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According to the Fifth Doctor, Mars had gravity which was "about a third" of the sorts of planets the human, Peri Brown, was used to. Its surface was powdery and dark red in colour. Mars had roughly a four-minute radio delay from Houston on Earth. (AUDIO: Red Dawn)
According to Daniel Llewellyn, Mars was 50 million miles away from Earth in December 2006. (TV: The Christmas Invasion) The Tenth Doctor and Yuri Kerenski described the distance from Bowie Base One on Mars to Earth as 40 million miles in November 2059. (TV: The Waters of Mars)
The Fourth Doctor theorised that, around 12 million BC, the Fendahl passed from Planet 5 to Mars on its way to Earth, before the Time Lords trapped its homeworld in a time loop. (TV: Image of the Fendahl) This phenomena became known as the Great Death in Ice Warrior history. (PROSE: GodEngine)
The age of the Ice Warriors
At the height of their civilisation, they became peaceful, honour bound beings who were artisans as well as builders. They hunted only for food and never fought one another and thus never experienced any form of war. (AUDIO: The Judgement of Isskar)
Accounts differ as to the downfall of the Ice Warriors, with some mentioning being at their peak and active thousands of years BC, (TV: Cold War, Empress of Mars) and others claiming their atmosphere to have been destroyed "centuries" before the 21st century, (AUDIO: Red Dawn) or even millions of years BC. (AUDIO: Deimos)
Whilst favouring colder climates, they populated the equator of Mars; their shell-shaped buildings were designed to reflect heat. In this period, their world was vibrant and alive. Water was plentiful and there were canals on the planet. The Martians lived in peace for twelve thousand years. This civilisation was shattered when a segment of the Key to Time was discovered by time travellers. Its removal led to the creation of a gravity well that devastated the planet.
For the next three decades, the civilisation was devastated by climatic changes. Some among the Martians managed to get off world. Those on Mars fought among themselves for food and shelter, becoming a warrior race. After another thirty years, the energies from the stolen piece of the Key to Time were spent and the ground settled. The remaining Martians emerged onto their world to rebuild their civilisation. (AUDIO: The Judgement of Isskar)
However, it was the Ice Lord Izdaal who discovered that the damaged atmosphere meant that ultraviolet radiation led to many of their children being sickly. He declared that Mars was no longer capable of supporting life but was ignored. He stood before the "Red Dawn" and was killed by the radiation. This showed that the world was dying. This led both to the salvation of the race as well as their transformation into a conqueror species. (AUDIO: Red Dawn, The Judgement of Isskar)
According to the Twelfth Doctor, Mars' atmosphere had "all but evaporated", and the surface was "lifeless" before 1881. He told Iraxxa that the Ice Warriors could not survive without help. Friday agreed with the Doctor. (TV: Empress of Mars)
At some point prior to his travels to ancient Mars, the Fifth Doctor was surprised that there were Ice Warriors still around by the 21st century; he assumed they "all" left Mars after its atmosphere thinned "centuries" before the 21st century, while Lord Zzaal said the Ice Warriors had discovered "primitive, early life" developing on Earth before his people went into suspended animation. (AUDIO: Red Dawn) The Eighth Doctor dated this time as "many millions of years" before the 23rd century. (AUDIO: Deimos)
By human prehistory, the Ice Warriors already possessed spaceflight. With their ecosystem dying and becoming more inhospitable, the Ice Warriors, led by Varga, sent an expedition to Earth, but the ship crashed and was frozen in a glacier where it would remain for millennia. (TV: The Ice Warriors)
Around 5000 BC, the Osirans reached Mars and set up underground bases beneath pyramids that they built. Sutekh was imprisoned in a tomb in Egypt and kept in a state of paralysis by an energy beam transmitted from the main pyramid on Mars itself. A warning message, Beware Sutekh, was broadcast continually by radio. (TV: Pyramids of Mars)
Early 20th century
On 30 October 1938, many humans across the United States took Orson Welles' radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds literally, and believed that Martians had really invaded. (AUDIO: Invaders from Mars)
Later 20th century
Several accounts held that humanity landed on Mars long before its colonisation in July 2058. (TV: The Ambassadors of Death, PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy, The Dying Days, AUDIO: Red Dawn) The Tenth Doctor indicated otherwise. (TV: The Waters of Mars)
Mars was a target of a series of British manned space probes overseen by the British Space Centre (a renamed British Rocket Group) and constructed with International Electromatics technology. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) The first Mars landing happened within a few years of the American moon landing. This was a source of pride for the British public but made the national debt worse, and future historians like Bernice Summerfield would remember this as a doomed attempt by Britain to show it could still be a great power. (PROSE: The Dying Days)
Mars Probe 6 and Mars Probe 7 made contact with a group of peaceful, radioactive humanoids. Another spacecraft, Recovery 7, entered Mars orbit to determine what had happened to earlier probes. (TV: The Ambassadors of Death)
