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12/07/2009 07:58:00 am - Reported by Adam Kirk

The 'fast-tracked' The Waters of Mars has debuted in Australia to modest ratings. The special averaged 731,000 in the five major capital cities. Though 'Mars' was still the ABC's top rating drama of the day and its second highest rating show after the 7pm news. The trailer for The End of Time also immediately followed the special, although the ABC is yet to confirm when it will broadcast the two-part special in the new year.

Meanwhile, 'Mars' and the casting of Australian actor Peter O'Brien as 'Bowie Base One' second-in-command, Ed Gold, has also attracted some local media attention. Debbie Schipp of The Sunday Telegraph has spoken to O'Brien about his appearance in the iconic show, who jokes that 'all the interiors were done in Wales, and then we had to go to Mars for the exteriors'. The Herald-Sun, The Daily Telegraph and The Sun-Herald also feature interviews with the Aussie actor. Kerrie Murphy of The Weekend Australian writes of 'Mars' that it is 'an absolute ripper, mixing rapid-fire humour with a complex and emotional story.' Scott Ellis of The Sunday Age also comments that 'fans will not be disappointed, especially by his new companion, 59 year-old Captain Adelaide Brooke.'