Doctor Who: New Earth Review

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                                                               Written by Will Barber – Taylor

Novice Hame: “It is said he will talk to a wanderer, to the man without a home, a lonely god.”

The Doctor and Rose arrive on New, New Earth in the far future. The Doctor receives a message on his psychic paper to come to the New, New Earth hospital in New, New York.  They soon discover something is amiss with the Cat Nun staff. They have cures for diseases which couldn’t be cured for thousands of years. Something is waiting in the depths of the hospital and The Face of Boe has a secret to tell The Doctor.
David Tennant is excellent. After ‘The Christmas Invasion’ (2005) which centred more on Rose, Mickey and Jackie than The Doctor; this story puts him centre stage. His camp acting when Cassandra is inside The Doctor is incredibly funny.  During this episode he shows his incredible versatility.  One moment he is raging with anger at injustice to the flesh like experiment of the Cat People; the next he is making a speech similar to that of his fourth incarnation in The Ark in Space (coincidentally, this is Tennant’s second episode as well. I wonder…) If anything, Tennant could have his own sketch show.

Billie Piper is stunning in this episode. Her interpretation of Cassandra is extraordinary and is better even than Tennant’s. She bounds through the episode with incredible enthusiasm. She brings the script alive and it’s interesting to see her play someone different than Rose. I would go so far to say, similar to Karen Gillian in The Girl Who Waited (2011) (okay, she is playing a future alternative version of the same character but the point still stands,) the actress seems better in this alternative part than as the character we are used to see her playing.

The plot is a bit of an odd one. The main plot of the cat nunnery is excellent but, although the sub plot with Cassandra and Chip is vaguely amusing, it is not very substantial. It is a good plot line because it invites humour into something that otherwise could be quite depressing.

The graphic effects in the episode are good but in this post Avatar world (2009 movie.) Cassandra’s CGI body looks a bit…naff. The story is excellent and the graphics are startling for the day; however, it is obvious that the effects for this episode are nearly six years old.

I haven’t seen this story since it was first broadcast in 2006.   My decision to review it was partly based on the fact that Doctor Who won’t be back till late in the year and also because if I’m honest I have never been a Series Two kind of guy.   The younger me had some resentment against Series One and Two of the New Series.  I recently watched the Unquiet Dead and absolutely loved it.  So I decided to watch  David Tennant’s first series again. And, so far, I’m loving that also.

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