Doctor Who

Episode Special

The Waters of Mars

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Nov 15, 2009 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (21)

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  • I will never forgive this episode

    A long-time watcher of Doctor Who (and I'm talking the 70s), I will never forgive this episode for being so scary it gave my kid nightmares and turned her off Doctor Who, and for letting the Doctor turn into a megalomaniac.

    I remember this episode had some metaphysical merit, and I might have felt differently if I'd watched it alone or in adult company, but as I unwisely watched it with my child, I will never forgive it for being the most horrific Doctor Who ever.
  • Deliciously Dark

    On the surface it may have seemed like an over-done, mindless-zombie, generic plot. Once you delve deeper (not just regarding the antagonists/s in this episode) and the full truth (and potential consequences) take(s) hold, the episode became all the more terrifying.
  • The Waters of Mars

    The Waters of Mars was another perfect episode of Doctor Who and I really enjoyed watching because the story was awesome and very well written. It was intriguing to see a situation where The Doctor must hold back and not interfere too much as it is a fixed point in time and space. The characters were awesome and it was cool to see a space station on Mars. I liked how heroic The Doctor was along with Adelaide Brooke. I liked how every thing played out and the ending was sad and foreboding. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Edgar Allan Poe Writes Doctor Who Script!

    A very dark episode with the Doctor unraveling near the end.

    Watched it twice- once alone, to make sure it was okay for my seven year old as I had heard it was dark- and once with him, letting him know what was happening to take some of the edge off.

    Well, I liked it a lot better on the second watching. I think watching with someone else helps suspend disbelief, and I got over my dislike of the simple 'Alien' plot.

    There is some great dialog, some missing plot (typical of Doctor Who), and great acting and direction. The Captain Adelaide character is fantastic.

    There was some subplot with the 2nd in command I don't understand- even on the second viewing. His dialog was hard to pick up.

    I did get annoyed with the deus ex machina getting out of hand. This run of Doctor Who (e.g. the new who) is constantly adding new mystical powers to the doctor to pull plots together. As a result, the metaphysics of time are becoming a nonsensical mess. Most writers would be shot for this kind of lazy writing (sonic screwdrive to the rescue! Some new Doctor Who power to the rescue!) but I've come to the conclusion that it's part of the format. People would be sad if there wasn't a sonic screwdriver bit in an episode. Still, I do think they are overusing it. The doctor psychically seeing future newspapers to anchor the plot? Come on!

    It I'm critical, it's a 5 or 6. But if I'm in a fun mood, and accept the format of the show, it's an 8 or 9. And I have to say- the expectation for the next episode is overwhelming!

    BTW- those who haven't seen it, The Sarah Jane Adventures has a Doctor Who visit in S03E5 and 6 (Sarah Janes Wedding). It was pretty good.
  • Water always wins. Or does it?

    After the disappointment of the the first special is was not sure what to expect from this episode. I need not have worried, the magic was back and better than ever. The situation the Dr finds himself in is a horrific one even before the main plot reveals itself. As he says "I should leave, I really should leave". The Doctor is powerless, not because of his adversary but because of the Laws of Time themselves. Then a change takes place. It is as though the Doctor has seen enough death and destruction and he finally snaps. Through his actions he becomes a (demi)god (Humm I wonder!!!) and almost Master like. However events play out in such a way that the Doctor is brought to his knees, quite literally and the realization of the consequences of his actions sink in. The Cloister bells are ringing once more; he shall knock four times....
  • The fixed points of Time

    From start to finish - the beginning of the end of this incarnation of the Doctor seemed to literally hit the ground running.

    Excellent cast, brilliant acting, decent script, wonderful story (this is what happens when Russell writes with someone else but himself).

    Special effects, spot on...only complaint was the Bowie Base shots seemed a little like DW game footage with live action bits tossed in...but that's me being picky.

