Doctor Who - The New Series

1.12: "BAD WOLF" (1/2)

TX: 11 June 2005

Written by: Russel T. Davies

Directed by: Joe Ahearne

Running time: 42' 04"

Location: The Game Station, Orbiting Earth

Date: 200,100 AD

Monsters and villains: The Anne Droid, Davinadroid, Trine-e and Zu-Zana (Robots that kill for entertainment).

Plot Synopsis: The Doctor, Rose and Jack uncover some very foul play when they end up trapped in all-too-deadly reality shows. But the shows mask an even deadlier threat, one that the Earth has been blinded to for decades...

Bad Wolf Reference: The Game Station is owned by "Bad Wolf Corporation".

Trivia: (1) The three shows that The Doctor, Rose and Jack get stranded on are Big Brother, The Weakest Link and What Not to Wear respectively. The hosts of these shows - Anne Robinson, Davina McCall, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine - all play robotic versions of themselves.

(2) The Big Brother eye logo, music, seats and door buttons are all authentic - in a rare moment of co-operation, Channel 4 agreed to allow the BBC to use the real Big Brother licence. The Weakest Link and What Not to Wear are both BBC shows, so no complicated discussions were required to use them.

(3) All of the shows mentioned by Lynda (Blankety Blank, Stars in Their Eyes etc.) are real game shows past and present, although with a somewhat more violent bent.

(4) The ending of the episode, though clearly supposed to be a surprise, was ruined by the "Next Time" trailer for Boom Town, which revealed the story almost in its entirety.

(5) The Face of Boe is referenced in this episode. It appeared in 1.02, The End of the World, and briefly in 1.07, The Long Game. We learn in this episode that it is from the Isop galaxy, which was visited by the first Doctor in The Web Planet.

(6) The answer to one of the questions is "Torchwood", an anagram of Doctor Who. This is the name of the Doctor Who spin-off, coming in 2006.

(7) The DVD version of this episode had a minor change to the "next week" trailer; a shot of the Anne Droid was replaced with a shot of Rose. Nobody is entirely sure why.

Spoiler Synopsis: The Doctor wakes to find himself in a strange house. He's met my a young woman named Lynda who tells him that he's suffering temporary amnesia because of the teleportation beam, and that he is their newest housemate. Suddenly, a voice comes over the speakers saying that the Doctor must report to the house's "Diary Room". Confused, he enters and sits in a large chair only to be told that his actions are being broadcast live to the entire planet on Channel 44,000. He is now part of Big Brother.

As Rose wakes she slowly realises that she is lying in a TV studio. A man named Rodrick helps her up and takes her to a series of podia arranged in a semi-circle. He tells her to do exactly what the robot says. Rose is has no idea what he's talking about, but when a stage manager tells everyone to take their positions, she heads straight for the podium with her name on it. As the show begins, an android in the centre of the studio springs to life and tells the contestents that they are ready to play The Weakest Link.

Two androids watch over Jack as he regains consciousness. As he gets up, they introduce themselves as Trine-E and Zu-Zana. They use a laser beam to destroy his clothing in order to give him a makeover - it seems that he is in a futuristic version of What Not to Wear.

In the control room, the producers wonder what is going on - none of these three contestents were supposed to appear, so where have they come from?

Back in the Big Brother house, Lynda is pestering the Doctor to tell her if she's popular on the outside. Trying to concentrate on escaping, the Doctor lies and tells her that people think she is "sweet". Suddenly, he remembers what happened - he, Jack and Rose were returning from another strange adventure when the teleportation beam entered the TARDIS and pulled the three of them apart. The Doctor realises that since a normal transmat beam would not have been able to get inside the TARDIS, whoever teleported him must have made a real effort to bring him aboard.

He is distracted by the house computer, which says that it's eviction time; the house member who is least popular with the public will be voted out. A female housemate is chosen and says an unusally tearful goodbye before leaving through the exit. Once there, her image is beamed onto the house and the housemates watch as she is disintegrated by a laser beam.

Horrified, the Doctor asks why anyone would want to sign up, but Lynda explains that nobody chooses to go on the show; they are all picked at random, and the winner walks away with his or her life. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to blow up one of the cameras and - as he predicted - he is automatically put up for eviction.

In another studio Jack is getting a full makeover, but the androids aren't satisfied with his appearance. After removing his clothes once again, they decide to up the ante by taking his head off too. As they ready their chainsaws, Jack pulls a compact laser gun out of - well, he's naked, have a guess - and blows their heads off.

Back in the Weakest Link studio Rose is doing poorly, but still manages to answer more questions than one nervous contestant, who is promptly voted out. Crying, the woman begs to be left in the game, but it's no use - the Anne-Droid promply vapourises her. Rose is disgusted, but warned that if she runs from the game she too will be killed. Rodrick tells her that he's going to make sure that she makes it into the last round so he can be sure of winning the money put up by the game's owners, the Bad Wolf Corporation. Rose flashes back to the numerous references to Bad Wolf throughout the series and wonders if that means her appearance here was planned.

In the Big Brother house, the Doctor cheerfully waits for disintegration, but nothing happens. He explains that if someone's gone to the trouble of placing him in the game they're not going to want to kill him off. He uses his sonic screwdriver to open the door and invites the last two remaining housemates to come with him. Only Lynda agrees. Outside, they find that the house is only one of dozens of rooms connected to a large antechamber. The Doctor looks around and realises that he's stood in what used to be Satellite 5, the news station from episode 1.07, The Long Game. The Doctor explains that he's a traveller and his friends were taken as well; Lynda asks if she can go with him and he agrees.

Upstairs, the producers try to find out how the Doctor and his companions got aboard, but all the relevant details have been locked out by the Controller, a woman hooked up to a machine whose brain is used as a vastly powerful processing unit for maintaining the station's programming. The producers ask to know what's going on, but the Controller tells them to get back to work; a solar flare will be hitting the station soon and everyone must be ready.

Jack has combined his pistol with bits and pieces from the fashion droids to create a massive laser gun. He uses the ship's computers to look for the Doctor, finding him quickly as he is the only creature on board the station with two hearts.

Meanwhile, Lynda and the Doctor piece together what's going on. When the Doctor was last on the station 100 years ago, he killed Max, a monster living on Floor 500. Max was holding back the progression of humanity by regulating news output so that humankind would grow docile and easily led. After finishing the beast off, the Doctor left without telling anyone what to do next. Without any kind of news the world was plunged into a new dark age, which someone capitalised on by turning Station 5 into the GameStation. Now humanity is even more sheep-like, mindlessly consuming the television that is killing them one by one. Jack arrives as the Doctor begins to search for Rose.

She is still trapped in the TV studio, filming the final round of the Weakest Link. She puts up a valiant effort, but still loses to Rodrick. The Doctor and Jack burst into the studio and Rose runs to them, but the Anne-Droid proves to be even faster, shooting her in the back and reducing her to nothing but ash.

Shocked, the Doctor and Jack are taken away by station security and locked up in cells whilst transport to a lunar penal colony arrives. But they haven't given up yet. At the last minute, the pair make a daring escape, knocking out several guards and stealing their guns before running off to Floor 500.

They burst into the programming suite and demand to know what's going on. The producers are relucant to talk until the Doctor tosses his laser gun aside, telling them that he wouldn't have used it on them anyway. The Doctor demands that the Controller tell him what is going on, but she ignores him. The producer tells the Doctor that she cannot hear or see him because he is not a member of staff; her brain is almost completely used up by the processes needed to keep the station running. Meanwhile, Jack breaks into the sealed-off archive, to find the TARDIS hidden inside.

The solar flare hits the station, and whilst the systems shut down, the Controller regains control of her body. She tells the Doctor that her masters cannot read her thoughts while the flare is washing over the station. She explains that she has been hooked up to the system since she was a child, with barely any mind of her own. But in her masters' transmissions she heard the Doctor's name mentioned several times. Hating them with what little mind she possessed, she used the teleportation beam to bring the Doctor and his companions to the station, where they would be able to defeat her bosses. Although they have altered her brain so that she cannot say their names, she can tell the Doctor that they have been altering the Earth for centuries, installing Max in the station years ago and manipulating humanity to this day. Jack returns from the TARDIS and tells the Doctor that the disintegrator beams were actually teleportation devices - and Rose is still alive. The Controller gives the Doctor the co-ordinates for Rose's location but is instantly teleported away herself. She arrives on another ship and is instantly killed by her masters.

The location of the beam is somewhere near the edge of the solar system, but the station's cameras show nothing. The Doctor realises that there is a counter-signal that is warping the picture and turns it off so that they can really see what is out there. The Doctor is horrified to see hundreds of Dalek warships containing half a million Daleks heading towards Earth.

The Dalek controller makes contact, demanding that the Doctor stay put or they will exterminate Rose. The Doctor refuses, and says that he's going to infiltrate the fleet, destroy the Dalek's plans and blow every single one of them out of the sky. He cuts the transmission as thousands of Daleks hover to their battle stations. TO BE CONTINUED.

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Sources: - The Internet Movie Database - Outpost Gallifrey - A Brief History of (Time) Travel