You cannot hurt me. I am immortal. Bad Wolf:
You are tiny. I can see the whole of time and space, every single atom of your existence. And I divide them.
Hello. I...uh... (pauses
) Huh. New teeth. That's weird. So where was I? ...Ah yes. Barcelona!
— (The Tenth Doctor's first words to his loving audience)
When we left our heroes, they were staring down an absolutely ridiculous number of Daleks. Who turn out to be mutated humans, trapped in their pepperpot cans forever.
The Doctor and Jack rig a force field out of Margaret the Slitheen's surfboard
, and go fetch Rose. Jack tenderly kisses Rose and the Doctor goodbye on their lips, and goes off the stall the Daleks, knowing that he probably won't survive. note
The Doctor tricks Rose into going back into the TARDIS and sends her back to her own time to keep her safe. He activates a hologram recording that tells Rose to live a normal life, let the TARDIS die and experience all she can as a normal human girl.
Rose won't have any of it and, looking for a way back, notices the words "Bad Wolf" everywhere
around her in cloudy grey London. For the first time, she realizes that it may not be a warning at all... it may be an inspiration. She talks Mickey and Jackie into ripping apart the TARDIS to expose the ship's living telepathic core to her.
The Daleks approach the comms center of the satellite as the Doctor is still preparing his wave attack, and they EX-TER-MI-NATE anyone they encounter — including Lynda and Jack. The Dalek Emperor tells the Doctor to make his choice. Will he be a killer like he was in the Time War, murdering every last human on Earth to destroy the Daleks? Or will he be a coward and let nature take its course? The Doctor realizes that he can't bear to repeat the actions he took during the Time War, and says that he'd be a coward, any day. Even if it means letting those mutated humans live on as Daleks forever. Even if it means he'll have to sacrifice himself.
Just as he's about to be murdered, Rose steps in, with time itself
pulsing through her from the TARDIS core. As a catalyst for the Time Stream, she's become a literal Goddess from the machine
, and with a single word she promptly kills every last Dalek she can find. On top of that, she scatters the words "Bad Wolf" — the name of the TV station — throughout time, space and parallel dimensions, as a sign to herself. Oh, and she revives Jack. Remember the last time she saved someone who was supposed to be dead
? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
With all that, she collapses, and the Doctor, grinning, tells her... "I think you need a Doctor". He absorbs the full force of the Time Stream from her body by kissing her. It's a beautiful moment until it kills him.
Jack hears the "Vrorrp Vrorrp" of the TARDIS as it vanishes, leaving the poor guy stranded in 200,100... He's actually left behind on the satellite so he can go and star in Torchwood
. However, Nine is starting to show an ominous glowing in his hand, and we realize something's wrong. He tells Rose that he had so many plans for her, like taking her to a planet called Barcelona with noseless dogs. Except that jolly rambling is interrupted by a jolt of hissing yellow energy thrashing inside of his chest. Though the Doctor's saved Rose, the Time Vortex energy he absorbed turned corrosive and it's making all his cells die. Now, he has to change into a new man to live on through regeneration. Knowing he's going to lose the aspects of this incarnation, the Ninth Doctor bids Rose Tyler a glass half-full goodbye with one last joke. The Doctor regenerates
with a burst of flaming energy and morphs into David Tennant
, the Tenth Doctor. Rose doesn't remember a thing, and is terrified when a strange man is suddenly bouncing around the TARDIS. From there, the ending segues into "Doctor Who: Children in Need"
- Arc Words: The meaning of "Bad Wolf" is finally explained. It doesn't have any inherent meaning, but was scattered across time and space by TARDIS!Rose to show normal Rose the way back to the Doctor.
- Asshole Victim: Roderick. To be fair he was only trying to survive in the Weakest Link and being a jerk about it. He told the people on Floor 0 the Daleks weren't there but the Daleks disappeared a long time ago. Subverted, in that he is exterminated alongside all the humans on Floor 0.
- Big Damn Kiss: Between Jack and Rose, Jack and the Doctor and the Doctor and Rose.
- Big "Shut Up!": "I think you're forgetting something. I'm the Doctor, and if there's one thing I can do it's talk. I've got five billion languages and you haven't got one way of stopping me, so if anybody's going to shut up, IT'S YOU!!"
- The Caligula: The Dalek Emperor, as the Daleks hiding in space for hundreds of years has left them mad.
- Call Back: To Genesis of the Daleks, with the Doctor having the power to destroy the Daleks but going through a moral dilemma.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Rose, as shown subtly by the way she looks at Linda when she shakes the Doctor's hand and gets in a line to the Doctor before her.
- Continuity Nod: Turning dead humans into Daleks is another idea re-purposed from the period after everyone stopped watching the first time.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: Lynda's extermination.
- Deus ex Machina: A literal example with Rosenote , a mere human companion, opening the heart of the TARDIS (although with help from her mother and Mickey), to telepathically pilot it to the 2001st century to save the Doctor, absorbing the vast energies of the time vortex, emerging out of from the TARDIS as the "Bad Wolf" to save the Doctor from the Daleks. "The god out of the machine."
- In fact, Rose's example above is another case of this: after obtaining godlike powers to stop the Daleks, she sends the words "Bad Wolf" back through time to make sure her past self will follow the same path. In short, her "Bad Wolf" incarnation created itself.
- Decoy Protagonist: First-time viewers who haven't been spoiled could be forgiven for seeing the title, seeing Lynda's role in the story and thinking it means that she's going to replace Rose.
- Discontinuity Nod: Towards the half-human Doctor idea from the TV movie.
