SNEAK PEEK – Doctor Who “Boom”

    There’s a new episode of Doctor Who on the way this weekend! For the first time since “Twice Upon a Time”, the 2017 Christmas special will be penned by Steven Moffat. Doctor Who “Boom” sees the return of the former showrunner, which was shrouded in secrecy until recently, despite much speculation. His triumphant return sees the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) trying to save the day while stuck on a landmine. Just how is he going to get himself out of this one?

    Doctor Who “Boom” was written by Steven Moffat and was directed by Julie Anne Robinson, who previously directed “Space Babies”. Now that all that’s out of the way, what do we really know about the upcoming episode? Let’s take a look at some preview pictures, a teaser clip, and then a healthy dose of speculation to boot!

    WARNING—Although much of this is speculation, there are actual pictures and clips from “Boom” below. So, there are both actual spoilers and potential spoilers below.

    The Doctor and Ruby Sunday In The TARDIS (Via BBC Press Office)

    Preview Pics

    There’s quite a lot to dissect with these preview pictures this week. There’s a heavy emphasis on the Doctor and Ruby (Millie Gibson) looking very out of place on the battlefield. That shot of them standing in the TARDIS, looking out on the horrors, is gorgeous. Unlike the days of the 60s, that doesn’t look like a matte painting. Instead, that increased budget is really on show. That goes for all the photos, too. Everything’s burning; there are mountains of rubble.

    As far as set design goes, this looks pretty damn good! It also looks like we will be visiting some kind of survivor camp, with civilians wandering around. One of these is Splice Alison Vater (Caoilinn Springall), a very young survivor of this war. It seems we’re going to get a very young perspective on the impact of war on daily life. This has the potential to be a very emotionally charged, powerful, and poignant guest spot episode.

    It’s not just the kids, however. Pictures are emphasising other guest star roles such John Francis Vater (Joe Anderson) and Carson (Majid Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy), soldiers on the frontline fighting against these villains. We don’t know what kind of war this is, although these characters appear to be Clerics who we’ve not seen since “Flesh and Stone” at the crash of the Byzantium. I do wonder if they’re fighting a new enemy or not.

    Preview Clip

    The Next Time trailer, which we saw at the end of “The Devil’s Chord” is very tight lipped about what’s going to happen in Doctor Who “Boom”. It really emphasises the Doctor being stuck on the landmine, and we actually see him step on it. From what I can make out, it looks like the landmine was cloaked, some particularly nasty war tactics. We can see the lights on the landmine, which is definitely not a roomba vacuum, change from green to red. It seems the Doctor’s in a really tough situation here.

    Of course this is probably going to be Ruby’s episode, with the Doctor stuck. While the series was in production, so was the final season of Sex Education. It wouldn’t surprise me if the smaller, confined Doctor role was done to accomodate this. Although it looks like the Doctor’s doing an awful lot of screaming and yelling. So while he might not be in much of the episode, his role is bound to be memorable. Perhaps an iconic Doctor speech is in order?

    It’s also of note toward the start that there’s a blue light near the TARDIS in the distance. Perhaps it’s being scanned by something we can’t see. Although looking at the way the light’s travelling, it looks like the TARDIS has turned into a lighthouse of sorts. It’s calling the Doctor back, but it’s too far away given he’s presumably still stuck on the landmine. We also see the Doctor and Ruby close their eyes, and some of the clerics are wearing blindfolds. Could these enemies be a reverse Weeping Angel situation? Where instead of not being able to look away, you’re not allowed to look at them?

    YouTube player

    “Boom” Theory Time

    A couple of people in the guest cast aren’t obvious in the preview pics. Chief among them is the Ambulance (Susan Twist). She’s been in every episode since last Christmas with “The Church on Ruby Road”. While she was introduced in “Wild Blue Yonder” as Mrs Merridew, she’s properly taking control of the series now. It’s still early days, although, with the episode’s futuristic setting, this has the potential to be her most memorable appearance yet. I really can’t wait to see who she’s playing, perhaps she’s a harbinger of someone other god?

    The trailers seem to emphasise the Doctor giving passionate speeches while still stuck on the landmine. While Gatwa has very much solidified himself in the role, this has the potential to be his first epic, iconic Doctor speech. There’s a good chance that we’ll all be quoting from this scene for years. I can’t wait to see the darker side of this new Doctor when he’s pushed to his absolute limit.

    With the clerics seemingly present, I also expect there to be not just commentary on war. Perhaps there’s some kind of commentary from Moffat on the state of religion in 2024 and its place in daily life. Memorable Doctor Who episodes usually have unsubtle political messaging, and I think this episode isn’t too popular with the conservative demographics. Doctor Who “Boom” looks like it will be a lot of fun, and if I’m right, we’re in for an absolute treat.

    YouTube player


    It definitely looks like Moffat’s long-awaited return is going to be explosive! Loaded with a small cast and restrained Doctor, it’s time for Ruby to take some of the spotlight. She’s been travelling with the Doctor for about six months, leaving her more than capable. I really look forward to seeing what she can accomplish on her own. It also looks like the Doctor will deliver a capable, powerful performance despite being stuck. Very excited for this weekend!

    The show’s story arcs are in an interesting place, where I’m still not sure what’s supposed to be going on. Hopefully, through some more recurring omens, it will become clear what might be being set up in the finale. I’m particularly interested in the recurring appearances by Susan Twist and hope that builds to something interesting. It’s also been a while since we’ve seen the fourth-wall-breaking Mrs Flood (Anita Dobson), who I hope we catch up with soon. This is such a busy series with so many story arcs!

    Doctor Who kicked off its new era on Christmas Day 2023 with “The Church on Ruby Road.” The episode saw Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson debut as the 15th Doctor and Ruby Sunday. Doctor Who premiered at midnight on Saturday, May 11th, on BBC iPlayer with a double-episode bill. The episodes will stream internationally on Disney+, Doctor Who‘s exclusive home outside the UK and Ireland, giving audiences a simultaneous global launch. Episodes will also air on BBC One each week in a primetime slot on Saturday evening.

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