The Waters of Mars (and The Circus of Doom [and The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel])

The Waters of Mars was shown while I was driving across southern Connecticut to catch my plane from JFK last weekend, so it was a day or two before I caught up with it. I enjoyed it. I think RTD is rather good at the base-under-siege stories, and Lindsay Duncan, who I don’t think I had seen before, was superb as Adelaide. (Has anyone remarked on the fact that this story was headed by two Scottish actors putting on English accents?)

Many electrons have been distorted (you can find all the links from ) in discussion of whether the ending worked in terms of Adelaide, the Doctor, and Time. I was satisfied with Adelaide. She took agency back from the Doctor, even though it meant her own destruction; of course, she did this because she knew what her death would mean, and valued that ahead of her life.

The Doctor has now been without a regular companion since Donna left. (We also have a whole bunch of companionless Tenth Doctor books and audios released this year, for those who are prepared to take their Who outside the TV canon.) Donna told him at their first meeting that he needs someone to tell him when to stop, and that latent part of his character was made manifest in the climax of The Waters of Mars. It’s a dramatic twist to show us a flawed hero – still recognisably the same person, but seen by us (and himself) in a different way.

I do hope that The End of Time delivers. RTD has not given us a satisfactory season-ending episode since Doomsday.

I got home to find The Circus of Doom, episode three of the new The Hornet’s Nest series, with Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, waiting for me. A half-day in Paris on Thursday gave me time to listen to it as I walked from the Gare du Nord to my meeting at the Tuileries and back. Unfortunately I wasn’t wildly impressed; it seemed to me too similar to the second episode, The Dead Shoes, with the added demerit of a comedy foreign disabled character (played very well by Stephen Thorne, but that doesn’t really help). I do hope that the fourth and fifth episodes, due out at the start of next month, are an improvement.

As I drove across Connecticut last weekend, I was listening to The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel, one of the Bernice Summerfield plays released just over a year ago. It is a sequel to my favourite New Adventure, All-Consuming Fire, and features two brilliant actors, David Warner playing Mycroft Holmes and Peter “Nyder” Miles as the evil alien, as well as of course Lisa Bowerman herself. It would alas be slightly incomprehensible to those who don’t know All-Consuming Fire but was great fun and consoled me for missing the broadcast on the other side of the Atlantic.

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1 Response to The Waters of Mars (and The Circus of Doom [and The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel])

  1. beamjockey says:

    You may enjoy learning of the copy-editing jape I spotted while reading this novel out-of-order in the series.

    The glitch was repaired in later editions, making the joke vanish.

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