Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Well, what a peculiar thing this was. As an episode it had something of a "filler" feel to it, not surprising when you consider the "all out assault on the senses" qualities of recent installments. On the upside "Boom Town" manages to tie up some loose ends, raise some interesting questions and, via some rich dialogue, approach the Doctor's relationship with his "enemy" from a new(-ish) angle.

First up, the downside - the exploration of Rose and Micky's relationship surely has no further mileage. I can appreciate RTD wanted to look at the issues raised by companions "dropping out" of their normal existence for a year or two ... and this HAS been an interesting new spin, but the storyline now seems to be taking up valuable screen time without moving us any further forward. The fact that Micky was the "prime suspect" in Rose's disappearance is funny and makes sense; the fact that he's now seeing the fat girl who works in the corner shop just seems irrelevant. The plot for the actual "meat" of this episode, despite being neat and compact, is not really enough to base a full story on - 1. Find Slitheen survivor, 2. Capture Slitheen survivor, 3. "Uncover" Slitheen plot, 4. Rig Tardis to use Slitheen "go faster stripes" device, 5. Realise Slitheen trap and, 6. “Clever” Tardis decides to degenerate Slitheen to egg. Furthermore, doesn't turning the Slitheen into an egg and giving it a "second chance at life" violate the principle set down in Father's Day regarding changes to time (although maybe starting a life afresh is not quite the same as allowing someone to cheat death). But I'm hesitant to quote Father's Day as I think we're going to find that the majority of future stories (as well as a good number of old ones) will fall foul of the "Father's Day rules".

On the upside, RTD's script was sparkling and managed the profound/funny shifts seamlessly. The Slitheen/Doctor "dinner date" covered a lot of ground and the two actors obviously relished every word without over-egging the scene. Although there's no getting away from the fact that the easiest thing would have been for the Doctor to have dumped the Slitheen on a remote moon (although that would have made for a very short story). And did "Bad Wolf" really need to be flagged so obviously? Maybe RTD thinks we hadn't noticed yet ...

More pluses ... good production values on the "urban apocalypse"; there was a time when this would have been done with lots of dry ice smoke, breaking glass sound FX and stock footage of burning buildings. And I liked Rose's reference to other planets that she'd seen - obviously the adventures that we see here are not entirely linear, the Tardis goes to other times and places in between. But Captain Jack is under used, especially as his interaction with his cohorts is of such a high quality.

Overall, I rate this a 6 out of 10. Despite that, I defy anybody (other than RTD) to fit Welsh Nationalism, sexual mores, press reporting ethics, government nuclear policy (are you watching Sellafield?), inter-galactic legal issues, the whole "nature vs. nurture" argument AND bi-sexual banter into 45 minutes of primetime British TV. Bring on Bad Wolf!

Filters: Series 1/27 Ninth Doctor Television