Doctor Who: Bad Wolf

The Doctor, Rose and Jack find themselves fighting for their lives in lethal
variants of twentieth-century game shows.

Cast and Crew

Christopher Ecclestone as the Doctor
Billie Piper as Rose Tyler
John Barrowman as Jack
Anne Robinson as the voice of the Anne Droid
Davina McCall as the voice of Davinadroid
Trinny Woodall as the voice of Trin-e
Susannah Constantine as the voice of Zu-Zana
Jo Joyner as Lynda
Jamie Bradley as Strood
Abi Eniola as Crosbie
Paterson Joseph as Rodrick
Jenna Russell as the Floor Manager
Jo Stone-Fewings as Male Programmer
Nisha Nayar as Female Programmer
Dominic Burgess as Agorax
Karren Winchester as Fitch
Kate Loustau as Colleen
Sebastian Armesto as Broff
Martha Cope as the Controller
Sam Callis as the Security Guard
Alan Ruscoe and Paul Kasey as the androids
Barnaby Edwards, Nicholas Pegg and David Hankinson operated the
Daleks
Nicholas Briggs was the voice of the Daleks

Written by Russell T. Davies

Directed by Joe Ahearne

Daleks created by Terry Nation

Originally aired on BBC One in the United Kingdom on the
11th of June 2005

Synopsis

The Doctor, Rose and Jack find themselves playing for their lives in
twisted variants of twentieth-century television game shows.

High Point

If you didn’t already know who’s behind this (as in, if you hadn’t
seen the spoilerific trailers for it), the first view from their POV would
be rather shocking.

However, Jack’s scene with the robotic Trinny and Susannah is
quite masterful.

Low Point

According to Doctor Who Confidential, they had to edit
out a shot of Jack’s bare bottom. My sister feels this is a shame.

I think someone who didn’t know the stakes in The Weakest
Link
would have attracted more attention from the other
contestants, although it could be argued that they are more worried
about preserving themselves.

The Review

Twisted game shows don’t score highly for originality
(Star Trek has done something similar at least once that I
recall), although their place in the overall series story is somewhat
surprising. Four out of six.

The effects this week didn’t quite cut it, although the
space shots are their usual high quality and the defabricator effect is
flawless. The disintegrator beams and transmats sometimes didn’t look
like they belonged there . Four out of six.

I have to rate this highly for story although it’s not quite
possible to judge it all until we have seen the second part and see how
the threads started are tied up. However, this episode leads us
somewhere interesting and starts us off in a surprising and unusual
situation that gives much to discover. The main downside is that
anybody unfamiliar with one or more of the programmes shown is
going to miss out on some of the humour. I’m particularly unsure how
non-British audiences will react to What Not To Wear as I
haven’t ever heard of it being exported. Five out of six.

The casting is up to the usual standards, plus bonus
points for bringing in the British hosts of the programmes depicted in
the episode to voice their respective androids – Anne Robinson for
The Weakest Link, Davina McCall for Big Brother, and
Trinny Woodhall and Susannah Constantine for What Not To
Wear
. Six out of six.

Emotional response would have been higher without the
spoilers last week, but we can now consider it from the viewpoint of a
repeat viewer. There’s definite tension, although some of it’s diffused a
bit disappointingly by the Doctor. Jack is just funny, and the episode’s
conclusion threatens to build to a great climax of suspense… and then
somehow doesn’t quite manage it. Four out of six.

The production can’t really be faulted in many ways. The
appropriate scenery we are supposed to recognise was recreated well.
The Weakest Link graphics were spot on, but that’s not
surprising given that it’s also made by the BBC. My major niggle was on
the level full of Big Brother houses, the doors seemed to be far
too close together, given the size of the house the Doctor was in. Four
out of six.

Overall I’ll give the episode five out of six. Despite its
flaws, it’s really got a sense of something big going on, and it does
leave a lot of questions which we hope will be answered next week.

The grand total this week is thus thirty-two out of forty-two. Next
week’s episode is the final in series one. After that, we know that there
is a one-off Christmas special, which may or may not be the episode
where the Doctor regenerates to allow David Tennant to take over the
role for series two, which is currently in storylining stages and should
start airing in 2006.

43 replies on “Doctor Who: Bad Wolf”

  1. majick says:

    What not to wear.
    airs on TLC at 9pm on Fridays in Canada. My mother-in-law watches it all the time. It’s hosted by different people and is set in NYC if I recall correctly. TVTome should have more info.

    That said, I didn’t make the connection at all.

    • KILNA says:

      Re: What not to wear.

      airs on TLC at 9pm on Fridays in Canada. My mother-in-law watches it all the time. It’s hosted by different people and is set in NYC if I recall correctly. TVTome should have more info.

      That said, I didn’t make the connection at all.

      For those of us lucky enough to have the BBC America channel, they show the British version of What Not to Wear.

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: Trinny and Suzanne’s boobs.

        For those of us lucky enough to have the BBC America channel, they show the British version of What Not to Wear.

        Did you notice one was flat-chested, while the other was more full-figured … Exactly what they are always complaining about. I loved it. :)

        -Joe

  2. manly says:

    Why is each season only 12 episodes long?
    Most North American TV series are 20-24 episodes long… I want more Doctor Who/Battlestar per season! :)

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Why is each season only 12 episodes long?

      Most North American TV series are 20-24 episodes long… I want more Doctor
      Who/Battlestar per season! :)

      First seasons of American shows are traditionally half length. British TV series
      tend to be a bit shorter than American ones though, so don’t be surprised if
      series two is also 13 episodes.

      • mzieg says:

        Re: Why is each season only 12 episodes long?
        It’s already been confirmed that season 2 and 3 (or, for those of you keeping count, seasons 28 and 29) are 13 eps each.

        Note that most of the original series’ episodes were only about 18 minutes long, so consider these to be the equivalent of 26-episode seasons. Since original seasons generally ran to five 4-part stories and one 6-part, that’s 5 x 4 = 20 + 6 = 26 classic episodes. Therefore, the new seasons are precisely as long as they ought to be :-) (With even less duplicate footage in the mid-story cliffhanger overlaps!)

        Also, note that many BritCom series, from Keeping Up Appearances to The Young Ones, only generate a meager SIX new episodes per season! Take pleasure in what you have :-) When all TV is taxpayer supported, rather than ad dollars, you can see why budgets are a bit thinner. I wonder how many new episodes of Clifford The Big Red Dog PBS is able to afford each year…

  3. J_W_W says:

    I must say
    I thought it was fan-TAS-tic.

    It had everything, humor, suspense, drama. I really thought the high point was when Rose was “disentegrated”. That really had an impact.

    The spoofs were hillarious, and go to show you that reality TV isn’t all America’s fault ;-). As an American viewer, the only show I didn’t get a direct reference to was “What not to Wear” since it seemed very different from the American show. It was still enough like the whole “makeover” show style to be the funniest of all the spoofs.

    This was a great episode. From the previews it looks like next weeks episode will be great as well. Just who IS that mysterious voice ;-)…..

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: I must say

      I thought it was fan-TAS-tic.

      It had everything, humor, suspense, drama. I really thought the high point was when Rose was “disentegrated”. That really had an impact.

      The spoofs were hillarious, and go to show you that reality TV isn’t all America’s fault ;-). As an American viewer, the only show I didn’t get a direct reference to was “What not to Wear” since it seemed very different from the American show. It was still enough like the whole “makeover” show style to be the funniest of all the spoofs.

      This was a great episode. From the previews it looks like next weeks episode will be great as well. Just who IS that mysterious voice ;-)…..

      You know, despite “Enterprise,” this past year we have really been blessed with some excellent sci-fi. Between Doctor Who, and BG, this has been an extraordinary time for very high quality science fiction TV.

