In Dark Water and Death in Heaven we encounter an organisation called 3W which is named after “the three words”.

The Doctor's guide then goes on to explain that 3W is named after the three words and emphasis that hearing them will change their lives.

But what are the three words and what have they got to do with 3W?


Dr Cheng plays the three words for the Doctor and Clara while they're sitting in his office. As he explains, the founder of 3W, Dr. Skarosa, ran white noise from television signals through a “translation matrix” to hear the three words:

“Don’t cremate me”

The premise of 3W is that the dead remain conscious after their apparent death, and the Institute will invite the rich and famous to entrust them with their body after death. Keeping it within the tanks seems like a tranquil, peaceful afterlife – as opposed to people who would have to feel cremation or dissection after they died.

From Missy’s perspective, the 3W Institutes (they’re described as being all over the world) really served as seeding points: a place where she could create her initial minions, before sending them out to cover the rest of the world.

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    You know I think I've just been very silly... I was expecting three words which began with 'W' and didn't hear them! – Liath Nov 14 '14 at 8:04
  • @Liath: Same here, it took me a bit to figure out that W was Words. – George T Nov 14 '14 at 8:29
  • And she no doubt started the rumour that the "dead can feel" so that she'll have more bodies to convert! – Liath Nov 14 '14 at 11:00
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    If you want three "W" words, consider them "We were wrong". – Liesmith Dec 23 '14 at 23:09

I think there's a double-meaning on 3W, as well - given the twisted nature of The Master/Missy, if you twist a W, you get an M, and, later, we get 3 M's when we hear her identify herself as "Missy, short for Mistress - well, I couldn't keep calling myself The Master..."

  • 2
    That's kind of a stretch. – Rogue Jedi Sep 17 '15 at 14:36
  • This appears to be fanfic / head - canon. – Valorum Sep 17 '15 at 14:57

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