Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars
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Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars (DVD)
Mars, 2059. Bowie Base One. Last recorded message: “Don’t drink the water. Don’t even touch it. Not one drop"... all will be revealed in TheWaters of Mars starring Lindsay Duncan as the Doctor’s cleverest and most strong-minded companion yet.]]>
Something terrible awaits the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) on the surface of the Red Planet in The Waters of Mars, the second 2009 Doctor Who special in the handful of shows that brought Tennant and producer Russell T. Davies's tenure on the venerable UK science fiction series to an end. On one hand, the hour-long story is an unsettling hybrid of horror and science fiction, with the Doctor joining forces with human colonists on Mars to fight a life form that turns its hosts into zombie-esque creatures (younger fans should be forewarned that the infected colonists are quite alarming). But The Waters of Mars is also about a schism that develops within Tennant's Doctor as he approaches the end of his current form (Tennant closed out his run on the series with the two-part special that followed, The End of Time): his knowledge of the fate of the colonists and his inherent need to help others results in a decision to use his powers over time and space, with devastating consequences. The result is one of the most dramatic stories in the long history of Doctor Who, and it's highlighted by powerful turns by Tennant and Lindsay Duncan as the leader of the Martian outpost. Extras are unfortunately limited to an episode of the informative but lightweight Doctor Who Confidential that covers the making of The Waters of Mars, and stands in stark contrast to the supplement-heavy archival Who discs. --Paul Gaita
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In this adventure, the Doctor finds himself on "Bowie Base One," the first human colony on the planet of Mars. It is an ill-fated colony that proves to be a fixed point in time. As most Whovians know, the Doctor isn't supposed to mess with fixed points in time (but he does sometimes anyway). What happens with this colony will affect the future of humanity, but when the sinister fate that is to befall the colonists rears its ugly head, the Doctor goes into "god mode" and tries to save the colonists despite their fates already being sealed in history. What happens at the end of the special proves to be both brutally shocking and extremely sad for both the viewer and the Doctor.
The enemy in this tale, a virus intent on survival (which, as always, means that it want to get to Earth so that it can claim it as its own) causes the humans that it infects to become these grotesque creatures that literally drip with water, spray water, and shoot water from their bodies. They are quite frightening to look at, and this is the only Doctor Who adventure that my daughter (aged thirteen) refuses to watch again. She's scared to death of the infected humans and outside of the Weeping Angels, these creatures are one of the scariest enemies the Doctor has ever faced. They provide an excellent catalyst for the Doctor's actions, and of all the Tennant specials, this is the best in my opinion.
If you're aware of what happened in the specials that occurred before this one, you know that Tennant's Doctor is travelling without a companion and is, in all honesty, sort of getting a god complex. Tennant portrays the Doctor, torn between being a god and allowing history to run its course, with perfection. It's one of his best performances and proves that they Doctor works well as a solo adventurer on the screen. In fact, having been a Whovian for almost forty years and having watched at least some of all of the Doctors in action, I'd say that Tennant's performance and this adventure as a whole is one of the best in Whovian history.
This is mandatory viewing for all Whovians, and is an excellent story to show to non-Whovians who want to to what all the fuss is about. It's terror, tension, and tragedy all rolled into one excellent tale.
All in all, it's going to be interesting to see how they bring the Tennant era to a close, to the heartbreak of a multitude of fans, and I hope it lives up to the expectations. But even if it does or it doesn't, it ain't gonna be easy. David Tennant has completely endeared himself to the Whoniverse and it's going to be hard to watch him leave and watch that first episode without him. But that is the nature of the Doctor Who beast, I suppose. Change is never easy, but the next chapter in the life of our favorite Gallifreyan awaits. As for Russell T. Davies? The Whoniverse owes him a debt of gratitude for resurrecting our beloved time traveler and returning him to our screens and hearts with such brilliance and care. Bravo to all!
Ok I might be bias, so far I haven't met a Doctor Who I don't like. If you like Star Wars, Star Trek, Hitchhikkers guide to the Galaxy, just about any marvel movie, or anything sceince fiction your going to love Doctor Who