Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who Episode ‘Boom’ Has Roots in Classic Story

We’ll know it when we see it, apparently.

Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor standing in the TARDIS doors
Photo: BBC Studios/Bad Wolf/James Pardon

As well as a celebrated screenwriter and a Madman With a Pen™, former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat is a cheeky, cheeky monkey. When quizzed in January 2024 by Radio Times about potentially returning to write for the show, he said the following:

“Look at my ageing face. How can I fit in? And I know, because I’ve seen the feedback, that people think I’m being evasive on the subject,” he explained, before continuing, “The truth is, if I say anything negative about Doctor Who it goes everywhere, like boom, everywhere, right?”

Like, boom, everywhere, right? Like BOOM, everywhere, right?

Moffat is so embedded in the world of Doctor Who that even his jovial press statements contain Easter Eggs. “Boom”, as was confirmed in May  2024, is the title of the former showrunner’s new Doctor Who episode. It’s due to arrive on Saturday May 18/Friday May 17 depending on your time zone, a week after the new season’s opening double bill of “Space Babies” and “The Devil’s Chord.”

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Previewed in the latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine, “Boom”, directed by Julie Ann Robinson, is revealed to have roots in a Classic-era story. DWM writer Paul Kirkley writes:

“The story’s Big Idea has its genesis in a Doctor Who tale from many decades ago (you’ll know it when you see it), along with the odd kiss to Steven’s own Who legacy.”

We’d expect nothing less. “Boom” has been billed so far as a dark, suspense-filled Hitchcockian episode set on a war-torn futuristic alien ruined landscape. Davies previously praised its performances, emotion and depth, summing the whole thing up as “gorgeous.”

Based on the December teaser’s snippets, “Boom” is also thought to feature the Doctor trapped on an explosive device. There have been unconfirmed rumours of its bringing back church-soldiers the Clerics, as featured in Moffat’s series six episode “A Good Man Goes to War” starring Matt Smith as the Doctor.

As to the tale from many decades ago that sparked the episode’s big conceit, any early guesses? Might Kirkley have chosen the word “genesis” advisedly?

Doctor Who returns to BBC One and iPlayer on Saturday May 11 in the UK, and to Disney+ on Friday May 10 around the world. Doctor Who Magazine 603 is out now.

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