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Recap / Doctor Who S28 E1 "New Earth"

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Quick, throw some yarn!

"The Sisterhood are up to something. Remember that Old Earth saying? Never trust a nun, never trust a nurse, and never trust a cat."
Cassandra
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The one where the Doctor fondles himself. Sorta.

Written by Russell T. Davies.


The Tenth Doctor, mostly recovered from his regeneration trauma, heads off for more adventures! He takes Rose to visit New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York, not only to continue showing her the universe but also because he got a message from there on his psychic paper. Rose is enjoying her bouncy, chatty "New New Doctor".

The message leads the Doctor to a hospital run by cat nuns, but that's not even the strange part. There's a guy who's turning into stone, but even that isn't the strange part. Among all the cat women and the people Taken for Granite, what's peculiar is that the hospital is too far ahead of its time: they have cures for diseases that haven't been cured yet.

The Doctor is on the case! In the ward, he and Rose meet the apparently dying Face of Boe, the oldest being in the galaxy. The Face is dying of old age, which is the only thing the cats cannot cure. Novice Hame, the Face's nurse, tells the Doctor about a legend that the Face of Boe, just before he dies, will tell his last secret to someone like him — "the man without a home, the Lonely God."

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Rose, meanwhile, runs into Lady Cassandra (Remember her?), who wants her body. Literally. Using a psychograft, she snatches Rose's body and mind, and quickly realizes that a) Rose likes the Doctor! b) the Doctor is the Doctor! c) the Doctor is hot! d) a good old-fashioned makeout session is called for, and e) Rose is a chav! The Doctor doesn't mind at all.

So the Doctor and a Cassandra-possessed Rose stumble upon the source of the cats' medicines — a secret colony of artificially grown people, who are held prisoner and infected with everything in order to manufacture cures for everything. The clone-people get out, the Doctor figures out that Rose is not quite herself, and Cassandra is forced to switch back and forth between the bodies of the Doctor and Rose during the ensuing chase. While David Tennant camps it up as Cassandra (and Billie Piper tries very hard to keep a straight face), Cassandra at one point ends up in the body and mind of one of the sick, and is severely shocked to realize what it's like to really suffer.

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The Doctor gets baptized by the nuns with a panacea cocktail and, with a touch, disinfects the clone-people in a scene that would make Jesus Christ himself jealous. It's not the last time the Doctor will be a Messianic Archetype on this specific planet. Cassandra goes into the body of her dying servant, where she finally dies in her own arms through a bit of foreshadowed time-travel. The Face of Boe, meanwhile, decides that he could stick around for a bit longer after all, and promises to get back to the Doctor later on that big-important-secret-to-be-imparted-to-the-Doctor-at-the-time-of-the-Face's-death thing.


Tropes:

  • Absolute Xenophobe: Lady Cassandra once again sees herself as the only "pure" human and thinks of everyone else as dirty mongrels, although this side of her gets somewhat subverted this time around. On the one hand, since she thinks Rose fits her racial eugenics and admires her beauty, Cassandra could be seen as a deconstruction of your usual darwinist/capitalist conservative, but we are also shown through her dynamic with Chip that she does value loyalty, to the point of growing fond of the people who remain loyal to her, regardless of race. So although her racist views are further explored in the episode, we are also introduced to a softer side of her.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite her having soared over the invokedMoral Event Horizon long before she even appeared, Cassandra gets a surprisingly well-written death scene. Becomes an actual Tear Jerker when you realize the Fridge Brilliance behind it: when her older self expired before her in Chip's body, she was the only person trying to save him/her (though some did walk off, presumably to get help while everyone else stood around apathetically), shouting for people to try and help... only for people to back away from her and not do anything. Not only did this tarnish her reputation as an upper-class lady (nobody ever called her beautiful again after Chip), but it was the start of her conviction that people could only rely on themselves. She finally realizes that she was wrong about this when the Doctor commends her on helping cure the artificially created humans, and it's this which helps her accept her long-delayed death. Not to mention that despite her snobbery, she never did forget that Chip's face was that of the last person to ever compliment her.
  • Alien Sky: New Earth has two moons.
  • And I Must Scream: The Sisters of Plenitude believe that most of the clones they keep beneath the hospital aren't conscious (and incinerate those who show any signs of awareness), but in truth, they're completely aware of their situation, constantly suffering from the pain of being infected with every disease in the galaxy while being locked in a tiny cell their whole life, where they can only long for the sensation of human touch. Thankfully, they're freed and cured of their illnesses by the end of the episode.
  • Ankle Drag: Matron Casp tries to do this to Rose, blaming her for ruining the Sisterhood's reputation. She ends up falling from the ladder herself when one of the plague-carriers touches her foot and infects her.
  • Anti-Hero: Lady Cassandra eventually becomes the focus of the story and starts as a nasty Femme Fatale seeking to uncover the secrets of the hospital for her own ends. After helping save the Flesh due to circunstance, she becomes significantly softer while keeping her haughty behaviour.
  • Appearance Angst: No psychograft or amount of surgery can take away Cassandra's self-loathing. After possessing Rose, her first reaction upon seeing her new reflection is one of horror:
    Rose!Cassandra: Oh my god! I'm a chav!
  • Arch-Enemy: This episode further establishes how Rose and Cassandra are each other's worst enemies, with even a lot of British class-warfare subtext being implied between the two. Cassandra in particular gained a huge grudge after her climatic defeat on Platform One. She serves as a good foil to Rose as well, being, unlike Rose, arrogant, elitist and posh, but lacking Rose's humanity and empathy. The irony is not lost, considering how much pride Cassandra takes in being "The Last Human". The events of the plot cause them to end up merged in order to further contrast their differences, with Cassandra eventually realizing that there was value in the empathy that she tried to push away as a "weakness", regaining the humanity that she once lost. Unlike in "The End of the World", the two part on relatively good terms due to the episode being softer in nature than its prequel.
  • Artistic Licence – Biology: The Doctor discovers an underground lair full of cloned humans infected with, in his words, "EVERY DISEASE IN THE GALAXY." They didn't die since all the diseases kept each other in equilibrium but if they touched you, you died instantly and painfully. How did the Doctor cure these poor souls? Why, he doused himself in ten or so intravenous solutions designed to cure the diseases, then transmitted the cure by touch. One of these diseases, called "petrifold regression", turns you into stone.
  • Artistic Licence – Physics: The Doctor's makeshift winch that he uses in the lift shaft is a small traction winch from the Duke of Manhattan's sickbed that can apparently support the weight of two people plunging dozens of levels downward. During the descent, the velocity and friction cause sparks to fly from the winch itself, but the Doctor's legs are grasping the cable and yet his trousers don't burn.
  • Audible Sharpness: Matron Casp unsheathes her claws with a loud "sching!"
  • Back from the Dead: Cassandra, whose improbable resurrection from her explosive demise on Platform One is explained away as Chip having salvaged her brain and eyes "from the bin" and rebuilt her flattened form using skin from her posterior, much to Rose's amusement.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: Downplayed, but the automatic elevator shower is as good an excuse as any for Cassandra to make sure Rose is all cleaned up before she has Chip lead her to her dungeon in order to possess her. After all, if Rose is to become Cassandra's new host, she has to be clean for a high-class lady like her to dirtily enjoy her sexuality.
  • Battleaxe Nurse: Matron Casp, the cat nun in charge of the Sisters of Plenitude.
  • Beauty Is Best: Cassandra seems to fall for this as part of her materialist views. Despite her classist hatred towards Rose she praises her new looks many times, pointing out she values beauty over everything else, even proudly calling herself "The Last Human" even while possesing her. Notable too in that Rose is the only person who Cassandra recognizes as a "pure-blooded" human just like her.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Escaping the diseased patients, the Doctor takes advantage of a lull in the chase to threaten Cassandra into leaving Rose's body. "You asked for it," she tells him, and obliges...by transferring herself right into the Doctor.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Despite her killing intent towards both, Cassandra has tons of this with both the Doctor and Rose, mostly due to her being sexually repressed for so long until meeting the Doctor in a young body and her admiration towards Rose's beauty.
  • Berserk Button: The Doctor twice:
    • He's absolutely livid at the way the Sisterhood uses its clones (ie. living things) as essentially husks for diseases.
