The Ice Warriors

The Ice Warriors are a mighty race hailing from Mars, the Red Planet. They are intelligent, powerful individuals and the Doctor has faced them at their most ruthless as they tried to wrestle Earth from humanity. But these hissing, menacing Martians have a code of honour and when the Third Doctor encountered them on Peladon he found they had abandoned their warlike ways in favour of a more peaceful, honourable approach to other species. The Ice Warriors are therefore capable of great good and terrible wickedness. Perhaps they are more like humanity than it would first appear…

Fact titleFact data
Also known as:
Martians
Home Planet:
Mars
Fact:
The Tenth Doctor referred to the Ice Warriors as ‘a fine and noble race who built an empire out of snow’.
First Appearance:
Most Recent Appearance:
Key Story:

The Doctor first encountered the Ice Warriors in the distant future when our planet was threatened by the grip of a new Ice Age. As glaciers rolled across the world, scientists struggled to arrest their advance and keep Earth habitable. But one creature was quite at home in the chilly conditions… A huge, green humanoid that had been frozen alive in ice for possibly thousands of years… Once thawed it turned out to be a militaristic Martian: An Ice Warrior!

If you value life, obey, and do not anger us!
Varga

The nature of the Ice Warriors was revealed quickly enough. This revived alien, called Varga, kidnapped one of the Doctor’s companions and talked openly about resurrecting his fellow warriors, also trapped in ice, in order to conquer the planet. It’s worth noting that even at this point Varga was partly motivated by a fear and suspicion of humanity. ‘They would not help me!’ he said of the humans. ‘They would keep me as a curiosity,’ he added, ‘And they would leave my warriors for dead, or destroy them…’ Varga succeeded in reviving a number of comrades but their schemes to take over our planet were foiled.

The Ice Warriors had another crack at the conquest of Earth using deadly seed pods but again the Doctor was on hand to derail their plans. It’s no wonder that when the Third Doctor was forced to work with a delegation of Ice Warriors on the planet Peladon, he was highly suspicious. Surely these two Martians - Ssorg and Izlyr - were lying when they insisted their people had renounced violence, except in self-defence? The Doctor got his answer when Ssorg saved his life and the delegation joined forces with their old foe to defeat a poisonous threat to Peladon’s future.

But back on Peladon, years after this encounter, the Doctor discovered a faction of Ice Warriors still used guile and violence to achieve their goals. Of course, these rogue Martians were defeated but it emphasized that when it comes to the Ice Warriors, there are no stone cold certainties…

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