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Russell T Davies Had to Scale Back the Scary Elements in The Waters of Mars

Writer, Phil Ford, has revealed that showrunner, Russell T Davies, actually scaled back some of the horror elements in the 2009 special, The Waters of Mars.

The penultimate Tenth Doctor tale has been adapted into a Target novelisation by Ford, who recalls:

“The thing was, when we were making it, it was the only time I believe that Russell saw dailies and went onto the studio floor to change something because it was too scary.

“He didn’t change them because we were too far into it but the decision was taken that, when we come to Maggie Cain [played by Sharon Duncan-Brewster] and her transformation, her eyes don’t change. And actually, it’s mentioned in the script, there’s a reason for why her eyes don’t change.

“But the real reason for it was because Russell saw the dailies and just thought it was way too scary. And he was probably right. But that’s something I can overlook in the pages of the book!”

Indeed, the episode, which aired on 15th November 2009 as something of a late Hallowe’en story, pushed the limits of the watershed, with some scary transformations as the Flood took over most of the cast and the Doctor embracing the Time Lord Victorious side of himself.

Ford further says:

“We obviously learn more about the characters [in the Target book]… I also wanted to explore a bit more about Adelaide [Brooke]. In the episode, we see that scene where she sees the Dalek through her bedroom window and that’s a pivotal moment in her life and, it turns out, time itself.

“And I really wanted to look back at that [more], so I have a whole adventure for Adelaide that precedes that moment in her bedroom which I hope means it makes even more sense.”

The Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars Target novel is out now, priced £9.99.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Russell T Davies Had to Scale Back the Scary Elements in The Waters of Mars

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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