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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pyramids of Mars - Tom Baker's Best??
Well, at last! The brilliant Pyramids of Mars on DVD. This story ranks as one of my favourites of all Dr Who stories. It comes from arguably the best era of Dr Who, with Philip Hinchcliffe as producer. The quality of production is evident, as is the strength of the writing. The combination of gothic atmosphere, Egyptian mythology & the fate of the cosmos (again!) creates...
Published on 9 Mar 2004 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Robot Mummies vs the Doctor
The Fourth Doctor AKA Tom Baker faces the followers of Sutekh The Destroyer, the last of a race called the Osirians who is trapped under a pyramid and wants to break free to spread his evil around...

His faithful followers are a bunch of robotic mummies that will make the Doctor and his companion (Sarah Jane) come out with their best to beat their foe in this...
Published on 17 Jun 2012 by Joan Genis Valverde Albons


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pyramids of Mars - Tom Baker's Best??, 9 Mar 2004
This review is from: Doctor Who - Pyramids Of Mars [1975] [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Well, at last! The brilliant Pyramids of Mars on DVD. This story ranks as one of my favourites of all Dr Who stories. It comes from arguably the best era of Dr Who, with Philip Hinchcliffe as producer. The quality of production is evident, as is the strength of the writing. The combination of gothic atmosphere, Egyptian mythology & the fate of the cosmos (again!) creates a classic story. Any Dr Who fan really should have this in their collection - no excuses! The extras are good, with the documentaries about the making of Pyramids & the Hinchcliffe era especially good.
The commentaries are good, as is usual with most of the DVD releases. It's just a shame they couldn't get Tom Baker to share his thoughts. The other good thing is that this is the complete print - if you are like me & have the original VHS release from the 80s then you'll be doing double takes at the scenes that appear in the DVD that were edited from the VHS!
In conclusion, I simply can't recommend this enough - it's essential. Buy it now!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient Gods Return, 12 Oct 2004
By 
JA Fairhurst "johnfair" (Edgeley, Stockport) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Pyramids Of Mars [1975] [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
This is a really classic Dr Who with both the Dr and Sarah Jane involved in the successful conclusion of the plot. The only serious problem I had was the final unveiling of Sutekh, who looked like he was constructed out of a particularly solid lump of overcooked kebab meat. Despite this, Sutekh is a suitably scary character, one who has the power to make the Doctor look impotent.
Despite this, this story has another uberclassic Who quote when Sarah Jane gets angry at him for not being overly concerned with Litefoot's death: "I'm a Time Lord... You don't understand the implications. I'm not a human being. I walk in eternity.".
We also get to look at the changing attitude that the Doctor has of the immutability of the Time stream when he takes Sarah Jane back to her present to find it a blasted wasteland.
The final denouement on Mars had its moments of tension too and the clues to the various doors were interesting enough to give moments of doubt.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Baker in a classic Doctor Who adventure, 26 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who - Pyramids Of Mars [1975] [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
The Pyramids of Mars contains all the classic Doctor Who qualities on which the programme built such a legendary reputation in the 1970s - fantastic plot, scary effects, great characters and a memorable atmosphere.
It is true to say that the special effects in the last episode are a little primitive from what we usually expect today but it doesn't diminish from the enthusiasm of the plot and the acting. There is also fairly unpleasant death at the end of the first episode which caused lots of controversy at the time. Philip Hinchcliffe as Producer managed the programme very well.
Tom Baker plays the doctor very well in this story (before he makes the character too lightweight and comic).
This story was the most requested by Doctor Who enthusiasts to be put onto DVD and with good reason.
The DVD extras are outstanding - these include new location documentaries as well as very interesting material from the BBC vaults. Hard to better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Fourth Doctor At His Very Best, 26 July 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - Pyramids Of Mars [1975] [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Doctor Who Pyramids Of Mars.
Doctor: Fourth Doctor.
Companion: Sarah Jane Smith
Main enemy: Sutekh, Robot Mummies, Marcus Scarman, Ibrahim Namin.
Main setting: England, 1911 & Mars.
Writer: Stephen Harris (pseudonym of Lewis Greifer & Robert Holmes)
Director: Paddy Russell.
Producer: Philip Hinchcliffe.
Story number: 82.
Number of episodes: 4.
Season/series: Season 13.
Premiere broadcast: 25 October - 15 November 1975.
Premiere network: BBC1.
Format: 4x25-minute episodes.
Running time 100 minutes.
Region 2.
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1.
Cert: U.

