Episode One – “New Earth”
Written by Russel T. Davies
The new season of Doctor Who, with David Tennant as the Doctor, started this Saturday in the UK, and through the help of the Internet, I was able to see it soon after. (Sorry, SciFi Channel, you took too long to get Season One screened–with commericials, too!)
The stopgap “Christmas Invasion” episode, back in Christmas, was a nice intro to the new Doctor, but I expected a bit more from this opening episode. As it was, “New Earth,” was, well, kinda…balls. In one of those desperate attempts to begin with a bang, the episode chucked all sorts of half-baked ideas into a blender and hoped excitment would result. Body shifting! Old enemies! Zombies! Cat-women nuns! Fresh fruit! Yet, as the show progressed, the plot became sillier and sillier. The Doctor and Rose land on “New Earth” (set up after the Earth dies in Season One), but don’t go explore this new society. Instead they go to a megaplex hospital and split up (of course). Turns out that major diseases are being cured (ahead of what the Doctor knows of Earth history) because the guardians of the hospital are harvesting clones that they inject with “all major diseases” and, uh, harvest the antidotes? The Doctor objects on the grounds that clones are people too and the last 1/3 of the episodes find all the disease ridden zombie-clones escaped and touching people. Ewww!
Sorry, but if I capsule any more of the episode, my brain will collapse. Suffice to say that the episode had two saving graces–seeing Tennant’s new Doctor (great except for a tendency to explode into shouty shouty anger, bad writing to blame) and Rose acting all saucy (after the body swap with someone more shameless–Billie Piper managed the personality changes well).
Season One was so great last year, some of the best television in 2005, that I hope this is just a misstep. Next week promises Queen Victoria and werewolves. Better be good, guys!
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