Review: Boom Town

Last Alteration: Monday 19 September 2005

Episode Eleven: Boom Town, by Russell T Davies

At times, Boom Town felt like a filler episode, partly due to it being sandwiched between two part stories. It can't have helped that the preceding two parter is already being called a 'classic' and the following is the most hotly anticipated set of episodes since Timelash was released on video (No, really!). The holiday atmosphere of the early part of the episode and the banter between the four regulars (hurrah, Mickey's back!) made this episode feel like nothing that has gone before.

Having gone three weeks without an RTD episode, this week's instalment also felt like a return to the norm in terms of style and format. He blessed us once again on the dialogue front but ultimately many of his ideas were not fully realised, making the episode feel a bit like several disconnected scenes from a soap opera, jumbled up and twisted around. There was an awful lot going on: The return of the Slitheen, exploring the Doctor's morality, the rift in Cardiff, Rose and her barmy relationship with Mickey and the rest. So much was set up and yet so little was resolved.

Having said that what we got was good while it lasted. The scenes of the Doctor and Margaret taking supper were fantastic, once again RTD moving from comedy to serious drama with the firing of a poison dart. Great dialogue flew across the table as we were invited to decide which alien was the most brutal killer. It's just a shame that the Doctor never really got the chance to confront the realities of his lifestyle.

The scenes with Rose and Mickey discussing their relationship allowed lines about alien worlds and Trisha Delaney to mingle freely. The fact that it feels natural for this to occur on Doctor Who seems to make Mickey's problems hit home even harder and once again the soap character development in the programme is one of the highlights.

Oh and Margaret going back to the egg was a nice resolution without having to actually resolve anything. It marked a good old fashioned cheesy end to a story just like the old days.

`It was great to see Joe Ahearne back as director and the production in general was top notch (even The Mill didn't annoy me too much this week, bless 'em). Murray Gold managed to put in some truly great incidental music (and a few bars from 'Rose' for bad measure) and the whole cast put in excellent performances. Annette Badland was top of the tree in this respect and it's a shame we probably won't be seeing her again.

All in all this was a strange but hugely enjoyable episode and also a fun preamble for the final two episodes of this season (the Next Time trailer containing one obvious punch the air like a sad man moment). I can't wait.

Jonathan Bigger

  • Read Jon's review of episode ten, The Doctor Dances, and twelve, Bad Wolf.