Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars (2009)

doctor who the waters of mars dvd cover david tennant lindsay duncan
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good story, interesting decisions by the Doctor

The Specials weren't always my favorite

doctor who the waters of mars david tennant lindsay duncan sonic screwdriver

Mars…a fun place to die

The Doctor (David Tennant) finds himself on Mars and meets the members of Earth’s first Martian colony “Bowie Base One” in 2059.  The Doctor knows something that Captain Adelaide Brooke (Lindsay Duncan) doesn’t know…that Bowie Base One is destined to be destroyed in less than a day.  When the people of the base awaken the Ice Warriors of Mars, Bowie Base One must die so the future can live.  The Doctor however finds he might break the rules and his actions could change the course of the universe.

Directed by Graeme Harper, Doctor Who:  The Waters of Mars was part of a series of specials falling between the Fourth and Fifth Series of the current Doctor Who run.  It followed Doctor Who:  Planet of the Dead and aired on November 15, 2009. In the traditional numbering, Doctor Who:  The Waters of Mars is Story #201.  The animated episode Doctor Who:  Dreamland also takes place between Doctor Who:  Planet of the Dead and Doctor Who:  The Waters of Mars.

doctor who the waters of mars maggie ice warriors sharon duncan brewster

No seriously, can I just borrow your ChapStick?

Doctor Who:  The Waters of Mars was one of the better specials of the series that ran from 2008-2010.  Like many episodes, The Water of Mars is a little scary with zombie-like infected (even mimicking a scene from 28 Days Later in which a drop of water infects one of the colonists).  The movie is short and to the point and really has an energy that some of the other specials lacked.

It has a nice tight story that is heavily tied to the Dr. Who mythos.  The Ice Warriors (the characters presented in the water) were referenced in previous Doctor Who episodes first appearing in the third season’s The Ice Warriors and last appearing in The Monster of Peladon in the eleventh season.  Adelaide’s story also was touched on in The Stolen Earth in which her character encountered the Dalek’s which spawned her desire for exploration.

doctor who the waters of mars ice warriors vomit

Oh man…I totally drank too much last night

The specials were interesting in that the Doctor was really in flux.  He has no direction and is waiting for his death (four knocks).  This leads him to the reckless decision to change the future by rescuing the team…and potentially changing time and reality by doing it.  The dark Doctor isn’t my favorite because Tennant’s such a fun doctor who really enjoyed life even at its toughest.  With specials like these, the fun Doctor is dead, and he is very solemn.

Doctor Who:  The Waters of Mars is a fun special that should be sought out by fans but also could be enjoyed by the fair-weather fans.  The best Doctor Who episodes are the episodes that are able to scare and have enough science-fiction to pull off an interesting story, and this is one of them.  Doctor Who:  The Waters of Mars was followed by Doctor Who:  The End of Time.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Planet of the Dead (2009)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The End of Time (2009, 2010)

Related Links:

Doctor Who:  Dreamland (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response