    David was wonderful...facial expressions are his forte - he does them with such great ease... the end...the cloister bells are ringing...maybe it's not everyone else's fixed point in time he should be worrying's his own death/reincarnation that is the fixed point in time. Looking forward to the next episode...the Christmas ones are always the best....c'mon BBC - air it in the USA at the same time...make this a very special special indeed....we have the technology now!
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Interesting topics but boring and unbalanced story ; Lindsay Duncan refreshing and convincing performance but disappointing cast and other characters ; Intriguing but last minute The Doctor's morality issues

    A special Doctor Who episode set on Mars in 2059 sounded like a great way to finally discover the show. However I was worried that it would be as disappointing as Torchwood, its spin-off. Now that I have seen it all I can say is that my opinion is mixed. Some elements were interesting but overall it felt like a waste of time. In fact beside the story it's also Lindsay Duncan who convinced me to watch the episode as she plays Adelaide Brooke, the new companion. I really liked her character in Rome and her performance was quite good. As expected her talent and charisma shined and without her The Waters of Mars would have been dead dry. I can't even believe she's almost 60 years old because her natural beauty was easy on the eyes. Moreover her character was fierce and strong-minded so she made a believable commander of the first human mission on Mars. However she shadowed the other cast members and revealed the seams of a questionable ensemble cast. I hope the performers were hired for their talent, not the color of their skin.

    As terraforming is a recurring and fascinating topic in the scientific news I was expecting something smart and controversial. But the story was predictable and written around sci-fi clichés and questionable ideas. Only after a few minutes I already wanted to switch off my TV because I thought things could only get worse. I should have because most of the time I was bored and only continued to watch the episode because of the Doctor intriguing attitude and Lindsay Duncan. I can accept they had to produce a family friendly episode but I wasn't expecting some scary scenes to be nearly as ridiculous as in Scream and other teen movies. But the worst idea was probably to include the most annoying robot I have ever seen. It even reminded me of Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars. It's like if the writers had found, dusted and followed an ancient book on Disney worst recipes and black creativity.

    Otherwise beside Duncan a few elements saved this episode from reaching the deep sea, where plastic bottles find a second life. First even if the story wasn't frightening I have to admit that it succeeded in questioning the morality of terraforming other planets, to feed our desire of conquest and urge to survive our own mistakes. There were also some deep and sad moments between Adelaide and the Doctor. In fact I think some scenes could be relatively disturbing for young viewers. Last but not least watching the Doctor so tortured was surprising because at first he seemed funny and joyful. However when watching him fight his inner demons should have been fascinating it wasn't because the action was sloppy and they waited for the last minutes to make the scenes more dynamic, but the execution only led to chaotic ones. The actor's performance was also over the top. Otherwise the ending was intriguing enough and made me curious about the Doctor. Because with a better story and without the junk following his adventures could be both entertaining and interesting.
  • In a Mars base the inhabitants are being infected by a mysterious water creature which takes over it's victims. The Doctor (David Tennant) is thrust into the middle of this catastrophe knowing a larger one is waiting around the corner.

    One of the greatest Doctor Who episodes to date, kept us thrilled till the very last moment, with a surprise you could say we were half - expecting. The intricate storyline involving twists in time was brilliant! Despite the show being about a time traveler and time travel itself, very often very little is done with time. Usually the Doctor and co. arrive at some fixed point in some area and work things out from then and there going forward. It's nice to see time itself manipulated to solve a problem.

    The episode as a whole you could say was very similar to what I call its predecessor 'Blink'.

    One/or Two word to describe this episode: Pure Awesomeness
  • water always wins...

    Indeed. It has been six long months since we last heard from the Doctor but now he's back. And it was worth the wait.

    The Doctor seemed to have gone a little bit mental at the end but he has finally discovered even he is not above time. Yet again, somewhere new to take the series. He managed to save Adelaid but she was always going to die. That alone made this episode extremly special.

    The Doctor's morale quandy here mirrored that of Pompei, and I am glad they adressed it. Watching the Doctor slowley walk away while the different members of the team were picked off was extremly powerful. But of course we all knew... he couldn't just leave it. That is not the type of man the Doctor is. He couldn't abandon them to their fate and feels as a Time Lord he had the right to save them. Why let them die?

    And that was pretty much the whole point of the episode. Not the virus. It wasn't a monster of the week episode... the whole point was the morale quandry. But saying that... the virus was chilling. And scary. When the enemey is water that is one thing you can never run from. And they were some pretty scary monsters. Water really cannot be beaten.

