A Hater Revisits nuWho

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Bones2, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    Cripes, I have to double post again. Not as popular as it was, this review topic thing. Incidentally, that whole idea of getting all of Eccleston reviewed before Tennant finishes airing never took off. There's probably no chance of me finishing Tennant before Smith starts either. Will I finish reviewing Tennant before Smith ends though? Time will tell. Of course by then, I hope to be playing the Doctor. At least then I might be able to veto rubbish like the following...



    Boom Town (½)

    Now, I've heard that this episode was rushed out after another planned episode fell through, one in which we find out the Doctor has been manipulating Rose to make her into the perfect companion. Which, on the one hand would have been a complete character assassination of the Doctor, but on the other hand fits in perfectly with what we've seen, and would have made me feel a lot better about the pseudo love story that especially crops up in RTD episodes. But we didn't get that, so to the actual episode...

    We open with clips from the Slitheen two-parter. Which I think we all agree was classic television, so a sequel to that story is very welcome.

    We then see that Badland Slitheen (for want of a given name from the previous episodes, or at least one that I can recall) isn't dead, despite us seeing all the Slitheen getting killed. Some man is telling her that some plan would kill lots of people, then when he turns his back on her (in a way no one would do in real life, but...) she skinslips and kills him. Now one of the things your average person would remember about "classic" Who is how unrealistic the monsters looked. Well, to be honest, in a lot of these shots, the Slitheen looks like an unrealistic puppet too. Another reason it's good we never saw them again (Sarah Jane whatnow?).

    A titlerolling later, and we subtly find out where the episode is set when we see Mickey get off a train, after which the camera pans to show it is Cardiff. Then we see some actual Cardiff. Mickey knocks on the Tardis, which has landed right in the middle of Cardiff, Craptain Jack answers and lets him in, and we get some unfunny pretend flirting between Jack and the Doctor. There's an image not to dwell on.

    Turns out they're in Cardiff to refuel from some rift that's been made up for the new series from Unquiet Dead (though we have to suffer a quick bit of achingly bad talk from Jack about 21st century slang. So he talks exactly like he's from our times, except he doesn't know the word "cheesy". Figures actually.) Incidentally, if Rose wanted to see Mickey, wouldn't it have been quicker to pop to London in the Tardis and pick him up and then refuel, than for him to get the train to Cardiff? I suppose the Doctor wouldn't go out of his way to get Mickey (or Ricky as he still hilariously calls him) because he fancies Rose and wouldn't want her ex around. Or, and this is something I've only just thought of, they can't think of another way of showing that this is Cardiff other than by showing us the sign at the station. What with the city's lack of recognisable landmarks. And the writer's incompetence.

    We then get history 101 of the chameleon circuit. Though not as I remember it, because I seem to recall the reason the Tardis looks only like a police box is because it's broken, not just because a police box blends in anywhere. But anyway, now we find out that Badland Slitheen is the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, and has a hazardous plan that's obviously not going to bode well for humans. A journalist then bothers BS, and we find out that an awful lot of people associated with the project have been killed stupidly. Though rather than get suspicious, the journalist labels it a curse. Insert racial abuse towards the Welsh. BS then takes the journalist with her to the loo (one with a door I've never seen the like of/Welsh abuse), changes out of her skin with the intent to kill her, but changes her mind when she finds out that the journalist is pregnant. So she'd happily kill everyone in the world one episode, but then won't kill a pregnant woman the next. Turns out BS misses her family. The one we thought she'd died with, until they needed to write another episode sharpish. I'm not sure if we're meant to feel sorry for her, but the as ever unsubtle music would indicate we should.

    We then go back to the Doctor, Rose, Jack, and Mickey in a café. Jack is telling some kind of anecdote, so of course it involves nudity. The Doctor then notices a newspaper an old man is reading, so promptly snatches it off the old duffer (who doesn't complain, because you have to pay extras more if they have a speaking part). The Doctor didn't do this to check he's managed to arrive within a year of the correct date this time, but because he's noticed a picture of BS as Lord Mayor on the front.

    So, the four of them descend on the town hall. Jack immediately takes command, the Doctor get uppity, and then the Doctor converges on the mayor's office. He asks her secretary if he could see her, and she climbs out of the window. The four of them then give a really dull chase (this is, essentially, a fat woman after all). She teleports away, but apparently the sonic screwdriver can reverse teleports that have already teleported now. I think we have a new stupidest use of the series, and that's saying something. I mean, I know a teleport is an almost entirely fictional concept at the moment, but even so, if you've just teleported away, then nothing of you or that teleport would be there any more. Yes, you could argue that it may create some teleport field connection that is detected and then the screwdriver pulls back what's been teleported, but then it's another huge leap that holding down the only button on a sonic device that seems to do everything would not only be able to detect that field, but know that it wants you to bring back the thing that's just been teleported. Yup, I think about these things.

