New Earth was fun and enjoyable, but I felt a lot more could have been done with it.
It was a good idea for a story, but I'd have enjoyed it a lot more fleshed out over two or three episodes. There were many strands that I'd like to have seen explored more:
New Earth – What kind of society is it? The Duke of Manhattan? What is humanity like in the year Five Billion? etc etc
Engineered Beings – Cassandra's sidekick, and the lab-rat humans. (Bit like the cow that wanted to be eaten in HHGG.) Raises lots of interesting ideas, echoes debates about genetic engineering, animal experimentation, abortion etc.
Cassandra – What was her story? How did she come to be there? The whole thing about her wanting to be beautiful. And wanting to live forever, and there being a time to let go. Her body hopping and experiencing the world from other people's skins.
Boe – We heard practically nothing of his story, which was set up as highly intriguing, and was what fetched the Doc to New Earth in the first place.
All great material for SF, but not delved into enough for my liking.
New Earth was also not as emotionally engaging as it could have been because the various moods weren't sustained for long. The scarier people-in-peril parts would have been more powerful if they'd been under siege longer. And the poignant moments would have been that much more moving if built up to slowly and lingered over.
Cassandra's death was affecting, but her progression from egotistical villain to redeemed soul was too sudden to fully draw us in.
One thing about these hurried RTD endings is they are Textbook Anti-Climactic.
I was so looking forward to hearing Boe's message for the Doctor. That was really built-up, and I was extremely disappointed that at the moment of climax instead of something wonderful being revealed, Boe just says he'll tell him another time and vanishes.
So overall I'd rate it as something like 7/10. Fairly good, but missed the opportunity to be awesome.
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