    All in all... very very good. And the xmas preview... wow!!! Christmas cannot come fast enough!!!!
  • good episode for david tennant's finale and also a good episode in it's own right.

    i'd say this is probably the best one-off special doctor who has had so far, it was darker than most doctor who episodes we have seen. The doctor had to make a difficult decision and i'm sad to say that I think he may have made the wrong one, I know it was heartless but he should have seen the big picture here. At the end the doctor was quite diffirent to what we know appearing arrogant, and when he sees the ood he realised he has gone to far, one complaint is that the aliens could have been better, the seemed more like zombies than anything else really.
  • Ten out of ten for guts.

    Okay, so there's a lot of people complaining about this episode and how it doesn't fit in with the feel of the rest of them. Well to them, I say this: IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO! The Doctor is a changed character who has been emotionally broken by the constant death and loss that's haunted him. In typical Russell T. Davies fashion, you can't have a universe changing event without casualties. In this case it was the loss of our view of the Doctor as a purely good character. He is beginning to lose his grip on reality and I feel that this story line is going to turn into a beautiful form of character development for David and for Matt, when he takes over. The acting was very well done, though I would have cared to see more development of the other characters as they began to realize their fate. In that respect, I feel the ending was a bit stingy, though still very suiting. The appearance of Ood Sigma did throw me off, as it most certainly did the Doctor, and I am left to wonder about what his appearance could mean. Ood Sigma is not a malevolent or vicious character in any way, and the Doctor's clear terror at his arrival was a bit perplexing. As for the development of the Doctor's mortality and morality, I loved it. Throughout the entire series, the Doctor never faces the possibility of his death head on. He always confronts it with sly and dodging humor, but now he can no longer avoid that the Master is returning and he will die. I think that, because of this growing fear of his mortality, he is beginning to change his morality. I did not approve of his choices as a person, but as a fan of the show, I feel that they are in no way random or unnecessary.
  • The End Is Nigh Written by Russell T. Davies And Phil Ford Directed by Graeme Harper

    The Doctor (to Adelaide): "It's taken me all these years to realise that the laws of time are mine and they will obey me."

    Those are the kind of words that only a man who knows death is upon him could say. That being said, no-one should ever utter those kinds of words and the actions of The Doctor in this story alone prove why.

    In the last two specials, we've had Cybermen in Victorian London as well as Tritovores and the Swarm in a ravaged planet. Here, we've got a planet that we actually know of only too well and a storyline that mostly attempts to be more tangible in terms of reality that Doctor Who has arguably ever done.

    Mars, the red planet, the inspiration of a David Bowie song and in recent years, also reported to have water on it. If anything you could almost wonder why the writers have waited until now to tackle a story. As soon as The Doctor touched base on the red planet, trouble was always going to be looming behind him.

    A harmless robot named Gadget didn't waste much time in arresting him and as soon as The Doctor met the crew of Bowie Base One, he had to do some talking to win over Adelaide. His usual snarky behaviour about guns aside, credit had to have been given to Adelaide. She might have been suspicious of him but evidently not enough to blast him into the middle of next week. That probably took some patience on her part.

    Keeping with the classy casting, Lindsay Duncan was an interesting choice for the role of Adelaide. On paper and from some of the descriptions we'd gotten over the last few months, Adelaide was supposed to be one of the cleverest companions that The Doctor had travelled with.

    Also from the trailer that aired at the end of "Planet Of The Dead" back in April, we also saw that she was tough as nails. Adelaide certainly deserved the adulation bestowed on her by the writers and even by The Doctor. After all, hers is the only crew that are currently living on Mars and they seem to be doing a good job of it.

    They've got a stable enough base, are able to keep birds and thanks to Maggie and Andy, also seemed to be able to grow carrot. Mars might not be the place to make a life for yourself but it certainly was working for Adelaide. Then The Doctor had to show up and everything else had to go down the drain.

    Okay, it's not exactly The Doctor's fault for the chaos that happened on Mars but it would've been weird if Adelaide's crew didn't at least entertain the thought, given his unexpected arrival. Ed was even trying to get The Doctor to admit at one point that he was some sort of spy while Maggie was trying to speculate what nationality he was from. Given the lack of contact that they've had with other people, I don't blame them.

    As for the trouble element of the episode, when you make such a big deal about the fact that there is water of Mars, naturally this would have to become the source of the problem. It also happened rather quickly into the episode. One minute Andy was gushing about his carrots, the next his skin broke, water was dripping from him and he became something called the Flood.

