All the Bad Wolf references in ‘Doctor Who’

Eleven years since Doctor Who returned to our screens, we decided to take a look back at all the “Bad Wolf” references in the show over the past decade.


‘The End Of The World’

Doctor Who Moxx of Balhoon

The Moxx of Balhoon says to the Face of Boe: “Indubitably, this is the Bad Wolf scenario. I find the relative laxity of the ongoing multiverse…”


‘The Unquiet Dead’

Doctor Who The Unquiet Dead

Gwyneth reads Rose’s thoughts: “And you, you’ve flown so far, further than anyone! The things you’ve seen. The darkness. The Big Bad Wolf…”


‘Aliens Of London’

Doctor Who Bad Wolf TARDIS

A boy paints the words “Bad Wolf” on the side of the TARDIS.




The voice of the helicopter pilot says: “Attention all personnel. Bad Wolf One descending. Bad Wolf One descending.”


‘The Long Game’

Doctor Who face of Boe

We see a clip from a channel called “Bad Wolf TV”, with this dialogue: “And over on the Bad Wolf channel, the Face of Boe has just announced he’s pregnant.”


‘Father’s Day’


A poster on the wall has “Bad Wolf” written on it in graffiti.


More on Page 2…

  • Alex Denby

    There’s one more: Cosgrove Hall retroactively added one to The Invasion when they reconstructed episodes 1 and 4.

  • Tash

    There is a reference in S2 E2 when the wolf says there is something of the wolf about you to Rose

  • Rebecca

    As far as I remember there is one in the last episode of season 1 (parting of the ways, I think). Rose is sitting in a diner with her mom and mickey and in the background you see a poster with BAD WOLF at a window.

  • Anubis2705

    “Schlechter Wolf” is German for “Bad wolf”? seriously? It’s horrible enough that the Doctor-Who-authors made this mistake once, but that you repeat it instead of correcting it, is just sad. The term “bad wolf” derives from fairy tales most notable those of the Brothers Grimm (both German linguists). In these fairy tales it is “der große böse Wolf” which actually means “the great evil wolf”, but is usually translated as “the big bad wolf”. If you translate “bad” with “schlecht” you are actually saying the wolf is foul, instead of evil.

    • Name

      What a horrific mistake! Foul Wolf instead of Bad Wolf!!??!!!!111!!!??? I don’t think I will be able to watch this episode, nay season again without feeling sickened to the stomach.

      • Anubis2705

        You are missing the point, don’t you?

        There is a TV-show like “Doctor Who” with a big budget and they are not able to find someone who can translate two simple word correctly? It’s a matter of respect. A mistake like that says: “Who cares, if it is correct? At least it’s just stupid German. Our audience don’t speak German and who cares, if Germans watch our show.”

        • Philip Rock

          bigger things have had worse translations.

          • KatieFreak

            agree, try DW with czech dubbing, it’s horrible. of course, some things are untranslatable, word play and stuff, but they even re-named Jamie (when the doctor uses his name in tooth and claw) to James MacCrimmoR…and stuff like that…

          • Roli TheOne

            I understand that nobody’s perfect but I am still with the poster on this one. If you think of all the things you have to manage and organize for a show of that size and you even have to get someone to actually paint the words on that bomb, it might not hurt to double check. Even google translator can do “bad wolf” correctly as it translates “böse Wolf”. The correct form here would, however, be “böser Wolf”.
            But then again, you see things like that all the time. There are movies made for cinemas with budgets of hundreds of millions and they let people speak german that can’t even remotely pronounce the sounds in a fashion a german would do.

          • Dwd

            Chill guys. Dårlig
            sounds a bit like dalek and that’s cool. Blaidd Drwg is Welsh for naughty wolf

        • Guy Uest

          And YOU are forgetting that the production teams are HUMANS. They probably thought they had it right, and/or put the wrong thing in there on purpose. Remember that Rose, AKA Bad Wolf, the one that puts these references there, is not 100% multilingual and can miss things. You’re reading too much into an error that nobody really cares about, but still has a similar enough connotation for people to get.

