TV Club: Boom Town

Captain Jack has joined the TARDIS crew and the gang have arrived in Cardiff and reunited in Mickey, and an old enemy. Join us in TV Club for a night on the town in Cardiff.

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I think that this is an interesting episode that in many ways shows what makes this show different. You have this silly (and kind of bad episode) with farting aliens. Then a couple of episodes later one of them returns and more of less has a moral discussion about redemption for most of the episode. Is it perfect, no but I like it.



This is an episode that I always forget exists.
I know the plot of it, but honestly everything about it is just forgettable to me.
Honestly, the fact that it is so forgettable to me actually just shows how indifferent I am to it.


I’m always happy to come across others who enjoy this story. You’re quite right. It isn’t perfect, but it IS, for me at least, both far and away the best Slitheen story AND an underrated gem from series 1. Margaret Slitheen is presented as complex and real, a genuine character rather than a simple (comedy) villain. There’s quite a critical eye cast over the Doctor (and both Rose and Jack for not speaking out). It’s a quiet, understated story about consequences and morality. I enjoy it very much! :slight_smile:


Yeah, not one of my favourites, but a perfectly serviceable breather before the big finale.

Annette Badland gives one of the best guest performances of the season. Nine, Jack, and Rose are a fantastic TARDIS team. Mickey has returned and is catching up with Rose. It establishes a few important plot points that will play out in the finale. It’s a story about consequences (the consequences of the Doctor’s previous actions and the consequences of Rose’s neglect of Mickey). It has that fantastically fun dinner and bondage scene. And it’s a slower episode with a very tacked-on, explosive finale and a strange resolution.

And no fart jokes, thank the heavens!

This is also the first time a Classic Who actor appears in New Who and the first time the TV show acknowledges the extended universe, as Rose briefly talks about her adventure in Justicia, as described in the NSA novel The Monsters Inside.

It’s a :star:6/10


Oh, she was good wasn’t she? Deft with the comedy and yet landed the dramatic notes every time. So glad she had this episode to showcase her acting rather than just “Aliens of London/World War Three”.


I really, really enjoy this episode. The performances are on point. Bad Wolf gets acknowledged. Rose gets put in her place by Mickey. The Slitheen are used well.

It’s definitely in the top half of serials from series 1, maybe 4th favourite. I give it 4/5 (8/10)


Annette Badland and Christopher Eccleston on their dinner in bondage :eyes: My word, are they playing off off each other.

I love this pre-immortal Captain Jack.

I would say that this is the second best story of the first series after the Moffat two-parter for me.

There is genuine heart in this story and it sets up the resolution in the finale in great fashion.
These small character pieces is where I think RTD the writer has his strength.

“Can any of you look me in the eye?”

“It was a very icy patch”

4,5/5 :star:


The character work is fantastic, and there is an edge to the storytelling. This is very much a story about something (which always seems to bring out the best of RTD). As viewers, we are asked to question and not to simply accept. It’s so easy to overlook this story, but I think it’s a really important step in the exploration of the Doctor’s moral compass. Touched on occasionally in the classic era, it has become much more a feature of modern Who. “Boom Town” is an early yet significant step into a rich thematic vein explored much more in the years that followed.


The Slitheen’s original two-parter wasn’t the greatest, largely because of their over-reliance on fart jokes and such, though it does have highlights, like Harriet Jones, and the scene where Mickey declines going in the TARDIS, and the Doctor covers for him.

Boom Town is far better, though. I wish that the original outing had been this good. And the dinner scene is everything…


I love this one actually, I’m a big fan of episides like this which are small and tense and do a lot with the characters. And as everyone has been saying, the acting in this one is top notch


My first thought on remembering this episode was that it’s a bit too silly for my taste, but then I remembered all the amazing moments, the truly wonderful acting and actually it really works which is probably because of, not in spite of, the silliness. A fun and meaningful episode.


Boom Town is just such a fun episode, the character stuff is great like other people have said, and I love the last supper scene with Blon and 9

Wish we had more doctor who like this tbh, 8/10


I also think Keith Boak’s direction is very much inferior to Joe Ahearne’s in “Boom Town”. I always got the feeling that “Rose” succeeded in spite of Boak’s direction and that he got the emphasis wrong in “Aliens of London/World War Three”. I don’t think he truly got Doctor Who as a series. Given that the scriptwriter is the same between “A0L/WW3” and “Boom Town”, they are worlds apart in tone and style - much to “Boom Town’s” benefit.


It’s funny who small, character-centric episodes often work so well with DW. I think it’s also why so many Doctor lite episodes work so well.


Interesting rating distribution. I remember this episode being talked about as one of the weakest of Series 1, now I think it’s one of the strongest. And I think there is enough context in the beginning that you don’t have to watch AOL/WW3.



Boom Town is my personal favourite of Season 27. The cast are fantastic, especially for “Dinner in Bondage”
This story shows just how good The Raxacoricofallapatorians can be with a good script, and it’s a shame that they were relegated to the SJAs after this episode
4/5 Stars


So glad to see this episode getting some love. It’s one of those where common opinion would have us believe that it isn’t held in high regard yet, as @ItsR0b0tNinja shows above, on this site the rating distribution is really rather favourable. So good to see!


I think you make a very valid point. Raxacoricofallapatorians are actually a pretty good creature concept. They also have a culture (fleshed out a little more in “Boom Town”). Moreover, the idea of a family of villains, rather than the whole species being villains is interesting. It owes much to Malcolm Hulke’s portrayal of alien species as equally morally complex as our own. Additionally, a strong debt, I feel, to the concept of the Foamasi and their West Lodge.


I love the looks of guilt and the reticence to engage with Blon Fel Fotch/Margaret Slitheen from the regulars. It stings, and it’s supposed to.