Doctor Who, S2E1, New Earth. Written by Russell T. Davies
The Doctor prepares the TARDIS for take off and outside Jackie looks like she’s sending Rose “Adventure Time” Taylor off to school, hugging her and her backpack and fussing over her, giving advice. Mickey’s standing there pouting. She gives him a long kiss good bye. “Love you.” He says, but she doesn’t say it back. Hmmm…
Rose runs to the TARDIS and the Doctor, and they smile widely at each other. Mickey watches the TARDIS disappear thoughtfully. Oh, son. I’m so sorry.
They take off, with the Doctor promising to take them “further than we’ve ever gone before.” You know that line was played on the commercials before the show.
Credits. Blue dizziness.
They step out onto a beautiful albeit windy day and the Doctor does his explanation thing as he leaves her behind. They are in Galaxy M87, year 523000000000 on New Earth. Space ships are buzzing past them towards a large city in the distance and Rose is geeking out about the new everything, new sky, new ground, new smells – apple grass.
She links her arm in his and says softly, “Can I just say…? Traveling with you… I love it.”
“Me too.” He looks at her fondly and they twinkle at each other. You know, I know Billie Piper is a beautiful woman and people can’t help how they look, but sometimes I think she plays up that big lip voluptuous pouty thing. ‘Cause its really obvious here. You can’t stop looking at her mouth.
Chips sees them in a crystal ball, similar to the one the Wicked Witch used to watch Dorothy in Oz. “Human!” He exclaims. A voice is heard commanding him. “Closer!” He moves a little joystick. A familiar robot spider tracking Rose and the Doctor in the grass.
The Doctor continues his speech. “So the year five billion, the sun expands, the earth gets roasted…”
“That was our first date.” Rose interrupts.
He smiles cutely and fondly at her. “We had chips.” Aw.
So after the old Earth died, people got nostalgic for it and created a new one. As you do. They even created a New New York to go along with it (because what is Earth without New York?) It’s actually the 15th New York since the original, New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York. How many times did Tennant have to practice saying that before he got it?
They flirt a little more and our perspective is shifted back to the spider robot’s. A voice off screen says, “Impossible.” Its the voice of Lady Cassandra, (remember, the “last human” from the Earth’s end.) She wants revenge on Rose.
The Doctor tells Rose he wants to visit a hospital in New(15) York because he got a message on the psychic paper. They enter the hospital and head towards the elevator, but Rose misses the one the Doctor is on which means she is alone when Cassandra’s heavily tattooed sycophantic servant, Chip, redirects her elevator to the basement.
Now, the hospital itself is run by cat nuns. Cat nuns, I’ll say again. You get used to the appearance of it, but I am not a cat person and I can’t imagine that it’s sanitary. (The houses that cats live in always smell like piss.)
Rose gets to the basement, and is directed (with her full name) by Chip to come “this way.” She grabs a weapon for good measure.
Unaware Rose will not be just behind him, the Doctor is in the ward looking for the person to summoned him. He notices that all the other patients have super-deadly diseases, yet the cat-nuns are able to cure them. He asks the cat-nun who is leading him about that, but she is evasive about their methods.
At the end of the room, the Doctor recognized the one who has called him there: The Face of Boe. (Who we also met when the Earth ended. It’s a total reunion, just with a different Doctor face.) He leans down in front of the glass cage and says, “I look a bit different but its me.”
Rose walks through the basement into a room where a home-made film is playing. It’s of a party and is showing several men and a blond woman with a familiar voice. The same voice makes Rose turn and she sees Cassandra: the skin human from the end of the original Earth. Rose warns her not to come close.
“Why? What do you think I’m going to do? Flap you to death?” She asks, and then utters the familiar. “Moisturize me. Moisturize me.”
Rose wonders how she survived when the skin exploded, and Chip explains her brain and pretty blue eyes were unharmed.
“What about the skin?” Rose asked. “I saw it. You… you got ripped apart!”
“That piece of skin was from the front of my body. This piece is the back.”
“Haha, right, so you’re talking outta your…”
Chip explains what he did to get her into the hospital, speaking only in third person, which Sahara loves. Cassandra talks longingly for time from Long Ago, and directs our attention back to the home video “the last time someone told me I was beautiful.”
Cassandra has been hanging out in the hospital and watching long enough and thinks the sisters are hiding something. She invites Rose closer to whisper her suspicions, and Rose is like, yeah right. But while stepping back away from her, gets caught in some kind of force field and Cassandra transfers her consciousness into Rose’s body, ready to begin a new bodied life. She wakes up and gets excited to see hands and arms, and feel hair. She goes to the mirror and is disgusted. “I’m a chav!”
