"Waters of Mars" was -- okay. Ultimately, it was a typical Doctor Who episode, except they threw in the whole fixed-point-in-time bit from "The Fires of Pompeii" in order to ratchet up the suspense and set up the Doctor's god complex which should lead to his fall in "The End of Time" next month. But this was the same plot as the Satan two-parter, which was the same plot as "42," which was the same plot as "The Robots of Death," and so on.
What elevated this one a bit was the magnificent job done by Lindsey Duncan as Adelaide Brooks. So refreshing to see an older woman in a companion role even if, as with so many of the other specials, it's a one-off. I'd love to see more women like her following the Doctor around instead of dewey-eyed young things who swoon at the very sight of his squeeishness.
Ultimately, though, Tennant didn't convince me of the Doctor's transformation from the geeky guy who says "I'm sorry" a lot to power-mad nutjob. It was too fast and way way too over the top to suit me. I have no problem with a dark Doctor -- I have a big problem with a mustache-twirling Doctor, which is pretty much what we got at the end.
The problem is, Tennant doesn't do menacing. That's why they dropped the whole "no mercy" angle six-and-a-half seconds after "The Christmas Invasion" aired and it was clear that Tennant's daffy charm wasn't suited to that particular trope -- and that was never more evident than in "Waters of Mars."
My favorite part was the trailer for "The End of Time," and that's mainly because JOHN SIMM'S BACK! WOOTAGE!
On to The Prisoner:
Really, that's all I can say. Jim Cavaziel is entirely wrong to play Six. The role requires someone stubborn and determined and wiley. All Cavaziel projects is sullen and cranky and average. As a result, I'm not rooting for him to escape the Village because I don't care enough about him to want him to escape.
The supporting cast is fine, particularly the incomparable Ian McKellan as Two and Lennie James (late of Jericho) as a cab driver. But overall, I have a galloping case of the I-don't-give-a-shits.
Oh, and as nice as the South African locations are, it ain't no Portmeiron.....