Don't move – Doctor Who's new episode, Boom, is nearly here.


After seven years, former showrunner Steven Moffat has returned for just one episode in season 14, the hair-raising and heart-stopping Boom – and it certainly doesn't disappoint.

Known for his haunting monsters and all-time classics like The Girl in the Fireplace and Blink, Moffat's return has been highly anticipated, but Boom spells something rather different for him.

Stripped back to the very simplest of premises, it's a mesmerising character piece that does just what we've been waiting for – showcasing everything Ncuti Gatwa (the Doctor) and Millie Gibson (Ruby Sunday) can do with a tense, brutal, and character-driven script.

The third episode of the new run sees the Doctor and Ruby arrive on Kastarion 3, a bleak and war-torn planet. The Doctor accidentally stands on a sophisticated landmine, which is triggered by movement, and has to figure out a way to save himself, Ruby, and the entire planet without moving a muscle.

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Of course, Moffat's style is easy to recognise in Boom, but there's no childhood terror in the style of Blink, and no complex plots in the style of his own era. What there is, is a solid and simple story and, crucially, breathtaking performances from Gatwa and Gibson, with a hint of heartbreak along the way.

Joe Anderson wearing a soldier's uniform holding a giant futuristic rifle
Joe Anderson in Doctor Who. BBC Studios/Bad Wolf, James Pardon

Most fans have already been won over by Gatwa's charismatic, witty, and energetic Doctor, but Boom shows a completely different side to him. Vulnerable, unsure and, let's face it, downright terrified, it's a welcome new glimpse into our still mysterious new Doctor – and, if anyone needed it, further proof that Gatwa can handle quite literally anything thrown at him.

With the Doctor being out of action, Ruby is forced to step up, with Gibson perfectly portraying our new companion on her first adventure to an alien planet. Her performance beautifully reminds us of how young Ruby actually is and just how much she's been through as the mystery around her birth continues. She's given plenty to do in Boom and rises to the challenge easily, adding more nuance and depth to a companion who's still incredibly new to us.

Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who episode Boom
Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who. BBC Studios/Bad Wolf,James Pardon

It's a sensational performance from the pair of them, whose chemistry only goes from strength to strength, once again showing off the calibre of casting when it comes to Doctor Who, and pointing out how much both of them still have to showcase. It's an absolute treat whenever they're both on screen, and together they seamlessly navigate some of the most intense scenes we've seen so far from them.

Where Space Babies and The Devil's Chord may have suffered from a slight lack of jeopardy for our TARDIS duo, there's no such concern here, with the Doctor, Ruby and an entire planet being one blink, twitch, or breath away from destruction at any moment. Perhaps for the first time in season 14, Boom will have you hooked from the very off, aptly not wanting to move for a second.

It's not quite an all-time classic, especially when compared to Moffat's past work. There are also some slightly jarring themes that don't always work – perhaps a victim of cuts and the timing of the episode. But Boom is a very solid episode and a welcome return for Moffat, who continues to bring us some of the most unique and memorable stories in modern Doctor Who.

Tense, suspenseful, visually beautiful, heart-wrenching, and slightly unhinged, Boom is quite simply a recipe for a stellar Moffat return.

Doctor Who will continue on 18th May on BBC iPlayer and BBC One.


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