Bad Wolf meme

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Bad Wolf was created by "the Bad Wolf" to inspire Rose Tyler to save the Ninth Doctor from the Game Station. (TV: The Parting of the Ways [+]Loading...["The Parting of the Ways (TV story)"]) It also prefigured the return of Rose into the Tenth Doctor's life, following his regeneration, as well as the crisis they would face together. (TV: Turn Left [+]Loading...["Turn Left (TV story)"]) "Bad Wolf" was thus both warning for the end of the universe and signpost.

Timeline[[edit]]

The Moment[[edit]]

"Bad Wolf girl". (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

When the consciousness of the Moment took form, it selected the form of Rose Tyler as the Bad Wolf entity. When the War Doctor commented that he could kiss her for giving him a way out of the dual-genocide he was prepared to commit, she remarked, "That's definitely gonna happen." The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, having already heard the Bad Wolf meme, were visibly surprised to hear his past self mention "Bad Wolf girl", as she was only visible and audible to the War Doctor. Due to the timelines rearranging themselves, the War Doctor (and his immediate successor) retained no memory of Bad Wolf. (TV: The Day of the Doctor [+]Loading...["The Day of the Doctor (TV story)"])

During the Doctor's ninth incarnation[[edit]]

TARDIS graffiti was the Doctor's first known direct encounter with the phrase. The phrase was most commonly found in graffiti during the 20th and 21st centuries, (TV: Aliens of London [+]Loading...["Aliens of London (TV story)"], PROSE: Rose [+]Loading...["Rose (novelisation)"], et al.) but the first chronological occurrence was in 1592, where a tavern sign showed a picture of a wolf's head and the initials "B.W.". (COMIC: A Groatsworth of Wit [+]Loading...["A Groatsworth of Wit (comic story)"]) It later occurred in 1869, when Gwyneth, a parlour maid and clairvoyant, looked into Rose Tyler's mind and declared she had seen "the Big Bad Wolf". (TV: The Unquiet Dead [+]Loading...["The Unquiet Dead (TV story)"])

Rose's boyfriend Mickey Smith was a member of the band No Hot Ashes. On 5 March 2005, the very day Rose began travelling with the Doctor, Sally Salter suggested "Bad Wolf" as a new name for the band, which wanted to reinvent itself. She was inspired by graffiti she had seen at a car park on Jordan Road. After surviving the Auton attack that evening, Sally told her bandmates Patrice Okereke and Mook Jayasundera that she thought the name was bad luck and should be changed, (PROSE: Rose [+]Loading...["Rose (novelisation)"]) so they reverted back to "No Hot Ashes". (AUDIO: Ghosts [+]Loading...["Ghosts (Redacted audio story)"])

The first occurrence of the phrase in the Doctor's and Rose's timestream was in the year 5,000,000,000 on Platform One orbiting the soon-to-be-destroyed Earth. The Moxx of Balhoon told the Face of Boe that the current situation was "the Bad Wolf scenario". (TV: The End of the World [+]Loading...["The End of the World (TV story)"])

After being given a computer virus by the Doctor on 7 March 2006, Mickey Smith (TV: World War Three [+]Loading...["World War Three (TV story)"]) wrote on his website that he thought the Doctor's behaviour was all "I'm the big bad wolf and it's way past your bedtime." (PROSE: Hoax This! [+]Loading...["Hoax This! (short story)"])

One of Mickey's video games was entitled Bad Wolf. (PROSE: Winner Takes All [+]Loading...["Winner Takes All (novel)"])

Bad Wolf was on one of the posters for Energize in 1987. (TV: Father's Day [+]Loading...["Father's Day (TV story)"])

An artillery shell about to land on the Chula spaceship with "Schlechter Wolf" written on it. (which is the German Word for "Bad Wolf") (TV: The Doctor Dances)

It appeared in other languages as well. It was used on a type of Nazi artillery shell in World War II, the "Schlechter Wolf"[nb 1] (TV: The Doctor Dances [+]Loading...["The Doctor Dances (TV story)"], PROSE: Unexploded WWII Bomb Warnings [+]Loading...["Unexploded WWII Bomb Warnings (short story)"]) and a nuclear power station being planned in September 2006, the Blaidd Drwg project. (TV: Boom Town [+]Loading...["Boom Town (TV story)"], PROSE: Cardiff Earthquake [+]Loading...["Cardiff Earthquake (short story)"])

