062 – The Waters of Mars

The Doctor is all alone again. This time he’s landed on Mars to find a human colony. Much to his surprise, it’s the first one, and it’s about to blow up that day.

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet celebrating Christmas with protein packs! Noobs and the Whovian! 

This is the podcast that introduces a whole new generation to Doctor Who by watching an episode each week and discussing it from the perspective of a dad who’s seen it before, and two sons who haven’t.  

Welcome to Episode 62 covering the 2009 Autumn Special: Waters of Mars.

Super-short Recap

This is the one where the Doctor goes off the deep end while vacationing on Mars.

The TARDIS lands on Mars as Bowie Base One is chugging along growing crops for a great Thanksgiving dinner in a few months. The Doctor realizes this is the first human colony on Mars, and suddenly decides it’s time to go. 

But something strange is happening. They contact the biodome only to get a growl in response. They investigate and find one of the crew members has turned into… something. Whatever it is, it’s spreading through the water, and it’s producing water, and it’s like, REALLY creepy.

The Doctor eventually confesses to Captain Adelaide Brooke that this is the day that history records that she detonated Bowie Base One and inspiring mankind to keep venturing into the stars. No one ever knew why, until now. The Doctor wants to help, but he can’t, until he does. 

The Time Lord Victorious starts kicking major butt, fighting the Flood, Time itself, and even Captain Adelaide if he needs to. He manages to save just three of the colonists, but he’s gone too far, the Time Lord Victorious is wrong. Captain Adelaide kills herself to restore the timeline, and the sad Doctor leaves.

The end.

Production notes

  • Story # 201
  • Originally aired November 15, 2009 to 10.32 million viewers
  • Written by: Russell T Davies and Phil Ford
  • Directed by: Graeme Harper – his last episode
  • Awards: nominated for a 2010 Hugo Award in the category of “Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form,”
    • Along with The Next Doctor and Planet of the Dead
    • This one won!

Misc Trivia

  • One of the news stories mentions the Dalek invasion occurring in 2008. (We talked briefly about this last time). The invasion actually happened in 2009, even though the episode aired in 2008. Wait, what?!
    • Remember in Aliens of London when Nine took Rose one year into the future? Jackie and Mickey hung missing person posters and everything.
    • Ok, so apparently at that point, the show shifted into the future by one year and STAYED THERE until The End of Time
    • This means that when the 2008 episodes Stolen Earth/Journey’s End aired, they were portraying events in 2009.
    • Apparently, this will be corrected in the next story, The End of Time.

Cast

  • Adelaide Brooke – Lindsay Duncan
    • Played Alice’s mom in the two Alice in Wonderland movies
    • Played in an episode of Sherlock in 2014
    • At the time of airing, she was listed by the BBC as a companion of the Doctor, making her the oldest actor to do so, at age 58.
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Checklist

  • Creature of the week
    • The Flood
      • Possibly one of the Whovian’s favorite creatures of the week.
  • Time War
    • He’s the last of the Time Lords.
  • Jiggery Pokery
    • Sonic –
      • Suped up Gadget so that he had rocket boosters

Who’s Who? 

  • What do we think of Gadget?
    • He was pretty janky
  • Who is The Doctor?
    • State your name, rank, and intention. The Doctor, doctor, fun
    • I’m sorry with all of my hearts
    • Oh, I just open my mouth and words fall out. They don’t make much sense.
    • He doesn’t like funny robots. Robot dogs, now that’s different
    • The maintenance man of the universe
    • He’s not a survivor, he’s the winner. The Time Lord Victorious.
    • Is there nothing you can’t do? Not anymore.
    • He went too far.
  • Who is Adelaide?
    • Corbin didn’t like her
    • Tripp wasn’t sure
    • Austin thought she was tough for standing up to the Doctor

Other stuff we noticed

  • Susan Fontana Brooke (Susie) was actually in the episode as a little baby
  • The Doctor’s wearing the suit from the impossible planet
  • Right after Yuri put up the “No Trespassing” sign, Gadget caught the Doctor trespassing
  • The biodome was shaped differently than all the other domes
    • The biodome was just ribbed while the others were more like a geodesic dome
    • This was because they filmed those scenes in National Botanic Gardens of Wales, Carmarthenshire, and that’s how the roof was shaped
  • Speaking Ancient North Martian – the closed caption said that before he actually said that’s what it was

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Classic Who Connection

  • Ground control to Noobs and the Whovian this is Major Jared bringing you your Classic Who Connections about the many times the Doctor has encountered Life on Mars.

Fixed Points in Time

  • The Doctor was talked about fixed points a number of times now in NuWho and he never mentioned that in Classic Who so I never looked too far for a connection. Fixed points are such a big part of this episode so I looked a little deeper. Some people have made connections to the concept of fixed points in Classic Who. Most of them were pretty minor, but there is one quote from the Fifth Doctor that I think sums up fixed points in time, even if he doesn’t use those words.
  • “History is tough and most changes we can make are swallowed up in the vastness of the whole but there are certain moments, certain events that shape history to such and extent that if they’re changed everything that follows must change. This is one of those moments.”
  • That was from an audio story about the Council of Nicaea which aired in 2005, but it was a Classic Doctor and it was around the time of the start of NuWho and because it’s such a perfect quote, I’m counting it.

The Ice Warriors

  • This is a lost serial of the Second Doctor. Episodes two and three out of the 6 total episodes are still missing but they have been animated so you can buy the whole story, it’s just not on Britbox.
  • Here’s a brief synopsis
  • The Doctor and his companions Jamie and Victoria (who you now know) land on Earth in an ice age set in the future. The find humans are trying to stop the advance of a glacier by the use of an ionizer device.
  • An Ice Warrior is found buried in the glacier and it revives after it is thawed. He says his name is Varga and he was the captain of a Martian spaceship that came to Earth centuries ago. Soon Varga is able to unfreeze his ship and the rest of his crew and now wants to conquer Earth as Mars is now a lifeless planet.
  • But you can see the Ice Warriors in the complete story The Seeds of Death on Britbox. That’s the 6th Season again with the Second Doctor. This time the Doctor runs into the Ice Warriors on the moon and they spread a Martian fungus on Earth in an attempt to destroy it. You can also see them in the Third Doctor story The Monster of Peladon. I don’t think I’ve seen that one but it seems that the Ice Warriors are some sort of mercenary force for some reason.

Electrifying Doors

  • In the Ark in Space, the Fourth Doctor also electrifies a bulkhead door as a weapon

Robots

  • The Doctor says “I hate Robots”… then after a little back and forth about robots he says “Dogs, that’s different” obviously referring to his former companion K9

The Janitor Doctor

  • In Remembrance of the Daleks, The Seventh Doctor shows up at a school that the Daleks have secretly taken over. When the Headmaster meets The Doctor, he thinks he has come to interview for the janitor (or caretaker) position.

Setting

  • The Doctor’s entrance is similar to that of the Tomb of the Cybermen

Can we talk about the Laws of Time?

  • The Doctor really struggled with the Laws here. At the beginning, his curiosity kept him there, despite knowing he should leave.
    • During the showdown with Adelaide, he stood firm.
    • Listening to them die one by one was just too much.
    • During the showdown, he recalled Pompeii and the lesson he learned from Donna: save someone, anyone.
  • Ok, so in the end, he still changed things. Yes, Adelaide died, but she died completely differently  Was her sudden reappearance on earth, post-suicide, not MASSIVELY different?! Her mysterious death, along with the whole Bowie Base One crew, inspired her granddaughter. Why would her suicide on earth inspire her in that same way?
    • Also, Yuri and Mia survived. They would’ve been able to share the details of what happened, so the mystery is gone. 
    • Is that why Susan was still inspired, because she still heard the story, even if it ended differently?
  • Reapers
    • Corbin asked where the Reapers were. The gargoyle-looking creatures from Father’s Day showed up when someone who was supposed to die didn’t die.
    • Austin read on the Wikia discontinuity page for this episode that one person’s theory was that they only showed up because it was a paradox. Rose went back in time to save her dad. If she succeeded, then she never would’ve had a reason to go back and save him, thus: paradox.
    • The Doctor just randomly showed up on Mars at that time, so his saving Adelaide wouldn’t have technically caused a paradox.

Overall impressions

  • Overall rating out of 10 – 
    • Austin – 9 tiny pupils
    • Corbin – 8.5 black mouths
    • Tripp – 9 crumbly faces 
    • Jared – 8.5 projectile vomiting water jets
  • Creep Level – out of 500
    • Austin – 425
    • Corbin – 320
    • Tripp – 347
    • Jared – 375

The Game Plan 

Next Time…

Join us next time for the 10th Anniversary of the final David Tennant Special, The End of Time.

Closing

Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Tripp Reason. Corbin Reason is our Production Editor. Special thanks to tardis.wikia.com for the trivia, and to Jared for the Classic Who Connection.

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