Really looking forward to Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who, The Empress of Mars, where we see Victorian era British soldiers on Mars fighting the Ice Warriors.
‘God save the Queen’ has been scrawled on the surface of Mars. What are Victorians doing on the home of the Ice Warriors? And what will they find beneath the Martian soil?
I’ve had a fondness for Victorian Science Fiction for many years, though I was aware of HG Wells War of the Worlds and the Time Machine, what really got me interested was GDW’s Space 1889 game. I did buy some of their 25mm miniatures and played a few games.
As well as the British soldiers I also had a few of the Martians.
As you can see they don’t look like the Ice Warriors.
Since then I have expanded my awareness and interest in Victorian Science Fiction beyond Space 1889 and looked at steampunk and other sources.
I really did enjoy The Difference Engine and I published an article about gaming in that universe.
“In the mists down Knightsbridge a procession of some kind was moving steadily across the road. Ghostlike, blurred by distance and the fog, they appeared to be military gurneys, the squat treaded monsters of the Crimean war. Fog muffled a heavy chugging and the faint repeated clank of jointed iron. One after another they passed. Each gurney hauled a linked articulated caisson. These wains appeared to be canvas-shrouded cannon, with men, footsoldiers in canvas coloured drab, clustered atop the cannons like barnacles, with a sea-urchin bristle of bayonetted rifles.”
Though there have been many Doctor Who stories set in the Victorian era and the Doctor has even met H G Wells, but I can’t recall an episode of Doctor Who that had such a Victorian Science Fiction background to the episode.
I really like the idea of Victorian British soldiers, more use to fighting in the Sudan or down at the Cape fighting Martians (well Ice Warriors) on Mars. You can see they have some kind of steampunk weaponry, but I am curious about how they got there, what was their space ship like? Well all will be revealed on Saturday.
This may be just one such episode of the Doctor, but if it goes down well with the audiences then we may see more.