(animated gif thanks to gallifreybase member AnthariaJack)
The Ice Warriors, AKA Martians
“The Ice Warriors“, “The Seeds of Death“, “The Curse of Peladon“, “The Monster of Peladon“, “Red Dawn“, “The Bride of Peladon“, “The Judgement of Isskar”, “Mission to Magnus“, “Legacy“, “GodEngine“, “Frozen Time“, “The Dying Days“, “The Silent Stars Go By“, “Cold War“, “The Resurrection of Mars“, “Lords of the Red Planet“, “The Prisoner of Peladon“,”Empress of Mars“, technically alternate versions of them featured in”The Last Resort“, they might have played an indirect role in the events of “The Waters of Mars“.
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Of all of the Doctor’s alien enemies, the Ice Warriors are unquestionably the race that has undergone the most social development during his encounters with them, as they are the only alien enemy The Doctor has fought who have also befriended and aided him of their own free will on some occasions, rather than simply working with him when the situation forced them to collaborate against a more immediate problem. Another significant part of their history is that they originate from the planet Mars, although they have never been referred to as ‘Martians’ in any of the Doctor’s interactions with them, with all who meet them referring to them as Ice Warriors due to their greater comfort operating in cooler temperatures than the average humanoid (Although fires are not normally dangerous to them even if intense heat is far more fatal to the Ice Warriors than it would be for humans) thanks to the cybernetic suits they developed to cope with Mars’s lowering temperature, the Ice Warriors having become so reliant on these suits that it is regarded as dishonourable for them to leave the suits. Mars’s lighter gravity means that they are naturally slower on a planet like Earth than they would be on their homeworld, but they can still move quickly if required- being particularly quick when outside their suits (“Cold War”) -, and Earth’s atmosphere causes them to wheeze and express some difficulty while walking.
The origin of the Ice Warriors was revealed in the audio “Lords of the Red Planet”, when the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe – who had encountered the Ice Warriors in their past and the future of Mars – landed on the planet in its distant past, where they encountered the natives of the last city on Mars, the Gandorans. In the process, they also discovered that scientist Quendril was forcibly evolving a local life-form that resembled a giant turtle into creatures that the TARDIS crew identified as the early Ice Warriors (Which were ironically named as such by The Doctor when he saw them, initially they were just known as ‘Saurian Evolutionaries’). Although the Ice Warriors had been created initially to act as servants and prepare the vital ‘life-drink’ – a serum that sustained the Gandoran natives after all of Mars’ other natural resources had been exhausted – The Doctor soon learned that Zaadur, Quendril’s genetically -augmented daughter, intended to destroy her people and then turn the Ice Warriors into her own army against the wider universe, her augmentation having left her with a heightened intellect and an overwhelming arrogance. Fortunately, recently-created Ice Lord Aslor ‘imprinted’ on Zoe as his mistress after she showed him kindness during the torturous experiments that elevated his mind, giving The Doctor and his companions a vital ally against Zaadur’s Ice Warriors. After removing the eggs Zaadur had intended to use as the seeds of her new species from the rocket she was using to flee Mars, hiding the eggs in the mines to be destroyed by Zaadur’s own bombs, Aslor sacrificed himself to turn up the city’s heat generators, killing himself as well as Zaadur’s Ice Warriors, while Zaadur herself was killed when Quendril’s early experiment Risor sacrificed himself to destroy her ship. Although The Doctor was able to develop a substitute for the life-drink, the TARDIS crew all grimly acknowledged that the Gandorans were doomed as nobody knew of them in the future, even if The Doctor asked Zoe and Jamie to hope that they would simply die out while the local creatures became the Ice Warriors as nature intended.
Whether the Ice Warriors evolved naturally or the survivors of Quendril’s experiments simply took over as the Gandarians died out, by the time The Doctor next visited the early days of Mars in his fifth incarnation (“The Judgement of Isskar”), the dominant life-form was the future Ice Warriors. However, it is likely that these creatures were natural evolutions as when The Doctor arrived on Mars, the species didn’t even have a word for ‘warrior’ as their culture focused more on arts and crafts rather than soldiers and operated on a gift-based culture of exchange and cooperation with each other (Some speculate that their past abuse as slave labour for the Osirans (“Pyramids of Mars”) prompted them to turn against violence). However, this lifestyle ended when the Fifth Doctor came to Mars as part of a quest for the decaying segments of the Key to Time, with the removal of the third segment resulting in the formation of a gravity plug. This distortion sent earthquakes and hurricanes across the planet for three decades, devastating the Martian civilisation and forcing them to retreat underground or go into suspended animation on their moons and the asteroid belt.
However, when they attempted to return to the surface, the discovery that Mars was now too warm for them to survive on it forced them to begin a new policy of forced expansion, their old gift-based economy abandoned as they resorted to increasingly more desperate and brutal methods to survive, progressing into the conquering culture that we are more familiar with, although some figures – such as Isskar, an Ice Lord who put himself in suspended animation until he could confront The Doctor and his companions for their role in Mars’s destruction – still favoured a return to more honourable and peaceful ways. Some of the Ice Warriors in suspended animation were eventually able to claim a new home on the planet Halcyon, which they renamed New Mars, although the fact that they slaughtered the twenty billion previous inhabitants to establish themselves makes this less positive than it sounds at first.
The Ice Warriors first encountered The Doctor in his second incarnation, when he visited the Earth during a second ice age just as a Martian ship that had crash-landed on Earth thousands of years in the past was released from its frozen ‘captivity’ (“The Ice Warriors”), their attempt to colonise ancient Earth having been halted when the glaciers covered them. Despite The Doctor’s efforts to stop them from launching an attack on Earth, he was eventually forced to use the Ioniser – a means of intensifying the light from Earth’s sun onto a particular location that had been developed to fight the ice – in order to melt the Ice Warriors when they began to develop a sonic cannon to launch a ‘pre-emptive strike’ against the humans. The destruction of the Ice Warriors’ ship as it began to lift off also halted an advancing glacier that threatened to destroy the base that the TARDIS crew had been helping, allowing The Doctor and his companions to depart in confidence that their friends would be safe.
The Doctor faced the Ice Warriors for a second time as they tried to take Earth from humanity when the attempted to use the T-Mat – a matter transportation system – to disperse Martian seed pods all across the planet (“The Seeds of Death”), taking control of a vital T-Mat relay station on the Moon that allowed them control of the entire T-Mat network. The resulting fungus dispersed by the seeds released oxygen-destroying spores that could spread across a large area in a matter of minutes, the Martians intending for the fungus to turn Earth into something that their systems could tolerate (One pod even exploded near The Doctor, but he was able to survive due to his respiratory bypass system, although he was still unconscious for a while). Although Zoe was able to buy time by knocking the Ice Warriors out after turning up the base’s temperature, they regained consciousness while The Doctor and his allies were trying to stop a Martian who had been sent down to a London weather station, The Doctor destroying the Ice Warrior with a solar energy transmitter. Refusing to allow the Ice Warriors to destroy Earth, The Doctor was able to devise a formula of hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, nitric acid and water that could destroy the pods, subsequently modifying a satellite signal that the Martian fleet was using to travel to Earth to redirect the fleet into the sun.
Despite being on opposing sides during their previous encounters, The Doctor actually allied himself with the Ice Warriors in his next encounter with them (“Prisoners of Time”). When Jamie was captured as part of an alien auction – the auctioneers regarding Jamie as a valuable item due to him coming from the past – The Doctor and Zoe managed to infiltrate the ship, but most of the other potential slaves were too broken to mount an effective resistance to their would-be ‘masters’ until The Doctor discovered a pair of imprisoned Ice Warriors. Releasing the Ice Warriors from the stasis chambers where they had been kept imprisoned, The Doctor explained the situation to them before they were attacked by the slavers’ robotic guards, the Ice Warriors’ quick defeat of the guards inspiring the other prisoners to riot. With the slavers driven off, the Ice Warriors claimed the ship as their own, assuring the other prisoners that they would return anyone who wanted it to their home worlds, while those who wished to stay would be welcome additions to the crew (Jamie expressed some doubt about the wisdom of this decision, but The Doctor reminded Jamie to have faith in people).
The Ice Warriors’ return to television was one of their most significant encounters The Doctor, as it marked the moment when the Ice Warriors made the transition from being The Doctor’s explicit enemies to becoming his occasional allies. While taking a trip in the TARDIS, apparently repaired after The Doctor’s forced exile to Earth (“The War Games”) – although it was later revealed that the Time Lords were simply sending The Doctor to ensure that a pivotal moment in history unfolded the way it should and he still had no actual control over the TARDIS -, the Third Doctor and Jo Grant landed on the planet Peladon as it was beginning arrangements to join the galactic federation (“The Curse of Peladon”), with the Ice Warriors being one of the races who had sent delegates to oversee the proceedings, The Doctor taking advantage of some confusion about his identity to pose as the Earth delegate to the conference. Although The Doctor was initially suspicious of their motives when he discovered evidence suggesting that one of the delegates sought to sabotage Peladon’s admission, reflecting that the Ice Warriors might be attempting to take control of Peladon like they had once sought to conquer Earth, he and his companion Jo Grant quickly realised that someone else was behind the attack, Ice Lord Izlyr, the Ice Warrior delegate, even speaking in The Doctor’s defence after he was accused of murdering one of the other delegates, recognising that he owed The Doctor a debt of honour after The Doctor had recently saved his life. Eventually, The Doctor and his allies were able to determine that the attacks had been caused by an alliance between Hepesh, the Peladonian High Priest, and Arcturus, an ambassador from the Medusan race, Arcturus having convinced Hepesh that the Federation would seek to exploit Peladon’s mineral wealth while intending to do that himself. With the deception exposed, the deputy Ice Warrior delegate Ssorg killed Arcturus, while Hepesh was killed when his attempts to use Aggedor – the sacredits beast of Peladon, long thought extinct – backfired when The Doctor was able to tame the beast and turn it against its original master.
When civil war erupted on New Mars, King Peladon opened his planet to refugees from the conflict (“The Prisoner of Peladon”), including the Ice Warrior Princess Lixgaar (Although she was hidden on Peladon in secret by Alpha Centauri). Although renegade Ice Lord Axlaar was able to track her down and tried to kill her, The Doctor and Alpha Centauri were able to keep Lixgaar safe, allowing King Peladon to deal with Axlaar himself and have Lixgaar moved to a new hiding place.
Unfortunately, despite the positive precedent set for Doctor/Ice Warrior cooperation during his previous visits to Peladon, The Doctor found himself fighting them once again when he visited the planet for a third time (“The Monster of Peladon”), although these Ice Warriors were clearly established as operating independently from their people as a whole. With the Galactic Federation currently at war with the mysterious Galaxy Five, a group of Ice Warriors led by Commander Azaxyr betrayed the Federation for the military glory of a new war, seeking to return the Ice Warriors to their former ways of violence. Working with mining engineer Eckersley, the Ice Warriors intended to take control of Peladon and its supply of trisilicate, a valuable mineral that served as a key factor in most Federation technology, deliberately provoking strikes by convincing the people that Aggedor had turned against them. Having learned about the current crisis, The Doctor was able to disrupt Eckersley’s plans by rallying the miners to his cause with the aid of both his friendship with head miner Gebek and control of a holographic Aggedor that the Ice Warriors had developed, Eckersley having used the hologram to create discord by creating the impression that Aggedor had turned on the people of Peladon. Although The Doctor was able to take control of the hologram and use it as both a symbol for the people of Peladon and a weapon against the Ice Warriors – using the hologram to project heat-bursts at the Ice Warriors -, the fight resulted in a personal tragedy when the real Aggedor, believed to be the last of his race, was killed (Although The Doctor would discover his mate and pups in a later visit).
While on a trip to Mars during one of Earth’s first manned missions to the planet in the mid-twenty-first century, the Fifth Doctor and Peri discovered a small band of surviving Ice Warriors who had been placed in suspended animation to defend the tomb of Izdaal, the greatest warrior of the Martian race, in accordance with Martian respect for their dead (“Red Dawn”). Although The Doctor was able to convince the Ice Warriors that the expedition as a whole had meant no harm, it was later revealed that Paul, a representative of the powerful Webster Corporation in the expedition, was attempting to provoke war between Earth and Mars so that they could use a captured Ice Warrior to produce hybrid super-soldiers for both sides. As he forced the Martians to give him access to one of their ships so that they could return to Earth, Paul revealed that Tanya, another member of the expedition, was actually a human/Martian hybrid clone created from the fragments of DNA recovered by previous expeditions to Mars, giving her an instinctive knowledge of Martian technology. Despite Paul’s efforts to escape in the ship with The Doctor as a hostage, he was tricked when Ice Warrior Zzaal, the leader of the Ice Warriors, offered himself in exchange for The Doctor and Tanya, although Zzaal gave his word of honour that his men would not harm him, he subsequently deliberately sacrificed himself by exposing himself to the Martian sun without protective clothing, the ultraviolet radiation killing him and leaving his warriors free to destroy Paul. Tanya decided to remain on Mars as Earth’s ambassador, the Ice Warriors noting that, while Earth still had much to learn, there was potential for the species.
During a return visit to Peladon (“The Bride of Peladon”), The Doctor once again found himself working with the Ice Warriors to thwart outsiders’ attempts to use the planet for their own gain. However, on this occasion the invader was Sekhmet, one of the last of the powerful Osirans, sealed away by her peers when her lust for violence and power grew out of control, attempting to escape her prison by using the blood of four royal females to break the ‘blood seal’ that was keeping her trapped, the triscilate of Peladon having weakened her prison enough for her to psychically influence people around her. Requiring the blood of four royal females to break the seal, Sekhmet was able to transmit a weak telepathic signal that would lure the required females to her, her first victim being the mother of Peladon’s current king Pelleas while the second was Alyxlyr, a princess of the Ice Warriors who had recently been appointed Peladon’s new ambassador, and the third was the Earth princess Pandora, sent to Peladon as part of an arranged marriage to Pelleas to grant Earth access to Peladon’s mineral riches. Although Sekhmet attempted to use the Fifth Doctor’s companion Erimem as one of the Royals to break the lock – Erimem having nearly been appointed pharaoh in ancient Egypt before political manipulations of the time drove her to depart with The Doctor and Peri -, Erimem was able to trick Sekhmet by poisoning her own blood with a distillation of mandrake root, disrupting Sekhmet’s escape long enough for Alyxlr’s brother Zixlyr to set off an explosive device in her tomb, killing himself while burying Sekhmet once again to avenge his sister’s murder, The Doctor subsequently curing Erimem with a transfusion of his own blood (Sekhmet’s attack having weakened him enough to activate the regenerative palates in his blood without actually triggering a true regeneration).
On another occasion, the Ice Warriors allied themselves with the Sixth Doctor’s enemy Sil (“Vengeance on Varos”), as part of a plan to manipulate the divided population of the planet Magnus Epsilon into war (“Mission to Magnus”). This plan involved setting off several nuclear devices buried under the planet’s surface in sequence, shifting its orbit into a more distant position that would make the planet far colder than its current temperature. Although the economically-minded Sil had intended to profit from the disaster by selling cold-weather items such as heaters and clothing to the population in the aftermath, the Ice Warriors subsequently betrayed him and attempted to secure Magnus for themselves. Refusing to accept their betrayal, Sil revealed the existence of a second series of nuclear devices that had been set up in case the first set failed, allowing The Doctor to shove the planet back into its proper orbit, killing the Ice Warriors and ending their attempt at conquest.
The Seventh Doctor had a personally significant encounter with the Ice Warriors when he arrived in Moscow in 1967 (“Thin Ice”), the Time Lords having chosen this trip as a final ‘test’ for Ace as part of the Doctor’s decision to send her to the Time Lord Academy. Meeting the exiled Ice Lord Hhessh and a small team of British agent Markus Creevy and Soviet defector Lieutenant Raina Kerenskaya, The Doctor and Ace were part of a plan to break into a vault beneath the Kremlin and recover a lost Ice Lord reliquary that was being used by the Russians to try and reverse-engineer Martian technology. The actual raid was successful despite a betrayal, but when Raina was drawn to put the helmet on, the helmet attempted to download the memories of Sazhyr, a legendary Ice Lord tactician who had been the first owner of the armour, into her mind, as part of Sazhyr’s attempt to save himself from death. Although the helmet accelerated Raina’s metabolism to try and transform her body into a suitable form for Sazhyr, this had the unintended side-effect of accelerating Raina’s pregnancy, incapacitating Sazhyr for a time until ‘he’ could give birth. Once the child was born, The Doctor took Creevy and the baby to Creevy’s mother while Ace found herself dealing with the exiled Ice Warriors and the Russians’ attempts to form an alliance with them. Fortunately, Hhessh had already begun to recognise that Sazhyr was more of a tyrant rather than the noble figure of Martian legend, Sazhyr dismissing his followers as cowards who fled Mars despite Hhessh’s protests that their opponents had greatly outnumbered them, giving Ace time to acquire the Orb of Alikyr, a vital part of the process that had uploaded Sazhyr into Raina’s body. Needing the Orb to stabilise his transformation, after he had killed Hhessh for defying him, Sazhyr used it on himself without realising that Ace had reprogrammed it, allowing Raina to take back control of her body while Sazhyr’s consciousness was lost, the remaining Ice Warriors fleeing to go back to Mars now that their leaders were dead.
The Seventh Doctor once again found himself dealing with the Ice Warriors and Peladonian politics when he arrived on Peladon in his seventh incarnation (“Legacy”), The Doctor having been called in to help search for the Ancient Diadem, a crystal tiara inhabited by an evil intelligence that had once triggered centuries of war on the planet Pakha, rumoured to have been recently discovered by an archaeological thief and taken to Peladon. Travelling to Peladon with the Ice Warrior delegation to witness the king’s reinstatement ceremony, The Doctor learned that Peladon was facing a difficult time as the mines were now all but exhausted and their future economy seemed destined to focus on the planet’s tourist appeal, only to find himself facing more personal matters when he was found over the body of Lianna, mother to the High Priestess Atissa holding the murder weapon (Albeit because he was trying to pull it out), prompting Ice Lord Savaar to demand the right to execute The Doctor after his trial in response to The Doctor’s past defeats of the Ice Warriors. However, this was actually part of the Doctor and Savaar’s plan to reveal Atissa’s plan to discreditsit aliens and force Peladon to return to its traditional ways, atissa tipping her hand after The Doctor was apparently executed when it was really only a hologram. Although the Diadem thief attempted to steal Peladon’s sacredits relics to exert control over the planet and broadcast the Diadem’s influence across the Federation, the Diadem’s ‘instinctive’ attempt to escape The Doctor due to his previous near-destruction of it in his third incarnation gave The Doctor’s allies a chance to destroy the ship that it was on before the thief could escape. With Peladon now temporarily withdrawing from the Federation to stand on its own – thus ensuring that it would be safe from an upcoming war with the Daleks -, The Doctor departed, although Bernice Summerfield remained with the Ice Warriors to join an archaeological expedition to an old Martian city for a time.
During a visit to the twenty-second century, The Doctor had a particularly interesting encounter with the Ice Warriors, as he found himself dealing with the conventional Ice Warriors – currently allied with the Daleks during their invasion of Earth (“The Dalek Invasion of Earth”) – and a group of pacifist Martians who worshipped the Osirans while still recognising the need to avoid a complete devotion to the art of war. While trapped on Mars during the time period when the Daleks controlled Earth (“The Daleks’ Master Plan”) after a disruption in the time vortex apparently destroyed the TARDIS, the Seventh Doctor (“GodEngine”) was forced to take a group of human colonists into the old Martian tunnels to escape the harsh weather above ground, resulting in them encountering a group of Martian pilgrims. Dealing with increasing tension between both sides due to past terrorist attacks on Earth in the name of Martian freedom – although many of the terrorist attacks were the work of alleged Martian sympathisers rather than the Martians – and the knowledge that the vortex rupture that destroyed the TARDIS would originate from Mars’s North Pole within a week, The Doctor and his companions Chris and Roz discovered that the Daleks had made a deal with an Ice Lord to delay their invasion of Mars long enough for him to finish the GodEngine project, as well as the disturbing discovery that the Martian’s holy city was protected by an Osiran WarScarab. Entering the city – although they were only just saved from death thanks to the betrayal of one of the group by a ghostly version of the TARDIS blocking their path long enough for the danger to pass -, The Doctor learned that the GodEngine was an Osiran creation capable of turning stars into subspace plasma projectors by manipulating the subspace manifold… and realised that, while the device would only work on Mars due to Mars’s lack of a bipolar magnetic field, once the Daleks had completed their plan to remove Earth’s core they could transfer the GodEngine to Earth and use it for themselves. As one of the Martians attempted to activate the GodEngine to destroy a human colony – unaware that the weapon couldn’t target anything that relatively small with the precision required, meaning that he would destroy Mars as well -, The Doctor was able to disrupt the GodEngine by throwing a human transit-web transmitter into the GodEngine, the competing subspace interfaces destroying each other (Also restoring the TARDIS as the subspace rupture that destroyed it would now never take place with the loss of the GodEngine, the ship using the GodEngine’s power to put itself back together).
While travelling alone, the Seventh Doctor helped to thwart an attempted coup on Mars led by renegade Ice Lord Arakssor (“Frozen Time”), helping Ice Lord Geldar establish a prison for Arakssor and his followers in the Antarctic on Earth. However, when a riot broke out in the prison, The Doctor was forced to trigger a mass cryogenic freeze to keep them contained, resulting in him and the Ice Warriors being frozen in the ice for centuries until an expedition arrived searching for what had happened to a previous expedition. Although he was thawed out after they discovered him, the cryogenic suspension had left The Doctor so confused that he was initially unable to recall his name or what the Ice Warriors were doing there, and was unable to stop the expedition leader unthawing the Martians, having read his grandfather’s accounts of lizard-men with advanced weapons, he was certain that the Ice Warriors knew what had happened to his grandfather and wanted to trade for their advanced technology, despite The Doctor’s warnings against such a course of action. While The Doctor tried to get the humans safely back to their ship, Arakssor set out to use the Martian sonic cannon to alter Earth’s atmosphere to make it suitable for Martian life, but The Doctor was able to take a helicopter back to the base after returning the humans to their ship, exploiting the time provided by the cannon’s need to charge to reactivate the heat emitters that had been used to release the Martians while distracting Arakssor with claims that a Martian ship had been detected, Arakssor so focused on investigating The Doctor’s claims that he didn’t pay attention to the heat until it was too late. With the ship having been alerted to Arakssor’s escape, the commander bombed the area, destroying Arakssor and his followers while The Doctor and the remaining humans in the area retreated to the TARDIS.
The Eighth Doctor had a particularly interesting encounter with the Ice Warriors shortly after his regeneration, when he was visiting Benny in the twentieth century (“The Dying Days”). This story also revealed that, after a close call with Martian ambassadors during an encounter between the two planets in the seventies (“The Ambassadors of Death”), Earth accidentally made hostile contact with the Ice Warriors, but made a deal to never return to the planet, with the British intelligence services covering up the fact that Mars had a breathable atmosphere so as to discourage further exploration attempts. Unfortunately, the Argyre clan attempted to launch an invasion of Earth after a later, independent expedition landed on the tombs of Martian warlords, the Argyre clan nominally taking over the United Kingdom and using human collaborator Greyhaven to form a mutually beneficial trading relationship, but with the Martians actually intending a mass terraforming of the planet to make it like Mars. Despite the Martian attempt to release a chemical weapon known as the Red Death that would destroy all human life, Benny and The Brigadier were able to rally resistance against the Martians while The Doctor – who had faked his death during an early test of the Red Death – rescued prisoners from the Martian death camps and delayed tests of the weapon. Although the Martian Ice Lord Xznaal nearly destroyed Earth after Greyhaven destroyed the Argyre clan on Mars, The Doctor was able to delay Xznaal long enough for The Brigadier to launch an attack on the Martian ship before it could release the Red Death, The Doctor surviving the subsequent fall by assembling various objects in his pockets into a parachute.
Although the Eighth Doctor did not explicitly encounter the Ice Warriors again in his lifetime, during”The Last Resort”, where time-travelling tours created multiple alternate timelines after reality was damaged by a black light explosion (“Time Zero”), The Doctor encountered another race of Martians created due to the flawed time-travel experiments of Jack Kowaczski, a young boy from a timeline where the ‘new’ Martian race had been enslaved by humans. Travelling back to Mars in multiple timelines created by his own minor changes to history in his homemade time machine, some versions of Jack indirectly created these Martians as they evolved from the bacteria that were left behind by his corpse as his various selves died of asphyxiation upon his arrival on Mars in the past. Although these Martians were conquered by the humans in some realities, in others Jack’s affection for his family’s Martian servant resulted in him going back just far enough to warn the Martians about humanity’s invasion before it happened, resulting in the Martians attempting to conquer Earth themselves. The Doctor was eventually forced to erase this timeline – although the Martians accepted their fate as they recognised that their paradoxical existence must be averted to save the universe – by kidnapping Jack as a baby and taking him into the past, preventing him from ever creating the time machines in the first place.
The Doctor faced the genuine Ice Warriors once again when the Tenth Doctor, attempting to take Rose Tyler skiing, accidentally materialised in the middle of one of several asteroids of compressed ice, used as cold storage for the planet Enyo by the ColdStar corporation (“Tenth Doctor Adventures: Volume 2” -“Cold Vengeance”). at the same time as The Doctor and Rose arrived on the asteroid, it was subject to a raid by space pirates Brona Volta and her son Callum, intending to steal some of the asteroid’s more expensive frozen foods, as well as refuse collector Lorna who had come there to collect the week’s recycling. When the Voltas turned off the asteroid’s freezer unit to try and blackmail the management to accede to their demands, the defrosting also freed a group of Ice Warriors who had been trapped in the ice when it was originally salvaged from the planet. As The Doctor and his allies learned, the Ice Warriors had established a colony in this solar system before humanity had done so, but this had led to a brief period of war between the two that ended with the Ice Warriors’ defeat and apparent death, but a few Ice Warriors had frozen themselves in their planet’s polar regions, with ice salvaged from this region being used by ColdStar for the asteroid freezers. Ice Lord Haaskor intended to send the asteroid crashing into the capitol city of Enyo to avenge the apparent death of his people, but The Doctor was able to program the asteroid to head towards the system’s sun, prompting Haaskor to take Volta’s Pearl with the goal of using it in the same kamikaze attack. However, The Doctor, Rose and Lorna were able to retreat to the TARDIS while Lorna and Callum sacrificed themselves to destroy the Pearl and most of the revived Ice Warriors. Although Haaskor tried to kill The Doctor, Rose and Lorna by following them into the TARDIS and setting his armour to self-destruct as he died, The Doctor was able to eject Haaskor’s body into space. After The Doctor took her back to Enyo, Lorna revealed that actually the Ice Warriors had since been ‘adopted’ into the human civilisation, with many of them living in the ghettos but subtle steps being taken to fully integrate them with the existing human population.
During The Doctor’s next encounter with the Ice Warriors, the Eleventh Doctor faced the Ice Warriors again in”Cold War”, when he and new companion Clara Oswald arrived on a Russian nuclear submarine in 1983 carrying out drills in the Arctic. Shortly before The Doctor’s arrival, the submarine had discovered a frozen Ice Warrior – kept in the ice for five thousand years – while drilling for ice and brought it on board for analysis, unable to determine what it was in the ice, with one of the crew thawing the Ice Warrior out while the submarine was still in the Arctic. As the Ice Warrior rampaged through the sinking submarine, the TARDIS materialised on board – The Doctor had been aiming for Las Vegas and set the coordinates incorrectly -, The Doctor managing to save the submarine crashing by suggesting that the crew try and turn the submarine as the ship’s sideways propellers were still operational, allowing it to ‘land’ on a nearby ridge rather than hit the sea bed and explode. As the Ice Warrior arrived in the room, The Doctor attempted to negotiate, but when the Ice Warrior introduced itself as Grand Marshal Skaldak, a famous Martian hero, The Doctor realised that he was in trouble even before one of the crew attacked Skaldak with an electric cattle prod. Forced to lock Skaldak up due to the threat he posed now that humans had attacked him, The Doctor attempted to negotiate with him once more, only for Skaldak to leave his armour – a strategy that The Doctor had never seen the Ice Warriors attempt before due to the grave dishonour in such an action – and escape to the rest of the submarine while attention was focused on his suit. Concluding that he had been abandoned by his now-extinct people and had nothing left to lose, Skaldak attempted to take control of the ship’s nuclear missiles after learning about Earth’s precarious current cold war and returning to his suit. However, although Skaldak came close to launching the sub’s missiles, The Doctor was able to delay Skaldak long enough for a Martian ship to respond to his earlier distress signal, the ship rescuing the submarine and Skaldak before disabling the armed missiles, recognising the wisdom of the Doctor’s earlier words to Skaldak about the honour of mercy against the human race who had intended no actual harm to the Martian race.
The Eleventh Doctor faced the Ice Warriors once again during the Siege of Trenzalore, when The Doctor discovered that Trenzalore was the location of a crack in reality that would allow the Time Lords to return to this universe, leaving him trapped on Trenzalore as various races wanted the planet destroyed to prevent the return of the Time Lords – and thus potentially start the Time War all over again – but couldn’t force The Doctor to leave in case he spoke his name and released them (“The Time of the Doctor”). Although Trenzalore was surrounded by a barrier that prevented technology from entering the planet, Ice Lord Ssardak was able to reach the surface by cocooning himself in ice and sending himself, his troops, and the components for a sonic gun through the barrier, appearing to be nothing more than conventional meteors (“Tales of Trenzalore: Let It Snow”). Although they were able to assemble the sonic gun with the aid of Christmas resident Elias, they learned too late that Elias was actually the Eleventh Doctor (Who had concealed his identity despite the truth field by avoiding ever explicitly answering the question of his identity), The Doctor using the sonic screwdriver to amplify the power of the sonic gun and trigger a powerful backlash that killed Ssardak and his men when they refused to spare Christmas.
When visiting NASA as an outing for his current companionstudent Bill Potts, the Twelfth Doctor witnessed a satellite video feed displaying the message ‘God Save the Queen’ written on the surface of Mars (“Empress of Mars”), prompting him to take Bill and Nardole back in time to investigate the origin of the writing. When Bill fell down a hole and the TARDIS took off on its own accord with Nardole inside it, The Doctor and Bill found themselves facing Victorian soldiers allied with an Ice Warrior known as Friday. Having dinner with the soldiers, The Doctor learned that an Ice Warrior ship had been salvaged on an expedition with ‘Friday’ in suspended animation, the Victorians taking the ship back to Mars using Martian-designed mining equipment to stake their claim, but the ship had crashed upon landing and there were no resources on Mars to make the expedition worthwhile. Shortly after this, the expedition discovered what appeared to be a Martian tomb, but The Doctor realised that it was actually a stasis chamber for Ice Queen Iraxxa, who was ‘woken up’ when one of the soldiers attempted to steal a gem from the tomb for himself. Faced with conflict between the two sides, The Doctor attempted to appeal and ask for mercy for the British, arguing that both sides had to cooperate to survive on the barren wasteland Mars had become, but matters quickly degenerated when Sergeant-Major Catchlove of the expedition mutinied and took command of the British, exposing the fact that Colonel Godsacre had nearly been hung for desertion, certain of British superiority over ‘upright crocodiles’ despite The Doctor’s warnings. As Iraxxa woke up even more of her Ice Warriors to attack the British from underground, The Doctor, Bill and Godsacre were able to escape their cell when Friday emerged in their cell, seeking The Doctor’s aid to establish peace. While Bill distracted Iraxxa, The Doctor took control of the British force’s main weapon, a vast laser they called the Gargantua, threatening to fire it at the ceiling to unleash the frozen water from the ice cap above them. As Iraxxa talked with The Doctor, Catchlove attempted to retake control of the situation by taking Iraxxa hostage so that she could repair the ship and allow him to return to Earth, only for Godsacre to shoot Catchlove himself. When Godsacre conceded to his presumed execution, his only request being that Iraxxa recognise that he and Catchlove did not reflect all of humanity, Iraxxa agreed to spare him if he would offer his pledge of loyalty to her and her world, acknowledging that humanity and the Ice Warriors could be friends. The Doctor sent a message into deep space so that another deep-space traveller could make contact and help the two sides depart the dead planet, the message being received by Alpha Centauri and The Doctor, Bill and Godsacre writing the message that had originally attracted the TARDIS crew to Mars to provide a landmark for Alpha Centauri’s forces to focus on. With humans and Ice Warriors now working together, The Doctor and Bill departed in the TARDIS when it returned to collect them with Nardole and Missy (the female incarnation of the Master (“Dark Water/Death in Heaven”), subsequently being kept in a Vault to give The Doctor a chance to redeem her (“Extremis”), The Doctor hopeful that these events would mark the start of the Ice Warriors’ more positive role in the wider galaxy.
Even before the Ice Warriors returned to the modern series, an indirect reference was made to them in “The Christmas Invasion”, when a UNIT colonel commented that the Sycorax – an alien race who had just made contact with Earth, their ship having emerged from behind Mars – weren’t Martians because Martians looked completely different. The Ice Warriors were more explicitly referenced in “The Waters of Mars” when the Tenth Doctor aided the crew of Bowie Base One – Earth’s first offworld colony, stationed on Mars in an elaborate bio-dome using water from a vast underground block of ice – in investigating a mysterious water-based infection, known as ‘The Flood’, that had been trapped in the underground ice they were using for water. While it was never explicitly stated that the Ice Warriors were the ones who sealed the Flood away, at one point one of the Flood’s victims seemed to respond to The Doctor’s attempt to communicate with it in Ancient North Martian, apparently recognising the language. Not only does this recognition create the idea that the Flood had an intelligence beyond that possessed by its host, but it also suggests that the Ice Warriors had some kind of contact with it, although this still leaves such questions as whether the virus was a natural life-form or an artificial creation unanswered.
The Ice Warriors first appearance is due on DVD in 2013 with animated remaining episodes for missing episodes.
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