Six months after ridding London of the Slitheen, the Doctor takes the TARDIS to Cardiff to refuel on a rift in time and space. The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack Harkness are joined by Mickey Smith, Rose's boyfriend. They've barely arrived when they realize that the new Lord Mayor is one of the Slitheen, Margaret, from their previous encounter. The nuclear facility she has been promoting is called Bad Wolf, an expression the Doctor has come across on several occasions. The Doctor will transport her to her home planet - where she says she faces a death warrant - but they are unable to depart until the next morning when the TARDIS is fully recharged. After unsuccessfully pleading her case to the Doctor, Margaret takes more decisive action. Written by
In this episode, the TARDIS lands in Roald Dahl Plass (a public square named for Cardiff-born author Roald Dahl), on Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, Wales. On one side of the plass is the Wales Millennium Centre, a performing arts centre which is glimpsed several times. Its front bears a large inscription, which shows two lines by Welsh poet Gweneth Lewis. The first line, in Welsh, "CREU GWIR FEL GWYDR O FFWRNAIS AWEN" (English: "Creating Truth Like Glass From Inspiration's Furnace"), and the second line in English, "IN THESE STONES HORIZONS SING" (the two lines are juxtaposed and somewhat mingled, Welsh on the left, English on the right). Across the plass stands the Water Tower, a 70-foot-tall metal monolith with water streaming down its sides. In the Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood (2006), Torchwood Three had its headquarters secretly hidden under the plass, entered through a secret lift near the Water Tower. See more »
The 'earthquake' that takes place in this episode results in CGI-created cracks in the pavement that are very unconvincing. They do not appear to displace anything and - in a related continuity error - the cracks disappear in shots taken from ground level (the cracks are only visible in high-level 'looking down' shots). See more »
Four episodes after The Long Game, another weak entry in the season shows its head: this time it's what appears to be a "filler" episode (its arc significance, if any, has more to do with past stories than upcoming ones), scripted by show-runner Russell T. Davies and set in present day Cardiff (imagine the Doctor's happiness).
Having made a pit stop in the Welsh capital to recharge the TARDIS near a convenient rift in time and space, the Doctor and Rose (accompanied by Jack) are reunited with Mickey, but also with an old foe: Margaret (Annette Badland), only survivor of the Slitheen family (the farting aliens, remember?), who's back with a vengeance, more specifically another plot to destroy the world. Unlucky for her, she still doesn't get the pointlessness of squaring off against the Doctor...
As if creating flatulent aliens wasn't bad enough (according to most people; personally, I really enjoyed the Aliens of London/World War Three two-parter), this time Davies makes the mistake of featuring them
well, one - in a rather pointless episode, which gets by simply
because the three protagonists (though he's not listed in the opening credits, Jack is pretty much a companion), and Mickey, are a lot of fun to watch, especially when the Doctor accepts to have dinner with Margaret and foils her pathetic attempts to kill him on the spot. Sadly, that's just on of few good bits in an overall bland effort, shockingly placed this late in the season.
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