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Doctor Who: How One Deleted Scene Completely Changed Gemma Chan's Character

Similar to the "Harry Potter" franchise, many English actors had their first big break in the sci-fi cult favorite, "Doctor Who." Rebooted in 2005 with the underrated Christopher Eccleston, the series has featured various guest stars in its 10-plus seasons. Before her success in feature films such as "Crazy Rich Asians" and "Eternals," Gemma Chan was one of these stars. In the hour-long special "The Waters of Mars," she starred as Mia Bennett, a resident of Earth who journeys to Mars with her crew at the beginning of terraforming efforts. But in typical "Doctor Who" fashion, her crew is terrorized by an otherworldly presence.

The space travelers of Bowie Base One encounter an entity known as the Flood that takes over human hosts in a disturbing zombie-like fashion. The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) saves the day as he always does, but the episode's final cut doesn't reveal a plot line that would have altered Mia considerably. One deleted scene reveals a subplot about Mia and her paramour Yuri (Aleksandar Mikic) that gets no love in the final cut.

Taking out the romance left her character up in the air

In the final cut of "The Waters of Mars," there is no indication that Mia has a lover. The Doctor introduces himself to the crew and goes about trying to save them from all dying on the station. But in the scene in question, showrunner Russell T. Davies explained that there was a version of the scene that revealed Mia and Yuri had a not-so-secret relationship everyone knew about.

"Julie Gardner, the executive producer, was a big fan of cutting the sequence because, again, she just wanted to get to the monster faster," Davies reflected on a behind-the-scenes look at the deleted scene. The reason they were interested in incorporating the dynamic was the idea of alternate fate. If they are supposed to die on the station, but the Doctor saves them anyway, what would that mean for their future? If they had children, the Doctor would incidentally be responsible for creating people who were not supposed to exist. This changes the end of the special quite a bit. 

When the Doctor spirits away the crew and lands them back on Earth, Mia is inconsolable. She runs off, unable to process what has just happened. Yuri pursues her, but without the context of their relationship, this does little for the plot. Without the implication that she and Yuri were able to leave together and live out the rest of their lives in love, Mia's story ends on a dour note.