Doctor WhoTV

Doctor Who: Season 14: episode 4: Boom by Steven Moffat

An odd thought occurred to me. With the current high budgets, it’s going to be a tough call for any scriptwriter with few credentials to sell a script for ‘Doctor Who’. It’s hardly like we have many SF scriptwriters in the UK. I hope Russell T has some plan for training up new showrunners, let alone SF scriptwriters, or when he moves on, there’s going to be a lot of problems.

The longer lead-ons are probably designed for the madness of American advertising.

Disclosing too much about this episode would be a major spoiler. I mean, the doctor has stepped on a Vinguard salesman landmine, and if he moves, it detonates. There’s an interesting puzzle here. If the Doctor had exploded, Ruby would have found herself stranded on this alien planet. The story is permeated with a sense of threat, rendering it a suspenseful and profoundly dark narrative. Apart from a few visual effects from the new LED wall visual landscape, the minimal cast makes this a bottle show. Oh, and the Anglican Marines are supposedly fighting the Catsarians, which we don’t see. Actress Varada Sethu, who played Mundy Flynn, is also the new companion in the next season, and it does become obvious she has star quality.

This is a really heavy episode, dialogue-dependent, and if you’ve ever seen the 1995 film ‘Screamers’, then it has a similar vibe. The contrast to the previous episode is so sharp and intense that you have to wonder if it will keep a younger audience. The pacing does seem to go up and down like a heartbeat between each episode rather than keep up a steady pace.

Extras: The Unleashed looks at the making of the episode and a brief interview with Varada Sethu; there’s no indication whether she’ll continue the same part, but it does look that way. Russell T. and Steven Moffat, who have jointly written 80 ‘Doctor Who’ episodes, engage in a discussion. This discussion covers a lot, so don’t miss it.

Geoff Willmetts

18 May 2024


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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