Some time ago, the Doctor and Rose visited Satellite 5, a news station orbiting Earth in the year 200,000, and learned that the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire was being manipulated through its news media by the alien Jagrafess. The Jagrafess was destroyed, and the Doctor and Rose departed, confident that history was back on track...
Now, 100 years later, the Doctor materialises with a flash of light in a small closet. Disorientated, he stumbles out into a larger common room decorated with primary colours and pop art. A young woman named Lynda Moss helps him to his feet, explaining that he’s been chosen as a housemate -- much to the distress of the other housemates, Strood and Crosbie, who protest that they’ve obeyed all of the rules and weren’t given warning of a newcomer’s arrival. The electronic voice of the Davinadroid orders the Doctor into the Diary Room, and as he starts to recover from the effect of the transmat, he realises that he’s somehow become a contestant on Big Brother.
Rose awakens in a dark room, where a man named Rodrick helps her to her feet, warning her to do as the android says. As Rose struggles to work out what’s happened to her, Rodrick guides her to a central dais where four other contestants -- Agorax, Fitch, Colleen and Broff -- are standing behind podiums. Rodrick guides Rose to her podium and then takes his own place, and as Rose recovers from the transmat process, she begins to recognise her surroundings. The floor manager, technicians and director finish their preparations and activate the “android” -- or rather, the Anne Droid. Rose has just become a contestant on The Weakest Link.
Jack also awakens to find himself participating in a reality programme: What Not To Wear, hosted by the robots Trin-E and Zu-Zana. He starts to ask where the Doctor is, but becomes distracted and intrigued when he learns that he’s about to be given a full makeover. The robots zap him with a defabricator gun, which removes every stitch of clothing from his body, leaving him naked in front of millions of viewers. Jack has no problem with that whatsoever. The robots then have Jack try out a number of different outfits, offering suggestions and criticism, and Jack participates happily, unaware that when this phase is over, his makeover is to continue with cutting-edge cosmetic surgery involving chainsaws.
As the Doctor tries and fails to break out of the House, Lynda introduces herself, and is careful to remind him that she’s not Linda with an I, who was evicted for damaging a camera. She diffidently asks him whether the viewers really like her or are just overlooking her, and the Doctor, realising that she’s genuinely concerned to know what people think about her, kindly claims that everyone thinks she’s sweet. But while distracted, he mentions the TARDIS, and suddenly his memories come flooding back. After their journey to Raxacoricofallapatorius and a narrow escape from Kyoto, Japan, in the year 1336, the Doctor, Rose and Jack were plucked right out of the TARDIS console room by a bright white light. This was presumably the transmat beam that selects contestants for the games, but in order to penetrate the TARDIS, it must have been 15 million times more powerful than any ordinary transmat. The Doctor thus addresses the camera directly, warning whoever’s in charge that he’s going to get out of the House, find his friends, and find out what’s really going on here.
Up in the broadcast control suite, a male programmer named Davitch Pavale approaches a female co-worker to discuss the strange developments on Big Brother, but she’s too busy working on The Weakest Link to listen. Down in the studio, Rose tries to ask Rodrick what’s going on, but when he angrily refuses to answer her questions, she becomes irritated and vows to play the game to win. The first round begins, and the Anne Droid begins to bombard Rose and her fellow contestants with trivia questions on a variety of pop cultural topics. Rose can answer very few of the questions, but she enjoys herself in any case -- and fails to notice just how seriously her fellow contestants are taking the game. The female programmer in the broadcast suite realises that Rose has no idea what stakes she’s playing for, and she now listens when Davitch tells her that a new housemate has appeared from nowhere on his show, as if the games have started running themselves. There have been rumours for decades about other signals hidden beneath the transmissions; the female programmer dismisses them as myths, but the worried Davitch may be forced to turn matters over to the Controller, a pale woman who has been wired directly into the transmitters to monitor everything that takes place on the Game Station...
