries to escape from the Big Brother house, Lynda reveals that a "deadlock seal" prevents contestants from escaping.[1] Deadlock seals are mentioned again in "School Reunion" (2006),[2] "Evolution of the Daleks" (2007)[3] and "42"[4] 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)[5] 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",[6] 5 billion years after "Bad Wolf". The Face of Boe is also mentioned in "The Long Game",[7] and appears in a larger role in "New Earth"[8] and "Gridlock". Rose's question about the Face of Boe also states that he is the oldest inhabitant of the "Isop Galaxy", which is also home to the planet Vortis seen in The Web Planet.[9] Jack and the Doctor are sentenced to the Lunar Penal Colony, which the Third Doctor was sent to in Frontier in Space.

The term "Bad Wolf" and the two-part stories which only have one explicit reference between the two episodes.[10] It is also seen in further series of Doctor Who and in the Torchwood episode "Captain Jack Harkness" as graffiti inside the dance hall.

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. 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.

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.


A working title for this episode was "Gameshow World".[11] 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".[12]

The concept of the Anne Droid and a futuristic version of The Weakest Link was pitched by Russell T Davies in his second meeting with the BBC about bringing back Doctor Who in 2000 or 2001. The idea had come from his trip to New York City for the launch of the American version of Queer as Folk, where he had seen "a vast screen in Times Square with a gigantic Anne Robinson blasting us tiny mortals with her voice".[13]

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 over-ruled the production team during the 2005 series.[14] 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.[15]

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 Captain Jack Harkness.

During the actual recording the director instructed the sound engineer Neil Harris to mix up the played back questions so that their confusion would appear genuine.

Cast notes

Nisha Nayar, the actress cast as the Female Programmer in this episode, previously appeared as one of the uncredited 'Red Kang' extras in the 1987 classic series story Paradise Towers. This made her the second actor to appear in both the classic and new series of Doctor Who, following William Thomas's appearance in the previous episode, "Boom Town". Martha Cope later played Captain Oswin in the audio play The Nowhere Place[16] and Talia in Bedtime Story.[17] Paterson Joseph later played Victor Espinoza in the audio play Earth Aid.[18] Sebastian Armesto later played Anders in the audio play Grand Theft Cosmos.[19]

According to Doctor Who Confidential, although Anne Robinson was invited to voice the Anne Droid, the expectation was that she would decline. A celebrity voice impersonator had already been hired to record the lines when Robinson accepted.[14]

Broadcast and reception

The episode received final rating of 6.81 million viewers, the lowest figure of the series.[20]



  1. ^ a b "Bad Wolf – Fact File". BBC. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  2. ^  
  3. ^  
  4. ^  
  5. ^ Writers  
  6. ^  
  7. ^  
  8. ^  
  9. ^  
  10. ^ "Bad Wolf: Clues". BBC. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  11. ^ A Brief History Of Time (Travel): Bad Wolf / The Parting Of The Ways
  12. ^ The Doctor Who Complete New Series Boxset at the BBC Shop
  13. ^ Scott, Cavan (25 July 2013). "The Way Back Part One: Bring Me to Life".  
  14. ^ a b "The World of Who".  
  15. ^ Commentary for Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf" (DVD (Region 2)). United Kingdom: BBC. 2005. 
  16. ^ "84. Doctor Who – The Nowhere Place".  
  17. ^ "100. Doctor Who – 100".  
  18. ^ "2.06 Doctor Who – Earth Aid".  
  19. ^ "2.5 Doctor Who – Grand Theft Cosmos".  
  20. ^  
  21. ^ Hogan, Dek (12 June 2005). "The mad woman in the attic".  
  22. ^ Wilkins, Alasdair (27 November 2009). "5 Lessons We Hope RTD's Learned From His Past Doctor Who Epics".  
  23. ^ "Reviews: Doctor Who, episode by episode".  
  24. ^ Jane Anders, Charlie (31 August 2010). "Greatest Doctor Who cliffhangers of all time!".  
  25. ^ Harrison, Mark (24 June 2010). "Doctor Who: 10 cliffhanger screamers". Den of Geek. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  26. ^ Jeffery, Mogan; Allen, Chris (3 June 2011). Doctor Who's best ever cliffhangers: Friday Fever"'".  

External links

  • Bad Wolf (TV story) on TARDIS Data Core, an external wiki
  • "Bad Wolf" at the homepageDoctor WhoBBC
  • "Bad Wolf" / "The Parting of the Ways" at Doctor Who: A Brief History Of Time (Travel)
  • "Bad Wolf" / "The Parting of the Ways" at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
  • "Bad Wolf" at Outpost Gallifrey
  • "Bad Wolf" at
  • Doctor Who Confidential – Episode 12: The World of Who
  • "Rose, you leave this life with nothing." – Episode trailer for "Bad Wolf"
  • Bad Wolf site
  • "Bad Wolf" at the Internet Movie Database


  • "Bad Wolf" reviews at Outpost Gallifrey
  • "Bad Wolf" / "The Parting of the Ways" reviews at Outpost Gallifrey
  • "Bad Wolf" reviews at The Doctor Who Ratings Guide
  • "Bad Wolf" / "The Parting of the Ways" reviews at The Doctor Who Ratings Guide
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.