"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
The Doctor is having a bit of a midlife crisis, which isn't helped much when Sarah decides to raid the TARDIS wardrobe and show up in one of previous companion Victoria's old dresses. She also suddenly sees a demonic goat head floating around in the TARDIS. ... What?
As the TARDIS lands in 1911 England, the Doctor gets involved in a plot that wouldn't have been too out of place 20 years later on Stargate SG-1
Egyptologist Marcus Scarman has been possessed by Sutekh, last survivor of the ancient Osiran race who appeared to the Ancient Egyptians as gods. Sutekh is trapped in an Egyptian pyramid, his prison maintained by a signal from another pyramid on Mars. Sutekh has Scarman build service robots, (badly) disguised as Egyptian mummies, then with their help he builds a rocket to destroy the Martian pyramid.
Sarah Jane is all ready to leave and vworp back to 1980, but the Doctor shows her the view of 1980 Earth (a desolate wasteland) and explains that this is one historical event they are
going to have to meddle in, for a change.
The Doctor and Sarah Jane destroy the rocket, but the Doctor is soon forced to admit that Sutekh literally has god-like powers when he falls under Sutekh's control himself. After a Curb-Stomp Battle
in Sutekh's favour, some thorough Mind Rape
, the Doctor is made to transport Scarman to Mars in the TARDIS to disconnect the signal trapping Sutekh.
That done, Sutekh's hold on the Doctor is released. The Doctor realises there will be a delay before it has an effect on Earth, and makes it back in the TARDIS just in time to use the TARDIS' time controls to push the exit to Sutekh's time/space tunnel far into the future. Sutekh dies of old age before he ever reaches it.
- Adam Westing: Gabriel Woolf reprises his role as Sutekh in a mockumentary on the DVD release titled Oh, Mummy. Hordes of well-deserved Nightmare Retardant ensues.
- Sutekh shows us he's just a nice guy who likes raising rabbits.
- Ancient Astronauts
- Awesome McCoolname / Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Doctor Warlock. Who isn't half as cool as his name leads one to assume.
- Big "NO!": Sutekh lets one of these rip before his death.
- Call Back: Sarah Jane remarks on the similarity of the successive puzzle rooms to the ones encountered in the city of the Exxilons.
- The Doctor absent-mindedly calls Sarah Jane "Vicky" when she enters the Control Room wearing one of Victoria's old dresses.
- Changed My Jumper / Contrived Coincidence: Sarah just happens to change into Vicky's dress before walking around in the 1910's.
- Cry into Chest: "You're shrinking my shirt."
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: Only the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith survive among the characters with lines. (There are a couple of non-speaking servants with Marcus when he enters the tomb at the start who might have got away alive.)
- The End of the World as We Know It: The Doctor takes Sarah Jane to an alternative 1980 to show her the effect their non-intervention would have. Basically Earth is a volcanic wilderness.
- An homage to this scene was planned for "The Unquiet Dead", surviving several early drafts before it became clear that it wouldn't flow.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: If Sutekh's last stab at bargaining with the Doctor is any indication — he offers to spare the planet Earth (just Earth) and give it to him as "a plaything".
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Laurence Scarman tries to do this for Marcus when he shows up at his house. It doesn't work, and he ends up paying the ultimate price for it.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Elisabeth Sladen thought so, anyway. She wasn't wild about the scene with Sarah shooting the explosives because she didn't think it had ever been established that Sarah had such abilities.
- Invisible Means Undodgeable: Sutekh's magic.
- Kneel Before Sutekh: Repeat after me: KNEEL! KNEEL BEFORE THE MIGHT OF SUTEKH!
- Mind over Matter: Sutekh uses telekinesis throughout the story to counter his own paralysis; at one point, he even uses his mind to contain the blast from a gelignite explosive. Doubly impressive considering the explosion is occurring in England and Sutekh's pyramid is in Egypt!
- Nitro Express: The Doctor and Sarah Jane hatch a plan to blow up Sutekh's rocket-pyramid. They come upon a store of blasting gelignite (a variant of dynamite) in the Poacher's stores, leading to one of the best Doctor/Companion exchanges in the show's history:
Sarah Jane finds the nitro, and throws it to the Doctor
Sarah Jane: No. Perhaps he sneezed.
The Doctor gives her the Death Glare to end all Death Glares.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Sutekh the Destroyer was a Sufficiently Advanced Alien with these tendencies to preclude the possibility that something that could challenge him might evolve.
Sutekh: "The alien who dares to intrude, the humans, animals, birds, fish, reptiles...all life is my enemy. All life shall perish under the reign of Sutekh the Destroyer!"
- Only Smart People May Pass
- Organ Dodge: The Doctor's previously unrevealed "respiratory bypass system".
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Sutekh.
- Suddenly Always Knew That: Sarah Jane is a crack shot with a rifle, apparently...
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The Osirans.
- Smart Ball: Sarah Jane suddenly gains a lot of knowledge on how to fire a rifle and on Egyptian mythology.
- Left the Background Music On: Namin's organ-playing.
- Stock Puzzle: In the story's defence, the ol' Knights and Knaves stumper might have been new when Sutekh's prison was made. 7000 years ago.
- Throw It In: The Doctor and Sarah calmly turning in unison to walk out of sight of a mummy as it turns to face them was a gag they'd thought up themselves and did without clearing it with the director.
- Too Dumb to Live: Laurence seems to have gotten it into his head that what looks like his brother is no more than a corpse being controlled by Sutekh, but then throws it away and tries to reason with him anyway. It goes as well as you'd expect.
- Tranquil Fury: Sutekh is this, creepily and effectively whispering every word, even when torturing The Doctor. Until he's freed, when predictable characterization developments occur.
- What Is Evil?
: "Evil"? Your evil is my good. I am Sutekh the Destroyer. Where I tread, I leave nothing but dust and darkness. I find that good
- What Year Is This?
- The X of Y
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When Sutekh's Dragon arrives on the scene, the first thing he does is dispose of the minion who did all the preliminary work.
Namin: Master, spare me. Spare me. I am a true servant of the great Sutekh.
Dragon: I am the servant of Sutekh. He needs no other. [kills him]