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Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars, the second 2009 special

Updated on August 5, 2015
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Alicia has been a Columnist and Reviewer on HubPages for 11 years; became an Author in 2010. Perseverance has been a key to her success.

The Doctor and Captain Adelaide Brooke with 3 infected colonists behind them.
The Doctor and Captain Adelaide Brooke with 3 infected colonists behind them.

TV Series - Episode Review

Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars was the second 2009 special released from BBC productions. The first special was Doctor Who: The Planet of the Dead (released prior in 2009). This is not the last of the Doctor Who 2009 specials starring David Tennant. Doctor Who: The End of Time Parts 1 and 2 the third and fourth special. All of these excellent Doctor Who 2009 specials are available on DVD.

Sadly, Doctor Who: The End of Time Parts 1 and 2 were the final episodes for the 10th Doctor (David Tennant). This Doctor Who fan had hoped for the 10th Doctor to stick around longer, but the regeneration process has become more frequent in the 21st century. This does not give the audience a chance to completely adjust to the latest playing the Doctor before a new one is introduced. My wish for this series future is to see each playing the Doctor last longer than three seasons. This would grant the audience a chance to grow comfortable, have many adventures, with the current Doctor. Well, maybe some day my wish will be granted........some day......

Considering the Gallifreyan regeneration aspect has a magnetic allure (boosts ratings), it was no wonder Russell T. Davies, Executive Producer and Scriptwriter, could not help himself to write in this aspect as a way for he and David Tennant to bid the Doctor Who audience farewell as they left this longest running ever television program. All Doctors 1 through 10 were awesome and unique. Each one was superb and expert in their portrayal of the fictional character the Doctor, now an extremely famous Gallifreyan beloved by many.

In Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars the Doctor (David Tennant) is still on his own without any companion. The TARDIS, with a mind of its own, transports the Doctor to November 21, 2059 to the Bowie Base, human colony on Mars. The Doctor, well versed in "future history" events of this colony, refuses to interact or become involved with the colonists. He knows all on the base will perish in the explosion that destroys the Bowie Base. This creates a dilemma and internal conflict for the Doctor who has dedicated himself to the preservation of time lines and the future. He fears his influence at the Mars base might change what is already in the known "future history". The Doctor knows he cannot change that which is meant to happen due to the Laws of Time. Well, not without paradox and many problems with alternative time lines occurring; something the Doctor numerous times in the past has prevented.

The Doctor finds himself without any choice, in spite of all of his efforts not to be noticed, to interact with the Bowie Base colonists and their Captain. This further precipitates the Doctor reluctantly interfering as the events take shape. His conscience forces the Doctor to assist even though he knows it is futile. In spite of his plans to walk away when "the time of explosion" occurs, well, like all previous episodes the Doctor cannot turn his back on a challenge and comes up with an amazing alternative. The alternative is not perfect and could cause time paradoxes, but it eases the Doctor's mind knowing he did all he could for those on the base.

Captain Adelaide Brooke (Lindsay Duncan) who is in charge of the Bowie Base creatively thwarts the Doctor's alternative solution to prevent the main "future history" accounts becoming altered. This selfless act by Captain Brooke maintains the sentient virus, contained in the glacier (before the Ice Warriors) that was found by the human colonists when one of the water filters in the infiltration system breaks, does not escape Mars. This nearly eradicates the alteration of the time line's "future history" events. Almost, but not quite enough, that is.

Loved the message about the importance of a water filter! Russell T. Davies had me grinning with that one.

The primary cast further included, in order given by credits: Peter O'Brien (Ed Gold, noble escape shuttle pilot who gave his life for the preservation of mankind), Aleksander Mikic (Yuri Karenski, one of the two survivors), Gemma Chan (Mia Bennett, the other two survivors), Sharon Duncan Brewster (Maggie Cain, second colonist to become infected by the sentient virus), Chook Sibtain (Tarak Ital, third colonist infected by sentient virus), Alan Ruscoe (Andy Stone, in charge of infiltration system who made a bad judgment call regarding the broken water filter and was the first infected by the sentient virus), Cosima Shaw (fourth colonist to be infected by sentient virus), Michael Goldsmith (Roman Groom), Lily Bevan (Emily), Max Bollinger (Mikhail), Charlie De'Ath (young Adelaide's father), Rachel Fewell (Young Adelaide), Anouska Strahnz (Ulrika Ehrlich), Zofia Strahnz (Lisette Ehrlich), and Paul Kasey (Ood Sigma).

Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars is 1 hour 2 minutes in length and rated NR (not rated). In the United Kingdom, Doctor Who is regarded a family TV series. Parental discretion is advised.

Highly recommend Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars, as well as all Doctor Who previous specials and episodes. This 2009 special definitely is "a must see" for all Doctor Who fans! All Doctor Who episodes are worth viewing and fun to watch.


For more information about the first Doctor Who special and the television series please view: Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead and Doctor Who: The End of Time - Parts 1 and 2.