The first round of The Weakest Link comes to an end, and Rose votes Fitch out for getting several questions wrong. Actually it was Broff who got the most questions wrong, but Fitch is the one who has lost the vote. Rose becomes uneasy when the terrified Fitch breaks down in tears and begs the Anne Droid for a second chance -- but a gun nozzle emerges from the Anne Droid’s mouth and shoots Fitch, disintegrating her. Appalled, Rose lashes out at her fellow contestants for accepting this, but before she can declare that she’s not playing any longer, the panic-stricken Broff snaps and bolts from the dais in terror. The Anne Droid swivels around and disintegrates him before he gets to the exit, and Rose realises that she has no choice but to play the game to the end.
In the Big Brother House, the Doctor is forced to join his fellow housemates on the sofa to wait for the next eviction notice; if he refuses to obey the rules, the others will be punished as well. Bored, he leans back and listens as the Davinadroid informs the housemates that Crosbie has been chosen for eviction. Strood sags with relief before giving Crosbie a comfort hug, but Lynda’s sorrow appears quite genuine. The Doctor rolls his eyes as Strood and Lynda escort the stricken Crosbie to the exit chamber, certain that Crosbie will step out of the House to a lucrative recording contract and/or fitness video -- but instead of the outer door opening to let Crosbie out, a disintegrator beam descends from the ceiling of the exit chamber and blasts Crosbie to atoms. The Doctor is appalled, particularly when he learns that the housemates didn’t choose to come here; they have been selected at random from the population of Earth, there are 60 Houses running at once, and all the winners get to do is live for a little while longer. Livid, the Doctor realises that Rose is in equal danger somewhere out there -- and, recalling what Lynda told him about the contestant who was forcibly evicted for damaging property, he blows up one of the cameras with his sonic screwdriver.
Rodrick votes off Colleen, who is disintegrated by the Anne Droid; Colleen was doing too well, and Rodrick wants to keep Rose in until the final round, as he’s sure that he will win in direct competition against her. Worse, he casually mentions that the games are run by the Badwolf Corporation. Ever since Rose began travelling with the Doctor, she’s been encountering the phrase “Bad Wolf” in all different times and places, as if it’s been written across the fabric of the Universe itself. And if the Bad Wolf is in charge of these games, then Rose must not have been brought here by accident...
The voice of the Davinadroid announces that the Doctor is to be evicted, and Strood and Lynda are stunned when the Doctor rushes into the exit chamber as if eager to face extermination. But at the very last second, the disintegrator beam shuts down instead of shooting the Doctor. As he’d suspected, he was brought to this station for a reason, and whoever is responsible doesn’t want him dead. He uses his sonic screwdriver to open the outer door, and offers the others the chance to get out with him; Strood refuses to break the rules of the game, but Lynda realises that the Doctor is offering a genuine alternative to playing the game and waiting to die. She thus accompanies him out into the corridor, where he realises that this is Satellite 5. It’s the year 200,100, a century after his last visit, and the satellite is now called the Game Station. The Doctor scans his surroundings with the sonic screwdriver and determines that the satellite is outputting far more energy than should be necessary for ordinary TV transmissions. Lynda reveals that there are different games taking place on every one of the satellite’s 500 floors, each one deadly -- and people on Earth have little choice but to watch, since they can be executed for failing to pay their license fee. Realising that the Doctor genuinely isn’t from around here, Lynda asks if she can go with him when he leaves, and he agrees; however, first he must find his friends and learn what’s really going on here. Lynda helpfully pulls a nearby light switch, and the Doctor is shocked when it illuminates the logo of the Badwolf Corporation...
The Doctor has already noted the surprising lack of security guards outside, and although Lynda has put it down to the fact that they’re probably the first contestants ever to escape from their game, something else is going on. The programmers have seen them escape, but have been unable to raise any alarms. Davitch sends the other programmer to Archive 6 to check out the transmat logs while he addresses the Controller, but the Controller, fully engaged with the Game Station’s transmissions, orders him back to work -- and seals the female programmer out of Archive 6, stating that it is out of bounds. The programmers realise that something very odd is going on, but have no idea what to do about it. Meanwhile, the Controller continues working, warning the programmers to expect solar flares shortly.