Rose: That makes them...half-human?
Emperor Dalek: Those words are blasphemy!
- Evil Sounds Deep: The Dalek Emperor has a teeth-rattling voice.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner:
Jack Harkness: I kind of figured that.
- First Episode Resurrection: Played with in Jack's case. It occurs at the end of a season, but will define much of his character on both his spinoff and the parent show from here on (though we don't learn it was permanent here).
- Foiler Footage: An alternate ending where Rose dies was filmed with the intention of screening it for critics, but Davies decided it was too inferior to use.
- Foreshadowing: The Doctor hologram saying he's about to die and he hopes it's a good death.
- For the Evulz: The Daleks going to Floor 0 to wipe out the humans before they go to Floor 500.
- A God Am I
- Bad Wolf has shades of this.
The Doctor: It's not right! You can't control life and death!
Bad Wolf: But I can.
- Also the Dalek Emperor: "I reached into the Dirt and made new life. I am the God of all Daleks!"
- God Emperor: The Dalek Emperor.
- Go Out with a Smile: Nine
- Heroic Sacrifice: Several.
- Human Resources: The source of the Emperor's army.
- I Will Fight Some More Forever: Jack continues firing his pistol at the Daleks as he's backed into a corner. "Last man standing!" Finally, they've got him, and he spreads his arms in a "bring it" posture.
- If We Get Through This: The two staff-members.
- It Has Been an Honor: Played with.
The Ninth Doctor: I just wanna say you were fantastic... Absolutely fantastic. And d'you know what? So was I.
- Kill 'em All: Virtually everyone on the station is slaughtered by the Daleks (who seem to sustain exactly one casualty before Bad Wolf unmakes them), and Captain Jack is the only one who seems to be restored to life. Only one person on the station doesn't die, and that's Rose. Granted, the Doctor and Jack don't stay dead. And that's not even mentioning the off-screen deaths of potentially billions of humans on Earth, which the Daleks are bombing (we see entire continents distort from the blasts).
- Lip-Lock Sun-Block: The Big Damn Kiss between the Doctor and Rose.
- Literary Allusion Title: To Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Also an Actor Allusion - the Harry Potter chapter is the last appearance of David Tennant in the films, while this episode is the first appearance of David Tennant in the series. note
- Love Triangle: The Doctor, Jack and Rose all kiss in this episode.
- Morton's Fork: The Doctor doesn't have the time to refine the delta ray — either he lets the Daleks live and puts the whole universe at risk, or he commits another act of double genocide and takes out the human and Dalek races at once.
- Mythology Gag: The TARDIS's holographic doctor was first seen in Infinite Requiem.
- My Skull Runneth Over: Almost happens to Rose, so the Doctor absorbs the energy and blocks her memory.
Bad Wolf: The sun, and the moon. The day, and the night. But why do they hurt? ... I can see everything. All that is. All that was. All that ever could be. ...My head... is killing me.
- Not Me This Time: The Doctor, after the battle starts, assumes that, since they seemed to be behind everything else, the Daleks were behind the "Bad Wolf" words and asks the Dalek Emperor why he spread them through history. The Dalek Emperor responds that he doesn't know anything about them, and the Doctor realizes that if the A God Am I Emperor did do it, he would have gloated about it like he did with the rest of his plan.
- Physical God: The Bad Wolf/TARDIS Matrix/Rose
- Reality Ensues: Lynda-with-a-Y. The Doctor thinks she'd be a great companion and even likes the idea of her traveling with him, but when you have a Dalek Empire descending on the station... what do you think will happen to her?
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The Bad Wolf Arc Words were originally intended to be a small Easter Egg appearing in the episodes, "something for the keen-eyed fans to spot each week" according to Russel T Davies. It was only after they realised that they'd not been nearly subtle enough and many people were speculating on their meaning that the producers created an explanation for the words' continual appearance - an explanation which would result in them reappearing as a warning in later episodes.
- San Dimas Time: Pointed out by Mickey when Rose is desperate to get back to the confrontation that's happening right now... 198,000 years in the future.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Lynda, who this and the last episode seemed to be setting up as a possible companion.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: "DO NOT BLASPHEME!"
- See You in Hell: Jack, like in Boom Town - except this time he knows he's going to certain death.
- Shaggy Dog Story: The elaborate battle plans and heroic resistance that most of the episode focuses on hardly even slow the Daleks down. Earth's bombed enough to reshape entire continents, everyone on the station apart from the Doctor dies in a one-sided massacre and the Doctor can't go through with destroying the rest of humanity to stop the Daleks. Only Rose's return saves the shaggy dog from getting shot.
- The So-Called Coward: When faced with destroying all life in the system, he'll choose coward over killer any day.
- Space Is Noisy: Averted. When the Dalek rises up to the window of Lynda-with-a-Y's hiding place, while you don't hear it, its dome-lights flash in what is clearly it shouting "EX-TER-MIN-ATE", before it blasts the window apart, opening the room to the vacuum of space (evidently, the Daleks say it more for themselves than anyone else at this stage).
- Stable Time Loop: The Arc Words "Bad Wolf" were planted by the TARDIS-possessed Rose so she could find a way to get back to the Doctor, which involves Rose getting possessed by the TARDIS so she can plant the "Bad Wolf" messages.
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: In the Doctor's holographic message to Rose, he turns his head to her as if he knew she would walk around the hologram to its side.
- Technobabble: Try saying that while drunk.
- Wham Line:
- You Shall Not Pass: Cap'n Jack!