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< 10.8 - The Lie of the Land
10.10 - The Eaters of Light >

10.9 - Empress of Mars

Rating Votes
10
2%
1
9
11%
6
8
44%
24
7
31%
17
6
7%
4
5
2%
1
4
2%
1
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.6
Votes
54
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 12/18/17 1:00 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

While an Ice Warrior appeared back in Series 7, this feels much more like a proper Ice Warrior story. It has a great opening hook with the discovery of, "God Save the Queen" being written on the surface on Mars and the discovery of a group of British Victorian soldiers returning to Mars with an Ice Warrior they've named Friday. This is as close to Classic Who as New Who gets. It's a story that captures the Ice Warriors and the sort of moral complexity they offer. They're not the Daleks or Cybermen. They're are shades of grey and a code of honor that they take serious which makes them seriously fun to watch.

There is a bit of new Who conceit about taking another swipe at Victorian arrogance, and some of that is heavy-handed. Yet, there are some characters who provide some real nuance to that characterization.

By no means is this a perfect episode, but it's a lot of fun and well worth watching if you enjoy the Ice Warriors.

Other Recommendations

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: BrainofMorbius23Review Date: 8/2/17 7:02 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I apologise but I regard this story as rather a nostalgia trip and it was very warm and fussy kind of fun that I'd hoped.

It is easily my favourite Gatiss story other than the novel / audio "nightshade".

9/10 may be a overrating , but it was for me at least a delight.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 7/4/17 6:02 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Delightfully fun.

Whilst less experimental than sleep no more, Gatiss has written a more conventional story in the best possible sense. There are no daft, excessive plot elements, and despite the outlandish premise, no forces comedic juxtaposition. Essentially it's a moral dilemma (in which for once the morality doesn't appear to be totally warped and crow-barred in!) on Mars with pastiche Victorian Imperialists and frumpy ice warriors.

Fun dialogue and no frills really strengthen this classically studio bound episode, and gloss over the defects - namely thin characteurs and paint-by-numbers approach... Big baddie in a servile role with dainty China? Doctor & Co. in a cell? Not much you haven't seen before, hence my giving it a 7 over an 8, but it's fun enough to give a pass.

Normal gripes are completely thrown to the wayside! The score is quirky and fun with lots of electronic and synth cues. After that one twang in Heaven Sent, I wanted so much more of this sort of thing in series 10. 12th's theme and other reused bits and pieces are barely used with one exception, a justifiably brief and appropriately shlock-tastic cameo from Alpha-Centauri. Fantastic stuff.

Politics is always a contentious point to raise, and unfortunately, again, it appears to be that aggressive as to merit comment. Precious time is taken to have a peripheral character make a sexist comment. As often seems to be the case, it's forced in, redundant (even acknowledged in dialogue) and forces characters to lunge from pastiche to parody. Conversely we have quota casting leading one African cast member to longingly look at a picture of his White fiance. Are these characters Victorian parody bigots, or members of a multiracial, multicultural Empire - an antecedent to our times etc. etc. Seems increasingly aggressive, on the nose, and in the aforementioned case - genuinely quite confusing to piece together the message and detrimental to what ought to be taking place on screen: a romp - not a rally.

Niggle aside, it's a fun and punchy little episode with a great premise, fun new monster and fab direction and music. In a final aside comment, again Nardole has been treated like Kamelion or any other number of JNT companions: sidelined within minutes. Why was Nardole brought back, and how late in the game were writers informed?
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 6/26/17 8:20 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

After the abysmal disappointment of 'Sleep No More' from Series 9, I was really hoping and praying that Mark Gatiss would give us a more decent story to work with for this new season (most likely his last time on the show). Thankfully, I can say that I was very surprised at this one. When the Doctor and TARDIS team see a mysterious stone message displayed on the surface of Mars, the team takes a trip to investigate and end up finding a random squad of 1881 British soldiers on the planet served by an Ice Warrior named Friday. When all is discussed and discovered, the Doctor and squad end up stumbling upon a tomb of an Ice Queen and through an accidental resurrection of course end up at war. It quickly becomes a 'who's the savage' story to a degree but done to a very well and nuanced degree that you aren't bored by it. Both sides really need each other for survival and it does make for some tense moments and thrills with a conclusion that actually makes sense with a cameo that will make Classic Who fans squee a little bit. It's certainly a different story than even I was expecting but yet it's also the most Mark Gatiss story of all of the Doctor Who Mark Gatiss stories ever made if that makes sense and it's obvious he knows how to work this kind of material. The main cast is great though they don't have quite as much to do this time especially Nardole who disappears for most of the story and comes back with a surprise at the end. Capaldi is of course great and while Bill doesn't have quite as much to do, she still works fine and its fun watching her interact with the Queen herself. Speaking of which while it is not quite as innovative as I was expecting, I really do like the design of the Queen of herself and this is easily the most interesting Ice Warrior story we've had since the Second Doctor era not just in terms of the monsters themselves but the look. You really get a 'Tomb of the Cybermen' vibe when you see the hive of Ice Warriors frozen in the stone and the soundtrack and story go a long way to settling that vibe too. It does have it's problems though just like most Gatiss stories. I'm not sure I really felt as much of the stakes as I wanted and a few of the side cast soldiers get REALLY annoying particularly the side villain who we are glad to see die by the end. The political references are also a little bit on the thicker side this time with a strong comparison to Brexit being made especially in the Ice Queen's final decision. With an ending that has me super curious about where the final three episodes are going to go, all in all I think this is honestly the most interesting Ice Warrior and Mark Gatiss story we've ever had even with the flaws. I was glad to see the Ice Warriors come back and I really enjoyed this one more than I was expecting to.