It’s time for our run down of BOOM TOWN, episode nine of series one. Talia is sick of Rose and wishes for a better companion, Lucia asks us to ponder the meaning of accountability, we all aspire to that vibe you have with friends who unquestionably get you no questions asked, and we continue our crusade of cleanliness and say the quiet part out loud: those skin suits have got to stink.
Lucia Kelly: Hello and welcome to the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey podcast.
Talia Franks: I’m Talia Franks, media critic, fanfic enthusiast, and very icy patch.
Lucia Kelly: And I’m Lucia Kelly, expert at applied analysis and last surviving member of the Slitheen family.
Talia Franks: And we’re here to talk about Boom Town, the eleventh episode of Series One of Doctor Who.
Lucia Kelly: Boom Town aired on the 4th of June, 2005, and was written by Russell T Davies and directed by Joe Ahearne.
Talia Franks: Remember that time isn’t a straight line. It can twist into any shape and as such, this is a fully spoiled podcast. We might bring things in from later in the show, the comics, the books, or even in fan theories and articles.
Lucia Kelly: With that out of the way, this station is designed to explode the minute it reaches capacity, so let’s get in the TARDIS.
Talia Franks: I want to talk about the Slitheen.
Lucia Kelly: Yes. Let’s. Oh my gosh. I’m so excited.
I am very interested to talk to you about… how everyone reacts to and treats Blon. The Doctor reacts with the most compassion, I think, (Talia mhmms in agreement) and then it, kind of, descends from there with Rose being a little less compassionate, Jack, not really having any kind of – like Jack doesn’t have a dog in the fight. He hasn’t met the Slitheen before, so he’s kind of like it’s a dangerous alien, just like any other dangerous alien, and then Mickey is actively hostile. And I don’t know, I found Mickey’s reaction quite interesting.
Talia Franks: These people love making a Black person racist.
Lucia Kelly: They sure do, don’t they?
Talia Franks: They love making a Black person racist. I feel like, there is nothing that TV producers like more than making a Black person a racist asshole, or just making a Black person an asshole, like look at Roderick in the next couple episodes!
Lucia Kelly: Right? Yeah. Having Mickey actually using racist language as well.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: And that like that is not to say that internalized racism, or like, any kind of internalized bigotry is not an issue in all kinds of minority groups.
The problem comes when that is your only representation of a minority’s experience or the only representation you have of that minority.
Talia Franks: Yeah, and also when it’s the only representation of someone having that opinion.
Lucia Kelly: Yes.
Talia Franks: When your only representation of a minority – and also minority is a problematic term, because one other thing to consider is people are often not minorities, they are – I prefer often to use the term “minoritized”. People are represented in media in far fewer numbers than they actually exist in the general population, in the actual world population.
I feel very strongly that when people are not being represented, it’s not because they are in the minority it’s because they are being minoritized.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, absolutely.
Talia Franks: But back to Mickey and making Black people racist. It’s the thing. It’s “White people are always the Good Guys.” Sometimes white people are also the bad guys, but that’s often when there’s no one else to be the bad guys. It’s not to say there’s never people who are POC who are also on the good side. Yes, Mickey is one of the heroes, but he’s also being a racist asshole in this thing. Speciesist not racist, but he’s saying some really bad ish here. And it happens across episodes too.
If we look in the next episode, Roderick is the biggest asshole in that entire two episodes and he’s Black.
Lucia Kelly: Yep.
Talia Franks: And then there’s the employee whose name is escaping me right now.
Lucia Kelly: I don’t think she’s given a name, cause I was looking out for it. Neither of them are given a name. The two main controllers.
Talia Franks: He is given a name, he introduces himself, but I’m forgetting what it is. We’ll talk about it next episode, but anyway, she says “We were just doing our jobs,” and then The Doctor says, “And with that, you’ve lost all right to talk to me.”
The point is, people like that, that are on “The Good Side”. Even when they’re on the good side, it’s with a caveat. (Lucia Mhmms in agreement)
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, and also, it’s not only the words that are being said and the characters that are saying it, it’s also about how the narrative is framing those conversations. (Talia Mhmms in agreement)
And in particular, how the narrative is far more forgiving of when white people mess up than when BIPOC people mess up. (Talia Mhmms in agreement) For instance, we were talking last time about Rose’s biphobia in “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances”. That comment, and earlier, when she’s like, “That’s so gay” and all this sort of stuff, like a lot of Rose’s language can be quite homophobic.
