Empress of Mars
10 June 2017
Adele Lynch (Iraxxa), Richard Ashton (Friday), Ian Beattie (Jackdaw), Anthony Calf (Godsacre), Lesley Ewen (Coolidge), Bayo Gbadamosi (Vincey), Ian Hughes (Knibbs), Ferdinand Kingsley (Catchlove), Glenn Speers (Sgt Major Peach), Ysanne Churchman (Alpha Centauri), Michelle Gomez (Missy)
|Written by||Mark Gattis|
|Directed by||Wayne Yip|
|Produced by||Nikki Wilson|
The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on Mars, and find themselves in an impossible conflict between Ice Warriors… and Victorian soldiers. As the Martian hive awakens around them, The Doctor faces a unique dilemma – this time the humans, not the Ice Warriors are the invaders.
When Earth is invading Mars, whose side is he on?
- The read-through for Empress of Mars took place on 11 January 2017, and filming took place between 27 January and 22 February.
- The Doctor sends a message to Alpha Centauri to start the new Ice Warriors’ lives. (The Curse of Peladon) – Actress Ysanne Churchman returns as the voice of Alpha Centauri at the age of 92, being the oldest actor on New Who.
- The Doctor told Friday that he was an Honorary Guardian of the Tythonian Hive. (The Creature from the Pit)
- The Doctor had previously encountered an Ice Warrior who had been asleep for a very long time. (Cold War)
- The Doctor remarks on how he can’t resist a countdown. He previously said similar of the Master. (Last of the Time Lords)
- Bill mentions Neil Armstrong and the 1969 moon landing. the Tenth Doctor was present for it with companion Martha Jones (Blink) while his eleventh incarnation witnessed the broadcast live of Armstrong live while interrupting the footage with the image of a Silent. (Day of the Moon)
- A portrait of Queen Victoria appears. (Tooth and Claw)
- The Doctor visits one of the Ice Warrior Hives. (Robot of Sherwood)
- Empress of Mars was written by Mark Gatiss. Aside from starring in The Lazarus Experiment and The Wedding Of River Song, he’ one of the few people to have written for the Ninth Doctor (The Unquiet Dead), the Tenth Doctor (The Idiot’ Lantern), the Eleventh (Victory of the Daleks, etc) and the current Doctor (Robot of Sherwood and Sleep No More). Despite having penned so many fantastic adventures in the past he’ on record as saying Empress of Mars is the story he always wanted to write!
- ‘RHIP, son…’ Empress of Mars reveals what these four letters stand for, but long-time fans of the show would already have known. In Day of the Daleks, Jo Grant sneaks some night-time provisions to a ‘famished’ Sergeant Benton. Before he can tuck into them, Captain Mike Yates arrives, reprimands Benton and tells him to go and check on a patrol. When the sergeant has disappeared, Yates thanks Jo for the food and tells her, ‘RHIP, Jo.’ She replies, ‘Pardon?’ and he explains, ‘Rank has its privileges…’
- This isn’t the first adventure to take place in 1881. Back on Earth in that year, the First Doctor was brushing shoulders with legends like Wyatt Earp, Johnny Ringo and Doc Holliday in The Gunfighters.
- “By the moons I honour thee…” The Doctor uses the same formal salutation to ‘Friday’ as Clara used for Skaldak in Cold War, when he instructed her how to great the Martian Marshall.
- The sonic screwdriver‘ ineffectiveness against wood is long established and during In the Forest of the Night, The Doctor tells Maebh, ‘It [the sonic] interacts with any form of communication you care to mention. Sadly, trees have no moving parts and don’t communicate…’ And in Night Terrors, written by Mark Gatiss, the Time Lord tells Alex, ‘I’ve got to invent a setting for wood. It’ embarrassing…’