Doctor Who

Season 1 Episode 12

Bad Wolf (1)

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jun 11, 2005 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
681 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Location: The Gamestation (Satellite 5)
Date: 200,100
Enemy: The Games, The Daleks
In a seemingly futuristic world, the Doctor wakes up in the Big Brother house during an eviction, Rose wakes up on the Weakest Link with the Anne-Droid, and Captain Jack gets a make over with Trin-E and Zu-Zana. But something unusual is happening, and the losing contestants are being disintegrated. Obviously, it's time for the Doctor to investigate...moreless

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  • Hello Dalek!

    Thankfully, once the episode actually starts, the action and mystery is right there and we get a fine introduction as The Doctor (quite literally) falls into the Big Brother house. This opening is quirky and hilarious and makes you want to stick around for what comes after the credits (unlike the aforementioned yawn-fest).

    It's a shame that after that amazing reintroduction where they were both mysterious and cunning, the poor Daleks are being demoted to Exposition Exterminators. Still, the episode manages to climb to an edge-of-the-seat climax (especially when the 'Next Time' trailer shows The Doctor saying he's going to die) and wraps up most loose ends while still leaving the most important to be resolved. As the first of a two-parter, I give Bad Wolf an 4/10 in terms of storytelling, characters, and atmosphere. I look forward to reviewing the resolution in The Parting of the Ways.moreless
  • Of all the Dr Who episodes I have watched - this has the biggest error

    When the Doctor says, scanning space for Dalek's using "SONAR"....

    It has to be the most unthought through dialog in the entire series and programme!

    FFS even matt smith the worst doctor ever did not make such statements!!

    SONAR is measurement via sound waves... in space there is NO sound waves as it is a VACUUM!!!
  • Bad Wolf - the Original!

    I love how this is the original episode from where come all the references in later episodes, with different looks for the Doctor (I heard Steve Moffat say they are all the Doctor, just different looks - Doctor Who Confidential for Season 5). It's on BBCA right now and I'm enjoying it. Even if DH says I have seen it at least twice before!
  • Bad Wolf!

    This episode of Doctor Who highlights many of my favorite things about the show. There's mystery, future Earth, Rose Tyler, the return of the Daleks, Captain Jack flirting with everything that walks, and the Doctor being his awesome self.

    All in all, "Bad Wolf" is a great set-up for the finale of Season 1.
  • Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf was a perfect and phenomenal episode of Doctor Who. I loved watching this episode because the episode was awesome, fun and full of character depth and plot development. It was intriguing to see game shows of the future so to say. I liked the connection to The Doctor's actions in a prior episode. The various game shows were great for each character. I liked the girl The Doctor rescued from the Big Brother House. Jack's TV show was fun and humorous to watch. I liked how every thing played out and it was intriguing to learn who was behind every thing. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
Jo Joyner

Jo Joyner

Lynda Moss

Guest Star

Anne Robinson

Anne Robinson

Anne Droid

Guest Star

Jamie Bradley

Jamie Bradley


Guest Star

Alan Ruscoe

Alan Ruscoe


Recurring Role

Paul Kasey

Paul Kasey


Recurring Role

Barnaby Edwards

Barnaby Edwards

Dalek Operator

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • The low pulsing tone that Rose hears when she awakes in the Dalek ship is identical to the one used in all Dalek installations in the classic series.

    • 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 first mentioned as a barrier that the sonic screwdriver can't breach in the 1969 episode The War Games; they are referenced again later in the 2006 episode School Reunion.

    • When Rose is remembering the various times and places she has heard or seen the phrase 'bad wolf', clips from 'The Unquiet Dead ('the big bad wolf'), Dalek (the helicopter), Boom Town ('Blaidd Drwg'), Aliens Of London (the TARDIS graffiti) and The Long Game (BadWolfTV) are shown.

    • This is not the first Doctor Who story that uses the idea of reality TV that kills. A similar concept is used in the Colin Baker story Vengeance On Varos (1985).

    • Rose 'remembers' the helicopter call-sign in Dalek as "Bad Wolf One," but neither she or the Doctor were present to hear it identified as such.

    • On one of the walls in the "Big Brother" house there are pictures of circles. If you look closely, they resemble the armour of the Daleks.

    • This episode features the first mention of Torchwood on Doctor Who. It comes up on The Weakest Link as the answer to the question: "The Great Cobalt Pyramid is built on the remains of which famous Old Earth institute?" The contestant guesses "Touchstone", but the Anne-droid provides "Torchwood" as the proper answer.

    • The alien sounding words Grexnix and Ghaffelbette used during the show originate from the long running British Science Fiction comic 2000AD.

    • The Doctor claims the Daleks are hiding themselves from sonar. But sonar relies on sound waves, which can't travel through the vacuum of space.

