Everything you need to know about Doctor Who series 10 episode 9 – Empress of Mars

The Ice Warriors return for a Victorian adventure


Classic Who foes The Ice Warriors return in this week’s episode – but what else can we expect?


What’s it called?

Empress of Mars, dropping the “The” from its title some time after its first announcement.

When is it on TV?

The episode will air on BBC1 on Saturday 10th June at 7.15pm.

What happens in it? 

The Doctor and Bill travel to Mars in 1881, where they find Victorian British soldiers and deadly Ice Warriors about to clash.

As series showrunner Steven Moffat exclusively told us:

“It’s a simple choice, Iraxxa. The oldest one in the book. We must live together. Or die together.”

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on Mars and find themselves in an impossible conflict between Ice Warriors… and Victorian soldiers. As the Martian hive awakes around them, the Doctor faces a unique dilemma – this time the humans, not the Ice Warriors are the invaders. When Earth is invading Mars, whose side is he on?

Who’s in it? 

Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie and Matt Lucas continue their leading roles, with guest stars including Ferdinand Kingsley (Victoria), Matt Beattie (Game of Thrones) and Anthony Calf, with Ice Warriors portrayed by Adele Lynch and Richard Ashton.

Who’s written it? 

Frequent series scribe Mark Gatiss, who has previously written episodes including The Unquiet Dead, The Idiot’s Lantern, Victory of the Dalleks, Night Terrors, Cold War, The Crimson Horror, Robot of Sherwood and Sleep No More.

Gatiss has also starred in the series a number of times in different roles and wrote Doctor Who making-of drama An Adventure in Space and Time in 2013, so it’s safe to say he’s a fan.

Who are the baddies?

Ostensibly The Ice Warriors, thought TECHNICALLY it’s the humans who are the invading force here, giving the Doctor a bit of a moral quandary…

Anything else?


The big change to the Ice Warriors this year is that Gatiss is introducing the female of the species for the very first time, in the form of Adele Lynch’s Ice Queen Iraxxa. We think it’s safe to assume that she’s more deadly than the male, right?