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"The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

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"The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by LastOfTheSonics on Sat 3 Jun 2017 - 20:38

This episode intrigues me. The Victorian English army invade Mars and discover the Ice Warriors. But... how? I really don't know how that can be possible in the 19th century.

However I am very excited for the return of the Ice Warriors at long last as this is the first episode in this series where a recurring villain finally has a story. (The Daleks and Movellans in the Pilot don't count as that wasn't their own story)

The Ice Warrior Queen herself though seems to have a cliche alien voice, although exploring the Ice Warrior hierarchy is an idea I'm looking forward to greatly, and I have trust in Mark Gatiss that he will deliver a truly brilliant episode.
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by Admin-Emperor Dalek on Fri 9 Jun 2017 - 19:15

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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by Admin-Emperor Dalek on Fri 9 Jun 2017 - 19:20

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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by Admin-Emperor Dalek on Fri 9 Jun 2017 - 19:21

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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by LastOfTheSonics on Sat 10 Jun 2017 - 20:08

Well I really liked this episode, and I was quite frankly overjoyed to see Alpha Centauri make a cameo. (For those unaware, Alpha Centauri was an ambassador present in two of the original ice warrior stories, "The Curse of Peladon" and "The Monster of Peladon")

My only problem with this episode is that it felt a little bit "predictable". Right at the start I was confident that "God Save the Queen" was about the Ice Queen rather than Victoria. And I also knew that Iraxxa wasn't going to execute the phoney colonel because of how long the scene was taking.

Does anybody else feel as though they are single-handedly managing to ruin classic villains? As in, they seem to be turning the most ruthless aliens into allies. First it was the Zygons, then it was Missy, and now it's the Ice Warriors. Next it's gonna be the Cybermen lmao. 

But this episode was really good, and Mark Gatiss did definitely deliver. It beats Cold War by a long shot, but it doesn't quite live up to the classic beauty "The Seeds of Death". I would say it's about the same as the Peladon stories, but not as good as "The Ice Warriors" either.

What I don't get is why Iraxxa needed an entire legion to wipe out a squadron of Victorian troops with under-developed weaponry, yet one Ice Warrior managed to almost single-handedly wipe out an entire submarine.

Overall score: 8/10
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by The Eternal Dalek on Sat 10 Jun 2017 - 20:59

LastOfTheSonics wrote:Well I really liked this episode, and I was quite frankly overjoyed to see Alpha Centauri make a cameo. (For those unaware, Alpha Centauri was an ambassador present in two of the original ice warrior stories, "The Curse of Peladon" and "The Monster of Peladon")

My only problem with this episode is that it felt a little bit "predictable". Right at the start I was confident that "God Save the Queen" was about the Ice Queen rather than Victoria. And I also knew that Iraxxa wasn't going to execute the phoney colonel because of how long the scene was taking.

Does anybody else feel as though they are single-handedly managing to ruin classic villains? As in, they seem to be turning the most ruthless aliens into allies. First it was the Zygons, then it was Missy, and now it's the Ice Warriors. Next it's gonna be the Cybermen lmao. 

But this episode was really good, and Mark Gatiss did definitely deliver. It beats Cold War by a long shot, but it doesn't quite live up to the classic beauty "The Seeds of Death". I would say it's about the same as the Peladon stories, but not as good as "The Ice Warriors" either.

What I don't get is why Iraxxa needed an entire legion to wipe out a squadron of Victorian troops with under-developed weaponry, yet one Ice Warrior managed to almost single-handedly wipe out an entire submarine.

Overall score: 8/10

There already were "good" Ice Warriors, Alpha Centauri's cameo would suggest these are in fact the same Ice Warriors we saw previously in The Curse of Peladon who certainly weren't villains.

Fun fact: Alpha Centauri was voiced by its original voice actress Ysanne Churchman.
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by LastOfTheSonics on Sun 11 Jun 2017 - 8:19

These can't be the same Peladon ice warriors. Their armour designs are different, and there is no reference to an Ice Lord at any point during this episode. 

What I believe is that Alpha Centauri arrives and the Ice Warriors are convinced to join the Federation. Izlyr and Azaxyr (the Peladon Ice Lords) could be descendants of Iraxxa hence their nobility, but I don't think they're apart of Iraxxa's legion.

Not to mention this story takes place in Victorian times, whereas Peladon is set in the future.
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by The Eternal Dalek on Sun 11 Jun 2017 - 12:32

LastOfTheSonics wrote:These can't be the same Peladon ice warriors. Their armour designs are different, and there is no reference to an Ice Lord at any point during this episode. 

What I believe is that Alpha Centauri arrives and the Ice Warriors are convinced to join the Federation. Izlyr and Azaxyr (the Peladon Ice Lords) could be descendants of Iraxxa hence their nobility, but I don't think they're apart of Iraxxa's legion.

Not to mention this story takes place in Victorian times, whereas Peladon is set in the future.

That's what I meant, these are the same group of Ice Warriors we saw on Peladon, although it isn't the same inividuals.
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by Admin-Emperor Dalek on Sun 11 Jun 2017 - 14:42

Do you mean the Curse or Monster ones? Judging by the Empress I would say more Monster type...
I hope Chris Chibnal does an Ice Warrior story in the future.
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by Admin-Emperor Dalek on Sun 11 Jun 2017 - 14:59

Press Reaction:
Radio Times appreciated a well-crafted story "Gatiss provides a cast of guest characters with more than a smidgeon of depth – hard to pull off in the 45min format and lacking this year. The Ice Warriors aren’t just stock monsters. They are, as they’ve always been, since Bernard Bresslaw played Varga in 1967, relatively complex beings; warriors that act with honour, strength and loyalty but open to reason and negotiation."
The Mirror felt it was a good story with a decent threat. "At the heart of the story is The Doctor trying to pull off a balancing act between reckless humans and an alien race. Yes, it’s been done before with stories like Silurian two parter Hungry Earth/Cold Blood but here The Doctor is placed more on the side of the resident Martians. It is, after all, their planet the humans are bumbling around on. It's almost as if Doctor Who met the film Zulu on Mars."
The Telegraph enjoyed the realisation of the Ice Warriors. "The biggest new addition, though, was the queen of the species and titular Empress Iraxxa (played with over-the-top relish by Adele Lynch). It’s been a week of female leaders hogging the headlines but at least Iraxxa didn't try to consolidate her icy power by calling a cold snap election. "
IGN also liked the look of the Ice Warriors. "The fact that the episode fully embraces the plastic lizard look of the aliens’ exoskeletons brings a certain nostalgic air to this segment which tracks nicely with the overall feel of the one-shot story. At the same time, there are some modern sensibilities pushing through here if you care to take notice, as when the Empress asks to speak to fellow gal Bill because they’re “surrounded by noisy males.” She has a point."
Digital Spy felt the Ice Warriors worked but had doubts about the human element of the story. "It's a wonderful set-up – Redcoats on the Red Planet, going up against green Martians. A strong visual, and so delightfully Doctor Who. Unfortunately, Gatiss has got a little carried away. His passion for the period, or rather films like Zulu that evoked it, is a double-edged sword. He's clearly working hard to replicate that Bank Holiday Monday movie feel, and while that enthusiasm is infectious, an unfortunate side effect is that the stiff-upper-lipped British soldiers are all a bit… well, stiff."
AV Club felt the episode had interesting ideas which didn't quite come together. "Some of the problem could be that one theoretical strength of the episode cancels the other out. The stated dilemma of the Doctor being forced to side with the aliens against the invading humans isn’t really compelling if the latter present no threat, and a bunch of 19th century soldiers aren’t about to pose much danger to a bunch of cybernetic reptiles. "
Den of Geek paid tribute to the supporting cast. "It’s hard in a 45 minute episode to make a supporting guest character really strike home, but credit to Gatiss and Anthony Calf for making Godsacre stand out. A man who was supposed to have been killed for an earlier act of cowardice, coming to terms with his desertion, and ultimately making amends. A little arc that just gave the episode an extra something."
Ars Technica felt the story was a great improvement on the Mok's trilogy. "I do think this is one of Gatiss' more successful scripts, mostly because his love for the Ice Warriors shines through. The nerdy attention to detail on these Martians' motivations makes the Monks look even more misplaced in the Doctor Who canon. It's also a lovely touch to have a cameo appearance from Galactic Federation Ambassador, Alpha Centauri, voiced by original actor Ysanne Churchman. "
Press reaction to this week's Doctor Who, Empress Of Mars, is generally favourable, with most reviewers enjoying the episode.
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by Admin-Emperor Dalek on Mon 12 Jun 2017 - 20:00

Seems Mark Gatiss wasn't too happy with casting a black actor to play a solider as he thought in Victorian times no black solders. But he discovered he was wrong.
Article in the Daily Mail Caution, don't trust that paper for the truth.

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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by LastOfTheSonics on Tue 13 Jun 2017 - 16:29

Oh for goodness sake. I highly doubt this is true. Now I study History, and I can tell you that there were black soldiers during Victorian times, however due to racial divide, they were not treated as whites. They were seen as "native" and "tribal" rather than soldiers.

I had no problem with Vincey from a Historical viewpoint, and I am really annoyed at the Daily Mirror yet again for getting the first sniff at a rumour and then publishing it as news.
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by Admin-Emperor Dalek on Tue 13 Jun 2017 - 19:26

LastOfTheSonics wrote:Oh for goodness sake. I highly doubt this is true. Now I study History, and I can tell you that there were black soldiers during Victorian times, however due to racial divide, they were not treated as whites. They were seen as "native" and "tribal" rather than soldiers.

I had no problem with Vincey from a Historical viewpoint, and I am really annoyed at the Daily Mirror yet again for getting the first sniff at a rumour and then publishing it as news.

Its the Daily Mail, not the Mirror!
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by LastOfTheSonics on Tue 13 Jun 2017 - 20:05

Both newspapers are equally as fake though.
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by Admin-Emperor Dalek on Tue 13 Jun 2017 - 20:16

True, some worse than others, namely Sun and Mail. But this being the Mail the story doesn't surprise me, true or not its the sort of thing they would comment on. I know they have been annoyed at Bill being a Lesbian.
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by LastOfTheSonics on Tue 13 Jun 2017 - 20:37

I think it's case of they want to have their opinion heard, but as they're "newspapers" they have to give fake evidence so that people will read and that it fits their purpose.

In this case, they've clearly shown their lack of understanding of the Victorian era. I highly doubt Gatiss saw this as a problem, I think it's the Daily Mail assuming that because of the racial divide over previous centuries, there just wouldn't be a black soldier. I'm not trying to make myself sound like a know-it-all, but I am pretty good at History, and I know that there is a lot more to the racial divide than just certain colours being treated lesser.
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by Admin-Emperor Dalek on Tue 13 Jun 2017 - 22:58

I am sure too that Mark Gatiss did his research, if not Moffat would of checked or the script editor.

Anyone know why the Tardis left Mars with Nardole in it and why he couldn't get her to go back to Mars?
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Re: "The Empress of Mars" - Episode 9

Post by LastOfTheSonics on Wed 14 Jun 2017 - 7:12

I was wondering that too. And I've had a few theories myself:

1 - It was the TARDIS itself.
The TARDIS possibly recognised it was on Mars, and knew of its inhabitants. Therefore it decided to leave of its own accord. Knowing Missy was back at the university, it knew she would be able to pilot it back to pick up the Doctor and Bill, but it didn't want to risk Ice Warriors having access to time travel .

2 - It was Missy.
It's​ likely Missy is just tricking the Doctor to gain his trust and the escape, and presumably using the TARDIS to save him would help with that. How exactly she did it I don't know, but anything is possible.

3 - It was the Thirteenth Doctor...
Bear with me, this is a little farfetched and unlikely, but hear me out. In Logopolis, the Watcher was present throughout the story, and at the end became the fifth doctor through the fourth. What if there is another Watcher now, as in 13th doctor? He could be in the TARDIS, the regeneration was said to be complicated, so could this be how? As for why the Watcher did it I don't know, but his entity could have pulled the lever. When it comes to Twelve's end, maybe the moment has been prepared for...
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