However, the narrative, the way that the story is framed, the way that the audience is led to feel, is never to hold Rose accountable for those views. (Talia Mhmms in agreement) We are absolutely being led to hold Mickey accountable for his views. (Talia Mhmms in agreement) And it’s a problem that that disparity exists. (Talia Mhmms in agreement)
Talia Franks: Yeah, and the thing is, it’s Mickey that is being held accountable the most because he’s the loudest, but he’s the one that’s being signaled out when the other ones are doing the same thing. It’s just, they’re not being so clearly signaled out for it.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. This whole episode, one of the major underlying B plots is Mickey’s isolation. From the beginning, it is very much The Doctor, Jack, and Rose… and Mickey, right? And that is evident from how they act with each other in the TARDIS, it’s how they exclude him, it’s how Rose only ever talks about her TARDIS adventures and we don’t see her inquiring after Mickey, or his life, or what’s going on with him, or how maybe her constantly talking about her amazing travels with these two other men might be uncomfortable for Mickey. (Talia Mhmms in agreement)
And, the whole Rose/Mickey storyline is (Lucia sighs unhappily) It’s interesting. It’s deeply uncomfortable. The whole bit of it.
Talia Franks: I just don’t understand why she doesn’t just tell him that they’re done.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. The fact that Mickey and Rose never have that conversation bothers me so much.
Talia Franks: The closest they come to it is in “The Parting of the Ways” when she says “There’s nothing for me here.”
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: But even then – and I don’t like to use language like “She’s leading him on” or anything, because that’s gross and icky, but the fact of the matter is, when they don’t have that conversation, and they leave it open-ended, and she keeps coming back to him, and keeps making asks of him, and keeps acting as though their relationship is something, when it’s not.
Lucia Kelly: Well, acting like it hasn’t changed, acting as though she’s not the one who is in power, right? And Mickey says that explicitly, being like – like when they have that whole conversation and like, I hope Trisha is doing well for herself, I hope Trisha’s found someone else, because she is not being valued at all. (Talia Mhmms in agreement) Right? But when they have that whole conversation –
Talia Franks: Also, there’s nothing wrong with being thicc.
Lucia Kelly: Exactly! Yeah. That part! Where that whole like, “Oh, she’s a bit big”. And it’s like, “She lost weight.” It doesn’t matter how big Trisha is. Trisha’s a person, that deserves love and affection, and you should keep those comments to yourself, and deal with them on your own time. Bloody hell.
But like, It’s just so typically Rose that her first reaction to that is “This is all a—” She literally says: “This is all about me!”
Talia Franks: Yep. Is it?
Lucia Kelly: Is it?
Talia Franks: I mean, yes, but why?
Lucia Kelly: And then Mickey has that heartbreaking moment where – because yeah, you say she’s not leading him on, but it’s not that she’s leading him on it’s that by not having this conversation, she is deliberately leaving him on the hook (Talia Mhmms in agreement) and there’s a level of cruelty to that, like I think if Rose’s cruelty was acknowledged in the narrative, as we’ve talked about before, she’s got this kind of savior complex – she loves to be the person who’s saving people – but she doesn’t deal with her own life and she doesn’t deal with her own emotions, right? That’s a very interesting character trait and that’s really complicated characterization, but it’s never really explored in any kind of depth? Which upsets me, because the narrative is constantly excusing Rose’s behavior and not acknowledging what she does is wrong.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I definitely feel that. And that’s the thing that really bothers me about Rose, and I think that is probably why she’s my least favorite companion right now, and maybe that’s unfair and maybe I need to rewatch other episodes. I feel like I’ve had too much of Rose lately. I’ve had a Rose overdose. I need to move on to another companion.
I’ve had too much of a critical lens on Rose. I don’t know, maybe I’m just looking on the other companions with fondness.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, cause Rose gets a lot of scrutiny, I will be interested to see if our views of the other companions have also changed, once we’re looking at it with a critical lens.
Talia Franks: With the exception of – I have watched the most recent two seasons, Seasons 11 and 12, with Yaz, Graham, and Ryan as companions. I have watched those very recently. And, while I haven’t watched those specifically to critique, I have my critiquing brain on pretty much all the time.
So those episodes I have seen recently, and I do have Capital O Opinions about them, and I still love Yaz, Graham, and Ryan, more than Rose. They are still firmly above her. But I am interested to see whether or not I still love Martha and Donna with the same fondness, and I’ve watched Bill pretty recently too, so I still love her.
I wonder whether or not I still feel as lukewarm about Amy and Clara.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I definitely have opinions on Clara, and on River Song, but that’s a whole nother conversation.
Talia Franks: You have only seen Clara with Eleven. I do not trust you about Clara, because you have not seen Clara and Twelve.
Lucia Kelly: Okay.
Talia Franks: You have not seen Clara and Twelve and their beautiful dynamic in Season Nine. So I do not trust you about Clara.
Lucia Kelly: I will withhold my opinion until that time.
Talia Franks: You are not allowed to give a full judgment on Clara until you have seen Season Nine.
Lucia Kelly: Alright.
Talia Franks: I actually really love Clara in Season Nine. I will ride or die for Clara in Season Nine.
