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

New Earth was the first episode of series 2 of Doctor Who.

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

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

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

Synopsis Edit

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

Plot Edit

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

The TARDIS materialises on New Earth, in the year five billion and twenty-three. Following the destruction of Earth, humanity became nostalgic and settled on a new planet with similar gravity and atmosphere in Galaxy M87. Rose is delighted at the new world, the sight of the futuristic city of New New York in front of them and the smell of apple-grass. The Doctor points out that it's the fifteenth York since the original; it's technically New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York. Rose laughs that he's so strange. "New New Doctor" he jokes back. However, the two travellers are being observed by a metal spider controlled by Chip, a small, pale man with multiple tattoos. Chip takes his orders from his mistress, Lady Cassandra, who is still alive and recognises Rose.

The Doctor and Rose head for New New York Hospital, a hospital to which the Doctor has been summoned by a telepathic message displayed on his psychic paper: "Ward 26, Please Come". The hospital is run by humanoid feline nuns belonging to an order called the Sisters of Plenitude; though Rose is a bit shocked, the Doctor tells her that the cats would find her equally strange due to her "pink and yellow" colouration. Trying to find the right ward, the Doctor and Rose enter separate lifts, which drench each of them in a disinfectant liquid then blow-drys them — the Doctor is completely blasé about it, while Rose, who had not been expecting the cleanse, takes a while to get used to it. Chip overrides Rose's lift controls, diverting her to the basement. When she emerges, he beckons her forward, calling her by name. Suspicious, she grabs a metal pipe as a weapon.

In the ward, the Doctor is escorted by Sister Jatt, commenting that the hospital lacks the little shop he is so fond of. Sister Jatt lectures him on the vow that her order takes, which is to help and mend, as they pass a bed belonging to an incredibly fat man who appears to be turning to stone. The rather bossy woman with him, Frau Clovis, rebukes him for staring at the man, who is the Duke of Manhattan and is dying from Petrifold Regression. Sister Jatt is confident that he will be cured in no time, despite the Doctor's claims that the cure for his disease won't be available for another 1000 years. She asks the Doctor if he recognises any of the patients. The Doctor, with a smile on his face, responds that he does — the Face of Boe. He is being tended by Novice Hame, who tells the Doctor that the Face is dying of old age — the one thing the Sisters can't cure.

Rose explores the basement warily and finds a film of a party of several men and a blonde woman with a familiar voice. The same voice makes Rose turn to see Cassandra: a piece of skin stretched out on a frame over a brain jar. Cassandra has been reconstructed from another piece of her skin, and Chip — a force-grown clone devoted to Cassandra — smuggled her into the hospital, where he has been tending to her ever since. Cassandra has found out the Sisters are hiding something, and she needs Rose's help... or rather, her body. Using a device called a psychograft, Cassandra transfers her consciousness into Rose's mind, taking control of her body but causing her old one to die. Cassandra is initially unimpressed with her new body — protesting, "I'm a chav!" — but changes her mind after taking a good look at Rose's curves.

In the ward, Novice Hame tells the Doctor that legend says the Face of Boe has lived for thousands, perhaps millions of years and that he will give his dying message to a wanderer without a home. The Doctor realises that he fits the description in the legend, but says nothing. Below, Cassandra reads Rose's surface thoughts and discovers that the man with Rose is the Doctor with a new face. She goes to meet him after putting a tiny bottle in her cleavage.

Upstairs, the Doctor is amazed to discover the Duke of Manhattan in perfect health and interrogates one of the nurses, who introduces herself as Matron Casp, on how they were able to cure him, but she evades his questions and is summoned to the Intensive Care ward by Sister Jatt. There they observe an unseen figure who pleads for help and are amazed that it can speak before Casp orders it incinerated.

Cassandra arrives in the ward the Doctor is in, and he promptly explains his confusion to "Rose"; there are various vaccines for several incurable diseases, including Marconi's Disease, which leaves the victim with bright red skin and should take years to recover from, and Pallidome Pancrosis which should kill the victim within ten minutes. Cassandra's odd behaviour in Rose's body — at one point even giving the Doctor a lusty kiss — raises the Time Lord's suspicions; though in regards to the kiss, he dizzily states "Yep. Still got it."

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

Sisters Of Plentitude

The Sisters of Plenitude.

While the Doctor is trapped in a pod about to be injected with diseases, Cassandra tries to blackmail Matron Casp, demanding money to keep quiet about the Sisters' actions. Casp declines and threatens her physically with her rather vicious claws. Cassandra releases some of the plague carriers in response. One admonishes the Sisters before releasing the rest of the patients. The patients advance on the nuns, trapping Sister Jatt, who screams as one of the patients touches her face and infects her; the viruses are too numerous for her immune system to cope with and she is killed instantly. Casp places the hospital under quarantine before disappearing and the exits seal themselves, much to the confusion and fright of the staff and visitors.

The patients attempt to get the people within the hospital to help them, but they cannot touch anybody without infecting them as well. Back in Cassandra's hiding place, the Doctor and her find that all the doors have the patients mindlessly asking for help behind them; they promptly slam and lock the doors. The Doctor demands that Cassandra leave Rose's body; she complies, going into his body instead. Rose regains her senses, seeing Cassandra adapt to the Doctor's body; Cassandra notes the Doctor has two hearts and parts that have been "hardly used". She taunts Rose, having been in her head, she knows Rose finds the Doctor attractive. Rose finds a lift shaft they can use to climb up into a ward to avoid the carriers.

