Doctor Who Theories – The Empress Of Mars – Week 9

Doctor Who Theories

Hello everyone. We are three-quarters of the way through the series now. We will see if in the next weeks any more of our theories make  the final story line. To catch up on last weeks theory developments click here.

Overview – The Empress Of Mars

After a trip to NASA The Doctor and  Co travel to 1880’s Mars to investigate an unusual message written in stones.

Upon their arrival under the ice caps of Mars, Bill manages to fall through a hole in the floor. While the Doctor is occupied rescuing her  the Tardis decides to do a disappearing trick complete with Nardole inside.

Bill and The Doctor find underground tunnels are currently home to a group of Victorian soldiers and an Ice Warrior. The soldiers came upon Friday while in Africa. They were encouraged to help him return to Mars in return for the promise of buried gems and treasure.

The soldiers eventually come across a room with a sarcophagus  convered in gold and jewels. They believe this is the treasure Friday promised. Unbeknown to them it was a gateway to a hive of Ice Warriors. While trying to steal some of the gems one of the soldiers wakes the Empress.

The  soldiers with all the arrogance of the Victorian British army believe they can defeat the Ice Warriors. It is left to the Doctor, Bill and Friday to broker peace between the two sides.

While the Doctor and Bill are marooned on Mars, Nardole attempts to get the Tardis to behave, but can’t. He eventually asks Missy for help to fix it. Both Missy and Nardole who fly the Tardis back to Mars for the Doctor and Bill.


Last week we saw the first of our theories fitting into the plot line. We had an explanation for why families and in particular Bills mum had been such a reoccurring feature of previous episodes.

I was not therefore really expecting to see any more of our theories included in plot lines, but another one came to its conclusion this week.

The Tardis has a mind of its own

I’ve mentioned in several posts how the Tardis appears more than ever to be an autonomous thinking entity in this series. This was clearly a deliberate thing, building up to this weeks episode where it decided to bugger off and leave the Doctor stranded on Mars.

I like the fact that I am right again, but I really didn’t think much of this part of the storyline. There was no explanation for why the Tardis would run away.

In the past there have been incidents where the Tardis ran away from things that threatened to disrupt time (in Utopia it runs to the edge of the universe to try and shake of Captain Jack as he was an anomaly in time). However there was no reason on this episode for it disappearing other than being a part of the plot to see Missy let out of the vault.

Missy and the vault

I felt that this was part of the storyline didn’t fit well with the overall character of Nardole. In previous episodes we have seen two things. Nardole is frightened of Missy and takes the orders of the Doctor most seriously. Although it makes sense that he ultimately needed to get the Tardis to work to get back to the Doctor and Bill it doesn’t feel right that he would take Missy along for the ride.

It sounds like I’m being quite critical of The Empress of Mars, but overall I did enjoy the episode. It was another episode where the Doctor used words rather than actions to resolve the conflict. There was also reference again to the value of men when the colonel asked the Empress not to judge his men on the captains  cruelty or his cowardice.

How do you feel about the Empress of Mars storyline? Are you pleased Missy is finally out of the vault? Is she really reformed or will she be up to her wicked ways next week?

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