‘New Earth’ (TV)

doctor who series 2 volume 1


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Lady Cassandra Returns

This is the first episode of Series 2 of ‘Doctor Who’ by Russell T. Davies. It’s not the most inspiring episode I’ve seen, but it sets the season off to a good start with David Tennant’s Doctor and Billie Piper’s Rose.

Rose re-joins the Tenth Doctor on his travels in the TARDIS as they go off for new adventures. Their first stop is to the year 5 billion where they visit the planet New Earth. They visit a hospital where a dark secret is kept.

This story is a sequel to ‘The End of the World’ where the planet Earth had been destroyed by the sun. Although the Earth is gone, the human race lives on as humans live on a new planet similar to old Earth.

I like the futuristic setting RTD depicts in this episode. It’s interesting how he presents the human race having moved on from their original Earth roots and what benefits and consequences there are in that.

The hospital setting is pretty stark and welcoming at first. But underneath, there’s something that’s going on as the Sisters of Plenitude hide batches of humans to create their medical cures for patients.

This episode, as I understand, suffered production problems with bad weather for the exterior sequences featuring the Doctor and Rose. You can tell that it’s very windy for them when they’re outside.

This episode features the return of Lady Cassandra (voiced by Zoë Wanamaker). She’s an old enemy of the Doctor’s from ‘The End of the World’. How she managed to survive does get explained in this episode.

There’s an element of body-swapping in this story, as Cassandra possesses the bodies of Rose and the Doctor for a bit. The body-swapping comedy is interesting if not at times a little silly to take seriously.

Billie Piper’s performance as Rose is lovely. Billie gets to do some comedy acting when she plays Cassandra in Rose’s body. It’s interesting to watch and it’s quite a shock when she kisses the Doctor.

David Tennant also gets to do some comedy acting when Cassandra possesses the Doctor for a bit. I like it when the Doctor is very insistent upon threatening Cassandra to leave Rose’s body at an instant.

The Sisters of Plenitude are a group of cat-like nurses at the futuristic hospital on New Earth. These include Doña Croll as Matron Casp; Adjoa Andoh as Sister Jatt and Anna Hope as Novice Hame.

Sean Gallagher guest stars as Chip, Cassandra’s loyal servant, whom Rose describes as ‘Gollum’ 😀 . It was sad when Chip willingly agreed to take Cassandra’s spirit into his own body at the episode’s end.

There is a breakout of infected humans of all kinds of diseases roaming about the hospital. I found those scenes terrifying when the infected humans came for the Doctor and Rose, intent on touching them.

The Face of Boe from ‘The End of the World’ returns in this episode. He has something important to say to the Doctor. But the Face says that it can wait when they meet again for the third and final time.

‘New Earth’ is an enjoyable episode for Series 2 with the Tenth Doctor and Rose. It’s not the greatest episode I’ve seen as the body-swapping comedy is way out. But it was interesting to watch at the start of the season.

The DVD/Blu-ray special features for this episode are as follows. There’s an audio commentary with director James Hawes; executive producer Julie Gardner and visual effects producer Will Cohen. There’s also the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘New New Doctor’. There are also outtakes from Series 2 and deleted scenes of Series 2. There are also ‘Billie’s Video Diaries’ from Series 2 to enjoy!

‘New Earth’ rating – 6/10

The previous story

For the Tenth Doctor was

For Rose was

For Mickey was

The next story

For the Tenth Doctor is

  • ‘The Betrothal of Sontar’ (Comic)

For Rose is

  • ‘The Betrothal of Sontar’ (Comic)

For Mickey is

  • ‘The Lodger’ (Comic)
Return to The Tenth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Rose’s Timeline
Return to Mickey’s Timeline
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
Return to Doctor Who
Return to Sci-Fi

4 thoughts on “‘New Earth’ (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    Yeah i completely agree with the comedy aspects of this story which do seem out of place, the tone of the episode is a bit uneven & David & Billie ham it up when possessed by Cassandra, you know i ain’t a fan when Doctor Who is played for laughs & must admit to being a tad underwhelmed by this story.

    6/10 spot on rating for this Tim, brilliantly review of the episode.

    A average season opener but would’ve fared better opening with Tooth & Claw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘New Earth’.

      I do enjoy comedy drama in ‘Doctor Who’, but I would like it to be balanced and believeable to enjoy at the same time. This episode does feel uneven as you say and despite David Tennant and Billie Piper seeming to enjoy doing the comedy aspects of the episode, I wouldn’t have gone down that route with the story.

      Glad you agree on my rating for this episode and as you rightly say it is an average season opener. Not terrible but not special either.


      Tim. 🙂


  2. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I must say that I enjoyed this episode more than you did. I didn’t really mind the comedy aspects of the episode. It was funny when David and Billie were in the showers and showed contrasting reactions between the Doctor and Rose. It was great to see Cassandra and the Face of Boe again, and the ending was pretty heart-warming.

    I haven’t seen much of Series 2, only this episode, ‘School Reunion’, ‘Rise of the Cybermen’, ‘Age of Steel’ and I am making my way through ‘Army of Ghosts’ and ‘Doomsday’. It does look good so far though.

    Take care, WF92. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘New Earth’. That’s fair enough. I suppose it depends on how we view comedy and what tastes in comedy we prefer. Sometimes the body-swapping comedy between David Tennant and Billie Piper works. Other times, I found it cringy. I’m glad you enjoyed the shower scenes with the Doctor and Rose and glad you enjoyed Cassandra and the Face of Boe.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on ‘New Earth’. I look forward to your thoughts on other episodes in Series 2.

      Many thanks,

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.