    • He's not too happy about Cassandra's Grand Theft Me, especially when via Rose, quite convinced she should accept her time. When left with the problem of her finding a willing host, he still pleads her to see reason, exclaiming such a fate just plain isn't fair.
  • Best Served Cold: Cassandra blames Rose for her initial demise on Platform One more than two decades ago and believes their reunion to be predestined. A big part of her snatching Rose's body and commandeering it for her own personal use is motivated by her belated desire for revenge. When she learns the Doctor is also still around, she impersonates Rose to fool him for a while and uncover the secrets of the hospital, but plans to kill him later on. Knocking him out and leaving him to die in a stasis pod about to be flooded with disease would seem to be a fitting end...
    Rose!Cassandra: Over the years, I've thought of a thousand ways to kill you, Doctor...and now that's exactly what I've got: one thousand diseases.
  • Betty and Veronica: The episode's plot kind of becomes a love triangle of this type, all for the sake of comedy. Cassandra would be the haughty "Veronica" to Rose's ordinary "Betty".
  • Big Breast Pride: Cassandra is mortified at the idea of living on through Rose, but it's clear from her "bouncy castle" scene that she's also quite thrilled by the prospect of having breasts again. Before long, she's popped open the buttons of Rose's top and proudly exploiting her new assets to their best advantage.
    • Including as a hiding place. Even though Rose has pockets for her mobile phone, Cassandra prefers to keep her special knock-out perfume close to her chest. Quite literally.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Doctor saves the day and the plague-carriers are cured, the surviving cat nuns are arrested by the NNYPD, the Face of Boe is expected to die but doesn't and promises the Doctor they'll meet again, Rose is finally restored to her own body when Chip offers himself up as a willing substitute for Cassandra... Only, Chip's half-life body means Cassandra has well and truly condemned herself at last. The Doctor and Rose taking her back in time to tell her past self she's beautiful is treated as a final kindness, yet Cassandra dies in the arms of the only person she ever truly cared about: herself.
  • Blackmail: Attempted by Rose!Cassandra against Matron Casp: "Give me your donations or I'll tell everyone about your human-sized petri dishes."
  • Blasphemous Boast:
    Novice Hame: And who are you, to decide that?
    The Doctor: I'm the Doctor. If you don't like it, if you want to take it to a higher authority, there isn't one. It stops with me!
  • Body Snatcher: Cassandra's Evil Plan is to use a psychografting machine to take over Rose's body, intending to live on by using it as a replacement for her dying one.
  • Body Surf: Cassandra spends the episode doing this, possessing Rose, the Doctor, a clone and finally Chip.
  • Bound and Gagged: Sort of. Functioning as the preliminary stage of Cassandra's psychograft trap, a pair of self-activating energy filaments bind Rose's arms in place like ropes so that Cassandra can complete the transfer inside her body.
  • Brain in a Jar: How Cassandra survived her apparent death at the end of her previous appearance; her skin may have torn itself apart, but her brain remained intact, meaning that her mind survived just fine, apart from being left severely pissed-off at the Doctor and Rose.
  • Bring Him to Me: After spying Rose on the planet's surface, Cassandra has Chip override the lift controls to divert her down to the basement. He then lures Rose to his mistress's hideaway under the pretense that he's a member of staff leading her to Ward 26.
  • Buxom Is Better: For Billie Piper's Cassandra-as-Rose scenes, she put on a different shade of lipstick, and wore a Wonderbra to enhance her cleavage and make her character a bit more shapely (in some shots, the outline of the bra is visible through her shirt).
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": The Doctor gently chides Rose for staring at the cat nuns, saying to them she looks "pink and yellow". Rose appears visibly stung by this.
  • Camp Gay: Cassandra in Chip's body has the mannerisms, and Cassandra in the Doctor's body arguably more so. Chip, even when unpossessed, has a lisp and spring to his step.
  • Catchphrase: Cassandra's trademark "Moisturise me!" makes a return. It's also the first thing she utters after psychografting herself inside Rose (more out of habit than anything else), indicating the transfer was successful.
    • This episode also marks the genesis of the Tenth Doctor's "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..." line, first spoken in regret when he and Cassandra witness the horrific diseased state of the Sisterhood's human test subjects. He'll go on to say it many, many, many, many, many, many, many more times.
  • Cat Folk: The Sisterhood are all humanoid cats.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The awkward decontamination lifts, best described as a human car wash, make a good dispersal system for the Doctor's cure cocktail.
    • Cassandra's seemingly innocuous bottle of "perfume", which she requests from Chip and conceals down Rose's cleavage before going to meet up with the Doctor. When her cover is blown, out comes the perfume...which turns out to be some kind of narcotic spray that she uses to instantly knock the Doctor unconscious.
    • The Duke of Manhattan's sickbed has a traction system operated remotely by his assistant Frau Clovis to winch him up and down. When the quarantine immobilises the hospital lifts, the Doctor later uses the same winch as a makeshift pulley which he attaches to the lift cable so he and Rose!Cassandra can dramatically slide down the elevator shaft at dizzying speed.
  • Clones Are People, Too: The Doctor is furious at the way the Sisterhood treats the clone-people. He sees them as just as alive as himself or Rose.
  • Cockney Rhyming Slang: Oh sure, Cassandra's killed a lot of people, but she absolutely murders the art of Cockney when trying to imitate Rose's London accent. Naturally, she trots out all the classics: "Wotcha", "guv'nor", "apples and pears", "boat race", and "I can't Adam and Eve it".
  • Compartment Shot: The scene where Matron Casp and Sister Jatt first visit Intensive Care to inspect a conscious "patient" is primarily shot from inside one of the People Jars, conveying the infected person's POV while keeping his true nature hidden from the audience (only his diseased hands are seen, and we briefly hear his pleading voice).
  • Contrast Montage: The lift sequence in which the Doctor and Rose each go through the hospital's disinfectant process, Played for Laughs. The Doctor treats it as a relaxing shower, while Rose shrieks in shock and smacks the walls frantically.
  • Copycat Mockery: Invoked by Cassandra in the Doctor's body as she and Rose climb up the maintenance ladder:
    Rose: If you get out of the Doctor's body, he can think of something!
    Doctor!Cassandra [childishly imitating Rose]: Yap, yap, yap...God, it was tedious inside your head. Hormone City!
  • Covert Pervert: Downplayed, but Chip's adoring worship of his mistress comes off as a bit...unhealthy at times, even for a servile half-life clone:
    • Cassandra mentions he "sees to [her] physical needs", which Rose hopes means food.
    • When Chip explains to Rose how he rescued and nursed his mistress back to health, he emphasizes "her pretty blue eyes" and describes how medicine "soothes her...strokes her...", lovingly caressing Cassandra's skin before Rose cuts him off and says she gets the point.
    • Not to mention once Cassandra is actually inside Rose's body: Chip spends a whole scene watching with obvious interest as his mistress explores and enjoys her newfound sexuality in the mirror...especially when she removes an outer layer of clothing and stashes a perfume vial down Rose's bra right in front of him.
  • Colour-Coded Characters: Rose wears a blue jacket for the first third of the episode. When she's possessed by Cassandra, she discards it in favour of a more opulent purple blouse which she wears for the rest of the story, symbolizing her shift in personality to the audience and the two characters' radically different ideals of femininity.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • At the beginning, the TARDIS is parked on the (faded) giant chalk "Bad Wolf" graffito from "The Parting of the Ways".
    • As she says her goodbyes to her mother, Rose mentions her cousin Mo from the Peak District, previously name-checked in "The Christmas Invasion".
    • The Doctor mentions Platform One, where he and the Face of Boe first met, and Rose's original reference to Cassandra being a "trampoline" is repeated, this time by Cassandra herself.
    • The Doctor previously met a form of cat people in "Survival".
    • Rose's Nokia "Superphone", which the Doctor first upgraded in "The End of the World", makes a reappearance here when the Doctor calls to check on her whereabouts, oblivious that she's presently possessed by Cassandra. Chip recognizes it as "a primitive communications device".
  • Creepy Basement: Cassandra's dungeon lair where she's been hiding out beneath the hospital, though for a change it's got white walls and rather more natural light than one would expect.
  • Cult of Personality: Lady Cassandra seems to have had this type of control over her followers, as shown through Chip, who worships her as a divine figure. However, at this point Chip seems to have become her last follower as well. Cassandra apparently still values loyalty as well, since she seems to be rather fond of Chip despite him being a "mongrel" by her standards.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • To begin:
      Cassandra: At last, I can be revenged on that little–
      [cut to Rose and the Doctor]
      Rose: Bit rich, coming from you.
