Saturday 21 November 2009

Reviews in Time & Space: The Waters of Mars

Okay I admit, this isn't really "revisting" anything since the episode is only a week old (sorry for the delay too, I've had this ready since last Sunday...but other things came up), but as it is still a part of Doctor Who is has a well deserved place here. We're heading towards the end of the tenth Doctor (played by David Tennant)'s adventures, his companions have left and him and he now wanders the cosmos alone. But what happens when he arrives on Mars at Bowie Base One, in the year 2058? And why does the Doctor have a horrible feeling about all of this...

Before we begin I'm going to sum up my feelings on this episode of "Nu Who", which honestly I've always found a bit hit or miss. Luckily this was a hit. No, not just a hit, a freaking bulls eye. This episode is undoubtedly one of the best of the new series and could possibly go down as one of the greats in the general Who Universe. The idea of there being fixed points in time where even the Doctor, a man who almost always wins, is powerless is both perfectly logical and a stroke of genius on RTD's part. Adelaide Brooke makes for a good one-off episode companion and the supporting cast are fairly good (well they don't get much characterisation other than "Oh my god we're going to die!"). Aliens "The Flood" are superbly done, especially since we never find out what exactly they are and (hopefully) they never return and we never do. This was one set of questions the Doctor was never meant to find the answers to. There is some silliness in the form of the Base's remote controlled robot GADGET (especially when the Doctor powers it up to move at super speeds...oh how I cringed), but we do get some great Tennant one liners out of it so it all balances out. Throw in a cameo by my favourite monster ever the Daleks and a reference to the Ice Warriors (for those who aren't in the know they also hail from Mars) and you've got yourself a great episode.

But I still haven't mentioned the most important part, the part that made this episode special and will make it a memorable piece of Who for years to come - the Doctor's dark side. Realising that because he is the last of Time Lords the rules of time are now his to control the Doctor snaps, spouting that the laws of time will obey him and that he is "Timelord Victorious". Tennant's delivery is superb and makes you instantly realise that this Doctor is dangerous to cross. But as the ending proves, not even the Doctor can escape the laws of time, and it seems time is now running out for him....

Bring on Christmas 2009 and "The End of Time".

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