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The Mars Dilemma

By Jon Preddle

Two related questions put to me by Paul Scoones was "Why did the Ice Warriors leave Mars? And, more to the point, did they?"

Whilst the Ice Warriors have featured only in four stories, Mars has cropped up in a lot more. So, to put the Ice Warrior saga into perspective, these other references to Mars cannot be ignored.

We learn in The Daleks Master Plan that Mars has been colonised by humans for several centuries. In fact, Bret Vyon was born on Mars Colony 16 in the year 3970 AD. Mars was also one of the targets of the Dalek army amassing on Kembel.

The red planet was mentioned at the end of The Underwater Menace but does nothing to continuity.

The Ice Warriors was the first story to feature Martians. In this story set in AD 5000 (based on Clent's reference to "five thousand years of history"). We learn that the Martian Scout Ship had crashed on Earth during what we know as the First Ice Age - no more than one million years ago. The Scout Ship was searching for a new world for the Martians to conquer and inhabit.

The next story to feature the reptilian Martians is The Seeds Of Death. Here the Doctor states that "Mars is dying - they need a new home." To do this, the Martians attack 21st Century Earth by altering the weather using seed pods. This story must be set after 2070 AD because the Weather Control Station has been moved from the Moonbase and is now on the Earth. We could presume the old moonbase (from The Moonbase) is now the T-Mat Station.

In The Curse Of Peladon, Mars is now a member of the Federation. Izlyr states that the Martians had become peaceful and "learned to reject violence except in self defence". We also learn the Mars was an old enemy of Arcturus, and is abundant in the mineral Trisilicate.

The Monster Of Peladon establishes that some Martians belong to the old ways. There must be some sort of colony, who have not returned to Mars. They have allied themselves with Galaxy 5 (who are also helping the Daleks on Kembel) so this story must be set about 4000 AD (Curse taking place 50 years before Monster).

But Mars features in The Ambassadors Of Death. This is set in the late 20th Century. There had been seven Mars probe missions. General Carrington was with Mars Probe 6 when he encountered the radioactive aliens on Mars, and with Mars Probe 7 he brought them to Earth.

In Frontier In Space, Stewart spoke of "the Mars - Venus cruises". This story is set in 2540 AD.

In the Tom Baker era, we learn in Genesis Of The Daleks that "the Daleks were defeated on Mars due to a virus that attacked their cables". This could be a continuity link to the Movellan virus that brought about Dalek defeats as stated in Resurrection Of The Daleks.

Pyramids Of Mars reveals that about 5000 BC Sutekh was imprisoned in his pyramid and the Eye of Thorus set up on Mars to keep him prisoner. The pyramid here was most likely underground.

The fifth planet in Earth's solar system was destroyed by the Time Lords to kill the Fendahl - but one of the creatures escaped about 12 million years ago and came to Earth, "taking in Mars on the way. That's why it's a dead planet." (Image Of Fendahl)

The Collector in The Sun Makers told the Doctor that the Usurians moved the population of Earth to Mars when Earth had become too polluted. Then, when Mars in turn had became exhausted they shifted in Pluto. It is hard to find a time to set this story. I will say post 2450/2460 based on information in Colony In Space.

So, what does all this mean? I will now theorise and place all these events into a chronological history of Mars...

Hundreds of millions of years ago, Mars was a young planet, the only life was plant-based. Twelve million years ago the Fendahl came and laid waste to the planet. However, over the millennia life did return, predominantly a reptilian form, which evolved into biped creatures. These developed a technology and became a powerful civilisation. Space travel was developed. The planet was becoming overcrowded and was dying, so scout ships were dispatched to survey the other planets in the Solar System and the outer galaxies. One ship came to Earth, but was buried in a glacier and never heard from again. A suitable planet was found in a distant galaxy. Mars was abandoned and all signs of civilisation destroyed.

Earth at this time was evolving life. The Oseirans came to capture Sutekh in 5000 BC and imprisoned him, using a relay station on the abandoned red planet. In 1911 AD the Eye Of Thorus was switched off (Mars was visited by the Doctor when this happened).

In the late 1960s AD, the Mars probe missions went to the planet. The sixth mission encountered Aliens that had come to the planet whilst exploring our Solar System. When the seventh Probe was sent the Aliens were brought to Earth.

By the mid-21st century the Ice Warriors had returned to our Solar System searching for another new home and tried to conquer Earth but failed. Their space fleet was destroyed in the Sun.

Earth was becoming overcrowded and polluted by the 25th century. Man was offered help by the Usurians and soon most of the population was shifted to Mars. This colony came under attack by the Daleks during the Dalek Wars, but the Movellan virus destroyed their cables and the war was lost.

There was a shuttle service between Earth and Mars. This was the luxury cruiser service that Stewart wanted to work on (it also went around Venus).

Over the next five hundred years Earth was undergoing an environmental change due to the pollution. Ionisation had triggered a Second Ice Age. Some humans still lived on the planet. It was during this that the missing Martian scout ship was freed from the ice. But the crew were soon destroyed.

In the late 40th century several colonies had been established on Mars. Bret Vyon was born in Colony 16. It was about this time that a number of Martians, who had abolished violence, returned "home".

Although Man was at first sceptical, he soon welcomed his new allies. The Galactic Federation was now at its infancy - Earth and Mars were the first members!

In 4000 AD, Galaxy 5 allied with the Daleks, launched an attack on the Solar System. Trisilicate was needed for the war fleets. New Federation member Peladon was found to be abundant in it. So both sides sent secret forces there. Galaxy 5 had allies with the Martians who were still Warriors. Using them as spies acting as representatives of the Federation, Azaxyr came to Peladon. But this attempt failed with the deaths of the Martians, and the invasion never occurred due to the mysterious disappearance of the Daleks on their base planet Kembel.

The colonies on Mars soon exhausted the planet. Again with the help of the Usurians, the population was taken to Pluto.

Mars was again "dead" and abandoned. The Ice Warriors are still scattered about the galaxy in colonies - and are one day likely to return (to our screens).

Phew! And there you have it. I must stress that this is only speculation, but I have based all dates on established dates, and facts. If any reader can think of other Mars references that fit (or don't fit) in with this theory, please write to the usual editorial address.

Footnote (January 2003): Jon Preddle comments. This solution to the Ice Warriors history was written in early 1989. Since then, my own thoughts and theories concerning the history of Mars and the noble Martians have somewhat changed. In fact, my new ideas appear in some length and detail in Timelink, and more recently in the Ice Warrior Canonology article appearing in TSV67.

This item appeared in TSV 12 (March 1989).

Index nodes: Doctor's Dilemma