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The far, far, far, far, far future. Earth has long been a goner (see
episode The End of the
World), but humanity (or what's left of it) as built a new earth
on another planet ... whereto Doctor Who (David Tennant) and his companion
Rose (Billie Piper) are called by ... well, someone (since the Doctor has
this machine, the TARDIS, that can freely move in time and space, it's no
big deal to call the Doctor to anywhere, anytime). And of all places, they
are called to a hospital run by evolved cats.
The Doctor soon meets an old acquaintance, the Face of Boe (Struan
Rodger) and thinks he (it ?) has called him, but keeps wondering wha the
cats are so amazingly good at healing. Rose meanwhile though meets with
Cassandra, the last human (also see episode
The End of the World), who is acutally only a piece of skin in a
frame, who is more than a little angry with the Doc and Rose, and now
overtakes Rose's body. It turns out that she has summoned the Doctor, as
she wants to find out the secret of the cats' healing powers. And soon
enough, she (as Rose) and the Doc do find out: the cats have been growing
humans (millions of them) and infected them with all diseases to at all be
able to cure anything at any time .. the only problem is, these humans
grown for the benefit of the human race, are still thinking humans, and
they are not only pretty mad at their jailors, they are also pretty
contagious once they are set free. And of course, while Cassandra (as
Rose) and the Doc - who has found out that Rose really is Cassandra these
days - are quarelling, the infected crowd is set free and they go on a
Ultimately of course, the Doctor manages to cure all those infected,
and he even convinces Cassandra, who has been living for millions of
years, to let go of her life (and of Rose) and die - and he even takes her
back to the time when she last was a human as such (rather than, as she
puts it, a trampoline) and beautiful.
Somehow this episode - a satire on stem cell research featuring zombies
(or rather zombie-like creatures) and cat nurses - doesn't quite fall
together: It's excellent at what Doctor Who (old
series and new
series alike) was always good at - over-the-top sci-fi
concepts somehow related to current developments in an entertaining
context - but it simply put sucks in the heartwarming department -
giving Cassandra dignified death -, which somehow undermines the impact of
the story as a whole.
That's not to say the episode is a total loss, some story ideas and
oneliners are still great, it just could have been so much more.