Ncuti Gatwa's favorite new Doctor Who episode is Steven Moffat's return, despite admitting he "hardly understood what was going on" at first

doctor who boom
(Image credit: BBC)

Ever since the news broke that former showrunner Steven Moffat will be returning to Doctor Who to write an episode, fans have been intrigued. After making an impression writing episodes which brought us the likes of the terrifying Weeping Angels, Moffat went on to succeed Russell T Davies as showrunner, leading the Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi eras. However, he hasn't worked on the beloved sci-fi series since 2017, only now making his return.

For Ncuti Gatwa's first full season as the Fifteenth Doctor, Moffat has penned episode 3 titled 'Boom', which airs next weekend. It will see the Doctor and companion Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) travel to a war-torn planet - but there's a twist! After stepping on a landmine, the Doctor will have to stop the conflict without moving - which we expect to be quite a challenge!

It definitely sounds like an interesting episode and as soon as we mention it during our interview with Gatwa, he starts beaming. As he revealed during our chat, it's actually his favorite of this season, even though it took him a while to get his head round it. He explained to GamesRadar+: "I can’t believe you just said that - 'Boom' is my favorite of the whole season. 'Boom' is my favvvoooorite. But what’s wild is that filming it I hardly understood what was going on. It took me so long. I had to reread it and reread it."

And it turns out that Gatwa wasn't the only one, as co-star Gibson was just as baffled: "Oh yeah, it took me so long to understand it. The only time it clicked was in the readthrough, hearing everyone… I tried to sit down and read that script so many times, but I just couldn’t get my head around it because the scripts are so complex."

The Doctor and Ruby in Space Babies

(Image credit: BBC)

However, although at first it seemed complicated, upon watching the episode back, Gatwa realized that actually there is a simplicity to 'Boom'. The actor also admitted that on his initial reading of the script, not only was he confused, but he was also worried that the episode would be dull. Thankfully this turned out not to be the case, as he divulged: "When you watch it, it seems so simple actually, the storyline. It flows so nicely. But I remember also thinking that it was going to be really boring, because it's situated in one place. It felt quite Chekov-y - like everything is in the subtext. But then ohhhhhhh - I LOVED it!"

It's clear that Gibson is a fan too, although it seems that the shoot itself was as challenging as the script thanks to the intensity of the story. As she explained: "What I loved most about it was that we filmed it in chronological order so everything was as tense as it is in the episode, because we were in it. I remember that we did a take that was eight minutes long because we had a seven page scene or something, and every time it was equally as tense as it is on screen. It was like a theatre performance!"

Laughing Gatwa agrees, then revealing that it was also physically challenging. Given that he couldn't move off one leg for the whole episode, one is now very much stronger than the other! As he concludes: "Yeah it was like doing a play! And it was flipping hard physically, oh my god. I was on one leg so now I have one very strong glute."

Doctor Who season 1 will premiere simultaneously on BBC iPlayer on May 11 in the UK and Disney Plus internationally on May 10 with a double bill. New episodes will then air weekly - stay up to date with exactly when with our release schedule.

For more from our interviews, here's showrunner Russell T Davies on whether we will one day see a musical episode.

Emily Murray
Entertainment Editor

As Entertainment Editor at GamesRadar, I oversee all the online content for Total Film and SFX magazine. Previously I've worked for the BBC, Zavvi, UNILAD, Yahoo, Digital Spy and more.