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David Tennant
The Waters of Mars
Tenth Doctor Logo


Synopsis


Bowie Base One
Bowie Base One
 The TARDIS takes The Doctor to the planet Mars. There he discovers Bowie Base One - a space station that the history books state will be destroyed in a mysterious explosion and that all the crew were killed before the end of the day.

 The Doctor knows he should leave as by staying he could end up unwilling breaking the laws of time and so interfere with a fixed point in history. But when a strange disease starts infecting the crew he can’t help himself but to stay and help.

 What has caused the infection, turning the crew into walking zombies spewing huge amounts of water? Will The Doctor survive and will he be able to leave without revealing what he knows?

 The Doctor is about to make a grave error of judgement. One which will have serious repercussions for the whole of the web of time…



General Information

Season: Thirty (New Series 4) Specials
Production Code: 4-16
Story Number: 201 (New Series: 45)
Episode Number:754 (New Series: 58)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"Red Christmas"
Production Dates: 2009
Broadcast Date: 15 November 2009
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Upper Boat, Pontypridd)
Location: Victoria Place (Newport, Wales) and The National Botanic Garden of Wales (Carmarthenshire, Wales).
Writers:Phil Ford and Russell T Davies
Director:Graeme Harper
Producer:Nikki Wilson
Executive Producers:Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies
Associate Producer:Debbi Slater
Script Editor:Gary Russell
Editor:William Oswald
Production Executive:Julie Scott
Production Designer:Edward Thomas
Director of Photography:Ernie Vincze BSC
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Costume Designer:Louise Page
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameramen:Jon Vidgen (Assistant), Tom Hartley (Assistant), Roger Pearce (Operator) and Rory Taylor (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Paul Jefferies
Sound Recordist:Julian Howarth
Sound Supervisor:Paul McFadden
Visual Effects:The Mill
Special Effects:Any Effects
Prosthetics:Millennium FX
Stunt Co-ordinator:Abbi Collins
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Story Dedicated To: In Memory of Barry Letts 1925 - 2009
Music Performed By: The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Daleks Originally Created By: Terry Nation
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: David Tennant (The Tenth Doctor)
Number of Companions: None Number of Acquaintances: 1The Acquaintance: Lindsay Duncan (Adelaide Brooke) (Joins and Dies) Guest Cast: Peter O'Brien (Ed Gold) Additional Cast: Aleksandar Mikic (Yuri Kerenski), Gemma Chan (Mia Bennett), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Maggie Cain), Chook Sibtain (Tarak Ital), Alan Ruscoe (Andy Stone), Cosima Shaw (Steffi Ehrlich), Michael Goldsmith (Roman Groom), Lily Bevan (Emily), Max Bollinger (Mikhail), Charlie De'ath (Adelaide's Father), Rachel Fewell (Young Adelaide), Anouska Strahnz (Ulrika Ehrlich), Zofia Strahnz (Lisette Ehrlich), Paul Kasey (Ood Sigma)Setting: Bowie Base One, Mars and Earth (2059) Villain: The Flood

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
754The Waters of Mars15 November 200962'05"BBC One: 9.9
BBC HD: 0.4
Total: 10.3
Yes

Total Duration 1 Hour 2 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 10.3 (BBC One: 9.9   BBC HD: 0.4)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2010)81.60%  (Position = 1 out of 10)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)80.82% Lower (Position = 43 out of 241)


Archives


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.



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Notes


This story guest stars Lindsay Duncan playing the part of Base Commander Adelaide Brooke. Even though she only makes a one-off appearance in the show her name appears in the opening credits.

Peter O'Brien, who plays Ed Gold – Adelaide Brooke's second in command, is more famous for being in Neighbours and Casualty.

Chook Sibtain previously played Mark Grantham in the 2007 The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Warriors of Kudlak".

"The Waters of Mars" was initially due to be broadcast as a Christmas special and several festive references remain. Its original title was "Red Christmas".

In the build up for this story co-writer and Executive Producer, Russell T Davies, has was reported as saying that "The Waters of Mars" will be a very scary story for Doctor Who – describing it as ‘nightmarish’.

Director Graeme Harper previous credits on the show include "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday", "Utopia" and "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End".

This is the first time The Doctor has visited Mars since the 1975 Fourth Doctor story "The Pyramids of Mars".

The space suit The Doctor’s is seen to wear when he exits the TARDIS is the same type he used during "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit". A similar variant also appeared in "42". The only slight modification made for "The Waters of Mars" is to the helmet.

They may be the first but The Doctor has already encountered many humans attempting to develop outposts on alien planets. The idea of humans struggling to establish settlements on other worlds has been explored in many Doctor Who stories including "The Ark", "Colony in Space", "Frontios" and "Utopia".

The name of the base, Bowie Base One, is a reference to the David Bowie song ‘Life on Mars’.

Much of the scenes in the bio-sphere were filmed at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire. It is rumoured that Russell T Davies got the idea to utilise the location when he saw it advertised on a bus!

