Season two is just getting started with NEW EARTH! Talia is outraged at all the cat slander, Lucia has thoughts about scientific journals, we have all the love for Cassandra, and hypothesize about what is on the Face of Boe’s Spotify playlist.
Lucia Kelly: Hello and welcome to The Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast!
Talia Franks: I’m Talia Franks media critic, fanfic enthusiast, and a little bit foxy.
Lucia Kelly: And I’m Lucia Kelly, expert at applied analysis and clever clogs, smartypants and ladykiller.
Talia Franks: And we’re here today to talk about New Earth. The first episode of series two of Doctor Who. That rhymes.
Lucia Kelly: It did rhyme, that’s exciting.
Lucia Kelly: I’m so I’m so hyped to talk about season two, it’s going to be so much fun.
Talia Franks: Uhhhh I hate season two, so I’m glad one of us is hype.
Lucia Kelly: Just wait. All right. New Earth aired on the 15th of April, 2006, it was written by Russell T Davies and directed by James Hawes.
Talia Franks: Reminder that time isn’t a straight line. It can twist into any shape and as such, this is a fully spoiled podcast. We write things in from later in the show, the comics, the books, audio dramas, or even fan theories and articles.
Lucia Kelly: With that out of the way, there’s someone who wants to see us in Ward 26. So let’s get in the TARDIS.
Lucia Kelly: Okay, so, we open up, the Doctor’s walking around the TARDIS, getting everything ready. Rose’s saying goodbye to her family, the disrespect, the disrespect to Mickey, like back and forth with Jackie. I love you. Love you. Love you. Love you. She doesn’t even have the courtesy to get Mickey a like Han Solo. Like Mickey says, I love you.
Lucia Kelly: She doesn’t even have the res, the the the digni—
Talia Franks: The most hilarious thing just happened. Lucia just got kicked off the call. (Talia laughs and then Lucia rejoins the call, making a sound of rage)
Lucia Kelly: Nooooooo! Fine, I’ll start again. (Talia continues to laugh)
Lucia Kelly: The disrespect to Mickey. Oh my God. Jackie and Rose are going back and forth. I love you. Love you. Love you love you. Mickey does love you. Rose doesn’t even have the respect, the like like, even the like lowest bar dignity to give him like a Han Solo, I know. She just ignores him. She just moves on.
Talia Franks: You good fam?
Lucia Kelly: I’m not. (Lucia lets out a gasping laugh of distress)
Talia Franks: Like, cause I was going say Rose Rose, my sweet why she kiss him? Why she kiss him? Why?
Talia Franks: Like I’m feeling so disrespected right now! I’m feeling disrespected! Also. When is this? Why is there no snow? When did Rose get a haircut?
Lucia Kelly: I have the answer to that, actually.
Talia Franks: What?
Lucia Kelly: That is a production thing. They had it scheduled cause obviously like in the timeline it’s meant to be right after the Christmas special, however filming got interrupted and they could not film until August.
Lucia Kelly: So, ev, all the snow was gone. So that’s why. Um,
Talia Franks: No, but my question, I know that’s why I know that’s why for like external reasons I’m asking why in universe, why?
Lucia Kelly: I mean, there’s no answer. They decided to stay for like a while, like literally a good two months I would think to get rid of all that snow. (Lucia laughs) Oh,
Talia Franks: It’s all green, Rose got a haircut.
Talia Franks: I mean, you know, the Doctor really enjoyed that Christmas dinner and that flavor of domesticity.
Lucia Kelly: Awww. Like if we actually bring it into Canon that like they did, like it was an extend, that’s kind of cute.
Talia Franks: It is kind of cute.
Lucia Kelly: It’s kind of cute. And also explains sort of, like Rose has come a long way since Christmas special in terms of like the familiarity between her and the Doctor is a lot… smoother? this episode. It’s a lot more connected. And immediately kind of the dynamic has shifted so completely between, and we see this more in particular, next episode in Tooth and Claw, but even in this one the dynamic is immediately a bit more playful, with Ten?
Lucia Kelly: It’s a bit more, not quite all the way to flirty, but it’s a bit more. Jokester they’re, they seem to be on a more even footing, in a way. Like that sort of the Doctor as mentor Rose as the student dynamic is almost completely gone, now they’re traveling together as equals. Which in reality they’re not, which is why the dynamic is dangerous.
Talia Franks: Definitely. Definitely. There’s a um, oh, speaking of parallels that you can’t use because you weren’t there, there’s a quote from the 13th Doctor in The Haunting of Villa Diodati, um,
Lucia Kelly: That’s the one with Lord Byron, isn’t it?
Talia Franks: Mhmm, and Percy Shelley.
Lucia Kelly: Yes!
Talia Franks: Uh, I forgotten which episode they talk about how, you know, no one’s in charge. It’s a very flat team structure. Like we’re all friends, like we’re a fam whatever. But, in The Haunting of Villa Diodati, Percy Shelley has a thing in his brain that basically means he has to die. Or if he doesn’t, if he doesn’t die, the universe is going to crumble. So Ryan basically says Shelly’s only, Shelley’s only one life against all those others. Then Mary Shelley says, “what are you saying?
Talia Franks: How can condemn him to death like that?” And the Doctor says, “but is he Ryan, his thoughts, his words inspire and influence thousands for centuries. If he dies now, who knows what damage that will have on future history, words, matter one death, one ripple in history will change in a blink. The future will not be the world you know now. The world you came from the world you were created in won’t exist. So neither will you. It’s not just his life at stake. It’s yours. You want to sacrifice yourself for this. You want me to sacrifice you. You want to call it, do it now, all of you. And then there’s like silence. And then she says, yeah, cause sometimes this team structure, isn’t flat. It’s mountainous with me at the summit, in the stratosphere alone, left to choose, save the poet, save the universe, watch people burn now, or tomorrow. Sometimes even I can’t win.”
Lucia Kelly: And once again, 13 comes through with that clarity and communication,
Talia Franks: but yeah. So like you just made me think of that moment and I’m like,
Lucia Kelly: Mhmmm yeah,
Talia Franks: Again I love 13. I want to let her shine. And I just, she deserves better.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. (Lucia sighs)
Lucia Kelly: So both Jackie and Mickey leave at the same time, this time, as opposed to Aliens of London and World War Three, where Mickey stayed. So he’s starting to like, he’s starting to recognize his worth, we love this very slow journey for him. (Lucia laughs while saying um)
Lucia Kelly: And yeah. So they arrive on New Earth. It’s very cute. They refer to it. They refer to the first outing on the platform as a date. And I’m like, (Lucia makes a noise of frustration)
Talia Franks: I hate it. I hate it so much.
Lucia Kelly: Either make it mutual polyamory or break up. I’m tired, I’m tired. (Lucia laughs and then sighs)
Lucia Kelly: But it’s fine. They’re all having the cute little, you know, rest on the grass. And then the return of the queen.
Talia Franks: I do really love Cassandra.
Talia Franks: I really love the Cassandra that we see in this episode where she’s not like a one-dimensional campy villain. And I mean, she still a campy villain, but she’s not one dimensional anymore. And I’m like, okay, this Cassandra I can vibe with. Cause she’s a lot more, you know, she’s, she’s a lot more, I guess it’s just in her first episode, the reason I was so upset by her is because I was like, this is not the representation we deserve. And again, this is still not the representation we deserve. But I feel like in this, getting to know her, getting to see her, we get to see her potential. And I really just have come to like, have come to realize like, oh yes I do. I do really appreciate her. And I do really yeah, I just, I just really love her in this episode,
Lucia Kelly: I can’t remember if I’ve said it on air not, but the parallels for me, between Cassandra and Donna are super strong in terms of the journey they go on and where they start and where they end. And also the fact that both of their ends make me cry like full on sob I don’t how?
Talia Franks: Yeah
Lucia Kelly: How?
Talia Franks: I like literally my note at the end is “Doctor Who is making me cry again,”
Lucia Kelly: mhmmm
Talia Franks: um because it’s like, Also can I just say, I would love to have Cassandra as a companion
Lucia Kelly: So much
Talia Franks: for one thing, because she’s actually in his age range. (Lucia lets out a burst of laughter)
Talia Franks: I’m just saying if you’re going to ship a Doctor and a companion, like,
Lucia Kelly: Okay, so let let let’s talk about this kiss. I hate the kiss. I hate it. It’s so stupid. The whole, that whole little, like two minute bit where she comes in, she’s speaking in like rhyme, she’s speaking in a weird accent. She kisses him like full-on snog.
Lucia Kelly: And then suddenly she’s got all of this technical knowledge, which she never had before. And the Doctor’s like, “New Earth, New Me, New Rose, whatever.” Like, wha, it makes no sense that the Doctor wouldn’t clock that!
Talia Franks: I think the Doctor clocks it once she has the, as soon as she has the technical knowledge, he’s like, oh, she’s not Rose.
Lucia Kelly: Do you, because I don’t think he does until she, until she’s remarkably unempathetic towards the flesh.
Talia Franks: No, no, no, no. When, when he there’s this moment where he is where he’s like, when he’s like looking at the machinery or whatever. They’re like searching the the mainframe.
Lucia Kelly: And then she’s like, oh, just go through this and that. And he’s like, oh yeah, course,
Talia Franks: No, no, no. But he says, oh yeah, of course. But he doesn’t say that, like he didn’t know it. He’s testing her. He’s very obviously testing her. No, seriously. Watch it again. Go back and watch it again.
Talia Franks: Okay.
Talia Franks: He’s very, very faked. It’s very explicitly faked. Like to the point where I kind of want to go and play back the clip for you, just so you can see how faked it is, because it is like the way that he’s like, (Talia speaks sarcastically) “Oh yeah. Right. Of course.” Like it’s the most faked thing I have ever seen in my life.
Lucia Kelly: Alright. I’ll watch the clip after our recording, but for now, I’m going to agree to disagree with you because
Talia Franks: He does not. He does not for a second, believe that there’s nothing wrong with Rose.
Lucia Kelly: So they enter the hospital also. I see you Russell T Davies. I see you doing a bit of clever wordplay there. It happens twice where he can’t like, you’re not allowed to say, like, it’s still a kids show. We’re not allowed to say certain words. So it happens twice. It happens with I’ve written it down. Yeah. So Cassandra is watching them through her little spider, also return the spider love to see it. (Lucia laughs while saying um and Talia giggles)
Lucia Kelly: So she’s watching them for the little spider and she’s like talking about Rose and she’s like, “oh, that little” and it cuts off. And then Rose in the next scene says “bit rich.” So it sounds like, “oh, that little bit rich” as in “little bitch,” later on, Later on when Rose and Cassandra are going back and forth and Cassandra is like, I survived through everything.
Lucia Kelly: I’m a miracle. And Rose is like, oh no, I saw your skin. It got exploded. What’s that? And she’s like, oh, that’s from the backside of my, the backside of my body. And she’s like, “right. So you’re talking out of your ” and then Casandra says, “ask not,” and I’m like, come on, come on, RT. (Talia and Lucia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: Also, I have questions about Cassandra’s body, many questions. First of all, is, is it is Cassandra. Like, her remains just being kept in a cold locker or something. If the back of her skin can be like, returned? And also when Chip says, like, “her pretty eyes were retrieved from the bin” who retrieved them? I’m like who did that?
