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"marika" wrote in message news:...
I better get caught up on my Whoviana.
P.S. Obviously, the U.K. is at least one full season ahead of the Sci-Fi
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: [Doctor Who Online]
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2006 18:28:37 GMT
Subject: New Earth - A Review by Sebastian J. Brook
Hello everyone, below is my review of New Earth. It's quite long, and
free to correct me e.t.c. Let me know what you think.
New Earth - A Review
By Sebastian J. Brook
The anticipation is over; at last Episode One of Series Two has aired.
what did we think of it? Well, the deluge of footage which followed the
Press Launch on March 28th, was all shown in the first 10 minutes of
episode, making the viewer excited at the prospect of what could happen
the 35 minutes that followed. There is something so exhilarating about
seeing something you know very little about. Just think about the
times we have gone to see a movie, where we know what happens, because
friend or a magazine article. The gems of Doctor Who, have been kept a
closely guarded secret, with mere flashes of the jewels within, flashed
before our eyes.
It is a wonder how, in this day and age, a production team, can keep
big project as Doctor Who is, under wraps, but then again, this isn't
old production team.
Last year we saw a northern Doctor, a cockney side-kick, a whole medley
new monster, as well as the return of a few old ones. We saw drama, as
has never been shown before in Doctor Who. Perhaps, the greatest of
the truth that the new series had. Through all the acting and
the stories were rooted with an underlying truth and believability,
really helped to set up our personal belief in Series Two.
The adventure starts with the "new new Doctor" entering the TARDIS and
tinkering about with the console. We then cut to see Rose saying
her mother, and loyal on/off boyfriend Mickey - a nice touch, which
the show with further believability. Rose enters the TARDIS, and asks
they are going, to which the Doctor replies "Further than we've ever
before" - a nice echo of Episode Two of Season One, where the 9th
says the same thing to Rose.
The titles roll, and the words "David Tennant" fill the screen in big
almost as if it had always been there. The episode proper, starts with
Doctor and Rose emerging from The TARDIS onto a seaside cliff-scape. We
told it is the year 5,000,000,023, and that they are on New Earth. A
futuristic city lies beyond the sea in front of them, as cars fly over
heads. Apple grass lies beneath there feet (another nice touch that
the believability of this alien world). There is a touching line from
when she says "Oh I love this. Can I just say. Travelling with you. I
it!". You really get a feeling that The Doctor is back and that Rose is
the whole regeneration thing.
Unbeknownst to them, The Doctor and Rose are being watched. We cut to
a humanoid figure with strange henna-type markings, peering though a
ball. He states that Rose is a "pureblood human". We then see one of
Spider robots from "The End of the World" tracking them. We hear the
familiar tones of Cassandra as she recognises Rose. The scene cuts back
the Doctor and Rose, where The Doctor suggests going to the local
after picking up a message on his psychic paper that reads: "Ward 26.
They walk through the doors of the hospital, which truly look like it
belongs in the year 5,000,000,023. There is a subtle dig at the NHS
Rose, which was quite funny, and yet totally true. Little touches like
us to buy the story, by reminding the viewer that we are not on Earth
anymore. This is only further helped by the appearance of Cat Nuns,
happen to have some of the best make up and prosthetics in Doctor Who
The Doctor then enters a lift and asks it to take him to Ward 26, the
close behind him, leaving Rose to catch the next one. A hilarious scene
follows, in which they both get drenched by the lifts in-built
system. The Doctor clearly enjoys this process, unlike Rose, who is
genuinely shocked by the whole process. Rose's lift has been
Chip, who instead of sending her up with the Doctor, has sent her down.
is then lured into Cassandra's domain in the depths of the hospital.
Meanwhile The Doctor is led into the room where The Face of Boe is
He is informed that Boe is dying. We cut back to Rose who is welcomed
Cassandra's domain, by a video-reel of footage from the time before
Cassandra transformed into the "Bitchy Trampoline". Rose suddenly
that it is Cassandra and is understandably wary. Cassandra informs Rose
it was here that someone said she was beautiful for the last time. We
learn how Cassandra survived after her explosion in "The End of the
Without giving it a way, lets just say it has a very simple and yet
Rose then springs the trap that Cassandra has placed for her, and
takes over Rose's body, and on realization exclaims the utterly
line: "Oh my God! I'm a Chav!" - A line which would never have appeared
Hartnell's time as The Doctor.
We cut back to The Doctor being informed about a prophecy of a "great
secret" that will be imparted on The Face of Boe's dying breath, to a
wanderer like himself. Again we cut back to Rose or rather Cassandra
admiring her new human frame, to comic effect. Cassandra can access
surface memory and realises The Doctor has a new face - calling him a
hypocrite as she walks off exclaiming that she must get the name of his
surgeon. The Doctor rings Rose's mobile. Cassandra (in Rose's body)
chip how Rose would speak, to which he replies cockney. Rose then talks
cockney rhyming slang to The Doctor, which, in turn, has some of the
funniest lines of the whole adventure.
We cut back to The Doctor and are introduced to the character of Matron
(one of the Cat Nuns). She is ushered off by another Cat Nun who
that one of the patients is conscious, to which she replies "we can't
that". It is at this point, we start to realise that something sinister
at work within the hospital. Later we see the two cats incinerating one
the conscious patients in the eerie green chambers.
The Doctor and the possessed Rose are now reunited, and he instantly
up on her accent. and then.. The Kiss! Yes, THAT kiss that has graced
pages of many a TV magazine. To be honest, it wasn't as we all thought.
not the Doctor and Rose kissing, but Cassandra, exercising her new
was followed by an out of character remark by The Doctor, where he says
"Still got it". As far as I was aware, he never had it? Funnily enough,
was the only niggle I had about the whole adventure, but it was a
They then enter "intensive care" (which at first looks surprisingly
power station used in "Episode One: Rose" of Series One.). Then we see
eerie green chambers, which look a bit like the Cybermen Tombs from
the Cybermen". I don't know if these were deliberate winks to the past,
they certainly reminded me of those two stories.
The special effects of The Mill, can be seen in the wide shot of all
chambers, which really look quite stunning. It is in these chambers
Doctor discovers that there are humans deliberately infected with every
disease known to man - lab rats. This is closely followed by an
with one of the Cat Nuns, to which The Doctor, shows a touch of the
last saw in "Episode Six: Dalek" of Series One. He insists that
they have done to Rose, had better be reversed, to which the nun denies
involvement. After being caught out Cassandra reveals to The Doctor
has taken over Rose's body. She then sprays the Doctor with her
and he passes out.
The Doctor awakens in one of the green chambers, with Cassandra (as
antagonising him with the ways she has thought of killing him. She
him, that he has approximately three minutes before his chamber is
full of every disease known to man.
She is then interrupted by the Cat Nuns, whom she tries to bribe into
her money. After a failed attempt she resorts to "plan B" which
opening all the green chambers, which in turn releases the
disease-ridden humans. The Doctor is released as the doors open, and
follows, quickly becomes a game of escape the zombies.
One might be excused for thinking it might not work, but it does. Sure,
of them have the typical "arms out" pose, but this is explained as they
merely want to have contact with humans. Beneath the surrealism, lies
ironic, but yet sensical reality that draws the audience in further.
We see one of the disease-ridden humans touch the Cat Nun, who
gets infected with a Mill-doused sprinkling of CGI-effects. We see Chip
trying to escape the zombified humans, as he comically slides down a
chute, and ends up locking himself in one of the empty green chambers.
The Doctor and Cassandra (as Rose) find a room where they can briefly
and The Doctor orders Cassandra to leave Roses body, to which she then
enters The Doctor's with predictable, but yet hilarious results. This
happens back and forth a few times, but isn't overused, and certainly
At one point Cassandra possesses one of the diseased humans, and for
first time, (when she re-enters Rose's body) we see some humanity from
character. They then get back to Ward 26, where the Doctor assumes an
authoritarian position, and truly becomes the hero that I personally
was missing a little from Series One. What I mean by this, is that it
usually Rose, or someone else solving most of the situations in Series
For example: Episode One - Rose saves the day by using her gymnastic
to kick the auton carrying the anti-plastic into the nestene
Episode Two - Jabe gives her life to enable The Doctor to activate the
switch. Episode Three - Gwyneth gives her life to defeat the Gelth.
5 - Mickey activated the missile. Episode 6 - Rose liaises with the
stop killing people. E.t.c. So as you can see, it's nice to see The
who we all know and love, do what he is best at - saving the day. He
this by strapping rope to himself and attaching all the intravenous
solutions for all the diseases. We then see a wonderful action scene
The Doctor and Cassandra (as Rose) slide down the lift shaft to the
It is here that The Doctor adds the solutions to the lifts disinfectant
pool. He bravely encourages the diseased humans (waiting below) to
lift, where they are sprayed with the cure. The Doctor then encourages
to spread the cure by passing it on, in a tag like fashion.
David Tennant's Doctor then gives a brief speech about these new sub
that he has saved, in a very Tom Baker-esque fashion, which was very
pleasing to watch. We then cut to the NNYPD (New New York Police
arresting the remaining Cat Nuns.
The Doctor then realises he has forgotten about The Face of Boe, and
him. There then follows a rewarding scene, that also has traces of
Who past, where Boe, telepathically informs The Doctor that he will
for the third and final time and tell him his great secret. Boe then
teleports, and is gone. And just like The Doctor says - it is
Chip reveals himself to be alive and well (for the time-being). The
insists that Cassandra now leave Rose's body. She sees her chance and
Chip's body. You could tell that the actor playing Chip really enjoyed
playing the Cassandra-ized version of himself. But alas we soon learn
Chip is dying. It's actually quite a touching scene, with some
good acting from the actor playing Chip.
The Doctor says there is one last thing he can do. He then takes
(as Chip), back to the time that we saw her in the video footage, as
human form. He tells Chip to "go, and don't look back". This has to be
favourite scene in the whole story, as Russell T. Davies' genius shines
through in spades. It turns out that Chip was the one who told
that she was beautiful for the last time, and it is here that he (and
Cassandra from the future) dies in Cassandra's arms. I like to think
maybe it changed Cassandra for the better... Maybe it did?
Overall it was a great story. Not the strongest to begin a brand new
with, but it was new new Doctor Who! "New Earth", definitely feels like
continuation of "The End of the World". The writing is very indicative
the latter, and there is a feeling of familiarity with the setting.
A tremendous job by all those involved. Although incomparable to
such as Genesis of the Daleks, it firmly has its place in modern who,
feel that this isn't the last we've seen of the year 5 billion.
Sebastian J. Brook
Doctor Who Online
[Doctor Who Online - one show. one website]
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