A couple of weeks ago the BBC released the poster for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor. As you can see in the image above it is a great poster full of menace, darkness and the odd exploding Dalek. However, I have one issue with it. What is that issue? Check below the cut to find out more!
Contains Spoilers for the 2005 series of Doctor Who
My issue is to do with the two words painted on the wall on John Hurt‘s right. Bad Wolf. Yes, the two-word meme that defined Christopher Eccleston‘s time in the Tardis. My problem with the words is the memory of disappointment that will always be stuck to them.
Back in 2005, I was very excited about Doctor Who returning. I was a huge fan of Doctor Who having seen almost every story from John Pertwee to Paul McGann (there is a gap of Tom Baker stories I am yet to fill!) This excitement was only added to when the Bad Wolf mystery started to seep through the series. In episodes two and three the term is mentioned in short snippets of dialogue. In episode four the words were spray painted onto the side of the Tardis. Everyone was asking
who or what is bad wolf?
Why the mystery worked so well was the choice of words. Bad Wolf has links in fairytale and myth which most, if not all, in Britain know from a young age.
So where does my disappointment come from? In episode 13, Parting of the Ways, Bad Wolf is finally revealed to be that Rose, the companion of the time, who after looking into the heart of the Tardis became a time goddess. Why is she called Bad Wolf? Because the episode is set on the Bad Wolf Cooperation’s satellite and she scattered the name across time to reminder her past self. Following this logic, a more honest name would have been Yorkshire TV or ITV2. From a story telling point of view this logic feels like a small child saying “because I say so” when an adult asks them why a character does something in a game they are playing.
With all the build up, I found the reveal a major let down which is a shame for a positive return for a favourite series. Bad Wolf has appeared since as a way of warning(!) characters that Rose is returning. Hopefully the words on the Day of the Doctor’s poster is there to tell us of Rose‘s return rather than a return for her Time Goddess state from Parting of the Ways.