    It seemed that for the most part of this episode, the transformations were happening at different times with the crew members. Maggie got infected straight after Andy but it was Tarak who changed quickly. It was also him and Andy that started chasing both The Doctor and Adelaide without a thought to spare.

    Maggie's transformation was something more complex. Stuck in sick bay, Yuri started talking about his family and where he lived and Maggie began asking the right questions. If previous trailers hadn't spoiled it, I still would've guessed that when Maggie was probing Yuri about his hometown's water that she had become the Flood.

    The surprising thing from that exchange was the fact that Yuri didn't become the fourth Flood victim there and then. Then again, it did seem too obvious and given the loss count of this episode, Yuri was one of the luckier ones. Too bad that the rest of his comrades didn't really follow suit.

    Ed for example was Adelaide's second in command and their relationship seemed pretty tense at best. I know for the most part that it made sense for Adelaide to treat Ed with the same icy reserve as the rest of the crew but he was trying to help and I think she could've handled it a little better.

    After all, we could thank him for trying to get the shuttle working in order to get everyone off Mars on Adelaide's command. Out of everyone, I almost expected him to survive the Flood but instead of allowing himself to be taken over, he blew himself and the shuttle to smithereens. I wish I could say that that was the only time someone in this episode had to end their lives in quite a drastic way.

    Roman was also another unfortunate victim but his transformation came after Steffi's traumatic turn into a Flood creature. The best thing about this story was the fact that a lot of the crew on Bowie Base One seemed to stand out a little more compared to other stories. Roman was the man behind Gadget and Steffi was also a rather tragic character in her own right. The scene where she's transforming is pretty painful to watch.

    The Flood themselves were interesting enough villains. Largely spewing water got them out of having proper dialogue with The Doctor and Adelaide in the end. Plus their origins were a little ambiguous as well. That certainly helped with the mystique factor of them.

    However the painful thing about this episode in general is the knowledge The Doctor has. He knows that Bowie Base One is a fixed point in time and that everyone is meant to die. His first reaction when realising who Adelaide and her crew are is to leg it. He had at least a few good opportunities before everything really went to hell to get out of there. I hare to say but he should've taken them.

    The Doctor did himself no favours with being cryptic as well. When you know that someone's going to die and the laws of time cannot be broken in order to save, it's probably not a brilliant idea to give the unfortunate people the biggest of inklings of being aware of their demises. Even Adelaide didn't need to know her smarts to twig that The Doctor knew more than he was letting on. He was practically spelling it out for her.

    The fixed point in time idea was something that "The Fires Of Pompeii" touched on. Donna persuaded The Doctor to save Evelina and her family and he did, with reservation. Nothing happened as a result. Maybe it was because of this that The Doctor finally decided that he could do whatever he wanted when it came to the time lines.

    After all, Adelaide is certainly an inspiring character. Her past encounter with a Dalek and how the creature inspired her to travel to the stars was hard not to be moved by. The fact that the horrific events of "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End" could make her want to do something so wonderful was brilliant. And then there was the tying in of how her death would inspire her granddaughter to go further in the universe.

    It's because of this that The Doctor made a fatal error. Earlier on, Adelaide begged The Doctor to find a way for her to live, to spare her crew. She was even close to her own salvation until the Flood destroyed the shuttle. But even Adelaide realised that the laws of time couldn't be tampered with.

    When The Doctor came back to save her, her reaction was to tell him to leave. Adelaide knew what The Doctor was attempting to do was wrong. Even throwing the fact that he was the last of his kind and the four times a knocking wasn't enough to dissuade. In fact there wasn't a single person who thanked The Doctor.

    Landing back on Earth, Gadget broke down, Mia freaked out and legged it and Yuri swiftly followed her. When it came to Adelaide, what really brought everything crashing down around her was The Doctor's arrogance about changing a fixed point. The way he demanded that someone thank him was enough to make me want to punch him.

    David Tennant played the last couple of scenes in this story brilliantly. If it wasn't obvious before that The Doctor's song was coming to an end, then this certainly made it abundantly. Adelaide rightfully tore The Doctor to shreds about what he had done but it wasn't until she had to correct his mistake did he realise that she was right.