Special Features.
Commentary by Elisabeth Sladen, Michael Sheard & producer Philip Hinchcliffe.
'Osirian Gothic' - interviews with director Paddy Russell, Elisabeth Sladen, Michael Sheard, Philip Hinchcliffe, Bernard Archard, Peter Copley, Gabriel Woolf & designer Christine Ruscoe.
'Serial Thrillers' - documentary about Philip Hinchcliffe's tenure as producer.
Now & Then: The Locations of Pyramids of Mars.
Deleted scenes.
'Oh, Mummy' comedy sketch.
Photo gallery.
Production notes.
Easter egg.

Cast.
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
Sutekh - Gabriel Woolf
Marcus Scarman - Bernard Archard
Laurence Scarman - Michael Sheard
Dr Warlock - Peter Copley
Collins - Michael Bilton
Ernie Clements - George Tovey
Ibrahim Namin - Peter Mayock
Ahmed - Vik Tablian
Mummies - Nick Burnell, Melvyn Bedford, Kevin Selwa

Ratings.
Part One - 10.5 million viewers
Part Two - 11.3 million viewers
Part Three - 9.4 million viewers
Part Four - 11.7 million viewers

Trivia.
1)The Doctor accidentally burns down the priory, which is where UNIT HQ will later be built.
2)The story was originally written by Lewis Greifer, but was considered unworkable, As Greifer was unavailable to do rewrites, the scripts were completely rewritten by Robert Holmes. The pseudonym used on transmission was Stephen Harris.
3)The new Tardis console which debuted in the preceding story, Planet of Evil, does not appear again until The Invisible Enemy, Due to the cost of setting up the Tardis console room for the filming of only a handful of scenes, a new & far less expensive set & console were designed for the following season.
4)The exterior scenes were shot on the Stargroves estate in Berkshire, which was owned by Mick Jagger at the time.
5)Gabriel Woolf would go on to provide the voice of The Beast in the 2006 episodes "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit". He also provided the voice of Governor Rossitor in the Big Finish Productions audio plays Arrangements for War & Thicker than Water.

Plot Synopsis.
The Fourth Doctor & Sarah Jane Smith arrive in the Tardis to a Victorian Gothic mansion, strange things are afoot,The master of the house is away in Egypt & has been replaced by a sinister Egyptian.

Cloth-wrapped Mummies roam the grounds, killing people & beneath a pyramid, the last of the Osirians -- Sutekh the Destroyer -- waits to be freed, to at long last bring his gift of death to all who live.

Timelord Thoughts.
Pyramids Of Mars is one of the highlights of the Fourth Doctors tv adventures that delivers full on chilling gothic horror, superb performances by the cast & great tension filled direction by Paddy Russell.

Tom Baker is superb throughout this adventure as he is in all the Hinchcliffe & Holmes gothic horror stories of seasons 12-14, an era that is often regarded as the peak of the entire series as Pyramids of Mars showcases Tom at his eccentric best delivering humourous dialogue mixed with borderline lunacy while being completely mesmerizing in the role as he brings magic to every scene he's in & gives his Doctor a real strength of defiance against evil while sharing such a great chemistry with the late Elisabeth Sladen who is often regarded of one of the all time greatest companions Sarah Jane Smith as Sladen delivers a wonderful enriched performance throughout this adventure & works so well with Tom's Fourth Doctor.

The rest of the cast all deliver great performances, Bernard Archard is exceptional in his portrayal of the Sutekh-controlled Marcus Scarman all pale looking & scary eyed particularly when he's conveying his character's inner-conflict, While Michael Sheard as his brother Laurence is the perfect foil who is helping the,Doctor & Sarah, the scene in which Sutekh forces Marcus to kill his brother is chilling to the bone as both actor's deliver such powerful performances.

But it's Gabriel Woolf who steals the show as Sutekh, as Woolfs soft but menacing tones prove to be an altogether more eerie & terrifying delivery than any Daleks or Cybermen, as Woolf's performance instilled genuine fear into this reviewer.

This is Doctor Who at it's very best written by in my opinion the shows greatest writer the late great Robert Holmes who is uncredited here but it's quite obvious that Holmes style of writing is all over this adventure as it's a dark chilling macabre tale that showcases just how terrifying this show could be in it's day.

The DVD features a digital remastered print & upgraded sound & comes complete with lengthy documentary featuring producer Phillip Hinchcliffe, Interviews with the cast crew, deleted scenes plus a great feature length commentary by actress Elisabeth Sladen, Michael Sheard & producer Phillip Hinchcliffe are all good value added material.

