Saturday, 10 June 2017

Doctor Who- Empress of Mars Review

NASA is interrupted by The Doctor, Bill and Nardole as they observe a bird's eye view of a statement made by Victorian residing on Mars, 'God save the Queen'. And when the TARDIS trio arrive on Mars in 1881, they encounter an Ice Warrior who plans to awaken his Ice Queen from her hibernation.

Writer Mark Gatiss takes inspiration from H.G Wells and the Edgar Rice Burroughs to conceive a camaraderie of savage Victorian British soldiers and the return of the almighty Ice Warriors! These iconic antagonists role influences their own development as the lone Ice Warrior, Friday, forms an alliance with the humans to ensure both species continue to survive.

 Doctor Who: "Empress of Mars" Review - IGN

 After the Monk trilogy, this story is satisfying in how it shows the Ice Warriors as more complex beings who are willing to learn and adapt to ensure peaceful alliance with other species. The Empress is intimidating, commanding and yet has nobility and is strategically tactful.

I was slightly disappointed with how The Doctor and Bill weren't given as active a role as I would expect. After the countless wars The Doctor has witnessed and contributed to I thought he might have used his intellect and brilliance to stop a potential war from coming to fruition. 

At that moment, he and Bill were the only two who would have had the respectability and resourcefulness to prevent a war. They were easily defeated which left me wondering why they were just letting events happen.


With a war initiated, Catchlove was menacing and selfish enough for us to believe in his greed. But, he and the other guest characters weren't given enough time to connect or relate to the audience.

As the story began to draw to a close, the Commander, who is revealed by Catchlove to be a deserter of the state, proves himself to be brave, loyal and yet continue to show signs of weakness. That weakness is vital to his growth at being a potentially interesting character because he is the only one of the soldiers to show multiple nuances of human nature. 

Nardole's sub-story reveals to be an important addition to the story as Missy is revealed to have piloted the TARDIS; saving The Doctor and Bill and agreeing to venture back into the vault. Her compliance and calm stature is becoming more disturbing.

Empress of Mars is a satisfying action adventure that provides the Ice Warriors with further developments but doesn't bring as many new ideas or themes to the table that could be considered original or new.

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