Filming on The Waters of Mars began on 23rd February, 2009 but its title was only confirmed at the close of Planet of the Dead, back in April. The trailer for this next adventure suggested a dark, exciting drama with the Doctor appearing to be on a futuristic base, threatened by some sort of water-based menace. The brief sequence of clips delivered a sense of danger and tension, heightened by the Doctor ominously noting, 'Water always wins'.
The feel of the special was confirmed by Executive Producer Russell T Davies. 'The next one up [The Waters of Mars] is very dark. It's already scarring me and we haven't even seen the proper edit yet!' Julie Gardner confirmed on Doctor Who Confidential that it would be set on Mars, which may sound obvious, but the Fourth Doctor adventure, The Pyramids of Mars, barely even featured the Red Planet!
Recent specials have boasted fantastic casts and on 19th February we learnt that The Waters of Mars would continue the tradition. Acclaimed actress Lindsay Duncan, whose credits include GBH, Rome and Spooks, will be playing Adelaide who we now know is 'head of Mars base'.
Lindsay Duncan said she was 'thrilled' to be involved, adding, 'I've never done anything like this before and I'm really looking forward to working with David Tennant and the Doctor Who team'. She's joined onscreen by Peter O'Brien who plays Adelaide's second in command, Ed.
The team for this special comprises Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner with Nikki Wilson onboard as Producer. Nikki previously worked as script editor on the series four story, The Poison Sky, as well as producing series two of The Sarah Jane Adventures. The Waters of Mars is co-written by Russell T Davies and Phil Ford, with the latter best known for his work on Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures. More recently he's written the forthcoming Doctor Who animation, Dreamland.
Doctor Who veteran Graeme Harper once again returns to direct. Graeme was behind the lens on The Caves of Androzani and The Revelation of the Daleks back in the 1980s and his recent episodes include the cracking season finales Doomsday and Journey's End.
So what can we expect from The Waters of Mars? There's the question of the prophesy the Doctor heard at the close of Planet of the Dead. His song ending? He will knock four times? Will the Doctor learn more on the Red Planet? And when we last left him, he was travelling alone. The Time Lord who once delighted in sharing the wonders of the universe was once again the 'lonely angel'. But judging from what we already know of the story, he won't have long to worry about loneliness. There will be action, danger... and an awful lot of running!