After a very (very) long hiatus, David Tennant returns as Doctor Who in The Waters of Mars (released on the BBC on November 15th at 7pm).
5min in and 2 people dead… not sure if this is a record or not, but definitely looks like one of the scarier episodes of the new Doctor, with some of the scarier villains!
The Doctor is introduced to us in his normal fashion as an outsider who just happens across the scene (actually he is captured by a small robot which leads to a very funny inside joke later on … about a robot dog and you just know that the Doctor is talking about K-9!) … however, this time he’s very familiar with the people he comes across and his flashback about each of them tells us that everyone is going to die. In fact his comment to them that ‘no-one will ever forget them’ is very poignant.
Once again we hear the central comment that ‘certain moments in time are fixed’ and we know that there is nothing he can do to solve their fate or change this future. His comments from the beginning of the show and to at least the 1/2 way point that ‘he had to go’ is for this very reason.
15min makes dead person #3 … this time its the companies Doctor (not the Doctor of course).
30min … we find out that Captain Adelaide saw the Daleks and not only lived to tell out about it but used that as her inspiration to get out to Mars and as the Doctor tells it – start the Human race on their journey to the stars! Her life (& unsolved) death are the inspiration for her grand daughter and eventually humanity itself.
Eventually the Doctor is able to get out of the base and starts on his way to the Tardis leaving the rest of the crew to the ‘Flood’. As he walks away he can gradually hear them being changed … one-by-one. When the shuttle and their last hope of escape is destroyed the Doctor has finally had enough and decides to do something about the situation. This is an extremely important event as the Doctor knows better than to try and interfere with a ‘Fixed Point in Time’.
The Doctor is able to save the last three crew-members (including Captain Adelaide) by manipulating the robot to bring the Tardis to him and then transports all of them to Earth while the self destruct destroys the base.
OK – bit of a switch now … The Doctor as a baddy? After acknowledging that he is the final and last time lord … the Doctor calls himself the ‘Time Lord Victorious’ and says that there is nothing he can’t do. This is very different to the previous Doctor’s we’ve seen and almost makes him out to be the ‘Master’! Fortunately Captain Adelaide calls him on his attitude and states that no-one should have this power … after he says that there’s nothing she can do to stop him … she goes into her house on Earth … and … kills herself. We then see that the Doctor although he changed some small things about this pivotal character in Earths future, has not actually changed anything significant itself and in fact has NOT been able to alter time, implying that the doesn’t actually have as much power as he thinks he does.
Overall thoughts are that this is a really good episode … as we’ve seen in most of the specials … it doesn’t significantly advance the story to any extent (aside from the references to his death after four knocks and the brief appearance of the Ood) but is quite a good episode in and of itself. With definitely some of the scarier monsters! Some silly things though … the robot zooming across the landscape to the Tardis … what happened to the mountains and hills that the Doctor had to climb over to get to the colony in the first place? Its all well and good that they could breath water when the converted climbed to get to the outside of the colony … but what about freezing? Water freezes!!! Some of the effects are less than stellar also as although the water dripping from the mouth and the whole face looks cool … the water shooting out of their hands looks really fake and silly … it looks like a hose in their sleeve.