Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TV Review: Doctor Who - The Waters of Mars: without spoilers / with spoilers

Last week would have been a real treat if I hadn't been poorly: Collision across 5 nights with lovely Douglas Henshall, a cello concert, a weekend away in Stratford with friend Helen Lisette, and topped off nicely with a dose of old-fashioned Doctor Who with David Tennant.

Still, all appreciated, including that last treat on Sunday night.

Spoiler free comments
Others have already added their remarks to the newspaper reviews etc: Medium Rob gave it a thumbs up, as have Stuart Ian Burns and Frank Collins over at Behind the Sofa (the two who are most inclined to be excitedly positively in their analysis and delight of current DW episodes).

For me, I liked that we got a rather successful echo of a Troughton-esque 'Base Under Siege' storyline, but with the added bonus of a brilliantly strong central female character. There was lots of running around - padding for the episode or homage to days of yore? - and even a 'cute' robot (I'd say WALL-E should sue but really it should be the designers from Short Circuit taking up the lawsuits). Since I utterly HEART Lindsay Duncan, she was of course awesome, taking the Doctor to task appropriately and with measure. Was the water scary enough? Yeah, and watching the Confidential afterwards it was interesting how smiling made it work better on every level. *Shudder*

Did the Doctor have quite enough to do? There was some loitering, but he more than made up for it by the last 15 mins. We're getting ready to say bye-bye to the Tenth Doctor and I'm already in pieces at the thought of what's to come.

Spoilers ahead










Spoiler alert!!!!!!
Scary, scary water monsters took second fiddle to the big darkness of the episode. Namely, Ten realising the significance of being 'Last of the Time Lords'. Who says he must be subject to the laws of time? The Time Lords, surely. 'And that's me' he thinks. And my word, on that realisation Ten lost the plot didn't he? Fantastic acting by Tennant as he tweaked the nuances of saying the same phrases he often uses - 'come on!' and 'I'm good' - and made them chilling and unnerving and scarily arrogant. Sidelined for much of the early part of the story - trying to pull himself away from the doomed Bowie Base and crew but not quite able to do so - he ends up ripping apart everything he has previously told himself he cannot, must not do. Definitely no one to hold him back; Adelaide Brooke hasn't enough personal history with him to do that. The Doctor saves the day and we feel cold and scared because we know it's just WRONG.

Is he even rid of all that 'Time Lord Victorious' power-rush when he tries to outrun the cloister-bell at the end? Never mind the knocking....

And the trailer. Blonde Master / evil skeleton Master? Rusty unable to leave the Noble family narrative alone. All manner of doom. Here's to January!


Anna Lowman (annawaits) said...

I didn't *love* this episode - and who on Earth said it was the scariest ever? - but my word, Tennant was on form. I won't spoiler, but yes, 'cold' and 'chilling' are most certainly the words. I kinda hope he stays that way for a bit... it's thrilling!

Jane Henry said...

Anna, didn't think it was scariest, but possibly the darkest. I did love it, but was so stunned at hating David Tennnant t the end. How did he make me do that??? Really chilling and sent shivers up my spine. Lisa, am also going to be in bits when he goes, but the Master stuff looks fabulous. Hope his mucking about with time restores Donna properly.

Marie said...

My review over here -


A preview: I *loved* it.