‘New Earth,’ the first proper episode of season two of the new Who, has plot holes you could drive a bus through and characterisation that sometimes beggars comprehension. It is, I think without a doubt, the worse script Russell T. Davies has ever written.
It’s also a very bad first episode for a season.
First eps have a lot riding on them; you are bound to get new viewers who will need just a little setup to feel comfortable. You also have the returning viewers who just want you to go straight into the story. ‘New Earth’ really caters for the latter crowd; a returning villian with next to little introduction, a overly elaborate plot and a companion who spends most of the episode being out of her mind. It is the latter point which is probably the most vexing. New viewers want to see how Rose and the Doctor interact; ‘New Earth’ delays that by a week by providing a first episode that admittedly introduces the Doctor well but fails to introduce Rose, the character with whom we are meant to identify with and feel for.
I enjoyed the story; I can only say that I expected much more, especially after just how well ‘Rose’ reintroduced the show to the world last year. Next week looks fun, though; it has werewolves.