Lucia Kelly: And also when she transfers to Rose the skin just fully disappears. So where’s this skin? Did it transfer with her? Is there
Talia Franks: I thought the skin exploded?
Lucia Kelly: No, it just vanishes it like glitters and blish it’s gone. Like there’s no remains of it. Does it. So where is it? Is it, is it inside Rose? Is it like dispersed among the atoms?
Lucia Kelly: Like. I have questions. I don’t really want the answers this time.
Lucia Kelly: So the Doctor visits Ward 26, he finds out that who’s called him or who he thinks has called him because it never gets confirmed. And then at the end, the face of Boe basically is like, “LOL, I’ll see you later. Bye.” So he was never intending to actually tell the Doctor or anything. So do you think it was the Face of Boe that called him in or do you think it was someone else?
Talia Franks: I think it was the Face of Boe. I don’t know who else it could have been. I think it was just Jack starting some mess.
Lucia Kelly: Right? Cause. My question is. So Novice Hame is very sweet and she’s like, I’m just company. He’s very old. I’m just sort of here. And I can hear him singing sometimes. Like he sings and I hear it.
Lucia Kelly: And he sings ancient songs. I’m like, this is the year. This is, what ancient songs are you singing, Jack?
Lucia Kelly: What is in Jack’s Spotify playlist? What is he listening to?
Talia Franks: WAP, Montero.
Lucia Kelly: Mhmm.
Lucia Kelly: I’m sure there’s some Beyonce in there.
Talia Franks: (Talia starts singing) Call me by your name.
Lucia Kelly: (Lucia starts singing jauntily) Ancient is a relative term when you’re time travelling.
Lucia Kelly: And the Lonely God is referred to referring to the Doctor and specifically Ten, The Lonely God. So we’re starting with that God Complex early
Talia Franks: Ten and his God Complex, although it was striking me just how young Ten is, like everyone talks about how young Matt Smith Doctor is but Eleven is such an old Doctor, whereas Ten is such a young Doctor.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, absolutely. I was noticing just how much more physical Ten is compared to Nine. Like he’s jumping about his running. I couldn’t see Nine doing any of that. Just the way that he, he moves is so different.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I was also thinking I was thinking again regarding Ten and his God complex, he says, at one point, “if you’re looking for a higher authority, he won’t find one. It stops with me.”
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: I’m like, Ooh, bit a bit
Lucia Kelly: I mean, in terms, yeah. In terms of like, who is currently at the hospital, can see his point, the only person, I think who he would at this point, like defer quote unquote leadership to is probably the Face of Boe because he recognizes the seniority, but the Face of Boe, the Face of Boe is having a nap. So he’s kind of out of action, (Talia laughs) but in terms, so in terms of like, who is like, who is quarantined in with them, who is that in the hospital, the cat nuns, who’ve been compromised and there’s the Doctor, right?
Lucia Kelly: I, I definitely think he should have a bit of a tad more diplomacy about him, but um (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Especially when he’s talking about how the Duke of Manhattan’s going to die.
Lucia Kelly: Mhmmm Mhmmm Oh, I love, the Duke of Manhattan and his assistant. Are like, they bring me so much joy. They’re so funny.
Lucia Kelly: So basically there’s this whole thing where the Doctor and Rose go into the hospital, then they get, they get disinfected, which I got, say hit a bit different watching it in 2021. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: I kind of wished that was standard practice now.
Talia Franks: Also the whole, everyone wanting to break quarantine in the hospital.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah, no, like I loved the assistant right up until the point where she’s like, I’m going to break quarantine. Cause fuck y’all. And I was like, oh, okay, great.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, I was not about that.
Lucia Kelly: There are Ten million people in that city. Turn it off.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So yeah, the, the disinfectant happens. Rose is very cute. She kind of like pushes on the wall as if to like turn off the shower, she’s like “make it stop.” And she gets taken down to like the under tunnels. Chip very creepy. It’s like “the human child is clean.” (Lucia laughs) “Come with me.” and Rose picks up. Like, I love the, I love the thought.
Talia Franks: He calls her Rose Tyler. He says, “come with me Rose Tyler.” He knows her name and that’s
Lucia Kelly: Yeah!
Talia Franks: When she picks up the crowbar or whatever she picks up, the pipe.
Lucia Kelly: Which no it’s like, it almost looks like a Dalek eyestalk it’s like this. Like, I love the, I love the concept. I love the thought. I love that she’s thinking that far ahead, but that stick is tiny. It’s not going to do any damage.
Lucia Kelly: You could, you could turn it around and like skewer someone with it. Maybe if you’ve got the arm strength, but it’s not going to do any kind of blunt force.
Talia Franks: Also, can we just talk about Cassandra and Chip’s relationship and how fucking creepy it is? She calls him her “pet” and he says, “I worship the mistress.”
Lucia Kelly: Mhmmm, mhmmm, And then like the whole like “strokes” her “the physical needs.”
Lucia Kelly: And like, I, I, I “patterned him after my favorite” and all that sort of like, ugh, and the whole, like the whole concept of he’s like specially grown and Cassandra refers to him multiple times as a quote unquote “half-life” so,
Talia Franks: Yeah, and then she insults him by calling him a walking doodle.
Lucia Kelly: So again, just like kind of there, there are parallels, this is sort of a three-way parallel. So there’s parallels between New Earth and The End of the World. Like fairly obviously, cause we’ve got Cassandra back and all that stuff. And we’ve also got parallels, which we’ll talk about much later down the track with Gridlock, where we visit New Earth again.
