Review: New Earth

Last Alteration: Tuesday 02 May 2006

Dr Who is back and it's an average episode that starts the new series. We've got Radio Times covers and tabloid press articles aplenty but this episode does not feel like a 'launch episode'. And that's deliberate because Dr Who is now a continuing drama series and there is no need for a stand alone "Rose" style episode.

From the very start it feels just like an episode from the middle of last years bunch and it isn't long before the Doctor and Rose are getting caught up with quite yawnful events in a hospital in New New York (a nice little gag until the Doctor goes all 'Vicar of Dibley' with it). This is a multi layered script with so much build up to all the various story strands that the inevitable running about action in the last ten minutes simply doesn't work. Faced with this dilemma RTD appears to have chosen the silly option rather than trying to tell one decent story. The 45 minutes simply doesn't do it all justice and you're left with an epsiode that (once again) offers so much but fails to deliver fully on its promises.

Cassandra, The Face of Boe, cat nuns, more bleeding zombies and the Doctor giving us the best example yet that he's a God - There's a lot going on. Oh and the Doctor isn't just a God, he's Christ like (suitable for Easter Saturday) in his healing powers.

The special effects are really rather good in this our first visit to an 'alien' world in 21st Century Who but once again Murray Gold's music is used to drown out the dialogue in places and is often a little misplaced for what is going on on the screen.

However, the cat nuns look great, Billie Piper as Cassandra performs magnifencently (putting David Tennant to shame when he, pointlessly, gets a chance to be the flat faced minx himslef). Oh and the saving grace was Cassandra's final scene which was a nice touch for one of the great RTD characters.

There is plenty for the casual audience to enjoy in this episode if they don't turn over during the silly bit but hopefully the episodes to come offer more to fans and ordinary people alike.

The crucial point about this episode is that it sets the series up for the next 12 weeks and possibly beyond but it is far from being a classic.

Jon Bigger

  • Read Jon's review of The Christmas Invasion and Tooth and Claw