Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars (Story 82)
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The story is nicely claustrophobic, mostly taking place in and around a mansion, with the marvelous sense of a horror movie. The script is another real gem by Robert Holmes (despite the writer's credit, he wrote almost all of what appeared onscreen), and no actor is off-par.
The only downside about this video is that it was one of the first DW videos released, so the four 25-minute episodes have been truncated into a long 95-minute "movie". Still, in lieu of an unedited video or DVD release, this is a fine purchase and should be in anyone's Doctor Who collection.
After being mysteriously drawn off course to 1911 in an old priory where UNIT HQ would be built, the Doctor and Sarah become involved in the attempted return of Sutekh, an Osirian who was imprisoned by his brother Horus in a tomb recently uncovered by archaeologist Marcus Scarman. He returns to the priory, a zombified puppet of Sutekh, who with help of service robots disguised as mummies, create a deflection barrier around the priory and set about constructing a rocket to destroy the pyramids of Mars to free Sutekh.
The Doctor and Sarah rescue Dr. Warlock, a friend of Marcus's who has been shot by an Egyptian, and enlist the aid of Laurence, Marcus's brother. Laurence is an affable fellow, but despite seeing the possessed Marcus, still thinks of Marcus as his brother and not a puppet of Sutekh. Laurence is played by Michael Sheard, a multiple Who alumni and Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back. Bernard Archard (Marcus) is effectively terrifying, his evil-looking eyes, curved down lips, and paled face put to good use.
How evil and how much Sutekh hates life is demonstrated in these lines: "The humans, animals, birds, fish, reptiles. All life is my enemy. All life shall perish under the reign of Sutekh the Destroyer." "Your evil is my good. ... Where I tread, I leave nothing but dust and darkness. I find that good!" Gabriel Woolf's sepulchral voice is put to good use here as Sutekh.
Lots of Egyptology comes in, such as Horus's defeat of Sutekh with the help of 740 Osirians.Read more ›
"Pyramids of Mars," the earlier story, broadcast in March 1976, stars Tom Baker in the role of the fourth Doctor alongside his travelling companion Sarah-Jane Smith, played by Elisabeth Sladen. Arguably one of the most successful pairing's of actors in the long running show's history, the chemistry between the two leads is at its peak, helped along largely by the incredible production skills of Philip Hinchcliffe and the scripting of Robert Holmes. This story takes them back to Earth, but this time into the near distant past of Edwardian England for a period piece exploring Egyptian mythology with sci-fi overtones. It's not only a cracking yarn and splendidly acted by a very, very strong cast, but designed and plotted to the hilt. It also presents one of the most chilling opponents the Time Lord has ever faced, Sutekh, played wonderfully by Gabriel Woolf. There is very little to criticize here, although detractors will try, unlike the companion release "Earthshock."
Produced in1981 for Peter Davison's first season as the fifth Doctor, "Earthshock" had a huge impact on the viewing public at the time of it's broadcast due to the reappearance after a seven year absence of the Doctor's second most popular enemy: The Cybermen. Kept a secret from everyone outside of the production, with red herring's set aplenty by the producer John Nathan-Turner to make sure it remained so, their sudden appearance at the end of episode one was a true classic moment of great TV.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's amazing how 'Dr. Who' has become the premiere Speculative-Fiction/ SciFi television show of the 21st Century mainly due to its exemplary standards of top-quality writing and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Book & Music thief, from HI
Tom Baker is the absolute BEST Doctor ever! The films are great and allow me to re-experience the Doctors adventures again as I once did when significantly younger. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jim SciFy
The Collection is growing!!!!! Thank you for having this awesome story!Published 7 months ago by VictorSlim3D
Tom Baker is the first Doctor I ever saw, so naturally he is my favorite. Aside from my personal preference, he is also acknowledged as one of the best Doctors, embodying the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joseph M. Reninger
|Topic||From this Discussion|
Although Doctor Who originally aired on TV as a weekly serial, each VHS tape/DVD disc contains a complete story (unless stated otherwise in the product description). 'Pyramids of Mars' is a self-contained story.
Jul 30, 2009 by K. Kanitz | See all 3 posts
I read that the easter egg is found by highlighting "Osirian Gothic" on the extras menu, then hit the left arrow to highlight a hidden Doctor Who logo, then press enter to play the easter egg.
Jul 31, 2008 by M. K. Delorean | See all 2 posts