Lucia Kelly: But there’s all these themes running through this entire episode of renewal and cycles and life and death and sort of how they’re all interconnected with each other. And also how, if you think about it like a cycle, like the new can be familiar, right? So we’ve got New New Doctor, we’ve got New New Earth New New York.
Lucia Kelly: We’ve got
Talia Franks: I think it’s just New Earth. I don’t think it’s New New Earth.
Lucia Kelly: I know I was trying to be funny. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: But also we’ve got this, the flesh, the new humans that the cats are creating and forcing this cycle of life. Like they’re they’re speed running it. They’re just going new, new, new, new, new, new, new, new, new, new, new, new, new in this attempt to sort of control disease and control illness.
Lucia Kelly: And then you’ve also got Chip, who is another forced to life form. He’s been, like there’s nothing natural about Chip. (Lucia laughs) And so you’ve got all of these different, and then of course, Cassandra is, goes through the whole cycle. She goes from, uh, this desperate need to live, to accepting death.
Lucia Kelly: So you’ve got all of these interconnecting weaving threads surrounding this idea of, new life and it’s, it’s a very fitting theme for this to be the first official introduction of the new Doctor to have him in the middle of all of that.
Lucia Kelly: That was very well done.
Talia Franks: That’s very beautifully put.
Lucia Kelly: Thank you. Would you like to go on your tangent?
Talia Franks: If the cat people were capable of making flesh bodies, why couldn’t they just make one for Cassandra and then she could be the new companion and we can get rid of Rose? (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: I mean, the Doctor would never agree to it, would it, and it would undo all of the themes. Unfortunately, all the themes. The themes are so important Talia! (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: I mean, yeah. So, yeah,
Talia Franks: Y’all can’t see but I just stuck my tongue out at Lucia and made rude gestures.
Lucia Kelly: Mhmmm mhmmm mhmmm I was being polite and hiding your disgraceful behavior.
Talia Franks: You know what I really dislike about this episode?
Lucia Kelly: What do you really dislike about this episode
Talia Franks: Is that it played into a lot of stereotypes in making cats into bad people.
Lucia Kelly: Say more, (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: And now this isn’t like a real issue having to do with real-world racism or bigotry. This is just me having to do with the fact that I feel like this gave dog people an edge over cat people.
Talia Franks: This is also a parallel with Gridlock in that they made cats homophobic and I don’t like it.
Lucia Kelly: Wait, when are they homophobic in Gridlock?
Talia Franks: There’s like two old women who are married and the cat guy insists that they’re sisters and says that he’s an old fashioned cat. And so he insist in calling them sisters instead of admitting that they’re married, but it’s like a line where one of them says, “we’re not sisters, we’ve been married for 20 years.” And then he says, “well, you know, I’m an old-fashioned cat. I’ll have none of that.”
Lucia Kelly: Oh Yeah. I had completely misremembered that I thought it was the other way round. And it was like a joke, like in terms of like an in-joke between the two of them, of like the cat calling it out. And the, the old women being kind of coy, I’ve completely misremembered that, wow. These cat people.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. But I was going to say, I think this is my stance on cat people versus dog people. I think people who don’t like cats don’t understand that the difference between dogs and cats is that cats have boundaries. (Talia laughs) That’s it? Like, cats teach you how to respect boundaries. They’re like, okay, I want to be touched.
Lucia Kelly: No, I don’t want to be touched. No, I want to be fed. No, I don’t want to be fitted. They have rules. And if you don’t respect the rules, then they don’t like you and you don’t like them. Dogs have no boundaries. Dogs love you whenever, unless they’re like, unless they’ve been hurt in the past, like a beautiful, like open dog will just love you regardless.
Lucia Kelly: But cats have boundaries. So people who don’t like cats, we wary. (Talia and Lucia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: That’s it. That’s the rule.
Talia Franks: Okay. Where were we, where did I put my notes?
Lucia Kelly: We’re with Cassandra and Rose in the basement.
Talia Franks: That sounds kinky. (Lucia bursts into laughter)
Lucia Kelly: It was Rose and Cassandra in the basement with the stick!
Talia Franks: Moving forward, because I feel like we’re going all out of. We’ve already talked about so many things. We were not with Rose and Cassandra in the basement because we already talked about a lot of things that happened after that, um,
Lucia Kelly: But we didn’t talk about when Cassandra takes over Rose’s body and shout out to Billie Piper, shout out to all the Cassandras.
Lucia Kelly: Oh my gosh. It’s so good.
Talia Franks: All the Cassandras did so well also, like, I just love that moment where Cassandra is hopping between Ten and, and Rose and then that other unnamed person, because that whole scene where all those three people were playing so many different people,
Lucia Kelly: mhmm
Talia Franks: just like, because, like that three-way argument. And ’cause like there’s that moment where Ten is just being like, “I order you to leave her” (Lucia laughs) but then when she has that moment and he realizes that like she’s not just an obnoxious campy villain, she actually does emote and does feel, and then he’s like, okay, I can work with this person.
Talia Franks: And so, and that’s the moment where, that’s the moment where for me, I feel like you really do see the distinction between Ten and Rose and how they’re on such completely different playing fields, because Rose can be sacrificed and replaced for a portion of the episode.
Talia Franks: And the Doctor can’t like Rose can literally be filled in with a different companion for a portion of the episode. And we go on with, cause that’s something that happens in Doctor Who in a lot of episodes, where the main companion will be shuffled aside and we’ll get a different companion of the week. And this literally happened. Like we kept the actress, we got a new companion.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. The only episode I can think of where like the Doctor isn’t really there is Turn Left. And that is specifically about how the absence of the Doctor is a Bad Thing. Like capital B Bad Thing.