Down in What Not To Wear, Jack is still trying on different outfits, but Trin-E and Zu-Zana are now ready to move on to the next phase of the makeover. Jack is defabricated again -- and the robots advance on him with surgical equipment, planning to make a radical fashion statement by taking his head off and stitching his legs to the centre of his chest. Jack pulls out a compact laser gun (and since he’s naked, you really don’t want to know from where) and shoots the surprised robots, blowing their heads off. He then dresses, patches his gun into the defabricator, and sets off with his new weapon to find the Doctor, using his wrist computer to trace the Doctor’s characteristic double-heartbeat.
Lynda and the Doctor step out onto an observation deck, where the Doctor is appalled to see that the Earth is covered with a thick blanket of smog. According to Lynda, it’s been this way ever since Satellite 5 stopped broadcasting the news; the transmissions weren’t replaced with anything else, and without any information at their disposal, the economy and governments of Earth collapsed. Now the people of Earth are stuck indoors, wasting away their lives watching deadly and brainless reality TV and game shows. This is supposed to be the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire, but history has been changed out of all recognition -- and the Doctor, sickened, realises that he’s responsible. Jack then arrives; he was unable to locate Rose, as the game rooms must be shielded in some way. He thus gives his wrist-computer to the Doctor so he can hook it into the station’s computers and trace Rose through them, but it proves more difficult than he’d expected; the systems are far too complicated for an ordinary television broadcaster, which seems to confirm the Doctor’s fears that the station is some sort of trap set up by whatever is responsible for scattering the “Bad Wolf” phrase throughout the Universe. He finally locates Rose on Floor 407 -- and Lynda realises what game she’s playing.
Agorax has just been eliminated from The Weakest Link, which leaves Rodrick and Rose going head-to-head. They must each answer five questions. Rose gets one lucky break when she’s able to identify the oldest inhabitant of the Isop Galaxy as the Face of Boe, but that’s her only correct answer... and Rodrick gets two of his five questions correct. He’s won the game, and Rose is the weakest link. As Rose protests and the Anne Droid begins her final speech, the Doctor, Jack, and Lynda burst into the studio -- but as Rose rushes to warn the Doctor of the danger, the Anne Droid swivels and blasts her down mere steps away from the Doctor. The Doctor drops to his knees, stunned, staring at the small pile of dust on the floor where Rose was standing. The enraged Jack turns his gun on Rodrick and the terrified floor manager, who overrides the Controller’s commands and summons security to the room. The security chief puts a gun to the Doctor’s head, forcing Jack to drop his own gun, and all the Doctor can do is stare numbly ahead as he, Jack and Lynda are placed under arrest.
The security guards confiscate their captives’ belongings and take them to a small cell, where they are photographed and interrogated. The Doctor stares dully ahead without responding to their questions, and finally the security chief gives up and sentences them to imprisonment in the lunar penal colonies. But as he turns and opens the door to leave, the Doctor and Jack spring into action, overpower their guards, reclaim their weapons and head for the lift with Lynda at their heels. Up on Floor 500, Davitch warns the others to evacuate while he and the female programmer try to convince the Controller to shut down the lift; however, she does not respond to them, instead focussing on the transmissions and reminding them of the imminent solar flares.