In 1977, Britain's Mars Probe 13 astronauts accidentally wandered into the city of the Argyre Clan Ice Warriors and were slaughtered after they spied on a research facility. To appease the Ice Warriors, the British government's representative, Minister Edward Greyhaven, had mission commander Alexander Christian framed for the astronauts' deaths and imprisoned. He agreed to ensure humanity would not return to Mars. For the next two decades, the British secret service spread what was, according to one account, disinformation, that Mars was uninhabitable and sabotaged NASA data in order to discourage Mars missions. This account claimed Mars' atmosphere was breathable, (PROSE: The Dying Days) though other accounts showed Mars to be long-dead with an unbreathable atmosphere to humans and Time Lords by the 21st century. (AUDIO: Red Dawn, TV: The Waters of Mars) Though he was able to breathe on the surface, according to Lord Zzaal, even without the threat of the red dawn, the low temperature and loss of water following the thinning of the atmosphere would mean an Ice Warrior could only survive for a few days. (AUDIO: Red Dawn) Yet another account had the Twelfth Doctor describe Mars' atmosphere as "all but evaporated" and unsuitable for Martians to survive in without help as early as 1881, which Friday agreed with. (TV: Empress of Mars) As a result of Greyhaven's plot, Britain would have little scientific or technological achievements to show for the Mars Probe missions. (PROSE: The Dying Days)
In 1994, Joseph Rennigan, a lone human astronaut marooned on desolate and lifeless Mars, found himself aided by unseen friends, namely the First Doctor and his companions Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. (PROSE: Rennigan's Record)
In 1997, Britain returned to Mars with the Mars 97 mission — a deliberate plan by Greyhaven and Argyre Clan Lord Xznaal to give the Ice Warriors a pretence for a "retaliatory" conquest of the United Kingdom, with Greyhaven placed in power as a Prime Minister. When it turned out the Ice Warriors were using him for a pretext to wipe out and areoform Earth, Greyhaven wiped out the Argyre's nests on Mars with the Mars 97 Orbiter. Xznaal was defeated soon after by UNIT and the Eighth Doctor. (PROSE: The Dying Days)
Circa the dawn of the 21st century, a space expedition funded by Leo Webster arrived on Mars in the Argosy to find an Ice Warrior and use it to create a clone army augmented by Ice Warrior biology and technology. The Argosy crew arrived in the tomb of Izdaal, whose guards were awoken from suspended animation. Paul Webster tried kidnapping Sub Commander Sstast, but the Argosy was shot down by the Ice Warriors. He tried escaping in the Ice Warriors' rocket with the Fifth Doctor and seventeen-year-old Tanya Webster as hostages.
Lord Zzaal allowed the Doctor and Tanya to escape Paul while Zzaal sacrificed himself to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. With Zzaal no longer in mortal danger, Sstast fired a sonic charge at Paul, killing him. Tanya stayed behind on Mars to became an ambassador for Earth. (AUDIO: Red Dawn)
On 31 December 2020, a Mars Rover from the European Space Agency, manned by John Wilcox, uncovered a copy of David Bowie's Life on Mars on the surface of Mars. Wilcox believed it was a prank by his colleagues. (PROSE: Life on Mars on Mars)
While the Tenth Doctor identified the Bowie Base One colony in 2058 as the "very first humans on Mars", an obituary of Adelaide Brooke mentioned that a three-person team including Brooke landed on Mars in 2041, when Adelaide was 42. (TV: The Waters of Mars)
In July 2058, Bowie Base One, the first human colony on Mars, was established, staffed by an international crew under Adelaide Brooke. On 21 November 2059, the base was overrun by a sentient, water-based lifeform and the base was destroyed to prevent it reaching Earth. Originally, nobody survived; the Tenth Doctor altered time, saving Brooke and two other crew members (though Brooke would kill herself soon after). (TV: The Waters of Mars)
The Ice Warriors had not given up their ambitions to colonise Earth. A strike team was sent to take control of T-Mat, and use it to transport seed pods to Earth that were designed to terraform its environment to an environment more suited to them. The fleet was destroyed thanks to the Second Doctor. (TV: The Seeds of Death)
According to Harold, who had watched a documentary about the Ice Warriors on the History Channel, the Ice Warriors were "supposed to have been wiped out" following the T-Mat incident. In the 23rd century, the Ice Warrior expert, Professor Schooner, declared the Ice Warriors "extinct" for "centuries", while Gregson Grenville had learnt in school that "[t]hey were all melted when the invasion fleet spiralled into the Sun". According to Grenville, nobody knew of any Ice Warriors existing after this period until the attack on Deimos Moonbase in the 23rd century. Human tourists to the catacombs of Deimos in the 23rd century, such as Margaret, considered the moon the "final resting place" of the Ice Warriors and she and Harold expressed shock that "real" Ice Warriors could ever exist. One of the Ice Warriors that awoke from the tombs on Deimos considered him and eight others the last of their race. The Eighth Doctor corrected him, mentioning the tombs in the Sol system's asteroid belt containing Ice Warriors yet to have been awakened. (AUDIO: Deimos)
Early Mars colonists discovered the body of Bernice Summerfield, frozen in stasis following her encounter with the Epoch on Zordin. A small cult was formed which worshiped Benny as a goddess. (AUDIO: Brand Management)
By the early 22nd century, Mars had been partially terraformed into a tourist resort for the wealthy. As the seas and canals were not red enough for the tourists, cranberry juice was poured into them. This human activity led to a malevolent, formless entity escaping from the sea's reflective surface. The Ninth Doctor and Rose defeated it; the Doctor believing the threat of it returning would force humanity to treat Mars with respect. (COMIC: The Cruel Sea) Later in the 22nd century, Mars had ceased being a pure resort and had residential settlements.
