Doctor Who
Boom Town

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B- | Grade It Now!
Truth Like Glass

There's a bit of applause and then mingling. A reporter, Cathy Salt, hurries over to Margaret with her teeth right up in your face, asking for an interview. Margaret begs off, saying that she "can't bear self publicity," but Cathy nails her down: "Are you aware of the curse?" The smile on Margaret's face could cure meat overnight: "Whatever do you mean?" She means that, when you look at how many people have died in association with Blaidd Drwg, it starts getting weird. Of course, Margaret's got an answer for them all: The team of French safety inspectors couldn't read the Welsh for "Danger! Explosives!"; the Cardiff Heritage Committee were electrocuted in a swimming pool thanks to "natural wear and tear," the architect strayed before Margaret's car on a rainy day, and Mr. Cleaver "slipped on an icy patch." Cathy: "He was decapitated." Margaret: "It was a very icy patch." Margaret dismisses the conspiracy talk as "typical small-town thinking" and makes to leave, but Cathy blocks her again, and stupidly tells her that Cleaver posted some of his findings online before the icy patch decapitation. I bet you five dollars the password was "buffalo," if only because of his resentment toward Margaret's interfering. Cathy starts in that the reactor in particular caused him heartburn, and Margaret giggles in that way she has, about "oh, the technical stuff." Cathy drops some knowledge on her: "Specifically, that the design of the suppression pool would cause the hydrogen recombiners to fail, precipitating a collapse in the containment isolation system, resulting in a meltdown." Margaret gets up in Cathy's face as the journalist reminds the Mayor that -- at least in the twenty-first century -- it's her job to do her homework. Margaret asks Cathy for a private word. So long, Cathy. So long, Cathy's teeth.

Margaret drags Cathy down the hall, a deadly treacle smile etched into her face, but her tummy starts rumbling. Oh, good. More of that, please. She hauls Cathy into the coolest restroom ever -- all retro tiles and steps down to the stall -- and they talk through the door while Margaret makes the obligatory horrifying noises from within. To the show's credit, however, it's more believable as a sci-fi consequence of the skin-suit thing than previously, when it was just like a laugh-track of potty humor. Margaret asks about Cathy's "outlandish theories," and as she's talking -- "a thousand times worse than Chernobyl" is a particularly stand-out concept -- Margaret fiendishly smiles and unzips her forehead. Cathy notices the blue light under the door, but Margaret passes it off as bureaucracy in action. Cathy says that Mr. Cleaver made it almost sound "deliberate," and although she's just a humble reporter for the Cardiff Gazette, she wants to report the facts. Now fully naked, Margaret's voice sounds crazy: "And you're going to print this information?" Cathy asks whether she's okay, but Margaret fake-coughs and says that it's a sore throat. Margaret asks again about reporting the findings, and Cathy says that she must. "So be it," says Margaret, darkly, and raises a claw to the door. Cathy gets all dreamy how her boyfriend Jeffrey thinks she's crazy, and they're getting married next month, and she's afraid to lose her job because she's pregnant, and Margaret takes a seat, suddenly unsure about killing Cathy. She congratulates Cathy on the baby, and Cathy asks Margaret whether she has kids, or a husband. "Not anymore," she answers, wavering. "I'm all on my own. I had quite a sizeable family, once upon a time -- wonderful brothers. Oh, they were bold. But all of them gone now. Maybe you're right. Maybe I'm cursed." I've got an Associates Degree In Caring About The Feelings Of Muppets, thanks to Farscape, but if you'd told me back when we met her that seeing a big fat green Cabbage Patch-looking alien with sideways eyeballs and constant farts having a crisis of conscience could be touching, I'd have laughed at you. She's interesting. Cathy tries to console her, and Margaret tells her that she's very kind, and to run along. "Perhaps we could do this another day," Margaret says, which is hilarious to me. "I've got you penciled in for evisceration Tuesday next, and please call if you're going to be late -- my assistant Idris is kind of high-strung." Cathy asks again whether she's okay, and Margaret shouts that she's fine. They thank each other, and Cathy spares one last look back at the door. Margaret moans, in sorrow and anxiety, and leans down, down, closing her eyes. It's hard in Cardiff for a pimp.

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Doctor Who




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