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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 48 - The 2018 Yearbook > Empress of Mars

Empress of Mars

NASA’s Valkyrie probe reveals an astonishing message from the surface of Mars. A message, spelled out in Martian rocks, reading ‘GOD SAVE THE QUEEN’. A message dating from the failed British invasion of Mars, in 1881…

Of course, the eponymous Empress, she “of ” the Red Planet, isn’t necessarily the Ice Warrior queen Iraxxa, rudely awoken from her sleep of five millennia. The presumed Empress of Mars could also be a certain royal personage who, five years before, had formally adopted the title ‘Empress of India’ – to wit, Alexandrina Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 until her death in 1901. That’s why Colonel Godsacre, Captain Catchpole and their regiment of Redcoats have come (by means of a restored Martian vessel) to the fourth planet of the solar system in the year of their Lord 1881: “To claim Mars in the name of Queen Victoria,” realises the Doctor.“To loot it of its riches, stake a claim. The red planet turned pink.” Traditionally, countries claimed by the British Crown were coloured pink on maps, in atlases and on globes; and the wholly rotten Catchlove will later tell the Doctor, explicitly, that “Mars is part of the Empire now”.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

At the end of 2017 a remarkable chapter in the history of Doctor Who drew to a close. Two incarnations of the Time Lord overcame an existential threat... before the arrival of the Thirteenth Doctor heralded a bold new era for the programme. The latest Special Edition of Doctor Who Magazine is a unique souvenir of the Twelfth Doctor’s final adventures, from The Return of Doctor Mysterio through to Twice Upon a Time. Packed full of all-new features and previously unseen images, this is the essential guide to the year in Doctor Who.