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Desperate Russian Housewives

June 2nd, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Technology · 6 Comments · Technology

This is an interesting FoI request – about what domain names the BBC has registered to it.

Along with the long list of expected domains, like, and there are a few amusing ones like and of the domain names seem to belong to either Doctor Who/Torchwood, The Wrong Door or Psychoville.  The various Psychoville websites were an integral part of the online experience for that series, with the fake websites providing clues for a competition which was quite diverting at the time.

It occurs to me that TV companies must be holding onto quite a few domain names either for planned programmes or even just in case.  In the old days it was sometimes necessary for somebody in a TV show to give a phone number and they used ranges of numbers that were specifically provided to be dummy numbers – because some people just cannot resist calling a number they hear on TV, either just out of mischief or because of an inability to distinguish between fact and fiction.  American TV and films always give phone numbers as beginning with 555 for the same reason: a fact used in the film The Last Action Hero to prove they were in a film and not in the real world.

Now you see people in TV shows typing in web addresses, or having web addresses on fake adverts and the best way to guaranteee it doesn’t clash with a real company’s web site is to use a domain of your own.  Sometimes the TV show will put sort of easter eggs onto fake web sites that are mentioned in the show.  Heroes did it with a few domains (Nikki’s internet stripping site and 9th Wonder comics), and so did Lost (Oceanic, Hanso and the Dharma Initiative had websites I think) and the BBC did quite a few for Doctor Who – the Bad Wolf site, UNIT, Harold Saxon etc. etc.

I’m assuming the desperate russian housewives site was mentioned in an episode of Eastenders.  Probably a good idea to have your own tame site attached to that URL.  It wouldn’t do to have a character mention a site and then have some chancer snap up that domain name and put all kinds of filth on it.

For what it’s worth, my favourite of all the BBC-owned websites has to be

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