a real world point of view
|Script release:||The Shooting Scripts|
|Main enemy:||Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen|
|Main setting:||Cardiff, September 2006|
|Writer:||Russell T Davies|
|Premiere broadcast:||4 June 2005|
|Premiere network:||BBC One|
|Format:||1x45 minute episode|
|Confidential:||Unsung Heroes and Violent Death|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|The Doctor Dances||Bad Wolf|
Boom Town was the eleventh episode of the first series of the revived series of Doctor Who. It featured the reappearance of Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen (disguised as Margaret Blaine), a Slitheen, who previously had appeared in Aliens of London / World War Three. It also included significant development of the relationship between Rose and Mickey.
The episode was the first to be set in modern Cardiff, and established that the Cardiff Space-Time Rift, implied in The Unquiet Dead, was still present in the 21st century and releasing enough energy to fuel the TARDIS. It thus laid critical narrative groundwork for Torchwood's central theme. It also introduced the extrapolator and established the energy present at the heart of the TARDIS — both crucial elements of the series 1 finale. Finally, it contained the main characters' first major recognition of the Bad Wolf meme.
The Ninth Doctor, Rose and Jack travel to modern-day Cardiff and meet up with Rose's boyfriend, Mickey. There, they discover that a recent enemy is very much alive, and is willing to rip apart the planet to ensure her freedom.
The Ninth Doctor has landed the TARDIS over the Cardiff rift located in the Roald Dahl Plass, using slow radiation leakage to recharge the TARDIS. As the process will take a whole day, he, Rose, and Jack are joined by Mickey and take the opportunity to explore the area. While they enjoy a meal at a restaurant, the Doctor notices to his dismay the front page of the Western Mail, with the headline "New Mayor, New Cardiff" and a picture of Margaret Blaine - the human form of a Slitheen whom they previously had encountered. Since their meeting, Blaine has become the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, and initiated the construction of a nuclear power plant. However, several people had found significant flaws in the design that could lead to a nuclear meltdown, and had approached her about these issues, but they have since disappeared, Blaine having killed them herself. During a recent press conference, a young reporter approached Blaine about these deaths and the information they had left behind. Blaine thinks she should have a word in private; a loud rumble in her belly gives her a excuse to go to the toilet and she takes the reporter with her. Disgusted as she hears Margaret on the toilet, she notes they got there just in time. Blaine plans to kill her, but had a change of heart as the reporter talks about her family and unborn child, realising that she herself no longer has one.
Realising that they must stop Blaine, the Doctor's group converges on City Hall and eventually capture Blaine after chasing her through repeated uses of a teleporter. She tells the group that the teleporter is how she escaped the destruction of the rest of her family, and that she hopes that, as planned, the meltdown of the plant would open the Rift and destroy the planet, with her using a hidden tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator — a pan-dimensional surfboard — to escape the explosion. The Doctor notices that the name of the plant, Blaidd Drwg, is Welsh for "Bad Wolf", a phrase that he has observed before in his adventures with Rose. The Doctor tells Blaine he will take her back to her home planet of Raxacoricofallapatorius, but Blaine notes that the Slitheen family are convicted criminals there and she will be executed, which the Doctor insists is not his problem.
Jack recognises that the extrapolator can be used to halve the time to refuel the TARDIS, and stays there to install it. Rose and Mickey go out for a drink to discuss their relationship; Mickey admits to seeing someone else since Rose is not there for him, which angers Rose. At the request of Blaine, the Doctor joins her for one last meal at her favourite restaurant, equipped with bracelets that will electrocute Blaine if she gets more than ten feet away from the Doctor. Blaine attempts to kill the Doctor through various means, but the Doctor is able to casually block the attempts. Blaine then attempts to gain the Doctor's sympathy, explaining how she will be executed and enquiring if he could take her to a different planet instead. However, before the Doctor can agree, a large earthquake shakes the area.
The group reassembles in the TARDIS, where a bright column of light is shooting up overhead. Jack tells the Doctor that it is the power from the Rift, brought upon by the extrapolator. The Doctor realises that this was Blaine's plan all along - the extrapolator would have been found by someone of sufficiently advanced technology to recognise the Slitheen, and would have activated it, causing it to lock onto the nearest alien power source (the TARDIS in this case), to tear open the Rift and eventually the Earth, while she would have still ridden the device to escape the destruction. Blaine takes Rose hostage, choking her, and demands the extrapolator, or Rose will die. She betrays them, continuing to choke Rose, but before she can use the extrapolator, the heart of the TARDIS opens and shines in her face; the light overtakes her, and shortly her skin suit falls empty to the console floor. The Doctor and Jack manage to close the TARDIS console and reseal the Rift once more. When they investigate the suit, they find a Slitheen egg; the Doctor surmises as the TARDIS is telepathic, it may have sensed that Blaine wanted a second chance and gave that to her. As the Doctor, Rose, and Jack prepare to travel to Raxacoricofallapatorius to deliver the egg, Rose realises that Mickey has left; the Doctor offers to wait for him, but Rose lets him go, allowing him to also have a second chance.
- The Doctor - Christopher Eccleston
- Rose Tyler - Billie Piper
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Mickey Smith - Noel Clarke
- Mr Cleaver - William Thomas
- Margaret Blaine - Annette Badland
- Cathy Salt - Mali Harries
- Idris Hopper - Aled Pedrick
- Slitheen - Alan Ruscoe
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Mal Young|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- Tribophysics was first mentioned off-handedly by Sarah Jane Smith to describe Osirian technology.
