Doctor Who (2005– )
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The Waters of Mars 

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.


Graeme Harper




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Tennant ... The Doctor
Lindsay Duncan ... Adelaide Brooke
Peter O'Brien ... Ed Gold
Aleksandar Mikic Aleksandar Mikic ... Yuri Kerenski
Gemma Chan ... Mia Bennett
Sharon Duncan-Brewster ... Maggie Cain (as Sharon Duncan Brewster)
Joplin Sibtain ... Tarak Ital (as Chook Sibtain)
Alan Ruscoe ... Andy Stone
Cosima Shaw ... Steffi Ehrlich
Michael Goldsmith ... Roman Groom
Lily Bevan Lily Bevan ... Emily
Max Bollinger ... Mikhail
Charles De'Ath ... Adelaide's father (as Charlie De'Ath)
Rachel Fewell Rachel Fewell ... Young Adelaide
Anouska Strahnz Anouska Strahnz ... Ulrika Ehrlich


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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Russian | English

Release Date:

19 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Wales See more »
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Did You Know?


The Doctor and Adelaide Brook's arc in this story is almost similar to that of Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper in Torchwood (2006) (TV Series). In the spin-off series of Doctor Who, Gwen Cooper is defiant of Jack Harkness and she questions and challenges his leadership. Adelaide Brook is defiant of The Doctor and questions The Doctor's actions when The Doctor saves her, Yuri and Mia and is ungrateful to The Doctor. See more »


The Doctor would have known the devastating impact on the future of the human race by saving Adelaide's team so why didn't he walk away immediately? See more »


Adelaide Brooke: It can't be stopped. Don't die with us.
The Doctor: No, someone told me just recently, they said I was going to die, they said, he will knock four times. And I know what that means, it doesn't mean right here, right now, cause I don't hear anyone knocking, do you?
[Andy knocks on the metal door three times]
The Doctor: Three knocks is all you're getting!
[the Doctor electrifies the door and Andy]
The Doctor: Water and electricity, bad mix!
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

Interesting topics but boring story ; Lindsay Duncan refreshing and convincing performance but disappointing cast ; Intriguing but last minute The Doctor's morality issues
19 December 2009 | by igoatabaseSee all my reviews

A special Doctor Who episode set on Mars in 2059 sounded like a great way to finally discover the show. However I was worried that it would be as disappointing as Torchwood, its spin-off. Now that I have seen it all I can say is that my opinion is mixed. Some elements were interesting but overall it felt like a waste of time. In fact beside the story it's also Lindsay Duncan who convinced me to watch the episode as she plays Adelaide Brooke, the new companion. I really liked her character in Rome and her performance was quite good. As expected her talent and charisma shined and without her The Waters of Mars would have been dead dry. I can't even believe she's almost 60 years old because her natural beauty was easy on the eyes. Moreover her character was fierce and strong-minded so she made a believable commander of the first human mission on Mars. However she shadowed the other cast members and revealed the seams of a questionable ensemble cast. I hope the performers were hired for their talent, not the color of their skin.

As terraforming is a recurring and fascinating topic in the scientific news I was expecting something smart and controversial. But the story was predictable and written around sci-fi clichés and questionable ideas. Only after a few minutes I already wanted to switch off my TV because I thought things could only get worse. I should have because most of the time I was bored and only continued to watch the episode because of the Doctor intriguing attitude and Lindsay Duncan. I can accept they had to produce a family friendly episode but I wasn't expecting some scary scenes to be nearly as ridiculous as in Scream and other teen movies. But the worst idea was probably to include the most annoying robot I have ever seen. It even reminded me of Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars. It's like if the writers had found, dusted and followed an ancient book on Disney worst recipes and black creativity.

Otherwise beside Duncan a few elements saved this episode from reaching the deep sea, where plastic bottles find a second life. First even if the story wasn't frightening I have to admit that it succeeded in questioning the morality of terraforming other planets, to feed our desire of conquest and urge to survive our own mistakes. There were also some deep and sad moments between Adelaide and the Doctor. In fact I think some scenes could be relatively disturbing for young viewers. Last but not least watching the Doctor so tortured was surprising because at first he seemed funny and joyful. However when watching him fight his inner demons should have been fascinating it wasn't because the action was sloppy and they waited for the last minutes to make the scenes more dynamic, but the execution only led to chaotic ones. The actor's performance was also over the top. Otherwise the ending was intriguing enough and made me curious about the Doctor. Because with a better story and without the junk following his adventures could be both entertaining and interesting.

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