‘Don’t drink the water. Don’t even touch it. Not one drop.’
The Waters Of Mars sees The Doctor arrive on the aforementioned red planet in the year 2059. After once again finding himself at gun point for poking around somewhere he shouldn’t, he quickly realises he’s on Bowie Base One (nice Bowie reference there), the first off-world human colony… He also remembers what happened to the crew, and that he really shouldn’t be there… The events that take place on Bowie Base One are a ‘fixed point in time’. A point from which so many other significant events grow, it cannot or should not be altered.
The Water Of Mars has been trailered as the ‘beginning of the end’ for David Tennant‘s tenure as The Doctor, and that is certainly reflected in the writing. This is a lot darker in tone that anything I think we’ve seen RTD write for Who up to this point. Not only are the water aliens some of the most disturbing I think we’ve seen, even The Doctor himself reveals a seriously disturbing dark side, much more so than I think he’s revealed before (in ‘New Who’ anyway).
Despite it’s overall darker tone, there are still the funny one liners we’ve come to expect in new Who. When asked for his name, rank and intentions on first arriving at the base, his response is ‘The Doctor. Doctor and… Fun!’ David Tennant once again proves he’s large shoes for Matt Smith to fill in the new year, jumping from wonderfully manic to great sorrow, to downright disturbing with unfeasible ease. Lindsay Duncan does a fine job as the temp companion for the episode, proving at times to be an extremely strong willed counter to the Doctor.
The visuals are as good as we’ve come to expect from Doctor Who (there’s a phrase growing up in the 80’s I never thought i’d read!) The water monsters are particularly impressive, not only with the make up/prosthetics, but the way they’d constantly appeared to be spewing water from their mouths.
Judging by The Waters Of Mars, and the trailer that followed for Tennant’s final 2 episodes at Christmas, it looks like RTD plans on taking us down a dark, heart wrenching path that’ll have fans crying into their mulled wine… I for one can’t wait!
What did you think? Let me know in the comments!