Shortly after the Dalek defeat, Anji Kapoor was stranded on Mars for four years. According to one account, at this time, Ice Warriors would sometimes stage attacks on human workplaces in an attempt to gain independence from humanity; these attacks largely failed. (PROSE: Fear Itself)
However, the Eighth Doctor mentioned that colonies of humans existed on Mars, numbering 300,000 in the 23rd century according to Temperance Finch, although according to this account, no Ice Warriors were known to live there, and were widely considered to have become extinct until a tomb containing live Ice Warriors was found on Deimos. (AUDIO: Deimos)
According to one account, the Eighth Doctor altered the beam of the atmospheric re-ioniser on Deimos Moonbase to make Mars more Earth-like for its inhabitants, saving them from being killed by the beam. The feedback the Doctor caused from the ionisation beam set the atmosphere of the moonbase alight, setting the entire moon on fire, making it an artificial sun to heat the human colonists. (AUDIO: The Resurrection of Mars)
Around 2400, Mars had only a single, small colony and was the birthplace of Space Army Commander Vel Karneen. The Daleks invaded the solar system and Mars was their third target. Everyone in the colony was killed in three hours. Karneen had been offworld and led the Space Army against the Daleks. (COMIC: Invasion of the Daleks, PROSE: The Secret of the Mountain, Break-through!) Later, the Daleks used "Humanoids" for an ambush on Mars. (COMIC: The Humanoids)
In 2545, during the Dalek War, the Daleks were able to seize control of Mars due to a failure to deploy Mars' nuclear deterrent. They would be eventually driven off-world by Earth and its allies. By 2595, humans celebrated the five hundredth anniversary of the start of human colonisation. (PROSE: Beige Planet Mars)
In the 27th century, Mars' President Lithops commissioned the development of a time machine. Time assassins attempted to use it to erase his timeline; the Tenth Doctor stopped them and destroyed the unsafe machine. (COMIC: Bus Stop!) It was around this time Bernice Summerfield came to Mars to discover a Pyramid that contained the essence of Sutekh and a possessed Seventh Doctor. She arrived during a war between the Martian colonial government and the Free Mars Party. (AUDIO: The Pyramid of Sutekh)
Circa the 39th or 40th century, Mars and the Ice Warriors were part of a Galactic Federation that included Earth, Alpha Centauri and Arcturus. The presence of trisilicate made the planet politically important. (TV: The Curse of Peladon)
In the late 40th century, Mars was among the "Big Four" powers in an alliance against the Dalek invasions. It was led by Bakabi when the Big Four decided to found the Space Security Service. (PROSE: The Outlaw Planet) Space Security agent Bret Vyon was born in Colony 16. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) In the year 4000 Mars was one of the key targets for the Dalek takeover of the solar system. (TV: Mission to the Unknown)
The Fourth Doctor again travelled to the planet with Leela and visited a terraformed, commercialised Mars abundant with commercialised imagery derived from human science fiction. (PROSE: Crimson Dawn)
Behind the scenes
- Though unpublished during his lifetime, David Whitaker's short story Rennigan's Record is the earliest portrayal of Mars in the Doctor Who universe.
- According to non-narrative information in DWBIT 49, the Daleks invaded Mars while on their way to Earth. Colonists fought back and, with the help of the Ice Warriors, created a virus which ate away at Dalek cable insulation. The Dalek forces were driven away from the colony and decided just to focus on the Earth.
- In 2009, the presence of water on Mars was a major plot point of TV: The Waters of Mars. Six years later, it was discovered Mars' surface actually had evidence of free-flowing water.