      -Joe

      P.S. And I’m not sure *who* the deep voice might belong to. What sucks is I am likely to not get to find out until some time in mid-July when I am finally done traveling so I can sit down here at home at my PC and grab the last episode … As for “What Not to Wear”, if you have BBC America I believe it’s on during the day, every day. They did an excellent job with it. :)

  4. Kaki says:

    So are we to think…
    …that the amazing Captain Jack Harkness has always been walking around with that strategically placed gun?

    And what are the guesses as to how the Daleks survived? Help from The Master? Help from Adam?

    Do they possess time-tech now? And if they survived, how can there not be hope for the Time Lords?

    Personally, I thought one of the high points was the Doctor having to face the nightmare world he had helped cause. This series has seemed to come back again and again to the “quick goodbyes” character flaw of the Doctor.

    Also: Bad Wolf. Do we really know who that refers to yet? The obvious answer now would be the Daleks. But if it has been them, how long have they been manipulating things? How could they account for the various appearences of the words? Why didn’t they rescue the Dalek that had fallen to Earth? I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that they aren’t the Bad Wolf. They are pawns being used by someone else against the Doctor.

    • Alexius says:

      Re: So are we to think…

      …that the amazing Captain Jack Harkness has always been walking around with that strategically placed gun?

      Well, I Got The Impression he Unfolded It Once He Retreived It, So It Most Likely Was A Bit More Aerodynamic And Compact.

      And Did Anyone Else Catch Him Feeling Up The Robot?

      And what are the guesses as to how the Daleks survived? Help from The Master? Help from Adam?

      Davros?

      But if it has been them [Daleks], how long have they been manipulating things? How could they account for the various appearences of the words?

      The Controller At Game Station (The Borg Queen Lady) Said They Were Controlling Things For Hundreds Of Years, But Didn’t Say How Many Hundreds. I Was Under The Impression It Was Her That Had Planted The Bad Wolf Refrences. How, I’m Not Sure, But I Gathered She Was Trying to Get The Doctor’s Attention.

      Why didn’t they rescue the Dalek that had fallen to Earth?

      I Was Guessting That They Were Around For Hundreds Of Years, But Still, That Leaves Them Well In The Future. The Events Of The Episode Take Place In 200,100.

      My Guess Was That They Were Around Since The 2012 Episode. He Did Explicetly Say ‘The Daleks Survive In Me!’, Much Like The Deep Voice From The End Of The trailer, And Also, The ‘Destruction As Transmat’ Trick Would Be An Easy Way To Get Him Out Of There, And Was What The Daleks Were Doing To The Humans On Game Station.

      • TwistyHat says:

        Re: So are we to think…
        You do know that capitalising each word makes it harder to read?

        • zocalo says:

          Re: So are we to think…

          You do know that capitalising each word makes it harder to read?

          Not to mention the risk of confusion between, say, “I Helped My Uncle Jack Off A Horse” and “I helped my uncle Jack off a horse”… ;)

          • Alexius says:

            Re: So are we to think…

            You do know that capitalising each word makes it harder to read?

            Not to mention the risk of confusion between, say, “I Helped My Uncle Jack Off A Horse” and “I helped my uncle Jack off a horse”… ;)

            Well, I Don’t Have An Uncle Jack, So I Think I’m Safe…

    • Dave says:

      Re: So are we to think…

      I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that they aren’t the Bad Wolf. They are pawns being used by someone else against the Doctor.

      Well, the “next episode” spoiler at the end more-or-less confirms that. Smart money goes on The Master, partly because he’s a cool villain and partly because they’ll eventually start trying to tie things into established canon. (I know, he’s already at least one regeneration past the normal limit, but why let little things like continuity keep a good villain down?)

      • Eldhrin says:

        Re: So are we to think…

        I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that they aren’t the Bad Wolf. They are pawns being used by someone else against the Doctor.

        Well, the “next episode” spoiler at the end more-or-less confirms that. Smart money goes on The Master, partly because he’s a cool villain and partly because they’ll eventually start trying to tie things into established canon. (I know, he’s already at least one regeneration past the normal limit, but why let little things like continuity keep a good villain down?)