Overall, Pyramids of Mars is a fantastic concept dreamed up by Lewis Griefer & rewritten superbly by writer & Script Editor Robert Holmes who delivers a hammer horror style adventure & a terrifying villian in Sutekh, while actor's Tom Baker & Elisabeth Sladen are on outstandingly good form throughout as The Doctor & Sarah Jane Smith, while the DVD comes with a decent set of extras makes Pryamids Of Mars a must buy Doctor Who adventure.

Timelord Rating.
10/10
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you my Mummy..?, 1 May 2011
This review is from: Doctor Who - Pyramids Of Mars [1975] [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
One of the five best Doctor Who serials ever made; Pyramids of Mars is both great sci-fi and a superbly lit Gothic tour de force. Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen are both on top form, whilst the likes of Bernard Archard and Michael Sheard provide excellent support. From the genuinely creepy 'Mummies' to the crazed Sutekh and Sheard's gently bemused turn; this story is simply fantastic from start to finish. Ignore any naysayers, this is about as good as the classic series got, and is easily on a par with the likes of 'The Talons of Weng Chiang', 'City of Death' and 'Genesis of the Daleks'.
DVD extras are detailed above; 'Serial Thrillers' is the pick of the bunch, a brief feature looking at then producer Philip Hinchcliffe's tenure on the show. All in a all this is a superb package and highly recommended by me at least!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a Classic, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Pyramids Of Mars [1975] [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
The BBC doing what it did so well with a period piece, and Doctor Who still being taking seriously by the corporation. Some of this formula was to be repeated with Horror Of Fang Rock. Everything is a joy, Tom Baker shows us why his Doctor is still so beloved and the wonderful Elisabeth Sladen show us that this is one of many stories to prove how this team were so popular.

Apart from the money running out by the time the Tardis arrives on Mars, and the fans who go mad over continuity sit back and enjoy, this is Doctor Who @ its best.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-regarded slice of classic "Who", 29 July 2006
By 
M. Wilberforce "mwilberforce" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - Pyramids Of Mars [1975] [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Story: 4/5 - Extras: 5/5

"Pyramids of Mars", by Stephen Harris, a.k.a. Lewis Greifer and Robert Holmes, is often hailed as a classic of the Tom Baker / Philip Hinchcliffe era of Doctor Who, and in many ways the reptuation is probably deserved. However, whilst I find the story to be a very enjoyable slice of Who, I don't consider it quite deserving of the full five stars.

What "Pyramids" does offer is an intelligent and witty script with strong performances from all concerned. Tom Baker puts in an intense performance here, Gabriel Woolf is chilling as the voice of Sutekh, and Bernard Archard is equally so as the possessed and occasionally conflicted Professor Marcus Scarman. The cast also features the likes of Peter Copley and Who veteran Michael Sheard.

The greatest strength of the first three episodes, however, is the moody location work in the wooded grounds of the old Victorian priory where much of the action takes place, coupled with an imaginative interior set riddled with Egyptian artefacts. Unfortunately, the action moves away from this atmospheric setting for the fourth and final peisode - which is one of my criticisms of "Pyramids", in that it seems to tail off rather than reach the exciting climax that it deserves, in a puzzle sequence a little too reminiscent of "Death to the Daleks" (a resemblance that Elisabeth Sladen even identifies in an astute ad-lib during the final episode).

Still, with a chilling central villain, an atmospheric location and creepy, silent mummies, "Pyramids" is definitely elevated above the lesser offerings of this era. The DVD is well-laden with special features, too, including a commentary by Sladen, producer Philip Hinchcliffe, director Paddy Russell and the late Michael Sheard, as well as lengthy documentaries on the Hinchcliffe era in general and the making of "Pyramids of Mars" itself, plus one or two other bits and bobs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who - Pyramids of Mars (1975) - When Dr Who and Sarah Jane Smith meets the `Mummy'., 21 Dec 2011
This review is from: Doctor Who - Pyramids Of Mars [1975] [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this 1975 adventure `Pyramids of Mars', and I award it `5' stars. As with the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning), both the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Sarah Jane Smith (the late legendary Elizabeth Sladen) gelled together since the Third Doctor regenerated into the bohemian Fourth Doctor up to their final adventure `The Hand of Fear'.

I always considered that the Fourth Doctor always worked better with Sarah Jane and they do in this classic adventure which stems from the classic hammer horror classic `The Mummy'. Both the main actors work in excellent equilibrium but all acting glories goes to Bernard Archard (Professor Marcus Scarman), Peter Copley (Dr Warlock) and future Grange Hill and Star Wars legend Michael Sheard (Laurence Scarman) and especially Gabriel Woolf as the chilling Egyptian Osirian God of Death `Sutekh' or `Seth'.

For all 1970s Dr Who fans who enjoy the glorious adventures of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, please get this DVD for your collection. I hope the BBC release the remaining stories from the glorious 1970s.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Who and some fun extras, 17 Aug 2007
This review is from: Doctor Who - Pyramids Of Mars [1975] [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Sadly I AM old enough to remember the first broadcast of this story - I loved it then and I still love it. This is Doctor Who at it's Gothic Horror best. Phillip Hinchcliffe is, Russell T Davies excepted, probably the best influence Doctor Who had as a producer. He knew just how to pitch the show to the audience at the time. The Gothic feel of some of the stories from his era are wonderful and for me this is the apex - the best of the best.
Watching Tom Baker's effortless performance as the Doctor you could be forgiven in forgetting that he had been in the role for less than a year when this story was filmed. The juxtapostion of ancient Egyptian/alien menace to leafy Edwardian England works perfectly and Paddy Russell's direction is on the whole near flawless. Lis Sladen puts in a stirling performance as Sarah Jane Smith as usual and there is wonderful support from such English stalwart character actors as Bernard Archard, Peter Copley and the late, lamented Michael Sheard.
A final word of praise must go to Gabriel Woolf for his malevolent portrayal of the mighty Sutekh the Destroyer. His icey voice was perfect for the part. It was nice to see him back voicing the Beast in "The Satan Pit" with David Tennant.
The extras are fun with a good "Making of..." and a wonderful parody about Sutekh's career after Doctor Who, including his great Milkman service - The Pyramids of Moos - "bringing Sutekh's gift of milk to all mankind..." Priceless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tomb of Sutekhamun, 26 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Pyramids Of Mars [1975] [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Stalking mummies, pyramid powered war missiles, a space-time tunnel, an ancient god rising from his tomb, a cryptic message beamed from Mars ...

In 1975 `Doctor Who' blended science fiction and Egyptology to create a pyramid-shaped high point in the series' legendary `Gothic' period which has stayed popular with fans ever since. An essential, 5* DVD for your `Doctor Who' collection.

The premise is terrifyingly simple: if Sutekh the Destroyer frees himself from his 7000 year old tomb, that's it. No second chances, no plan B, no sequel. He will destroy all life, everywhere and nobody will be able to stop him - "not even our lot" says the Time Lord. This lends an edge to Robert Holmes' terrific script; the Doctor is faced by an undefeatable enemy and he knows it. Tom Baker is at his very best, making the Doctor seem more alien, more brooding, even with flashes of anger, almost as if - it's so unusual that it takes a while to sink in - almost as if the Doctor is afraid.

Of course, he's still going to do whatever it takes to stop the servants of Sutekh before they can free their master. Three episodes of tense conflict with brilliant cliff-hangers then unfold against the verdant setting of a country estate in spring 1911, supported by very impressive interior sets, special effects, music and excellent character acting. The relationship between Marcus Scarman (Bernard Archard) and his brother Laurence (Michael Sheard) is both tragic and memorable. Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah has a good story and is right in the heart of the action, which for a U certificate feature has many surprisingly scary moments.

When all else fails, the Doctor is forced into the inevitable confrontation with Sutekh. The opening of episode four is as powerful as anything ever seen in `Doctor Who' with a famously chilling performance from Gabriel Woolf as the still trapped, masked, near-motionless Sutekh. It's after this that a few stones seem missing from the fourth side of the story's structure. Part of this fourth episode follows a pattern familiar from a previous `Doctor Who' (and in later years, elsewhere). It's a good enough segment in itself, but has the feel of a slight anti-climax after the high drama before it.

Fortunately, we're then back to full speed for the final minutes when the story takes the worst possible turn. Only the Doctor could save the day as he does; defeating the undefeatable enemy and without breaking the logic of the narrative. This is definitely a 5* tale even with the slight dip in episode four. Almost 40 years after first being broadcast, `Pyramids of Mars' is still found near the top of most favourites lists, including mine.

The DVD picture quality shows this was a very early release; it's good but not quite as crisp as later releases. Similarly, the commentary is interesting but lacks the technical quality of the sound on later commentaries, as here the feature audio does not fade in and out as the participants share their memories.

DVD Extras include the usual interesting `making of' documentary, a look at the locations 30 years later, a good Photo Gallery and `Serial Thrillers', a fascinating 40+ minute documentary about the era of producer Philip Hinchcliffe - to many, the golden age of the programme. Finally, if you know your classic `Doctor Who' and don't laugh at `Oh Mummy' - you're probably in a sarcophagus!

NOTE: The DVD menu shows clips from the programme as background, so if you don't know the story already, press `Play' ASAP.
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