Twelfth: The Empress of Mars

empress of marsWriter: Mark Gatiss

Director: Wayne Yip

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Companions: Nardole (Matt Lucas), Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie)

Series: 10, ep. 9

Summary: The Doctor and friends arrive on Mars and discover that humans have invaded and are attempting to colonize and revitalize the planet. However, his old enemies, the Ice Warriors, see the humans as invaders and the Doctor is caught in the middle of their conflict, unsure if he should take a side, and if so, which side he should take.

Review: Here is an interesting concept. The Doctor has often found himself in the middle of a dispute and it’s not one he relishes. The Doctor, regardless of the incarnation, always tries to be what TV tropes calls a “technical pacifist”, striving for a peaceful solution, but not afraid to take risks in order to ensure it. I also like that this is another story where the Ice Warriors are still menacing, but also seen in a more sympathetic light, in keeping with Gatiss’s previous Ice Warriors story, “Cold War”. The Empress herself was the best feature. And as for the final scene–oh hai, Alpha Centauri!

Overall Review: 8/10

Continuity: The 11th Doctor encountered the Ice Warriors with Clara. The Tenth Doctor also told the Master that he could never resist a countdown. Alpha Centauri was previously seen in both “The Curse of Peladon” and “The Monster of Peladon”, both of which feature the Ice Warriors as well.



2 comments on “Twelfth: The Empress of Mars

  1. I loved what Gatiss did with the Ice Warriors, both times. I’d like to see them used more, actually, as they seem to work well with the ethos of contemporary Who, and they’re a good break from the Daleks. I liked the Alpha Centauri guest appearance. Things like that are even more ammunition against those who continue to call the modern period of DW a ‘reboot’. It can’t be a ‘reboot’ with so many references to past history and continuity. I still want to see the Axons brought back 😉 But yeah, I enjoyed this episode. I’ve been enjoying the whole season, really.

  2. If he’s on his 12th regeneration, it’s not a reboot. If they’d started the whole show over, then it’d be a reboot. A reboot is more like what DC did after “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.

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