(reposted from my LiveJournal – “Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars” review)
Waters of Mars finished. And I cry. Again.
But let’s start from the beginning.
The whole time during watching the special I sat their, breathless, and when my dad came in to say goodnight, I almost screamed in shock because I didn’t hear him.
This episode could have been very well from Steven Moffat, at least as far as the creepiness factor is concerned.
So, the Doctor is on Mars, Bowie Base One (still think it has something to do with good old David… Bowie, not Tennant), and again he has a very good (or bad, depends on the POV) timing. Considering that he obviously once more didn’t know where, or more, when he had landed, either the TARDIS has an internal history book and leads the Doctor to those events, or he should play lottery. Or… not.
However. I’ve made some notes so I won’t forget anything.
Adelaide. Adelaide somehow reminded me of Professor Sholough (hope that’s the right spelling; I’m too lazy to look it up) from the novel “The Price of Paradise” I’ve just recently finished reading it (good book by the way). Her whole way of acting, her fierceness and the focussing on her mission, as well as the early death of her parents; that’s a lot like the professor. Although, Adelaide had a daughter and granddaughter, while the professor didn’t have a family (at first, but I don’t want to spoil anyone for the book).
But however, she was a good and interesting character. Nevertheless I missed some deeper insight; the whole story of her having seen a Dalek that had spared her life, and that this had made of her what she was now, was interesting, but… short. I don’t know what, but somehow, something was missing.
Hey, they mentioned the Ice Warriors. If I remember right, they appeared in the old series, right? I think I remember reading something about them in one of my Doctor Who books (yeah, I AM obsessed with that show and have some of the “non fictional books”, like the “Companions and Allies” one or “The Definite Guide Through Time And Space”. They’re really good ;)).
The virus in the water. The first thing that came to my mind when I heard that was – the Black Oil from X-files. I don’t know exactly why, maybe because it also was alien and also came from a glacier (on Earth in that case). However, a virus or whatever in the water is frightening and creepy – because whatever you do, you’ll always need water. You may survive a few days without food, but without water? Never. And water that is so powerful to pass through everything, to open doors and cut open (?) steel and concrete…
As the Doctor said – just one drop. One drop, and you’re dead. Or, you’re an alien monster. Unfortunately, and I guess it was because of the length of the episode, the intention wasn’t so clear in the end, at least not to me. I mean, what did they really want? Did they want to go to Earth, because there’s so much water? Would it have been their way to reproduce? Would it have been an alien inversion, coming from the oceans? That’s what I would say, but I’m not so sure if that’s true.
One scene that really touched me was when the crew was busy packing and the Doctor just stood there. Stood there and watched; probably fought with himself whether to tell them or not. Whether to do something – or not. And then he turned away and left, beaten and knowing that there wasn’t anything he could have done, simply because it is a fixed moment in time. That in the end he decided that he didn’t care is another story.
He walked back to the TARDIS, straight and without looking back – but he heard the crew, desperately trying to save themselves, he heard them scream, and I think it killed him, a part of him. And then, after the explosion, there were the voices. Memories. Obviously reminding him of what he had lost, what had happened in the past because he had followed the rules of the Time Lords and not changed anything. It wasn’t so easy for me to understand everything, but as far as I heard, it was about his people, and there was also a hint to Rose I think (there was said something about the “worlds were sealed”).
I had to laugh a bit when the Doctor sent the Wall-E, Doctor Who style, to his TARDIS and then brought his ship to the base, only by navigating/programming it with the robot. I mean, come on. Most times he has serious problems flying the ship when on board. And here he can do it through a robot that isn’t very exact to move? Oh yeah, alright, we missed a lot in the past seven months; especially the Doctor taking flight/navigation lessons 😉
The music. I take a deep bow. Murray Gold, you’re a total genius.
There isn’t more to say to this.
The ending. And The End Of Time.
It all makes sense now. So much sense. And it hurts. The moment I realized what just had happened, I began to cry. Because the Doctor saved people; for once, he played God, he changed time although he knows it’s the worst thing to do – and sealed his own fate and doom. The moment he had changed history and brought the three humans to Earth – three people who were supposed to die, whose deaths were fixed points in time – he had also changed himself. I think that’s also the explanation for this whole “Time Lord Victorious” speech that really shocked me a bit. Because, the moment Adelaide shot herself and at least to some small extent restored history, the Doctor’s senses came back and it fully hit him what he had really done and what will be the consequences.
That with this action, whether with good intentions or not, will be his death sentence. For once he tried to do the right thing; for once he wanted to save people, whatever history and the Laws of Time may say. Once in a whole, no, in ten lifetimes – and with that, he more or less committed suicide.
My heart broke when he suddenly knew that his end, his death is not to avoid anymore, and that just one mistake will bring him this death. It’s like the Time Lords are still alive and take away another life/regeneration from him for what he’s done. Only because he didn’t want to watch people die anymore.
In some way, it was like in Stargate, when Daniel helped his friends, but was banned from the descended ones (don’t know their name right now). He did the right thing; but even if it’s the right thing, there are rules to follow. Rules which have a reason.
And it makes the Doctor to an even more tragic figure than ever before.
It was a great and thrilling episode, especially as far as the preparation for the End Of Time is concerned, but then, I also think they could have made more of it.