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The Discontinuity Guide
The New Series

The Parting of the Ways

19th June 2005

Writer: Russell T Davies

Director: Joe Ahearne

Roots: The full-scale Dalek invasion is intended to mimic the style of numerous big action films, the most obvious comparison being with Star Wars. The season finale draws in elements from the rest of the season in a similar style to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Daleks calling the Doctor "the Oncoming Storm" is a nod to Love and War, where this is the Draconian name for him.

Goofs: Why does the Doctor fly the TARDIS towards the Daleks rather than just materialise onboard? Come to think about it, why would it be in danger from a Dalek missile? [Perhaps the missile has features that bypass TARDIS defences, which seems wuite likely given the result of the Time War.] The shell has been established as virtually indestructible in previous stories, and there are defence systems like the HADS. Plus, it's been previously established that the TARDIS has its own inbuilt forcefield generator. And why is Rose so certain that the TARDIS has no defences? Especially when she's been told that Ghenghis Khan's hordes couldn't get in (Rose).

The Doctor says to the Daleks "you might have removed all your emotions, but..." when he knows that they thrive on the emotion of hatred.

Where does the Dalek casing inside the TARDIS go?

How comes the Daleks hovering in space could smash the window of the room Lynda was in with a laser when the Doctor said that it was built to be "resistant to meteors?" [Obviously Dalek guns cause more substantially more damage than even a large meteor does, it has been suggested that this refers to the interior door, but surely the external window would be designed to be meteor-proof as well].

Rather than being guns from circa 200,000, the guns Jack and co are using are actually Heckler and Koch G36Ks, from the 20th century. (Thanks to ashley pomeroy for that one)

The Dalek whose vision is impaired is never actually hit by a bullet.

How come Rose only notices the Bad Wolf graffiti after she's been sitting in front of it with Mickey for some time?

The Doctor's dilemma is a bit overstated. He says that he's giving "every living thing" a choice between dying as a human and living as a Dalek, when the wave will only affect Earth [unless he's using the phrase every living thing in two different senses - on Earth and in the Universe - whilst only saying it once]. And he doesn't press the switch to activate the Delta Wave despite the Daleks having exterminated most of Earth's population already. [Not letting the Daleks think that he's become like them is more important to him than saving the universe from the Daleks.]

The Doctor seems to succumb to the effects of the Time Vortex a lot more quickly than Rose does, yet surely Time Lords would be more resistant to such things. [Maybe there's a long gap of time before Rose regains consciousness, during which he still has some of the energy inside him, or perhaps most of the energy is Artron Energy, some of the novels have stated that a regenerating body can happily absorb large amounts of Artron Energy and feed it into the regeneration process.]

Finally, if the dogs on Barcelona have no noses, then how do they smell? ;)

Technobabble: A delta wave is a wave of Van Cassadine energy, which can fry any living being's brain. It can be created by folding back and sequencing Satellite Five's transmissions.

Dialogue Triumphs: Jack: 'Wish I'd never met you Doctor. I was much better off as a coward.'

The Doctor: 'If I'm very clever, and I'm more than clever, I'm brilliant, I might just save the world. Or rip it apart.'

Mickey: 'Have you tried that new pizza place on Meatlow Road.'
Jackie: 'What's it selling?'

The Dalek Emperor: 'Hail the Doctor. The Great Exterminator.'

Memorable Moments: The Daleks exterminate the helpless humans on level 0. The Daleks exterminate Lynda (with a y) by blasting out the station's windows. The Ninth Doctor's final words.

Continuity: Jack's cobbled-together gun from last episode has enough power to destroy a Dalek with one shot, but it only has one shot. Jack thinks that the Time War was just a legend.

The TARDIS is confirmed to no longer have the "State of Grace" it had through most of the original series, as both Jack and a Dalek are able to fire whilst inside. The Doctor and Jack are able to use the Extrapolator from Boom Town to construct a fully-functional forcefield. The Doctor is able to materialise it around Rose. As soon as it lands, it and its crew become part of events, stuck in the timeline - stopping them from changing events in their personal history. The doors don't open in flight. The Doctor programmed emergency program one into the TARDIS, which takes Rose back home when the Doctor is facing a powerful foe he might not defeat who mustn't be allowed to get their hands on the TARDIS. Looking into the heart of the TARDIS connects you with vortex energy - you can become one with the vortex and have the power of a god - able to destroy or restore life, and to affect the whole of history, by, for example, scattering the words Bad Wolf throughout history. A Time Lord can draw it out of someone into himself with a kiss [perhaps it's like heat - flowing from the "hotter" body into the "colder" body on physical contact]. Its effect on any being will cause death, as not even a Time Lord can handle that much vortex energy.

Rose says that there's nothing left for her at home. Mickey no longer has his VW Beetle, but instead has a mini.

The Daleks were the greatest threat in the universe, and then they vanished out of time and space to fight the Time War. Their disappearance was "thousands of years ago" (according to Roderick). The Time Lords were destroyed, but they took the Daleks with them. The ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld call the Doctor "The Oncoming Storm" [This is an alternative translation of "Ka Faraq Gatri", the name the Daleks call the Doctor in a number of the novels, which is usually translated as "bringer of darkness" or "destroyer of worlds".] The Dalek Emperor's ship survived the Doctor's firestorm. It fell through time, crippled, but alive. He waited in the dark space - over centuries, they quietly infiltrated the systems of Earth, harvesting the waste of humanity, the prisoners, the refugees, and the dispossessed. They sifted through the cells of these humans and took just one cell in a billion to make new Daleks. This drove the Daleks mad, and the Emperor believed himself to be God. They can travel through space under their own power. Some Daleks have different attachments on the plunger arm - one such being a cutting tool.

