Posted by: Nick Walters | November 16, 2009

The Jizz-Monsters of Joconda

After the inconsequential tease of The Next Doctor and the joyless vacuity of Planet of the Dead, it was about time the HOLY FUCK! factor returned to Doctor Who. You know, those moments like the reveal of the Daleks at the end of Doomsday and the Master in Utopia, or the Doctor “regenerating” in Journey’s End. And about time the show delivered on its story titles instead of misleading (it wasn’t World War Three or Doomsday, he wasn’t The Next Doctor, she wasn’t The Doctor’s Daughter). Well the title is the least interesting thing about The Waters of Mars, as the story of alien possession on a colony world could have happened anywhere and anywhen, as it provided a mere backdrop to STUNNING developments in the Doctor’s character and at LEAST three HOLY FUCK! moments. Indeed it could have been called The Jizz-Monsters of Joconda, for all the relevance this trad Base Under Siege story had to the Doctor’s story.

I’m being a tad unfair there, because of course the fates of the characters on Bowie Base One and especially Captain Adelaide Brooke did have  a bearing on the Doctor’s decision not to interfere (and then to dilly-dally, and then finally to interfere, overstepping his bounds and committing that Shakespearean sin of hubris).  It’s The Fires Of Pompeii all over again as the Doctor lands smack back in the middle of a documented historical event and can do bugger all to save anyone. But I was screaming at the screen, “Use the TARDIS! Get them all away!” during the first ten minutes. It was the first thing he thought of when it all went tits-up in Voyage of the Damned, but the TARDIS was floating around outside the Titanic then so he couldn’t use it. It’s just sitting there within walking distance in The Waters of Mars so why didn’t he use it? I’ll need to watch again but a line or two about this might have helped clarify things.

But maybe it was all part of the “Doctor Fucks Up” plot. In The Waters of Mars, the Doctor makes the wrong decisions, dithers, is selfish, and, eventually, slips over into grandiose arrogance worthy of The Master. “The Laws of Time are MINE – AND THEY WILL OBEY ME!” and “A Time Lord victorious!” are lines delivered chillingly by Tennant. HOLY FUCK! moments both. Thank God for his moment of realisation after Adelaide’s suicide, or this development may have been a step too far. The Doctor has overstepped his bounds and it looks like he’s gonna get his ass kicked in The End Of Time. By Timothy Dalton.

Oh I’ve not mentioned the water zombies or the other characters or Gadget or anything. Well, they were OK, though the zombies looked more silly than scary. They weren’t the main point of the story anyway, really. That was the Doctor, losing it big time, thinking he’s God, becoming the sort of being he would usually fight against. It was rivetting to watch, rivetting and shocking. Holy Fuck.

Somehow I doubt the Doctor is going to have a very merry Christmas this year.

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