    • Similarly:
      Cassandra: That piece of skin was taken from the front of my body. This piece is the back.
      Rose: [laughing] Right, so you're talking out your–
      Cassandra: Ask. Not.
  • Curves in All the Right Places: Rose, at least according to Cassandra after she unzips her jacket and realizes her new self is rather well-endowed. Suddenly, being a chav doesn't bother her all that much anymore...
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rose!Cassandra, right after she and the Doctor make a death-defying plunge down a lift shaft at breakneck speed:
    Rose!Cassandra: Well, that's one way to lose weight.
  • Death of Personality: The Doctor mentions Cassandra is "compressing Rose to death", suggesting this is what eventually happens to the personality of the target host of the psychograft, leaving them an Empty Shell.
  • Decontamination Chamber: Set up as a Chekhov's Gun, and used in the climax to disinfect all the test subjects of their illnesses.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Cassandra slowly mellows out throughout the episode. Unlike her previous appearance, in which she played a somewhat serious role, we are at first shown through Chip that despite her racism she values the people that remain loyal to her, even allowing some of Chip's perverted approaches and worship to her persona. After possessing Rose, she behaves in a far more uninhibited fashion, flirting with the Doctor and giving him a great big snog. Some of her new demeanour might be explained by Rose's influence after possessing her since Rose is rather carefree herself, eventually showing empathy for the suffering of the Flesh after possessing one of them and finally accepting them as a new form of life when she saves them with the Doctor. This leads her to realize where her true value really lies and accept her death for good, passing on a part of herself to the future in a much more "humane" fashion.
  • Denser and Wackier: The mood of the episode comes off as this when compared to its prequel "The End of the World". Comedy is a constant theme, despite still being an antagonist, Cassandra has a lot more funny moments and the Doctor manages to save almost everyone.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: The cloned disease-carriers suffer from this, and it's partly what makes them so dangerous. After being bred and treated as less than cattle by cold-hearted nuns, knowing nothing but containment pods all their lives, they're so desperate to feel the simple touch of another human once they get out that they don't seem to notice their touch is deadly to other people.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Cassandra knocks the Doctor out and seals him inside one of the People Jars meant for the plague-carriers that's about to be flooded with diseases. When the Sisters refuse to meet her blackmail demands, she releases a bunch of the infected subjects by opening an entire row of containers to cover her escape...including the pod she just locked the Doctor in. It's pretty short-sighted of her, especially since the sickly experiments then free all of their fellows and unleash the zombie rampage that makes up most of the episode's second half.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Cassandra, with her younger self.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Cassandra abandons Chip to the diseased clones during their escape, though she's willing to Face Death with Dignity at the end.
    • However protective she might be of her boss, Frau Clovis is willing to order in a private executive squad and break the hospital's quarantine if it means saving her own skin.
  • Dirty Old Woman: She might be posh and sophisticated, but it's also been centuries since Cassandra's had a proper body of her own. So of course, after stealing Rose's younger, curvier, hormonal one, she wastes no time in groping herself and giving the Doctor a great big smooch.
  • Disney Villain Death: Matron Casp is touched by her own deadly creations and falls down a very long maintenance shaft.
  • Dispense with the Pleasantries: In contrast with her deceptive charade as Rose around the Doctor, Cassandra is rather more blunt about her motives when she faces down the Sisterhood:
    Rose!Cassandra: Straight to the point, whiskers. I want money.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: Happens to Cassandra with both Rose and the Doctor:
  • Doesn't Trust Those Guys: Cassandra: "Never trust a nun, never trust a nurse and never trust a cat." By the way, we're dealing with people who are all three at once. Nun nurse cat-people. Although in that case, they really shouldn't have been trusted...
  • Double Entendre:
    Cassandra: Chip sees to my physical needs.
    Rose: Hope that means food.
  • Eating the Eye Candy:
    • What Rose has been doing, according to Cassandra. The smile Rose gives when Cassandra accuses her of such confirms it.
      Cassandra!Doctor: Ooh, he's slim... and a little bit foxy. You thought so too. I've been inside your head. You've been looking... [gets in her face] you like it.
    • Cassandra herself. Five minutes after being dumped into a twenty-year-old woman's body full of hormones, she can't resist grabbing the Doctor for a rather passionate snog, even though she hates the Doctor and wants to kill him nastily.
    • The Doctor looks Rose up and down when he calls her "pink and yellow". He also glances at her chest right before Rose!Cassandra kisses him.
  • Elevator Failure: The hospital's lifts stop moving when the Sisters enact a quarantine. This means the Doctor and Rose!Cassandra have to climb up an abandoned service shaft to escape the plague-carriers, and later zipline down a lift cable so the Doctor can mix his medicine cocktail into the disinfectant system.
  • Evil Brit: Cassandra, natch. Just like in "The End of the World", her character is used as a parody and deconstruction of the darwinist/capitalist and conservative villainess archetype, this time through her possessing Rose to extend her lifespan in spite of her classist hatred towards the latter. Although she's pleased with her new looks Cassandra also can't wait to get rid of her new social status and regain her wealth,. It's later made clear in the episode that a lot of her cynicism wasn't justified, as she realizes that her materialistic drive to possess everything, throughout her life was a way of pushing away her true value, discovering a tender side of herself she previously saw as a "weakness".
  • Evil Counterpart: While they are usually foils to each other, Cassandra is thematically presented as this to Rose in different ways this time:
    • When it comes to their role as the Doctor's companion, while Rose plays a certain detective role and has her relationship with the Doctor based on trust, Cassandra also plays a similar role, but is more cunning about her intentions and is the Femme Fatale to Rose's loyal companion detective.
    • When it comes to their femininity, while Rose is gentle and caring and somewhat shy about her feelings, Cassandra is aloof, sultry and cynical, being more straightforward when it comes to their feelings towards the Doctor.
    • Finally, due to Rose becoming Cassandra's new flesh, with their personalities merging to some extent, Cassandra ends up becoming an evil alter-ego of Rose, helping portray their contrast.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After taking over Rose's body, Cassandra ditches her jacket and spends the rest of the episode with her purple blouse unbuttoned, showing a lot more cleavage than Rose normally does. Though she's clearly pleased with her new looks, she also ponders getting some plastic surgery.
  • Evil Genius: Downplayed, but Cassandra is sly enough to fool Rose into falling for her trap in order to possess her, is shown to possess knowledge about computer systems from the future on par with the Doctor, figures out the secret of the cat nuns minutes after possessing Rose and being able to move on her own and is in essence an evolutionary eugenic conservative.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Billie Piper and David Tennant have a grand old time camping it up as Cassandra. In fact, Russell T. Davies says this came about because Billie Piper wanted at least one episode where she got to be funny.
  • Evil Plan:
    • Averted with the Sisterhood. However unethical and criminal the Doctor finds their human lab-rat operation to be, Novice Hame argues they are acting not out of malignant intent but practical necessity. They genuinely believe their methods are helping people, since humanity's colonization of New Earth brought with it an insurmountable onslaught of new diseases to deal with.
    • Having survived her downfall on Platform One, Cassandra sees hijacking Rose's body as the ideal opportunity to enact revenge on her, restore her youthful beauty and continue on living for centuries inside a body of pure human stock. She impersonates Rose so she and the Doctor can uncover the Sisterhood's secrets, then tries to blackmail them into giving her a fortune so she can make her escape.
  • Evil Wine Glass: While it never made it to the final cut, an extended scene of Cassandra-possessed-Rose joining the Doctor in Ward 26 included the servants of the Duke of Manhattan offering them drinks, which would have caused Cassandra to slip out of character and reply "Oh, moisturize me", almost exposing her facade. Cassandra was apparently fond of high quality drinks.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While Cassandra claims to be willing to "junk [Rose] with the waste" once she finds a more appropriate host, at the same time, Rose is such a rare breed of pure human stock in Cassandra's eyes that she is willing to protect her as long as she remains as her host. When she finds one of the Flesh, she gets worried her body could be infected by the diseases.
    • She also expresses shock at learning (after possessing a Flesh) the very scope of how badly neglected these beings have been. This is Cassandra we're talking about, and even she is devastated by the idea of anybody (even "mutant stock") going their entire lives without physical contact.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Cassandra is quite pleased at the idea of becoming a blonde again, later arranging Rose's hair to resemble her original looks. She later spends the rest of the episode marvelling at it and fondling it with care.
  • Evolutionary Stasis: Despite being said to have changed, the humans still look human. Or, according to the Doctor, they look human again.
  • Exploring the Evil Lair: How Rose finds Cassandra when the lift sends her to the basement instead of Ward 26.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Rose's hair is noticeably shorter from this episode onward, reflecting the more mature, confident woman she's growing into alongside the new Doctor in Series 2.
  • Fainting:
    • Rose briefly blacks out after Cassandra first completes the psychograft transfer inside her body. The episode depicts the possession as taking an increasingly heavy toll on her mind, and she almost swoons in the Doctor's arms when Cassandra finally vacates her body for Chip's.
    • The Doctor immediately passes out on the floor after Cassandra gives him a whiff of her knock-out perfume and is unconscious long enough for her to trap him inside one of the Intensive Care People Jars.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Cassandra's last act is to tell her younger self that she is beautiful. Then she dies without a fuss.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Cassandra's possession of Rose is supposed to invoke this as part of the themes of what makes a person "human". Despite her attractive new appearance and behaviour, Cassandra is still a non-human "monster" even while possessing Rose.
  • Facial Markings: Chip's swirly henna tattoos.
  • Fake First Kiss: The breathless, exuberant snog Rose gives the Doctor in Ward 26. The Doctor is left speechless (but also sort of chuffed) by such an unexpected outburst of affection from his companion ...except of course, it isn't really her.
  • Falling into His Arms: Rose nearly faints from exhaustion when Cassandra finally leaves her body for Chip, and the Doctor has to catch her. The two of them share a joyful little reunion together before Chip!Cassandra breaks the moment.
  • Fanservice Pack: Cassandra gets a huge upgrade, going from the monster of the show to one of the most sensual characters in the series.
  • Fantastic Flora: "Apple-grass" grows in the green meadows on the surface of New Earth. Because it smells like apples.
  • Fantastic Racism: Cassandra (once again) dismisses humanity's other descendants as mutants unworthy of the name human. Rose retorts that they just evolved, while Cassandra has mutilated herself rather than move with the times.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Rose claimed to be horrified at the idea of living on like Cassandra and now actually ends up being possessed. Cassandra herself is not to happy about it but is willing to bite her pride for the sake of forcing such a fate upon Rose. Upon noticing her new "pure-blooded" attractive appearance, Cassandra takes her time to study her looks for extra irony. Rose is forced into becoming a vain and haughty white-supremacist version of herself.
  • Femme Fatale: A Cassandra-occupied Rose takes on this role during the episode, portraying on-screen how she might've "inherited" the fortunes of her several husbands in the past (as mentioned in "The End of the World" and expanded upon in supplemental material by Russell T. Davies). It's an interesting contrast when compared to Rose's role as the Doctor's companion, since "Rose" hides her true intentions and tries to seduce the Doctor when she joins him on his investigation of the Sisters, going so far as to make out with him while only arousing some suspicion about her change of personality. Her detective work is what helps the Doctor find out the secrets of the hospital, before she turns on him like in classic, Film Noir fashion. Cassandra surely gives her own name justice.
  • Fetishized Abuser: Rose is forced into the role when she gets possessed by Cassandra, aggressively taking the initiative in helping the Doctor uncover the hospital's Intensive Care and showing off her sex-appeal. Since Cassandra is a high-class lady and Rose is a young woman of a humble background they fit the "sexy lady" and "sexy girl" versions simultaneously, due to being merged together. Strangely, the Doctor doesn't seem to mind Rose's change of personality that much and just keeps up with her seductive approaches on him until her apathy blows her cover.
  • Flying Car: Seen in establishing shots for the "this is the future" feel.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Cassandra has a lot of this with the Doctor, due to Rose's influence after possessing her. Despite the fact that she does admit her lust towards him, at the end of the episode when she goes back to her old self, she seems to be ok with Rose and the Doctor being together and likes to tease them about it.
    • Cassandra has some of this with Rose too. Basically Cassandra loves and hates being merged with Rose at the same time. (Because she admires her beauty and yet can't get over her own classist hatred.)
  • Foil: Besides the two representing opposite ideals of femininity, Cassandra and Rose are further contrasted to explore the themes of conflicting class backgrounds, youth and age, past and future values, and what it means to be human. As in "The End of the World", they are both presented as being the last "pure" humans (this may be a reference to the stereotypes that they represent in British society and being "human" is a meaningful aspect of their characters). But while the upper-class Cassandra seems fixated on keeping the material aspects of what she considers make her human, looking down on the hybrids, Rose sees humans evolving as something natural. She's learned from her experiences since Platform One and hasn't become cynical like Cassandra. This gets further attention once Cassandra takes over Rose's body: she removes nearly all the qualities that make Rose "human".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Cassandra calls attention to the film projection of her past human self at an extravagant drinks party as "the last time anyone told me I was beautiful". A couple of scenes later, as a Cassandra-possessed Rose tests out her new body in front of the reflector, Chip praises his mistress as "beautiful!", seeding his (and Cassandra's) role at the end of the episode.
    • As the Doctor prepares to distribute his concoction of cures via the disinfectant lifts to save the day, he tells Rose!Cassandra to pull a lever and "hold on to it with everything you've got".
  • Funny Background Event: During Rose!Cassandra's "bouncy castle" scene, as she jiggles up and down in front of the mirror, Chip can be seen in the background bouncing along with her like a small child. Moments later, she ogles her rear end, and Chip takes a good look, too.
    • Rose!Cassandra in the background of David Tennant's big shouting scene as the Doctor in the Intensive Care unit, and again during his quiet chat with The Face of Boe. Both times, she's seen striking bored poses, rolling her eyes and taking no interest whatsoever in the conversation.
  • Gender Bender: This is happening when Cassandra is possessing the Doctor's body. The result is basically if David Tennant were playing Austin Powers.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Rose's haircut at the start of the episode is supposed to represent her growing confidence as a person. This takes a dark turn once Cassandra possesses her body, since she disarrays Rose's hair to resemble Zoe Wanamaker's style in her Cassandra scenes, with it partially obscuring her face. Unironically, part of the reason why Cassandra chooses Rose as her host is because she likes the idea of becoming a blond again.
  • A God Am I: Averted, believe it or not, by Cassandra. Despite having someone who explicitly "worships her", she doesn't think of herself as a god.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: The way Cassandra wears Rose's patterned purple blouse after possessing her, reflecting her darker, haughtier and sultrier personality as a noblewoman.
  • Grand Theft Me: Cassandra does this with a lot of people: Rose, the Doctor, one of the clones and Chip, but Chip doesn't count. He explicitly volunteered for it.
  • Gratuitous French:
    • Cassandra, pleased with her bouncy new body:
      Chip: The mistress is beautiful!
      Rose!Cassandra: Absolument!
  • Hair Flip: Cassandra does a dramatic one of these while she's getting ready to rejoin the Doctor as a more sexed-up version of Rose. It steals a lot of the thunder from Chip's "Beware The Doctor" pep-talk.
    Chip: This Doctor man is dangerous-
    Rose!Cassandra: [tosses her hair back breathlessly] Dangerous and clever. I might need a mind like his.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Chip lives to serve his mistress Cassandra, who doesn't even consider him a proper life-form and refers to him as her "pet" even though he has independent thought of his own. When the Doctor protests at Cassandra possessing Chip in the episode's dénouement, Chip seems highly offended, and willingly volunteers his body as her next (and final) vessel.
  • High-Voltage Death: One of the diseased test subjects deliberately sacrifices himself to short-circuit the Intensive Care systems and create a power surge which releases the others from their pods.
  • Hypocrite: After discovering the identity of Rose's gentleman friend, Cassandra mistakes the Doctor for one, assuming his new look to be the result of plastic surgery.
    "...the same Doctor, with a new FACE! That HYPOCRITE! I must find the name of his surgeon."
    • Despite Cassandra verbally abusing Rose about how vulgar and classless she is according to her, out of the two Cassandra is much more unrestrained and lustful when compared to Rose, despite being more stylish.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Once upon a time, skin trampoline Cassandra looked like Zoë Wanamaker, complete with blonde curls and a glamorous silver dress. After that, as she laments to Rose, "it all became...such hard work."
  • Iconic Outfit: Rose's "inside-out" blue and purple button-down shirt that she wears for most of the story. Donna Noble later finds it in the TARDIS in "The Runaway Bride".
  • Ignore the Fanservice: When a Cassandra-possessed Rose rejoins the Doctor in Ward 26, he's too busy showing her all the miracle patients and cured diseases to notice she's walking rather differently and wearing her shirt a lot lower than she usually would. So it's a bit of a shock when she makes out with him.
  • Improvised Weapon: Suspicious of Chip's intentions as he lures her to the basement, Rose picks up a metal rod to defend herself.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Cassandra gets this treatment in contrast to her more serious debut in "The End Of The World". She is still a villainess out for revenge, but her villanous traits are mocked and even added for its comedic value, her plans fail her and get her in trouble and she even gets to be the source for most of the fanservice during the plot. Unfortunately for Rose, of course.
  • Instant Illness: The slightest touch from the diseased test subjects is fatal: anyone infected by them immediately breaks out into boils and dies horribly. In the Doctor's own words, the clones are carriers of "every single disease in the galaxy".
  • Instant Soprano: When Cassandra - in Rose's body - kisses the Doctor completely out of the blue, the latter freezes for a couple of seconds during Post-Kiss Catatonia, before muttering how he's "still got it" in a very squeaky voice.
  • Irony: Despite being apathetic about it at first, Cassandra's help in curing the Flesh ends up creating a whole new race of humans, which she eventually grows fond of.
  • Karmic Death: Both cat nuns who callously execute a clone man begging for help are later killed by the diseases carried by the clone people.
  • Lack of Empathy: In the end, it isn't Cassandra's dodgy Cockney accent, enthusiastic kissing, familiarity with five-billion era tech or her Femme Fatale portrayal of Rose which eventually give her away to the Doctor, but her complete apathy and lack of revulsion for the plight of the diseased Intensive Care test-subjects.
    The Doctor: These people are dying, and Rose would care.
    • Later subverted in the episode when Cassandra briefly inhabits one of the plague-carriers and is visibly shaken at having felt their pain and loneliness for herself, undergoing a Heel Realization. Her final scene, as the Cassandra of the past cradles Chip's (her future self's) body in her arms and calls for help, is further evidence that she was once a more empathetic person.
  • Large Ham: Cassandra bleeds over into Billie Piper ("It's like living in a bouncy castle!!") and David Tennant ("a little bit fox-ay!") when the Doctor and Rose end up hosting Cassandra's personality.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • The Face of Boe doesn't get many visitors because the rest of Boekind died out a long time ago. No wonder his message is meant for the Doctor.
    • Cassandra once again refers to herself as "The Last Human" and refuses to recognize the people of New Earth as such, despite Rose rightly pointing out that humanity has continued to survive by embracing the need to evolve and change. Even after possessing Rose, she still calls herself by this title when confronting the Doctor.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Cassandra and Rose represent radically opposite ideals of femininity.
  • Limb-Sensation Fascination: Having not had a body to call her own for centuries, the first three things Cassandra notices upon possessing Rose, are, in order: "Arms...fingers...hair!"
  • Literal-Minded: Rose!Cassandra is in the middle of feeling up her new derriere in front of the mirror when she receives a phone call from the Doctor and briefly wonders if Rose's bum is meant to ring:
    Rose!Cassandra: I must get the name of his surgeon. I could do with a little work. Although...[she caresses Rose's bottom] Nice rear bumper...Hmmm...
    [Rose's mobile rings in her back pocket]
    Rose!Cassandra: Oh! It seems to be ringing! Is it meant to ring?
    Chip: A primitive communications device.
  • Literal Surveillance Bug: Cassandra is using one of her spider-like robots from Platform One to spy on the planet's surface.
  • Locked in a Freezer: The Doctor is knocked unconscious by Cassandra and locked in one of the stasis pods in Intensive Care which are automatically pumped full of disease every ten minutes. When he wakes up, Cassandra tells him he has about three minutes to live.
  • Loophole Abuse: In a longer version of the scene where Cassandra!Rose blackmails the Sisters that was ultimately shortened in the final episode, she identified herself by her full title and taunted the nuns with their vow that they're forbidden to harm any living thing. While they talked, Sister Jatt would access human medical records and discover that the Lady Cassandra died many years ago (which is why she is suddenly seen tapping away at a Palm-Pilot Data Pad as shown in the top page image), thus giving the cat nurses the technicality they need to kill her.
  • Lower-Class Lout: Cassandra invokes the "snob calling someone a chav" version towards Rose while engaging in Grand Theft Me.
  • Lust: Lust is presented as one of Cassandra's vices and Fatal Flaws. She is really lustful for power, beauty and sex/sex appeal. Despite the Doctor noticing something odd about "Rose" after she makes out with him, he doesn't seem to care all that much for Rose's change of personality or attempts at seducing him. It's the fact that Cassandra doesn't pay attention to the suffering of the Flesh that blows her cover, all because she is too distracted checking herself out.
  • Lust Object: Rose ends up becoming this to Cassandra, since she becomes so drunk on her new image that she spends a considerable amount of time admiring Rose's figure. Despite recognizing her as an equal racially and in beauty Cassandra is still rather disdainful towards Rose herself as a person.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Cassandra seems to think the Doctor's new face is due to this; hence why she calls him a hypocrite for scorning her own surgery.
  • Makeup Weapon: Cassandra's perfume, which she tucks down Rose's décolletage for safekeeping, is actually a noxious sleeping spray that certainly comes in handy once the Doctor exposes her charade.
  • Male Gaze: Mostly averted during the Cassandra-in-Rose scenes, since the camera tends to keep Billie Piper in full frame even while she checks herself out in front of the mirror and provides plenty of Fanservice throughout the episode. There is a lingering medium close-up showing her stuffing perfume down her top, twice, but one could argue that's plot-motivated...
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Cassandra spends the episode jumping around being Billie Piper, David Tennant and a couple of other people. "Goodness me, I'm a man!"
  • Meaningful Appearance: Cassandra's clothes and makeup after possessing Rose represent the vulgar and brassy way in which she sees her, but also how proud she has become of her new assets and figure in general.
  • Messianic Archetype: The Doctor calls all the disease-ridden clone-people to him so he can cure them with a sprinkler (baptism) and then sends them out to cure others by laying on hands like the apostles.
  • Mind Reading: The Face of Boe has this ability, much to Cassandra's chagrin:
    Face of Boe: [telepathically] There are better things to do today. Dying can wait.
    Rose!Cassandra: Oh, I hate telepathy. Just what I need, a head full of Big Face.
  • Murder by Cremation: The Sisterhood's standard procedure whenever the Intensive Care test sujects show any signs of sentient life is to incinerate them in their pods.
  • No Escape but Down: Cassandra refuses to accompany the Doctor on his daredevil plunge down a lift shaft...until Frau Clovis locks her out of Ward 26 with an approaching group of the infected, leaving her no choice but to jump on his back.
  • No New Fashions in the Future: The nuns aside, clothing styles don't seem to have changed much in the year five billion. Most of the hospital visitors appear to be wearing regular modern-day fashions, and there is apparently still the need for corrective eyewear, in the case of the Duke of Manhattan's assistant Frau Clovis.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Played straight. The Doctor uses a vaccine to cure the patients, complete with the visible signs of their illness disappearing before our eyes.
    "I'm the Doctor, and I cured them!"
  • Not Herself: Rose, after being possessed by Cassandra. The Doctor can tell because Rose would care about the people locked up for cures, and Cassandra does not.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: Rose!Cassandra's nervous grin when her attempt to blackmail the Sisters fails and they menace her with their claws:
    "Well, nice try!"
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Cassandra-possessed Rose sports Billie Piper's normal Received Pronunciation accent, then puts on a REALLY bad Cockney accent for the Doctor. And that's not even getting into the Cassandra-possessed Doctor, which is basically David Tennant trying to channel Austin Powers whilst doing a cross between Cassandra's RP and the Doctor's Estuary English accent.
  • Opinion Flip-Flop: Used lightly by the Doctor. When attempting to reason Cassandra out of Rose's body (and thus to her inevitable death), he insists that there is no other way, and her time is over. When she instead uses Chip as a host (something the Doctor cannot forbid as he is a volunteer) he quickly relents and offers to keep her alive on a skin graft if she leaves his body.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The clone-people are Technically Living Zombies who are able to transmit the diseases they carry to anyone with one touch. They're driven by a need for touch (and implicitly also revenge on their abusive creators) to touch anyone else they come across without regard for the consequences.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: The Doctor accepts Cassandra-possessed Rose's explanation of her atrocious Cockney accent as "just larking about," and chalks up her kissing him out of nowhere to him retaining his charm post-regeneration, but he knows something's been done to her as soon as she reacts to the diseased clone-people with disgust rather than compassion.
  • Paradise Planet: What little we see of New Earth outside the hospital consists of rolling green hills and gleaming super-advanced cities.
  • People Farms: The clone-people are grown in test tubes by the Sisterhood to assist in their cure research.
  • People Jars: The clones are kept in these.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Cassandra!Rose rips some wires out of the wall to sound the alarm after she knocks the Doctor unconscious.
  • Perp Walk: Novice Hame is arrested by the police and led away in shame past the Doctor and a Cassandra-possessed Rose at the end of the episode.
  • Personality Powers: Being the Femme Fatale that she is, Cassandra likes to project an image of trust before going after her prey, so she gains the ability to possess people, allowing her to pretend to be whoever she wants to be. Being the villanous archetype that she is, It's also a power related to such figures.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite her usual racist views, we are shown through Chip that Cassandra values the people that remain loyal to her, and she never forgot about his face since he was the last person to admire her beauty.
    • Despite possessing her out of her desire for revenge, Cassandra grudgingly praises Rose's good looks and accepts her as a decent pure-blood that she can inhabit until she finds a better host.
    • Cassandra later accepts the Flesh as a new form of life and through them she realizes where her true value really lies, going back to her old self.
    • Despite still holding a grudge against her actions, (and the Doctor actually makes it clear in a deleted scene) the Doctor is willing to offer Cassandra an alternative in order to continue living that she declines because she accepts her time has come. Later on, he grants her a final chance to come to terms with her past.
    • While Rose is obviously disturbed about Cassandra seeking to kill her from within and turning her into her new host, being forced to provide most of the fanservice throughout the episode, in the usual fashion, Rose is willing to forgive Cassandra for her actions and goes with her and the Doctor so she can say her final words to her young self. Once again showing what makes Rose human.
    • To a vain extent, Cassandra (while possessing Chip) even gives one to herself when the Doctor allows her to enjoy her favourite moment, the night someone told her she was beautiful. She tells her younger self she's beautiful the way she is, to which past!Cassandra is moved enough to gratefully say "Thank you."
  • Plan B Resolution: When Cassandra's attempt to blackmail the Sisterhood fails, she has to quickly come up with a Plan B. This involves having Chip release a row of the infected clones from their People Jars in order to cover her escape.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Cassandra as usual because of her conservative ideals. This time around however, Rose gets hilariously forced into the role as well due to Cassandra possessing her. Rose!Cassandra is extremely vain and haughty about her racial purity and good looks, resents her lack of wealth and sees herself as "The Last Human", looking down on everybody else as mongrels.
  • Possession Burnout: The Doctor mentions Cassandra's psychograft is an illegal device "banned on every civilized planet" and that she's "compressing Rose to death", suggesting the process is unstable.
    • This is reflected in Rose's discombobulated state and increasing fatigue every time Cassandra stops possessing her. When she leaves her body for good at the end of the episode, Rose is so worn out she literally collapses in the Doctor's arms, but recovers shortly thereafter.
    • Chip isn't so lucky. Due to the ordeal of the day's events and his shortened clone lifespan, his heart is already under a lot of strain when Cassandra takes over his body, and he ends up becoming his mistress's final host.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: The Doctor after Cassandra-in-Rose's-body snogs him.
    The Doctor: [squeaky] Yep. Still got it.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Sisterhood's fast-acting medicine is powered by a veritable plethora of clones infected with everything.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: The Duke of Manhattan's uptight, severe-looking assistant, Frau Clovis.
  • Princess in Rags: Despite being pleased with her new looks, Cassandra is still rather angsty about the idea of being a vulgar chav and having lost her wealth. She is determined about getting her social status back regardless.
  • Proper Lady: Cassandra averts this at first, since she embodies many "Evil Lord/Lady" tropes. But at the end when she helps saving the Flesh, she realizes how wrong she was about her Darwinist ideals and starts acting in a much more caring way towards the Doctor, Rose and the Flesh, even supporting the Rose and the Doctor being together. Despite this being her original personality, she unfortunately doesn't atone for her sins or goes full heroine (or anti-heroine in her case), because she perishes shortly after. At least she seems to be happy with the Flesh prospering as a new form of life.
  • Proud Beauty: Played mostly straight by Cassandra (in spite of her initial shock) when it comes to judging her new (Rose's) appearance; to the point that she goes out of her way to make sure everyone notices her new appeal. For a high-class lady, Cassandra seems to enjoy her new image more than usual. But then again, she did just gain Billie Piper's looks...
  • Psychic Block Defence: Cassandra mentions the Doctor's "hidden away all his thoughts" after she possesses him, preventing her from using his sonic screwdriver.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    Rose: [laughing] Right, so you're talking out your–
    Cassandra: Ask. Not.
  • Rattling Off Legal: Frau Clovis is quick to remind the Doctor of the ludicrously protective rules and decrees surrounding her boss, the Duke of Manhattan:
    • Members of the public may only gaze upon the Duke of Manhattan with written permission from the Senate of New New York.
    • Any statement by the Duke of Manhattan may not be made public without official clearance.
    • Any friendship from the Duke of Manhattan does not constitute a form of legal contract.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: With the exception of the Face of Boe's plaintive melody, a lot of the episode's score is re-used from Series 1, perhaps as a way of bridging the gap and reminding viewers this is still the same old show. "Cassandra's Waltz" from "The End of the World" makes a return, as does the "Westminster Bridge" music from "Rose", both in the story's pre-credits sequence and during the climax.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: Halfway through the story, Rose gets a sexy new look and shows a lot more skin than she usually does. But since her body is possessed by Cassandra at the time, it isn't by choice.
  • Reverse Psychology: A masterful example from Cassandra. She tells Rose that the cat nurses have been keeping a secret, and asks her to come in close so she can whisper it in her ear. Rose laughs at such an obvious trap, and instead takes a step back and ends up immobilised by the Psychograft.
  • Riches to Rags: After her defeat on Platform One, Cassandra's clearly had to downsize a lot and it's implied she lost most of her fortune. Having crudely reconstructed herself using skin from her back(side), she's reduced to hiding alone in the hospital basement, relying on a single servant, Chip, to steal the medicine she needs to survive. Her army of metal spiders appears to have dwindled down to just one, and instead of the sophisticated pump-spray guns previously carried by her surgeons, Chip moisturises her with a rudimentary squirt bottle. When she does find a new pure-blooded human body to inhabit, it's that of her brassy arch-nemesis, Rose Tyler.
  • Rich Language, Poor Language: It's used in order to point out the class warfare subtext between Cassandra and Rose. Instead of her usual London accent, Billie Piper uses her natural Posh dialect when Rose gets possessed by Cassandra, although a bit more exaggerated to sound more mature. Some people even thought that Zoe Wanamaker was still doing Cassandra's voice during the possession. Indeed, it almost seems like a posh, cynical old lady is at the scene who just so happens to resemble Rose.
  • Room Full of Zombies: The plague-carriers spill out into the rest of the hospital when one of the nuns escorting some visitors through the ward opens a door and finds it packed floor-to-ceiling with diseased test-subjects, who proceed to infect them.
  • Rule of Three:
    • The Sisters of Plenitude are represented by three main, unveiled cat nuns with three different ranks: Matron Casp, Sister Jatt and Novice Hame.
    • The hospital lifts have three stages of disinfection.
    • The hospital's official motto values three things: "Hope, harmony and health".
    • The Doctor and Rose visit Ward 26 at three different points during the episode. All three times, Rose is still possessed by Cassandra.
    • Frau Clovis lists three separate disclaimers regarding the Duke of Manhattan, and Cassandra's refrain of "Moisturise me!" is repeated three times in the episode.
    • Rose is possessed by Cassandra on three occasions, checks herself out in the mirror three times, answers her phone on the third ring, and wears her blouse throughout the story with three out of the five buttons done up.
    • The "Old Earth saying" Cassandra quotes to Chip contains three warnings: "Never trust a nun, never trust a nurse and never trust a cat."
    • The Doctor name-checks three different diseases in the hospital: Petrifold Regression, Marconi's Disease and Pallidome Pancrosis. Later, three different characters (two cat nuns and a visitor) are seen to be infected onscreen by the Intensive Care subjects.
    • The Face of Boe promises the Doctor a third and final meeting.
  • Running Gag: The Doctor's fondness for little shops begins here. He's disappointed the hospital doesn't have one.
    The Doctor: Nice place. No shop downstairs, though. I'd have a shop. Not a big one, just a...shop. So people can...shop.
    Sister Jatt: The hospital is a place of healing.
    The Doctor: Well, a shop does some people the world of good. Not me...other people.
    • This episode also marks the beginning of Ten kissing absolutely everybody.
  • Saintly Church: The Sisterhood run a hospital founded by charity to heal the sick. They take oaths to do nothing but heal the sick. One of them says that the "people farm" thing was a last resort because nothing else they tried worked fast enough to heal all the sick people coming to them. When Cassandra releases the clone-humans, they quarantine the hospital to prevent anyone else from getting sick. They are still in the hospital when this happens.
  • Secret Room: The hospital's massive, multi-level Intensive Care department, where the Sisters grow vast People Farms as guinea pigs for their medical cures.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Compare Rose's modest zip-up jacket with the sexy patchwork blouse she wears later on, buttoned down to reveal her cleavage, when Cassandra possesses her.
  • Sequel Episode: To "The End of the World".
  • Sexy Walk: Cassandra tends to do this after possessing Rose in order to both enjoy and take advantage of her new sex appeal. Billie Piper does this intentionally in order to emphasize Cassandra's haughtiness.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Starting this episode, Rose starts wearing brighter, and more bold colors of clothing along with more sophisticated outfits. This along with her hairstyle change is supposed to symbolize her growing confidence as a companion and a person. This ironically takes a dark turn once she gets possessed by Cassandra.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Cassandra ends up becoming this after possessing Rose. Yeah, the monstrous and alien-like serious conservative villainess of the plot ends up becoming one of the sultriest characters in the series. Is it a case of Came Back Strong or rather, Came Back Foxier than ever?
  • Share Phrase: All the diseased humans from Intensive Care whisper variations of "Please...", "Help us..." or "Save us..." as they overrun the hospital.
  • Ship Tease: This being David Tennant’s first full outing as the newly-regenerated Doctor, this Season 2 premiere sets up a fresh new relationship dynamic between the Doctor and Rose. From the outset, the two are presented as being clearly attracted to each other, enjoying a closeness and comfort with each other’s company that’s more than just platonic and obviously related to the Doctor’s recent change in appearance. The episode's opening minutes are even akin to a romantic picnic, with the Doctor and Rose relaxing together on his coat, holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes. Rose gushes about how she loves travelling with him and refers to their previous visit to the year five-billion as “[their] first date”, something the Doctor doesn’t contradict.
    • This more tactile rapport is complicated by Cassandra, who recognizes the sex appeal of both their bodies when she possesses them and plays up the physical, flirtatious side for her own ends. In Rose’s case, she refashions her into a coquettish, more exaggeratedly feminine Femme Fatale version of herself, and her Big Damn Kiss with the Doctor seems just as much a case of her acting on Rose’s feelings for him than satisfying her own carnal urges (the Doctor meanwhile, is rather shocked by his companion’s sudden outburst of affection and attributes it to his own natural charisma). In the Doctor’s case, she teases Rose with the knowledge of her attraction to the Doctor and it being “hormone city” inside her head.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Doctor says that the city they landed near is called "New New York".
    • Chip and Cassandra are seen watching the Doctor and Rose through a reddish-tinged orb conveying the POV of one of her metal spiders, not unlike the way the Wicked Witch of the West uses a crystal ball to spy on Dorothy in 1939's The Wizard of Oz.
    • Admiring the hospital's smart, minimalist decor, Rose comments it's quite different from the National Health Service she has back home.
    • Rose disparagingly refers to Chip as "Gollum".
    • The term "bouncy castle" was previously used as a physical description in the Russell T. Davies production Queer as Folk.
  • Showing Off the New Body:
    • Cassandra does it as soon as she takes over Rose:
      Rose!Cassandra: Look at me! From class to brass! Although... [unzips her shirt and runs her hands over her body] Ooh... curves... oh, baby... [bounces up and down] It's like living inside a bouncy castle!
    • And same for the Doctor:
      Doctor!Cassandra: Ooh, my! This is... different.
      Rose: Cassandra?
      Doctor!Cassandra: Goodness me, I'm a man! Yum! So many parts ... and hardly used! [he begins shaking as she discovers the Doctor's binary vascular system] Ah! Ah, two hearts! Oh baby, I'm beating out a samba!
  • Shrine to Self: Cassandra spends most of her time in her dungeon lair watching a projected film of her former self at a drinks party "for the Ambassador of Thrace" and reliving memories of her glamorous past. Specifically, the last time anyone called her beautiful.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The tanks the clones are kept in are lit like this.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Rose and Cassandra engage in this when the two meet in her dungeon lair.
  • Social Darwinist: As in her previous appearance, Cassandra retains her conservative ideals, which is also why she chooses Rose as a host. Not only does she hate people that don't fit her idea of "purity", but she also hates lower-class people because of their "weakness". A lot of her angst after possessing Rose isn't because she doesn't like her new image, quite the opposite, but rather, it's because she can't stand the idea of being a "weakling" herself. Cassandra still proudly calls herself "The Last Human" even while possessing Rose, because she believes Rose fits her racial eugenics and ideals of beauty.
  • Spare Body Parts: Cassandra is caught off guard by the Doctor's two hearts. "Oh, baby, I'm beating out a SAMBA!"
  • Spot the Imposter: Cassandra's ridiculous attempt at 21st-century Earth English while in Rose's body, coupled with a knowledge of New Earth computer systems, gives her away early. You might also add her passionate snogging of the Doctor, but he seems to put that down to his own irresistible charm. But what really gives it away to the Doctor that Rose is not herself is how apathetic she is to the plight of the clone-people.
    The Doctor: These people are dying, and Rose would care.
  • Stable Time Loop: Cassandra says Chip was made in the image of her favourite pattern — which came from the last person to tell her she was beautiful, inspiring said pattern. That last person is Cassandra herself in the pattern's body, by the by, who also inadvertently starts Cassandra's murderous vanity.
  • Still Got It: The Doctor believes Rose!Cassandra's random snogging him is due to his irresistible charm, which, naturally, carried over from his regeneration.
  • Stock Footage: The exterior shots of the lift car as Rose descends to the basement are reused footage from "Rose".
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    The Doctor: What's the turnover, hm? A thousand a day? Thousand the next? Thousand the next? How many thousands? For how many years? HOW MANY?
  • Suicide Dare: Not so much dare as attempted order. Both Rose and the Doctor take turns bellowing at Cassandra to get out of the other's body (and thus ultimately die without a host). They can't seem to fathom why it doesn't work. After left with the dilemma of her finding a willing host, the Doctor attempts to haggle by offering to keep her alive on a skin graft and take her to be tried for her crimes.
  • Sycophantic Servant: Chip, despite being left for dead rather apathetically by Cassandra, dotingly serves her and cheerfully donates his body as a host (and thus facilitates his death), even scolding the Doctor for objecting.
  • Taken for Granite: One of the diseases causes petrification.
  • Technically Living Zombie: The zombies are artificially-grown humans who are carriers of every single known (non-zombie) disease in the galaxy. They're actually intelligent and sentient, but seemingly too desperate for another human's touch, unaware of the consequences, and/or driven by revenge, to care about the fact their touch fatally infects people with every disease in the world. They're ultimately rendered fully human when the amalgamate diseases they're carrying are simultaneously cured from their bodies.
  • Techno Wizard: One of the clues that leads the Doctor to suspect Cassandra's impersonation of Rose, as she demonstrates advanced knowledge of computer systems billions of years ahead of her time and supplies an uncharacteristic amount of Technobabble to unlock the secret terminal entrance to the hospital's Intensive Care ward.
    Cassandra!Rose: Why would they hide a whole department...? It's gotta be there somewhere. Search the subframe.
    The Doctor: What if the subframe's locked?
    Cassandra!Rose: [like it's obvious] Try the installation protocol.
  • Teleportation: After assuring the Doctor he will tell him his secret on the third time they meet, the Face of Boe whisks himself away from the hospital seemingly through the power of his own mind.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: It's evening when the NNYPD finally shows up at the hospital to lift the quarantine and arrest the surviving cat nuns.
  • The Hedonist: Cassandra is once again portrayed as such, maybe even as part of her being a foil to Rose who does things for amusement, Cassandra is similar but in a darker fashion. She sexualizes and enjoys both Rose's and the Doctor's looks to satisfy her lust, is shown to enjoy quality drinks in extra scenes and actually seems to enjoy her role as the Doctor's companion, since not only does she makes out with him but doesn't bother to reveal her facade until the Doctor starts getting paranoid about her behaviour. She can even be seen smirking in excitement after finding out the secret "Intensive Care" room with the Doctor.
  • The Intern: Novice Hame.
  • The Tease: The Doctor is briefly fooled by Cassandra into thinking that this strutting, flirtatious, cleavage-baring version of Rose who's just rejoined him in Ward 26 is merely his companion trying out a new persona, right before she snogs him like it's going out of style.
    Rose!Cassandra: Just larking about. New Earth...new me [puffs out her chest provocatively].
  • The Teaser: In the only series premiere in the RTD era to feature a cold-open, the episode's pre-credits sequence sees the new Doctor starting up the TARDIS for the first time, while Rose says her goodbyes to Jackie and Mickey once more. As they depart for new adventures, Rose asks the Doctor where they're going, and he answers: "Further than we've ever gone before..."
  • The Vamp: Cassandra takes on this role after possessing Rose. Believing the Doctor can help her discover the secrets of the Sisterhood, she attempts to exploit his relationship with Rose by sexualizing Rose's appearance and trying to seduce him.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Cassandra, upon realizing she's got to possess one of the infected humans so the Doctor can use his sonic screwdriver to help them escape:
    Doctor!Cassandra: Oh, I am so gonna regret this...
  • Title Drop:
    The Doctor: It's the year five billion and twenty-three, we're in the galaxy M87, and this...this is New Earth.
  • Touch of Death: The clone-people are infected with every disease known to the galaxy; some of them can kill in minutes. All of it is infectious. The Doctor inverts this trope by curing a bunch of them and sending them out to cure the rest by touching them.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Although for a short while, Cassandra becomes this to the Doctor, since she still helps him even after he finds out her trick. She is one of the few companions who shows open romantic interest with him and kisses him as well... and her actions help push Rose and Tenth's relationship forward as well. Basically Cassandra really chews the stage the few times she shows up.
  • Trojan Horse: Cassandra uses Rose as this, objectifying her looks in order to seduce the Doctor.
  • True Blue Femininity: Rose's zip-up blue jacket at the beginning of the story fits her honest, caring and gentle persona until she later gets possessed by Cassandra, who strips it off for the purple top she's wearing underneath because Graceful Ladies Like Purple.
  • Undying Loyalty: Chip is extremely faithful to his mistress Cassandra. How faithful? He volunteered for Grand Theft Me, even if it means dying for her.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Pulled by Cassandra in Rose's body for a container of knockout gas.
  • Villain No Longer Idle: Whereas her immobile trampoline self delegated everything to underlings in her previous appearance, Cassandra is far more enterprising and resourceful this time round. Snatching Rose's body means she can investigate the secret goings-on in the hospital, blackmail the Sisters of Plenitude and exact her revenge on the Doctor by herself, though Chip warns her against it.
  • Villainous BSoD: Cassandra, after ending up in the body of one of the sick, discovers what it's like to be one of them.
    Rose!Cassandra: Inside her head... they're so alone... they keep reaching out, just to hold us... all their lives and they've never been touched.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cassandra starts to cry when the Doctor demands she leave Rose's body for good, knowing this will result in her death. When she transfers herself into Chip, though, she finally seems ready to Face Death with Dignity.
  • Villainous Crush: Cassandra gains one towards the Doctor after possessing Rose, but the episode implies it might not be entirely out of her own free will. Her passionate canoodling session with the Doctor seems to be a case of her being sexually frustrated after living as a piece of skin for so long...but it could also be seen as her gaining some of Rose's personality traits as a possible side-effect of the psychograft, including her— Rose's— secret crush on the Doctor. When she meets him in person, she's either so overwhelmed by her new feelings that she just can't help herself, or else is choosing to act on them where Rose would not.
  • Villain Protagonist: Cassandra ends up being the episode's main character. The Doctor provides the final solution to the plot, while Rose spends most of the story as Cassandra's host and doesn't have much actual screen-time as herself. The episode expands on much more of her background in order to explain her villainous traits and she gets the most character development. Despite following her own evil plan and nearly succeeding, Cassandra's role as an antagonist still gets a lot less relevance than the Sisters of Plenitude. She becomes the Nominal Hero of the story, assisting the Doctor in curing the Flesh, and her story arc ends with her accepting them as her "children" of sorts before deciding to accept her death for good. In contrast to her previous unethical ways of clinging to life, Cassandra instead decides to move on after passing on a part of herself to the future, which is a much more "humane" way of coming to terms with death itself. It fits with the themes of the episode about what it means to be human and how she's gained that value back through her journey.
  • Villain Respect: Cassandra has to admit the Doctor bested her last time and holds a grudging respect towards his intellect, to the point that she refuses to work alone when Chip tells her he is too dangerous, thinking they have a better chance of finding the secrets of the Sisterhood together.
  • The Virus: The diseased clone people try to get others sick, although it's not clear that a "second-generation" infectee would do the same.
  • Voices Are Mental: Downplayed. When Lady Cassandra possesses Rose and the Doctor (constantly alternating between the two), she speaks with the host's voice but has her posh accent. With Rose, this means that Billie Piper uses her native RP accent instead of the Cockney accent she normally uses, while for the Doctor, David Tennant uses a modified version of the English accent he adapted for the character.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The nuns, who use thousands and thousands of scratch-made humans and infect them with every disease known in the galaxy in order to find effective and fast cures for diseases, where cures would normally take thousands of years to find. The episode itself plays with this, as Sister Jatt callously executes a test subject who had gained sentience and Matron Casp seems more angry at the Doctor for ruining the Sisters' reputation, and curses the humans for bringing so much illness with them. Novice Hame seems more upset about the people that will be infected if the clone-people escape, albeit because she (and the rest of the nuns) don't see the clones as real people.
  • We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future: Discussed.
    Rose: I thought this far in the future, they'd have cured everything.
    The Doctor: The human race moves on, but so do the viruses. It's an ongoing war.
  • We Will Meet Again: The Face of Boe leaves the Doctor with an assurance of this.
    Face of Boe: We shall meet again, Doctor. For the third time. For the last time, and the truth shall be told. Until that day... [teleports away]
  • What Would X Do?: Parodied; after possessing the Doctor's body, the clones burst into the room and Cassandra demands to know what the Doctor would do (the answer of course is get the hell out of there). She then demonstrates what the Doctor would not do by shoving Rose out of the way so she can go up the ladder first.
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: Cassandra's brain meat expires after she completes the psychograft transfer into Rose, but her mind survives, "safe and sound", in Rose's body.
  • Wine Is Classy: The Duke of Manhattan and Frau Clovis celebrate his miraculous recovery from Petrifold Regression with champagne, served by his personal butler (!). The Doctor is offered a glass, but declines.
  • Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Once again, Cassandra uses a Trojan Horse tactic, this time pretending to be Rose in order to find a way to regain her wealth and snatch Rose's body for good.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The clone-people are walking plagues, but all they want is for someone to help them and love them.
  • Yandere: Subverted, Rose (possessed by Cassandra) may count, since while a part of her is lovestruck with the Doctor, the other part wants to kill him nastily. She is also prettier and more haughty about it than "cute". Cassandra herself may count depending on how much she liked her lovers before her usual move on them.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Chip is callously left to die by Cassandra after he gets separated from her and the Doctor while running from the plague-carriers.
    • Subverted at the end of the episode, since he survives, and Cassandra realizes she can use his body as an ideal substitute for possessing Rose.


Alternative Title(s): Doctor Who NSS 2 E 1 New Earth

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