The Doctor, Jack and Lynda arrive on Floor 500, and as Jack covers the terrified programmers with the guns he took from the security guards, the Doctor threatens the Controller with the adapted defabricator laser, demanding answers. She does not respond, however, and the nervous Davitch explains that she’s unable to acknowledge the Doctor’s existence because he is neither a staff member nor part of the transmissions. The Doctor, disgusted, tosses the gun to Davitch and demands to know what’s happening here. Startled, Davitch nervously sets the gun aside and admits that the Doctor may be right about something odd happening on the Game Station; he has been keeping a log of unauthorised transmats and encrypted signals, and he offers to show it to the Doctor. Jack seals off the lift to prevent security from getting in, scans the area, and finds something very interesting inside Archive 6. He is able to open its door without difficulty, and inside, he finds the TARDIS. Inside the TARDIS, he pauses upon catching sight of Rose’s denim jacket draped over a nearby railing, but puts his feelings aside and uses the TARDIS console to scan the Game Station. What he finds surprises him.
The female programmer insists that the Doctor release the terrified programmers, but he has no sympathy for the men and women who have been sending hundreds of people a day to their deaths, particularly when she claims that they were just doing their jobs. The station powers down momentarily as the energy from the solar flares reaches Earth, causing signal interference. For just a few moments, the station is not broadcasting -- and the Controller can speak freely to the Doctor. The beings who wired her up to the Game Station have been monitoring the transmissions, but they don’t watch all of the games, and the Controller thus brought the Doctor here and hid him in the games so he could break out and find her. She now warns him that her masters have been hiding nearby, watching and waiting, guiding humanity from behind the scenes for centuries. They are now numerous and strong, and their plan is nearly complete -- but they still speak of the Doctor with fear.
The solar flares end, and as the station begins transmitting again, Jack bursts out of Archive 6 with wonderful news. He asks Lynda to stand to one side for a moment, and to the Doctor’s horror, Jack triggers one of the station’s disintegration beams, apparently blasting Lynda to atoms. Or so it seems until Jack operates the controls and re-integrates her on the other side of the room. The “disintegrator beams” are really transmats, and their victims aren’t killed, but transported away from the station -- which means that Rose is still alive somewhere out there. The Controller then snaps back into focus and shouts out a series of co-ordinates to the Doctor, defying her masters’ commands. They transmat her away from the station before she has finished, but she faces her masters triumphantly, proud to have struck a fatal blow against them. She has a smile on her face as she is exterminated.
Davitch gives Jack his log of unscheduled transmissions, and Jack is able to piece together the final digits of the co-ordinate sequence. It appears to indicate a sector of empty space, but the Doctor realises that the Game Station is broadcasting a signal to shield this sector from all possible scanners and sensors. When the Doctor cancels out the signal, a fleet of 200 flying saucers is revealed on the edge of the solar system... and the horrified Doctor and Jack recognise them as Dalek saucers. The Daleks were thought to have been wiped out, but there’s at least a half a million of them on Earth’s doorstep. The Daleks, realising that they’ve been detected, contact the Doctor and show him that they are holding the terrified Rose hostage; their stratagem is nearly complete, and unless the Doctor promises not to interfere, they will exterminate his companion. However, the Doctor stands up to them, and vows to rescue Rose, save the Earth, and finish off by destroying every Dalek in existence. He switches off, promising Rose that he’s coming to save her -- and the Daleks, realising that hostilities have been declared, prepare to enter the endgame. Rose stares in horror as hundreds of Daleks surround her, preparing for the invasion of Earth...
The Parting of the Ways
The Daleks detect the TARDIS hurtling through space towards them and fire missiles at it, but the TARDIS is protected by a force field generated by the tribophysical waveform extrapolator. The Doctor then lands on the Dalek saucer, materialising around Rose -- and the nearest Dalek, which Jack destroys with his adapted defabricator. Unfortunately, the blast drains the laser’s power reserves, rendering it useless. Rose and her friends share a joyous reunion, but it’s tempered by the knowledge that the Daleks, unlike the Doctor’s people, have survived the legendary Time War after all. Determined to find out how, the Doctor steps out of his ship to confront the Daleks. Safe behind his force field, he reminds the Daleks that he’s the one thing they fear most in the Universe, and demands to know how they survived. To his surprise, the response comes from the Dalek Emperor, a giant Dalek perched in the heart of the ship like a gigantic metal spider, the mutant clearly visible within the metal caging of its armour.
