Sir Robert explains that the story goes back three hundred years: "Every full moon, the howling rings through the valley. The next morning, livestock is found ripped apart and devoured." Reynolds fnur-fnurs that it's all fantasy and trifles and whatever, scoffing, and even Queen Victoria rolls her eyes because he's a buzzkill and the only thing worse than a buzzkill is a blowhard, and he's that too. Sir Robert's got an answer: "Sometimes a child goes missing. Once in a generation, a boy will vanish from his homestead."
Rose stands and approaches the latest of these, against Isobel's cautions. Her chains rattle as she pulls toward him, and finally, she kneels: "Who are you?" The Steward begs her not to enrage him, but Rose continues: "Where are you from? You're not from Earth. What planet are you from?" The Wolf smiles, nearly, eyes black as night. "Oh? Intelligence..." She asks where he was born, and the Wolf sighs: "This body? Ten miles away. A weakling, heartsick boy. Stolen away at night by the Brethren, for my cultivation. I carved out his soul, and sat in his heart." Yuck. I was going to say that this was like the only episode so far without zombies or scary robots, but that's not really true. This is perversion. This is not a Good Wolf, like the Bad Wolf. This is just a Really Bad Wolf. The Bad Wolf takes two things and makes them one, and this is the road that we all must walk; this Wolf just hollows you out and makes them ugly. It's times like these I feel like the Doctor doesn't really give enough thought to blowing the bad guys straight to Hell. Not like that works out too well either, though.
"Are there descriptions of the creature?" Oh yes, says Robert: "Drawings and woodcarvings. And it's not merely a wolf, it's more than that." Specifically, a man who becomes an animal. The Doctor leans forward, intrigued: "A werewolf?" Not only that: a human, who changes, who goes lower, away from light and away from God. A Badder Wolf. If the Bad Wolf is an inclined plane, ramping up to divinity, then this Wolf is the other side of the apex, or backwards down from it: retrograde. There are two kinds of werewolf stories: the kind that Queen Victoria made possible -- where the body is so unclean and terrifying that it threatens to destroy us all -- and the kind that Queen Victoria stars in -- where even the Bad Wolf can move backwards, away from the light that bathes it simply by virtue of its existence, on into horror.
"All right," says Rose. "So the body's human. But what about you? The thing inside?" So far from home, the Wolf admits. "If you wanna get back home, we can help," Rose offers, and the Wolf's eyes are slits: "Why would I leave this place? A world of industry, of workforce and warfare. I could turn it to such purpose..." And how? The Empire of the Wolf, the Age of Steel, the breaking of Albion: "I would migrate to the Holy Monarch. With one bite, I would pass into her blood. And then it begins. The Empire of the Wolf!" The Wolf gets bored, whining about all the questions, and jumps at Rose. He just as suddenly drops back again: "Look! Inside your eyes! You've seen it too!" This is gross. Rose doesn't even remember: seen what? "The Wolf! There is something of the Wolf about you!" She stares, breathing heavily, and assures the Wolf that she doesn't know what he means. Too holy, too far away from him and here: "No lapse of moons can canker Love, Whatever fickle tongues may say." The Wolf appraises Rose anew: "You burnt like the sun, but all I require is the moon." Which is rising. "Thine are these orbs of light and shade; Thou madest Life in man and brute; Thou madest Death..."