Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Ice Warriors is the name given to a fictional extraterrestrial race of reptile-like beings in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The race originated on Mars, and first appeared in the 1967 serial, The Ice Warriors , where they encountered the Second Doctor and his companions Jamie and Victoria. The name Ice Warrior is not the name of their species, but was applied to them by an Earth scientific team in the Martians' first on-screen appearance. No female Martians have ever been seen in the series.
The Ice Warriors are reptilian humanoids, their scaly skin and features usually hidden under heavy armour. They have large, claw-like hands on which are mounted sonic weaponry, and their voices are a highly sibilant whisper due to the different composition of Earth's atmosphere. Two types of Ice Warrior are seen in the series, the rank and file Warriors, and an officer class, which fan lore has christened Ice Lords. The main difference between the two is the design of their armour, with the Ice Lords wearing a lighter, more flexible version than those of the Warriors.
History within the show
Due to the time-traveling nature of the television series, the Doctor would encounter the Ice Warriors out of sequence relative to his timeline. Their first chronological appearance in the series was in the 1969 serial The Seeds of Death, which took place in the mid-21st Century. In that story, the world had grown dependent on the matter transmission system T-Mat. An Ice Warrior strike force seized control of the T-Mat relay on the Moon, using it to send the titular seeds to Earth, which were designed to alter the planet's atmosphere to be hospitable to Martian life. The plan was foiled by the Second Doctor and his companions Jamie and Zoe, and the invading Martian fleet was sent into an orbit around the Sun.
Their next chronological appearance was their first on-screen one in 1967, The Ice Warriors, when the world was in the grip of a new ice age. A scientific team sent to halt the advance of the glaciers discovered a spacecraft buried underneath the ice, where it had lain for thousands of years together with its Ice Warrior crew. The Martians revived and attempted to take over the scientific base, but were defeated by the Second Doctor and their ship destroyed as it tried to take off. No date is given for this story on screen, but the Radio Times listing for the serial placed it at the year 3000.
By the time of their next appearance, in 1972's The Curse of Peladon, the Ice Warriors had renounced violence (except in self-defense) and become respected members of a Galactic Federation that included Earth, Mars, Alpha Centauri and Arcturus. When the Third Doctor encountered them on a diplomatic mission to decide the admission of the planet Peladon to the Federation, he was initially distrustful, believing them to be behind an attempted sabotage of the proceedings. However, the culprits turned out to be someone else.
Fifty years on, in the 1974 serial The Monster of Peladon , the Ice Warriors returned to Peladon as Federation peacekeeping troops. The leader of the Martian troops, Azaxyr, was working with Galaxy Five, which was at war with the Federation. Seeking a return to the race's warrior past, he tried to impose martial law and take over Peladon, but was stopped by the Peladonians, who were aided by the Third Doctor. Curiously, in this appearance, Azaxyr referred to his troops as Ice Warriors. Both Peladon serials did not give dates, but the Virgin New Adventures novel Legacy by Gary Russell places them at around the 39th and 40th centuries.
The Ice Warriors have proven to be one of Doctor Who's most popular and enduring "monsters". In the series itself, they made cameo appearances in the serials The War Games and The Mind of Evil and were supposed to be featured in the never-produced Sixth Doctor serial, Mission to Magnus.
They have also appeared in numerous spin-off media, including novels, comic strips and audio plays. In the Doctor Who comic strip published in the Radio Times in 1996, an Ice Warrior named Ssard became a companion to the Eighth Doctor, together with the human Stacy Townsend. Stacy and Ssard reappeared in the BBC Books novel Placebo Effect by Gary Russell, where the two were married.
- The Ice Warriors - November 11 - December 16, 1967
- The Seeds of Death - January 25 - March 1, 1969
- The War Games - April 19 - June 21, 1969
- The Mind of Evil - January 30 - March 6, 1971
- The Curse of Peladon - January 29 - February 19, 1972
- The Monster of Peladon - January 12 - February 16, 1974
- Legacy (Virgin New Adventures) by Gary Russell
- Godengine (Virgin New Adventures) by Craig Hinton
- The Dying Days (Virgin New Adventures) by Lance Parkin
- Red Dawn (Big Finish Productions)
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