The Emperor reveals that his ship, though crippled by the holocaust caused by the Doctor, survived and fell through Time to the edges of Earth’s solar system. The few surviving Daleks have been lurking here for centuries, building up their numbers by harvesting the dispossessed of Earth and nurturing the purest cells into Dalek bio-mass. Rose realises that the new Dalek army must be half-human, but the Daleks and their Emperor declare that this is blasphemy and that their flesh is “pure and blessed Dalek.” To the Doctor’s horror, the deranged Emperor now regards himself as the god of the Daleks, and the Daleks worship him as such. The Daleks have been driven mad by centuries of isolation and the fact that they know, deep down, that their DNA is no longer purely Dalek. They hate themselves, and that makes them more dangerous than ever.
Shaken, the Doctor, Rose and Jack retreat inside the TARDIS and return to the Game Station. Most of the staff and “contestants” have evacuated, but they’ve run out of escape shuttles, and Lynda, Davitch and the female programmer are now stuck on board; so is Rodrick, Rose’s fellow player in The Weakest Link, along with about 100 other people down on Floor 000. On the Doctor’s instructions, Davitch turns up all of the power to the transmitters to prevent the Daleks from transmatting on board, but the people of Earth didn’t listen to Davitch’s warnings and are unprepared for the coming attack. The Dalek fleet begins to move towards Earth, intending to cleanse humanity from its surface and make Earth the new Dalek homeworld, but the Doctor has a plan; this station is a gigantic transmitter, and with a bit of work, the Doctor can use it to generate a delta wave, a wave of pure energy that will fry any living brain in its wake. The only problem is that it will take about three days to finish, and the Dalek fleet will arrive in 22 minutes.
Jack wires the extrapolator into the Game Station’s controls, ensuring that the Daleks can’t just blow the station out of the sky; however, there’s nothing to stop them from physically boarding the station, which means that the others will have to set up defences and fight off the Daleks until the Doctor has finished his work. The Doctor asks Rose to stay with him on Floor 500 and help rewire the computers, while the others set off to defend the station. Jack bids the Doctor and Rose a fond farewell and kisses them both before leaving, aware that this may be the last time he sees them. He and the others then descend to Floor 000 to ask for volunteers, but only a handful of staff -- some guards, and the floor manager from The Weakest Link -- believe their claim that the Station is about to be attacked by Daleks. Rodrick is particularly vocal in his disbelief, and the vast majority decide to stay where they are on Floor 000. Jack and the volunteers return to the upper floors, and before leaving, Jack somewhat contemptuously orders the others to keep their heads down and remain quiet if they hope to survive.
Up on Floor 500, Rose asks the Doctor why he can’t just travel back in time to warn the human race of the threat, and he explains that he became locked into the events of this timeline once the TARDIS materialised. However, he’s pleased to note that it didn’t even occur to Rose that they could escape in the TARDIS themselves and leave the others to their fate. The Doctor finishes his preliminary work, but doesn’t like what he sees on the station’s readouts. Suddenly galvanised, he drags Rose into the TARDIS and tells her to hold down a certain lever that will cancel out the buffers and enable the TARDIS to cross its own timeline, just as she had suggested. He then rushes out of the TARDIS, claiming that he has to start powering up the Game Station... but once he’s clear, he uses his sonic screwdriver to activate the TARDIS console by remote control.
Inside, Rose realises too late that the Doctor has set the TARDIS in motion, sending her away from the Game Station to safety. A hologram of the Doctor materialises before the console, delivering a message that the Doctor recorded in case of extreme emergency. In such circumstances he’s likely to die facing an enemy that cannot be allowed to get its hands on the TARDIS -- and he’s sending Rose home, with instructions to let the TARDIS sit on the street corner and die unnoticed. The hologram turns and looks directly into Rose’s eyes, and the Doctor tells her to have a fantastic life. The TARDIS then materialises on the street corner where Rose first saw her father killed, and despite Rose’s desperate attempts to reactivate the console, it does not take off again. Mickey Smith hears the sound of the TARDIS engines and comes running, only to find Rose standing outside the TARDIS alone, in tears.