        Last time we saw him it was fairly well-established by several stories that he’d taken to stealing other people’s bodies in order to survive (this was not something they invented for the film), therefore it could easily be him.

        However, it wouldn’t be entirely inconceivable if it was the Time Lord high council or something like that. Those people are weird.

        • Alexius says:

          Re: So are we to think…

          I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that they aren’t the Bad Wolf. They are pawns being used by someone else against the Doctor.

          Plus, There’s This Update To The Bad Wolf Site.

      • Kaki says:

        Re: So are we to think…

        I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that they aren’t the Bad Wolf. They are pawns being used by someone else against the Doctor.

        Well, the “next episode” spoiler at the end more-or-less confirms that.

        O.k. I stopped the spoiler a few seconds in, I’ve gone and watched it now. You’re right, the Daleks as pawns theory is all but confirmed.

        • roseblood says:

          Re: So are we to think…

          I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that they aren’t the Bad Wolf. They are pawns being used by someone else against the Doctor.

          Well, the “next episode” spoiler at the end more-or-less confirms that.

          O.k. I stopped the spoiler a few seconds in, I’ve gone and watched it now. You’re right, the Daleks as pawns theory is all but confirmed.

          And, I avoided the spoilers, only to end up reading it right here.

          Thanks for the WARNING.

          • Kaki says:

            Re: So are we to think…
            I’ll try to be more explicit in the future, and/or do the blackout. Nevertheless, I would think that the phrasing “I’ve gone and watched it (the spoiler) now. You’re right…” is a pretty clear indicator of spoiler duscussion to follow.

            • Alexius says:

              Re: So are we to think…

              I’ll try to be more explicit in the future, and/or do the blackout. Nevertheless, I would think that the phrasing “I’ve gone and watched it (the spoiler) now. You’re right…” is a pretty clear indicator of spoiler duscussion to follow.

              I Tend To Assume That, On This Site, The Original Story Is Safe, And The Comments Are Not, For Everything That’s Hit Major Release.

              As In, If The Episode’s Aired, You Can Expect The Commenters To Have Seen It, And If The Episode Had A Trailer At The End, They’ve Seen That, Too. They Have Not Seen Next Weeks Episode.

    • zocalo says:

      Re: So are we to think…

      Also: Bad Wolf. Do we really know who that refers to yet?

      Heck, I’m not even sure that “Bad Wolf” is a single entity, human or otherwise. The “Bad Wolf Corporation” implies that it might be a collective, but it could just as easily be an object or something more abstract like a concept, or a belief system. About the only things we know for sure is that Bad Wolf is capable of a great deal of manipulation of the world, at least that as perceived by the Doctor and Rose (and us viewers), is capable of tracking a specific Time Lord, and can do both across time and relative dimensions in space.

      That last point kind of narrows it down for me; there has to be a tangible connection to Gallifrey in Bad Wolf somewhere; either Bad Wolf is one or more Time Lords, or knows a great deal about them.

    • fsphil says:

      Re: So are we to think…

      Also: Bad Wolf. Do we really know who that refers to yet?

      Bad Wolf … well that’ll be evil K9 (with a goatee of course).

      (Hi all! My first post here. I’ve been lurking for years!)

      • Kaki says:

        Re: So are we to think…

        Also: Bad Wolf. Do we really know who that refers to yet?

        Bad Wolf … well that’ll be evil K9 (with a goatee of course).

        No wonder the Doctor is about to loose a life. K9’s revenge.

      • TwistyHat says:

        Re: So are we to think…

        (Hi all! My first post here. I’ve been lurking for years!)

        Welcome welcome! :)

    • mzieg says:

      Re: So are we to think…

      Do they possess time-tech now?

