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Read our review of Day of the Doctor Starring Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Tony Curran, Bill Nighy Every so often, a Doctor Who story comes along that is like no other.
This episode (the only one to date to be written by Richard Curtis) barely seems like part of the canon, so keen is its emphasis on human emotion (odd for a sci-fi show) and the restorative power of art.
One of these has been christened a Metaltron, but the Doctor discovers it is in fact a Dalek which has escaped the Time War.
Accidentally revived by Rose, the Dalek goes on the rampage in the base, but it has also absorbed some of Rose’s humanity; realising it is no longer wholly Dalek, it commits suicide.
Its power lies in both the Dalek’s merciless killing spree, but also pathos-laden scenes in which we see it experiencing pain and emotions for the first time.
Indeed the Doctor comes out as no better in his dealings with his greatest foe (“why don’t you just die?
Depositing them on Earth, Captain Adelaide Brooke, having discovered the Doctor’s knowledge of the outcome of that day, disagrees with his intervention and shoots herself to preserve history. Trailed beforehand as one of the scariest stories in the history of the series, The Waters of Mars does not quite live up to that tag.
However it’s still a powerful tale, with Adelaide’s suicide being one of the most shocking scenes of the Russell T Davies era.
Fun fact This being a Richard Curtis affair, there’s a guest appearance by Bill Nighy as a bristly art expert.
Fun fact The radio-controlled K9 prop is owned by former BBC Special Effects designer Mat Irvine.
Starring Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper The TARDIS arrives in an underground facility owned by magnate Henry van Statten, a collector of alien artefacts.
Also on the case, unbeknownst to them, is former companion Sarah Jane Smith.
The school has been taken over by Krillitanes, shape-changing aliens who are using an oil secreted by them to augment the children’s brains with the aim of using them to solve the Skasas Paradigm, a universal theory which would enable control of the building blocks of the universe.