    Erm yes, anyway, with BS cornered, they bother her about her plan to build a nuclear power station on the rift and kill everyone, and some nonsense gibberish means that it would act as a big escape thing for her to get back to her planet. Somehow. It really is very silly. Following that, there's some brief Bad Wolf talk (the words are following them - spooky), and they decide to take BS back to Raxicorlongnamesaresupposedtobefunnyalibatorious. Only she'd be executed there. Dilemma!

    For some more nonsense reasons, it'll be 12 hours before they can take off again. BS plays the fact that she'd be executed when they get there and they all feel slightly awkward.

    And now I find that apparently, I missed earlier (assuming it was mentioned) that the reason Mickey met them in Cardiff was to give Rose her passport. But she doesn't really need it, it's just an excuse to see him. Now, if someone who'd left me to travel in time and space (I say space, it's all been Earth this series so far) rang me in London and told me to bring their passport to Cardiff the first thing I'd ask is "why?", followed by "can't you come here?". But whatever. Anyway, Mickey and Rose go off together, with the Doctor watching them walk away on a screen (I thought he had a Tardis to mend).

    BS talks to the Doctor a bit, and then asks if they could go and have a bit of dinner so she can try and talk him out of sending her to die. The Doctor realises this wouldn't be very wise, but then Jack helpfully pulls some bracelets out of nowhere (literally, there is no reason why he should have them there and then) that mean she can't stray more than 10 feet away from the Doctor or she'll get electrocuted. And at this point, I hear her called Margaret. Which is presumably the name she assumed, since it doesn't sound very alien.

    So they go off to dinner, leaving Jack alone with the Tardis. That's a good idea, it's not as if we found out one episode ago that he's a conman who can't be trusted.

    Some dinner chat later, and we find out that her name's actually Blon. Then there's a bit with a poison dart that's so atrociously bad (she explains as she's producing it, and then it moves at a speed so slow it's...just stupid). Then another bit where she tries to poison him with breath while explaining that ability in detail, but our hero Doctor was ready for that with a breath spray. This dinner conversation then alternates with Mickey and Rose talking, and it's this conversation between Mickey and Rose that provides the closest thing to drama in this episode.

    So, Rose tells Mickey about some of the places she's been to that aren't Earth (shame we couldn't have seen them), and Mickey tells her that he's seeing someone else. Blon meanwhile tries to guilt the Doctor into not letting her die. Then we go back to Mickey and Rose talking, and Mickey expresses the feelings that anyone would feel - that Rose leaves him behind and takes him for granted, and he's unhappy. Blon tells the Doctor about how she was going to kill that journalist then didn't, as not killing someone is an achievement. Things keep cutting between Rose/Mickey and Blon/Doctor for a while, and the something genuinely interesting looks like it might start to happen.

    Well actually glass keeps breaking, and that's about it. Then we see a beam of light hitting the Tardis, the Doctor says the rift is opening (whatever that means), the ground cracks up a bit, Blon and the Doctor run into the Tardis, Rose comes back, the city's apparently doomed, Blon hostages Rose, her blow up plan starts to work after all, then she looks into the Tardis as it breaks apart, she turns into an egg, some gibberish, and everything's somehow ok. Apparently looking into the Tardis is a bit of a Get Out of Jail(/Plot Conflict) Free card. But I'm sure they won't use that again. RTD's a better writer than that, isn't he?

    Anyway, Rose goes to Mickey, changes her mind and goes back to the Tardis, they go to Raxacorillknln//'hphwdljbf/7p9 to drop off the egg for a better life (though we don't get anything so fun as actually seeing an alien planet - what you expect somewhere other than Earth to appear in a sci-fi show that claims to explore time and space?) and it ends.

    But look, next week Daleks!

    So yeah. This episode pretty much failed at everything. It had more than a series' share of stupid nonsense, it wasn't fun in the least (which is the one thing you really want from a show like this), its supposed dilemma of what to do with Blon was deus ex machina'd away (as was the brief glass-breaking riftery), and perhaps most unforgivably of all, it was rather boring. No one upon ever seeing it once would ever have any need or desire to see it again. You gain nothing but a wasted 45 minutes worth of aging from it. It doesn't get zero stars only because that rating is reserved for something offensively bad (Aliens of London had the 45 seconds bit). But there is no reason to ever see this again.

