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Who is the Bad Wolf?

June 16th, 2005

Over the course of the new series of Doctor Who–which, by the way, has just been renewed not only for next year, but for a third season–a sinister pattern has been emerging. The mysterious phrase “Bad Wolf” keeps popping up in all sorts of times and places. Sometimes it’s been part of the dialogue, other times it’s just been there in the background. Once it was even spraypainted on the outside of the TARDIS!

Last week, things came to a head in an episode entitled–wait for it–“Bad Wolf.” Aboard the orbiting Gamestation satellite in the Earth year 200,000 (give or take a century), the Doctor realizes that his travels have been manipulated. By whom, and for what purpose is yet to be revealed, but the episode ends with a stunning revelation and the promise of an all-out attack on the human race by a half-million (CENSORED)!

With only a couple of days until the final episode of the season premieres in England, anticipation of the revelation of the Bad Wolf is running high in fandom circles. I’m by no means immune; here’s how my thoughts were running last night.

I was lying awake in bed, trying to piece together clues, and I kept coming back to another unusual word: “Buffalo.” In the episode World War Three, “Buffalo” is an all-purpose password used by the Doctor to access various Earth military servers. At the time, I thought it was just a lousy plot device–a simple password (not even a number in it!) that could open everything. But what if “Buffalo” had another meaning?

“Buffalo” shares the following letters with “Bad Wolf”: B, A, O, L, F. That leaves D and W. Hmm…WHO has the initials DW? Hmmm…

Then I thought a bit more. What if I removed the same letters from “Buffalo?” I realized that I was left with F…U.

At that point, I realized that either someone was playing an immensely clever practical joke, or that I really needed some sleep.

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