Your legend seems violent and unpleasant, and rather too convenient.
The originators of Doctor Who‘s most iconic foes tend to be a bit protective of them (see: Nation, Terry, et al.), making Brian Hayles’ use of his Ice Warriors in “The Curse of Peladon” (Story Production Code MMM) quite refreshing. The Martian militarists’ prior two appearances (“The Ice Warriors” and “The Seeds of Death“) established them as honor-bound but utterly ruthless in their warlike tendencies. Here, in a story set in some vaguely defined far-future where Earth is part of a Galactic Federation, they retain their honorable mores but have committed themselves to…peace?
Just so, and the tension between the audience’s expectations that the Ice Warriors will turn out to be the villains in this piece about court intrigues on a primitive planet and their actual motives drives much of the story’s interest. The Doctor himself sustains this uncertainty, darkly warning Jo that he’s dealt with them before, and he flatly accuses Delegate Izlyr of sabotaging the Federation’s efforts at bringing the planet Peladon into the alliance. It’s unlike the Doctor to be wrong like this, and to his credit Hayles never quite allows the Ice Warriors to escape beyond suspicion even after the real foes have been revealed, keeping this four episode story flowing.
And yet even at the end, the Doctor is never called to task for having mistrusted the Ice Warriors. It’s particularly interesting that the Doctor cannot see past his own admittedly well-earned prejudices where the Martians are concerned in the same story where he seeks to hypnotize and tame a giant beast that has haunted this planet for generations, one that slips out of his control and kills the High Priest of Peladon.
He has more faith in the inherent innocence of this vicious beast than in the possibility that the Ice Warriors could have changed over hundreds (or thousands) of years. Ever since the end of “The War Games,” the Doctor’s attitude towards his traditional foes has been stuck in a rut, where there’s no room for analysis or question; they’re just evil, an evil that must be removed from the universe. Slightly awkward, then, that here the Ice Warriors save the Doctor from disintegration at the hands (er, liquid-filled servo-arms) of a Dalek wannabe.