Six months after ridding London of the Slitheen, the Doctor takes the TARDIS to Cardiff to refuel on a rift in time and space. The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack Harkness are joined by Mickey Smith, Rose's boyfriend. They've barely arrived when they realize that the new Lord Mayor is one of the Slitheen, Margaret, from their previous encounter. The nuclear facility she has been promoting is called Bad Wolf, an expression the Doctor has come across on several occasions. The Doctor will transport her to her home planet - where she says she faces a death warrant - but they are unable to depart until the next morning when the TARDIS is fully recharged. After unsuccessfully pleading her case to the Doctor, Margaret takes more decisive action.Written by
Bad Wolf Reference: The Nuclear Plant project is named "Blaidd Drwg", (pronounced "blaithe droog") which means Bad Wolf in Welsh. See more »
The Doctor has obviously forgotten his vow to Peri at the end of the Sixth Doctor episode "The Two Doctors", where he stated it would be a healthy vegetarian diet for the both of them from then on, since in his dinner with Margaret he orders steak and chips. See more »
[after hearing Margaret's plan to destroy the planet with her Nuclear power plant]
But why would she do that? A great big explosion, she'd only end up killing herself.
She's got a name, you know.
She's not even a she, she's a thing.
Oh, but she's clever.
[pulls a board off the model plant; flips it over to reveal a network of complex circuitry; studying it]
Captain Jack Harkness:
[looks at the board; impressed]
Is that a tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator?
Couldn't have put it better myself.
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This episode is somewhat of a sequel to the earlier two parter with the Slitheen. Here one of the Slitheen is Mayor in Cardiff overseeing the building of a nuclear power plant with hidden plans. She turns out to have survived the earlier apparent destruction of the Slitheen due a rather overly convenient plot point of her secretly having the one and only teleport device of the Slitheen which she had not apparently found any previous use for in that prior story. In fact the main problem with this episode is the number of convenient plot points which pop up such as The Doctor taking the unusual action of recharging the TARDIS just when 'Margaret' of the Slitheen is bringing a plan to fruition, Margaret managing to become Mayor without having her picture taken, her picture finally getting taken and printed in a sensational front page when The Doctor happens to be in town, that newspaper seemingly being printed and released later the same day as the picture was taken (a funny link back to a plot hole from the 1st Doctor's The War Machines), the shaking of the ship happening to cause a panel to fall open (which has to be wrenched very forcefully open a couple of episodes later) and reveal the heart of the TARDIS right at the key moment in front of Margaret (which is a either bizarre coincidence or deliberate action by the TARDIS in which case why did it not do that to The Master or another foe while they were in the TARDIS?) etc. This type of plot or logic issue is rare in the RT Davies era, it became far more common under Steven Moffatt and has then reduced again under Chibnall. Of course Moffatt had many strengths and wrote some great episodes but I simply observe this is a rare example of plot problems of this type under RTD.
On the plus side there are some good elements to this which lift the episode back up despite these plot problems. Russell T. Davies era was almost always fun and this is quite fun in a few scenes. RTD also always had great, believable character interaction and in this episode there is a lovely scene of the Doctor having fun with his friends which was a great touch and there is a very good aspect of showing how Rose going off in the TARDIS affects Mickey and he is shown to have had enough. The dialogue between Margaret and The Doctor is very interesting with her challenging his moral code. This again brings me to discuss Steven Moffatt who as Showrunner seemed to like to suggest The Doctor's darkness quite strongly pretty much suggesting sometimes he was a ruthless killer. I found that a bit of a confused and contradictory whereas RTD manages to question the hard decisions and judgements The Doctor makes and have him question himself but essentially his good intentions, heroic character and decency are clearly intact.
Sadly although the negative aspects are counteracted to some extent by positives there are too many niggles and not enough qualities to lift this above 6.5 or 7/10 at best.
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