Wow. A great episode. Frankly, New Earth had a bad start in NEW EARTH but here, we get mystery, action, adventure, and spirituality rather than religion. The other future story THE LONGEST GAME was a big let down and NEW EARTH pretty much sucked but this is a 5/5 story.
I think that secretly RTD must believe in God and / or long for God because he has written a rather good faithful adventure story. Martha and the Doctor's relationship opens up a bit more and the fact that he knows he was too busy showing off and she knows he's closed up and is maybe just using her and all that is just so good that it carries the story.
RTD is doing something clever with New New York, showing us a future of Earth without it being Earth. He doesn't want to mess up continuity with any other DW spinoff, the old show, or maybe reality in the real world or what he might want to do with the real Earth in the future so he opts instead to show us what he thinks Earth's future might be like by presenting another planet, New New Earth or whatever it's called. It's a brilliant idea and some of it is very scary and very BRAVE NEW WORLD and 1984 in a way.
The Face of Boe and Sister Hame. Glad to see both back. And again RTD takes the act of forgiveness and faith and makes it work for Hame and it's just marvelous.
Add to all that we get a returning foe: the Macra, changed somewhat and for me this WAS a huge surprise. I had no idea they were returning. For new fans, it meant nothing. For them the Judoon and the Carronites were also old monsters/enemies as the Doc seems to have known or met them some time in the past, his past. It was good to see that and the message for the Doctor from the Face of Boe.
Oh my God, this is David's shining episode. He just shines in this episode and his acting is the best it's been in the series, here. His worrying about Martha, his meeting the Face of Bo and Hame, his encounters with the car drivers, his realization that it is the Macra below, his rushing to get the power, his anger, his passion, it's all spot on for the first time in all the right ways and he's so not conceited in this episode. Freema is also quite good in this and her kidnappers are good actors, too. The girl is the girl in BEING HUMAN. I think Brannigan is also a star I'd recognize the voice of. Milo is dead sexy. The entire guest cast is rather good. The effects startling and the music again fantastic, especially that action music that came from the PROMO music used on the SOUNDTRACK 2 as the first track. Amazing job. The Doc's so much more likable here, with quips in all the right places, sympathy and thanks AND he likes cats again.
The religious singing was inspired. I just wish the Doc was touched more by it. Martha certainly was.
A really good episode.
Oh and look at how great the scenes to next time look...I bet it's going to be a great Dalek story...DOUGH it didn't work out that way...but this review or rather rewatching will see....