Doctor Who (2005– )
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Empress of Mars 

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole discover a tomb of the Queen of the Ice Warriors on Mars in 1881.


Wayne Yip


Mark Gatiss, Brian Hayles (characters: "Ice Warriors")

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Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Capaldi ... The Doctor
Pearl Mackie ... Bill
Matt Lucas ... Nardole
Michelle Gomez ... Missy
Anthony Calf ... Godsacre
Ferdinand Kingsley ... Catchlove
Richard Ashton ... Friday
Adele Lynch Adele Lynch ... Iraxxa
Glenn Speers ... Sergeant Major Peach
Ian Beattie ... Jackdaw
Bayo Gbadamosi Bayo Gbadamosi ... Vincey
Ian Hughes Ian Hughes ... Knibbs
Lesley Ewen ... Coolidge
Ysanne Churchman ... Voice of Alpha Centauri (voice)


The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole arrive on Mars on the year 1881 by some cryptic messages uncovered by NASA; where they discover Victorian soldiers were brought there and now are colonizing the red planet for the glory of the British Empire. But suddenly they find the tomb of the queen of an alien race known as the Ice Warriors, that are native of Mars. When the queen is awoken from her cryogenic sleep, the TARDIS team is caught in the middle of a war between Humans and Ice Warriors, but as the humans are now the invaders this time around, in which side will The Doctor stand? Written by Jose Benavides

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Release Date:

10 June 2017 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Anthony Calf (Colonel Godsacre) previously played Charles in Doctor Who: The Visitation: Part One (1982). See more »


Around 17 mins 30, the sergeant is facing Jackdaw as he talks, but in the next shot he is looking at Vincey without moving his head. See more »


[trying to use his sonic screwdriver on the cell door]
The Doctor: There's no setting for wood! Why is there still no setting for wood?
See more »


References Frozen (2013) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

A Good Story That Should Have Been Better
11 June 2017 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

The Doctor and co land on Mars in 1881 only to find an alien invasion is taking place on the planet. This time it's the Martian Ice Warriors who are the victims of human expansionism. Whose side will the Doctor choose ?

I was looking forward to this episode mainly down to last weeks trailer. A unit of British redcoats taking on Ice Warriors. Looked great but I did have reservations. DOCTOR WHO meets ZULU ! Too good to be true and it's highly unlikely we're going to see an up and coming working class actor from London coming out with "Stop firing these sonic lazers at me" There's also the expectation that there will be a large amount of grief whoring on the part of the BBC where an on screen apology for the British Empire will be given out at every opportunity


To be fair to Mark Gattiss he really knows what a lot of fans like . Scary bulletproof monsters in a fight to the death with human soldiers . For some of us this is what we grew up with from the show. One great thing this story brings to DOCTOR WHO folklore is the new Ice Warrior sonic gun which crumples its victims in to a ball. Much better than what could be achieved by the effects team in the 1960s and 70s. It's also a very nice surprise to see the story end with a cameo from a long forgotten character voiced by the original actress

The problem is despite Empress Of Mars being traditional and enjoyable it still could have been better. Plot holes are evident such the commanding officer being revealed to have been hung for desertion but for some reason still remains a serving officer. It's more incomprehensible when another character claims he's the only one who knows about the execution. Wouldn't this execution go through a chain of command ? There's also a large element of telling instead of showing. Similar themed stories from the 1970s were infinitely better at this because they had more time to develop and this would have worked better as a two part story , especially compared to the preceding three weeks of nothing we had with the Monks. Finally there's an element of hypocritical politics where it's pointed out it'd be impossible for a woman to be in the police force but apparently mixed marriages were common enough in 1881 Britain that no one would blink an eyelid

In summary this is one of the better episodes of the season but as with so much of the Capaldi era there's a strong feeling it cold have been a bit better

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