Clara with Eleven is sus.
Lucia Kelly: Very.
Talia Franks: Clara with Eleven is really sus, and I prefer to pretend that Season Seven doesn’t exist. Doctor Who ended at the end of Season Six, and began again at Season Eight, and huge chunks of Season Eight are missing, and then we go straight to Season Nine. (Lucia and Talia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: They’re just gone. They got lost in the fire. Don’t worry about it.
Talia Franks: They’re just gone. I think there’s a lot of Classic Who that’s missing too. Why can’t there be a bunch of modern Who that’s missing? Can we just sleep on “Sleep No More”? (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: No.
Talia Franks: Please?!
Lucia Kelly: No.
Talia Franks: Please?! Why didn’t you do this to me? Why do you hate me so much?
Lucia Kelly: I don’t hate you. I want you to do a good and thorough job, and I want to do a good and through job, and that means watching every episode. Ha ha ha.
And to that point, let’s talk about Blon Fel-Fotch. Blon Fel-Fotch, and specifically the actress who plays her, Annette Badland.
This whole episode is just a showcase for Annette Badland’s talent – and Christopher Eccleston’s – but – Oh, the complexity, the way they play her, the way that Blon plays them, and the dynamic of power, and how it shifts between characters throughout this whole episode is just delicious.
Talia Franks: That moment where she just goes, “Let’s see who can look me in the eye,” and just sits, and looks, none of them can look her, and I just – I’m seizing up in my heart.
But also the other thing is she’s so funny? (Lucia mhmms in agreement) Like, where she’s like “Dinner in bondage.”
Lucia Kelly: Oh, and that dinner! Oh my God! The way that The Doctor and Blon, their back and forth, it’s two expert manipulators, working off each other, and how they try to – It’s three-dimensional chess, what they’re doing with each other.
Talia Franks: Honestly, it’s four-dimensional chess.
Lucia Kelly: Appropriately. Yeah.
Talia Franks: No but like that whole speech. I just can’t do it justice. I just can’t do it justice. The way he says, “You let one of them go, but that’s nothing new, every now and then a little victim’s spared, because she smiled, because he’s got freckles, because they begged, and that’s how you live with yourself. That’s how you slaughter millions. Cause once in a while, on a whim, if the winds in the right direction, you happen to be kind,”
Lucia Kelly: And then Blon comes right back with “Only a killer would know that.”
And it’s just – (Lucia exhales in excitement)
Talia Franks: Yeah, but then the way that she calls him out and talks about how his “happy little go, lucky life leaves devastation in [his] wake.” And I just – it’s so true though, how The Doctor really does leave devastation in his wake. I mean, I wrote a whole article for Nerdist about the consequences of The Doctor’s actions, because it’s so true.
Cause The Doctor leaves chaos in his wake. Cause like, the moments in the beginning of the episode where him, and Rose, and Jack, and Mickey are sitting in a cafe, and chomping the bit, and having fun, and sitting around a table, you wish that it could always be that nice, but it’s not, it’s not always that nice.
It’s having a fight at the end of the world and leaving devastation in their wake.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Whenever the show holds The Doctor accountable for their actions, I love it.
Talia Franks: I love it so much.
Lucia Kelly: It happens so rarely. (Talia mhmms in agreement) Specifically because of what Blon is talking about, right? The sad truth of the matter is that, it’s often the people who idolize The Doctor who survive interacting with him.
So the narrative about him is severely skewed. When she talks about you might as well be a God, I mean, kind of, yeah. Like cults around The Doctor happen and get addressed and get brought up multiple times, including my favorite topic of conversation, Love and Monsters!
Talia Franks: Okay, yeah, but, (Lucia continues to laugh) there’s actually a Thirteenth Doctor book called The Good Doctor that talks about exactly this. Basically in that book, what happens is that The Doctor has this massive, It starts at the end of an adventure.
There’s this massive adventure. And it’s kind of like The Long Game where The Doctor has a massive adventure and “puts things right”, and then leaves for a hundred years, and things go to shit. So basically The Doctor has a massive adventure and “puts things, right”. And then Ryan has lost his cell phone. So they go back for the cell phone, but accidentally show up 600 years later.
And when they show up 600 years later, the narrative has gotten super corrupted. For one thing, everyone thinks that Graham is The Doctor, they forget the Thirteen is The Doctor. Graham has been misrepresented as The Doctor. And everything has been super corrupted because what it was was that it was like a species war between these two species, the humans and these like anthropomorphic dog people.
And the anthropomorphic dog, people have been enslaved by the humans and it’s like super misogynistic. So women have no rights. And Graham, as “The Good Doctor” is worshiped as a God because Hey, what 600 years will do to you. And so is the consequences of The Doctor’s actions. And so then the rest of the book is them trying to fix what they fucked up.
Lucia Kelly: Nice. Yeah. Talking about colonization, I want to talk about Woman Wept because Rose says that the reason that planet is called Woman Wept is because from orbit, from space, one of the continents looks like a woman crying. The only way you would know that is if you saw it from space. So what the people who were born there and lived there, couldn’t see that.
Why is it called Woman Wept? Is it was it an empty planet? I doubt it.
Talia Franks: I also doubt it. Cause the thing is is she talks about how the planet like has an ocean. (Lucia Mhmms in agreement) The planet has an ocean and also talks about how the planet, the ocean is frozen. How’s the ocean for frozen? Oceans don’t freeze like that!
Lucia Kelly: I mean it’s, first of all, it’s space it’s space physics.
Talia Franks: Okay. No, but I’m saying like the one you like the way that her space physics, he explained it, it didn’t seem completely natural.
Lucia Kelly: Well, doesn’t she say it’s due to a star or something?
Talia Franks: I don’t know,
Lucia Kelly: No buildings, no people just a beach, like thousands of miles across. Okay. Something happened something to do with the suns, I don’t know, but the sea had just frozen in a split second in the middle of a storm waves and foam just frozen all out to the horizon.
Talia Franks: Yeah, that doesn’t sound natural. She just says she doesn’t know how it happened.
It doesn’t sound natural. To me, it sounds like something weird happened to this planet.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I wonder is Woman Wept explored in any of the,
Talia Franks: I’m just saying, I think something bad happened to this planet.
Lucia Kelly: It’s referred to in passing as one of the 27 planets in Journey’s End.
Talia Franks: Really?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Interesting. Very interesting.
Lucia Kelly: But other than that, it doesn’t seem to have been discussed or talked about, but yeah.
Lucia Kelly: So the way that they do this Slitheen storyline, how do, how does this show make me care about a genocidal green, rubber monster? I care about her story. I care about her life also. How do we feel about what happened to Blon? Do we think, first of all, will Blon, remember her past life? Because The Doctor says she’s regressed to an egg.
Not that she was in a way that like, like using the term regress, like almost makes it feel like, like when someone has a really severe trauma, so they regress to an earlier part of their life?
Talia Franks: Yeah. I honestly don’t know.
Lucia Kelly: Or
Talia Franks: I think she might have like shadow memories maybe? (Lucia Mhmms in agreement)
Lucia Kelly: But also, I don’t know how I feel about this as a resolution to her storyline. Because let’s be very honest. Blon did commit a lot of crimes and I’m not saying that she should be turned to soup in a death penalty ritual, that sounds horrific, but you know, maybe a little accountability maybe?
Talia Franks: Well, well, that also leads to the question of what is in terms of like accountability, punishment, whatever. I think, you know, if she has regressed lost all her memories, isn’t that? Punishment enough?
Lucia Kelly: Is it a punishment though, specifically if, particularly if she can’t remember it?
Talia Franks: Because if she can’t remember it, if she’s lost all her memories who is she? What are we, if we are not our memories? Yes, her physical self is still alive, but her memories are gone like who she was like, who constituted herself is gone.
Lucia Kelly: Exactly.
Talia Franks: Like everything that made her herself, like she might as well be dead.
Lucia Kelly: Like I feel as if the journey that Blon goes on does not like, and I’m not saying that we have to have like I can handle it. I think I’ve made it pretty clear. I can handle a complex narrative, right? I don’t need everything to be perfectly in its place. And you know, all the bad guys get got, and the heroes are always heroes.
Talia Franks: Well, I mean, what kind of justice is justice then?
Lucia Kelly: Well, I don’t know, which is why I find her the way they decided to finish her story so interesting is that they kind of don’t deal with it. Blon as the Blon that we know does not answer for her. Cause the thing about like where I am is that in order to come to a resolution, like in order to
You have to have knowledge of your past in order to have learnt from it. If you know what I mean? Whatever lessons you learned is variable, but
Talia Franks: yeah, but she’s not like she’s gone, she’s dead. Like her physical self is going to be a new person raised differently in a different family.
Lucia Kelly: Hmm. Yeah. Also by the way, Blon makes this huge thing about just don’t leave me with the Slitheen put me in a new family and the way at the end, The Doctor is will just pop by the hatchery and then move on. I’m like ” away from the Slitheen I hope.” Like the way he says it, it’s kind of like, you know, “we’ll just leave her on the doorstep” was like, are you going to honor her last wishes? Are you actually going to make sure she doesn’t get with the Slitheen? I’ve got no faith
Talia Franks: She doesn’t ask to be, she doesn’t like they don’t have that conversation. She like she asks, but when she asked, she actually asked to be put with the Slitheen, like she asked to be, she says like the Slitheen are all over the place. She asks to be put with her family. Like she says, the Slitheen aren’t welcome on Raxacoricofallapatorius. So she asked to be brought to her family.
