There’s a delightful moment in “Boom Town” where our heroes are having lunch at a nice restaurant in Cardiff, listening to one of Captain Jack’s naughty stories, and the Doctor spots a familiar face on a newspaper. It’s Margaret Blaine, one of their Slitheen opponents who should’ve been killed six months ago, Earth time. Somehow she’s become Lord Mayor of Cardiff without getting her picture in the paper before now and without anybody in Wales asking “Hey, aren’t you the same Margaret Blaine who was in that brouhaha at 10 Downing Street when it got blown up a few months ago?” And somehow, she’s got a new nuclear power plant in the advanced planning stages as well as getting the demolition of Cardiff Castle – which you’d think would turn public opinion against you – approved.
I love the stories we don’t see in Doctor Who. I’ve mentioned before how the Fang Rock Murders must be the greatest unsolved mystery in folklore. Some people have grumbled that the speed at which Margaret puts this scheme together makes it a bit unlikely. But I want to read the book. I bet that the investigative journalist we meet in this episode wrote an amazing book about how the aldermen of Cardiff backed a Lord Mayor who immediately planned to tear down the castle, left a trail of bodies in her wake, and then vanished from the face of the planet leaving exactly one confirmed photograph behind.
What sells the moment to me is the sad and resigned way that Christopher Eccleston delivers the perfect line, “And I was having such a nice day.”