    There are times on this show when I'm glad that something is concealed. I think Adelaide shooting herself inside her house where it couldn't be seen was just as effective than if she had done it in front of The Doctor's face. It's depressing that in order to keep history consistent, Adelaide was forced to end her life voluntarily, even if that had been the original course of action she would've taken on Mars.

    Seeing The Doctor's reaction added to the intensity of the moment. For all the talk he had of being the Time Lord Victorious, Adelaide's death was a big reality check for him. Then there was the sight of Ood Sigma. If ever there was a suitable harbinger of death, then the creature that told The Doctor his song was ending was the best way of doing it. Christmas is most definitely not going to be a bed of roses for The Doctor, that's a guarantee.

    Also in "The Waters Of Mars"

    This is the second episode of the new series to have a co-written effort. Then again, because of this, Phil Ford can now say that he's written for all three shows. Good for him. Lindsay Duncan's name was also in the credits for this episode.

    The Doctor (re gun): "But you could hurt someone with that thing. Just put it down."
    Adelaide: "Oh, you'd like that."
    The Doctor: "Can you find me someone who wouldn't?"

    I read somewhere that Adelaide almost went by the name of Grace. I think one is more than fine fans.

    The Doctor (to the crew): "I'm sorry with all of my hearts but this is one of those rare times when I don't have a choice."

    The Doctor: "That's the Adelaide Brooke I've always wanted to meet. The woman with starlight in her soul."

    I liked the design of Gadget, deliberately scrapped together and the moment where Roman's being electrocuted as a result of The Doctor's upgrade is probably the funniest moment in the episode.

    Adelaide: "Are you the Doctor or the janitor?"
    The Doctor: "I don't know, sounds like me. Maintenance man of the universe."

    Adelaide: "I thought you hated robots."
    The Doctor: "I do."

    The earliest trailer we got for this episode, post April was back in July as a result of Comic-Con.

    The Doctor: "Water is patient, Adelaide. Water justs waits. When it's done the cliff tops, the mountains, the whole of the world, water always wins."

    Adelaide (re Dalek): "It simply went away. I swore that night I would follow it."
    The Doctor: "But not for revenge?"
    Adelaide: "What would be the point of that?"

    Despite a lot of rumours, this episode did not feature the Ice Warriors but there was the strong implication that they trapped the Flood in a glacier on Mars.

    Adelaide: "Why won't you help, Doctor, if you know all this, why can't you change it?"
    The Doctor: "I can't."

    Ed (to Adelaide): "You never could forgive me. See you later."

    This episode had an "In Memory" tribute to the recently deceased Barry Letts. I love this show for honouring past producers.

    Adelaide: "It can't be stopped. Don't die with us."
    The Doctor: "No, because someone told me, just recently, they said I was gonna die. They said he would knock four times and I think I know what that means and it doesn't mean right here, right now 'cause I don't hear anyone knocking, do you?"

    The Doctor (to Adelaide): "We're not just fighting the Flood, we're fighting time itself and I'm gonna win."

    A DVD for this episode and all of the specials (including "The Next Doctor") is due for a January 2010 release.

    Adelaide: "Is there nothing you can't do?"
    The Doctor: "Not anymore."

    The Doctor (to Ood Sigma): "I've gone too far. Is this it, my death? Is it time?"

    The trailer showed the Master, Lucy, Donna, Wilfred, Joshua Naismith, Ood Sigma, alluded to nightmares and went under "The End Of Time". A preview scene can be seen on Children In Need, BBC1 at 8pm from November 20th.

    Given it's unfortunate position, "The Waters Of Mars" not only turned out to be better than the previous episode but it was amazing. Devastating, highlighting a real beginning of the end feel that we've had to be accustomed with for the past year. Thank goodness we only have to wait a month for the next special. I don't think I would be able to wait any longer for it.
  • An odd hour, but a pretty darn good one.

    After such a long hiatus, I can't help but say I expected more, yet there was a lot to this episode that doesn't diserve to be subject to my very high expectations.

    The first thing that stuck me with this episode was how driven it was, the story pushed ahead with very little time wasting. On top of that we had no pointless dramatic irony: The early revelation of the charecters fate was definatly a wise choice, which of course was important for the rest of the episode.