A group of weapons on the Fluren Temporal Bazaar on Fluren's World held a banister labelled "Bad Wolf Bargains". (COMIC: Weapons of Past Destruction [+]Loading...["Weapons of Past Destruction (comic story)"])

At least one company, Geocomtex, used the phrase "Bad Wolf" as a helicopter call sign; Henry van Statten's private helicopter was "Bad Wolf One". (TV: Dalek [+]Loading...["Dalek (TV story)"]) Another company, Bad Wolf Holdings, was a part of the Consortium in New Vegas in the 23rd century. (AUDIO: Night of the Whisper [+]Loading...["Night of the Whisper (audio story)"])

In 2501, Rose and a Justicia prisoner named Dennel found themselves trapped in the cockpit of a shuttle with a Blathereen trying to get in. This caused Dennel to say "the big bad wolf is ready to blow our house down", an apparent reference to The Three Little Pigs, as well as a continuation of the Bad Wolf meme. (PROSE: The Monsters Inside [+]Loading...["The Monsters Inside (novel)"])

Lynda lights up the Bad Wolf Corporation sign. (TV: Bad Wolf)

The phrase became more common in the years 199,909 to 200,100, when the Dalek-controlled Bad Wolf Corporation and the television channel "Bad WolfTV" made use of it. (TV: The Long Game [+]Loading...["The Long Game (TV story)"], Bad Wolf [+]Loading...["Bad Wolf (TV story)"]/The Parting of the Ways [+]Loading...["The Parting of the Ways (TV story)"])

It turned out that to save the Doctor's life, Rose Tyler had opened the Doctor's TARDIS, looked into its heart and become the Bad Wolf entity. She then used her seemingly unlimited reality-warping powers to destroy the Dalek Imperial Fleet and spread the Bad Wolf meme throughout space and time, so she would realise she could use the TARDIS to save the Doctor (thereby creating an ontological paradox). Rose was later restored when the Doctor saved her life by taking the Time Vortex energy from the heart of the TARDIS out of her body and regenerating. (TV: The Parting of the Ways [+]Loading...["The Parting of the Ways (TV story)"])

After Bad Wolf[[edit]]

Although the influence that had created the Bad Wolf meme had been removed from Rose by the time of the Doctor's regeneration, echoes remained. The playground chalk drawing of "Bad Wolf" was still faintly visible after he and Rose left to visit New Earth. (TV: New Earth [+]Loading...["New Earth (TV story)"])

The Japanese for "Bad Wolf" on a poster inside a New Earth car. (TV: Gridlock)

In 1879, the Host, a human under the control of a werewolf's bite, stated that Rose had "something of the wolf about her". Because the wolf was also very hostile, it could be considered a literal interpretation of the Bad Wolf. (TV: Tooth and Claw [+]Loading...["Tooth and Claw (TV story)"]) The Torchwood Institute's files on Rose Tyler were corrupted by the Bad Wolf virus (TV: Love & Monsters [+]Loading...["Love & Monsters (TV story)"]) and, after the Doctor and Rose had been separated in different universes, the last hole through the Void linking them led into "Dårlig Ulv Stranden" (Bad Wolf Bay) in Norway. (TV: Doomsday [+]Loading...["Doomsday (TV story)"]) It also appeared in the year 5,000,000,053, inside a New New York car. (TV: Gridlock [+]Loading...["Gridlock (TV story)"])

The words "Bad Wolf" in the form of graffiti on what appeared to be a brick wall. (WC: The Genuine Article)

In what appeared to be an alleyway in Cardiff, graffiti reading "Bad Wolf" was present, written in white on a brick wall. This "alleyway" turned out to actually be a ship. (WC: The Genuine Article [+]Loading...["The Genuine Article (webcast)"])

Rose's return[[edit]]

The Doctor's TARDIS covered with the Bad Wolf message. (TV: Turn Left)

On a parallel Earth, Donna Noble was sent back in time to make her past self in the "main" reality turn left at a junction on Little Sutton Street. She did this by running into a lorry, creating a traffic jam. As Donna died, Rose told Donna to tell the Doctor two words: "Bad Wolf". The "real" Donna vaguely remembered the words whispered to her other self, which she told to the Tenth Doctor. Immediately, the whole of Shan Shen was covered with the words "bad wolf". Even the Doctor's TARDIS was altered to include the phrase on all of its exterior signs. Donna asked what this meant, and the Doctor told her it meant the end of the universe. (TV: Turn Left [+]Loading...["Turn Left (TV story)"])

By the time the Doctor and Donna returned to Earth, however, the Bad Wolf words had disappeared from the TARDIS. (TV: The Stolen Earth [+]Loading...["The Stolen Earth (TV story)"])

Other appearances[[edit]]

A report subtitled "Mal Loup" about the "alien war". (PROSE: Hoax This!)

In the early 2000s, one of the passwords to the operations board on the UNIT website by was "badwolf". (PROSE: Secure Login [+]Loading...["Secure Login (feature)"])

The correct pin sequence for Geocomtex's RH-390 S12 was "-... .- -.. .-- --- .-.. ..-.", Morse code for Bad Wolf. (PROSE: Support [+]Loading...["Support (feature)"])

On Who is Doctor Who? in 2006, Mickey Smith included a clip of a newsreader reporting on the "alien war", which had the subtitle "Mal Loup" (French for Bad Wolf). He also wrote about the Ninth Doctor, calling the Doctor a "big bad wolf". (PROSE: Hoax This! [+]Loading...["Hoax This! (short story)"])

The words "Bad Wolf" appeared in graffiti on the landing of the Ritz stairway, shortly before Jack Harkness and Toshiko Sato were sent backwards in time to 1941. (TV: Captain Jack Harkness [+]Loading...["Captain Jack Harkness (TV story)"]) At around the same time, Cardiff had a motorcycle gang Blaidd Drwg. (COMIC: Jetsam [+]Loading...["Jetsam (comic story)"])

The Eleventh Doctor was reminded of Bad Wolf when told about the Battle of Wolf 359. (COMIC: Assimilation² [+]Loading...["Assimilation² (comic story)"])

The words "Bad Wolf" were found written on the walls and pavements in a town, and even in a forest nearby. (PROSE: Little Rose Riding Hood [+]Loading...["Little Rose Riding Hood (short story)"])

At some point, the words "Bad Wolf" appeared in graffiti on the door of 10 Downing Street. (PROSE: The Secret Lives of Monsters [+]Loading...["The Secret Lives of Monsters (novel)"])

Cleo Proctor and Shawna Thompson found the words "Bad Wolf" in UNIT's records. (AUDIO: Recruits [+]Loading...["Recruits (audio story)"])

In a board game, one of the squares had a picture of a wolf accompanied by the text "Bad Wolf". (WC: Monster File: The Trickster's Brigade [+]Loading...["Monster File: The Trickster's Brigade (webcast)"])

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

Websites[[edit]]

Main article: Bad Wolf (website)

In 2005, the BBC released the official Bad Wolf website to promote series one of Doctor Who, and to breakdown the Bad Wolf story arc and provide potential theories and solutions, based on evidence from the television series and real world popular culture and mythology.

The Bad Wolf meme was also referenced in the web fictions Secure Login and Support, released on the U.N.I.T. and GEOCOMTEX tie-in websites, respectively.

Animation reconstruction[[edit]]

In an animated reconstruction of a scene from The Invasion from that story's DVD release, "Bad Wolf" appears as graffiti on Isobel Watkins' wall. (The character liked to write reminder notes for herself on the wall.)

In The Power of the Daleks, another animated second Doctor story, "Bad Wolf" appears on the colony notice board.

"Bad Wolf" appears, albeit backwards, on the eye testing board in the animated version of The Faceless Ones.

Video games[[edit]]

The 2015 crossover video game LEGO Dimensions includes the words "Bad Wolf" scribbled on the wall in one of the Doctor Who levels.

Footnotes[[edit]]

  1. Technically, the closer German translation for the term is "Böser Wolf", the name of the character in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, "Little Red Riding Hood". "Schlechter Wolf" implies a wolf of inferior quality.