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16 November 2009 @ 11:37 pm
Review of The Waters of Mars  
What can I say about The Waters of Mars? Most basically, I thought it was brilliant. I'm not as nitpicky as some Who fans. Sure there have been a few things that RTD has done that annoy me, but by and large I've liked RTD's direction with the show. I know next to nothing about the old series so I don't really have the baggage that some of the older fans bring to the table. I don't mean to say that like it's a bad thing. If you love Tom Baker and his crazy scarf and Peter Davison and his stick of celery more power to you. I only have Christopher Eccelston and David Tennant's Doctors to go on. I adore them both for different reasons, although I make no secret of the fact that David Tennant will ALWAYS be the Doctor to me. I love Ten in all his smug, shouty, no second chances glory.

Ok, enough beating around the bush. The episode can best be summed up by my icon. TIME LORD VICTORIOUS. Holy lord, what a moment that was. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Again. Let's begin at the beginning...

The TARDIS materializes on the red planet, Mars. The Doctor emerges in his godforsaken space suit and begins trekking across the planet's surface. He stumbles across an enclosed surface colony and gets caught by one of the colony's drones. Drone bring the Doctor into the station where he gets accosted by the station's no nonsense kickass lady captain, Adelaide Brook. Lindsay Duncan was phenomenal in this, not that you'd expect any less from her. She and the Doctor go back and forth for a bit and suddenly the Doctor realizes just WHEN and WHERE he is. He knows he needs to leave NOW. Or yesterday if possible. However, there's a problem in the garden dome of the station and since it coincided with the Doctor's arrival Adelaide refuses to let him leave.

Adelaide, the Doctor and the station medic go to investigate. Outside the garden dome they find one of the crewmen (Molly I think her name is) unconscious. Medic halls her off to sick bay and the Doctor and Adelaide press on. Inside the garden dome, they search in vain for Molly's co-worker, Andy. When they find him, it's not good. Andy's been possessed by some sort of water creature. The guy is soaked and spewing water from every orfice. His face is gray and cracked and repulsive. Every time they showed him I kept thinking, "They lets KIDS watch this?! I'm gonna have nightmares for a week!" Very creepy, RTD. Anyway, Andy infects another crew member and together they chase the Doctor and Adelaide down the corridor. The Doctor, knowing they can outrun the water, happens across one of the robots that annoyed him earlier. He uses the sonic screwdriver to jerry rig it to carry he and Adelaide to one of the sealed exits. Together the Doctor and the Captain shoot off down the corridor arriving at the door just in time. They close the door, but the Doctor informs Adelaide that water always wins and they need to get the hell out of dodge.

Meanwhile in sick bay, Molly isn't doing too good. It becomes apparent that she's been infected as well. Ed, the second in command, reminds Adelaide that in cases such as this protocol demands evacuation of the base. Adelaide gives the order and the rest of the crew beign to pack up the things they'd need for the nine month journey back to earth. The Doctor consults with Adelaide reminding her that if the infection is in the water than any of them could be infected. They can't bring the infection back to earth. Adelaide thinks about this and goes off in search of the source of the infection. The Doctor hesitates. He knows he should leave, but he just can't resist the urge to investigate. Bad idea, Doctor, bad idea.

While Adelaide and the Doctor go though the records and command logs, the Doctor and Adelaide have a nice conversation about why she came to Mars. In a call back to The Stolen Earth, Adelaide was confronted by a Dalek as a child. She said that she knew she'd follow the Dalek into the stars. The Doctor tells her that her story will inspire the future generations of her family. It's a very touching moment, really. Adelaide finds out that a faulty filter is how the infection got into the water supply, so none of the rest of the crew could be infected. Invigorated by that, she throws herself and the crew into getting the shuttle ready so they can get back to earth. She give the Doctor his space suit back and tells him to save himself. The Doctor stand there forlornly watching the crew scurry around, knowing that their fate is already sealed and there's NOTHING he can do about it.

The situation, however, goes from bad to worse. Andy and his cohort have managed to break free from the dome they were trapped in and have climbed up onto the roof. As the crew packs up, water begins to leak into the main cabin. The Doctor, meanwhile, has entered the airlock to head back to the TARDIS. When the door refuses to open, he confronts Adelaide. Through the comm, she forces him to reveal the true nature of what he knows, how he knows so much about her and her crew. The Doctor explains that her death is a fixed point and cannot be changed. He even mentions his own attempts at thwarting fate in Fires of Pompeii. This time, however, there's no Donna to push the button with him. :( Adelaide accepts the Doctor's story and lets him leave.

The next few minutes involve the Doctor making the long trek back to the TARDIS against the backdrop of the crumbling station. He looks so defeated and resigned in that moment. He looked like he needed a hug. A task I would gladly do, Doctor! :) Yes, amidst all the chaos I find room to be shallow. Sue me. David is a pretty, pretty man.

Anyway, there chaos in the station. More and more crew members are getting infected. Ed, who's been prepping the shuttle gets a blast of water from a newly free Molly. In his last conscious act, he sets the shuttle to self destruct. The explosion blows the Doctor several feet. AS he turns to look back at the burning station, we hear some of "last of the Time Lords" quotes that Ten has given us over the years. You can almost feel the Doctor's madness in that moment. Yeah, madness. I spent most of the next ten minutes thinking the Doctor has finally gone off the deep end. Not in a Master-I-want-to-rule-the-world sort of madness, but more a I-am-a-Time-Lord-and-I-answer-to-no-one kind of way. The Doctor heads back to the station ranting about how he is a Time Lord hear him roar. He mentions the "He will knock four times" thing and says that he doesn't hear any knocking! Well then Andy knocks on the door three times. Oops.

The Doctor jerry rigs another robot to go after their only salvation: The TARDIS. As the robot takes off, Adelaide begins the base's self destruct sequence. The Doctor gets the robot into the TARDIS with robot's remote control and sets a course for the base. You hear the TARDIS engines fire up just as the nuclear bomb under the base goes off.

The TARDIS materializes on an ordinary London street. The Doctor, Adelaide and two other crewmen exit the TARDIS. The two crewmen are really, really freaked (it's bigger on the inside!) and take off. This leaves Adelaide to confront the Doctor. Adelaide is furious that the Doctor saved them when he KNEW that she and the others should die. He tells her "tough." He's through being just a survivor; he's the victor. He;s outlasted everything he's faced: he is the Time Lord Victorious. Adelaide says that no one should have that kind of power. The Doctor tells her to go home and get on with her life. He turns and unlocks Adelaide's house door (yeah, he landed right outside her house. He got a landing right for a change!). She sweeps past him and goes into the house. Just before she closes the door, Adelaide pulls out her gun. It looks for a second that she's going to shoot the Doctor's retreating back, but no. Instead, Adelaide closes the door and shoots herself, thereby correcting the Doctor's mistake.

The Doctor hears the gun go off and the full force of what he has done hits him. He realizes he's gone too far this time. A vision of Ood Sigma appears across the street from the TARDIS and the Doctor falls to his knees in disbelief. Is it time? he asks. Have I brought on my death? Sigma says nothing; he just fades away. The Doctor gets into the TARDIS and hears the dreaded bell start to toll. He yells, "NO!" and throws the lever, sending the TARDIS back into the Vortex.

Thus ends The Waters of Mars.

Like I said, I thought it was brilliant. Lindsay Duncan was awesome as Adelaide. I really liked her and I'm sad she died. David was nothing sort of brilliant. He's right: these final episodes are giving him a chance to take the Doctor to emotional depths that he's never been to before. And it is a treat to watch him do his thing. I was actually scared of Ten. The look on his face when he saw the Ood is gonna stay with me for a while. I don't want Ten to die, dammit!

Of course tacked onto the episode was the trailer for The End of Time. Appropriately epic title, don't you think? There wasn't a lot there we didn't already know. John Simm's back as the Master. Donna. Wilf. The Doctor and some explosions. RTD is pulling out all the stops for this one, as well he should. I have every confidence, after seeing this trailer, that Ten is going to get the EPIC send off he deserves. But I have pitchforks and torches ready, just in case. See you back here at Christmas!
 
 
Current Location: The TARDIS
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: The Water of Mars