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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Doctor Who Season 10 Episode 09: Empress Of Mars

June 11th, 2017 by Todd Black Comments

One of the things I love about Doctor Who is that they’ll go back to classic monsters or species and show them in a new light. The Ice Warriors got that in “Empress of Mars” as we not only saw more of their culture, but got an interesting take on the warrior race.

The Ice Warriors were actually seen last in the final season of Matt Smith’s run of Doctor Who, and then it was only one making an appearance, but here, we see a literal race of the, complete with titular Empress. But the twist here was that the year was 1881, and there were humans on Mars too. Turns out, a chance encounter of a crashed ship led a British garrison to Mars. But what was obvious was that things weren’t going to go as planned.

“Empress of Mars” had many unique twists, including the very poignant meaning of what it meant to be an invader, what it meant to be a leader, and what it meant to be a coward. We got a very overt villain in the Captain of the regiment, but also a very compassionate leader in the Empress who wanted nothing more than to see her people live again.

Seeing the Doctor struggle with what to do was also compelling. Like he said, the British were the invaders, but if he did nothing, the Ice Warriors would wipe them out. Thankfully, he found a solution that would not only save everyone, but lead to a heroic act that changed history in more ways than one.

The real twist though was that “somehow” the Tardis decided to act up, leading Nardole to ask for Missy’s help in saving the Doctor. And…she seemed genuinely concerned for the Doctor. Now, this could obviously be a ploy, especially since next week is the season finale…but…it makes you wonder…

Oh, and if you’re wondering whether the “season of fear” is still relevant, it its. Fear of being left behind, fear of a dishonorable death, fear of missing your purpose, all were on display here.

In the end, “Empress of Mars” was a fun new twist on the Ice Warriors, let’s just see how this all plays out shall we?

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!