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Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars

Of all the people to survive, he’s not the one you would have chosen, is it? But if you could choose, Doctor, if you could decide who lives and who dies… that would make you a monster.

– Mr. Cooper, Voyage of the Damned

The Waters of Mars is a lot more intense than I was expecting. It started out as a standard base under seige story with more than an echo of the era of the fourth Doctor about it, but then something happened. The Doctor made the decision that he’s made before – and which he explicitly compares in the episode to the decision to watch Pompeii burn in The Fires of Pompeii – the decision to walk away. And then the episode kicks it up a notch and becomes a fantastically appropriate penultimate story for this incarnation of The Doctor.

waters

A Mars attack...

Note: There are naturally spoilers for the episode under discussion below. If you want a recommendation, then here it is: this is the best episode of the new series since Midnight over a year ago. It has some pacing issues and a very standard opening half. But the finalé is a perfect dovetail of the core themes of Davies’ run on the show.

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Fly Me to the Moon…

I’m back…

Science-fiction film Moon, starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey is opening in the States next week. It actually looks quite good – with reviews seemingly spanning the divide from “it’s solidly entertaining with a great performance” to “it’s classic science-fiction”. It looks likely to be one of those films I will really try to get to see over the Summer (when it eventually opens here in Ireland), and the trailer is well worth a look. Still, this got me thinking about how the fictional fascination with life on other worlds has been embraced by the genre, and whether that has really changed in recent years.

Sam Rockwell's many jobs on the lunar station include changing lightbulbs when needs be...

Sam Rockwell's many jobs on the lunar station include changing lightbulbs when needs be...

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