Doctor Who episode leaks out early: exterminate spoilers!

Filed Under: Featured, Malware

TARDISThe Daleks, being a powerful (albeit fictional) race of mutants encased in metallic pepperpots bent on universal conquest and domination who utterly lack pity, compassion or remorse, are standing by to exterminate any US citizen (that's not, strictly, true) who leaks The Name of the Doctor.

Such potential leakage has been enabled by the BBC America shop having prematurely shipped Blu-ray editions of the Doctor Who Series 7 Part Two to thousands of USA fans, according to Kasterborous, a news and reviews site for the science fiction TV series.

Kasterborous, whose name refers to the home constellation of Doctor Who and the Time Lords, is on tenterhooks.

The site says it's merely "a matter of time" before a recipient goes forth and leaks the episode online, after which, Kasterborous assumes, "the World Wide Web will be awash" with entirely premature conversation about the finale.

Kasterborous has pledged to avoid spoiling the finale "in any way, shape or form" but advises fans to prepare to entirely disconnect from the internet until next Saturday, given the unlikelihood that citizens of Twitter, Facebook and other websites will follow suit.

The BBC confirmed the leak on the Doctor Who Facebook Page on Sunday evening, dangling the carrot of special features if fans keep the name off the web:

We understand that a small number of US fans have received in error their DVD edition of Series 7 Part 2 early. We respectfully ask those fans not to divulge information or post content publicly so that fellow fans who have yet to see the episodes do not have their viewing pleasure ruined.

If everyone keeps the secrets safe until next Saturday we will release a special new clip featuring material of the Tenth AND Eleventh Doctor!

Kasterborous further reports that both Wikipedia’s main Doctor Who page and the Wikia TARDIS were hacked, with spoilers from The Name of the Doctor episode revealed, but that at least Wikipedia's issue was resolved at the time of writing.

Pirated software. Image from ShutterstockKasterborous has some good, serious advice for the security around such matters: If you come across a ripped, uploaded copy of the episode - steer clear.

As Microsoft reported in October, downloads of pirated movies, music, software and other media increasingly come bearing malware.

Beyond malware, scammers have recently exploited Doctor Who's worldwide popularity by, for example, exploiting Doctor Who girl Jenna-Louise Coleman's name for Twitter sex video clickjacking.

Then too there was the Rogue Cyberman fraud, which tried to get credit card data in exchange, theoretically, for the phone number of a sexy Doctor Who fan.

So just sit tight until Saturday, to keep from both getting infected by malware and ruining the surprise.

In order to suggest that something terrible happen to those who post spoilers, I must borrow from Graham Cluley, a true Doctor Who fan, given that Daleks are the extent of my familiarity with the show.

So to paraphrase Graham, may the spoilers be dematerialised to Metebelis III or thrown into a chronic hysteresis.

I don't know what it means, but it sounds bad.

Image of pirated software courtesy of Shutterstock.

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9 Responses to Doctor Who episode leaks out early: exterminate spoilers!

  1. JustMe · 839 days ago

    I'd hardly call adding information onto any wiki page that is intended to permit public write access "hacking".

  2. Corky S. · 839 days ago

    To paraphrase David Tennant's final line - "I don't want to know!" (Until Saturday, that is) :)

  3. Marilla · 839 days ago

    "Respectfully ask" - that sounds kind of threatening, given that your name would be on the post on social media and they can look you up. They already have the names of the customers who received the disks early.

  4. glmorrison · 839 days ago

    It's not as much fun to guess now. (Pout.) And I have read some online spoilers. I won't repeat them and frankly, I choose not to believe them. Reminds me of when the last book of the Harry Potter series was leaked and several idiots took it on themselves to upload their bad fan fiction as if it were the book in question. Until I see it myself, I disbelieve it. All of it. So there.

  5. Spotlight · 839 days ago

    Here is the thing. It is now 8:40am ET Tuesday 14 May,2013. I do not for one moment believe that this actually happened. I believe it is a hoax devised by the BBC and more to the point the production staff of Doctor Who to create a buzz for this episode so that the ratings for the finale of an otherwise hollow and unimpressive series will jump. This way, the series will “go out with a bang” and they can point back to the ratings of this episode and call it a success.

    [Post edited for length]

    If this were true, and I maintain that it isn’t. There would be at least one leaked copy on torrent sites that are in countries that are protected from the long arm of copyright, but the reality is, that there isn’t one. Not one.

    There has been several photos of the disk floating around and even a gentleman on his cell phone showing it and putting it into his player and showing the opening credit. I maintain that this still could be part of the hoax. This gentleman who produced that video, posted to his tumbler that is just two months old. It could very well be part of this publicity stunt that is aimed to cause a buzz and spike up ratings.

    Its a brilliant marketing strategy, but it saddens me to know that there are so many gullible people out there who just buy it hook line and sinker….

    • While I agree that it's likely a hoax, I do not think the series is mediocre or unimpressive. Sorry, had to get that out.

    • Lisa Vaas · 838 days ago

      Oh geez, now I'm feeling gullible, and we haven't even unearthed the conspiracy behind the fake news yet, if it does in fact exist. You could be right, Spotlight, you could be right. I just saw a very strange and very interesting documentary about the making of Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" that convincingly probed the movie's allusions to the Holocaust, the US's extermination of native Americans, Kubrick's part in the faked Apollo 13 mission and more. Which has nothing to do with Dr. Who and this issue, except that conspiracies, well-based or not, are fascinating in multiple viewing formats.

  6. Theata Sigma · 839 days ago

    There's nothing for it: the BBC are going to have to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow...

  7. This could be a hoax by the BBC in memory of something that happened almost 30 years ago. The 20th Anniversary episode, "The Five Doctors" was shown on American TV a day before the actual anniversary and a day before it was shown in the UK.

    "Here we go again, those damn Yanks gumming up the works again!" says low ranking BBC official on condition of anonimity.

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About the author

I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. I rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash, joined the freelancer economy, and am still writing for my beloved peeps at places like Sophos's Naked Security, CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output. I respond to cash and spicy sites, so don't be shy.