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‘Doctor Who’: Does the Bad Wolf Have Something to Do With the New Rose?

4 Minute Read
Jun 7 2022
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The 14th Doctor has been announced and a brand-new Rose Tyler will be joining him in the TARDIS. Could this have anything to do with Bad Wolf?

It’s a great time to be a Doctor Who fan! I mean, series favorite Russel T. Davies is back as showrunner soon! And with him, he brings a brand new Doctor played by Ncuti Gatwa! Perhaps we’ll meet the next Doctor during the 60th Anniversary Special. There, we’ll also see the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble.

We also just found out that Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney has signed on to play the Doctor’s companion – a new Rose Tyler. (Sorry, the song’s been in my head all day.)

Let’s be clear – this is Doctor Who. There are any number of timey-wimey fantastical reasons why Rose Tyler is a different Rose Tyler. But with Bad Wolf Day coming up within the week, it’s got me wondering… Does the change have anything to do with Rose’s time as the Bad Wolf?

How Did Rose Become the Bad Wolf?

Rose Tyler is perhaps the most famous of the Doctor Who companions. She’s the first companion of the new series, back when the Doctor was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed Christopher Eccleston. The two fought off a whole lot of plastic store mannequins taken over by the Nestene Consciousness.

After that, they two traversed the universe. The Doctor showed Rose the miraculous life across time and space. Rose kept him humble and reminded him of the cleverness and willpower of humans. You go, girl.

The Ninth Doctor’s arc is all about two things: Rose and the phrase “Bad Wolf.” He and his companion find it pasted all over their adventures through time and space. Eventually, it leads the travelers, along with Captain Jack Harkness, to a massive Dalek army. Jack Harkness is killed and to save her life, the Doctor puts Rose on the TARDIS and sends her back to Earth. And in order to go back to save the Doctor, Rose stares into the Time Vortex.

It’s a whole moment, y’all.

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The Bad Wolf, the Time Vortex, & Rose

Bad Wolf is the energy of the Time Vortex embodied in Rose. Able to see all of time and space, the Bad Wolf did some pretty impressive things. She unmade the Dalek army – disassembled all of their atoms, just like that. The Bad Wolf also scattered her name all across time and space, knowing when and where the Doctor and Rose had already visited, leaving clues that would lead them to that moment. That’s a paradox, kids!

As the strain of the whole Time Vortex zooming around in her noggin, Rose also decides to “nu-uh” Jack Harkness back to life. Permanent life. Forever. The Doctor tells her that there’s no way she can hold all of that energy and has to take it from her – by kissing her. I’m not swooning. I’m fine.

At one point, the Doctor postures that a Time Lord absorbing the whole of the Time Vortex would become a “vengeful god.” But as he takes the energy from her, his body is forced to regenerate. Once freed from the Time Vortex, Rose comes back. Since that time, her memories of her time as the Bad Wolf are locked. Regaining those memories could destroy her and the universe.

Bad Wolf Lives On

When David Tennant stepped in as the Doctor, the chemistry between Rose and the Doctor only intensified. But after Cybermen from a parallel universe take over the world, Rose is trapped in a parallel dimension. She’s got both of her parents and a human clone of the Doctor – but she’ll never be able to see the real Doctor again.

Where do they all meet for their final words as the rift between dimensions closes? The Norwegian beach is called Dårlig Ulv-Stranden, which means “Bad Wolf Bay” in English.

Rose and the Doctors at Bad Wolf Bay

This is where we left the first actual Rose Tyler. But we also see an incarnation of the Bad Wolf played by Billie Piper in the 50th Anniversary Special.

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Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special

In “The Day of the Doctor”, Rose’s identity as the Bad Wolf materializes when a universe-destroying weapon called The Moment is activated. Her purpose is to talk the first Doctor, known as the War Doctor, out of committing mass genocide in order to end the Time War. The other two Doctors who join the adventure, numbers Ten and Eleven, can’t see her – although Ten is very surprised when the Doctor from his past mentions Bad Wolf. Though this character wasn’t technically the Bad Wolf, she functioned just the same: using the time to save the Doctor from a terrible fate.

The Bad Wolf in the 50th Anniversary Special

What Does This Mean for the New Rose Tyler?

News of Yamin Finney’s casting as the new Rose Tyler has me wondering how that’s possible! Let’s be honest, Davis is back, so the explanation could be myriad. Perhaps it’s an alternate reality version of Rose – Tennant’s Doctor broke that wall a few times.

But we’ve got to wonder if playing host to all that energy from the Time Vortex somehow gave Rose the ability to regenerate. Anything is possible!

Yasmin Finney and Billie Piper are Rose Tyler

The Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Special is set to air sometime in the Fall of 2023.

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