Sorry for the delay on these – been a busy time!

Right lets get started, shall we?  I’m not too sure what it is with the Doctor and monsters related to water – I mean it’s almost like he’s TRYING to scare us isn’t it! 🙂  Let’s be honest – this episode and its partner while not as frightening as the David Tennant helmed Waters of Mars was still enough to send my kids scurrying upstairs leaving me all alone in the dark.  However the ghosts were not what they seemed so without further ado – lets get into the recap.

When the Doctor and Clara bland on yet another seemingly deserted station they don’t really realize that they are trapped underwater. Exploring they come across a derelict and seemingly far advanced spaceship which has some strange writing on the inside that the TARDIS translation engine is unable to read. After the Doctor and Clara both look at it – and it seemingly gets imprinted on their eyes – they continue their investigations of the station. Almost immediately they come across a ghost – something that the Doctor does not believe should exist. When they find the remainder of the crew they explain that the ghost is actually their old commander who was killed, seemingly randomly by the derelict spaceship while they were investigating it.

The Doctor – as mentioned previously – refuses to believe in the existence of the ghost stating that in all of his travels he has never yet come across such entities however as more and more facts seemingly lineup he is forced to agree with this despite his earlier arguments to the contrary. Realizing that the only way they can stay alive is by trapping the ghosts they come up with a plan to get them into a faraday cage where they will be unable to escape.

Managing to trap the ghosts the Doctor and Clara get separated when the emergency protocols activate on the station flooding the hallways with seawater to shutdown an overheating reactor. The Doctor realizes the only way he can figure out what is really going on, is to travel back in time to when the ship itself was discovered Before the Flood (see what I did there?)

Telling Clara that he will come back for her, the Doctor departs in the TARDIS however shortly thereafter Clara sees a new ghost floating outside the window – this time it’s the Doctor.

Thoughts

Not one of the best episodes I’ll be honest.  There were some elements that were interesting but the ship itself was just too cardboard and didn’t have any realism. While I know that Doctor Who is not necessarily about the special-effects they generally seem to at least make an effort and in this case I felt that they hadn’t bothered.

Clara herself however seems to really be making an effort perhaps too large of a one has she seems to be setting herself up for failure. While I know that Clara is leaving the way she’s been acting almost makes me wish she was gone already as more and more it seems that the Doctor is her companion versus the other way around. While Clara has never been my favorite companion, I’ve not actively disliked one and unfortunately that is very much the way I’m starting to feel about her now.  I know – I’m probably just setting myself up here as I’m sure that they’re writing her this way for a specific reason and she’ll turn out to be some god or something that has to sacrifice herself to save the universe, but right now … I don’t like her!

The ghost themselves are interesting I guess, and having them able to manipulate physical objects was a nice twist and something that I was not initially expecting. The timing of this episode was extra good in terms of real life events of course as it was only recently reported that water had been discovered on Mars which tied back to the excellent Waters of Mars episode and had a good correlation to this one.

Matt Smith is really starting to shine now … the newest installation of Doctor Who sees The Doctor and Amy in the far future of the human race where they have settled many planets and stars.

River Song (someone from The Doctors future but also someone he has encountered in the past – time travel is confusing sometimes!) makes another appearance in this story and is obviously a key/pivotal character throughout.  In addition, the Weeping Angels are back – probably one of the scarier new villains from the David Tennant era – they are just as horrific now!

Brief Recap

  • River Song appears to us on a spaceship doing something to a box (we later discover that it is writing in Gallifrean and is the words “Hello Sweety” which The Doctor discovers when he is “touring” the museums for his influences – no details are provided on how she knows Gallifrean!)
  • The Doctor realizes that the message is for him, steals the cube and views the video record that it contains. When he does so, he hears the coordinates that he needs to have to travel in time to pick up River Song (how does she know these numbers??) and travels to rescue her just in time as she is ejected from the spaceship.
  • River then proceeds to take charge of the Tardis and is obviously very familiar with its use and operation (another question not answered). In addition to this, she is able to conform the Tardis so that it does not even make its distinctive landing sound (by the way – I really hope that this is temporary as this is a change I would not really be happy seeing in the future!)
  • They follow the ship which has crash-landed on a planet and are joined by a group of “religious” marines … The Doctor is informed that they are there to destroy the contents of the ship – a Weeping Angel and together River and The Doctor review a diary written by someone that is all about the Angels (I don’t think they inform us about who wrote the manual either, which is another question!)
  • They review one looping video that they have of the Weeping Angel and while The Doctor and River are reading the diary, Amy notices that the Angel is moving and seems to be active … as The Doctor discovers in his reading, anything “that bears the image of the Angel becomes the Angel” and this one is now coming for Amy.
  • Amy is able to stop the Angel by “freezing” the video in place at the static part thereby disrupting its image. However she looked into the eyes of the Angel which might have an impact on her (we will discover what later).
  • Where the ship has crashed is actually a dead world, covered by statues which will make finding the Angel a difficult matter in itself, however The Doctor and party set out to do just that and split up into several different groups to cover more ground. One such group is immediately ambushed however and the Angel seems to be able to mimic the voices of the people that it has killed.
  • As The Doctor and party progress through the maze, The Doctor gradually comes to the realization that the ship did not come to this planet by mistake, but in fact all the statues that he has seen are in fact also Angels themselves and that the only reason they look the way they do, is that they have been deprived of food for so long which is why they are so slow – however this is gradually changing with the proximity of the humans and they are “waking up”. The whole thing is a trap!
  • The Doctor and the remaining humans are contacted by the Angel who has now assumed the voice & identity of another marine that he has killed. Informing The Doctor that he is soon to follow the episode ends leaving us in suspense for the 2nd part! I hate when that happens – as I’d completely gotten caught up in the episode and was really surprised that the time had passed … oh well, I’ll definitely be back!

