Thursday, October 22, 2009

4G4 - Pyramids of Mars 4

Yet more great scenes present themselves in Episode Four of Pyramids of Mars, just as they did in the first three scenes of this story. The best is possibly the meeting between Sutekh and The Doctor. You really get a sense that The Doctor is in way over his head here, and that he is perhaps as scared as he has ever been when having to confront Sutekh. Sutekh is a superb villain almost entirely due to the performance of Gabriel Woolf, who turns every line Sutekh speaks into something worth quoting or putting on a t-shirt.

However, the finale is so derivative of Death to the Daleks that it scarcely bears mentioning, but Sarah Jane mentions it anyway (even though she never entered the city of the Exxilons in the first place). Plus, most of the puzzles that The Doctor has to solve in order to work his way through the pyramid on Mars are so easy to solve that The Doctor looks like he's trying to make them seem harder than they actually are.

Long held up as one of the classic stories in Doctor Who, Pyramids of Mars is massively overrated, yet still thoroughly enjoyable to watch, and sumptuous and gorgeous to look at. It plays out like a clip show of great scenes in Doctor Who as put on by the Doctor Who Confidential team. The editors of such a show would have no problem finding memorable clips in Pyramids - there are probably over a dozen top notch scenes and lines within its four episodes. But without any sense of threat or danger to the programme's heroes, or any strong storyline to keep things going, Pyramids of Mars falls somewhere between the average and very average of Doctor Who stories.


Erik said... I thought you were going to try to convince me of it's brilliant. Instead, you concur with my assessment. Interesting.

Who+ said...

I've been watching my way through the Hinchcliffe era and haven't been REALLY impressed yet (as of episode 2 of Planet of Evil, there's still time). I thought Pyramids of Mars might be where my humming and hawing stopped, but maybe not...

Is the Hinchcliffe era as a whole the most massively overrated in Who?

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