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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:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite her having soared over the Moral Event Horizon long before she even appeared, Lady 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, 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 realized that she was wrong about this when the Doctor commended her on helping to cure those artificially created humans, and it was this which helped 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.
  • 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 signs of awareness), but in truth, they're 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.
  • 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!
  • Artistic License – 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 License – 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.
  • Alien Sky: New Earth has two moons.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: Cassandra uses Chip to make sure Rose is all cleaned up after the elevator shower and lead her to where she is hiding in order to possess her. Because 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 plot in New Earth kind of becomes a love triangle of this type. It's all for the sake of comedy as well. Cassandra would be the haughty "Veronica" to Rose's humble "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.
  • Big Damn Kiss: The breathless, exuberant snog Rose!Cassandra gives the Doctor in Ward 26. The Doctor is left speechless (but also soft of chuffed) by such an unexpected outburst of affection from his companion... except of course, it isn't really her.
  • 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.
  • Blackmail: Attempted by 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 Rose's body as a replacement for her dying one.
  • Body Surf: Cassandra spends the episode doing this, possessing Rose, the Doctor, a clone and finally Chip.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • Corpsing: Billie Piper makes a valiant effort to hide her amusement during the "Goodness me, I'm a man!" scene.
  • 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...even when she removes an outer layer of clothing and stashes a perfume vial down Rose's bra right in front of him.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: 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.
  • Decontamination Chamber: Set up as a Chekhov's Gun, and used in the climax to disinfect all the test subjects of their illnesses.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 represents the usual darwinist/capitalist and conservative villainess. She is used both as a parody and in order to deconstruct the archetype. Despite her hatred towards lower-class people she is forced to possess Rose to extend her life-time. Despite being pleased with her new looks Cassandra also can't wait to get rid of her new social status and regain her wealth, but she realizes in her adventure that a lot of her cynicism wasn't justified, since despite her materialistic drive to possess everything, what was really valuable in her was her tender side, that because of her experiences, she tried to push away and eventually saw as a "weakness".
  • 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 Makeover: 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.
  • 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 marveling 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.
  • 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.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Cassandra's last act is to tell her younger self that she is beautiful. Then she dies without a fuss.
  • Facial Markings: Chip's swirly tattoos.
  • 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.
  • Femme Fatale: Cassandra takes on this role during the episode, showing how she "ate" her previous lovers. It's an interesting contrast when compared to Rose's companion detective role. She hides her true intentions and tries to seduce the Doctor in order to find out the secrets of the hospital, even making out with him without him paying much attention to "Rose's" change of personality. She even helps him find the secrets of the Sisters by doing detective work before turning on him like in the classic, film Noir fashion. Cassandra surely gives her own name justice.
  • Foil: Besides the two representing opposite ideals of femininity, Cassandra and Rose are further contrasted in New Earth 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".
  • 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.
  • Flying Car: Seen in establishing shots for the "this is the future" feel.
  • Gender Bender: This is happening when Cassandra is possessing the Doctor's body. The result is basically if David Tennant were playing Austin Powers.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Once upon a time, skin trampoline Cassandra looked like Zoe Wanamaker, complete with blonde curls and a glamorous silver dress. After that, as she laments to Rose, "it all became...such hard work."
  • 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.
  • Lower-Class Lout: Cassandra invokes the "snob calling someone a chav" version towards Rose while engaging in Grand Theft Me.
  • 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!"
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Proud Beauty: Despite her initial shock, Cassandra mostly plays this straight 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 just gained Billie Piper's looks.
  • 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. She is at least happy with The Flesh prospering as a new form of life.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 blue zip-up jacket with the sexy purple blouse she wears later on, buttoned down to reveal her cleavage, when Cassandra possesses her. The colors are contrasted to show how the two represent radically opposite ideals of femininity.
  • Sequel Episode: To "The End of the World".
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Shout-Out: The Doctor says that the city they landed near is called "New New York".
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Crush: Cassandra gains one towards The Doctor, but not exactly out of her own free will, but rather, as a side effect of the psychograft, she gains some of Rose's personality traits after possessing her. She is so overwhelmed by her new feelings that she can't help but make out with him in a frenzy after meeting him in person.
  • Villain Protagonist: Cassandra ends up being the main character in New Earth. 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. Similarly, despite her disdain for Rose's working-class background, Cassandra agrees with Chip's praise of her beauty and sees Rose as a decent pure-blooded host, at least until she can improve her looks through plastic surgery or find someone more sophisticated.
  • 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]
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The clone-people are walking plagues, but all they want is for someone to help them and love 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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