his week I shall be looked at Episode Nine of Series 10; The Empress of Mars. This blog does contain spoilers, so consider you have been warned. So without hesitation lets looks at this week’s Doctor Who.
This episode for me felt like a proper Ice Warrior story, unlike the adventure we had in 2013 where we only had one Ice Warrior trapped on a Russian submarine. The story also had the feel of an old-school Hammer Horror, to which it paid homage to the Classic Series. The episode it self was full of references and nods to past adventures and external sources.
For once Nicholas Briggs didn’t provide the voice for the Ice Warrior and even though he does do a great job at voice some of the alien threats that the Doctor encounters on his travels, I was sorely disappointed that his voice for the Ice Warrior in Cold War made the creature out to be a snarling creature. I very much prefer them when they were hissing and whispering when delivering dialogue instead of growling at their fellow actors.
I rather enjoyed this episode and I was certainly impressed by the Ice Queen/The Empress of Mars. The idea of having a female Ice Warrior has never been approached before for on-screen Doctor Who.
I was certainly impressed by Adele Lynch’s portrayal and she certainly had me thinking back to the Empress of the Racnoss, last seen in the 2006 Christmas Special: The Runaway Bride. Overall The Empress of Mars reminded me of the film Zulu, the idea of having Victorian soldiers on Mars was brilliant and original. Initially I thought the way the British troops got to Mars would’ve been by some sort of cannon, like in the H.G Wells’ novel The First Men in the Moon but then my mind wandered to what if the Master helped them? Eventually we discovered that they used “Friday’s” spacecraft to get themselves there.
Not only did the Episode remind me of Zulu but it also reminded me of the Indiana Jones series of films, when the Doctor and Co. stumbled upon the Ice Warrior hive with the Victorian Soldiers. It certainly had the feel of a tomb, thus which most likely was a nod to the Classic Doctor Who story, Tomb of the Cybermen.
The Empress of Mars itself was a great episode and it could be easily seen that the whole cast had great fun making the episode. I’m also pretty sure Peter Capaldi had fun acting alongside one of Doctor Who’s iconic monsters. I was also happy to see Missy back, even if it was brief. What I want to know now is, where are they going to be taking Missy. Are they going to be making her into a good person or will she at the last minute go back to her roots of me the Doctor’s archenemy. I certainly don’t like the idea of the Master/Missy turning good. The Doctor needs a Moriarty figure in his life.
The episode itself was certainly made for the old-school fans of the show and the only issue I had with this episode was I wanted it to be longer. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was great adventure and a good way to bring back the Ice Warriors. I especially liked the scene near the end where Classic Series monster Alpha Centauri made a brief appearance, the people over at the Beeb even got Ysanne Churchman to reprise her role as the voice of the infamous one-eyed creature, originally I thought the shrill “posh” voice on the screen was Queen Victoria but when Alpha’s face came on the screen I had a bit of a fan boy moment.
This week I award the Episode a 10/10. A rarity but I thoroughly enjoyed the episode and thought Mark Gatiss is an outstanding job at bringing back the Ice Warriors and introducing us to the Ice Queen or now commonly known as The Empress of Mars.
Roll on next week where Classic Doctor Who writer, Rona Munro returns to pen Episode 10: The Eaters of Light.