Last weekend brought us The Lie of the Land, the conclusion (?) of a three episode arc also encompassing Extremis and The Pyramid at the End of the World.
On the whole, I managed to enjoy TLotL...enough...but my support of it is tenuous and conditional. I found its ‘love will find a way’ conclusion a bit jarring - perhaps even disingenuous - given the tone and nature of the story which it was wrapping up.
Additionally, as I previously mentioned on our discussion boards, the Doctor’s false regeneration…and the plot’s subsequent imperilment of Bill when she jacked into the Monk’s signal…rang as hollow, even gimmicky. Each played as an unnecessary bait and switch, and each was an affront to both the audience’s affections for these characters, and viewer’s investment in the dramatic tension this trio of episodes had legitimately earned until these points.
Will The Empress of Mars smooth out this unfortunate, almost petulant, rough patch?
Synopsized thusly by BBC...
The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on Mars, and find themselves in an impossible conflict between Ice Warriors… and Victorian soldiers. As the Martian hive awakens around them, the Doctor faces a unique dilemma – this time the humans, not the Ice Warriors are the invaders. When Earth is invading Mars, whose side is he on?
...Empress is scripted by Mark Gatiss, and helmed by Wayne Yip (who directed The Lie of the Land).
Publicity images from the episode…
…suggest that this installment will offer a hybridization of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Steampunk. A promising and interesting fusion on any show, especially this one.
On the other hand, Gatiss’ last DW script was Sleep No More, which was one of the more poopy DW installments of the 2005+ DW era, if not the poopiest So…we’ll see. Personally, I kinda like the looks of this one - I get the same vibe from this material that I got from Gatiss’ Cold War back in S7, which I rather enjoyed. So, hope shines brightly.
Unrelated to DW: Gatiss' prosthetic-heavy performance as 'Prince Regent' in TABOO is a blast...
If you haven't had a chance to check its out, consider doing so. It's gorgeously shot and put together...
...and is, all in all, a helluva thing.
Ready to talk about The Empress of Mars? GO FOR IT! Welcome, and...as always...enjoy!
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