Saturday, August 23, 2014

Doctor Who--"Boomtown"

“Boom Town” lived up to--or should I say down to--it’s lackluster reputation. Not that it was a bad installment, but it was pointless in the grand scheme of things. There was no indication that a Slitheen had escaped from there last go around with the Doctor. I never warmed up to the farting aliens enough to merit the original two parter, much less a third episode no one was clamoring for. I believe a few personal moments between Rose and Mickey were supposed to be the heart of the episode, but they left me sot of meh. I’ll hit on that in a minute.

A Slitheen has established herself as the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. She has devised a plan to build a nuclear reactor in town. A scientist examining the project tells her the plans are flawed. when the reactor goes online, it will destroy the entire town. She asks the scientist if he has told anyone else this. When he says no, she kills him to keep the secret. Meanwhile, the TARDIS has landed in Cardiff (convenient, no?) in order to refuel by using the time rift opened up in 1869 during “The Unquiet Dead.” Mickey travels from London to Cardiff solely to give rose her passport. Capt. Jack opens the door to let him in, but Mickey blows right passed him to get to Rose. There’s more than one rift forming here. As it will take 24 hours for the 1869 rift to open, they all eecide to take in the sights of Cardiff.

The Lord Mayor holds a press conference announcing the new power plant will be built and that means jobs for all. Reporters ask incessantly about the strange number of deaths surrounding the project, but the Lord Mayor, as are the photographers snapping her picture. Later, our heroes are having lunch and sharing anecdotes when the Doctor sees the Lord mayor’s picture in the paper. They all march off to City Jall immediately. The Lord mayor attempts escaping though the office window, but is eventually captured. Back in her office, our heroes examine her plan. The nuclear reactor was to be built on top of the 1869 rift. When the reactor goes online, it would automatically meltdown. There is another device attached to the reactor, a sort of kinetic surfboard, that she would ride out of the solar system. The doctor also notes, but dismisses, the name of the reactor translates to “Bad Wolf, to words that have shown up in every one of their adventures thus far. The doctor chalks it up as a coincidence.

When the TARDIS is recharged, they will drop the Lor Mayor off on her home planet. She has the death sentence there, but the Doctor quips that isn’t his problem. The Lord Mayor makes a last request--she wants a final meal at her favorite restaurant. Jack produces two bracelets that will keep her within ten fet of the Doctor at all times, so her agrees. She tries to poison himr at the restaurant, but he coyly avoids all of her escape attempts. She then tries another tactic--brutally describing the execution method the her planet uses. She begs him to take her to a place with other Slitheen instead. He refuses, believing she isn’t reformed and doesn’t deserve a second chance. Suddenly, an earthquake rocks Cardiff. The rift is opening.

The Doctor and the Lord Mayor rush back to the TARDIS, dodging panicked people as they go. They see the rift forming above the TARDIS. Time and space are ripping apart and they will take the planet with it. All of this happens because they carried the kietic surfboard withem to the TARDIS. The Lord Mayor takes Rose hostage and demands the board returned to her. She will use the power of the TARDIS to spring herself out of the solar system. The doctor nods to Jack that this is okay, even though it will destroy Earth. The Lord Mayor is bathed in a bright light from the TARDIS and after a few dramatic moments, collapses. Everything turns back to normal--except the Lord Mayor is now an egg! The Doctor explains the TARDIS is nearly organic. It has a power and consciousness even he doesn’t fully understand. It looked into the Lord Mayor’s soul and gave her the second chance she craved. The Doctor will now drop her off to be with other Slitheen. Rose tearfully whispers to no one in particular that econd chances must be nice.

She says this because of the encounter with Mickey I mentioned above. She didn’t really need her passport, it was just an excuse to see him. They go out that night and she relates some of the exciting things she has seen and done. Mickey realizes that he can’t compete with that and admits she’s been gone so long, he is seeing someone else. Rose keeps a stiff upper lip, but she is crushed. However, when the earthquake occurs, she dumps him and heads for the TARDIS. After the escitement is all over, she races back to find him, but he is standing off in the distance as she asks police officers if they have seen. Rather than go back to her, he turns away bitterly. She returns to the TARDIS moping about second chances.

That didn’t resonate with me because of the uneven characterization of Rose. Most of the time, she seems hung up on the Doctor. All the while she flits with and falls for every guy she sees, but drops them like a hot potato in a heartbeat. She’s left Mickey in the cold twice already and will do so again in “The Christmas Invasion,” not to mention she isn’t happy when he joins the TARDIS crw in “School Reunion.” Yes, those are subsequent episodes, but it is indicative of her fickle and unsympathetic nature. She isn’t growing any by her experiences and that is totally implausible. It is even strange the Doctor is so attached to her anyway. I wish there was more consistency and maturing of Rose. If there were, those scenes would have meant a lot more. As it is, all I can say is, “Hmm. Typical Rose. Changes like the weather.”

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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