In the first "new" season of Dr Who, "Bad Wolf" is a recurring theme throughout the season and often appears as graffiti as follows;

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What is the meaning of this theme? How does this name or message appear throughout the season? Who or what is the bad wolf?

5 Answers 5


This is a major spoiler:

At the end of the first season, it's discovered that the daleks have been controling the human race through the TV games. Rose looked at the heart of the Tardis and was imbued with the power of time. She used it to return to where the doctor was and scattered the message across time. It's a message to herself from the future.

  • what i don't get is why bad wolf is a thing again when the war doctor appears with the plan to exterminate gallifrey. shure it was the interface and not rose and maybe its just unimportant... but it didn't seem like it was
    – Minzkraut
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 20:58
  • 1
    @Minzkraut when the Bad Wolf first appears at the end of "The Parting of Ways", she blinks away and teleports a couple of feet. What really happens is that she teleports to the past to "The Day of the Doctor", as The Moment to stop the [War] Doctor from destroying Gallifrey. When that's done, she reappears to the [9th] Doctor and destroys the Daleks.
    – cde
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 4:44
  • @cde No, the Moment interface is built from the Doctor's memories. It is not the same entity as Bad Wolf.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 12:41
  • @orangedog not enough evidence to say either way. Also is not just memories, she can see the future too
    – cde
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 12:49
  • @cde I'm pretty sure it's in the script, but I don't have a reference.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 12:49

DForck42's answer explained how it appeared, but not exactly what it means.

The phrase 'Bad Wolf' came from the name of the corporation which the Daleks have taken over and owned the games satellite they were on at the start of the episode Bad Wolf:

Badwolf Corporation

And the message was therefore meant to tell her that she should return to the Bad Wolf Corporation satellite to go and save The Doctor.

At the end of The Parting of The Ways, Rose also explains it further:

Rose: I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I take the words...

[Rose lifts her hand and takes the words from the Bad Wolf Corporation sign]

Rose: ...I scatter them, in time and space.

[the words float off away from them]

Rose: A message, to lead myself here.


Bad Wolf refers to an old Norse legend about Fenrir, a huge and terrible wolf, who is the offspring of Loki and a troll. Fenrir is tethered to prevent it killing the gods in Asguard (not sure why, but it doesnt like them for some reason). To cut a long story short, it breaks its bonds and triggers Ragnarok, the last battle in all existence..ever. The Norse Gods are invaded by the baddy trolls, Fenrir and the Migarth Serpent (Lokis other naughty child)... (depends on your view as to who the baddies are), and the heros in Asguard and all of the known universe are crushed, ending in dark oblivion..or something like that ! Fenrir...Bad Wolf !

  • 1
    You should consider adding some sources to back up your answer.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 8:05
  • The reason Fenrir was bound was because he was growing larger and larger, just as the Midgard serpent. His drool formed a mighty river, so they were afraid.
    – user41577
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 14:31

bad wolf is rose. she scatters the words (bad wolf) through space and time to lead herself to bad wolf corporations.

  • Do you have any links or references which talks about Rose being Bad Wolf? Something to back up what you are saying will go a long way towards answer acceptance. Commented May 19, 2015 at 15:30

Hmmm... well of my theories (facts) Rose Tyler is the bad wolf... according to the eppisode where Rose tells donna that the only way she could change history and "go right instead of left" was to erm... sacrifice herself, but before she died, Rose whispered into her ears the meme " Bad Wolf" which is technically a signal to lead her past self to " badwolf corporations" she took in "the light" and was capable of destroying an entire Dalek Fleet. Also when Donna sacrificed herself (future self) Rose told Donna to tell the doctor the words bad wolf. Hope you understand all of this! I love "Doctor who"

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