Disclaimer: The following post has two purposes. First and foremost it is a place for me to write down what it is that I have found (as a result it may not make sense to anyone else). Second, it is to try and fulfil my desire to write.
Read on at your own risk…A classmate and I are doing an oral presentation on “The Pyramids of Mars”. As Whovians, we figured that this would be the best way to be alive with our presentation as it is something that we are passionate about.
Our plan is to go through the story with the class, with less of a focus on the story itself but more like we are looking back at the plot and thinking “well, that’s Egyptiany”.
It’s a ten-minute talk and we have ten elements to talk about, I start us off with the synopsis of the story and quickly move into the ‘Eye of Horus’ and then I ramble on about Anubis being falsely portrayed as the classic bad guy yet again.
Start: Marcus Scar, Professor of Archaeology at All Souls College, Oxford University was excavating a blind pyramid when he and assistants find a tomb with an unbroken seal. The seal glows and he is left to explore alone. He raises his light to the untouched tomb only to be blasted a green light that radiates from a mysterious figure. This may all sound very cliched to you, and I assure you, it is. But it’s still a lot of fun to watch. Now, if you are anything like me then you and I have done my job at capturing your attention then you’ll want to know exactly who this green laser dude is. Well, we’ll get to that in a moment but first I want to talk to you a bit about this seal.
The Eye of Horus: Also known as the Wadjet, the all seeing eye in this picture here is something that we have looked at in class before . Now, I don’t want to bore you with repeating everything we already know about it but in the show. This is the seal to the tomb where the mighty Sekhet was trapped for ‘I actually don’t know how long’ . Side note here, don’t you like the idea here that this is a not-so-recent-anymore retelling of the myth of the battle between Seth and Horus. I like the fact that in the myth, Horus’ eye was torn out and – oh. Yes. That big bad guy that I mentioned earlier? The laser dude? Well.
* cuts to partner who tells of the laser dude. ‘but we’ll keep on coming back to him as we go along*
Shortly after this scene of Scarman being laser beamed we are shown a glimpse of the TARDIS (the Doctor’s mythic vehicle which can travel through time and space. It’s 1911 in the show at the time. The Doctor and his companion was just travelling through space, you know, as they do, when this surge of energy knocks them out of their flight path and into the Scarman family home. Sarah (the Doctor’s companion sees before her this alien, jackal-like thing. Assuring her that this is just a hallucination, the Doctor comments on how powerful such a force must have been to penetrate his TARDIS. If you’re thinking that this Doctor guy is arrogant, you’re right, he is. But on a good day he’s also a genius.
The Anubis head: I’m sure that when I said ‘alien, jackal-like thing’, many of you were like “ah, Anubis”. And I think you would be right to assume that. Anubis has been portrayed as the bad guy in so many films. And I think here is no different. The writer fails to capture the good nature of this deity as do so many other storytellers. Some, however, do manage to capture a much more…light-hearted nature of the god.
As all that we have seen so far is only the first few scenes of the story and we have much more to get through. I apologise if we seem a bit rushed to finish all of this in our ten minutes.
From here, our heroes investigate a storeroom, get moaned at by a butler, scarf-whip a gun out of someone’s hand and encounter and promptly get pursued by a horde of mummies.
*partner takes over for the majority of the next bit. speaks of mummies, Sutekh, and a little bit on the Osirian race.*
Me again: Bit of action, bit of drama, and two episodes later we come to the Doctor revealing that we were right. Sutekh (Seth) was chased across the galaxy by his brother Horus. Although in this telling Seth is defeated by the combined might of seven hundred and forty Osirians. The Doctor and Sarah have been up to their usual shenanigans of tricking the villain with words and wit and running. So much running. Once again, we have the Eye of Horus that is trapping Sutekh. The Eye is located at the end of a corridor underneath the pyramid. Said corridor is divided into several chambers, each of which relies on you to solve logical and philosophical problems before progresing to the next one. Another quick side note. I am an avid fan of castles, I like castles. And this form of redundancy is the most important step. You want defence after defence after defence. Backup plans for your backup plans. Riddles within your riddles. As we know, the Pyramids really did have this sense of a labyrinthian structure and these puzzles are no exception.
These are very much like the Sphinxes riddles and we can definately see the allure of using them inside this kind of a temple. The Doctor, being not just a genius but an alien genius has little issue wth these and they encounter what we presume to be the final chamber.
*Partner on the classic myth (two guardians, one always tells the truth, the other always tells a lie)*
Me again: Here we are reminded of the opening scene where that alien, Jackal-like face is seen again. Now it is Scarman that morphs into it and he destroys the Eye before crumbling into dust and falling into the ground. After what I found to be a disappointing ending, we see the Doctor and Sarah leaving the scene behind, Scarman house in flames.
What we like about this story and why we chose it is that it takes an ancient myth, and twists it into a modern tale and gives some credibility to the myth itself. That is, if you believe in the Doctor. It may be because we are Whovians, but we wouldn’t chose this…
We’d choose this..