Boom Town (TV story)
|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|
|Another memorable moment|
|Behind the scenes video|
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, and his companions, Rose Tyler and Jack Harkness travel to modern-day Cardiff and meet up with Rose's boyfriend, Mickey. There, they discover that their "enemy", Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen, is very much alive, if without an easy escape route from Earth, and is willing to rip apart the planet to ensure her freedom.
In an office in Cardiff, a scientist brings his concerns to the Mayor over a new nuclear power plant to be built there. It is dangerous, almost as if it had been intentionally built to explode. The Mayor asks him if he has told anyone else about his findings. He replies that he did not, and instead went directly to her. She commends him for making the right choice — as she apparently and audibly experiences some gas. As the scientist expresses his relief that the Mayor will shut down the project, she reveals herself to be a Slitheen, and kills the scientist.
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 Smith 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 Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen whom they previously had encountered. Since their meeting, Blon 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, Blon having killed them herself. During a recent press conference, a young reporter named Cathy Salt approaches Blon about these deaths and the information they had left behind. Blon thinks she should have a word in private; a loud rumble in her belly gives her an excuse to go to the toilet and she takes Cathy with her. Disgusted as she hears Blon on the toilet, Cathy notes they got there just in time. Blon gets out of her skin suit and plans to kill her, but has a change of heart as Cathy talks about her family and unborn child, realising that she herself no longer has one.
Realising that they must stop Blon, the Doctor's group converges on City Hall and eventually capture Blon 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 Blon he will take her back to her home planet of Raxacoricofallapatorius, but Blon 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, while inviting Rose to a hotel room, claims to be seeing someone else since Rose is not there for him. Rose counters that she knows the woman, that Mickey doesn't even like her and that "that's never gonna happen, so who do you think you're kidding?" She argues that this conversation has nothing to do with Trisha. Mickey says that he can't even go out with a girl from "the shop" because Rose picks up the phone to say she's coming back to present-day Earth and Mickey comes running for her. When Mickey claims he'd wait for Rose for the rest of his life, Rose apologises.
At the request of Blon, the Doctor joins her for one last meal at her favourite restaurant, equipped with bracelets that will electrocute Blon if she gets more than ten feet away from the Doctor. Blon attempts to kill the Doctor through various means, but the Doctor is able to casually block the attempts. Blon 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 Blon'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. Blon 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; Blon dreamily looks into the light with a smile, and then beams at the Doctor, emphatically telling him, "Thank you." 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 Blon 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.
- Doctor Who - Christopher Eccleston
- Rose Tyler - Billie Piper
- Mr Cleaver - William Thomas
- Margaret - Annette Badland
- Captain Jack - John Barrowman
- Mickey - Noel Clarke
- Cathy - 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.|
- Baby Slitheen are hatched from eggs that have tendrils which can move.
Theories and Concepts edit
The Doctor's TARDIS edit
- When explaining the TARDIS' 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.
- The Doctor uses the Cardiff rift to "recharge" the TARDIS.
- Underneath the TARDIS console lies the Heart of the TARDIS, which contains the energies of the Time Vortex. Staring into it can allow someone to affect the energy and cause it to act according to their needs or wants.
Bad Wolf Arc edit
- 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, Woman Wept and the Glass Pyramid of San Kaloon.
- The Doctor and Margaret have dinner at Bistro 10.
- The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to reverse Margaret's teleport.
- Margaret plans to use the tribophysical waveform macrokinetic extrapolator as a pan-dimensional surfboard to escape Earth.
- The phrase "phenomenal cosmic disaster" (used by Jack) resembles the repeated phrase "phenomenal cosmic power" used in Disney's Aladdin TV and film series.
- Mickey refers to Captain Jack as "Jumpin' Jack Flash", referencing the song by The Rolling Stones.
- The architect of the project is one of the people killed by Margaret.
Story notes edit
- The episode 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.
- 7.7 million viewers.
- 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.[source needed]
Filming locations edit
- Cardiff, Wales
- 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. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)
- The temporal rift first appeared in TV: The Unquiet Dead.
- The Doctor explains the TARDIS' shape while discussing the chameleon circuit to his companions, mentioning that he landed it in the 1960s and it got a stuck as a police box. (TV: An Unearthly Child)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 — take 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.
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
- 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)