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Empress of Mars was the ninth episode of series 10 of Doctor Who. It was written by Mark Gatiss, directed by Wayne Yip and featured Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts and Matt Lucas as Nardole.

This episode was notable for introducing, in 2017, the first on-screen female Ice Warrior, the Ice Queen Iraxxa, 50 years since the species were introduced in 1967's The Ice Warriors.

Empress saw the return of two actors from classic Doctor Who: Ysanne Churchman, reprising the role of Alpha Centauri for the first time since the 1974 story The Monster of Peladon, and Anthony Calf, who last appeared on televised Doctor Who in the 1982 serial, The Visitation.

Narratively, this episode saw Missy out of her vault for the first time in the series, discounting flashbacks. A large part of the series arc revolved around guarding the vault to make sure that she did not escape; in this story, Nardole allows Missy to pilot the TARDIS to save the Doctor and Bill.

Synopsis Edit

When NASA discovers a message reading GOD SAVE THE QUEEN under the ice on Mars's surface, the Twelfth Doctor, Nardole, and Bill travel to the Red Planet to investigate. On arrival, they find Victorian soldiers embroiled in a conflict with one of Mars’s ancient species.

Plot Edit

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Cast Edit

Crew Edit

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References Edit

Culture Edit

Foods and beverages Edit

  • Nardole is drinking a cup of tea at NASA.
  • The Doctor, Bill, Catchlove and Godsacre drinks "afternoon tea" and eats cake.
  • When Friday is serving tea, Catchlove questions as to whether Bill would like "Indian or China".

Locations Edit

Science Edit

Technology Edit

Physics Edit

People Edit

Companies Edit

  • The Doctor, Bill and Nardole take a trip to NASA, where a probe is being tested.

Jobs Edit

Species Edit

Currency Edit


Jargon Edit

Music Edit

Story notes Edit

Matt Lucas and Mark Gatiss - The Aftershow - Doctor Who The Fan Show

Matt Lucas and Mark Gatiss - The Aftershow - Doctor Who The Fan Show

This episode's Aftershow on Doctor Who: The Fan Show.

Ratings Edit

  • 3.58m (UK overnight figures)
  • 5.02m (UK final)

Filming locations Edit

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Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.

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Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit

DVD releases Edit

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Blu-ray releases Edit

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Digital releases Edit

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External links Edit

Fotnotes Edit