Doctor Who season 10 episode 9 review: ‘Empress of Mars’


The Doctor and Bill find themselves on Mars to save the British soldiers and the Ice Warriors in episode 9 of season 10 and it’s a pretty good one.

Doctor Who is getting to be quite the television program this season and it is making us sad that Peter Capaldi is planning on leaving by the end of it. In this week’s episode, Bill Potts and the Doctor find themselves on an alien planet of Mars in the 1800s.

Basically, the Doctor and Bill are trapped on Mars and not because of lack of trying. Basically the episode starts with the Doctor and Bill at NASA when they discover a message on the face of Mars. It says “God save the Queen” and the Doctor decides to go back to Mars when it was created.

What they discover there are British soldiers who have come to Mars and are fighting a war. The Doctor recognizes the Ice Warriors and the British soldiers believe that he is the last of his kind. The Doctor knows better and he realizes that the British soldiers may have stumbled into an Ice Warrior hive.

God Save the Queen

The empress of Mars ends up being awoken when one of the British soldiers and they then square off as the British soldiers exclaim an “eye for an eye” when the empress kills one of the soldiers when she wakes up.

The Doctor tries to get the empress to grant them forgiveness and she asks Bill what she thinks they should do. “I value your opinion,” the empress states because she likes that Bill is also a female.

The scene eventually ends with the empress and her Ice Warrior fighting the British soldiers because one soldiers tries to shoot her until they get separated and, from there, tensions rise on the British side of this new ‘war’.

Stoned Off

There is a lot of rubble that falls to separate the Ice Warriors and British soldiers. During this time, the British lock up the Doctor, Bill and their colonel, Godsacre, who had deserted them and was shamed. When the Ice Warriors inevitably get through the stoned wall easily, the British are completely unprepared, just as the Doctor said.

Friday, the Ice Warrior that the British soldiers had, comes to the Doctor and Bill says that they need to work together. So Bill steps forward to talk to the empress woman on woman. When the empress refuses, the Doctor threatens to use a weapon that will bury everyone in ice and snow from the North Pole of Mars.

“Like…Frozen. It’s a movie,” the Doctor says and honestly, it was the best ‘Doctor’ moment of the episode. Because it was so the Doctor. From there it just continues to rush through to an end where Godsacre does a very Doctor Who thing and sacrificed himself to prove to the empress that not all of the human race were bad people, like those who rebelled. Of course he didn’t actually die. It is Doctor Who after all.

It all ends well because the Alpha Centauri come to the rescue of the Ice Warriors and those British soldiers who are staying on Mars. Only for us to realize that it was the Doctor who, in fact, set up the sign to say “God Save the Queen” that we saw in the beginning of the episode!

It’s Missy

Nardole needs help getting the TARDIS up and going throughout the episode so who does he break out of the vault to help him get back to Mars? Well, Missy of course! But we’ll have to wait and see next week what happens between her and the Doctor!

Next: 50 Actors Who Could Play the Next Doctor on Doctor Who

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