Saturday, 31 October 2015

Who Reviews Waters of Mars by DJ Forrest

The Waters of Mars

By DJ Forrest


Written by
Directed by Graeme Harper
Produced by Nikki Wilson
Broadcast 15th November 2009

It’s interesting, that three Who stories featuring Mars were broadcast in November -  The Ice Warriors on 11th November 1967, Pyramids of Mars on 1st November 1975 and of course this one.  Listen out for the nod to one of those earlier stories in this episode.  I won’t tell you which one.

What’s also interesting is that NASA has discovered frozen water on Mars, and has planned farms on the planet.  Plus Matt Damon has travelled to Mars in his latest film ‘The Martian’ doing much the same as the episode achieved, bar perhaps the cracked lips and the spewing of the water from the mouth, but hey, I’m sure there’s another scary creature bobbing about somewhere in the film, right?

It’s 21st November, 2059, and a group of intrepid explorers are at Bowie Base One, on Mars, growing vegetables, maintaining a healthy existence, with songbirds filling the Eden project, there for the sole purpose of eating the bugs that would affect the growth of the crops in the dome. Like on any allotment in space! All seems fine so far. 
The Doctor has also landed on Mars for a solo trip, aware that his song is coming to an end, so why not have one last look around the universe, eh? He’s caught trespassing and is arrested by GADGET GADGET, a talking, clunky looking robot.

Andy Stone, head gardener of the project marvels over his carrots, which grew far better than mine did at my Earth allotment.  He washes them under the tap before taking a large bite while his colleague witters on in the background.  It’s only then that things begin to happen, and although we’re always encouraging our offspring to eat their greens, it’s clear to see, that carrots are perhaps one to avoid.

So you can see where this story is heading, one touch of water on you and its pass the baton, and go and infect your buddies. 

I’m not sure if it’s something everyone noticed, or if there’s a certain pattern for underground bases, space bases, but after a while, they all start looking the same don’t they.  Did anyone else notice that?

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. It was a definite ‘edge of the seat’ story, and the thought of water itself, being the contaminant is pretty frightening, especially when we as humans consume so much of it.

Lindsay Duncan plays the role of Captain Adelaide, a woman who would save the Earth by doing the unthinkable on Bowie Base One.  Peter O’Brien played the role of second in command. It has to be said, that out of all the characters he’s played over the years, this character was maybe the roughest. I mean, Shane Ramsay for goodness sake – what happened?

Ohh, I really should go!

You can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs!  When the element of the story begins to break through the base to gain access to the rest of the team the Doctor knows he has to leave. He can’t interfere in a fixed point in history. This was a monumental decision by Adelaide, to do the unthinkable. He should let it happen. He should LEAVE….

The thing is, and we’ve seen it before in The Fires of Pompeii that it’s very difficult to walk away, the need to help far outweighs the need to not interfere.

‘We’re fighting Time itself and I’M GOING TO WIN.’

But it was the consequences of his actions at the end of the episode that were the most heartbreaking. The Doctor that we all know, had become this chauvinistic for want of a better word – prick, who didn’t care that he’d altered time, didn’t care what Adelaide thought of him, and it was only when she took matters into her own hands, that he realised how devastating his actions had been.
There’s this sort of defiance in the Doctor’s attitude, since being told that he will hear 4 knocks that will signify his end, and not wishing to hear those on the base station, takes matters into his own hands, while Adelaide decides to regain some of the control that the Doctor had taken from her.
And yet even after he sees Ood Sigma in the snow, and cries that this could be his last ‘mission’, journey, adventure, he climbs back into the TARDIS, defiantly says ‘No’ and flashes up the engines for another jolly. But it’s definitely a darker and more dangerous Doctor that we’re tangling with now. 

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