      • Matthew

        In the German dub, it’s Böse Wolf. The team did a pretty lazy translation job there. 🙂

    • Lin Åm Fuglestad

      I completely agree with you that this is poor research, and they made the exact same mistake in Norwegian! Dårlig Ulv Stranden means Rubbish Wolf Beach. Correctly translated it should be Styggulvbukta. It wouldn’t take them many minutes extra to work this out, and I really think they should have made the effort.

      • Alissa

        But then they wouldn’t have the word that almost sounds like dalek which I think was part of the joke, and not meant to offend anyone

    • Martha Jones

      I actually think it’s on purpose! They are not referring to the fairy tale, the words “bad wolf” is just random. And bad in english can mean something is poorly made (for example) and evil, so when scattered across the universe the meaning is not important, it’s the combination of the words!

    • Zero Chronicles

      Well that could be because “Wolf” is actually anagram for “Fowl” and by that choice they hint it as “Foul” is pronounced “Fowl”. Thereby creating “Foul Fowl” And now you know why they spelled it “Wolf” and not “Wulf”

      • Michael

        I have no idea what you are talking about. Where should wolf or Wolf be spelled wulf or Wulf? Did you think ther German word for wolf was Wulf?

        • Anubis2705

          The German word “Wulff” (two f) means something like “stupid head of state” 😉

          • Michael

            Touché! But I wonder if Zero was referring to that…

    • Lucas

      It’s BÖSER WOLF
      I’m german I know it best

    • Sveinung Liland Hartveit

      I agree, but then they’ve done this repeatedly.
      Like Dwd said: Blaidd Drwg is Welsh for “naughy wolf”, not Bad Wolf.
      Like youself: “Der grosse böse Wolf” not “schlecter Wolf”
      And finally: Bad Wolf Bay – a rough translation of a beach’s name just outside Bergen, Norway, – namely Dårlig Ulv Stranden, which really translates as Bay Wolf Beach. However, since this doesn’t fit the narrative, they slightly alter it.

  • Nebbdyret Perry

    Dårlig Ulv Stranden, thats google translate for you.. Bad wolf bay would translate to “Slem ulv bukta”.

    • Michael

      So what would dårlig… oh I see. It actually is the same as with the German translation on the bombs, right? “Schlecht” means more something like not good enough.

      • Roli TheOne

        Yes, “schlecht” refers to “not good enough” so to speak. As in “You’re a bad person”. Or if you’re not good in school you are a “schlechter Schüler” bad pupil. The bad in bad wolf refers to character traits and is more like evil, which would be the correct translation for the bad wolf – “Der (große) böse Wolf”.

        • Michael

          I cannot get my mind off schlecht in the sense of spoiled. Like it’s rotting away.

      • Lin Åm Fuglestad

        It means “of poor/low quality”.

  • Blank

    In the opening credits to the second half of series 7, you can see a stardust shape in the corner that resembles a wolf holding a rose. It’s at about five seconds in.

    • Girl

      Where is this??? I’ve never seen it

      • I just found it!! That’s so cool!

  • MrGuymanwatch

    “Bad Wolf” was graffitied on a wall in an old dance hall in the Torchwood episode “Captain Jack Harkness”.

  • Rebecca

    In the Parting Of The Ways Rose sits in a diner and there is a Bad Wolf Poster in the background

  • hidden

    The “Last Christmas” episode, a WOLF written on one of the elves’back

    • yormahm

      And just before the WOLF, the other elf says “Santa goes BAD a__”

  • Dave

    In the christmas special one of the elves wore a west that said “wolf” and i’m not sure but the other one might have worn one saying “bad”

  • SteveWho

    This year’s Christmas Special, “Last Christmas”…we have 2 “bad elves” one of them is named “Wolf”. Hmmmmmm.

  • felicity

    In one of the who books, clockwork something or other the painted lady says bad bad wolf

  • Meghan Canastar

    In the episode with Rose’s dad, I believe at one point they show a telephone pole with posters going down it saying each letter of “Bad Wolf”. My memory could be off but I think it’s right 🙂