Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Episodes of Doctor Who in 2005 are too precious to waste, but Boom Town! was a missed opportunity to re-invent Inferno, one of the best stories of the Pertwee era.

What was the point of this episode? Seemingly, it was to provide more 'domestic' and further pick away at the moral credibility of the Doctor's character.

The 'domestic' is presumably meant to provide continuity through a season of (mostly) single episode stories, but I sense that most fans would rather this continuity came in the form of multi-episode stories like the excellent Empty Child duo.

Grounding Rose's character in the present day (her ongoing relationship with Mickey and, in previous episodes, her phone calls home to Mum) goes a long way towards undermining the premise of the new season, namely that to have an adventure and live her life to the full she was prepared to leave all that behind. It surely dampens the sense of adventure if you are never further than a ring-tone away from home. Doctor Who in 2005 is just too safe.

Would any previous Doctor have complied in the execution of the last Slitheen? Why did RTD devote an entire episode to this moral dilemma, which can only leave us feeling less sure of the central character? Admittedly, the scene in which 'Margaret' challenged the Doctor about his always moving on and leaving destruction in his wake was intelligent, but this theme is the stuff of self-reflexive moments, not whole 45 minute episodes. We haven't waited 16 years for a new Doctor Who just to see the concept deconstructed, however cleverly.

Combined with his smugness (seemingly infectious in this episode) and emotional insecurity, the Doctor's vindictive moral grandstanding is very off-putting.

Am I the only one who felt that the unsatisfactory and unexplained ending, in which the TARDIS literally provided the 'dues ex machina', did more to undermine the mystery and wonder of that machine than to enhance it?

Reference to Venom Grub was amusing, though - would Bill Strutton have imagined it in 1965? And Mickey got the best lines.

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