The guards on Satellite Five have guns with bastic bullets, which are supposedly capable of blowing a Dalek wide open. [Obviously the Daleks' personal forcefield technology was invented after the era where Jack's knowledge of the Daleks comes from.]

The planet Barcelona has dogs with no noses.

Links: Obviously, the story carries on from Bad Wolf. The Daleks' destruction in the Time War comes from Dalek. The Dalek Emperor was previously seen in The Evil of the Daleks. The heart of the TARDIS was previously seen in Boom Town. Rose talks about when she met her dad (Father's Day). Bastic bullets, and Daleks made from human tissue, were previously seen in Revelation of the Daleks.


In The Parting of the Ways, Rose causes the phrase "Bad Wolf" - or translations of it - to be scattered throughout time and space as a message to herself. The origin of the phrase is that the corporation in Bad Wolf / The Parting of the Ways is called the Bad Wolf Corporation. These references turn up in pretty much every ninth Doctor story, and it would be seriously remiss of me not to include a complete list of Bad Wolf references, so here it is:

TV Stories

Rose One of the things the Nestene says is "Bad Wolf", immediately after the TARDIS is revealed (it's easiest to spot it by lipreading)
The End of the World The Moxx of Balhoon says "Indutiably, this is the bad wolf scenario."
The Unquiet Dead Gwyneth, reading Rose's mind, sees "the Big Bad Wolf".
Aliens of London A kid scrawls "Bad Wolf" on the side of the TARDIS.
World War Three The graffitti on the TARDIS is still there. Plus, according to Mickey's website, the American Newsreader is called Mal Loupe.
Dalek Van Statten's helicopter has the call sign "Bad Wolf One".
The Long Game One of the news channels is called "Bad Wolf TV".
Father's Day One of the posters on the wall says Bad Wolf.
The Empty Child There are allusions - Nancy telling the Doctor "what big ears you've got" like in Little Red Riding Hood, but no actual mentions.
The Doctor Dances The bomb has the German words "Schlecter Wolf" scrawled on it.
Boom Town The nuclear power station is to be called Blaid Drwg.
Bad Wolf The Bad Wolf Corporation runs Gamestation.
The Parting of the Ways The Bad Wolf Corporation, graffiti near Rose's flat.


The Clockwise Man Melissa Heart remarks that the Doctor keeps turning up "like a bad wolf".
The Monsters Inside Rose is trapped in a spaceship as an alien pilot bangs on the door "like the big bad wolf", and Dennel says that "the big bad wolf's ready to blow our house down"
Winner Takes All One of Mickey's video games is called "Bad Wolf".
The Deviant Strain Georgi says that he's afraid of "The bad wolf. The man I see in my dreams - waking and sleeping. The man who will kill me. The man with the wolf on his arm."
Only Human Nothing. Maybe he didn't get the memo?
The Stealers of Dreams Tyko says that there's "good reason to be afraid of the big bad wolf."

Comic Strips

The Love Invasion There is a poster in the pub that says "Bad Wolf".
Art Attack Unless it's the sculpture of the poker-playing dogs, there isn't one. Shame on you Doctor Who Magazine!
The Cruel Sea Again nothing, but it's made up for by the exploding squirrels.
A Groatsworth of Wit There's a pub whose sign includes a picture of a wolf and the letters B W.

The Doctor Who Annual

Unfortunately there are no Bad Wolf mentions in any of the stories in the annual. Why not?!

Tie-in Websites

Mickey's Site In the edition following World War Three, Mickey writes "You see, he's off, making another decision for us, all "I'm the big bad wolf and it's way past your bedtime."
The UNIT site The password for the "messageboards" in the secure area was changed from Bison to bad wolf.
Geocomtex One of their products is "Node Stabilised (Lupus and Nocens variants)" - Nocens vaguely translating as "bad", and Lupus meaning wolf. There is also an arrangement of pins which are the Morse code for "bad wolf".
The Bad Wolf site No extra mentions, but lots of idle speculation.

Location: Satellite 5/Gamestation, 200,100. London, some time after Boom Town.

Q.v: The Fate of Gallifrey, The End of the World; Rose's Love Life, The Doctor Dances

The Bottom Line: 'You were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And, you know what? So was I.' A fitting conclusion to the series. The Daleks are tougher and scarier than ever, the ninth Doctor's final appearance is as fantastic as his previous 12, Captain Jack is brilliant, and there's plenty of emotional drama as well. Lynda's death is the most emotional in the series so far. However, the ending is a bit deus ex machina, and the ninth Doctor's TV run is far, far too short. Overall, a fitting conclusion to an era, it's a pity it had to come so soon.


Thanks go to all the folk who commented on The Parting of the Ways in the Bloopers thread on Outpost Gallifrey's forum. Without them, the goofs section would have been a lot smaller.

You visited the Whoniverse at 4:37 pm BST on Tuesday 18th April 2006