    • All shows The Doctor and companions find themselves in are futuristic versions of real shows. Furthermore all voices from the robots are provided by the real life hosts of these shows:
      Anne Droid - Anne Robinson (The Weakest Link)
      Davinadroid - Davina McCall (Big Brother UK)
      Trine-e - Trinny Woodall and Zu-Zana - Susannah Constantine (What Not To Wear)

  • QUOTES (27)

    • Captain Jack: Well, ladies, the pleasure was all mine. Which is the only thing that matters in the end.

    • Dalek: The Doctor is initiating hostile action!
      Another Dalek: The stratagem must advance! Begin the invasion of Earth!

    • (The Controller is transmitted out of the Gamestation for helping the Doctor)
      The Controller: Oh, my masters. You can kill me, for I have brought your destruction.
      (The Controller is shot by a beam which kills her)

    • (As the solar flare happens, the Controller can talk to the Doctor)
      The Controller: Doctor... Doctor... Where's the Doctor?
      The Doctor: I'm here.
      The Controller: Can't see. Blind. So blind. All my life, blind. All I can see is numbers. But I saw you.
      The Doctor: What do you want?
      The Controller: Solar flares hiding me. They can't hear me, my masters listen but they can't hear me now. The sun, the sun is so bright.
      The Doctor: Who are your masters?
      The Controller: Though the word's in my head the name is forbidden. They control my thoughts. My masters, I had to be careful. They monitor transmission but they don't watch the programmes. I could hide you inside the games. I knew that you would find me.
      The Doctor: My friend died inside your games.
      The Controller: Doesn't matter.
      The Doctor: Don't you dare tell me that!
      The Controller: They've been hiding. My masters, hiding in the dark space. Watching and shaping the Earth. So, so, so many years. Always been there, guiding humanity. Hundreds and hundreds of years.
      The Doctor: Who are they?
      The Controller: They wait and plan and grow in numbers, they're strong now, so strong, my masters
      The Doctor: Who are they?
      The Controller: They speak of you. My masters, they fear the Doctor.
      The Doctor: Tell me, who are they?
      (The solar flare passes and the Controller goes back to normal)

    • Female Programmer: If you're not holding us hostage, then open the door and let us out. The staff are terrified!
      The Doctor: That's the same staff who executes hundreds of contestants every day?
      Female Programmer: That's not our fault. We're just doing our jobs.
      The Doctor: And with that sentence, you just lost the right to even talk to me. Now back off!

    • Female Programmer: You're not allowed in there! Archive 6 is out of bounds!
      Captain Jack: Do I look like an out-of-bounds sort of guy?

    • The Doctor: This should be the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. I don't understand. Last time I was here, I put it right.
      Lynda: No but that's when it first went wrong. Hundred years ago, like you said. All the news channels, they just shut down overnight.
      The Doctor: But that was me! I did that.
      Lynda: There was nothing left in their place. No information. The whole planet just froze. The government, the economy, they collapsed. That was the start of it. One hundred years of hell.

    • Lynda: You keep saying things that don't make sense. But who are you though, Doctor? Really?
      The Doctor: Doesn't matter.
      Lynda: Well, it does to me. I've just put my life in your hands.
      The Doctor: I'm just a traveller wandering past. Believe it or not, all I'm after is a quiet life.

    • The Doctor: I had two friends travelling with me. They must've got caught in the same transmat. Where would they be?
      Lynda: I don't know. They could have been allocated anywhere. There's a hundred different games.
      The Doctor: Like what?
      Lynda: Well, there's ten floors of Big Brother. There's a different house behind each of those doors. And then beyond that, there's all sorts of shows. It's non-stop. There's Call My Bluff, with real guns. Countdown, where you've got thirty seconds to stop the bomb going off. Ground Force, which is a nasty one. You get turned into compost. Wipeout, speaks for itself. Oh, and Stars In Their Eyes. Literally, stars in their eyes. If you don't sing, you get blinded.

    • Rose: I keep hearing those words, everywhere we go. Bad Wolf. Different times. Different places. Like it's written all over the universe.
      Rodrick: What are you going on about?
      Rose: If the Bad Wolf is in charge of this quiz, then maybe I'm not here by mistake. Someone's been planning this.

    • (Trin-E and Zu-Zana advance on Captain Jack with blades out)
      Zu-Zana: I think you'd look good with a dog's head.
      Trin-E: Or maybe no head at all! That would be so outrageous!
      Zu-Zana: And we could stitch your legs to the middle of your chest.
      Trin-E: Nothing is too extreme. It's to die for!

