Doctor Who "Name of the Doctor" finale may have leaked early, but you really shouldn't download it

Blu-ray diskImagine if you knew that thousands of hardcore sci-fi fans were chomping at the bit to see the season finale of a hit TV show, especially if it had been promoted as an episode that would include secret revelations that viewers had been teased about for months.

Imagine if, by accident, some people had been sent a Blu-Ray boxset of the TV show's episodes *before* the final episode had been broadcast.

Do you think fans would be able to wait a few days for the episode to be properly broadcast on their TV stations, or would they go hunting peer-to-peer file-sharing sites hoping to find a downloadable (and pirated) copy of the episode?

Well, that's precisely what seems to be happening with "Doctor Who", the BBC's long-running science-fiction show, which stars Matt Smith and is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year.

Tweets by Doctor Who fans

The season finale episode, "The Name of the Doctor", is due to be broadcast on Saturday 18th May in the United Kingdom and USA. But, due to some colossal screw-up, BBC America has managed to send copies out early to some fans who pre-ordered the Blu-Ray boxset.

Some have even taken photographic proof that they're watching it!

The Name of the Doctor, being watched on someone's TV

No doubt there are thousands of Doctor Who fans right now, scouring the internet for torrent links for the episode - as their fanatical fan gene doesn't allow for them to wait until next weekend.

Aside from the morality of pirating a TV programme and ruining the surprises carefully planned by the Doctor Who production team in Cardiff, reckless downloading of torrents could also expose your computer to malware.

After all, if I were a cybercriminal, and heard that internet users were feverishly trying to find a particular movie - wouldn't it be tempting to upload something claiming to be Doctor Who's hotly-anticipated "Name of the Doctor" episode, but actually containing a malicious Trojan horse instead?

Maybe it's better to wait until the TV programme is properly broadcast, rather than seeking out an early copy. And, if you are a fan, avoid social media sites and Doctor Who messageboards for a few days where someone who has seen the episode might try to ruin your enjoyment.

Certainly Doctor Who brand manager Edward Russell would prefer it if everyone resisted the temptation.

To remain legal, and to maintain the best health for your computer, it's probably better to wait for the programme to air at its planned date and time on television rather than grab it early via a torrent site.

Update: Mischief-makers on Twitter have been posting messages pointing to what they claim to be a downloadable torrent of "The Name of the Doctor".

In reality, the file you end up downloading is called GNFOS.MP4. I'm reliably informed that the filename might relate to a film released in 1992 called "Gay N****rs from Outer Space". Not exactly Doctor Who...

Images of Blu-Ray disc and "The Name of the Doctor" playing on TV courtesy of the Untempered Schism blog.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Subscribe to the free GCHQ newsletter

, , , , , , ,

Special offers & deals


  • Fancy becoming an ethical hacker?

    Fancy becoming an ethical hacker?

    Save 98% off the regular price and take advantage of IT Security & Ethical Hacking Certification Training for just $29. This course lays out a successful career path for you in the world of computer security.
  • PureVPN - 85% off!

    PureVPN - 85% off!

    Make sure your personal data and online activity aren't exposed. Encrypt your internet traffic and cover your tracks with PureVPN. Works with your PCs, Macs, iPhones, Androids, routers, gaming consoles, and Smart TVs. Connect up to 5 devices at once at top speeds.

More deals...

Leave a reply

32 Comments on "Doctor Who "Name of the Doctor" finale may have leaked early, but you really shouldn't download it"

Notify of
avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Conor
Visitor
Conor
May 12, 2013 10:34 pm

While half of me agrees that we should be patient, the other half seems to be blind ignorance. To those who do tend to use torrent sites, and with any kind of computer literacy will know what to download and what not to. It's not a case of having your computer piled full of nasties. It's a case of finding the safe torrent the community is recommending and using that.

Luke Henderson
Visitor
May 12, 2013 10:51 pm

Exactly my thoughts on the matter. I also don't feel that there is really anything immoral in downloading a show that is broadcast for FREE.

Jeremy Visser
Visitor
May 12, 2013 11:01 pm

I’m guessing you don’t live in a country where you either (a) pay taxes, (b) pay a TV licence, or (c) pay a cable/satellite TV subscription fee. The rest of us, however, do.

DemonPhoenix42
Visitor
DemonPhoenix42
May 13, 2013 2:14 am

im sorry your a stupid w**ker then

Grammar Nazi
Visitor
Grammar Nazi
May 13, 2013 4:07 pm

*You're

Digital_Utopia
Visitor
May 15, 2013 3:15 am

Regardless if they do, or not – does it matter? Whether you're paying $20 a month for basic cable, or $100 for all the bells and whistles, you're still going to be paying that regardless of whether you watch the episode now, watch it saturday afternoon in the U.S. (when it's aired in the U.K.) or watch it saturday evening.

C.F.
Visitor
C.F.
May 16, 2013 4:22 pm

Look dude, I have cable, and they took away my BBC America. I think I have every right to torrent episodes. I tried to give them my money through a cable service and they refused.

Jon
Visitor
Jon
May 12, 2013 11:26 pm

Link?

