01/03/2011. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Big Finish. 1 CDs 60 minute story. Price: CD: GBP 10.99 (UK). Download: GBP 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-480-1) cast: Paul McGann, Niky Wardley, David Warner, Nicky Henson, Susan Brown, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Sheridan Smith, Nick Wilton, Nicholas Briggs and Jack Brown.
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With the cliff-hanger ending of ‘Deimos’ resolved, ‘The Resurrection Of Mars’ brings the Doctor (Paul McGann) back from the safety of the shuttle to Deimos where the Ice Warriors have achieved complete control. The Doctor is so keen to save Lucie that he chooses her over the people in the shuttle but when he finds Lucie Miller (Sheridan Smith) again, it looks like there is no way to save Mars from the total domination of the turtle-backed Ice Warriors
Tamsin (Niky Wardley) also has a dilemma. Does she believe the Doctor or someone else who is intent on showing her how much destruction the Doctor is capable of? All that travelling as his companion does not seem to have made her particularly loyal. Can she face the truth?
This episode gets dark and emotional as the Doctor’s two companions struggle to make sense of his desire to let the bigger picture remain separate from his own moral decisions. Then there is his game of words with his old meddling adversary.
With this alter ego to bounce off, we do get an examination of the confusion and egotism that make up at least part of the Doctor. He sees his own dark heart and feels by stressing the individual he can save them. He’s lost people before when he has chosen to think he knows better than them.
This is a very different Doctor from his previous incarnation. Number Seven took huge steps to prevent Klein from establishing her new Reich in ‘The Klein Trilogy’, even down to changing a time-line altogether. There seems to be quite a divergence about how much he can do to make things better.
The problem I have is deciding if this really is the Doctor or just a script. He seems obsessed with saving Lucie to the detriment of a whole planet. He usually wants to save everyone, doesn’t he? Multiple deaths occupy barely a few seconds of script time. He falls over backward to appease the turtles but human deaths seem to wash over him…it has less effect than the average soap opera when several hundred people die. I appreciate in a fast moving drama there is little time to reflect but the nanoseconds here before he is practically dancing round the room with Lucie seem rather crass and inappropriate after the sombre events preceding their reunion.
Maybe this is the problem with the relationship of the Doctor and Lucie. We all love the banter but it doesn’t always fit into the particular plot. The dynamics with Tamsin never worked for me and I am assuming it was meant to be a little bit awkward as it was leading up to this point with the grand reveal about who was recruiting ‘Apprentice’ style. I found the whole dynamic here just comes across as insensitive.
I see that this plot is to make the Doctor reflect on events which lead to Lucie leaving him in the first place. She has been travelling with the Monk who whilst at first glance appears to be similar to the Doctor actually is trying to play God everywhere he goes. She has come to realise this is no way to run a universe and the Doctor explains his own philosophy of ‘letting it lie’. It’s a bit like ‘Star Trek’s non-intervention policy though as Captain Kirk and the Doctor often intervene away before others are left to mop up the bodies.
Overall, it’s a good story with these little niggles that make the story hiccup for me. The partnership between the Doctor and Lucie is always desirable because it is so much fun. Occasionally, I feel the death and destruction should get more acknowledgement but having Lucie back is almost worth it. It’s going to be a bumpy ride to the end of the line though.
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