Talia Franks: Yeah. The only other Doctor Lite episodes are Blink, and Love and Monsters, which I hate. So, um, anyway. But the point I was trying to make is that we see how Ten is able to compartmentalize and be like, okay, for all that, I, you know, love Rose, want Rose to be around. I can recognize that the hospital needs to be saved.
Talia Franks: Things not need to be, things need to be done. Cassandra’s not leaving. So I’m just gonna sacrifice Rose to the fact that like her body’s been taken over and we’ll sort that out later, hmmm like hmmm he has his priorities and Rose’s autonomy is not a priority.
Lucia Kelly: I wouldn’t say it’s not a priority. I’d say it’s like second on the list. I say there’s like a big gap between one and two and he needs to deal with one first.
Talia Franks: I’m saying it’s not his main priority right now, is, is my point. I’m not saying that, I’m not saying he thinks it’s unimportant. I’m saying that it’s not, I’m saying that he’s able to sacrifice it for the short term, in a way that if they were on level playing fields, I don’t think he’d be able to do.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah.
Talia Franks: And that’s, and that’s the point where you can see that the Doctor fundamentally isn’t human. Like, he isn’t, he isn’t the same. Like, that’s the point where you can say, oh, that’s the point where you’re like, oh, the Doctor really is an alien. He really does see things in a different way from how a lot of people see things.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: I think it’s time to talk about how the science of this episode doesn’t fucking work. (Lucia descends into laughter)
Lucia Kelly: Okay. First of all, first of all, you can’t, I mean, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. You can’t cure all diseases and not be curing the airborne ones. All of these walking, walking bodies, presumably also have airborne diseases. There is no such thing as sterile air. Keep that 1.5 meters away. So that falls apart. And also the, the ending.
Lucia Kelly: The ending is sweet. It’s lovely. Right? It’s the scene where the Doctor’s talking to all the new cured little humans and he’s like so excited and ecstatic and the music is swelling. Like that’s lovely. That’s not what would have happened. First of all, why does this one ward? The one ward we see Ward 26, have the solution to literally every disease.
Lucia Kelly: You only have access to the solutions in Ward 26 and putting a bunch of different chemicals together, doesn’t, that doesn’t (Lucia sniffs)
Lucia Kelly: The fact that even says, like, I know a bit about medicine myself and then it’s like, so you know that this would work, right? (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: I have, I have some additional notes. Mhmmm
Talia Franks: One. Why does touching other people immediately give them all the diseases, but they can walk around without any visible symptoms or, or having no, hold on.
Talia Franks: Why is it that they have all congregated in the lobby? Surely there are some people who are still trying to break into other wards who wouldn’t have been able to get the magic touch that cured them. Furthermore, I must, I must ask, how is it that like just touching everyone, passed it on, like, how did it, how did it pass on?
Talia Franks: Like surely it would have been diluted by then? But you seem to be nodding, so feel free to respond.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah, no, all of that. All of that. All of that. It just doesn’t,
Lucia Kelly: I do appreciate that they introduce the disinfectant machine early on, and then they use it later. That’s good storytelling, but no, that wouldn’t work. There’s a reason you don’t mix cleaning chemicals in your basin. Like, it wouldn’t,
Lucia Kelly: It would just fill the elevator shaft with which, by the way, small enclosed area as well. So the gas is coming off that thing Casandra’s dead. Cassandra’s dead and gone and Rose with her.
Lucia Kelly: It just. It just doesn’t it just doesn’t.
Lucia Kelly: What are your thoughts on Novice Hame?
Talia Franks: (Talia speaking in a slightly mocking, sarcastic tone of voice) She was just doing her job.
Lucia Kelly: Mhmm. Yeah. Yeah. She strikes me as very naive. Like she strikes me as someone who just never questioned anything.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: Because again, spoiler alert, we’re going to see her again.
Talia Franks: How does she live for that long?
Lucia Kelly: I mean, we don’t know how she probably has nine lives. (Lucia laughs) We don’t know how cat people work.
Talia Franks: How long is it between New Earth and Gridlock?
Lucia Kelly: Well, it can’t be too long because The Face of Boe is still alive and he is dying. Like that is one of the things, which by the way, the like dark foreshadowing of when the Doctor meets with The Face of Boe and Novice Hame for the first time and the Doctor like, the Doctor’s like what’s he dying of? And Novice Hame says old age, the one thing we can’t cure. Once, you know, how their curing everything? Feels real dark.
Lucia Kelly: Like that feels like some pretty dark shadowing, in terms of how they do it. Also. I have another question. So, the two head nuns had down to intensive care and they go and see this conscious patient is not meant to be conscious. And one of the nurses has this little offhand statement about how a different nurse who was not present has written an article about sentient life, which seems to be like directly referring to what’s happening inside the hospital.
Lucia Kelly: So my question is, do do the nuns, did they have their own little internal medical journal? Cause that’s adorable. (Talia giggles)
Lucia Kelly: Because they can’t talk about it outside of, so then, did they just have their like little morning articles in the morning, where they drink their tea and read about what all the other nurses have like, discovered? (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: I know I say this all the time, but you’re a little bit twisted. (Lucia bursts into laughter)
Talia Franks: These nuns are murdering thousands of people on the daily. Murdering, torturing,
Talia Franks: Like, yes, it’s adorable if they have their own little, their own little journal, but also
Lucia Kelly: You can be adorable, and a murderer. Cassandra is adorable and a murderer.
Talia Franks: And so is Missy.
