Doctor Who: Series 1, Episode 11 – Boom Town

An episode that requires a “Previously on Doctor Who…” It was a bit weird. I’ve always felt that the new Who references so much stuff that you either know or you don’t, but each episode/double episode is standalone anyway.

I love the domesticity of this episode, because although it could be boring to just watch a couple of people go on a couple of dates, there are a lot of darker undertones to the entire thing.

Firstly, Mickey turns up after Rose requests he brings her passport. He’s seeing someone else but is annoyed that he still came running to Rose when she beckoned. That’s because Rose is kinda cool. I like Mickey, and when I saw him appear on screen I realised that I missed him. It’s fun when the Doctor has more people to play off than just a companion.

Captain Jack is still on board, as well, throwing another dimension into the TARDIS. They all were having a jolly time, waiting while the ship refuelled. The Doctor spots a headline though, and says ruefully: “And I was having such a nice day.” As though running around and stopping the chaos isn’t what really makes his day.

And so, the Slitheen are back. Well, one of them anyway.

Whilst there were a few action sequences, like essentially blowing up most of Cardiff, the real depth to this episode came from the decision the Doctor had to make regarding Margaret. Does he send her home to her death or does he let her go despite the fact she is a killer? It feels like this Doctor is making harder choices than our current one. This is a lot less fairy tale and a lot more emotionally heavy.

In the end, the decision is made anyway, and it all ends pretty well, but for a while it seemed almost impossible. It was worth it for the sequence in the restaurant, when Margaret and the Doctor are having dinner. You know it’s a bad first date when you’re having to stop your partner trying to kill you at every opportunity.

The Slitheen are a tricky bunch. I love the way the woman runs in this, particularly when the Doctor keeps thwarting her teleport attempts. The skin suits are not very impressive though, not at all believable. Not that I would want them to be, I suppose.

When the fight is over, and the TARDIS has won the battle for them, they retreat to Raxacoricofallapatorius to return Margaret to her rightful home. Right at the end, the Doctor repeats his mantra: “Always moving on.”

And so they do.