selenak: (Tardis - Hellopinkie)
[personal profile] selenak
I wasn't exactly overflowing with confidence when I saw this was a Mark Gattis episode, because to repeat for the nth time, I think he's a better actor than writer. However, there is the occasional exception to this rule, and I'm happy to report that this particular episode after the last two duds was enjoyable to me again.

For all that Bill's throwing 80s sci fi movies references around in this episode, the whole Victorians on Mars conceit was an enjoyable romp of a homage to ye olde end-of-19th-century Science Fiction - Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs - with a Whovian slant: the Victorian soldiers on Mars are would-be invaders vastly outmatched in technology by the "natives", the condescendingly called "Friday" by the Victorians has in fact instrumentalized them without being evil for it, and the honorable human impressing the Empress by the end so that a truce (or rather, a sparing) happens doesn't do so by assuming command over the Ice Warriors but by a) dealing with the one human who keeps threatening everyone and b) being willing not just to die but to live in service in order to save the rest.

(BTW: are we to assume the guys from Alpha Centauri who picked up the Ice Warriors will also bring the remaining Victorians back to Earth? Or is "Friday's" vessel indeed repaired enough for that?)

(More questions: didn't you get shot for desertion in the Victorian army as opposed to hanged? And how was the Colonel able to keep this secret anyway, and go on commanding, albeit blackmailed by the Captain? I thought these executions were in front of the regiment, or did fiction misinform me?)

The Ice Warriors not being buried again by the end of the episode when peace was reached but getting off planet looks to me like a possible set up for them returning in the finale, so we might get more Bill and Empress interaction; the Empress was rather curious about her.

Since I doubt the TARDIS actively ships Doctor/Master - she won't have forgotten the Year That Wasn't and spending it tormented as a Paradox Machine - I'm assuming for now that her taking off with Nardole which eventually forced him to enlist Missy's aid, thus freeing Missy from the vault, in order to retrieve Bill and the Doctor from Mars was anything but a coincidence. Again, the Master had the TARDIS for quite a while in late s3 and could have build in a great number of things other than the Paradox machine. A recall device would be the least of it.
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