Following the explosive events of “The Legend of Ruby Sunday,” Doctor Who fans are in for a nostalgic treat as the Doctor and Ruby Sunday embark on a thrilling journey in the latest episode of “Tales of the TARDIS: Pyramids of Mars.” This feature-length special not only revisits a beloved classic but also brings back a legendary villain, Sutekh, portrayed by Gabriel Woolf.

 A Trip Down Memory Lane

Originally aired in 1975, “Pyramids of Mars” is a four-part story that sees the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) confronting the almighty Sutekh. The episode has now been remastered into a feature-length omnibus with updated visual effects, ready to enchant both new and long-time fans.

In “Tales of the TARDIS: Pyramids of Mars,” the Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) land in 1911, where they encounter Egyptian mummies walking the grounds of the Old Priory. The duo must tackle an ancient and powerful evil that threatens mankind. As they reflect on their recent adventures aboard the Remembered TARDIS, they prepare for the ultimate battle to save the universe in the season finale, “Empire of Death.”

Phil Collinson on Revisiting Classic Who

Phil Collinson, Executive Producer, expressed his excitement about revisiting a classic enemy of the Doctor: “Revisiting the rich history of Doctor Who is endlessly thrilling, and this is no exception. It’s so exciting to bring back Tales of the TARDIS again and to revisit a classic enemy of the Doctor. Gabriel Woolf as Sutekh, returning to terrify a whole new generation of children in a blistering season finale, is what makes this show so special and appeal to so many across the generations.”

Gabriel Woolf Returns as Sutekh

Gabriel Woolf, who originally played Sutekh, returns to the role nearly 50 years later. In a Q&A session, Woolf shared his thoughts on reviving the iconic villain and his excitement about introducing Sutekh to a new generation of fans.

Q&A with Gabriel Woolf

Q: How does it feel to revive Sutekh after nearly 50 years? 

A: It felt sort of inevitable in a way. I’d never lost Sutekh because of the fans. They’ve kept him alive through conventions, so it feels kind of natural.

Q: How does it feel to know that a whole new audience will discover the classic story of “Pyramids of Mars” when it is revisited in “Tales of the TARDIS” this week? 

A: It’s excellent; they will have the complete backstory of Sutekh, so they will know how it all began. Tom [Baker] and I played off each other dramatically, almost like a play. I hope it adds a tremendous dimension to the excitement for the finale, spreading the experience across cinemas and the world.

Q: What was your reaction when you were asked to come back to the Whoniverse? 

A: I was over the moon, delighted, and thrilled. The fans have always said, ‘Oh, you must come back!’ and I always replied, ‘It’s not up to me!’ – and now it’s happened. Extraordinary.

Q: Did you ever think you would return to the Whoniverse? 

A: No. It’s been 48 years since we did it, so I thought it was pretty unlikely. It was a big surprise but a good one!

Q: Is there anything different about this version of Sutekh compared to the one we met in 1975? 

A: Well, visually, certainly. I thought there had been some development of the character – but we do have the same classic lines here and there, so he is recognizable and he is destroying the same universe.

Q: You’ve played another role in Doctor Who. Can you explain more? 

A: Yes, the Beast. That was in “The Impossible Planet” and “The Satan Pit” with David Tennant – I never met him or many of the people; I do things in a little box on my own!

Q: What is the process for recording voiceovers? Do you imagine the finished result when recording? 

A: You are always working in a vacuum with the character in your head and using your voice. It was only when I had a special viewing a couple of weeks ago that I could see what my voice was matching to – it was a big relief to see how well it worked together.

Q: How do you hope fans will react when they see the big reveal of Sutekh’s return? 

A: I hope they’ll be very excited and pleased, and that they’ll give themselves a pat on the back as it’s all down to them that this has happened.

Q: Do you have a favourite Doctor Who villain other than the ones you’ve played? 

A: I enjoy the Daleks more than anything else, but then The Master is good… they’re all classic ones!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in time and space, where or when would you go? 

A: I don’t think I’d want to go to the origins of the universe and see how it began or anything like that; I’m not a scientist (laughs). I love the Victorian age for literature – most of my life has been spent in Victorian literature and poetry – but I’m mostly remembered for Doctor Who, which is funny; it was two weekends in 1975!

Don’t Miss It!

Experience the timeless clash between the Doctor and Sutekh when “Tales of the TARDIS: Pyramids of Mars” airs on Thursday, 20th June at 8pm on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer. Relive the moment the Doctor first met his ferocious enemy and gear up for the season finale, “Empire of Death,” which promises to be a thrilling conclusion to an epic adventure.

Doctor Who season one is available on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Disney+ in the rest of the world, where available. The season finale, “Empire of Death” airs on 21st June / 22nd June.

Don’t miss out on this cosmic journey through time and space!

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