This Week in Doctor WhoThis Week in Doctor Who

This Week in United Kingdom

See broadcasts for BBC OneEmpress Of Mars

Last updated 26 June 2017
Broadcast: Saturday 10th June 2017
7:15pm-8:05pm BST (18:15 GMT) < > « » Premiere < > « »
(actually broadcast at 19:17:45)
Featuring: Peter Capaldi, Matt Lucas, Pearl Mackie, Michelle Gomez

"God Save The Queen" has been scrawled on Mars. Does this refer to Queen Victoria? If so, what are Victorians doing on the home planet of the Ice Warriors, and what will they find beneath the planet's surface?

Synopsis Source: Radio Times
Broadcast Source: BBC
Final chart position for Empress Of Mars

Ratings Information:

Initial figures: 3.590m viewers (overnight), 20.6% audience share, 4th place day, 83rd place week
Consolidated figures: 5.020m viewers (+7 days), 25.9% audience share, 23rd place - BARB Week Top 30 Chart, AI 83

Consolidated Ratings: With timeshift adjustments Doctor Who became the highest rated programme on Saturday evening, and was the 23rd most watched programme overall for the week - with the departure of Britain's Got Talent meaning soaps ruled the week once more, Coronaton Street claiming the top five slots. Drama-wise The Loch managed to take 6th place and the return of Poldark to BBC1 came in at 9th.

There was some confusion with BARB figures for this week, however, with their Top 10 charts including erroneous data on BBC2 (indicating The Great British Menu at 7.48m, Gardeners World at 6.23m, and Great Continental Railway Journeys at 5.28m - all shown on the Friday!)


DRAMA In November 1967, the Ice Warriors made their Doctor Who debut and swiftly became one of the most popular monsters in the programme's mythology, but across all those 50 years we've never seen the armour-plated reptiles on their home world. Mark Gatiss rectifies the matter in his spirited adventure, Empress Of Mars.

It begins with the Doctor, Pearl and Nardole crashing Nasa HQ where a Mars probe is in progress, before looping back to 1881 where a band of Victorian soldiers have fetched up on the Red Planet with a Warrior who seems to be the sole survivor.

Of course, he's not - an army lies in hibernation in a hive awaiting activation by their Empress (Adele Lynch), and the Doctor finds himself arbitrating between the Martians and the Victorian invaders. Gatiss cleverly toys with the idea of two empires at war and suggests it's better left to the females to broker peace.


Empress of Mars: Iraxxa (Adele Lynch) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide (Simon Ridgway)) Radio Times - Dr Who on Ice (11th Nov 1967, p3) (Credit: Radio Times)
50 YEARS OF ICE: Iraxxa, Empress of Mars (Adele Lynch) and the first Ice Warrior (Bernard Bresslaw) in RT in 1967
Credit: Radio Times (p45)