In New Earth, Rose goes on her first adventure with the newly regenerated tenth Doctor. They arrive in New Earth, just outside of New New York, and they see a hospital not far away, where the Doctor has been summoned from a message on his psychic paper. Of course, they visit and they are quickly separated.
While the Doctor tours the hospital run by cat nuns—the Sisters of Plenitude—where he encounters the Face of Boe, a nearly eternal being who seems to be dying (more on him later). He passes many patients who seem to be dying of incurable diseases, yet they live—and the cat nuns seem to be hiding something. Rose, however, runs into Cassandra, who somehow survived their encounter on Platform One in the second episode of Series 1. Cassandra has found a way to insert her consciousness into Rose. She does so and then goes to find the Doctor, poorly feigning Rose’s “Old Earth cockney,” admiring her new curves, and coming onto the Doctor. It’s a wonderful bit of dramatic irony as Cassandra-Rose tries to fool the Doctor.
As the Doctor and Cassandra-Rose explore, they discover a large warehouse with human disease-carriers. He is infuriated by the cat nuns’ actions, confronts them, and discovers Cassandra’s secret. She releases the disease-ridden people, infected with every disease in the galaxy. Touch them and die—yes, we understand the flimsy science, but there are cat nuns, let it happen!
The Doctor and Cassandra-Rose run away from the oncoming diseased horde, the infection spreading as they advance. Cassandra begins shifting between their bodies as each demands that she leaves the other’s body. Quick-thinking as ever, the Doctor grabs every IV cure in the hospital, and puts them into a shower system and douses the infected with it. The cure begins to spread–the Doctor has saved the day. Cassandra shifts out of Rose and into Chip–her loyal fabricated assistant, who begins to die, but not before the Doctor takes her back to meet herself and die in her own arms. It’s a perfect narcissistic experience that ends up being just tender enough.
Both Billie Piper and David Tennant stretch their exceptional acting muscles in this one, both playing Rose and the Doctor, respectively, yet alternately portraying Cassandra as she jumps between bodies. It’s hilarious and brilliant, one of the finest sequences in the series.
Cassandra-Rose: “The lady’s moving on. Goodbye trampoline, hello blondie!”
Cassandra-Doctor: “Oh, two hearts! Oh baby, I’m beating out a samba. Ooh, he’s slim… and a little bit foxy. You thought so too; I’ve been inside your head. You’ve been looking. You like it.”