Lucia Kelly: They contain multitudes. I can, I can condemn them for murder and still, and still delight in their internal medical journal. (Transition wobbles)
Lucia Kelly: Oh, we’ve got to talk about the end scene. Oh my goodness. I just, I immediately start crying.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I was sobbing.
Lucia Kelly: Zoë Wanamaker man. Oh my God. Just, and I always feel weird, watching it as well, because like, I wanna, I wanna parse this out with you. I wanna figure it out, why it affects me so much because at it’s core, what it is, is Cassandra telling Cassandra that she’s beautiful, right? So this is self on self. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Mhmm.
Lucia Kelly: And so on the surface, like on the surface, nothing’s changed. Like on the surface, you could absolutely read it as like a narcissistic, self gratifying, moment of confirming a belief that is ultimately unhelpful to Cassandra. Like this idea of like this idea of beauty that she chases this idea of beauty is actually destructive to her, but it doesn’t feel that way.
Lucia Kelly: It feels different. It feels like it feels like such a step forward. It feels like, to the point where I also always question how this moment, changed Cassandra? And if like the events that need to happen on Platform One ever occurred?
Lucia Kelly: So what is it? What, what’s underlying that? That makes me feel all the emotions and makes me cry?
Talia Franks: For me, the reason I find it so heart-wrenching is. So for the perspective of the past Cassandra, who’s been just been told that she’s beautiful the reason I love this moment for her is because for her, it’s not self-gratifying doesn’t know that this person who’s just told her she’s beautiful is herself. She thinks it’s a stranger who just thinks she’s beautiful. And so, and you get the impression. Cause she says before that, that night was the last time someone told her she was beautiful.
Talia Franks: So you get the impression, this was something that already happened. So you know that these events are something that already happened to her. So it wouldn’t change the events on Platform One. But the, so the reason I really love it for her though, is that it makes me feel like it’s a significant moment for her because, in that moment where she’s able to really be with this person who is the last person who truly validated her and seemed to do it without true motive, without any without yearning for consequence is something that just didn’t happen.
Talia Franks: It’s everyone is always wanting something from her is always seeking to gain something from her. Like every move in her life is a power play, but this is someone who was just earnestly, like unequivocably in like an open heartfelt moment. Just wanted to give her this gift of telling her that she was beautiful.
Talia Franks: And so for her, that was the last true moment for her. And then when, she died in her own arms that was the last time that she was able to, be fully present for someone and have an emotional connection with someone. And so that’s the last time that she was actually able to be there for someone else.
Talia Franks: And so that’s a really meaningful moment for her. From the perspective of Chip-Cassandra, it’s a really meaningful moment for them because they’re able to , be held and be comforted by someone who like, the past Cassandra was rocking them, telling them that they were going to be okay, brushing their brow and everything.
Talia Franks: And it’s just really heart-wrenching moment. And they’ve been a flap of skin. When she first wakes up in Rose’s body, she’s astonished to , feel the sensation of being in a body again. When Cassandra, when they’re in the Doctor’s body is feeling the sensations of being with the two hearts, and it’s , the feeling of being in a body again is foreign. So like the sensation of being touched, when they’re in the body of the other person and they have that cold realization of realizing that they’ve never been touched before.
Talia Franks: So touch and sensation is a really big deal for them. So that moment where they’re just being cradled and being told that everything’s going to be okay as they slowly pass into, death is just a really gripping emotional moment. And so that’s why I cry.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I I lit literally started tearing up again as you were talking. (Lucia laughs) So yeah, I mean, I think that’s spot on. I think that is, and it, cause it also, yeah, that genuineness, like you see, so you see clips of Cassandra of past Cassandra throughout this whole episode of like her last big party. And she’s constantly entertaining, she’s being the Belle of the ball, center of attention. But, it all feels really shallow. Like it all feels so surface and she’s clearly having a great time, but it doesn’t feel fulfilling. And then that last scene comes up and yeah, the genuineness with which Chip-Cassandra says, cause she dismisses Chip-Cassandra at first, she says, “oh, well, yes, thank you yet, blah blah.” And Chip really makes the point of getting Cassandra to take a breath and say, “No, you’re beautiful. I mean it.” And it’s so much!
Talia Franks: Really is
Lucia Kelly: because you, cause you know, without anything else being said, like who knows how long it’s been since Cassandra’s had a genuine moment of connection with someone else?
Lucia Kelly: It’s just ah, my heart.
Lucia Kelly: Oh, is there anything else that you’d like to bring out before we move on to favorite moments and grading?
Talia Franks: I have to say. Okay. Two things, sorry. Three things, this is the, this is the first moment where we get the first incidence of Ten saying “I’m so sorry.”
Talia Franks: We start that.
Lucia Kelly: Yep.
Talia Franks: Another thing, I really hope that all those liquids tasted good for David’s Tennant’s sake.
Lucia Kelly: He had
Talia Franks: to rip all those ripples, those bags open with his teeth.
Talia Franks: Those were like fruit juice flavored
Lucia Kelly: or something. I mean, balance a probability is it was water with food coloring in it. So I’m sure he was fine, but yeah, that’s another difference. That’s another difference between nine and Ten, suddenly Ten is licking everything.
Talia Franks: Okay. So I don’t watch season two very much because I hate it. But watching this episode and also having watched the next episode. And watching Rose and Ten’s chemistry. I understand why people ship Tenrose.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: David Tennant and Billie Piper have an unfortunate amount of chemistry. They just do. (Lucia laughs) I’m just watching, watching them smile at each other. I just, I ship it and I hate that I ship it.
Lucia Kelly: You’re President Snow watching the Hunger Games. “Look at them, so cute. I want them to burn.”