- When explaining the TARDIS's police box shape and the chameleon circuit to Mickey, Rose uses the term "cloaking device," a Star Trek reference previously used by the Doctor when explaining it to Grace Holloway.
- This is the first indication we have that Rose and the Doctor have noticed the Bad Wolf references which have been appearing on their travels. Margaret admits that the power station's name, Blaidd Drwg, Welsh for "Bad Wolf," "just came to her".
- Rose mentions her visit to Justicia and Woman Wept.
- The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to reverse Margaret's teleport.
- The phrase "phenomenal cosmic disaster" (used by Jack) resembles the repeated phrase "phenomenal cosmic power" used in Disney's Aladdin TV and film series.
- The Doctor uses the Cardiff rift to 'recharge' the TARDIS.
- Margaret plans to use the tribophysical waveform macrokinetic extrapolator as a pan-dimensional surfboard to escape Earth.
- The Doctor and Margaret have dinner at Bistro 10.
Story notes Edit
- Boom Town had a working title of Dining With Monsters.
- The means by which Margaret plans to use the tribophysical waveform macrokinetic extrapolator as a pan-dimensional surfboard to escape Earth is highly reminiscent of the board used by the Silver Surfer, a character appearing in publications by Marvel Comics, whose UK division publishes Doctor Who Monthly.
- Having previously played Martin in TV: Remembrance of the Daleks, William Thomas (Cleaver) became the first actor to appear in both the classic and revived series of Doctor Who. He would later play Gwen Cooper's father Geraint in Torchwood.
- As is routine for post-2005 Doctor Who, a "NEXT TIME" trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode.
- 7.7 million viewers.
- When the Doctor and his associates march into Cardiff City Hall to capture Margaret, the Doctor is the only one not wearing a scarf. This could be a subtle in-joke reference to the Fourth Doctor.
- An early Radio Times synopsis of this episode read "The Doctor comes across someone he thought was long dead...". Many viewers thought this to be in reference to a classic series villain, usually the Master. This was ultimately proven untrue, as the reference was to Blon Fel-Fotch Passimeer-Day-Slitheen.
Filming locations Edit
- This story is set six months after the events of TV: Aliens of London / World War Three.
- Rose mentions how a woman called Gwyneth saved the world in 1869.
- The temporal rift first appeared in TV: The Unquiet Dead.
- TV: The Edge of Destruction was the first story to suggest that there was some sort of 'power' beneath the console.
- "Tribophysics" was first mentioned offhandedly by Sarah Jane Smith in TV: Pyramids of Mars. What Sarah meant, or what she actually said, is a matter of minor debate in fandom (some have suggested "tribiophysics" or "tribal physics"). Tribophysics may or may not have anything to do with the real science of tribology (also sometimes known as tribophysics), which deals with friction.
- During his dinner with Margaret Blaine, the Doctor eats steak — evidently, he has given up his vegetarianism, which the Sixth Doctor began to practice at the end of TV: The Two Doctors. (He also took a slice of turkey in TV: The Empty Child.)
- The temporal rift becomes a major plot and story focus for series 1 and 2 of Torchwood, before the rift closed in AUDIO: The House of the Dead.
- It would later be established in TV: Fragments that Torchwood Three had been in existence since at least 1899 in Cardiff, with Jack involved in the organisation since 1899 and in charge from the end of 1999. This means that the Doctor's arrival near the rift, his party's reunion with Mickey, and the subsequent Slitheen adventure -- all involving Captain Jack -- takes place very close to the older Captain Jack and his Torchwood team. A possible reference to this occurs in Utopia when Jack mentions having to wait until a version of the Doctor that coincided with him arrived; encountering the Doctor and his younger self at this point would have been unacceptable. In addition, a third, older Jack, cryogenically frozen, is also nearby, unknown to both younger Jacks. (TV: Exit Wounds) The later episode Utopia would reveal that the Doctor somehow became aware of (or perhaps always knew) of Jack gaining immortality and this is why he left him behind following the defeat of the Daleks in The Parting of the Ways. In PROSE: The Twilight Streets it is established that Jack locked himself and his team inside the Hub for the day to prevent them from meeting his younger self.
- A newspaper clipping regarding Blaine's election was pinned up in the Torchwood Three "information office" entrance and was still there during the events of TV: Reset several years later.
- Rose mentions her visit to Justicia, which occurs in PROSE: The Monsters Inside.
- This is not the only story to be resolved with the de-ageing of an antagonist. Pangol was also regressed in time (this time to a baby) in TV: The Leisure Hive.
- The Doctor was previously told by an alien that returning them home would result in their death in TV: The Visitation, but that time he offered to take the criminal to another planet to avoid his death sentence.
- It's never explained how Margaret was able to become Mayor of Cardiff without attracting the attention of Harriet Jones who met her in Aliens of London and was privy to the Slitheen family's plan. Since that story took place in March and Jones was Prime Minister before Christmas, she either already is or at least is on the verge of becoming Prime Minister and would've met with the Mayor of one of Great Britain's major cities at some point.
Home video releases Edit
- This story was released with Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways on a "vanilla" DVD with no extras.
- It was also part of the series 1 DVD box set.
- This story was also released with Issue 6 of the Doctor Who DVD Files.
- Official BBC Website - Episode Guide for Boom Town
- Detailed synopsis of Boom Town at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Boom Town at The Whoniverse
- Boom Town at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)