On the Game Station, Jack tries to contact Rose, only to learn that the Doctor has sent her home. He believes it’s because the delta wave won’t be ready in time, but the Dalek Emperor is now close enough to monitor communications on the station and it demands that the Doctor tell Jack the truth. The Doctor could very well finish his work in time, but he has no way to refine the delta wave. If activated, it will kill every living thing in its path, humans included -- and that means every living being on Earth will die. If the Dalek Emperor is God for creating life, what does that make the Doctor? The Doctor insists that pockets of humanity will survive in the outer colonies, but that this act will wipe out every Dalek in existence -- and to the Emperor’s surprise, Jack accepts this and tells the Doctor to do what he must. Galvanised by Jack’s show of faith, the Doctor confronts the Emperor and demands to know how it spread the words “Bad Wolf” across the Universe to lure him here. To his surprise, however, the Emperor has no idea what he’s talking about. Whatever the Bad Wolf is, it’s got nothing to do with the Daleks...
Mickey and Jackie Tyler take Rose to a nearby fast-food restaurant to celebrate her return, but all she can think about is the Doctor, trapped and fighting for his life thousands of years in the future. She can’t live an ordinary life any more, not now that the Doctor has shown her a better way to live -- a way that means standing up against evil, rather than running away or giving up and just letting bad things happen. Mickey and Jackie may not want to admit it, but she knows they understand what she’s talking about. Upset, Rose storms out of the restaurant, failing to notice the words “Bad Wolf” scribbled across a poster in the window behind her -- but as Mickey follows her and tries to convince her to accept an ordinary life with him, she realises that the phrase has been graffito-tagged across the entire neighbourhood, on the asphalt and on the walls. The same phrase has been following her around since she first started travelling with the Doctor, and for the first time, it occurs to her that it might be a message, telling her that it’s not too late to get back to the Doctor. She already knows that the TARDIS is telepathic, and she has seen the console open up to expose its heart; perhaps if she can open up the console again, she can communicate directly with the TARDIS and persuade it to return for the Doctor. She’s willing to risk her life for that, and although Mickey is hurt when she tells him that there’s nothing for her back home, he agrees to help her do what she feels she must.
On the Game Station, Jack assigns Lynda to lookout duty on an observation deck; this side of the station is reinforced against meteor strikes, and even if the Daleks detect her in here, they should be unable to break through the door. The Dalek fleet then arrives in orbit next to the Station, and uncountable numbers of Daleks pour out of hundreds of saucers, streaming towards the Game Station. Davitch and the female programmer join the other guards behind the barricades on Floor 499 and wait as the Daleks force open the airlock on Floor 494 and board the station. The floor manager and a number of guards are waiting for them, but when the floor manager tries to activate the internal laser defences, she finds that the Daleks have already jammed them. The guards’ weapons prove useless, as the Daleks’ force fields simply melt away the bastic bullets before the Daleks’ casings are so much as scratched. The Daleks exterminate the floor manager and the other defenders on Floor 494 and ascend to Floor 495, where the Anne Droid is waiting. It disintegrates the first wave of Daleks, declaring them to be the weakest link; however, it then pauses to repeat its catchphrase, and the second wave of Daleks destroy it before it can open fire. Most of the Daleks continue upwards towards Floor 500 -- but to Lynda’s horror, a number of Daleks descend to Floor 000 and exterminate all of the terrified civilians who’d refused to participate in the station’s defence, including Rodrick.