Talia Franks: I never, I think I read a little bit of the first book of The Hunger Games, but I really hated it. So
Lucia Kelly: To be honest, to be honest, I struggled I, wa, I read the first book. I watched the first movie.
Lucia Kelly: And then I skimmed through the rest of the books. Cause I literally couldn’t, it was like my brain wouldn’t let me read it. I’d start it. And then I’d just skip forward.
Talia Franks: I think I read the first two chapters and then I read the last chapter and then I was like, this book sucks. And then I watched the, and then I watched the rest of the world go crazy over it with distaste.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no. All I know from The Hunger Games is summaries and memes. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah. Summaries and memes.
Lucia Kelly: Beautiful. Anything else?
Talia Franks: No, that’s that’s That’s all my notes.
Lucia Kelly: Wonderful.
Lucia Kelly: What was your favorite and least favorite moment?
Talia Franks: My least favorite moment, because I’m going to start from the bottom and go to the top.
Lucia Kelly: Mhmm.
Talia Franks: Was when. Rose kissed Mickey, because what the fuck?
Lucia Kelly: Yep. Yep. My least favorite moment was also a Rose kiss. It was the Ten and Rose kiss. I hate like it breaks character. It breaks character. I hate it. And I also hate it because it’s, this is the proper start of what is an, I love that they gave us this term, what is referred to in the 50th special as cannoodling. (Talia starts to laugh) Stop it! Stop it!
Lucia Kelly: He’s 900 years old! Leave that girl alone. Shut it down!
Talia Franks: I would say my favorite moment, is when Cassandra is like on the floor and just staring dead eyed into space and says “all their lives, they’ve never been touched” and Ten, offers her his hand and pulls her up and they just look at each other and then go forward to do the rest of saving the hospital and everything.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, that’s the, yeah, it’s such a gut punch, especially cause it’s right. It’s back to back with that same, the, the really the four way argument, right. Which is Rose, the Doctor, Cassandra. And I keep, I keep stumbling. I, for what to call these people, cause they don’t want to call them flesh. They’re like, ngh.
Lucia Kelly: But like the, the woman that Cassandra possesses
Talia Franks: The cat person that tried to attack Rose-Cassandra, but, but ended up getting murked
Lucia Kelly: mhmm
Talia Franks: well not murked but diseased
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Well she ended up murked
Talia Franks: and then fell down a dangerous height.
Lucia Kelly: But yeah, my favorite moment is also going to be sort of sad and a bittersweet, which is the final scene.
Lucia Kelly: It’s, it’s the best scene. It’s so good and so emotional and it’s such a great payoff the whole episode. And I love it and it makes, me cry.
Talia Franks: “I love it and it makes me cry.” That should be the motto for our podcast, aside from “we’ll get there.”
Lucia Kelly: That’s just the subtitle to my entire life. That’s how I experience everything. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: “I love it. And it makes me cry.” Lucia Kelly, co-signed Talia Franks. (Talia laughs)
Talia Franks: So, the Hero and The Adam
Lucia Kelly: The Hero and The Adam. I think the Hero is fairly obvious, I think. It’s Cassandra, right?
Talia Franks: Is it?
Lucia Kelly: Can it be? I want it to be.
Talia Franks: Um,
Lucia Kelly: She deserves it! (Lucia and Talia laugh)
Talia Franks: Okay. Someone’s a little excited.
Lucia Kelly: All right. What are, what are, How can I, how can I. (Lucia sighs)
Talia Franks: Make your argument. Why is Cassandra the hero? What did she do?
Lucia Kelly: Cassandra’s the Hero because I don’t want to give the Doctor the Hero for doing bad science. (Talia cackles)
Lucia Kelly: He doesn’t, no. (Talia laughs again)
Talia Franks: At least you’re honest.
Lucia Kelly: Cassandra is the one who went on an intense emotional journey and came out a better person. When does the doctor ever done that?
Talia Franks: Okay. You know what, you know what? You have a bad reason for wanting to make Cassandra the Hero. I, however, have a good reason for wanting to make Cassandra the Hero.
Lucia Kelly: Please.
Talia Franks: Cassandra is the Hero because she knew that something was going on in the hospital.
Lucia Kelly: That is true. Yeah.
Talia Franks: She
Lucia Kelly: Yeah
Talia Franks: specifically knew that something was going wrong in the hospital and she like actively was working against the cat people. And she’s the one who made the genuine connection with
Lucia Kelly: Well, yeah, she’s the one who made the breakthrough that it’s about, um, it’s about touch. Like it’s, they’re not, they’re not being, they’re not being actively aggressive or vindictive. It’s literally just the base, like, human need to touch.
Talia Franks: It’s the base need for touch, yeah, Which I got to say hits a lot different in a pandemic where we’re not able to touch people and have human interaction.
Talia Franks: Um, But yeah. So Cassandra’s the one who really made that breakthrough. And Cassandra’s the one who really did that work and I will give it to you. Cassandra did have that emotional journey she did go through, she did have that growth. So yeah, that’s not a reason to make someone the Hero, (Lucia laughs) personal growth is heroic, personally, but it’s not like heroic in the sense that we’ve been talking about.
Lucia Kelly: Cassandra is the hero of her own story, but I’m happy.
Talia Franks: Cassandra’s really the hero of her own story. Especially I would say. And I would say if we’re talking about Cassandra being the hero of her own story, I think that Cassandra, cradling herself in her own final moments and giving herself that care, especially because she doesn’t even know that she’s doing it for herself, but that moment of like selflessness and holding a person in their final moments and truly honoring them and giving them that space and that comfort, a complete stranger . I think is a really beautiful thing to do for a person. So I would say those are all reasons to give Cassandra the Hero.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. And that’s also bringing up something that we didn’t touch on, it’s a really lovely little meditation on how, doing good, how being selfless, how being kind to others, how reaching out and choosing to connect like. Comes back to you and benefits you in ways that you won’t even know at the time,
Talia Franks: mhmmm
Lucia Kelly: right? Like that this idea of what you put out into the universe is what you get back.