The Doctor is with the Face of Boe, who is still sleeping, and the Doctor bring the cat-nun treating him a drink of water. Boe’s nun tells the Doctor of the legend that says the Face has lived for thousands, perhaps millions of years and that he will give his dying message to a wanderer without a home, the last of his kind like himself. Ominous music plays as the camera draws close to the Doctor’s face. The Doctor looks as the Face of Bo like there’s something important between them.
Downstairs, Cassandra is freaking out about the body she’s in. “Look at me! From class to brass.” But then she starts taking inventory of the different body features. “Although…” She considers, lowering the zipper on her shirt. “Ooh…” She’s pleased. “Curves!” She starts bouncing up and down. “Oh Baby!” Chip has also started bouncing with her. “It’s like living inside a bouncy castle!” (Hee.)
“Mistress is beautiful!” Chip exclaims.
“Absolument!” But then she realizes her own brain has expired, though she is “safe and sound” in Rose’s body. Cassandra accesses Rose’s surface memories and she realizes the Doctor is there, albeit with a new face. “Hypocrite!” She wants the name of his surgeon, however, to get some new work done. “Although…” She pauses, admiring Rose’s bottom. “Nice rear bumper.”
She gets a call from the Doctor to find him, and he starts to realize something is up, but is distracted by the miraculous recovery of a patient he had met earlier, one who turning into a statue – definitely an incurable disease.
Yet he wasn’t a statue. He was a jovial champagne drinking Duke of Manhattan. The Doctor knows that impossible and says so aloud, but is corrected by the head Matron Cat that primitive medicine may not have been able to heal him, but the “tender application of science” can. He introduces himself as “the Doctor” and she says, “I think you’ll find we’re the doctors here.” (Do cats piss on their territory? ‘Cause that just happened here.)
She is evasive about their methods and is soon collected by another cat. As they are walking away, Doctor watching them in the background, the nurse tells Matron that “one of the patients is conscious.” He’s trying to figure it out.
Rose/Cassandra is preparing to reunite with the Doctor, saying she may need him and his clever mind to figure out what the nuns are up to. Chip is cautioning her not to go, but she’s determined. “Remember that old earth saying? Never trust a nun. Never trust a nurse. And never trust a cat.” No, actually, I don’t. But I’m not a cat person, so I can run with the last part.
The cats walk to a dark hallway lit up along one wall, and then a door opens and we gaze upon the cats from the perspective of whatever is inside. The being inside is saying is a raspy voice, “Help me. Where am I?” And we see hands raise weakly towards to the cats. They close the door and walk back the way they came, only this time we see dozens of pods just like the one they left. When asked what to do about that patient, Matron says, “Standard procedure. Incinerate.” We hear the scream as the one pod lights up.
Rose/Cassandra catches up with the Doctor, and is all breathy and boobs out, and he just rattles on about the patients in that ward and how odd it is that people are healing from such deadly and rare diseases.
Then Rose/Cassandra speaks, and the Doctor is like, dude – what’s up? She tries to just play it off like she’s excited, and he makes a comment about a joke they shared earlier. She obviously didn’t get the joke, so instead grabbed his face and kissed him. They’re both a little dazed after the kiss. Now, he gave as good as he got, and he got a lot, so I can see why.
They scour a computer together and talk about the nurse/cat/nuns, but the Doctor can tell Rose/Cassandra isn’t just Rose anymore. He doesn’t say anything, but goes with it. They figure out how to open a door and discover a stairwell that leads to “intensive care,” a virtual beehive of those greenish lit pods from before. One cat sees them go in.
Walking up to one to them, the Doctor opens one and finds an exhausted-looking human man, covered in boils and obviously ill. Rose/Cassandra says insensitive things while standing behind the Doctor, who just looks at the man compassionately and whispers regretfully, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” He closes the door again and open another one, where a woman looks at them with the same affliction as her neighbor.
“What disease is that?” Rose/Cassandra asks.
“All of them. Every single disease.”
Rose/Cassandra asks if they’re safe, and he says they are, just don’t touch them. They survey all the green pods and the Doctor explains. “They were born sick. They were meant to be sick. A human farm. Lab rats.”
He is furious, and as he talking, one of the cat nuns walks up to them and says softly, “It’s for the greater cause.” The Doctor is furious, but the cat explains these “are not real people. They’re specially grown.” (Now that I think about it, Chip was specially grown to take care of Cassandra. Does that make Cassandra like the cats?)
He’s not having it and yelling about how many people a day have been sacrificed. The cat-nun insists they had tried to heal people traditional ways, but the challenge was just too great. She entreated him to think about all the people living happy lives because of these pod people.
“If they live because of this, then life is worthless.” He counters through a set jaw.
“Who are you to decide that?”
“I’m the Doctor. And if you don’t like it, if you want to take it to a higher authority, there isn’t one. It stops with me.”
