DVD
Doctor Who
Pyramids of Mars

Starring: Tom Baker
BBC Worldwide
RRP: 19.99
BBCDVD1350
Certificate: U
Available now


The Doctor attempts to return to UNIT HQ but the TARDIS is thrown back in time to 1911 by a mystery force of immense power. Worse still, there's something odd happening in the old priory that once stood in the UNIT grounds, something ancient and evil is starting to awake...

Archaeologist Marcus Scarman has been behaving strangely ever since he returned from Egypt but even his brother Laurence can't seem to make any headway - it's as if the elder sibling is in a deep trance. The Doctor soon discovers that Marcus' fate is far worse than hypnosis: he's become the walking, talking embodiment of Sutekh's will and through him the last and most powerful of the Osiran plans to escape from captivity and restart his reign of galactic destruction.

Pyramids of Mars is one of the truly great Doctor Who stories and this DVD does it proud. Returned to its original glory by The Doctor Who Restoration Team, the story looks and sounds as good, if not better, than it ever did. Yes, it's not as sharp and slick looking as a modern production but considering its age - almost 30 years old - the story looks fantastic.

Just as good is the package of extras. The Sutekh 'documentary', Oh, Mummy, is very funny, the photo gallery is probably the best yet [thanks Derek] and the interview footage with director Paddy Russell is highly informative. The only slightly unsatisfactory element of the disc is the commentary which lurches from interesting to banal with alarming abandonment. The Easter egg is also a bit of a disappointment.

However, what really shines through is Bob Holmes' script which is perfectly paced and always intelligent. Perhaps the only weakness is the way the Doctor dispatches Sutekh but even that is forgivable when everything else works so well. And yes, the hand of Sutekh is still visible...

Anthony Clark

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