Production Code: 4G
1 - 25/10/1975 17:45
2 - 01/11/1975 17:45
3 - 08/11/1975 17:45
4 - 15/11/1975 17:45
The TARDIS materialises on Earth in the year 1911 inside an old priory owned by Egyptologist Marcus Scarman. Scarman has been possessed by Sutekh, last survivor of the god-like Osirans, who is held prisoner inside a pyramid in Egypt by a signal transmitted from one on Mars. Sutekh desires his freedom and instructs Scarman to construct servicer robots - which look like Egyptian mummies - to build a missile with which to destroy the Martian pyramid. The Doctor foils this plan by blowing up the missile.
He then falls under Sutekh's control himself and is made to transport Scarman to Mars in the TARDIS. Scarman cuts off the signal but the Doctor, now freed of Sutekh's influence, realises that there will be a short delay before it ceases to have effect, owing to the time taken for it to reach Earth.
He rushes back and uses the time control from the TARDIS to move the end of the space-time tunnel that links the priory to the Egyptian pyramid into the far future. Sutekh, travelling down the tunnel, is unable to reach the end in his lifetime, and dies.
Marcus Scarman's servant Namin plays the priory's organ as three robot mummies line up in front of a sarcophagus mounted on a raised dais. The front of the sarcophagus becomes a vortex and Namin comes to kneel before it as a black-robed figure steps through. The figure grasps Namin's shoulders. Smoke pours from the Egyptian's body and he falls dead to the ground.
The Doctor, Sarah and Marcus Scarman's brother Laurence return to the latter's house, where they discover the body of Scarman's friend Dr Warlock. The Doctor plans to block Sutekh's control of Marcus Scarman and thus cause him to collapse. Outside, a poacher named Clements is crushed to death between two mummies. Laurence shoots at them but they advance into the cottage, where one of them grabs Sarah by the throat.
The Doctor, disguised as a mummy, places a box of dynamite in the missile being prepared for launching. Sarah then fires a rifle at it. The box ignites but there is no explosion as Sutekh is mentally containing the blast. The Doctor travels to Sutekh's pyramid in Egypt using the sarcophagus space-time tunnel. Once there he breaks the Osiran's concentration and the missile is destroyed. Sutekh blasts the Doctor with light from his eyes.
With Sutekh dead from old age, the space-time tunnel explodes as the thermal balance equalises. A fire begins to rage in the priory and the Doctor and Sarah make a hasty departure so as not to be blamed for starting it - as the Doctor comments, he had enough of that in 1666.
Mummy films (especially Hammer's The Mummy and Blood from the Mummy's Tomb).
Edgar Allen Poe (decoding principles).
H.G. Wells is mentioned.
The Sword of Rhiannon.
Norse mythology (Loki's imprisonment).
Bram Stoker's The Jewel of the Seven Stars.
The Doctor : "The Earth isn't my home, Sarah. I'm a Time Lord."
Sarah : "Oh, I know you're a Time Lord."
The Doctor : "You don't understand the implications. I'm not a human being. I walk in eternity."
The Doctor : "Deactivating a generator loop without the correct key is like repairing a watch with a hammer and chisel. One false move and you'll never know the time again."
The Doctor : [Angry at Laurence's incredulity when he asks what year it is] "If I knew I wouldn't need to ask. Don't be obtuse, man!"
Sutekh : "Your evil is my good. I am Sutekh the destroyer. Where I tread, I leave nothing but dust and darkness I find that good!"
The Osirans are described as being dome-headed, with cerebrums like spiral staircases. They were led by Horus and his brother Sutekh ('the Typhonian beast'), who destroyed the home planet of Phaester/Osiris and left a trail of havoc across half the galaxy (variations of Sutekh's name including Set, Satan and Sadok are reviled on many worlds). He was captured on earth by Horus and 'the 740 gods named on the tomb of Thuthmosis III' and was imprisoned for 7000 years.
Sutekh is aware of the Time Lords by reputation. The Doctor tells Sutekh that the TARDIS is isomorphic (can only be operated by him). [Sutekh would see through this if it were a lie, and therefore the Doctor must be talking about a safety feature that can be switched on or off.] The Doctor has a respiratory bypass system.
The Doctor accidentally causes the fire that destroyed the Old Priory, on which [one of the] UNIT HQ[s] was later built. He says 'We don't want to be blamed... There was enough of that in 1666'. [He's probably teasing Sarah. Cf. The Visitation.]
The Old Priory, 1911. ('An excellent year, one of my favourites,' says the Doctor.)
The Doctor was given his picklock by Marie Antoinette.
This story features the last appearance of a traditional-look TARDIS control room set until The Invisible Enemy eleven stories later.
In a chilling sequence, the Doctor takes Sarah to an alternative 1980 to show her the destruction that Sutekh would wreak on the Earth if allowed to escape.
Sutekh is an Osirian. (The name of his race is both spelt and pronounced 'Osiran' on numerous occasions in the story's scripts and dialogue.)
The TARDIS' relative continuum stabiliser is discussed. We also have references to a parallax coil, a cytronic particle accelerator, etheric impulses, a decadron crucible and 'triobiphysics'.
Sarah says that the complex design of the eye of Horus 'reminds me of the city of the Exxilons' But she was never in the city in Death to the Daleks. [Perhaps the Doctor shows her some pictures, as it was one of the 700 wonders of the universe.]
In episode four a technician's hands hold down the cushions on Sutekh's throne as he stands up.
Rather conveniently, Sarah puts on a period dress before realising that they've landed in 1911.
Marcus' tie design changes all the time.
The Osiran warning is in English.
Why bury Sutekh with everything that he needs to escape?
If Scarman controls the mummies telepathically, why isn't the Doctor spotted when he dresses up as one?
The Doctor's extraordinary babblings over a puzzle in the pyramid, involving seven stiches, binary figures and centimetres, are mere showing off over an 'odd man out' puzzle (it's the one with the vertical stripe). It also contains a mathematical error: '120.3 [should be 20.3] cm multiply by the binary figure 10 zero zero..
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
Ahmed - Vik Tablian
Collins - Michael Bilton
Dr. Warlock - Peter Copley
Ernie Clements - George Tovey
Laurence Scarman - Michael Sheard
Marcus Scarman - Bernard Archard
Mummy - Nick Burnell
Mummy - Melvyn Bedford
Mummy - Kevin Selway
Namin - Peter Mayock
Sutekh - Gabriel Woolf
Director - Paddy Russell