Piet
Visitor
Piet
May 12, 2013 11:33 pm

I'd wish I could say I wont go hunting for it, but Doctor Who doesn't air In my country and my only way of watching it somewhat up to date is be illegal means, I'm certainly not proud of it but I just love this show so much I just cannot wait.

Prim
Visitor
Prim
May 18, 2013 6:17 pm

The same for me it's really not fair and I don't think my parents will let us move only to watch a tv-series. When you find it please tell me.

Fringe Bright
Visitor
Fringe Bright
May 12, 2013 11:43 pm

As a Doctor Who fan of the time-travel genre, why would anyone think waiting is considered "proper?" I'll see the episode when I see it; if I happen to see it early, it's not a spoiler because I would be seeing it early; negating the necessity to see it later. Air-time is an artificial scheduling system if the production of the episode is already finished.

That said, accidentally reading spoilers before getting a chance to watch the episode is something to be concerned about; we should either stop reading DW blogs for a week, or find a way to download it if/when it actually gets leaked.

I wouldn't criticize people for "improperly" watching something outside of an artificial scheduling system based on the speculation that some people may or may not know how to determine what is and isn't infected with malware.

Learning how to discern what might be malware is the more important message; people will download malware copies claiming to be leaks regardless of your warning because we're all amateur time lords in the making :P

Ian William James Findlay
Visitor
May 13, 2013 1:35 am

I really dont want to read what happens on the way to work on a bus. I would much rather watch it now than read it but no luck finding a download link.

Watch it now and its not spoiled… Wait until Saturday and kill who spoils it? Fair right lol

L2Internet
Visitor
May 13, 2013 4:28 am

Waiting for release? PSH, a true fan wants to know what happens next right away! Screw waiting. I'm an IT major, so I'll take my chances.

John Patrick Vincent
Visitor
May 13, 2013 6:19 am

So the ageing hipster of a brand manager waded into this SNAFU…now there's a surprise. Whether I see it early, on the day or on the Sunday it is immaterial. I have paid my licence fee I will watch it when I want. Also citing malware as a potential risk was incredibly patronising the majority of people out there are aware of it….and know how to avoid it these days. It's not exactly alchemy or some other lost art.

Bradley Conder
Visitor
May 13, 2013 9:03 am

Well apparently it was released on Saturday morning and it still hasn't gone online yet. The internet has failed us.

John G (@madhi19)
Visitor
May 17, 2013 3:56 am

I call BS on the whole deal no way in hell that we don't have at least a few torrent. After almost a week. Either the mess up was very small or it just a lame hoax.

Tim Collins
Visitor
Tim Collins
May 13, 2013 1:06 pm

This entire thing was a hoax anyway. Possibly by the BBC to make it appear that Doctor Who has some loyal fans that doesn't post spoilers on the Internet which is 99% impossible. If this is legit then it was handled poorly and the BBC production staff should learn from their mistake not try to attempt a recall of the Internet which is once again impossible. Spoilers are nothing more but rumors, speculation, and trolls until the episode airs on the airways. Half of which probably stem from trolls anyway.

ExcitedRhubarb
Visitor
ExcitedRhubarb
May 13, 2013 1:10 pm

Moffat should get Alex Kingston to front the camera to explain to fans to "Shhh…spoilers" then maybe they will.

Jon
Visitor
Jon
May 13, 2013 1:13 pm

IF it is out there, it will be posted. I'm guessing the blu rays were mailed and the first will arrive in today's post – IF the story is true, and not the BBC trying to make news for something Doctor Who related other than screwing up the 50th so badly.

Dominic
Visitor
Dominic
May 14, 2013 12:34 am

The story is fake. If there was a link it would be online by this time. In a few days the BBC is going to come out and say "Wow, Look at what loyal fans we have!"

James W
Visitor
James W
May 14, 2013 5:44 am

If I want to download Doctor Who, or indeed anything else, I will. Please don't try and scaremonger, stating malware as a reason not to download. That sort of rubbish may have worked ten years ago, but not these days. I have been downloading torrents for years, and not once had anything remotely harmful. It's knowing where. Self righteous idiots are always spouting off about downloading, but those same people are usually the worst culprits.

Gan
Visitor
Gan
May 15, 2013 10:59 am

Just remember that if it does get online, it was only a few people who actually received and not only BBC will be very cross because of copyright infringement but also it was only a few 50 or so people who received the CD early so it won't take long to knock at there door and go "Oi."

Bobby
Visitor
Bobby
May 15, 2013 5:59 pm

torrents and viruses? Only after you download it. And only if you have crap anti-virus software. There's no way to get a virus just from the process of downloading. Get real people.

me
Visitor
me
May 18, 2013 11:52 am

The only way someone will get infected is if they do not do due diligence. You have to be foolish enough to not just download a torrent with a malicious file in it, but to actually click on the malicious file and run it. Anyone worth their salt will know to look at the file type etc.. before running the file.

mason Reaves
Visitor
mason Reaves
November 19, 2013 7:37 pm

i downloaded a episode called name of the Doctor…….it was quite interesting……espelly the ending

wpDiscuz