Adelaide Brooke reveals to The Doctor that the reason she became such a high ranking cosmonaut was directly due to the events of "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End" where, as a young girl, she came face-to-face with a Dalek, who spared her life. This flashback scene shows events in this earlier story including a Dalek cameo.

At one point we see a written news item which gives background detail about the team's journey and arrival on Mars. It reads: 'Mission Control in Houston breathed a sigh of relief when the first words via satellite communication were received from Bowie Base One, the first colony set up on Mars. After a long two year journey travelling 56 million kilometres from Earth in the shuttle Apollo 34, Captain Adelaide Brooke and her seven strong team landed safely on the planet Mars and in the most historic moment in space exploration have started the first off world colony in the Bowie Base One in the Gusev Crater on Mars'. The Gusev Crater actually exists and was named after the Russian astronomer, Matvei Gusev.

During this story The Doctor twice refers to the Ice Warriors who originated on Mars long before the events depicted in this story. At one point The Doctor calls them 'a fine and noble race'. The Ice Warriors are a Martian species who twice attempted to take over Earth but were foiled on both occasions by The Doctor. When he later encountered them on the planet Peladon he found they had rejected their bellicose attitude in favour of a peaceful, noble approach. The Doctor has encountered this proud, Martian race in "The Ice Warriors", "The Seeds of Death", "The Curse of Peladon", "The Monster of Peladon" as well as in numerous books and audio adventures.

It is also implied in this story that the Ice Warriors were the ones who froze the aquatic infection (known as The Flood) to stop it spreading.

The Doctor is heard to reflect back to events which we saw in "The Fires of Pompeii", referring to both events being fixed points in time. In that story he also grappled with the dilemma of whether to interfere with history in order to save lives. His companion Donna Noble begged him to rescue one family from the volcano that destroyed Pompeii and he agreed, whisking Caecilius, his wife and their children to safety in the TARDIS.

The Doctor initially expresses distaste for Gadget, the remote-controlled robot. He is heard to say that he hates robots (possibly a reference to Experimental Prototype Robot K1 ("Robot") or any number of the countless robots he has previously encountered) but is heard to state, ‘Ah, well, dogs... That's different’ - alluding to K9.

The reference to 'They said he will knock four times' comes from Carmen's prophesy that The Doctor's end was imminent, made towards the close of "Planet of the Dead".

Ood Sigma (who is seen at the end of this story when The Doctor realises the severity what he has done) previously appeared in "Planet of the Ood", where he likewise predicted not only the events of "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End", but the Tenth Doctor's death.

At the end of this story, whilst The Doctor stands alone in the TARDIS we again hear the Cloister Bell. This first featured in the 1980 story "Logopolis" when The Doctor explained, 'It's a sort of communications device reserved for wild catastrophes and sudden calls to man the battle stations'. Actually it warns of impending danger and was later heard in "Castrovalva", "Resurrection of the Daleks" and more recently it tolled in "The Sound of Drums" and "Turn Left".

Before the end titles there is a dedication that reads 'In Memory of Barry Letts, 1925 – 2009'. Barry Letts worked on Doctor Who in many capacities, most notably as the show's producers during the early 1970s. Sadly, he died in October 2009.

"The Waters of Mars" is the first story, other than a Christmas special, to premiere on a Sunday. "The Christmas Invasion" was broadcast on a Sunday but this was because Christmas Day, in 2005, fell on a Sunday.

Following on immediately after this story, on BBC3, was an episode of Doctor Who Confidential called "Is There Life On Mars?" presented by Anthony Head. This programme was released in full in The Complete Specials Box Set in January 2010.

In September 2010 this story won the 2010 Hugo Award for 'Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form'.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first time The Doctor has visited Mars in the revived television series and the first since the 1975 Fourth Doctor story "The Pyramids of Mars".

 The first story, other than a Christmas special, to premiere on a Sunday.

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Phil Ford.

 Gary Russell's first involvement in the show as Script Editor.

 Nikki Wilson's first involvement in the show as Producer.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Andy Stone Infected by The Flood
Andy Stone Infected by The Flood

Arriving on Mars, The Doctor steps out of his TARDIS and admires the Martian landscape. As he explores he spots, in the middle of a large crater, a large base. As he looks down on it a remote-controlled robot detains him and The Doctor finds himself escorted to the base.

Inside he discovers the base, called Bowie Base One, is inhabited by a team from Earth. It is in fact the first human outpost on Mars and that the date is the 21st November 2059. On learning this The Doctor realises that he must leave as staying could end up in him unwilling breaking the laws of time and so interfere with a fixed point in history. The Doctor knows that on this date Bowie Base One was destroyed in a mysterious explosion and that all the crew were killed.

However, as The Doctor starts to leave a crisis develops in the bio-sphere section of the base. Two crewmembers, Andy Stone and Maggie Cain, have been infected by a mysterious life form (known as The Flood) which takes over their bodies and causes them to gush copious amounts of water. The base commander, Adelaide Brooke, believes that The Doctor could be responsible for the infection in some way, and orders him to come with her and another crewmember, Tarak Ital, to investigate.