Mickey chains his car to the TARDIS console and tries to pull it open, but even at maximum revs, his car’s engine isn’t powerful enough. Jackie tries to convince her daughter once more that there’s nothing she can do, but Rose insists that her dad would never give up -- and she knows that, because she’s met him. Rose tells her mother that the Doctor took her back to be with her father on the day he died, and Jackie, overwhelmed, rushes out of the TARDIS. Rose can’t think of any other way to open the TARDIS console, and despite his concerns, Mickey is upset to see her on the verge of giving up; however, just as she’s about to lose all hope, Jackie comes driving up in a heavy-duty rescue vehicle she’s borrowed from a friend named Rodrigo. Jackie has accepted that her daughter is right, and she tosses the keys to Mickey, telling him to get on with it before she changes her mind.
As the Daleks ascend through the Game Station, their ships descend upon the Earth and bomb whole continents out of existence. The Emperor looks on what he has done and calls it good. The Daleks locate Lynda on the observation deck, and try to cut through the bulkhead doors to get to her; progress is slow, but as Lynda nervously watches the door, another squad rises up outside the window and blasts it open, exposing the entire observation deck to space. The Doctor hears Lynda’s last scream, but can do nothing to save her. On Floor 499, Davitch finally confesses to the female programmer that he joined the games to get close to her, and despite her tough facade, she’s rather touched. However, when the Daleks arrive and battle is joined, the female programmer is the first to be killed, and Davitch soon follows. Soon, Jack is the last survivor, and he fights a desperate rearguard action, trying to buy the Doctor enough time to finish his work. But the Emperor is watching, and he won’t let the Doctor forget that finishing his work will mean the end of humanity.
Once again, Mickey is trying to pull open the TARDIS console with a chain, but this time it’s connected to the recovery vehicle, which is far more powerful than his car -- and this time, he succeeds. The console snaps open, and a bright light shines out, straight into Rose’s eyes. The TARDIS door slams shut in Mickey’s and Jackie’s faces, and the TARDIS hurtles forward through Time as the power in the heart of the console streams out into Rose’s body...
Jack finally runs out of bullets, and, knowing his fate, he faces the Daleks without blinking as they open fire and kill him. The Daleks then ascend to Floor 500, but the Doctor has finished his work, and he threatens to activate the delta wave unless they surrender. The Emperor, however, is convinced of its own immortality, and it wants to see the Doctor pull the switch and become just as great a killer as the Daleks. Faced with the choice, the Doctor decides not to pull the switch; he’d far rather be a coward than a mass killer. The Emperor, triumphant, orders the Daleks to exterminate him -- but then the TARDIS materialises, and Rose steps out, her entire body glowing with light. To the Doctor’s horror, she reveals that she looked into the heart of the TARDIS, and it looked back into her. Her body now contains the entire Time Vortex, and she can see every atom in every moment of Time. With a wave of her hand, she uses her newfound power to scatter the name of the Badwolf Corporation across time and space like a trail of breadcrumbs; she is the Bad Wolf, reaching back through Time to leave a message for her past self.
The Doctor, desperate, warns Rose to let go of the power before it destroys her, but she refuses to stop until he is safe. The Doctor once told her that everything dies eventually -- and with a gesture, Rose uses the power within her to unmake the Daleks and finally put an end to the legacy of the Time War. As the Emperor desperately protests that it is immortal, the entire fleet comes apart and vanishes, becoming less than dust. As the Doctor begs her to stop, Rose waves her hand, and Jack is restored to life down on Floor 499. But the power is becoming too much for her to handle, and the Doctor realises that it’s going to kill her if he doesn’t do something. He thus takes Rose in her arms and kisses her, drawing the power out of her body and into his. Rose collapses, and the Doctor exhales, breathing the power of the Time Vortex back into the TARDIS where it belongs. He then staggers back, weakened, but still strong enough to carry Rose into the TARDIS. The bewildered Jack hears the TARDIS dematerialising, and rushes up to Floor 500; however, he’s too late, as the TARDIS has gone, leaving Jack the only one alive on the Game Station.