      Dalek’s have had time-travel technology since The Chase (1st Doctor, 1965 sidereal :-)

  5. GSVNofixedabode says:

    A great, but SHORT series!
    I can’t wait for ep.13 but on the other hand it’ll signal the end of what I’d consider the best/top equal Doctor incarnation. I’d always thought the Tom Baker/scriptwriters of that time couldn’t be topped but watching Christopher Ecclestone, Billie Piper and the cast go through this series has been (as stated just above)simply fan-TAS-tic!

    Nothing against David Tennant at all, but why oh why don’t the BBC do some serious arm-twisting on Mr. E. to keep him on!

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: A great, but SHORT series!

      I can’t wait for ep.13 but on the other hand it’ll signal the end of what I’d consider the best/top equal Doctor incarnation. I’d always thought the Tom Baker/scriptwriters of that time couldn’t be topped but watching Christopher Ecclestone, Billie Piper and the cast go through this series has been (as stated just above)simply fan-TAS-tic!

      Nothing against David Tennant at all, but why oh why don’t the BBC do some serious arm-twisting on Mr. E. to keep him on!

      I am very fond of this Doctor myself. I agree, he’s got to be equal to my favorites (which is now divided equally among three: Tom Baker and John Pertwee being the other two.)

      -Joe

  6. pdavis says:

    Size doesn’t matter…
    My major niggle was on the level full of Big Brother houses, the doors seemed to be far too close together, given the size of the house the Doctor was in.

    You have seen the TARDIS haven’t you?

    :)

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Size doesn’t matter…

      My major niggle was on the level full of Big Brother houses, the doors
      seemed to be far too close together, given the size of the house the Doctor
      was in.

      You have seen the TARDIS haven’t you?

      :)

      Yes, but that’s Time Lord technology – humans don’t have it in 200,000. Or I
      don’t think they should have, anyway.

      Of course, the houses could be smaller than I thought as well.

      • lost says:

        Re: Size doesn’t matter…

        Of course, the houses could be smaller than I thought as well.

        The other houses could have different corridor configurations to get into them, too, couldn’t they?

  7. fliptw says:

    Bad Wolf
    Is probably Fenric and his band of friends, the gods of Ragnarok.

    The Master is an egoist – if he was going to around tagging things to creep the doctor out, he’d be a bit more obvious, like maester canine or something similar.

    • marky_2005 says:

      Re: Bad Wolf
      I think it’s got to be Adam, it would be out of keeping with the rest of this series if it was suddenly someone from the classic series. They’re far more likely to keep this series self-contained and not confuse new/casual viewers. Adam knows about the war, the daleks, and he’s got reason to hold a grudge. Kind of ironic if a former coronation street actor is the Doctor’s nemesis when it was competition from the show that helped bring about the cancellation in ’89.

      Fantastic episode, just about renewed my faith in Russell T Davies.

      Also, to reply to an earlier posting, the daleks have time-travel for a long time, since the Hartnell story ‘The Chase.’

      • GSVNofixedabode says:

        Re: Bad Wolf

        Adam knows about the war, the daleks, and he’s got reason to hold a grudge.

        Sound’s good but doesn’t explain the stencilling on the Bomb in WW2

        • lost says:

          Re: Bad Wolf

          Adam knows about the war, the daleks, and he’s got reason to hold a grudge.

          Sound’s good but doesn’t explain the stencilling on the Bomb in WW2

          Well, with time travel, cause and effect doesn’t have to go in a linear fashion. I can come up with any number of goofball contortions using time travel that would be entirely plausible in the Doctor Who universe.

      • Kaki says:

        Re: Bad Wolf

        Also, to reply to an earlier posting, the daleks have time-travel for a long time, since the Hartnell story ‘The Chase.’

        Really?! Yikes. I figured that was the one really good edge the Doctor had on them. Is it more limited than the Doctor’s?

        Who all has time-tech? Is Jack the first mention of “time agents”?

        And really the Doctor was pretty negligent when he last left the year 200,100. He had seen that history had deviated from the track he knew, but didn’t do any sort of investigation as to why.

