blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Doctor Who (2005) s02e01 – New Earth

I just realized—while I was watching New Earth, which aired almost four months after the Christmas special, it never occurred to me how weird it is the show doesn’t try to establish Billie Piper’s relationship with the new Doctor (David Tennant). They have a bunch of scenes together but most of the time Piper’s been possessed by Zoë Wanamaker, who’s back from last season.

So there’s no real banter establishing for Piper and Tennant, at least not as far as an indicator of what’s to come. Because Piper playing Wanamaker playing Piper gussies herself up in general—Wanamaker had previous just been a piece of skin, the last human from the planet Earth alive, some five billion years in the future and she likes having a body—but also to cozy up to Tennant.

Lots of chemistry as the euphemism goes and presumably none of it forecasting the rest of the season. Unless it’s going to be about Piper and Tennant traveling through time and space and getting giggly with each other before knowing fadeouts, which would be fine because it’s still Tennant. And Piper does moon over him well, whether playing Wanamaker as Piper or just herself.

Piper and Tennant are in the future because Tennant’s got a message to visit someone at a hospital, which turns to be run by humanoid cat people. Wanamaker’s hiding out with a devotee (Sean Gallagher, who’s funny) and remembers Piper from their last encounter.

Only it turns out there’s more than meets the eye at the hospital, with the patients getting well from illnesses Tennant doesn’t think they ought to be recovering from, so he’s obviously going to investigate.

The show’s clearly got a better budget than last season, even if director James Hawes can’t quite figure out the action sequences. The show plays Tennant as almost a James Bond-type (complete with appropriate music), which is utterly absurd and shouldn’t work, but Tennant then effortlessly makes it work.

Just like the show itself now.

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