Inside the TARDIS, Rose recovers, confused and unable to recall what happened after the console opened up. The Doctor assures her that all is well, but privately, he’s noticed that his hand has started to glow. A little sad, but very proud, he tells Rose that he was planning to take her to the planet Barcelona, but they won’t be able to do that now -- at least, not like this. The Doctor convulses, his entire body glowing with light for a moment, and he tells the horrified Rose that the effort of holding the entire Time Vortex inside his body has caused terminal damage; every cell in his body is dying. Like all Time Lords, he has a way to cheat death, but he’s going to be very different afterwards -- and before he goes away forever, he wants to tell Rose that she was fantastic. “And d’you know what? So was I!” The Doctor’s body then seems to explode with light, as if it’s being burned away and replaced with something else -- and when the light dies down, to Rose’s shock, a young man is standing in the Doctor’s place...
“Hello! Okay-- ngh. New teeth. That’s weird. So where was I? Oh, that’s right -- Barcelona!”
|Source: Cameron Dixon|
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf:
There are far too many “Bad Wolf” references in the previous stories to enumerate here; suffice it to say that there’s one to be seen in every story to date with the Ninth Doctor and Rose, and that they noticed this explicitly in the previous episode, Boom Town
Perhaps the easiest example to find of such references, the first of these two episodes is entitled Bad Wolf. To keep this ongoing theme a secret, this title was the last of the first series episodes to be revealed. In this episode, Rose is again wearing a red hood and "the Bad Wolf Corporation" is the name of the organization running the GameStation.
In The Parting of the Ways the Doctor asks the Emperor Dalek to explain "Bad Wolf," but he cannot. The phrase is later found in graffiti surrounding Rose. After absorbing time vortex energy from the TARDIS, Rose reveals herself to be responsible for leaving the phrase "Bad Wolf" through time and space to tell herself to return to the TARDIS.
During Bad Wolf the official Doctor Who website was themed to look like the Big Brother website, and sponsored by Bad Wolf TV.
At the end of the previous episode, Boom Town
, the Doctor sets course for the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius. Here, he claims to have travelled from Raxacoricofallapatorius to 14th-century Kyoto, Japan, and thence to the Game Station. However, it is possible that he’s referring to an entirely different visit to Raxacoricofallapatorius, or that it took him longer than expected to reach the planet, in which case there is still room to fit in further adventures for the Ninth Doctor, Rose, and Jack between Boom Town
and Bad Wolf
. (However, Rose does explicitly state in The Parting of the Ways
that Boom Town
was the last time she’d seen Mickey.)
When Lynda asks how the Doctor could possibly have been alive a century ago, he jokes that he moisturises, probably as a reference to Cassandra from The End of the World
The Face of Boe is identified as the oldest inhabitant of the Isop Galaxy, which the First Doctor visited way back in The Web Planet
When the contestants are “disintegrated” on the Game Station, a small pile of dust remains on the floor; however, as it’s later revealed that they are being transmatted away, obviously it can’t be their remains. The dust may be zanium, mentioned in The Twin Dilemma
as evidence of extra-terrestrial kidnapping; the novelisation expanded on this by revealing that it’s a powdery residue that crystalises out of the space formerly occupied by a mass that has just been transmatted away.
The name Torchwood made it first appearance in the episode Bad Wolf
. When Rose is playing the Weakest Link, one of the contestants is asked the question "The Kobolt pyramid is built on the ruins of what ancient Earth institute?" the player guesses wrong and the Anne-droid replies "No...Torchwood".
Dalek continuity, which was already very messy, is made a little messier here. An Emperor Dalek is first seen in the Second Doctor story, The Evil of the Daleks
. From Genesis of the Daleks
onward, Davros, the creator of the Daleks, is often seen in charge of one faction of Daleks, and in Rememberance of the Daleks
is even addressed as their emperor. It's extremely murky, however, whether the Emperor from The Evil of the Daleks
, the Emperor here, and Davros, are all supposed to be the same person, or three entirely different megalomaniacs in bonded polycarbite armour.