        • Eldhrin says:

          Re: Bad Wolf

          Really?! Yikes. I figured that was the one really good edge the Doctor had on
          them. Is it more limited than the Doctor’s?

          Yes. The Time Lords are the only ones with ‘true’ time travel. The Daleks had
          much more primitive time machines. Many original stories are concerned with
          preventing the Daleks or some other species from developing more
          sophisticated time travel technology.

          • Nakhti says:

            Re: Bad Wolf

            Yes. The Time Lords are the only ones with ‘true’ time travel. The Daleks had
            much more primitive time machines. Many original stories are concerned with
            preventing the Daleks or some other species from developing more
            sophisticated time travel technology.

            What’s considered “‘true’ time travel”? How would the different technologies differ in usage?
            Also, are the Time Wars mentionned in any other series?

            • Eldhrin says:

              Re: Bad Wolf

              What’s considered “‘true’ time travel”? How would the different technologies
              differ in usage?
              Also, are the Time Wars mentionned in any other series?

              ‘True’ time travel is where you can move in time as easily as you can move in
              space. A TARDIS is easily capable of this. The Daleks never really perfected it
              and were often found using ‘time corridors’, which are sort of like wormholes
              with their ends in different time periods, and difficult to set up. They and
              other villains are also seen using various other primitive time machines, but
              it’s always clear that the TARDIS is superior to the lot of them.

              And remember, the Doctor’s TARDIS is an old model considered obsolete by
              the other Time Lords.

    • WhiteGuardian says:

      Re: Bad Wolf

      Is probably Fenric and his band of friends, the gods of Ragnarok.

      The Master is an egoist – if he was going to around tagging things to creep the doctor out, he’d be a bit more obvious, like maester canine or something similar.

      No, it is the Valyard. They have been carefully avoiding any mention of him to keep you from guessing.

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: Bad Wolf

        Is probably Fenric and his band of friends, the gods of Ragnarok.

        The Master is an egoist – if he was going to around tagging things to creep the doctor out, he’d be a bit more obvious, like maester canine or something similar.

        No, it is the Valyard. They have been carefully avoiding any mention of him to keep you from guessing.

        I got the impression from the episode that the controller was leaving the bad wolf messages as part of her plan to get the doctor to the station. Of course then bad wolf becomes the one who she believes it to be. I still think its the master, Adam is a idiot, although he did have knowledge of the daleks.

        • Nakhti says:

          Re: Bad Wolf

          I got the impression from the episode that the controller was leaving the bad wolf messages as part of her plan to get the doctor to the station. Of course then bad wolf becomes the one who she believes it to be. I still think its the master, Adam is a idiot, although he did have knowledge of the daleks.

          That’s what I thought at the begginning as well but then why bother with all the Bad Wolf references? It seemed like it was a simple matter of "transmatting" the Doctor to Satellite 5. What did the references accomplish? How was the Doctor "manipulated" exactly? How was he transmatted in the first place? Does the controller have access to time technology?

          That being said I no longer believe the Control is leaving the Bad Wolf references. It doesn’t have that neat sence of resolution. Nor do I believe it to be the Daleks.

  8. skyboy says:

    bad wolf
    can some one exsplain how capt jack is so clued up on dalek ships and that they were destroyed is it because he was there.also in story 3 we are told that rose has seen the darkness the bad wolf so is it maybe someone shes already seen ,dont rule out her boy friend

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: bad wolf

      can some one exsplain how capt jack is so clued up on dalek ships and that
      they were destroyed is it because he was there.also in story 3 we are told that
      rose has seen the darkness the bad wolf so is it maybe someone shes already
      seen ,dont rule out her boy friend

      Jack’s been travelling with them for a while so might have heard what Rose
      knows about the Time War. He’s also from the 51st century, at which time the
      Earth has already suffered at least one Dalek invasion, so he would know of
      their existence. Plus he’s a time traveller, so could well have encountered
      them in other times and places. The Daleks are such a huge enemy that it
      would be difficult to travel much and not run into at least stories about them,
      I would think.

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