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Season 4

Life on Mars – “The Waters of Mars” & “The Ambassadors of Death”

Yes, John and Porter are gallivanting off to Mars and crossing their fingers not to run unto Elon Musk – just because he seems like he’d be a bit awkward and there’s already enough trouble there without having to deal with uncomfortable social situations.  But, our internationally diverse (don’t worry – all still attractive) crew of Bowie Base would probably wish the worst they had to endure was a few uncomfortable silences instead of one-by-one being picked off by malevolent alien water.  Fortunately, the 10th Doctor is on hand to save them – only he can’t because he saw that episode where Barbara learned she can’t do that – only maybe he can because he’s the Time Lord Victorious – only no, never mind, because companion-of-the-month Adelaide is so hell-bent on winning an argument that she’ll kill herself to do it.  It’s a lot to talk about, so if you are feeling parched then slake your thirst on The Waters of Mars!

Turns out that Mars – like Australia – is full of things that are trying to kill you, as the Third Doctor, Liz, and the Brigadier discover in the sprawling epic that completes NNTMP’s run of the Seventh Season of classic Who.  In the classic British fashion of downplaying their own abilities, Doctor Who posits the existence of a British space program that appears to be a complete disaster in terms of driving astronauts insane and/or losing them in space.  This leads to a fiendishly clever plot (revealed almost entirely in Episode 7) in which Liz Shaw keeps failing to escape from a cellar while the galaxy’s worst emissaries keep accidentally killing anyone they touch.  Fortunately, there is a lot of fighting, shooting, and hijacking to keep us amused.  Porter and John set the best china, bone up on their protocol, and put out the little flags as they prepare to receive… The Ambassadors of Death!