Rose/Cassandra creeps up behind him to ask a question and reminds him of his other problem.
“I can understand the bodies. I can understand your vows. One thing I can’t understand, what have you done to Rose?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“And I’m very very calm. You wanna be aware of that; very calm. And the only reason I’m being so very calm is that the brain is a delicate thing. Whatever you have done to Rose’s head, I want it reversed.”
“We haven’t done anything.”
Rose/Cassandra says she’s “perfectly fine,” and the Doctor continues explaining to the cat. “These people are dying, and Rose would care.”
Rose/Cassandra says, fine, that she gives up. When the Doctor asks who she really is, she whispers, “The last human.” He is completely surprised. “Cassandra?” Voice squeaky at the end. She sprays the Doctor with some drugged perfume hidden in her cleavage, knocking him out. Rose/Cassandra sets an alarm and is able to get the Doctor into one of those pods. He wakes up and demands to be let out, but she’s like, I have thought of a million ways to kill you. And that’s what I have now.
Again he tells her to release Rose, and she insists she will when she finds someone “less common.”
Then, Matron cat finds her, and she demands money to keep quiet about the farm. Oh, somehow Chip has gotten on her floor, too.
The matron declines and in return, Cassandra/Rose commands Chip to open the doors to the pods, releasing a hallway of people in them. And all their diseases. They walk out, zombie-like, and Rose/Cassandra, Chip, and the Doctor run the other way to escape. As the patients approach with nuns with their fury, they flip a switch that opens all the doors, and all the patients escape.
The Doctor, Rose/Cassandra and Chip find their way to the basement, but Chip gets separated from the other two as they run and the sick patients start following him. The Doctor yells not to touch him, but Rose/Cassandra says to leave him, he’s only got a half-life. Chip cries, “Mistress! My mistress!” He yells over the Doctor’s apologies. He eventually jumps into a barrel labeled “waste” to get away from the people.
Man, this shit is hard to see! The afflicted people, the despair of trapped people.
They escape through an elevator shaft, and the Doctor demands Cassandra get out of Rose. “Give her back to me.” He says, sonic screwdriver extended. Aw!
“You asked for it.” And Cassandra jumps into him.
Which she does, into him. “Goodness me, I’m a man. Yum. So many parts. And hardly used. [Starts jerking around] Ah, ah! Two hearts! Oh baby, I’m beating out a samba!” (HA! Tennent is so funny right here!) “Oooh, slim. And a little bit foxy.” (Thereby giving a name to a thousand Tumblr profiles.) “You thought so too.” And the Doctor/Cassandra taunt Rose about her feelings for the Doctor.
Both Tennant and Piper are doing a wonderful job taking on the persona of Cassandra. It is a pleasure to watch.
But then the zombies break in and the Doctor/Cassandra freak out. “What would he do?! What the hell would he do?!” Banging Rose’s arm frantically.
Rose leads them to a ladder, but the Doctor/Cassandra push her back. “Out of the way, blondie!” That reminds me of the joke about how you out swim a shark. You don’t; you out swim your partner.
But they climb and start being chanced by the Matron, who gets infected by a patient and dies. Serves her right. The Doctor needs to use the sonic screwdriver, so he needs to be himself.
Cassandra transfers herself to the plague carrier briefly, and then goes back to Rose. The Doctor gets them through, and for Cassandra, she is stunned at the loneliness of the carriers not being able to touch or be touched all their lives. Rather than being infected by disease, she’s bee infected with a touch of humanity, it would seem.
The Doctor and Cassandra/Rose reach the only place untouched by the carriers, the ward they were originally in. He grabs all of the healing intravenous solutions, and puts them into the disinfectant reservoir. He opens the doors, luring several plague carriers inward as Cassandra/Rose starts the shower on the elevator. The spray drenches the carriers, curing them, and the Doctor encourages them to pass it on. They wander back out to spread the cure to the others. (So they were intravenous cures, but would work when sprayed on people? I hope they didn’t pay the intravenous price.)
The surviving Sisters are arrested and the cured new humans (as the Doctor calls them) are taken into care. The Doctor returns to the Face of Boe, who is no longer dying and has decided to give the universe another chance. The Doctor asks the Face about his message, but is told it can wait. The Face teleports himself away.
Cassandra is still around, so, again, the Doctor orders her out of Rose’s body, so she goes into Chip’s body. “Ooooh, sweet Lord. I’m a walking doodle!” She realizes his body is failing, but Cassandra is ready to go. The Doctor takes her back to the party Rose saw on the screen, to see herself when she was still beautiful. “Chip” approaches the Cassandra of the past and tells her just that, and collapses into the younger Cassandra’s arms as she comforts “him”. As Cassandra finally dies, the Doctor and Rose silently leave in the TARDIS. All is right with the world.