In a Mars base the inhabitants are being infected by a mysterious water creature which takes over its victims. The Doctor is thrust into the middle of this catastrophe knowing a larger one is waiting around the corner.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Aleksandar Mikic ...
Maggie Cain (as Sharon Duncan Brewster)
Chook Sibtain ...
Alan Ruscoe ...
Lily Bevan ...
Adelaide's father (as Charlie De'Ath)
Rachel Fewell ...
Anouska Strahnz ...


The Doctor arrives on Mars in the year 2059 and joins the first human Earth colony led by Adelaide Brooke. The day he arrives is also the day history records the entire settlement destroyed in an unknown cataclysm with all members of the settlement being killed. Everyone soon realizes that colonists are being infected by some unknown agent and are being transformed into zombie-like creatures. For reasons that are eventually explained, The Doctor is not prepared to save them and tells Brooke that she has to die. He quite torn by this decision and eventually chooses another path, one that will have other repercussions for him in the future. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

19 December 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Adelaide was originally a Russian named Valentina Kerenski, with Helen Mirren written in mind. Russell T. Davies feared that this was too similar to Mirren's turn as Tanya Kirbuk in 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984). She was renamed Grace, then Adelaide. See more »


The news articles and obituaries shown on screen are dated "Thursday 22 November 2059". November 22nd will actually be a Saturday in 2059. See more »


Adelaide: But you said we die. For the future. For the human race!
The Doctor: Yes, because there are laws. There are laws of time. Once upon a time there were people in charge of those laws but they died. They all died. Do you know who that leaves? *Me!* It's taken me all these years to realize that the laws of time are *mine* and they will obey me!
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Is There Life on Mars? (2009) See more »


Doctor Who Closing Credits
Written by Ron Grainer
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

Highly unbalanced
30 November 2009 | by (Romania) – See all my reviews

It was like an average Doctor Who episode, if you ask me, but it was so uneven that it oscillated between very good and very bad moments, probably because this special has a double purpose: one is to tell a story and remind Dr.Who fans that the show still goes on, the other is to prepare for the coming of the new doctor.

What will probably upset most fans is that in this special The Doctor is changing personality, going more towards "the dark side". I find this development marvelous and intriguing, giving new life to the otherwise pretty used up idea of a perpetually good and balanced doctor.

Bottom line: scary monsters and super freaks, but not very believable. A design of a Moon base that makes no sense. Some useless jokes. A lot of tension and it certainly makes me want to watch the Christmas episode... but it could have been better. The Gadget-Gadget bot really was out of place and, if I think about it, the best part of the entire show was the last 20 minutes.

I tell you this: if Billie Piper doesn't play in the Christmas special, I will be very very disappointed! Her character is what could change the tide, so to speak...

3 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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