    The episodes 'enemy' was a fantastic idea, but it did fall a bit short: I would have liked more history, more info, more of a purpose...Honestly the lack of detail that normally works on doctor who didn't exactly work this time...This episode was on par with deep serious sci-fi, but that ruined it. That said they still worked well.

    Of course the highligh of the episode was the doctor and his change in personality; from dreamer to demented! His megalomanic attitude was something ive been hoping would occur...It really give his charecter interesting depth after everything he has been through it would effect you and give you notions of invinsibilty and grandeur. But the icing on the cake was the clever (if not totally original) timeline plot. I thin many like me are thinking the same....I smell the return of gallifrey! The doctors step too far could open the time lock, hell he could decide open it even if he hasn'tn't open it because of his actions...and then there is the powerful, but I think regrettable possibility that everything he has done could cease to be remebered or actually happen as a result of his excessive meddeling - Dont you dare Davies!

    But on this point Davies really has stuck a powerful chord. As a trekkie who heard of the importance of the prime directive (and the temporal one, all of which is central to timelord belief) towards the end really get a sense of the doctor facing his errors.
    As the viewer, you knew when he decided to go back to save them that it was wrong and stupid you knew he was being weak and beyond wreckless. This mirrored beautifully with his honorable motives which as it now seems are in fact due to his cowardice. Add to this his constant need to be the hero has unleashed a villian: A man whos pride and arrogance has turned him into a monster who will damn all of time for his need to be a saviour...A very powerful point for todays world, and one that has never been made quite like this, if at all.

    Credit to the music sets and effects too. I really did feel as if I was on Mars...I have to complain about the Mars shot after the explosion however...But then the DW team have never been very good at planets; in fact that shot looked like it belonged to the 2nd doctors Ice Warrior Story. Tell a lie for 1967 I think thier moon was considerably better to this episodes Mars. It was too chunky to shiny - it was like it need to go up a few screen resolutions and I dont know what was going on with the background: It was like a blue peter job. It really put a downer of things and broke the illusion for me as a viewer...Soz guys but you'd think you'd get a planet and stars right. It would have looked naff if was seen in the 90's. There no excuse, this random shift in quality is not good enough for a prime time global sci-fi; its actually quite embarrising.

    Overall I award this episode a 9.5 because it was different, new, refreshing, thoughtful and the hour just flew by.the lack of 10 score is down to the odd bad effect, a slight lack of substance and like with planet of the dead, for what is called a "special" it didn't seem all that special. But forgetting that word and treating it as a typical episode I give it a resounding thumbs up!
  • Good episode but not the quality we've come to expect from this series

    This episode was entertaining, I'll certainly agree with that but it really just felt like it was missing something (or at least the ending on Mars) but i do agree that it was an interesting ending (The actual ending on Earth)
    The actual ending was really interesting with him seeing the Ood man and coming to the realization that he has gone too far. The time on Mars was good for the most part too. I didn't like some of the characters and thought that while the water idea COULD have been cooler it just lacked something. Either way I'm looking forward to series 5 and the sad departure of David Tennant.
  • The "duck"tor is back.

    Pretty cool, and even a little bit scary, sums up this episode of Doctor Who which put on an even better sci-fi show than the critically-acclaimed FOX drama Fringe, which has a much larger budget to produce special effects. At times the British accents became difficult to understand, but this show is more often about action than dialogue and that is something a lot of shows in the US need to take note of. This is one of The UK's top programs and to see that a sci-fi show is a success should motivate the US to improve their genre, yet you rarely see our shows score high numbers. I believe a lack of action is the reason.

    Good special, and it saddens me to see David Tennant leaving soon.
  • Messing with time is a serious business. What will the price to pay be for the Doctor?

    Although not an original episode by any accounts- its another "run" one thats set on a base with stereotypical characters taken from the movie Alien coupled with monsters that are causing mayhem. (see; 42/Satan Pit/Utopia) its well worth watching. The CGI FX are really convincing and you can picture the Doctor has indeed landed on Mars. The makeup is quite shocking for the younger ones watching and is reminisent of 28days later. Could they be cousins of the Ice Warriors as they have that cracked lower half look of the Ice Lords.(see Monster of Peladon) The ending is the best part of this special as the Doctor takes control again to save the doomed crew members and the editing and action really make you want him to succeed against all the odds. It was good to see a tragic side of the Doctor that's well acted by Mr Tennant, in that he realises he's gone to far in showing off his superior skills with an air of arrogance. Although to end on a sour note if we cast our minds back to season one's Fathers Day those Reapers should emerge if the Doctor changes history as he said that Brooke has to die today. Maybe some form of them will return in the specials and become his downfall?
  • Maybe not the best, but certainly a milestone...

    Not a bad episode, but certainly not the best either, at least in my opinion. The writers and producers were trying to shove two plotlines into a 60-something minutes story, and it didn't work out very well. Don't get me wrong, I liked the episode, and it was loads better than the last one but it still felt rushed and a little crammed.

    In one hand, there was a typical Doctor Who storyline about aliens who try to conquer Earth, take over humans in the process, until the Doctor sweeps in and saves the day. There is nothing wrong with this, only the facts that there was no real solution, we don't really know who the water-creatures are, and we don't know what happened to them after the explosion --but again, maybe that's the point, and they will return next year or something. On the other hand, there is some really heavy character development in the story, and we learn why The Doctor should never be alone. The changes in him were almost unnoticeable, and kudos to D.T. and the writers for this performance --only at the very end does everything make sense. In the beginning the Doctor is really Doctor-ish, he can't resist a good mystery, though he knows he shouldn't interfere. But he still stays, first only testing the boundaries, then becoming part of the events and eventually breaking the laws of time. The speech he gives at the end is chilling and frightening, and when he runs from his own death that would maybe make things right shows how much he really changed. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think I can see the beginning of the Valeyard, which is ironic, considering that the Doctor believed that it would be his clone who'd become a dangerous creature without a companion to keep him safe. But what I really want to say is, that the writers were trying to create a good story that would anchor The Doctor through his change of heart, but in the end it only managed to take the spotlight off of the subtle changes in the main character during the first 45 minutes of the episode. And I might be picky about certain things, but even I admit that this might be one of the most important episodes in the history of the new Doctor Who, and that it's really worth watching.

  • The final song for the Doctor is almost here; and this episode shows what is going on with him when he has been alone with no companions.

    The episode of Dr Who was all right, it wasn't brilliant; mainly because I think it was because we didn't learn anything about the creatures who were attacking people; even though the Doctor knew who they were, he never said or gave out the information to the rest of the crew. Could it be that these creatures will be used on the next series with the new Doctor?

    In general I felt this was poor quality, you see the last episode which was full of adventure and banter and this one doesn't have it; at the end though you see why the Doctor should never really be alone, he acts like he is a God when speaking to Captain Brooke; which is interesting and then there is how Captain Brooke's rewrite her own history - ableit small and the Doctor appears to see this in his own head! The ep does show what the Doctor sees in his mind, and we have a sample of what the Time Lords have going on in their minds.
    Over all though, not the best episode out there, however probably not the worst either.
  • A great adventure that leads into the Doctor's darkest hour

    Warning: This review contains SPOILERS.

    These one-off specials have been hit-and miss, showing just how much the established formula (i.e., the Doctor with a steady companion) worked just fine. "The Next Doctor" succeeded by touching on the show's deep mythology, whereas "Planet of the Dead" just seemed like another stand-alone episode.

    "The Waters of Mars" works because it is first and foremost a scary sci-fi adventure tale, in the best tradition of Doctor Who. The basic premise is really not that original: Doctor shows up, quickly establishes himself as the most clever guy in the place, and either works out a way to save everyone. . .or lets history run its course. This was done most recently in the 4th season's "Fires of Pompeii" (which is referenced by the Time Lord himself). But the catch here is that, just when you think you know what he's going to do, the Doctor pulls a 180. Not only that, but in the moment he decides to take action, his entire character changes before your eyes. And as his closing exchange with Adelaide illustrates, it's not necessarily a change for the better.

    It is in these final scenes, too, that David Tennant really gets a chance to shine. He takes the Doctor from lonely hero to self-righteous demi-god with just a few lines. And his terror at believing his time is up is absolutely riveting. His decision also makes his upcoming demise more poignant: Maybe he really IS too dangerous to be allowed to continue in his current incarnation.
  • what the **** was that?

    In the words of the professor from futurama "screw history!!" yes, screw history indeed what the **** was that? Such a sombre, anyway, lets talk about the rest of the episode first.
    I don't think I woul have had such a problem with the majority of this episode if it werent for the fact that the sets reminded me of Warriors of the Deep, probably one of the worst "incidents" in the show's history, yeah I've never seen twin dilemma or time and the rani so that'll have to do. Its all just brilliant white perfect sets of a perfect future that happens in fifty years, gleaming white, I just dislike this portrayal of the future. This episode fails in that but the thing is they did it perfectly in impossible planet and satan pit a couple of years ago. Thats the thing we have all this faith in technology, itll all look perfect and work first time but what'll really happen is it'll tell you you've performed an illegal operation even though you haven't.
    However I did like the fact that the lock screens were the same as in doom 3, definite plus point...I don't exactly know why but it made me smile.
    Um, anyway. Problem I had with the script is like many past complaints I've had about the show, not enough build up. Its an hour long and so a lot of plot has to be shoved into that, doctor who was designed for longer shows. Ambassadors of death: 7 parts at 25 mins each and a complex plot that I'm really surprised kids in the 70's got. Torchwood season 3 proved that you can still do serialised sci-fi and make it work so why not? Instead we have a compacted episode with barely any build up at all. Admittedly the build up itself wasn't all that brilliant. You knew from the trailers it was gonna have a ****off jaw-dropping ending so that was all you were waiting for really. So the whole funny/annoying robot that says gadget gadget a lot is just a mild distraction from what you're waiting for.
    Yes it was a decent idea, a fairly decent script with some good actors in to do good jobs, a nice idea to hav the viewer knowing they'll die and anticipating it over the episdes, it was just annoying waiting for it really. So that's why the whole plot of evil water which really could have been expanded on given another hour or half even that has no real expansion. Instead we get a rather poor first half leading into what I can safely say is one of the best half hours of nu-who that we've seen in a while.
    Of course nothing can be compared to stolen earth/Journey's end but the whole speech from the doctor saying they all have to die was great. Then of course he loses his mind and saves them all.
    The later half of the episode was vastly superior, though the first half was an average sci-fi story with some goods ideas to it, the water plot got superceeded by the interest in the doctor's character.
    We've got to know him over the last few years as survivor of the time war who won't meddle with history. But here he decides: Screw history if I wanna save them I will, clearly forgetting the massive hissy fit that Eccleston threw in father's day (**** why do I go to the trouble of remembering all this ****). Was a tense fifteen minutes at the end as he saves them all and for a few brief moments becomes a master-esque cold hearted god-figure.
    The ending, what an ending. Veeeery dark for what's a family friendly show, she suddenly kills herself, the doctor realises what he's done and the ood appears as a signal of his death coming, bleak. Overall the episode was a mix, one part average sci-fi story that deserved furthur expansion and sets that don't remind me of horrible episodes of the past, and also a look at the doctor's changing character and a breath-taking ending.
    Well, we all know what'll happen at Christmas, just gotta sit around until then I suppose.......*twiddles thumbs*....
  • I loved that the Dr's morality and mortality was challenged. It gave great depth to the character and showed that his loneliness is having an effect after however many years. Unfortunately the episode over all was poor.

    I loved that the Dr's morality and mortality was challenged. It gave great depth to the character and showed that his loneliness is having an effect after however many years. Unfortunately the episode over all was poor, my main gripes being:

    Who were the monsters?
    As obviously intelligent beings, what were they're motives?
    Why did the doctor speak "old north martian" if it wasn't to be explored in any depth. I thought these monster had great potential and i was intrigued by their origins and motives for attacking the colonists but it wasn't explored in ANY depth! This therefore makes these characters pointless. They could have explored the same issues affecting the Dr without them and achieved the same outcome.

    I feel this is just lazy writing on T. Davis' part. A good story has a beginning, middle and end. This one nailed the beginning and end but a middle was entirely absent. This middle would have provided explanation and fleshed out all the characters making us care for them. This would have given greater impact to the Dr's morality choices. I cannot wait for T. Davis to pass the pen to the far greater Steve Moffat and hence a new golden age of Dr Who shall begin.
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