HomeAll postsDoctor Who s01e11: Boom Town

Doctor Who s01e11: Boom Town

Boom TownA review by Nalini Haynes
  • Director: Joe Ahearne
  • Writer: Russell T. Davies
  • Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, William Thomas, John Barrowman

The Doctor (Eccleston), Rose (Piper) and Captain Jack (Barrowman) land in Cardiff to refuel the TARDIS by tapping into the Rift that was first mentioned in the Unquiet Dead.

Mickey arrives to deliver Rose her passport, only to feel threatened by Captain Jack as well as the Doctor. In my opinion someone who feels so obviously inferior posturing and attempting a pissing contest is a little sad.

The four scatter, generally chilling while they wait for the TARDIS to refuel… until the Doctor sees the front page of a newspaper (pictured). This ‘new mayor’, Margaret, first met the Doctor in Aliens of London; Margaret did not make a favorable impression then so the Doctor sets out to get her now.

Meanwhile Margaret is up to her old tricks, trying to ram through plans for a nuclear power station in the center of Cardiff, smack on top of the Rift, with substandard safety measures. Anyone who challenges the Mayor in an attempt to save the city mysteriously disappears.

Although off to a good start, this episode then slows down. Its attempt to build tension through character interaction is partially successful; some of the best bits of the episode are anticipating Margaret’s bad behavior. However, I’m bored with the ‘Mickey feels threatened’ storyline; I’m just not in to soapie-style relationships.

The time-space surfboard is completely unbelievable yet fun. I’d love to see a Casey Bennetto-style musical version of this episode: I can hear Keating the Musical‘s “I hate the treasury jiggery-pokery, I keep my money in a piggery locally” sung by the cast of Doctor Who as “I love the surfboard jiggery-pokery, I surf through time and space but not locally”…

‘Boom Town’ is important in terms of the future, Torchwood, and leads indirectly towards the season finale. It’s well worth a watch but it’s not a highlight of this season. Recommended for family viewing.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5 stars

My review copy is part of the Doctor Who series 1 – 4 box set on bluray; thanks to Roadshow.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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