In this episode, Rose’s first outside world adventure with the new Doctor brings them to a distant planet called New Earth. In that planet stands the luxury hospital called “New New York” run by feline-nuns called the Sisters of Plenitude. Unfortunately, also one of the inhabitants of the hospital is one of their first season adversaries, Cassandra.

Cassandra is basically just a flap of skin with a talking face on it. Nonetheless , of all the Doctor Who villains, I find her the most hilarious! Despite her unusual appearance and despite the fact that her character is utterly destructive and self-centered – spending most of the episode not wanting to die, entering Rose’s and the Doctor’s body, the flashbacks in her past reveal why she has that insecurity. In the end however, she undergoes a profound change – first, by possessing her ever loyal assistant/admirer Chip, and then as the human-looking Cassandra from the party.

Despite the different Doctor with a visibly different body, his travels and adventures with Rose still parallels the theme of change and continuity. For instance, this episode, which is somewhat linked to The End of the World, features familiar villains from season one: Cassandra and the Face of Boe. The body swaps in the same episode also allows us to get to know the new Doctor. Similarly, when Cassandra starts possessing people, it helps us understand that even in this age of advanced technology, the ‘human need’ to be recognized, to be cared for, and to be loved remains constant.

Advertisements