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Doctor Who - New Earth

episode 2.2

UK 2006
produced by
Phil Collinson, Russell T. Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by James Hawes
starring David Tennant, Billie Piper, Zoe Wannamaker, Sean Gallagher, Dona Croll, Michael Fitzgerald, Lucy Robinson, Adjoa Andoh, Anna Hope, Simon Ludders, Struan Rodger, Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke
written by Russell T.Davies, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Rose Tyler

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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 rampage ...

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.

The End.

 

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.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD