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New Earth (TV story)

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RealWorld
New Earth
Newearth2
Doctor: Tenth Doctor
Companion(s): Rose
Main enemy: Cassandra, Sisters of Plenitude
Main setting: New New York, New Earth, 5,000,000,023
Key crew
Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: James Hawes
Producer: Phil Collinson
Release details
Story number: 168
Season/series: 2
Premiere broadcast: 15 April 2006
Premiere network: BBC One
Format: 1x45 minute episode
Production code: 2.1
Confidential: New New Doctor
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Memorable moment
A Human Farm - Doctor Who - New Earth - BBC03:02

A Human Farm - Doctor Who - New Earth - BBC

Another memorable moment
The Doctor Is In! - Doctor Who - New Earth - BBC04:14

The Doctor Is In! - Doctor Who - New Earth - BBC

You may wish to consult New Earth for other, similarly-named pages.

New Earth was the first episode of series two of the revived Doctor Who, and the middle of a loose "New Earth" trilogy incorporating The End of the World and Gridlock. It featured reappearances of Cassandra O'Brien.Δ17 and the Face of Boe, both last seen in End of the World, and introduced a mystery surrounding the Face that would later be a major part of the overall story arc of series three. It was also the first BBC Wales episode to be set on an alien world (with the exception of a brief beginning scene of Rose saying her goodbyes on Earth), the entirety of series one having taken place on or in orbit of Earth.

Behind the scenes, it was the final appearance of Zoë Wanamaker, but it was the first time that actors Anna Hope or Adjoa Andoh worked on the programme. Principal photography was rocky enough to be remarked upon by two different sets of commentators. Its overruns and difficulties negatively impacted upon other episodes within its production block. (PCOM, DCOM: New Earth)

Series two also played host to a series of mini-episode prologues for each new episode, known collectively as Tardisodes. Tardisode 1, the first of these short preludes, lead into New Earth.

Synopsis Edit

In the distant future, an order of cat-nuns cure all illnesses, but the Tenth Doctor is suspicious of their methods. He must uncover the truth and save Rose from the vengeance of his old enemy, the Lady Cassandra.

Plot Edit

The Tenth Doctor powers up the TARDIS as Rose says good-bye to Jackie and Mickey at the Powell Estate. Although Jackie and Mickey sadly watch the TARDIS fade away, inside the ship Rose is all smiles as she asks where they are going next. The Doctor tells her that they are going further than they have ever gone before.

The TARDIS materialises on New Earth, in the year five billion and twenty-three. Following the destruction of Earth, humanity became nostalgic and settled a new planet with similar gravity and atmosphere in Galaxy M87. Rose is delighted at the new world, the sight of the futuristic city of New New York in front of them and the smell of apple-grass. However, the two travellers are being observed by a metal spider controlled by Chip, a small, pale man with multiple tattoos. Chip takes his orders from Lady Cassandra, who is still alive and recognises Rose.

The Doctor and Rose head for New New York Hospital, a hospital to which the Doctor has been summoned by a telepathic message displayed on his psychic paper: "Ward 26, Please Come". The hospital is run by humanoid feline nuns belonging to an order called the Sisters of Plenitude. Trying to find the right ward, the Doctor and Rose enter separate lifts, which drench each of them in a disinfectant liquid then blow-dry them — the Doctor is completely blasé about it, while Rose has no idea and takes a while to get used to it. Chip has overridden Rose's lift controls, diverting her to the basement. He beckons her forward, calling her by name; she grabs a metal pipe as a weapon.

Ten boe

The Doctor and the Face of Boe.

In the ward, the Doctor is escorted by Sister Jatt. He sees that the patients all have diseases which are supposed to be incurable, yet the Sisters are able to cure them. The nuns are evasive about what is in the coloured solutions that are given to the patients. The Doctor recognises who has called him here — the Face of Boe. He is being tended by Novice Hame, who tells the Doctor that the Face is dying of old age — the one thing the Sisters can't cure.

Rose explores the basement warily, and finds a film of a party of several men and a blond woman with a familiar voice. The same voice makes Rose turn to see Cassandra: a piece of skin stretched out on a frame over a brain jar. Cassandra had been reconstructed from another piece of her skin, and Chip — a force-grown clone devoted to Cassandra — smuggled her into the hospital, where he has been tending to her ever since. Cassandra has found out the Sisters are hiding something, and she needs Rose's help... or rather, her body.

Using a device called a psychograft, Cassandra transfers her consciousness into Rose's mind, taking control of her body but allowing her old one to die. Cassandra is initially unimpressed with her new body — protesting, "I'm a chav!" — but changes her mind after taking a good look at Rose's curves.

In the ward, Novice Hame tells the Doctor that legend 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 Doctor realises that he fits the description in the legend, but says nothing. Below, Cassandra reads Rose's surface thoughts and discovers that the man with Rose is the Doctor with a new face. She goes to meet him after putting a tiny bottle in her cleavage.

Cassandra's odd behaviour in Rose's body — at one point giving the Doctor a lusty kiss — raises the Time Lord's suspicions. They enter Intensive Care and discover the horrifying secret of the cures: hundreds of pods, each holding an artificially grown human being infected with a thousand different diseases, a human farm to breed cures. The Sisters kill any healthy enough to speak or move. The Doctor confronts Novice Hame, but she insists that these artificial humans are just "flesh", and that it was necessary to cope with the influx of patients and diseases. He demands they reverse what they have done to Rose, not realising that it is Cassandra who has taken over. Her cover blown, Cassandra reveals her identity and knocks out the Doctor with some drugged perfume.

Sisters Of Plentitude

The Sisters of Plenitude.

While the Doctor is trapped in a pod about to be injected with diseases, Cassandra tries to blackmail Matron Casp, demanding money to keep quiet about the Sisters' actions. Casp declines and threatens her physically. Cassandra releases some of the plague carriers in response. They, in turn, release the rest, and the zombie-like mass of them lurch through the hospital, infecting and killing anyone they touch almost instantly. After failing to find a way out through the basement, the Doctor demands Cassandra release Rose, threatening her with the sonic screwdriver.

Cassandra transfers her consciousness to the Doctor instead. Rose climbs up the lift shaft with a now Cassandra-controlled Doctor, pursued by the carriers. Matron Casp tries to stop them, but is infected and falls screaming down the shaft. Cassandra transfers herself to a plague carrier so that the Doctor can use the sonic screwdriver to unseal the lift doors, then jumps back into Rose. Cassandra is shocked by the loneliness of the carriers, having read the surface thoughts of the carrier she had possessed — not being able to touch or be touched all their lives.

The Doctor and Cassandra reach Ward 26, which seems to be the only place still untouched by the carriers. He grabs all of the intravenous solutions, straps them to his body, then slides down the shaft to the lift car with Cassandra, where he empties the solutions into the disinfectant reservoir. He opens the doors, luring several plague carriers inward as Cassandra starts the shower. 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. A new race is born: the new humans.

The surviving Sisters are arrested by the New New York Police Department, and the cured new humans are taken into care. The Doctor remembers the Face of Boe, and runs to him. No longer dying, the Face tells him telepathically that he had grown tired of the universe, but the Doctor has taught him to look at it anew. The Doctor asks the Face about his message, but is told it can wait for their third and final meeting. The Face teleports himself away.

Cassandra in Chip's Body

Cassandra in Chip's body.

The Doctor orders Cassandra to leave Rose's body at once, telling her to end it. In response, Cassandra sobs and tells the Doctor she doesn't want to die. Chip then appears — "a volunteer". Despite multiple protests from the Doctor, Cassandra transfers her consciousness into him. Unfortunately, his "half-life" body quickly fails, and Cassandra accepts her impending true death; New Earth has no place for people like her and Chip.

The Doctor does one last favour for Cassandra, taking her back to the party seen earlier, to the last time anyone had called her beautiful, to re-witness her life as it was in its prime. "Chip" approaches the Cassandra of the past and sincerely remarks on her beauty, before collapsing into the younger Cassandra's arms as she comforts "him". As Cassandra finally dies, the Doctor and Rose silently leave in the TARDIS, letting things end, and life take its natural course.

Cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound







Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.
          

According to the DVD commentary, Sarah Davies, an uncredited production runner on this episode, was also an uncredited extra. She played one of the patients.


References Edit

The Doctor Edit

  • The Doctor dislikes being in a hospital.

Individuals Edit

Plants Edit

Diseases and illnesses Edit

Cultural references Edit

  • As the Duke of Manhattan recovers from his Petrifold Regression, he greets the Doctor with, "It's that man again!" It's That Man Again (known as ITMA) was a hugely popular BBC radio comedy series in the 1940s and a precursor to The Goon Show.
  • Rose refers to Chip as Gollum, a character from The Lord of the Rings.

Foods and beverages Edit

  • The Duke of Manhattan offers the Doctor a glass of champagne.

Story notes Edit

  • It is implied that the Doctor stayed at the Powell Estate with Rose and Jackie between The Christmas Invasion and this episode.
  • This is the first story of the revived series to be set on an alien planet. Ironically, the first non-Earth planet the Doctor visits in the revived series is called New Earth (all on-camera locations up to that point were either Earth or space stations or spaceships in orbit around Earth).
  • Rose's comment when she steps out of the TARDIS, that she'll never get used to standing on an alien planet no matter how many times she does so, is also somewhat ironic from the viewers' perspective, as she has never actually done so on screen prior to this. It is not a continuity error of course, as prior conversations in previous episodes have referenced off screen trips to other planets.
  • This is the first Doctor Who episode to have an accompanying Tardisode. These short prelude scenes were made available online and via cellphone a week prior to the broadcast. In the case of New Earth the Tardisode consisted of a faux commercial advertising the Sisters of Plenitude's services.
  • This story had the working title of The Sunshine Camp.
  • Immediately after the episode, a commentary for the episode, featuring David Tennant, Russell T Davies and Phil Collinson, was made available on the official website for viewers to download and listen to alongside the repeat. The same thing was done for The Christmas Invasion.
  • According to David Tennant on the audio commentary, Billie Piper wore a wonderbra and a slightly different shade of lipstick in the scenes where Cassandra was in Rose's body. He also mentioned that Billie kept on wearing the wonderbra for a bit longer after Cassandra was no longer posessing Rose.
  • The words "bitch" and "arse" are implied, although not actually said. In both cases, the character (Cassandra and Rose, respectively) is cut off in her dialogue and the words are implied by the next word in the script. Cassandra, when talking of Rose, calls her "that little..." and then the scene cuts to Rose whose first words are "a bit rich". Later, Rose tells Cassandra she is "talking out of [her]..." and Cassandra interrupts, "Ask not!"
  • When Cassandra takes over the Doctor's body she references to some parts that have been "hardly used", a reference to the perceived asexual nature of the Doctor. This may also refer to the fact that this is a new (regenerated) body, and that he hasn't really had a chance to "use" most of the parts very much at this point.
  • The scene showing Rose kissing the Doctor was featured in one of the trailers and raised a stir in fan circles. Ultimately, we learn it's actually Cassandra possessing Rose doing the kissing; Rose and the Doctor never do kiss on screen in that fashion, though Rose will eventually kiss the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor in Journey's End.
  • Although it is widely stated that Rose has met the Face of Boe twice, the only times she was in his presence in this episode was during the periods where Cassandra was possessing her body, and he teleports away before Cassandra takes over Chip.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of a running joke about the Tenth Doctor's love of the "little shops" found in hospitals and museums.
  • This episode marks the first use of the recurring phrase "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" in the series.
  • Stock footage from Rose is used at one point.
  • When the wall drops, the sound made is recycled from the movement of the Daleks.
  • Russell T Davies explains during the audio commentary that in the original script, the Face of Boe was going to die in this episode and the only way for the Doctor to cure all the diseased was to kill them all. But then he read Stephen Moffat's introduction segment in The Shooting Scripts book, in which Moffat good naturedly mocked Davies by stating he "creates interesting characters and then melts them". This made Davies decide to have them all survive instead.

Ratings Edit

  • 8.62 million viewers

Filming locations Edit

  • The exterior shots of New Earth were filmed on the Gower Peninsula.
  • The hospital scenes were filmed inside the Wales Millennium Centre which appeared in the previous series episode Boom Town. When the Doctor asks about the shop and points to where he would put it, he points to the location of the centre's own Portmeirion shop (so-called because it sells the unique Portmeirion china produced in the Welsh resort village of the same name that was once used as a filming location for TV: The Masque of Mandragora).
  • The exterior shots of the lift car as Rose descends to the basement are stock footage recycled from Rose.

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • When the camera zooms out when Rose is captured and Cassandra is about to "go" into Rose, the psychograft disappears, but in the next shot of Rose, it is there again.
  • Before the Doctor and Rose/Cassandra open one of the booths behind the Doctor there is an empty booth. In the next shot there is clearly one of the Flesh occupying it.
  • At 5.30 Rose enters the right hand lift but at 6.20 she leaves the left hand one.

Continuity Edit

DVD releases Edit

Bbcdvd-ns-2-1

Series 2 Volume 1: DVD Cover

  • This episode was released as a "vanilla" DVD with The Christmas Invasion.
  • New Earth was also released as part of the Series 2 DVD box set.
  • This story was also released with Issue 8 of the Doctor Who DVD Files.

Footnotes Edit

  1. The title "Frau" appears to be misspelled in the credits. In dialogue, she is clearly named Frau Clovis.

External links Edit


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  • Inserting prequels in the story infobox

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    • All passionate feelings about the series aside, this does make a whole lot of sense. Usually, you can tell how much love a page gets by ...
    • When you're talking prequels, are you referring to filmed prequels? The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery was a prose prequel to The Ang...

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