    • The Doctor: Are you insane? You just step right into the disintegrator? Is it that important, getting your face on the telly? Is it worth dying for?
      Lynda: You're talking like we've got a choice!
      The Doctor: But I thought you had to apply?
      Strood: Don't be so stupid, that's how they played it centuries back
      Lynda: You get chosen whether you like it or not! Everybody on Earth is a potential contestant. The transmat beam picks you out at random. And it's non-stop. There are sixty Big Brother houses all running at once.
      The Doctor: How many? Sixty?
      Strood: They've had to cut back. It's not what it was.
      The Doctor: It's a charnel house! What about the winners? What do they get?
      Lynda: They get to live.
      The Doctor: Is that it?
      Lynda: Isn't that enough?

    • Anne Droid: Broff, the Great Cobalt Pyramid is built on the remains of which famous Old Earth institute?
      Broff: Touchdown?
      Anne Droid: No. Torchwood.

    • Rodrick: Just remember, do what the Anne Droid says. Don't provoke it. The Anne Droid's word is law.
      Rose: What d'you mean, android? Like a robot?

    • The Doctor: We'd just left Raxicoricofallapatorious then we went to Kyoto. That's right, Japan in 1336, and we only just escaped. We were together and we were laughing and then there was this light… this white light coming through the walls and then… I woke up here.
      Lynda: That's the transmat beam. That's how they pick the housemates.
      The Doctor: Oh, Lynda with a y, sweet little Lynda. It's worse than that. I'm not just some passing traveller; no stupid little transmat gets inside my ship. That beam was fifteen million times more powerful, which means… This isn't just a game. There's something else going on.

    • Lynda: I know you're not supposed to talk about the outside world, but you must have been watching. Do people like me? Lynda. Lynda with a y not Linda with an i, she got forcibly evicted cos she damaged a camera. Am I popular?
      The Doctor: I don't remember.
      Lynda: Oh, but does that mean I'm nothing? Some people get this far just cos they're insignificant. Doesn't anybody notice me?
      The Doctor: No… you're nice. You're… sweet. Everyone thinks you're sweet.
      Lynda: Oh, is that right? Is that what I am? No-one's ever told me that before. Am I sweet? Really?
      The Doctor: Yeah, dead sweet.

    • (The Doctor is trying to get out of the Big Brother house by using the sonic screwdriver on the door)
      The Doctor: I can't open it.
      Lynda: It's got a deadlock seal. Ever since Big Brother 504, when they all walked out. You must remember that.
      The Doctor: (going over to a pane of glass) What about this?
      Lynda: Oh, that's exoglass. You'd need a nuclear bomb to get through.
      The Doctor: Don't tempt me.

    • Anne Droid: So, tell me Rose, what do you do?
      Rose: Um, well, I just travel about, bit of a tourist, I suppose.
      Anne Droid: So you're unemployed
      Rose: No!
      Anne Droid: Have you got a job?
      Rose: Well, not really, no -
      Anne Droid: Then you're unemployed. And yet you still have enough money to buy peroxide.

    • Trin-E: Excellent. And now it's time for the face-off!
      Captain Jack: What does that mean? Have I got to compete with another contestant?
      Trin-E: No, like I said ... face ... off!

    • The Doctor: Do you mind flirting outside?
      Captain Jack: I was just saying hello.
      The Doctor: For you that's flirting.

    • Trin-E: (After Captain Jack pulls out a weapon) But, that's a compact laser deluxe.
      Zu-Zana: Where were you hiding that?
      Captain Jack: You really don't want to know.
      Trin-E: Give me that accessory!
      (Captain Jack shoots)

    • Dalek: We have your associate! You will obey or she will be exterminated!
      The Doctor: No.
      Dalek: Explain yourself!
      The Doctor: I said no.
      Dalek: What is the meaning of this negative?
      The Doctor: It means no.
      Dalek: But she will be destroyed!
      The Doctor: No! 'Cause this is what I'm going to do: I'm going to rescue her! I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet, and then I'm going to save the Earth, and then, just to finish off, I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky!
      Dalek: But you have no weapons! No defences! No plan!
      The Doctor: Yeah! And doesn't that scare you to death? Rose?
      Rose: Yes, Doctor?
      The Doctor: I'm coming to get you.

    • The Doctor: The human race. Brainless sheep, being fed on a diet of - mind you, have they still got that program where three people have to live with a bear?
      Lynda Moss: Oh - Bear With Me? I love that one!
      The Doctor: And me. The celebrity edition, where the bear got in the bath... But it's all gone wrong! I mean, history's gone wrong. Again!

    • Lynda: She's just been evicted - from life!

    • The Doctor: 200 ships, more than 2000 onboard each one, that's just about half a million of them.
      Programmer: Half a million of what?
      The Doctor: Daleks!
      Dalek (Onboard the dalek ship): Alert, Alert we are detected.

    • Zu-Zana: Just stand still and let the defrabricator work its magic.
      Captain Jack: What's a defabricator? (All of Jack's clothes disappear) Ah a defrabricator, does exactly what it says on the tin. Am I naked in front of millions of viewers?
      Trin-E and Zu-Zana: Absolutely!
      Captain Jack: Ladies, your viewing figures just went up.

    • Davinadroid: Would the Doctor please come to the diary room.
      (The Doctor enters the diary room) You are live on Channel 44000. Please do not swear.
      The Doctor: You have got to be kidding.

  • NOTES (15)

    • International Airdates:
      Turkey: November 15, 2009 on CNBC-e

    • Captain Jack mentions he got his denim in Cardiff at the TopShop. This is a clothier chain in the UK, of which there are two TopShop stores in Cardiff.

    • Russell T. Davies stated that the pale, androgynous Controller was inspired by the pre-cogs from the feature film Minority Report.

    • A working title for this episode was Gameshow World.

    • When one of the Daleks says "The female will stand!", a thin, black object to its right which was not there in the wider shot quickly moves upward and out of the shot. This was most likely a boom mike.

    • The original cut included a shot of John Barrowman's (Jack's) nude backside. The BBC deemed this unsuitable for what is, ostensibly, a children's show and ordered the scene cut.

    • The episode begins with a recap of events from The Long Game. This episode is set one hundred years later.

    • The final viewing figure for the BBC One airing of this episode was 6.81 million.

    • The Dalek saucers seen here are based on the design used for the digital re-mastering of the Dalek saucer from the DVD release of the original series' "The Dalek Invasion of Earth."

    • Rose mentions the Face of Boe. He is identified as being from the Isop Galaxy, which is the location of Vortis in the original series episode "The Web Planet."

    • Nisha Nayar (Female Programmer) previous played one of the Red Kang members in the original Doctor Who episode "Paradise Towers". This makes her the second person from the old series to appear in the new series.

    • When Lynda with a Y asks the Doctor how he looks so young when he was at the station over a hundred years ago, he claims he moisturises. This could be a swipe at Cassandra in Episode 2, who needed to moisturise to stay alive.

    • This episode shows some of the occasions that 'Bad Wolf' was mentioned in the previous episodes.

    • It was rumoured that the reason the episode title wasn't initially revealed was because it was pivotal to the plot, and would give everything away.

    • Described in the Radio Times Doctor Who special (26.03.05 - 01.04.05) as:
      "More Daleks? We reckon so".


    • Lynda Moss: Oh - Bear With Me? I love that one!

      Unlike all the other games mentioned, which are reality and make-over programmes from the 21st Century, Bear With Me is fictional, at present.

    • Security Guard: You will be taken from this place to the Lunar Penal Colony, there to be held without trial, you may not appeal against this sentence.

      A penal colony on the Moon that was used to house political prisoners with a similar lack of due process was seen in the 1973 episode 'Frontier in Space', taking place in 2540. If it's the same prison it has been in service for approx. 198,000 years.

    • The Doctor: I'm coming to get you.

      The final line of the episode is another 'Big Brother' reference as it is Davina McCall's traditional announcement to contestants about to be evicted from the Big Brother house in the UK.

    • The defabricator scene contains the line
      "does exactly what it says on the tin"
      This is a reference to a series of adverts for Ronseal products .It also uses the phrase "does exactly what it says on the tin" .

    • Lynda: There's Call My Bluff, with real guns. Countdown, where you've got thirty seconds to stop the bomb going off. Ground Force, which is a nasty one. You get turned into compost. Wipe Out, speaks for itself. Oh, and Stars In Their Eyes. Literally, stars in their eyes. If you don't sing, you get blinded.
      These are all parodies of all real TV shows. Call My Bluff is a game where contestants must guess the real meaning of a word; Countdown is a word and number game, broadcast on Channel 4; Ground Force involves a team of professional gardeners who remake an individual's garden for them; Wipeout was a game-show involving guessing right answers from a grid and avoiding the wrong ones and Stars In Their Eyes, broadcast on ITV, is a show where people impersonate famous singers.

    • The Doctor: It's only a gameshow! She'll make a fortune on the outside. Sell her story, release a record, fitness video, all of that. She'll be laughing!
      Many contestants on Big Brother make money when they leave this house in these ways. Nearly all of them have newspaper or magazine deals to tell their 'story'. BB1 contestants Nichola Holt and Craig Phillips both released singles and other housemates like BB3's Jade Goody and Kate Lawler and BB6 winner Anthony Hutton have released fitness videos.

    • Three reality TV shows are obviously spoofed in this episode: Big Brother, The Weakest Link, and What Not To Wear, parodying the inherent nastiness behind these shows by magnifying it with apparently lethal results. (Those voted off Big Brother and Weakest Link are disintegrated, and guests of What Not to Wear are ultimately subjected to bizarre cosmetic surgery likely to be fatal.) The real-life logos, themes, and even hosts of the real shows make guest appearances.