Tarak Becoming Infected
Tarak Becoming Infected

On their way there they discover Maggie Cain unconscious on the floor. While Maggie is taken to the medical wing, The Doctor, Adelaide and Tarak enter the bio-sphere. As they split up to look around, The Doctor and Adelaide discover Andy Stone but they soon realise that he has become infected and that he has passed on his condition to Tarak.

The Doctor and Adelaide, realising there is nothing they can do to help either crewmembers, rush back to the central control centre. They are chased by both infected men and they only just reach the air and water-tight part of the base in time. On entering the central control centre The Doctor and Adelaide learn that Maggie Cain, who is secured in the medical wing, is also infected and that the organism occupying Maggie's body has revealed its desire to reach Earth, a planet rich in water.

Adelaide Brooke
Adelaide Brooke

On questioning the crew The Doctor learns that the base has been built on top of a large underground glacier which is being used as the base’s supply of water. On further investigation it is discovered that the filtering system has malfunctioned so allowing infected water, which had been locked up in the ice, to enter the base’s water system.

Adelaide then learns from The Doctor the fate of the base and that they are all going to die, despite the fact that The Doctor also reveals that her death will inspire her descendants to travel further into space and establish peaceful relations with numerous extraterrestrial species. With this startling revelation Adelaide orders the evacuation of the base and the preparation of the escape shuttle. As The Doctor makes his way back to his TARDIS, he leaves the crew of Bowie Base One to collect essential supplies for their trip back to Earth. However, they are initially unaware that the infected crew members from the bio-sphere have gained access to roof of the control centre and are exuding more water. It is not long before the water finds its way inside the control centre and starts to pour from the ceilings.

Maggie, having been left alone, then breaks out of her confinement in the medical wing. She infiltrates the shuttle and sprays water over Adelaide's deputy, Pilot Ed Gold, as he prepares the shuttle for take-off. Realising that he has been infected, and 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.

Water Everywhere
Water Everywhere

The destruction of the shuttle is witnessed by The Doctor who, overcome by defiance against time itself, decides to try and save the others. However, on his return to the base he discovers that Adelaide has activated the base's self-destruct sequence. In a race against time The Doctor uses the remote-controlled robot to access the TARDIS, operate its controls remotely and transport his time machine into the base – so enabling him to rescue Adelaide, and two of her remaining crew, Yuri and Mia Bennett, from the resulting nuclear explosion.

The TARDIS then materialises outside Adelaide's house on Earth on exactly the same date. Mia and Yuri, shocked by their experiences on Mars, quickly depart leaving The Doctor and Adelaide on their own. As Adelaide starts to quiz The Doctor about his actions, and why he ultimately decided to save her and the others, The Doctor announces that he has come to realise 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. Scolding The Doctor for his newfound 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 actual 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. He then spots Ood Sigma further up the street, prompting The Doctor to wonder if this time he has finally gone too far and that whether the time has come for him to die. Sigma then vanishes and as The Doctor staggers back into the TARDIS the ominous sound of the Cloister Bell can be heard…

 
Adelaide and The Doctor
Adelaide and The Doctor
The Doctor Departs
The Doctor Departs
The Flood
The Flood
Escaping From The Flood
Escaping From The Flood
 
Bowie Base One
Bowie Base One
A 'New' Doctor
A 'New' Doctor
Maggie Cain
Maggie Cain
Young Adelaide Visited by a Dalek
Young Adelaide Visited by a Dalek




Quote of the Story


 'Don't drink the water... don't even touch it, not one drop'

Adelaide Brooke



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
The Water's of Mars and The End of TimeJanuary 2010BBCDVD 3105Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing both stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Specials Box SetJanuary 2010BBCDVD 3104Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing all 4 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Specials Box SetJanuary 2010BBCBD 0053Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing all 4 stories
Audio
CD
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 4 SpecialsOctober 2010Photo-montageMusic by Murray Gold
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Series 1-7 Box Set (Limited Edition)December 2013BBCBD 0242Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing all Series 1-7 stories at full 1080p high definition
Video
DVD
The Complete Specials (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3972Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 4 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete David Tennant Years Box SetNovember 2014BBCDVD 4000Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 37 stories on 26 Discs
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Fourth Series (Specials) Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)September 2019Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 4 stories


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - ArticleIssue 408 (Released: May 2009)
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 415 (Released: December 2009)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 417 (Released: February 2010)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 489 (Released: September 2015)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 55 (Released: February 2011)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Acquaintance

 
David Tennant
The Tenth Doctor

   

 
Lindsay Duncan
Adelaide Brooke
 
   




On Release

DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Specials DVD Box Set
Complete Specials DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Specials Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Specials Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover

BBC
AUDIO
   
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Specials DVD Box Set<BR>(2014 Re-release)
Complete Specials DVD Box Set
(2014 Re-release)

BBC
VIDEO
Complete David Tennant Years DVD Box Set
Complete David Tennant Years DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
   



Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 408
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 408

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 415
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 415

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 417
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 417

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 489
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 489

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 55
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 55

GE Fabbri


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