A fun romp, reminiscent wholly of "The End Of The World," even including Lady Cassandra from that episode -- who acquits the hell out of herself this go-round -- establishes the ground rules for Doctor Ten. Less mournful and more arrogant, he's unflappable (when not raining fire and brimstone down on those he has judged harshly) whether he's getting weird cryptic speeches from the Face of Boe (!), dealing with sneaky nurse-nuns with lovingly detailed kitty-cat faces, or curing actual lepers. Cassandra jumps back and forth between Rose and the Doctor's bodies, providing for some fun with acting (fun and technically impressive), before the scapegoats imprisoned beneath the hospital are finally set free and healed, and the bad guys are punished -- it's another "everybody wins" episode. Even Cassandra finds peace, and a surprising kind of grace. Things are looking good so far; also, the Doctor looks really good in all manner of clothing, which is a good sign, too.
The Doctor paces the TARDIS as she warms up; outside, Rose says goodbye to Jackie and Mickey. She's got, like, a jacket on and everything; it's bizarre. Like she's off on a Girl Scouts trip or something. I love it. Her mom totally bugs her about everything -- does she have everything, stay warm, et cetera -- and Rose bugs her back, and it's super-cute. Meanwhile, inside, the Doctor watches the operation of the TARDIS in perfect harmony and smiles up at her engines, proud. Rose: "Okay, I'm going now. I love you!" Rose and Jackie say goodbye; Rose kisses Mickey, and he tells her that he loves her. The Doctor beams at Rose as she enters, and outside, Jackie's already walking away, but Mickey stares and watches the TARDIS go.
Inside, where things are less pathetic, Rose asks where they're going. "Further than we've ever gone before," the Doctor grins, and he's sort of right. She smiles back; they are ecstatic and beam at each other a lot. Credits, episode written by Russell T. Davies, who is a Very Good Sport, and a Kind Man at that.
Outside on a windy field of green grass, Rose stares about. "It's the year five billion and twenty three; we're in the galaxy M87, and this...this is New Earth." Also known as Caprica, from what I can see. Like it's not bad enough they're on the same night. Future science cars and trucks! Zooming about! Rose giggles and can't seem to finish any sentences. They're both quite happy. This time last year, had a run-in with the end of the world, in echo and service to the Doctor's world, which had ended, too. Now we see that it wasn't really ending; it was just changing. If "The End Of The World" is a wake for disaster, then "New Earth" is a birthday party for redemption. Rose: "Amazing. I'll never get used to this, never. Different ground beneath my feet!" She jumps up and down excitedly. "Different sky...! What's that smell?" The Doctor pulls some grass, shows her: "Apple grass!" They giggle. The schnozzberries taste like schnozzberries, blah blah. Get to the mortal danger! I was promised cat nuns. Rose is...just...so happy and she loves traveling with the Doctor so, so very much. Loves it. Loves. It. She just wanted to let you know. How much she LOVES hanging out with the Doctor, and the whimsy of apple grass, and her inability to finish a sentence, and this scene is weird, and I wish it were over, and then it is: the Doctor grabs her hand and they run. She loves running through a field of apple grass with the Doctor. My goodness but how she loves that. Has it really been so long since Christmas that we have to break in the Eccleston Brigade again? Because I'm starting to feel like I don't love it, just because Rose is being so weird and aggressive about how great it is to have a new Doctor on the show.