Thoughts and Observations

Overall really good.  Matt Smith is definitely settling into his role and the mania of the earlier episodes seems to be passing.  The interactions between The Doctor and River Song are really well done and there are definitely a lot of questions raised by and about her that bear further exploration.

The Weeping Angels seem to be (so far) a really good villain.  Definitely better than some of the other villains/characters introduced in the David Tennant era (although I would like to see the Oood again too) and while this episode isn’t as “scary” as their introduction it is still really good.  Best parallel would perhaps be Alien vs. Aliens.

After a very (very) long hiatus, David Tennant returns as Doctor Who in The Waters of Mars (released on the BBC on November 15th at 7pm).

5min in and 2 people dead… not sure if this is a record or not, but definitely looks like one of the scarier episodes of the new Doctor, with some of the scarier villains!

The Doctor is introduced to us in his normal fashion as an outsider who just happens across the scene (actually he is captured by a small robot which leads to a very funny inside joke later on … about a robot dog and you just know that the Doctor is talking about K-9!) … however, this time he’s very familiar with the people he comes across and his flashback about each of them tells us that everyone is going to die. In fact his comment to them that ‘no-one will ever forget them’ is very poignant.

Once again we hear the central comment that ‘certain moments in time are fixed’ and we know that there is nothing he can do to solve their fate or change this future. His comments from the beginning of the show and to at least the 1/2 way point that ‘he had to go’ is for this very reason.

15min makes dead person #3 … this time its the companies Doctor (not the Doctor of course).

30min … we find out that Captain Adelaide saw the Daleks and not only lived to tell out about it but used that as her inspiration to get out to Mars and as the Doctor tells it – start the Human race on their journey to the stars! Her life (& unsolved) death are the inspiration for her grand daughter and eventually humanity itself.

Eventually the Doctor is able to get out of the base and starts on his way to the Tardis leaving the rest of the crew to the ‘Flood’. As he walks away he can gradually hear them being changed … one-by-one. When the shuttle and their last hope of escape is destroyed the Doctor has finally had enough and decides to do something about the situation. This is an extremely important event as the Doctor knows better than to try and interfere with a ‘Fixed Point in Time’.

The Doctor is able to save the last three crew-members (including Captain Adelaide) by manipulating the robot to bring the Tardis to him and then transports all of them to Earth while the self destruct destroys the base.

OK – bit of a switch now … The Doctor as a baddy? After acknowledging that he is the final and last time lord … the Doctor calls himself the ‘Time Lord Victorious’ and says that there is nothing he can’t do. This is very different to the previous Doctor’s we’ve seen and almost makes him out to be the ‘Master’! Fortunately Captain Adelaide calls him on his attitude and states that no-one should have this power … after he says that there’s nothing she can do to stop him … she goes into her house on Earth … and … kills herself. We then see that the Doctor although he changed some small things about this pivotal character in Earths future, has not actually changed anything significant itself and in fact has NOT been able to alter time, implying that the doesn’t actually have as much power as he thinks he does.

Overall thoughts are that this is a really good episode … as we’ve seen in most of the specials … it doesn’t significantly advance the story to any extent (aside from the references to his death after four knocks and the brief appearance of the Ood) but is quite a good episode in and of itself. With definitely some of the scarier monsters! Some silly things though … the robot zooming across the landscape to the Tardis … what happened to the mountains and hills that the Doctor had to climb over to get to the colony in the first place? Its all well and good that they could breath water when the converted climbed to get to the outside of the colony … but what about freezing? Water freezes!!! Some of the effects are less than stellar also as although the water dripping from the mouth and the whole face looks cool … the water shooting out of their hands looks really fake and silly … it looks like a hose in their sleeve.

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