Doctor Who, series 1.11: “Boom Town” by Russell T. Davies


In Cardiff, six months after the events of “Aliens of London” and “World War III,” something is going wrong with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Mickey Smith is also in town, looking for the TARDIS, which is parked just over the Rift (from “The Unquiet Dead”) at Roald Dahl Plass. The rift is like a fault line in time and space, exuding energy. The TARDIS is parked over the rift in order to soak up some of the energy.

The nuclear project, called “Blaidd Dwrg” (“Bad Wolf” in Welsh), run by a familiar face, is rumored to be cursed. Margaret Blaine, a member of the Slitheen family has taken charge of the project and seems to want the power plant to fail—exponentially more dangerous than Chernobyl.

In addition to wrapping up the Slitheen storyline, this episode introduces us to the future location of Torchwood. The organization is charged with protecting the planet from what might emerge from the Rift, headquartered just below the TARDIS’ location—Rose and Mickey actually walk by both of the secret entrances to the Hub.

They return to the TARDIS to discover that Margaret the Slitheen has sabotaged her machine, trying to destroy the TARDIS with the power of the Rift. The Doctor tricks her into looking into the heart of the TARDIS, which is so powerful that it translates her energy into a different form—an egg, so she can start over from scratch.

This episode also boasts great writing throughout, as well as some memorable dialogue between the group and the Slitheen fugitive. One of the best scenes is between the Doctor and Margaret the Slitheen. Over dinner, they banter back and forth and she tries to kill him a few times but he anticipates them and subtly foils her, as they are in public and he needs to order his Steak and Chips. Once again, the Doctor seeks to right the wrongs done in the world, yet in a just manner. He wants justice, not mere punishment or revenge.

Bad Wolf strikes again. It has been seen sporadically throughout the first series, but not noticed or directly discussed until now. Something dark is coming…

Memorable Quotes:

“Everywhere we go. Two words, following us: Bad Wolf.”

Margaret Blaine: “London doesn’t care. The south Wales coast could fall into the sea and they wouldn’t notice. Oh, I sound like a Welshman. God help me, I’ve gone native.”

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