Examining Recurring Themes

Doctor Who has had over 50 years of continuity; a lot of that gets contradicted of course. But it is always nice for long time fans like me to have little details embedded in the lore of the show. It grounds it in a certain amount of realism. Similar to my Tardis and Sonic Screwdriver articles, this will probably just be a random collection of thoughts.
To begin with I’m going to take a look at the arcs that have spanned the current incarnation of the show.

Bad Wolf – 
The Bad Wolf theme was introduced in the first revived series of Doctor Who. It was dotted around Series One and has been occasionally referenced since. It was revealed that Bad Wolf was actually a message sent through time to get Rose back to the Game Station to save the Ninth Doctor. Since then it was used as a warning from Rose so that the Tenth Doctor knew that the universe was in danger. Now for a run down of all of the appearances of Bad Wolf to date – well all of the ones that I could find.
The End of the World – The Moxx of Balhoon tells the Face of Boe that their current situation is a classic Bad Wolf scenario.
The Unquiet Dead – Gwyneth is able to look into Rose’s mind and says that she can see “The Big Bad Wolf”
•  Aliens of London – A child graffiti’s the two words onto the side of the Tardis.
bw1 Dalek – Henry van Statten has a security call sign of Bad Wolf One.
• The Long Game – It can be seen that there is a television channel called Bad Wolf TV.
bw1• Father’s Day – A poster for a club has the words scribbled over it.
• The Doctor Dances – The bomb that is about to destroy the Chula spaceship had the words ‘Schlechter Wolf’ written on it.
bw1 Boom Town – The Nuclear Power station devised to destroy Cardiff in 2006 is called ‘Blaidd Drwg’, translating to Bad Wolf.
bw1 Bad Wolf – The Game Station is being run by the Bad Wolf Corporation.
bw1 The Parting of the Ways – At this point the Bad Wolf story arc culminates. Rose realises what it means and what it is for. She becomes the Bad Wolf when she spreads the words throughout time after looking into the heart of the Tardis. We also see the words written around Rose’s estate.
bw1After the Doctor regenerated into his tenth incarnation, the story arc of Bad Wolf concluded, but there were still some echoes.
• The Christmas Invasion, New Earth – When the Tardis is taking off at the start of the episodes, the Bad Wolf graffiti is still barely visible as seen in the previous image.
• Tooth and Claw – The werewolf while still in human form, mentions that Rose has ‘something of the wolf about her’.
• Love & Monsters – Files on Rose Tyler belonging to the Torchwood Institute were corrupted by the Bad Wolf virus.
• Doomsday – The Doctor says goodbye to Rose on Bad Wolf Bay.
Gridlock – The words can be seen in a car in New, New York on a Japanese poster. It shows the word ‘Akuro’, which translates to Bad Wolf.

• The Sontaran Stratagem – This one is quite unlikely but on a wall next to the Tardis we can see a red graffiti wolf. This could be a reference also.
bw1• Silence in the Library – Now this one is a little dubious, but we can see lots of children’s paintings on the wall. Could one of them be Rose, and the other of Bad Wolf? Probably not.
bw1• Turn Left – When Rose gives Donna a message to warn the Doctor. The message she chooses is Bad Wolf. The words then appear all over the Shan Shen, including posters and the Tardis.
bw1• Captain Jack Harkness – In this Torchwood episode, we can see the words at the top of a staircase behind Jack and Tosh.
bw1• The Day of the Doctor – In the 50th Anniversary episode, The Moment takes on the appearance of Rose Tyler as the Bad Wolf.

Torchwood –
This was a theme that started at the end of series one and continued through to the finale of series two. It was still dotted around in the background for eagle eyed viewers to pick up on.
• The Parting of the Ways – One of the Anne Droid’s questions was ‘What ancient building is the cobalt pyramid built on?’ The correct answer is revealed to be Torchwood.
• The Christmas Invasion – Harriet Jones authorises Torchwood to destroy the Sycorax spaceship.
• Tooth and Claw – Queen Victoria establishes the Torchwood Institute to protect the British Empire from alien threats including the Doctor.
• School Reunion – Some websites are blocked by Torchwood.
bw1• Rise of the Cybermen – Rose’s phone refers to a survey by Torchwood. And later in the party, Pete Tyler asks his friend his friend Stevie about his work at Torchwood.
The Idiot’s Lantern – We hear police officers getting worried about Torchwood getting involved in the situation.
• The Satan Pit – We discover that the crew are actually representing the Torchwood Archive.
• Love & Monsters – Victor Kennedy mentions the Torchwood files in reference to Rose Tyler.
• Fear Her – An Olympic commentator can be heard mentioning Torchwood after the crowd disappear mysteriously.
This story thread continues until the Doctor comes head to head with the institute in the finale. What I didn’t realise at the time, was how upfront the Torchwood arc was. As far back as the Christmas Invasion, we already knew that they were a mysterious organisation that was able to deal with alien threats. Then in Tooth and Claw we hear Queen Victoria state exactly what Torchwood was for. Of course then the popular spin off, Torchwood started starring Captain Jack.

Magpie Electricals –
So this one is less of a story thread, and more of a recurring in-joke. However it does offer some nice continuity between the more recent series. So let’s start at the beginning:
• The Idiot’s Lantern – This is when we first see the television/electrical shop in 1953. Although Mr. Magpie was killed at the end of the story, the company continued for a lot longer.
bw1.jpg The Sound of Drums – Martha owns a television produced by Magpie Electricals. The bottom of the logo is just visible.
bw1.jpg• Voyage of the Damned – Wilfred’s television is also produced by Magpie Electricals.
bw1.jpg• The Mark of the Berserker – In this Sarah Jane Adventures episode, we can see that Sarah owns a Magpie Electricals laptop monitor.
bw1.jpg• The Eleventh Hour – We can see in quite a few series five episodes, that different parts of the Tardis including the scanner and keyboard are produced by Magpie Electricals.
bw1• The Beast Below – This is so far the furthest in the future that we have seen Magpie Electricals still running; with a branch open in the 33rd Century.
bw1• The Magician’s Apprentice – We see that the amplifiers used by the Doctor with his electric guitar were made by Magpie Electricals. They can then be seen in the Tardis in other episodes.
bw1• The Lie of the Land – We see people crowd around a shop in 2017 to watch the Doctor’s broadcasts.
bw1.jpgOverall I really like this ongoing thing. It will be interesting to see if the references to Magpie Electricals continue even after a new showrunner takes over. I doubt it but I do hope so.


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