February 29, 2024

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Doctor Who “Pyramids Of Mars Part 1”

The Fourth Doctor. "Pyramids of Mars," Episode One.

I read a not particularly good zombie book once with one good idea:  mummies that walked around were the original zombies.  Yes, it had one good idea.

This serial doesn’t have any zombies, but there are some mummies walking around.

After a brief check in with a turn-of-the-century archaeologist dying suddenly while exploring a tomb, we go to the TARDIS.  The Doctor is being a little miserable.  Being constantly moving around and separated from his own kind is getting to him.  Sure, Sarah Jane doesn’t get it, but she found someone’s discarded old dresses.  The Doctor says it belongs to his former companion Victoria.  It doesn’t much matter.  They’re going back to UNIT HQ.

But then something happens because if it didn’t, there’d be no serial.  Sarah Jane spots a weird head as the TARDIS goes a little funny.  Sure, it lands in the right building for UNIT HQ, but it’s a few decades too early.  Instead, it seems to belong to some kind of museum or a collector of old Egyptian stuff or some such.  And there’s an evil man upstairs, supposedly Egyptian.  How do I know he’s evil?  Well, he plays the pipe organ and wears a fez.  Those two combined sure look evil.

The fez-wearing man is Ibrahim Namin, and he’s watching the place for the dead archaeologist mentioned above.  That’s what he tells one of that man’s friends, one Professor Warlock.

Yes, that is his name.  No, he isn’t a villain.  The butler and Professor Warlock are clearly not fans of the pipe organ, so they don’t trust the guy who claims to still worship the Egyptian gods.  The butler says as much when he finds the Doctor and Sarah Jane in the basement.  He helps them go out a window.  Then a sarcophagus behind the butler opens up and he ain’t gonna be helping anyone out a window again after that.  Professor Warlock tries to do something, but Namin pulls a gun on him.  The Doctor does manage to use his scarf to jump the guy.  Sure, the gun still goes off, and sure, Warlock is still hit, but…

That didn’t help much, did it?

Moot point, the Doctor and Sarah Jane help Professor Warlock escape.  Namin sends out a mummy.  It’s kinda blocky.  Maybe a robot.  Doesn’t much matter as our heroes manages to get to Warlock’s friend’s Professor Scarman’s brother’s nearby house.  A quick translation there of some writing from Namin’s place comes up with the ominous warning to “Beware Sutekh”.

You know, the Doctor said it would take a powerful mind to knock the TARDIS off-course.

As it is, he decides to sneak back into Namin’s place and get more information.  He turns down assistance and Scarman’s hunting rifle.  The Doctor doesn’t use firearms.

Of course, Sarah Jane and Scarman follow anyway.  They arrive in time to see Namin summon some big dude in black.  Said dude looks evil.

Now, Numin is the type of character who doesn’t really go away, so I would normally think he’d be a minor evil until the last chapter saw him dying somehow.

Then the big dude in black starts to kill him anyway.

That was unexpected.