The Empress of Mars
|The Empress of Mars|
|Air date||10 June 2017|
|Written by||Mark Gatiss|
|Directed by||Wayne Yip|
|The Lie of the Land||The Eaters of Light|
The Empresssss of Marsss (though the actual episode title doesn't have a "The" in it but ah well I'm too goddamn lazy to rename the page) is potentially the final Gatiss episode of Series 10, if not the entire series. It features eccentric inventor Professor Piero Capaldino and his two-fisted tribadist companion Wilhemina Pottington. It was hoped that now that he and Moffat are done with Sherlock, Gatiss would pull out all the stops and deliver us an episode of pure Gatisskino.
But let's not get too excited, just in case. Too late...
A party of victorian soldiers on an expedition in Africa discover a planetary bullet from Mars, climb aboard, and fly back to Mars with an Ice Warrior named Friday. There they meet the Doctor, asBill, and Nardole gets kidnapped by the TARDIS so the Mistress can get bailed out of jail. At the end of the episode, this is treated like a huge deal for... some reason.
It's also probably the first time "Why don't we just all be friends?" actually works out as a resolution. No Hungry Earth/Cold Blood-esque failure to communicate, no "Well I guess we just weren't sophisticated enough to get along" cop out, it's just straight up a peaceful ending.
Considering how his televised Who career started, this potential ending to it is almost... appropriate. So, yeah, I'm gonna say it, BRAVO GATISS.
So this episode is set under the Martian ice caps and two years after Tooth And Claw, features neither a reference to the Flood nor to the Torchwood Institute, but manages to fit in a hideously ham-handed reference to Sleep No More. BRAVO GATISS, ONLY THE SARCASTIC KIND THIS TIME.
BASED ALPHA CENTAURI
The Ice Warriors turn out to be matriarchal, which is surprisingly well handled aside from a bit of contractually obliged Moffat-Gatiss Strong Woman Dialogue.