Talia Franks: Mhmmm
Lucia Kelly: So, Yeah. Cassandra’s is the Hero. Success! (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: You can have your little victory. Um, I think that The Adam is clearly all of the cats and their science journal. (Talia and Lucia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, I guess, sorry. I was just blindsided first by the fact that. I did not. I had someone else picked for The Adam and then I was like, right. Yeah, there are a bunch of like murderous nuns that are running this institution.
Lucia Kelly: Um, I was going to nominate. As much as it pains me to say it, I was going to nominate the duke of Manhattan’s assistant for trying to break quarantine. That is
Talia Franks: You forgot about the murderous nuns?
Lucia Kelly: I completely forgot.
Talia Franks: You forgot about the murderous cat nuns even though they’re the villain of the episode?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, I guess they’re not as immediate to my like, current living situation.
Lucia Kelly: They’re a bit more, a bit more on the fantasy realm, then um, a middle-class white woman who thinks she knows everything trying to break quarantine to benefit herself. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Shall we go onto grading? (Talia and Lucia laugh)
Talia Franks: Yes
Lucia Kelly: Grading!
Talia Franks: Grading! Production gets a five. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, I wasn’t going to argue with you there.
Lucia Kelly: Writing… I’d say a four? Like, it’s not all the way up there. It’s not perfect.
Talia Franks: I would give the acting a six, but you never let me. (Lucia snorts) One of these days, I’ll get you to let me give the acting of six.
Lucia Kelly: And science
Talia Franks: One?
Lucia Kelly: Ah no, I’d say two
Talia Franks: A two? Okay. We’re being generous.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, cause the thing is, aside from the ending, I really liked the psychograft.
Lucia Kelly: That made sense to me. I really liked even though they got it through unethical means I did like the, so, to bring up the, you said before about like, so why are the new flesh why are they walking around if everything’s, if everything’s fine and when they touch people, they just die instantly.
Lucia Kelly: The Doctor has a moment where you, where Rose asks the same question, basically. It’s like, well, why are they still around? Or, Cassandra does. And the Doctor says that plague carriers, they’re the last to go. So basically they are dying. They will die soon, but they’re sort of the quote unquote strongest.
Lucia Kelly: So they’re going to last a little bit more.
Lucia Kelly: But, rewatchability. I’m going to go with five. I would rewatch this any time. It’s a good episode.
Talia Franks: It is. In fact, one of the only tolerable episodes in season two.
Talia Franks: Yeah, let’s see. What else do we have in store for season two?
Talia Franks: Tooth and Claw sucks. School Reunion is okay. Girl in the Fireplace is, Tolerable. Rise of the Cybermen? No. Age of Steel? No. Idiot’s Lantern, bleh. Impossible Planet, bleh. Satin Plant, Satan Pit bleh. Love & Monsters. Ugh. Fear Her sucks. Army of Ghosts sucks. Doomsday sucks. (Talia sighs)
Lucia Kelly: I can’t believe you. Those are, like,
Talia Franks: Yeah, so I guess this one, School (Lucia sighs) Reunion and, Impossible Planet and Satan Pit are okay.
Lucia Kelly: Thank you. This season. I’m, I’m going to make it my mission. I’m gonna turn your mind around on season two. Season two is good. Season two has a lot of good episodes in it.
Talia Franks: No, actually I’m thinking about it, I actually really like Impossible Planet and Satan Pit.
Lucia Kelly: Exactly.
Talia Franks: So there are four tolerable episodes in this season.
Talia Franks: Okay. Girl, in the Fireplace sucks. Madame de Pompadour is proto Amy Pond. And you will not be able to convince me otherwise. She’s like the worst of Amy Pond and River Song, mushed together, and put in France.
Lucia Kelly: I do have my own is issues with the Girl in the Fireplace, which are mainly down to the characterization of Madame de Pompadour. But I remember it being a fun, good episode. So although, and I’m bring it up when we do the recording for it. This was the episode that scarred me. Like I had a genuine, absolute, real phobia of masks for a good six years because of that episode (Lucia laughs) because I watched it way too young.
Lucia Kelly: So! (Lucia claps) I’ve done the math.
Talia Franks: Did do it right this time?
Lucia Kelly: I did!
Talia Franks: I’ll let that go by season three, maybe. (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Listen, I love math. Math doesn’t love me. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: But it got to B! It got 84 percent. Yay! (Lucia claps)
Lucia Kelly: Which yeah, it’s the science man, just, I’m, I’m literally just asking for common sense. Just common sense. Science. It’s a low bar and yet,
Talia Franks: and yet
Lucia Kelly: and yet.
Lucia Kelly: Anyway! (Lucia claps) I’m so excited. Let’s move on to Tooth and Claw!
Lucia Kelly: Thank you for listening to The Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast.
Talia Franks: We hope you enjoyed this adventure with us through space and time.
Lucia Kelly: You can find us elsewhere on the internet on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram @WibblyPod. Follow us for more Wibbly Wobbly content.
Talia Franks: You can find out more information about us and our content on wibblywobblytimeywimey.net And full transcripts for episodes at wibblywobblytimeywimey.net/transcripts
Lucia Kelly: If you’d like to get in touch with us, you can send us email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talia Franks: Please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts and other platforms as it helps other people find us and our content.
Lucia Kelly: That’s all for now, catch you in the time vortex!