Lucia Kelly: No, at that point, at that point, she specifically talk, because at that point she’s obviously, obviously she’s not an egg because she, what she’s asking at that point is for refuge. But before, she also talks about how, sort of the cultish nature of the Slitheen family. Like she was like, she was forced to kill her. She made her first kill at 13. Like there was no other way. It was a self-preservation thing. And ” if I’m a killer, it’s what my family have made me”. So I was on the impression that she was like,
Talia Franks: okay, yeah, that makes sense.
Lucia Kelly: Put me somewhere else.
Talia Franks: No, I get what you’re coming from in that circumstance (Transition Wobbles)
Lucia Kelly: Also that receptionist, that poor receptionist is not paid enough. When The Doctor is like, “just tell her an old friend stopped by”
Talia Franks: Oh my goodness. He is not paid enough. (Transition Wobbles)
Lucia Kelly: I did like that. Cause when I first watched it, the, when the attends out the, the space surfboard is like part of the display for the nuclear station, odd choice. Which is, does that mean that Blon built it herself? The display?
Talia Franks: She did build it herself. And I, you know, I am so upset. I am so upset that Jack said that she did not build the extrapolator because it was way beyond her, because she says it to modestly. She’s like ” well, I do have some talents.”
And then he says, no, I mean, this is way beyond you.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no, I took that as, because they go back and forth about that a couple of times. And I thought it was implied that she was like, she was literally being fake, modest, like it, she didn’t build it and she did steal it.
Talia Franks: No, I thought I, I, I read that completely differently.
I thought she was being fake modest as in, she actually was skilled enough to build it.
Lucia Kelly: I mean, I believe she was skilled enough to modify it to what she wanted. I’m not sure I’m not how I meant to read it. I was under the impression she had stole it and modified it to her specific needs. But yeah, no, cause I was watching it.
I mean like that’s so like why would you literally build it into your display unit, but then it turns out that it’s bait and she did that deliberately. So I was like, okay, no, that’s actually smart. Well done.
Lucia Kelly: I also have questions on how the skin suit works because
Talia Franks: she rips off the arm.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Because, so we established from the very beginning there’s a zipper that you know, is in and out of existence, depending on what the story needs are across the forehead. Right. Which is why a lot of the, like in the first in World War Three and Aliens of London, a lot of the actors had kind of fringes over their forehead as like a, in-universe way of being like, that’s why people can’t see the zipper (Lucia laughs)
but so is there a zipper at the elbow as well? What’s going on? Did she just break it? Because now it’s well, I’m going, I don’t need Margaret anymore. What’s going on?
Talia Franks: I was under the impression that she just ripped it off. Cause she didn’t need Margaret anymore. But then the other thing that I was confused about was how did The Doctor rifle through the skin suit to find the egg?
Lucia Kelly: That too
Talia Franks: It looked like he was just rifling or her clothes, but like the opening in the skin suit to find the egg?
Lucia Kelly: I mean, there sure are some openings, but I don’t think we want to talk about it
Also. So does the skin suit get preserved in some way? It’s been months Blon has been walking around in Margaret skin for months,
Talia Franks: Years at this point,
Lucia Kelly: It’s got a smell. Some, some, it might not smell like it’s rotting, but it’s got a smell of something.
Talia Franks: How does someone clean a skin suit?
Lucia Kelly: Oh, God. Sorry. I’ve just got this image.
You put this
Talia Franks: You’re the one who asked how it smelled.
Lucia Kelly: I didn’t bring up cleaning it! Like, Like, of her in her full Slitheen naked glory. Just standing in front of the washing machine as Margaret goes round and round on the inside.
Talia Franks: Not the washing machine that’s disgusting! No no no! Don’t do this to me. I have an aunt named Margaret.
That’s disgusting. I don’t like it.
Lucia Kelly: I mean, there’s no nice way of thinking about it. It’s either the washing machine or the bath.
Talia Franks: Lucia no! Honestly I feel like the bath is preferable to the washing machine. I mean, people do wash themselves in baths. Do they turn it inside out though? Like to wash the inside?
Lucia Kelly: They’ve got to, it’s gotta be sweaty in there. It’s still, it’s gotta be like, you know, when you wear, I don’t know how universal just experiences, this is going to be a theater kid experience, but like wearing, I have worn some pretty tight, rubber suits.
Talia Franks: I’ve never worn rubber. I’m allergic to latex
Lucia Kelly: for like shows and things. Even for a couple of hours, that’s nasty. If you’re wearing that 24/7, Blon’s a trooper. Blon’s an absolute trooper.
Talia Franks: She’s also a genocidal maniac.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You know, what, do you know what Margaret is?
Talia Franks: What?
Lucia Kelly: Margaret’s a girl boss
Talia Franks: What? (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: She’s a girl boss.
Talia Franks: Can we move on? (Lucia starts to truly cackle)
Lucia Kelly: Do you think Blon Fel Fotch utilized girl power when she tried to blow up Cardiff?
Talia Franks: Please stop. (Lucia continues cackling)
I hate you.
Lucia Kelly: So yeah. The use of camera work in this, in this episode is beautiful. As we’ve come to expect from, from Joe Aherne, just gorgeous work, the extreme closeups and the way that the camera slowly moves in to create this sense of pressure and claustrophobia is excellent.
Talia Franks: And I love it.
Lucia Kelly: I’m not sure there’s much else to say though. It’s a brilliant episode and everyone should watch it.
I do love when, so, so Rose and, Rose and, Mickey’s storyline the way it ends, like him sort of just being in, in in the distance and watching her look for him and walking off I feel like the writers wrote themselves into a corner with Rose and Mickey, and now we, the audience are dealing with the fact that they are desperately trying to write themselves out of it.
Talia Franks: Yup. Just make them best friends.
Lucia Kelly: Just let them be best friends.
Talia Franks: Let it be a bromance.
Lucia Kelly: But at least at the end, I did love this moment where, so Rose comes back to the Tardis and Jack and The Doctor actually being really sweet being like, ” Hey, do you want to go find Mickey? We’ll wait if you need to do that.” And Rose has a shining moment of self-reflection and says ” he deserves better” to which The Doctor responds in this way of so it says “off we go then.”
And the way that, that little, that little interaction is like peak, best friend solidarity. (Talia giggles) When your friend just shared something super vulnerable and like emotional, and you’re like, I can’t deal with this right now. Let’s go. I support you. But YIKES.
Talia Franks: Also that just makes me think of how much better that’s received than, there’s a moment. There’s a moment with the with the Thirteenth doctor. And Graham, I don’t know if you saw the discourse around this,
Lucia Kelly: please inform me,
Talia Franks: but there’s a, there’s a moment with the Thirteen doctor in Graham that made everyone. suuuuuuper pissed off in season.
Gosh, I’m trying to remember what episode it was. I think it was Spyfall? No. Okay. Hold on. I’m sure it will. I’m sure it will pop up if I just search Doctor, Graham, cancer, just watch
because The Doctor, so Graham. Yep. Okay. Yep. Okay. It was the first thing that popped up. Yeah. So basically, yeah. Okay. So it was after The Doctor Who episode, Can You Hear Me? And Graham is so Graham is a cancer survivor. Which I don’t know if you knew.
Lucia Kelly: I knew that cancer was some part of his storyline. I didn’t know whether I have heard the name. Grace. I know that she is his wife. I know she is questioned mark dead. And I know she is questioned mack Black. That is, and that there is a cancer storyline somewhere around that.
Talia Franks: She was, she was his nurse and that’s how they met. He had cancer, she was his nurse. Anyway,
Lucia Kelly: That is the sum total of my knowledge.
Talia Franks: Basically what happens is, is Graham Graham is like super vulnerable about worried about getting sick again and about the cancer coming back. And then basically just like spills his guts and is really vulnerable and there’s a really long pause. And The Doctor is like, “I should say a reassuring thing right now. Shouldn’t I?” And Graham is like “yeah, probably no doctor says “I’m still quite socially awkward. So I’m just going to subtly walk towards the console and look at something. And then in a minute I’ll think of something I should have said, and that might’ve been helpful.” And Graham says, “ha, well, I’m glad we had this chat eh?” And The Doctor says, “yeah”. And Graham says, “yeah”. And they just have a moment together.
And it’s a very best friend moment.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: When you say something super vulnerable and your best friend is awkward about it and you just vibe together.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah.
Talia Franks: And like you’ve had moments like that, right?
Lucia Kelly: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.
Talia Franks: It is very much best friend moment and you very much vibe with it, but audiences hated it because they hate a socially awkward woman
Lucia Kelly: Well also woman, that’s not prepared to do emotional labor that she can’t complete.
Like The Doctor there, having not seen the episode. Right. Having just listened to what you’ve read of the script. That is someone who recognizes that they do not have the skill or capacity to deal with that problem. And is communicating verbally and explicitly that they can’t be that person, but that they are offering support. (Talia Mhmms in agreement)
That is actually an incredibly mature and adult response.
Talia Franks: It’s a really beautiful response in the scene too. And we’ll get to it in four years. (Lucia bursts into laughter) Literally. I did, I did it. I, I know I’m not joking. I actually like graphed out how long it’s going to take us.
Lucia Kelly: I saw you graph it out. I know
Talia Franks: We’ll get to that season, roughly in 2023.
That’s that in
20, 20, 20, 20, 2024, actually, I think I can, I can look it up. I can look up when that episode will come out. I’ll I’ll look at the airtable right now.
All right. Our episode on, Can You Hear Me? Will come out is projected to come out. No promises viewers, episode on, Can You Hear Me? Is projected to come out on April 3rd, 2025. So in roughly four years,
a little under four years, based on our production schedule, we will probably record it in late 2024, early 2025.
Lucia Kelly: Beautiful
Talia Franks: Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey? (Transition wobbles)
Lucia Kelly: Yay.
Are there any moments that you want to talk about that were like favorites or least favorite? Anything that you feel we haven’t covered?
Talia Franks: I feel like. Where is Torchwood during this? And is the other Jack just doing a Marge?
Lucia Kelly: I feel like Torchwood hasn’t been Torchwood. Do we get, we do get an establishing date for Torchwood? Don’t we, when Torchwood actually cause
Talia Franks: Torchwood happens in Tooth and Claw. So it happens in like Victorian era.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no, I mean, in terms of when no, it hasn’t happened yet. It hasn’t happened yet because Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Jack explicitly says that he built Torchwood, like his Torchwood out of the ashes of previous Torchwood, which happens after the battle of Canary Wharf.
So that hasn’t happened yet. And Jack is not under the fountain.
Talia Franks: Not true.
Lucia Kelly: What!
Talia Franks: Not true. Jack builds his Torchwood. After he, he builds, he builds his Torchwood after the, like he gets his, he gets his own version of Torchwood at the turn of the century. That’s when he starts building his Torchwood cause the whole thing is if you watch Torchwood did you watch Torchwood?
Lucia Kelly: I watched the first season and maybe a bit of a second.
Talia Franks: Yeah. So the thing is it’s the actual Torchwood? I think it doesn’t happen until the second season, you get to see the origin stories of everyone in Torchwood.
Lucia Kelly: Ooh!
Talia Franks: And basically in that episode, it like flashes back to everyone’s origin stories, and you get to see how everyone joined Torchwood. And when you get to see Jack’s origin story and basically how he created Torchwood, you get to see the reason that he got to start over and make his own version of Torchwood was because in right before the turn of the century, when everything changes, basically the person who had previously been in charge of Torchwood. So basically like New Year’s Eve, 1999, the person who had been in charge of Torchwood killed everyone who worked on Torchwood Three, he basically had seen a prophecy. He had seen the future that the turn of the millennium was going to suck. So he massacred everyone in Torchwood Three, he went and murdered all of his coworkers, and then he realized he couldn’t kill Jack.
So then he said, Jack, I’m so sorry. I can’t kill you. And then he killed himself. So the reason Jack had to rebuild Torchwood Three, was because his coworker murdered all of his, his supervisor murdered all of his coworkers
Lucia Kelly: One day, one day, people going to realize, I just wish. I just wish that was a, a, first of all, I wish that everyone who ever goes time traveling or has to deal with time travel has like an intro time travel 101 course. It feels like that could be useful just saying, and in, within that course perhaps a little, a little unit, on the nature of prophecy. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yep.
Lucia Kelly: Like just, like we can start with any way you like, but like we can cover the sort of earth origins in Greek tragedy and how they were often deliberately ambiguous or like unable to be interpreted or like the results of a super high drug trip or like deliberately left with multiple interpretations so that if it turned out to be quote unquote wrong, the person who made the prophecy would not be murdered by the person in charge. Or like how often prophecies, no matter what you do, because they are prophecies will come to fruition in the end. So just take what you can and roll with it.
I feel like that can be covered maybe in an hour’s lecture.
Talia Franks: Well, we don’t have an hour’s lecture. So since my favorite moment is trying to think about what alternate Jack is doing. What’s your favorite moment?
Lucia Kelly: My favorite moment is the, is the dinner like that whole scene is like the, the bombshell of “you’re speaking through a dead woman’s lips”, the the back and forth about what being a killer means, what, the way that they try to manipulate each other.
Like it’s all just gorgeous. It’s all beautiful and brilliant. And highly manipulative.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I have to say the four dimensional chess of it all is probably probably my actual favorite moment. And I’d have to say my least favorite moment. My least favorite moment is when Rose says that Trisha Delaney is a bit big.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah no, the I mean—
Talia Franks: like why all the fat shaming!? why all the fat shaming w— Doctor Who has a fat shaming problem.
Lucia Kelly: Also the, the little, the little transphobic moment where I’m not even sure what it is, but like refusal of acknowledging Blon’s personhood where Mickey calls Blon an “It” “She’s not even a she, she’s a thing.” Ugh, Mickey! You’re doing great.
Talia Franks: You’re really not doing great Mickey!
Lucia Kelly: And combined with that. My least favorite moment is when he’s so at this point,
the audience don’t know, but Mickey sure has held us that he’s going out with Tricia and the audience knows, but Mickey doesn’t that Rose has been taking the term boyfriend incredibly loosely. So, and then, Mickey is like Mickey offers to go have a few drinks and rent out a hotel. Sir! Ma’am! You’re you’re both a whole mess. You’re both a whole mess. Stop.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no. And because this was made in 2005 and Rose is really bad at communicating. I do not think that they have actually discussed ethical polyamory at all.
Lucia Kelly: Oh no, absolutely not. Oh, you can, you can absolutely bet. Trisha doesn’t know that Rose is in town.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Well, no, Trisha does not know that Mickey is out of town.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So that’s my least favorite moment. Just having to deal with all of the mess, all of Mickey and Rose’s mess. I hate that.
Talia Franks: Hate that for all of us, hate Mickey being racist, hate the fat phobia. Hate the hate, the, all of it.
Lucia Kelly: Hate the, all of it, which brings me.
Yeah. Which brings the very interesting question. Who is The Hero?
Talia Franks: The Tardis (Lucia laughs and Talia giggles)
The Tardis saves everyone ass.
Lucia Kelly: You know what? Actually yeah. The Tardis is The Hero. The Tardis saves the day.
Talia Franks: The Tardis saves the day. Cause the Tardis brought them there. The Tardis brought them there and made them aware of the problem. The Tardis managed to rescue everyone by turning Blon into an egg.
The Tardis is the one.
Lucia Kelly: The Tardis is the one.
Talia Franks: And I guess The Adam is probably Mickey.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: Hate the fact that there’s literally a genocidal maniac on in this episode, she’s not The Adam. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: Like, that’s the degree to which, and it’s so interesting, right? Like in terms of character, in terms of like good character, you can be a genocidal maniac and be a fantastic character who I genuinely enjoy watching and enjoy being on my screen. Being an asshole? Is unforgiveable.
Talia Franks: Yup.
Lucia Kelly: So in terms of grading,
Talia Franks: In terms of grading, how are we feeling? How are we feeling?
Lucia Kelly: How are we feeling?
Talia Franks: Production is a five
Lucia Kelly: I feel like— Production is a five
Talia Franks: Production is definitely a five
Lucia Kelly: Writing I feel like
Talia Franks: I’d give it a four.
Lucia Kelly: I’d, maybe give it a three, because like the way this is what I’m battling with, there is some excellent stuff going on here. Like truly like top tier Who stuff, but the Rose and Mickey stuff, the fatphobia the speciesism, the degree to which the degree to which Mickey is aggressive towards Blon
Talia Franks: Yeah, I think you’re right, a three.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. And again, how Rose is not held accountable for her quote, unquote less admirable, less likable traits, is also really starting to bother me.
Talia Franks: Acting?
Lucia Kelly: Five.
Talia Franks: We never had to ask.
Lucia Kelly: Never had to ask. It’s always a five! It’s always a five.
I just sneezed and accidentally made it a 45, but who’s counting
Talia Franks: Science!
Lucia Kelly: Science.
Talia Franks: I feel like it’s a five.
Lucia Kelly: I feel like, yeah. I feel like this is actually our first solid five. I can’t think of, I feel like everything’s explained.
Talia Franks: I feel like we, we last time said a five too.
Lucia Kelly: Did we? Oh yeah, we did. It was our first 100%.
Talia Franks: And Rewatchability is also a five.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: So this episode did really well.
Lucia Kelly: It did.
Talia Franks: Episode is a 96, if I’m doing my math correctly.
Lucia Kelly: 96, which is
Talia Franks: No, I didn’t do my math correctly.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. That doesn’t feel right.
Talia Franks: This episode is 92
Lucia Kelly: Cool. So with a 92, it gets an a minus, which is a good grade.
Talia Franks: It is good grade
Lucia Kelly: an appropriate grade too. I feel like that, that vibes sometimes when we do the math, it’s like really? And then other times it’s Nope, absolutely.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, I’m feeling it,
Lucia Kelly: But that’s just how the math works.
Talia Franks: This has been the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast.
Lucia Kelly: We hope you enjoyed this adventure with us through space and time.
Talia Franks: You can find this elsewhere on the internet, on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram as @WibblyPod. Follow us for more wibbly, wobbly content.
Lucia Kelly: You can find out more information about us and our content on wibblywobblytimeywimey.net And full transcripts for episodes at wibblywobblytimeywimey.net/transcripts
Talia Franks: If you’d like to get in touch, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucia Kelly: Please rate and review us on apple podcasts and other platforms as it helps other people find us and our content.
Talia Franks: Special thanks to our editor Owen Elphick, who has been a vital member of the Wibbly Wobbly team
Lucia Kelly: That’s all for now. Catch you in the time vortex!