4G. Pyramids Of Mars

Season Thirteen - 1975/1976

Script Editor: Robert Holmes
Writer: Stephen Harris (alias Robert Holmes from material by Lewis Griefer)
Produced by: Philip Hinchcliffe
Director: Paddy Russell
Designer: Christine Ruscoe
Incidental Music: Dudley Simpson

Something's interfering with time, Mr Scarman. And time is my business.


Whilst travelling through the vortex on the way back to U.N.I.T. HQ Sarah sees an apparition inside the TARDIS. The Doctor is more concerned with the console, and misses it. The TARDIS is drawn off course and lands in the correct location, but in 1911, when the priory is still in use.

A worshipper of an Egyptian God, Sutekh, has been killed, and the priory now houses the servant of Sutekh, Marcus Scarman. His brother, Laurence, is concerned, but is killed.

Sutekh is trapped in a pyramid in Egypt. He is held in place by a beam from Mars. With the aid of robotic Mummies, Scarman plans to build a bomb to destroy the radio on Mars, which would free Sutekh.

The Doctor manages to destroy the bomb, but falls under the influence of Sutekh, and he unwittingly takes Scarman and Sarah to Mars. Scarman tries to kill him, and thinking he was dead Sutekh relinquishes his control. Scarman, under the control of Sutekh, destroys the radio beacon on Mars.

There is a two minute time difference between Mars. The Doctor and Sarah quickly travel back to Earth, and using equipment from the TARDIS the Doctor blocks Sutekh's freedom, and instead sends him far into history. By the twentieth century he will have died.

Regular Cast

  • Sarah Jane Smith: Elisabeth Sladen

Guest Cast

  • Professor Marcus Scarman: Bernard Archard
  • Mummies: Nick Burnell, Melvyn Bedford
  • Laurence Scarman: Michael Sheard (1-3)
  • Doctor Warlock: Peter Copley (1-2)
  • Ibrahim Namin: Peter Maycock (1-2)
  • Ahmed: Vik Tablian (1)
  • Collins: Michael Bilton (1)
  • Ernie Clements: George Tovey (1)
  • Egyptian Labourers: Tony Alless (1), Oscar Charles (1)
  • Voice of Horus: Gabriel Woolf (4)

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 410. Part One Saturday, October 25, 1975 5:45 PM - 6:10 PM 10.2M
BBC 1 411. Part Two Saturday, November 1, 1975 5:45 PM - 6:10 PM 11.3M
BBC 1 412. Part Three Saturday, November 8, 1975 5:45 PM - 6:10 PM 9.4M
BBC 1 413. Part Four Saturday, November 15, 1975 5:45 PM - 6:10 PM 11.7M

Click here to show repeat broadcasts on the BBC


  • Television Centre Studio 3
  • Television Centre Studio 6

Outside Locations

  • Stargroves, East End, nr. Newbury, Hants


Part 1: When Scarman breaks into the tomb, he says it's first dynasty, but you clearly see King Tutankhamen's throne as one of the collection of treasures.

Part 1: The Doctor and Sarah get jostled by a time disturbance whilst they're in the TARDIS. Sarah stumbles, and when she reappears, the fancy hair-clips she had on before have disappeared.

Part 2: As Sarah climbs out of window after removing the ring from Ibraham Namin, she kicks the backdrop outside and you can see it moving.

Part 3: When the Doctor leaves the old house to find the dynamite, you can see his hat resting on a chair as he walks out of he door. Immediately afterwards you see him walking through the woods with Sarah, and the hat has magically relocated itself to being on his head again. And when he eventually gets back to the cottage, the hat is there, sitting in the chair as if nothing had happened.

Part 4: Look out for the hand holding the cushion down in the scene where Sutekh stands up.

Part 4: Pity the special-effects designer who had to portray the TARDIS key floating through the air into the hands of Scarman. Three thin threads are used to quite obvious effect. Poor Scarman finally has to grab the dangling thing out of the air when it does not land perfectly in his hands.

Watch the knot in Scarman's tie during the course of the story - it alternates between the stripe going from top-left-to-bottom-right to bottom-left-to-top-right.

Working Titles

Pyramid of Mars