155 The Empress of Mars

This is the one where the Doctor, Bill, and a group of soldiers fight an army of upright crocodiles and lose, I think? and I guess all the soldiers either died or ended up stranded on Mars.

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet that’s recording from under the polar ice caps on Mars. It’s the Noobs and the Whovian! 

My name is Austin and I’m the Whovian, and these are my sons Corbin and Tripp and we’re the noobs! 

This is the podcast that introduces a whole new generation to Doctor Who by watching an episode each week and discussing it from the perspective of a dad who’s seen it before, and two sons who haven’t. 

Welcome to Episode 155 covering series 10 episode 9, The Empress of Mars  

Super-short Recap 

This is the one where the Doctor, Bill, and a group of soldiers fight an army of upright crocodiles and lose, I think? and I guess all the soldiers either died or ended up stranded on Mars. 

Production notes

  • Story #273
  • Originally aired June 10, 2017 to 5.02 million viewers
  • Written by: Mark Gatiss
    • Directed by: Wayne Yip

      Misc Trivia

      • Though this episode is the sixth on-screen appearance of the Ice Warriors, and the third TV story set on Mars, it is the first time the Ice Warriors are seen on the homeworld on-screen.


      • Neville Catchlove – Ferdinand Kingsley
        • Played alongside Jenna Coleman in Victoria, where she played Queen Victoria


      • Name of the episode spoken in dialogue?
      • Creature of the week
        • The Ice Warriors
          • Space Vikings?
          • The British army is a match for some upright crocodiles!
          • Their crumple-you-up-gun is flippin brutal!
          • Why are they called ice warriors?
      • Jiggery Pokery
        • TARDIS 
          • She launched herself!
        • Sonic
          • Why is there still no setting for wood?!
        • Psychic paper
          • It’s from the Chief! It is?! Yes, it IS, giving us authority to go anywhere we want

      Other stuff we noticed

      • “The first man on the moon” is so human-centric. Nardole said “It’s embarrassing really”
      • Our Man Friday!

      Who’s Who? 

      • Who is Bill?
        • She’s going to make allowance for his Victorian attitudes because… well… he IS Victorian
      • Who is Nardole?
        • Before you go getting all frowny… 
      • Who is Missy?
        • Who is the Doctor? 
          • He hasn’t seen The Terminator, he’s a very busy man!
            • But he DID see Frozen
          • He was once an honorary guard of the Tythonian Guard.
          • Thinking like a warrior has always been his problem

        Can we talk about the plot holes

        • Somehow no one knew there were people on mars
        • The rocks
        • Why was the colonel allowed to keep his rank
        • How did Victorian-era humans help him fix his ship

        Classic Who Connections

        • The Fourth Doctor encountered the Tythonians in the serial The Creature from the Pit
        • The British also went to mars in the Whoniverse in 1970 in the serial The Ambassadors of Death with the Third Doctor
        • This episode sets up the Third Doctor serial The Curse of Peladon when the twelfth Doctor introduces the Ice Warriors to Alpha Centauri. This explains why the Ice Warriors are living on Peladon in that serial.

        Overall impressions

        • Overall rating out of 10
          • Jared – 7.5 Victorian Soldiers 
          • Austin – 4 gargantuas 
          • Corbin – 5 not space vikings
          • Tripp – 6 upright crocodiles 
        • Creep Level – out of 500
          • Jared – 50
          • Austin – 50
          • Corbin – 50
          • Tripp – 50


        • When Does Missy get out?
          • Corbin: episode before World Enough and Time, so the finale two-parter is about her
          • Tripp: World Enough and Time
          • Jared: towards the end of the series
        • How does Bill leave?
          • Tripp: she dies, she sacrifices herself to save the universe
          • Corbin: Missy kills her
          • Jared: Missy uses her as a pawn to escape and that will drive Bill to quit the TARDIS
        • Is Missy turning good?
          • Tripp: she’ll change a bit, but not really
            • She’ll look like she’s good, but then turn back
          • Corbin: not at all

        The Game Plan 

        • Next week, we’re covering series 10 episode 10, The Eaters of Light  before we head into the 2-part season finale!


        Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Thing One: Tripp Reason. Our Production Editor is the Other One: Corbin Reason. Special thanks to tardis.fandom.com for the trivia, and to Jared for the Classic Who Connection. Shout outs to Victor and Jared for their Patreon support.

        You can find us at Facebook or Twitter or email us. Consider supporting us. Please subscribe and leave a rating wherever you found us, and share us with a friend not because we’re a great show but because we watch one.

        Until next time, be safe if you can. But always. Be. Amazing.