Rose climbs up the lift shaft with a now Cassandra-controlled Doctor, pursued by the carriers. Matron Casp tries to stop them, grabbing Rose's foot under the mistaken assumption she's Cassandra. However, before she can do anything else, a carrier touches her and the infected Matron falls screaming down the shaft to her death. As the Doctor is blocking his thoughts from Cassandra, she goes back into Rose so he can use the sonic screwdriver to open the door. The Doctor demands Cassandra leave Rose, so she shifts her consciousness back to him again. Rose tells Cassandra to do something or they both will die. To her disgust, Cassandra transfers herself to a plague carrier so that the Doctor can use the sonic screwdriver to unseal the lift doors, then jumps back into Rose. Cassandra is shocked by the loneliness of the carriers, having read the surface thoughts of the carrier she had possessed — not being able to touch or be touched all their lives.

The Doctor and Cassandra reach Ward 26, which seems to be the only place still untouched by the carriers. Frau Clovis reveals a device she is using to try and contact the people in the city to help them, but the Doctor refuses to allow it as every single disease in the galaxy is contained within the hospital and if the quarantine is breached then the whole planet will be at risk. He grabs all of the intravenous solutions, straps them to his body, then slides down the shaft to the lift car with Cassandra, where he empties the solutions into the disinfectant reservoir. He opens the doors, luring several plague carriers inward as Cassandra starts the shower. The spray drenches the carriers, curing them, and the Doctor encourages them to pass it on; they wander back out to spread the cure to the others. A new race is born: the new humans.

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

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

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

Cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


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

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

References Edit

Individuals Edit

  • The Ambassador of Thrace hosted a party Cassandra once attended.
  • Cassandra refers to herself as a chav while inside Rose's body.
  • The Duke of Manhattan has a butler.
  • The Doctor remarks how he dislikes hospitals but he likes their shops.

Plants Edit

Diseases and illnesses Edit

Cultural references Edit

  • Rose refers to Chip as Gollum.

Foods and beverages Edit

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

Story notes Edit

  • It is implied by the Doctor in The Runaway Bride that he stayed at the Powell Estate with Rose and Jackie between The Christmas Invasion and this episode.
  • This is the first story of the revived series to be set on an alien planet. Ironically, the first non-Earth planet the Doctor visits in the revived series is called New Earth (all on-camera locations up to that point were either Earth or space stations or spaceships in orbit around Earth).
  • This is the first Doctor Who episode to have an accompanying Tardisode. These short prelude scenes were made available online and via mobile phone a week prior to the broadcast. In the case of New Earth, the Tardisode consisted of a faux commercial advertising the Sisters of Plenitude's services.
  • This story had the working title of The Sunshine Camp.
  • Immediately after the episode, a commentary for the episode, featuring David Tennant, Russell T Davies and Phil Collinson, was made available on the official website for viewers to download and listen to alongside the repeat. The same thing was done for The Christmas Invasion.
  • According to David Tennant on the audio commentary, Billie Piper wore a Wonderbra and a slightly different shade of lipstick in the scenes where Cassandra was in Rose's body. He also mentioned that Billie kept on wearing the Wonderbra for a bit longer after Cassandra was no longer possessing Rose.
  • The words "bitch" and "arse" are implied, although not actually said. In both cases, the character (Cassandra and Rose, respectively) is cut off in their dialogue and the words are implied by the next word in the script. Cassandra, when talking of Rose, calls her "that little..." and then the scene cuts to Rose whose first words are "a bit rich". Later, Rose tells Cassandra she is "talking out of [her]..." and Cassandra interrupts, "Ask not!"
  • When Cassandra takes over the Doctor's body she references to some parts that have been "hardly used", a reference to the perceived asexual nature of the Doctor. This may also refer to the fact that this is a newly regenerated body, and that he hasn't really had a chance to "use" most of the parts very much at this point.
  • The scene showing Rose kissing the Doctor was featured in one of the trailers and raised a stir in fan circles, despite the "kiss" shared by the Ninth Doctor and Rose in The Parting of the Ways. Ultimately, we learn it's actually Cassandra doing the kissing while possessing Rose. Rose and the Doctor never do kiss on screen in that fashion, though Rose will eventually kiss the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor in Journey's End.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of a running joke about the Tenth Doctor's love of the "little shops" found in hospitals and museums.
  • This episode marks the first use of the recurring phrase "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" in the series.
  • The exterior shots of the lift car as Rose descends to the basement are stock footage recycled from Rose.
  • When the wall drops, the sound made is recycled from the movement of the Daleks.
  • Russell T Davies explains during the audio commentary that in the original script, the Face of Boe was going to die in this episode and the only way for the Doctor to cure all the diseased was to kill them all. But then he read Steven Moffat's introduction segment in The Shooting Scripts book, in which Moffat good-naturedly mocked Davies by stating he "creates interesting characters and then melts them". This made Davies decide to have them all survive instead.
  • Davies also originally intended for the Face of Boe to tell the Doctor "You are not alone" in this episode. However when Billie Piper decided she would be leaving at the end of series 2 he opted to save this message and revelation for Gridlock, the following series.
  • This is the only season opener featuring the Tenth Doctor and the only one during Russell T Davies' tenure as showrunner to include a cold open.
  • The voice Billie Piper does for cassandra is her natural accent.

Ratings Edit

  • 8.62 million viewers (UK final)[2]

Filming locations Edit

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

Production errors Edit

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

Continuity Edit

DVD releases Edit


Series 2 Volume 1: DVD Cover

Footnotes Edit

  1. The title "Fran" appears to be misspelled in the credits. In dialogue, she is clearly named Frau Clovis - and a trading card of the character also uses Frau.
  2. Doctor Who - consolidated ratings

External links Edit

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