Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Doctor Who: New Earth

Rose: 'I love this. Can I just say—travelling with you. I love it.'

If memory serves me correctly, this is the first Nu-Who adventure to take place on an alien planet. We made it into outer space last year with 'The Long Game' and 'The End of the World,' but I don't recall us landing on alien terra firma. The visual effects team certainly went to town this week making 'New Earth' look as futuristic as possible. Good job guys!

Rose's opening dialogue basically served to draw a line under the doubts she's been having about the regenerated Doctor. That's all in the past now. We have achieved normality—whatever normality is for this show. Of course, we've still got cat people, robot spiders, and the Face of Boe. So it's normality with a caveat.

As soon as I saw the robot spider, I thought 'Ah... Cassandra!' and indeed it was. She hasn't changed much. She's still the same old self-obsessed harridan. I'm really not sure where she gets her self-confidence from. No disrespect to ZoĆ« Wanamaker, but even before Cassandra became a stretched out wash leather, she wasn't exactly beautiful. Attractive, yes—but beautiful? I wonder if her future self somehow managed to convince her past self that she was. Or was that Chip talking? If it was Cassandra then she's more narcissistic than I thought.

Although for much of this episode Cassandra was as superficial as it gets, her life ended on a surprisingly poignant note. Did her possessing a clone somehow help her to sympathise with them? Is that how she feels inside too—alone—like she's never been touched? Taking her back to a happy moment in her life to die was a nice touch from the Doctor—a sad, but fitting end to a tragic character. If indeed this is the end. I though her exploding last season was the end, too. You just never know.

It was hard to judge Tennant's performance tonight, as he spent a hefty portion of the episode prancing around, pretending to be a woman. I know some people hated the silliness of this episode, but I'm a pretty shallow viewer, and if it's funny, I laugh, so I found Cassandra camping it up as the Doctor rather amusing. Similarly, I had a discreet chortle at Rose's 'Oh God, I'm a Chav comment'. True, it was a piece of clumsily inserted popular culture that served no grander purpose than to give us a cheap laugh (I mean, how would Cassandra even know what a Chav was?), but this is popular entertainment after all.

In addition to seeing Cassandra's stretched out mush again, this week also saw the return of the Face of Boe. There was some tasty dialogue on offer here, but I can't help but feel they failed us by having him regain consciousness. All that 'lonely god' business sounded cool, so it was annoying to have no further elucidation. Oh well, postponed, but not forgotten. All that 'we'll meet for the third and last time' stuff has really whetted my appetite for more.

I'm not entirely sure how you 'pass on' a cure. Was it because those who entered the elevator were still wet from the medicine and simply transferred it to others via physical contact? Or was it something to do with the Doctor saying 'I know a bit about medicine myself'? Did he do something to the formula to make it more effective?

The most controversial scene of the episode had to be Rose kissing the Doctor. Tennant's face was hilarious after she pulled away, and him muttering, 'Yeah, still got it,' to himself, was the icing on the cake. Unexpected, hilarious and superbly timed.

Other Thoughts:

—Why did Cassandra not need the psycho-graft to move from Rose's body to the Doctor's?

—Some obvious Cockney rhyming slang this week. We had 'apples and pears' for stairs, 'boat race' for face, 'would you Adam and Eve it' for would you believe it, and British slang term 'Wotcher', which simply means 'what are you' (and is generally short for 'what are you up to?').

—In 'The End Of The World', Cassandra told Rose that she used to be a boy, yet her past self in this episode was female. So presumably this was after her sex change operation?

Quotes:

Rose: 'So where are we going?'
Doctor: 'Further than we've ever gone before.'

Doctor: 'So. The year five billion, the sun expands, the Earth gets roasted.'
Rose: 'That was our first date.'
Doctor: 'We had chips.'

Rose: 'They're cats.'
Doctor: 'Now, don't stare. Think what you look like to them, all pink and yellow.'

Cassandra: 'Peek-a-boo!'
Rose: 'Don't you come anywhere near me, Cassandra.'
Cassandra: 'Why? What do you think I'm going to do? Flap you to death?'

Rose: 'Right. So you're talking out of your...'
Cassandra: 'Ask not.'

Doctor: 'Just let Rose go, Cassandra.'
Cassandra: 'I will, as soon as I've found someone younger and less common.'

Doctor: 'I'm the Doctor. And if you don't like it, if you want to take it to a higher authority, there isn't one. It stops with me.'

Doctor/Cassandra: 'Goodness me, I'm a man. So many parts, and hardly used. Oh! Two hearts? Oh baby, I'm beating out a samba.'

Cassandra: 'You're completely mad. I can see why she likes you.'

Cassandra: 'Oh sweet Lord, I'm a walking doodle.'

No comments: