Empress Of Mars (Grade & Discussion Thread)

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by StCoop, Jun 9, 2017.

?

Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

  1. Icetastic

    12 vote(s)
    21.4%
  2. Pretty Nippy

    30 vote(s)
    53.6%
  3. Fair to Middling

    12 vote(s)
    21.4%
  4. Chilly

    2 vote(s)
    3.6%
  5. Frozen

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. StCoop

    StCoop Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Back to a (mostly) stand-alone episode, though there are rumours of a little something special within...

     
  2. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Scarecrow Keeper Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Location:
    Scratchman's Land
    Please be Mark Gatiss on a good day, please be Mark Gatiss on a good day...

    He did pretty good with Cold War, so here's hoping he'll repeat with that level of quality.
     
  3. ITL

    ITL Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Location:
    Palace Of The Brine
    Well, this was a slice of cheesy rubbish. Very poor.
     
  4. TommyR01D

    TommyR01D Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    Some of the dialogue surrounding the Colonel's execution reminded me of Klingon conversations.
     
    Caretaker likes this.
  5. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Well, that was a better version of The Mummy than I expect the Tom Cruise version to be... and a nice return to form after the Triptych Of Dull WTFery. So, the regeneration has actually started, I'm thinking. (It would actually make sense of the regen energy light show in Lie Of The Land if Bill did in fact shoot him with the live rounds from that one guard who forgot to swap to blanks, and he just covered it up with the line about "was that too showy". It would be more logical if the bacteria from Pyramid were doing him in still, but that would then leave the lightshow as egregious shitshow, so I'd rather it was the bullets...)
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  6. StCoop

    StCoop Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    I'd head about the Alpha Centuri cameo but didn't expect Ysanne Churchman would be back to voice it. At 92 she's the oldest actor ever to (sort of) appear in the series.
     
  7. Solariabsg25

    Solariabsg25 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    And the SECOND I heard the voice I actually yelled out loud "Alpha Centauri!"
     
    Pindar, Psion, publiusr and 1 other person like this.
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    It was ok, hopefully the remaining episodes will be as good as the start of the season. I'm just finindg the middle of this season not as strong as the start.
     
  9. cultcross

    cultcross State the nature of the moderating emergency Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    Well that was crap. Cheesy alien, cheesy dialogue, 'warrior race' claptrap that would make a Klingon blush, no real story, silly resolution. This season continues its downward spiral.
     
  10. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Scarecrow Keeper Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Location:
    Scratchman's Land
    Aside from the lame and very unnecessary opening (the cold opening should have been seeing the message from orbit and then ending with "Friday" rushing towards The Doctor), I largely enjoyed this episode. Sure it's a typical runabout adventure, but I liked the Victorian mishmash (more so than I thought I would) with all of its pompous and arrogant superiority. Godsacre's turn of honor and unintentionally appealing to Iraxxa's sense of Ice Warrior honor was a nice turn, if predictable. Not the worse Mark Gatiss has written ("Victory of the Daleks") but not the best he's written either ("Cold War").

    I loved Alpha Centauri's cameo, complete with Yvonne Churchman's surprise return and Galactic Federation tie-in! May have been the highlight of the whole episode, even if I couldn't stand Alpha Centauri in the Peladon stories.

    One thing I don't get: What was the whole point of the TARDIS whisking Nardole away, which forces him to free Missy in order to get back to Mars, if The Doctor just looks her up again? I thought the point would be The Doctor takes Missy along with him before she decides to break away with her own mischief after next episode. Further, why would Nardole would be so willing to let her free after being so stubborn about The Doctor keeping his pledge to guard her in the Vault? And speaking of which, why were they gallivanting about in the first place? Not that I wanted to stay Earthbound, but Moffat isn't staying internally consistent.

    For some reason, I thought the Mondasian Cybermen would be in "The Eaters of Light" but they seem to be appearing in the finale. Just as well because I rather see what Rona Munro brings to the new series without having to work with an existing alien.
     
    Mad Jack Wolfe likes this.
  11. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    The TARDIS knows something's wrong with him - he's regenerating already, and it only knows one other Timey...
     
  12. TommyR01D

    TommyR01D Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    Perhaps this is building up to something for the finale, but I can't make out anything of substance which was hinted or established here. Certainly for the purpose of this episode it just felt like filler.
     
  13. StCoop

    StCoop Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    So, the best of Gatiss' three episodes for Capaldi by far but still almost completely mediocre. I'm really hoping that this is it for him on the series as he's been hinting recently.
     
    Starkers likes this.
  14. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Dead World
    Not Gatiss at his best but far from his worst. Was very choppy to begin with (Gatiss does struggle with 42 minutes sometimes) but got better once it settled down. Pretty standard Who fare but done well and gains points for Redcoats Vs Ice Warriors, Pauline Collins' cameo and Alpha Centuri!

    I do like the idea that he's already regenerating, and that would retrospectively make Lie of the Land slightly less annoying!
     
  15. Count Zero

    Count Zero No nation but procrastination Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    European Union
    Loved the shout-out to the Peladon stories of the Third Doctor and the actual appearance of Alpha Centauri. I also liked the rest of the episode. Sure, nothing spectacular plotwise but entertaining nonetheless. The open was a bit cheesy though I have to admit i chuckled.
     
    O_Kav likes this.
  16. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Kavala, Greece
    For me, it was the most Pertwee-esque episode I've seen in a while. Enjoyable old-school Who, IMO, complete with the utter jerk of a human commander and the random coward who redeems himself at the end.

    And Alpha Centauri was the icing of the Pertwee cake!
     
  17. O_Kav

    O_Kav Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Location:
    Brazil
    The writing felt sloppy in some places and the end was convoluted. That design for the Ice Queen was weird too. It's a Gatiss episode alright.

    However, this episode was more enjoyable than the good ones we've seen this year. This Season has been amazing so far, but I was bored to death in all 8 Episodes. Empress of Mars was the exception. What a delightful episode! I barely noticed time passing by... It's Campy Doctor Who and I would be lying if I said I disliked seeing that Alpha Centauran in the end. God, I love when Nu-Who closes "the loop" with Classic Who like that.

    This could easily be a Classic Serial too. It doesn't even look like it was written for Twelve. Get a weird outfit for Capaldi, shoot this thing in 4:3 in a 16mm camera and it would feel indistinguishable from any Classic Episode. Even the weird "plastic ball" bodies feel like something from that Era. If Gatiss bails out after Chibnall takes over, I will miss these types of episodes so much...
     
  18. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Shinning Waters
    when some-one writers a story for Doctor Who - do they do the complete thing (well barring any re-writes by script editors etc) from story outline through writing the actual film script?
     
  19. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Well, couple of things.

    Overall, middling, but better than last week

    I was reminded of the 1964 movie of First Men On The Moon, which opened with a present day expedition finding a Union Jack on the Moon.

    Had an old series feel, which is OK, I guess. Liked seeing Alpha Centauri, and pleased they brought back the voice actor.

    Theory about Missy: she grows very tired of all the feels, and reverts to an earlier save point, hence John Simm.

    ETA: the imperialist dialogue was a bit on the nose. The TARDIS moving itself may have been set up by Missy for such an eventuality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  20. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    I thought it was excellent. Gatiss's scripts are a mixed bag at best and this was one of the better ones. Love the setting, the return of the Ice Warriors, the fate of the Colonel and the Alpha Centauri cameo.
     
    Pindar likes this.