    Unless you're compiling a list of stupid sonic screwdriver uses, of course.

    Extraordinary screwdriver:
    1. Stops plastic arm from receiving signal.
    2. Disengages computerised lock on door.
    3. Seems to be the only tool you need while fixing a time machine.
    4. Even opens conventional doors.
    5. Helps "patch in the radar [and] link it back 12 hours so it can follow the flight of that spaceship". You mean your screwdriver can't?
    6. Helps steal money from a cash machine in the year 200,000. Maybe they should have kept chip and pin.
    7. Helps open shackles in the year 200,000. For when you're not lucky enough to have them just fall off.
    8. Opens a padlock. It's a different lock, so it goes on the list.
    9. Manages to be a medical tricorder, with a readout only the Doctor can see. Streuth.
    10. Undoes handcuffs.
    11. Reattaches cut barbed wire. Sonic welder?
    12. Reverses a teleport that has already teleported. Makes serfect pense.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Ironically, "Boom Town" was the very first Doctor Who episode I saw, and it was the episode that convinced me to stick around and watch "The Empty Child" (which reran on the Sci Fi Channel right afterwards). I loved it, and I especially loved the conversation over dinner between Blon and the Doctor.

    I literally wouldn't be a Who fan without "Boom Town."
     
  3. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    Ah, so it was all up from there? :)
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, several episodes from Series One that I saw at first were let-downs compared to "Boom Town," particularly "The Unquiet Dead" and "The Long Game." It was really only the brilliance of "Boom Town," "The Empty Child," and "The Doctor Dances" that convinced me to give the rest of Series One a chance.
     
  5. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    I'm curious now. Where does 'Dalek' and 'POTW' fit in that scale?
     
  6. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Boom Town is fantastic, I always loved it.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I saw both "Dalek" and "The Parting of the Ways" later on. "Dalek" was pure brilliance and was the episode I adored more than any other; "Parting" I didn't see until I got the DVD set and loved it.
     
  8. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    I'm starting to wonder whether I watched the same Boom Town as the rest of you. :confused:

    Anyway, it'll be a while now until I do the next review. I need to knuckle down and start revising. My last exam's on the 19th, so expect the Bad Wolf review on about the 20th. :)
     
  9. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    We'll be waiting. Study hard, but take it easy in all else. :)
     
  10. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Boom Town isn't great, but the resturant scene is superb and it was probably the first episode when I started to like Mickey...plus a lot of set up for what's to come as well.
     
  11. The Grinch Doctor

    The Grinch Doctor Two Hearts Too Small Premium Member

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    My thoughts exactly. I think this is also where I began to realize I didn't like Rose because of the way she treated Mickey.
     
  12. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    ^Yeah I'd maybe concur with that. She did treat him very shabbily. Of course he was to blame for clinging on as well to a certain extent.
     
  13. Jim Steele

    Jim Steele Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ditched the thread at this point. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. That complaint makes about as much sense as watching "Blink" and saying, "This being Steven Moffat, we have to get a straight reference in" when Sally holds Billy's hand at the end.
     
  15. Captain Pike

    Captain Pike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Don't worry. I thought Boom Town sucked too.
     
  16. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    Well Moffat did say he's written the gayest episode of Doctor Who. So maybe the complaint should be levelled at Moffat too.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Doctor Who has a definite "treat LGBTs in an egalitarian manner" agenda -- which is good -- and it's fair enough to say that all DW writers are in on sending the message that there's nothing wrong with homosexuality.

    Which there isn't. :)
     
  18. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, that's about the only good thing for me, the way that Mickey explains how he's hurt. It was also a bit of a surprise to see that come up in an RTD script, because he's the one who pushes this whole idea of the Doctor and Rose being in love, and that they're both right about everything. It was good to see Mickey react how any of us would. On the other hand, that's only about 20 seconds out of about 45 minutes of otherwise irredeemable rubbish.
    Never mind. Thanks for dropping by anyway.
    Yes, they are completely the same thing. What a twit I clearly am.
     
  19. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    Frankly I wish more shows would. The world would be a better place if more people realised there's nothing wrong with being different.
     
  20. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Hah, says the guy with the same AV as 6 billion other people! :guffaw: