Place of Origin:
“Lords of the Red Planet”
Main Voice Actor:
In a sense, Zaadur is a fascinating combination of Davros and the Daleks, as she was simultaneously the product of her father’s genetic research and the main catalyst in driving his own later research into the creation of the Ice Warriors (Although available evidence suggests that these were just a forced early evolution of what would later become the Ice Warriors rather than their true creation).
Zaadur’s history can be traced to the distant past of Mars, when it was inhabited by a race known as the Gandorans. As Mars began to run out of the natural resources necessary to sustain a sentient population, the last surviving city on the planet was eventually able to develop a form of sustenance known simply as the ‘Life Drink’, which not only kept them alive but made them essentially immune to old age so long as it was consumed at a certain rate. Despite this, knowing that the resources needed to make the Life Drink would eventually run out, Gandoran scientist Quendril attempted various genetic experiments to find another solution to the problem of his species’ survival. As part of his experiments, he augmented his own daughters, Vektreena and Zaadur, as well as an early experiment on the local reptilian life-forms, but the results were mixed at best. His first augmented reptile was Risor, who was sentient but mentally slow, and as for his own daughters, Veltreena was left beautiful but intellectually stunted, and while Zaadur was slightly less beautiful while exceptionally intelligent, she was also left with a heightened sense of arrogance, made even worse by the fact that Zaadur resented the pain of the experiments her father had subjected her to.
With her new ego and intellect, Zaadur set out to avenge the pain she had experienced in the experiments, projecting her anger onto others by claiming that they drove her to take drastic action by defying her ‘requests’ instead of acknowledging that she was just angry at the world and lashing out. As a result of her natural charisma, Zaadur was able to manipulate events so that she was placed in charge of the mines responsible for the creation of the life-drink, allowing Veltreena to act as a figurehead ruler while Quendril was forced to augment more of the local lizards to form her army of ‘Saurian Evolutionaries’â which would come to be known as the Ice Warriors. Most of these Evolutionaries were simply brute force soldiers, intended to be blindly loyal to Zaadur without the ability to question her, although she also arranged for the creation of a few superior figures – the future Ice Lords – who could act as battlefield leaders away from her direct command.
With her father blackmailed into augmenting more lizards into Saurian Evolutionaries or she would withhold the life-drink, Zaadur’s army continued to grow until the TARDIS arrived, with the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot witnessing some of the lizards being captured for Quendril’s later experiments. After an awkward introduction that saw The Doctor unwittingly naming the Saurian Evolutionaries ‘Ice Warriors’ based on his future knowledge of them, The Doctor and Zoe learned more about the current situation on Mars while Jamie encountered Veltreena. Zoe experienced a particularly close call when she witnessed Quendril trying to create an ‘Ice Lord’ and interrupted the experiment because she was outraged at the obvious pain the Ice Lord was in, but this had the interesting result of the Ice Lord, who came to be known as Aslor, essentially ‘imprinting’ on Zoe and becoming loyal to her rather than Zaadur, even if this loyalty was subtly expressed.
Seeking to learn more about the current social situation after witnessing Veltreena and her guards taking the daily supply of life-drink, The Doctor evaded Zaadur’s attempts to keep them confined by exploiting the Ice Warriors’ limited intellect. Zaadur had earlier ordered her guards to keep The Doctor and Zoe occupied as she was unaware where Jamie was, but The Doctor was thus able to convince the guards to release him after Jamie came to rescue him, as the guards had been given no instructions regarding Jamie and ‘couldn’t’ guard The Doctor without Zoe. Visiting the mines where the materials to create the life-drink were collected, The Doctor noted that the equipment had actually been out of use for years, but he was captured by Zaadur’s forces before he could investigate the mines any further.
While Risor took Zoe into the mines to find Jamie, Zaadur forced The Doctor to tell her about Earth’s defences – incapable of even considering the possibility of time travel to account for their presence and the Doctor naturally not sharing that detail with her – claiming that she would kill his companions if he didn’t talk, while planning to kill his friends anyway. Having confirmed his theory about Zaadur’s family history, The Doctor was able to convince Quendril that Zaadur intended to destroy the Gandorans and leave Mars to conquer other worlds, forcing Quendril to release The Doctor to stop his daughter’s madness at the same time, Risor saved Jamie and Zoe from the Ice Warrior attack by exploiting the fact that they were still programmed to consider him a figure of authority. While the companions witnessed Ice Warriors planting bombs in the mines, Zaadur discovered Quendril’s role in helping The Doctor escape, and decided to punish him by giving Veltreena an overdose of life-drink, causing her to age to death as her father watched helplessly.
However, Zaadur’s arrogance swiftly proved to be her undoing, as she was so certain that The Doctor and his allies could do nothing that she was unprepared for The Doctor’s retaliation against her. Not only did The Doctor delete the data he had given Zaadur about Earth (although it was unspecified if he told her anything about the planet at any specific time frame or just gave her a mass of data knowing that she couldn’t confirm it), but he, Jamie and Aslor were able to disable some of the bombs planted in the mines while also removing the eggs Zaadur intended to use as her latest platoon of warriors, while Zoe and Risor rescued Quendril. Although Zaadur departed Mars with most of her Ice Warriors while leaving a platoon to kill the rest of her people, The Doctor was able to create an aerosol substitute for the life-drink while Aslor sacrificed himself to turn up the city’s heat, killing the Ice Warriors still present as well as himself. Even with the revelation that The Doctor had destroyed her eggs, Zaadur tried to turn the blame on him by accusing him of killing her ‘children’, but The Doctor rejected the idea that he had destroyed anything but an inert experiment.
Even without her eggs or the data on Earth, Zaadur still intended to continue her new plans for universal conquest, but she soon realised that she had one final unexpected adversary in the form of Risor, who had sneaked on board her ship before it departed. Zaadur initially mocked Risor, believing that he had simply fled to escape death, but Risor informed her that in reality, driven by his unrequited love for Veltreena even if she had never been able to acknowledge it, he had come there to destroy her ship. With Risor’s sacrifice, Zaadur was defeated before she could take her evil any further than Mars, and while The Doctor was uncertain if the Ice Warriors she had created would become the new natives of Mars or if the species would simply evolve on its in time, the fact that no Ice Warrior has ever mentioned Zaadur since suggests that she left no true lasting legacy regardless of her ambition.