Doctor Who: Speculations on “Bad Wolf”

Next week’s episode of Doctor Who in the UK is entitled Bad Wolf, which we know — thanks to previews at the end of last week’s episode — to be centered around some bizarre game show, with the Doctor and Rose playing versions of such “modern” shows as Big Brother and The Weakest Link. Anne Robinson, the original host of The Weakest Link actually plays the roboticized host “Anne Droid” on the show. And, speaking of robots, the Daleks resurface, not destroyed in the Time War as previously believed.

The phrase “Bad Wolf” has been lingering throughout this season; scrawled on the TARDIS door by a young vandal, the call sign of Van Stratten’s helicopter (“Attention all personnel. Bad Wolf One descending. Bad Wolf One descending.”), inscribed in German on the bomb ridden by Captain Jack, and countless more references. Those who are a bit paranoid could find meaning in this season’s episode 4 when the Doctor chased a pig down the corridor of a hospital, or when Rose wore a red hooded jacket during the first episode, a veiled reference to Red Riding Hood. The psychic Gwyneth from the Unquiet Dead read Rose’s mind and stated, “and you, you’ve flown so far, further than anyone! The things you’ve seen. The darkness. The Big Bad Wolf…” at which point she broke off in horror. That could be a reference to anything from episode 1 through 3.

The GEOCOMTEX website, clearly a fake website that is a reference to Van Statten’s company name, lists among its products argentum ordance (silver bullets) and a lupus (wolf) variant of a node stabilizer. Other BBC fakes such as Who is Doctor Who, Bad Wolf, and UNIT also contain more references to silver-tipped bullets and the big bad wolf. By the way, try the passwords BUFFALO and BADWOLF on the secure login for the UNIT website…

There are just as many theories as to the meaning of Bad Wolf: The TARDIS itself could be Bad Wolf (my personal favorite). It was part of some cataclysmic event during the Time War which wiped out the Time Lords and (supposedly) the Daleks. Unfortunately, I missed that part of the whole season and have never seen any of the Time War episodes. Knowing that the TARDIS is partially alive, it is possible that it somehow regrets its or the Doctor’s actions. The Doctor could be Bad Wolf. So could Rose’s mother, or Mickey, the Face of Boe, or anything else that Rose has seen. Perhaps Bad Wolf is the name of the futuristic TV show and the references are some form of product placement advertising. Who knows?

Either way, a chilling prospect arises. We know the Daleks are coming. We know that the genius Adam Mitchell has 20,000 years of history embedded into his brain. We know that Adam also has a computer interface in his forehead in the same place that Davros has an electronic eye…


Well, now we know. Somehow I managed to name just about every possible thing, creature, or character in the universe — except Rose herself.

3 Responses to “Doctor Who: Speculations on “Bad Wolf””

  1. DPrisoner

    Glad you are liking the new series. The last great Time-War that is being referenced was a back story that Russel T Davies invented for the new series (though the novels apparently also destroyed Gallifrey.) You also missed the “Bad Wolf” reference in “Empty Child” where the Doctor comments on being able to sniff Nancy out with his “big nose” and she makes a comment about the size of his ears (he may even have flashed his big toothy grin…) Not so sure how I’m going to feel about “Bad Wolf” (not a big fan of shows like “Big Brother”, though I do like “What not to Wear”) but I’m hoping for great things in “Parting of the Ways.”

  2. Welles

    If you go to the Winning Geocomtex Essay on the “Who is Doctor Who” fake site, the winning essayist writes about how he would like to be a best friend to aliens, perhaps even a god protecting them. The essayist is Adam Mitchell.

  3. richard

    Closing this off for comments because the information and theories presented are really outdated and pointless over two years later!