: : : Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars

Synopsis

The story is set on Mars in the year 2059 and the Doctor is joined by a new companion named Adelaide Brooke, played by Lindsay Duncan, who is head of the Mars colony, Bowie Base One. Producer Nikki Wilson described the character as "the Doctor's cleverest and most strong-minded companion yet." Former Neighbours star Peter O'Brien guest stars as Ed Gold, Adelaide's second in command.

Plot

The TARDIS arrives on Mars and the Doctor steps out in his spacesuit, seemingly just to relax and enjoy the landscape. Stumbling across a base inhabited by a team from Earth, the Doctor is detained by a remote-controlled robot called "GADGET" and brought inside. The base commander, Adelaide Brooke, is at first suspicious of the Doctor, but after a tense interrogation, decides to trust him. The Doctor learns that the date is 21st November 2059, and that this is in fact Bowie Base One, the first human outpost on Mars. History has it that on this date the base was destroyed in a mysterious explosion and Brooke and her crew were all killed. Unwilling to break the laws of time and interfere with fixed points in history, the Doctor decides to leave. However, at the very same moment a crisis is developing: two crew-members, Andy Stone and Maggie Cain, have been infected by a mysterious life form which takes over their bodies and causes them to gush large amounts of water. Adelaide believes that the Doctor could be responsible for the infection in some way, and orders him to come with her and another crew-member, Tarak Ital, to investigate.

The infection spreads, with Andy passing on the condition to Tarak. The two men are contained in the base's "bio-sphere" section while Maggie is secured in the medical wing. In a conversation with colleague Yuri Kerenski, the organism occupying Maggie's body reveals its desire to reach Earth, a planet rich in water. The crew plan to evacuate in an escape shuttle, and the Doctor breaks the news to Adelaide that she must die today, on Mars, if events are to unfold as they should. However, he also tells her that her death will inspire her descendants to travel further into space and establish peaceful relations with numerous extraterrestrial species. Unwillingly, Adelaide lets him leave. As the Doctor is making his way back to the TARDIS, Maggie breaks out of confinement, infiltrates the shuttle and infects pilot Ed Gold, Adelaide's deputy. Before the condition takes a hold over him, Ed manages to trigger the shuttle's self-destruct mechanism, which traps the infection on Mars but also leaves the surviving crew with no means of escape. The destruction of the shuttle is witnessed by the Doctor who, overcome by defiance against time itself, returns to the base to save the others.

Realising that there is no way to change the course of history, Adelaide activates Bowie Base's self-destruct sequence. The infected personnel mount the roof of the control centre and exude more water, which pours into the room and claims GADGET's operator, Roman Groom, and Steffi Ehrlich. However, the Doctor uses GADGET to access the TARDIS, operate its controls remotely and transport the time and space machine into the base, rescuing Adelaide, Yuri and Mia Bennett from the resulting nuclear explosion.

The TARDIS materialises outside Adelaide's house on Earth. Mia and Yuri are shocked by their experiences on Mars and the Doctor's power and depart, bewildered. In a conversation with Adelaide, the Doctor reflects on why he ultimately decided to save her and the others. He argues that the laws of the Time Lords were only valid while their civilisation existed, and that since he is the last of his race he has total authority over time. He proudly declares himself the "Time Lord Victorious" and remarks that with this power he will now be able to save influential figures such as Adelaide as well as "little people" the likes of Yuri and Mia. Scolding the Doctor for his new-found arrogance, Adelaide returns home and commits suicide, meaning that the Doctor's efforts at changing the timeline are mostly undone, the only differences being the location of Adelaide's death and Yuri and Mia's survival.

Only now understanding the full impact of his actions, the Doctor is overcome with horror and realises that there will be a price to pay for his interference. Ood Sigma appears in the street, prompting the Doctor to ask him whether he has finally gone too far — whether the time has come for him to die. Unresponsive, Sigma vanishes, and the Doctor staggers back into the TARDIS to the ominous sound of the Cloister Bell. With a defiant "No!", he begins to work the machine's controls.

Cast

David TennantTenth Doctor
Lindsay DuncanAdelaide Brooke
Peter O'BrienEd Gold
Aleksander MikicYuri Kerenski
Gemma ChanMia Bennett
Sharon Duncan BrewsterMaggie Cain
Chook SibtainTarak Ital
Alan RuscoeAndy Stone
Cosima ShawSteffi Ehrlich
Michael GoldsmithRoman Groom
Lily BevanEmily
Max BollingerMikhail
Charlie De'AthAdelaide's father
Rachel FewellYoung Adelaide
Anouska StrahnzUlrika Ehrlich
Zofia StrahnzLisette Ehrlich
Paul KaseyOod Sigma

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