More information about Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars please visit The Waters of Mars, Wikipedia.

Note: Netflix does have Doctor Who episodes from 1963 to 2014 available through their DVD rental and "Instant" view programs. To learn more check out:

5 stars for Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars
Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor
Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor

The 11th Doctor 2010 - 2013

The 11th Doctor was portrayed by Matt Smith (January 2010 - December 2013). This transition ushered in Steven Moffat as Russell T. Davies replacement as Executive Producer and Scriptwriter for the Doctor Who television program. Since the transition from 10th Doctor to the 11th Doctor, Steven Moffat has proven through his work that he cares about the Doctor Who series by adding new material without it conflicting from what has already been shared in the TV series since 1963 about the companions traveling in the TARDIS, Gallifrey, plus the Doctor and his past. This is no easy task to accomplish for there is a great deal to make certain. I do feel Mr. Moffat has, along with the rest of the Doctor Who team, managed to do this longest running ever TV program justice. The entire production team deserves a huge thank you for keeping this series correctly updated while expertly maintaining all of the characters’ history, storyline and subplots.

Upon the first airing of Matt Smith's first episode January 2010 as the 11th Doctor, he was the youngest of all the Doctors; literally for Matt Smith was younger than Peter Davison (almost age 30) was when he debuted in 1981 as the 5th Doctor. Matt Smith admitted to this being very challenging, but grew with the part exquisitely. He became a new favorite of this long-term Doctor Who fan. He proved himself via his first-rate portrayal of one of the most prestigious parts on television. We fans know this was not easy to pull-off! Hat's off to you, Mr. Smith! You are missed like all earlier Doctors and will always be remembered by this TV program's loyal fan base.

Point of Interest from the 9th Doctor through 11th Doctor: The Doctor seemed to be aging backwards per regeneration. In the beginning (1963) the Doctor was an elderly grandfather who traveled in the TARDIS with his granddaughter Susan Foreman; seemingly had all the answers and came across as annoyingly wise with an elderly cranky streak. Gradually, through all previous regenerations of the Doctor, loyal viewers watched the Doctor regenerate near the same age via Doctors 2 through 4 and 6 through 7. The Fifth Doctor (1981 - 1984) was unique, being regarded as "very young" in comparison to 1 through 4 Doctors. The Fifth Doctor stood out and many were sad to see him regenerate into the older looking and shorter Sixth Doctor played by Colin Baker. For awhile many speculated that he was shrinking with age since Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy (7th Doctor) were shorter than the taller Tom Baker (4th Doctor) and Peter Davison (5th Doctor).

When miraculously the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) regenerated into the youngest incarnation of the Doctor. Many wondered if the Doctor was becoming more fit as he aged. By many fans the 11th Doctor was regarded as the "Lucky Doctor." Mostly because of how young he looked for a Gallifreyan being in his 800's to 1,000 years old (depending upon which episode and season for he jumped around a bit on his timeline).

Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, inside the TARDIS
Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, inside the TARDIS | Source

The 12th Doctor 2014 - Present Day

Upon the debut of the 12th Doctor in 2013 the the cycle of the Doctor becoming younger was broken. Matt Smith's final episode The Day of the Doctor where he changed in front of his companion Clara Oswald was a shocking and heart-wrenching (like previous Doctor Regenerations, I could not keep from shedding a tear or two). The regenerated 12th Doctor played by Peter Capaldi returns the Doctor to looking 50-ish like the 2nd and Third Doctors. He was 55 years old when his debut as the Doctor arrived August 2014.

Points of Interest: The First Doctor was over 60, elderly and did not run. Personally, I am delighted to the Doctor once again is an older gentleman with a much younger companion who is more like a daughter to him. This shifting of paradigm returns the Doctor character more toward the original format with an interaction between more than one generation, like the First Doctor and his granddaughter Susan Foreman.

The 12th Doctor's first season August 2014 gifted a lot for the Doctor Who fans, including a new accent for the Doctor. He now speaks with a Scottish accent which obviously makes it easier on the Scottish actor Peter Capaldi to play the part, make the role more his own. The newest information addition points out that not all Gallifreyan regenerations include the same speech patterns, dialect. Once again the Doctor also changes height, clothing size, and his fashion style tastes. The Doctor's cranky streak has however returned along with his older man temperament. Amazing, and yet great! Peter Capaldi has proven once again that only first class actors are chosen for the role of the Doctor.

Good news for all Whovians! The 12th Doctor's second season begins September, 2015. There was too long of a wait between the 2014 Summer/Fall Season and the next which will be aired as a Fall/Winter season. Of course the Christmas Special that aired December 25, 2014 was fun, but no one foresaw those making Doctor Who would make everyone wait 9 months after this special aired for the next new batch of episodes to be released. Way too long of a wait for this long-term fan! The trailer for Season 9 already being shown on BBC America indicates the new Doctor Who season is going to be fantastic!


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