In Review: Doctor Who (S1 – EP3) – Boom

The Doctor is trapped when he steps on a landmine. Can he save himself and Ruby, plus the entire planet... without moving?
Boom

Synopsis: In the episode Boom. The Doctor is trapped when he steps on a landmine. Can he save himself and Ruby, plus the entire planet… without moving?

 

Story

Boom is an anti-war and anti-capitalist tract. In which a father’s love for his daughter ultimately saves the day. Defusing the landmine that the Doctor steps on. Indeed, there is an astronomically good buildup of tension. Which is sustained throughout. The dialogue and exchanges between the Doctor and Ruby is very Steven Moffat. I personally wished that Ruby was more like her own character. And less like Clara (Jenna Coleman). A bittersweet subplot is the very Rory Williams-esque Canterbury’s (Bhav Joshi) unrequited love for Mundy (Varada Sethu). Moreover, he is killed immediately after confessing his feelings. We see a lot of the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) in the 15th Doctor’s character this week. Understandably, as he is a hair’s breadth away from destroying the entire planet due to an entirely preventable conflict. The ending was beautiful. I loved the fish fingers and custard reference.

 

Acting

Ncuti Gatwa really brought the intensity in this outing. Displaying the Oncoming Storm in his Doctor. Gatwa showed a great ability to switch from funny to serious; and from intense to tender throughout the whole episode. His Doctor singing the Skye Boat Song was a lovely moment. During an episode where the Doctor’s back is against the wall. Millie Gibson channelled Jenna Coleman a bit too much in my view. And was markedly different from her characterisation in the previous 3 episodes. Gibson had some great moments with Gatwa when she handed him the urn. As well as at the episode’s end. Varada Sethu played really well off Gatwa in their initial meeting. Additionally, Sethu showed a deeper level to her character in her interactions with Bhav Joshi‘s Canterbury and Caolinn Springall‘s Splice. Springall really brought the innocence and gentleness of her character well. And Bhav Joshi took a leaf out of Arthur Darvill‘s Rory Williams’s book. Playing the lovestruck everyman who struggles to confess his feelings. Joe Anderson played a great soldier and a great caring father. Whose AI ended up saving the day at the Doctor’s urging. Majid Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy also acted well.

 

CGI

Boom’s CGI was spectacular. The battlefield FX were so gritty and dark. And reminded me of Night of the Doctor. By contrast, Kastarion 3’s spectacular alien sky was really well done too. Vater and Canterbury’s holograms were also a nice touch. I enjoyed the 9th Doctor-esque moment when Vater’s AI turned to look at his daughter. The landmine and the ambulances were nicely realised also.

 

Incidental Music

Boom’s incidental music was top notch. I really loved the 15th Doctor’s theme when he rushed out of the TARDIS to help. The initial score at the beginning really put across war’s despair. Also excellent was the 12th Doctor like theme when the Doctor told Mundy how to save the day. The music that ended Boom was great and really brought that Moffat-era fairytale feeling.

 

Overall

Steven Moffat, Ncuti Gatwa, Millie Gibson and Boom’s cast and crew have created Doctor Who magic. This episode was tight, funny and emotional with a strong anti-imperialist message. And a masterful buildup of tension. Massive thumbs up from this reviewer.

 

Check out our Space Babies review here

 

Check out our The Devil’s Chord review here

10
Doctor Who (S1 - EP3) - Boom
  • Story
    10
  • Acting
    10
  • CGI
    10
  • Incidental Music
    10

Autistic writer who loves sci-fi, cosplay and poetry. Actor with Theatre of the Senses. He/him.
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