Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat explains his explosive new episode, "Boom"

The latest episode of Doctor Who, "Boom," saw Steven Moffat return to the series, writing all about the dangers of A.I. and how wicked algorithms can ruin all humanity.
Doctor Who Boom Ncuti Gatwa
Doctor Who Boom Ncuti Gatwa /

Steven Moffat has been writing episodes of Doctor Who for many years, including some of the show's best, from "The Empty Child" to "Blink." Plus, he's responsible for ushering in Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor and Peter Capaldi's Twelfth as showrunner. To see him back writing episodes for Ncuti Gatwa's new era of Doctor Who was a big win for Whovians.

Moffat's first episode in this new era is "Boom," which sees the Doctor and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) travel to the distant planet of Kastarion 3. They arrive to find the planet engulfed in a war, and when the Doctor steps on a landmine, he becomes trapped in a game of wills and wits against a sadistic computer algorithm.

The episode is quite easily the most impressive of the rebooted series so far. Moffat brought back the intensity and large-scale cosmic war that was missing from the opening two episodes. While "Boom" seems to send a message about the very real dangers of AI, Moffat explained that this wasn't his main goal "I don’t actually think I’m qualified to comment on these things much," he told The Hollywood Reporter, "but they are interesting."

" "I mean an algorithm’s an algorithm, right? It’s what you use it for. If you use it to reinforce people’s pre-existing prejudices, I’m fairly sure that’s bad. But that’s what’s bad about that is reinforcing pre-existing prejudices not the fact there’s an algorithm.""

Algorithms can be kind, innocent computer processes too. look no further than those helpful recommendations you see across the internet. "Algorithms also do clever and useful things. For instance, when I finish a book on my Kindle, it always recommends a rather good follow up. So, yay for the algorithm!"

Moffat also weighed in on the appearance of Vanessa Sethu's Mundy, who will become the Doctor's companion next season. Her role in this episode was merely a taste of what's to come. It harkens back to how Jenna Coleman (Clara) joined the show; she made one appearance before coming on for a much longer story arc down the line. "Yeah. Well, no, we’re just doing it again," Moffat said. "I mean, I was talking to Russell [T Davies, showrunner] about what we’re going to do, but she’s there! We’re just going to do Clara again. So it’s fun, isn’t it? It wakes you up. You think, 'Ah, there she is!'"

As for whether Vanessa Sethu was originally cast with the aim of making her a companion, Moffat assured THR that it was always part of the plan. "There is a plan. That’s all I’m telling," he said.

Doctor Who runs new episodes Fridays on Disney+. In the meantime, you can read the post below, which has not been chosen by an algorithm but rather specially selected for you by myself:

Doctor Who: "Space Babies" and "The Devil's Chord" kick off Ncuti Gatwa's tenure with a bang. Thanks to showrunner Russell T Davies, new Doctor Ncuti Gatwa, and new companion Millie Gibson, the latest reboot of Doctor Who is epic!. dark. Next

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