Doctor Who (Tom Baker) – Pyramids of Mars


Aliens are using Earth’s mythology to put themselves in the roles of gods in this four-part story written by Stephen Harris (a pseudonym for Robert Holmes and Lewis Greifer) that ran from 25 October to 15 November, 1975. Trouble starts when a shocking discovery is made in an Egyptian tomb in the year 1911. From there the story moves to England, where the Doctor (Baker), who we learn is 750 at this point, and Sarah-Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) come into the picture, seems they are in the right where, the location of UNIT headquarters, but in the wrong when, 1911, and the headquarters are serving as a home to Marcus (Bernard Archard) and Laurence Scarman (Michael Sheard), brothers, but Marcus didn’t come back from Egypt in the same condition as he went.

It seems that Marcus is under control by something identifying itself as the Egyptian god, Sutekh. The Doctor quickly deduces that Sutek, is actually one of the last of the alien race, the Osirans, and strives to stop him, although first, there’s a nice little bit of time travel, with Sarah. She believes that Sutekh must have been defeated, because she came from the year 1980, and she knows it’s there, but the TARDIS travels forward to 1980, only to discover the Earth has been laid waste by Sutekh, showing that the future is always in flux, no matter where they are on the timeline.

Returning to 1911, they are menaced by robot mummys, as well as Marcus, before the Doctor confronts Sutekh himself! He uses a time space tunnel that is hidden in an Egyptian sarcophagus, nd it is through this that the Time Lord confronts the ancient alien, who almost proves himself too strong for the Doctor. But our hero escapes, eventually, there’s some mind control involved, an attempt to steal the TARDIS.


There’s a nice moment where the Doctor disguises himself as one of the mummy robots in an attempt to get a bomb close enough to Sutekh, and his machine to destroy him, and all his plans, but the creature contains the explosion… for the time being.

I’ll be honest, I love the concept, and it’s one that gets visited fairly often in science fiction, and while there were some good moments, this story, for me, anyway, seemed to just drag. It didn’t have the punch and enjoyment, that I got from Baker’s first series. Oh well, they can’t all be winners, and I know there are still some amazing stories coming my way with Baker, not to mention those who follow him.

I understand that it was a bit of an homage to the mummy movies, and I liked the look of Sutekh, but I just wasn’t caught up in the story, like I had been with previous tales. So I muddled through it, and found myself hoping for a better tale next time with, The Android Invasion!



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