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Sutekh, also known as Sutekh the Destroyer, Setekh, Set, (PROSE: Set Piece) Seth (PROSE: The Sands of Time) or the Jackal, (PROSE: Going Once, Going Twice) was an Osiran who planned to destroy all life in the universe. He feared all forms of life which might one day challenge his hegemony, and so became the destroyer of all living things. He was later imprisoned, trapped inside a forcefield that paralysed him.
- 1 History
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 External Link
Like in the Egyptian myths on Earth, Sutekh was the son of Geb, (AUDIO: Ozymandias) having been bred alongside Osiris (later reincarnated as Horus) to channel the power of Ra. (AUDIO: The Ship of a Billion Years). He was the husband of Nephthys, who was also his and Horus's sister. (PROSE: The Sands of Time)
Sutekh became "head of security" for the Osirian Court, being its most fearsome and powerful warrior, (AUDIO: The Judgment of Sutekh) the second and greatest of the "Three Divine Shields" who protected the sentient sun Ra (AUDIO: The Ship of a Billion Years) from such threats as the serpents created by the Great Houses, (AUDIO: Coming to Dust) such as Apep. (PROSE: Going Once, Going Twice) He eventually intimidated the Great Houses into making peace with the Osirians by releasing a vampiric army of Mal'akhs on the medieval Mediterranean basin, making a credible claim to the ability to upset the structure of History in a major way. After they had served their purpose, he left his Mal'akh army behind. (AUDIO: Coming to Dust)
At war with the universe
Jealous that Osiris' accomplishments civilising 660 worlds were being celebrated more than his own, (AUDIO: Coming to Dust) Sutekh killed him. (AUDIO: The Ship of a Billion Years) Believing that he deserved to take over the throne of the Osirian Court, since it owed its survival to him, he made himself even more powerful than his fellow Osirians, taming the forces of the Outer Desert, of which even Ra was afraid, (AUDIO: The Ship of a Billion Years) and making a bargain with the Kotturuh, who allowed him to carry their "Gift of Death" himself. (PROSE: The Guide to the Dark Times)
After Osiris was resurrected as Horus in the body of Cousin Eliza, Sutekh declared a time war against Horus for the Osirian throne. (AUDIO: Ozymandias) As recalled by the Fourth Doctor, Sutekh destroyed his home planet Phaester Osiris and subsequently left a "trail of havoc across half the galaxy". During this time, he was called many names, including the Typhonian Beast, Set, Sadok, and Satan. (TV: Pyramids of Mars) Among the planets where Sutekh and the Osirans fought was Youkali. (PROSE: Return of the Living Dad) The two armies fought a great battle in Egypt; at the end, Sutekh found his traitorous wife Nephthys and a heavily-wounded Horus in the Temple of Geb. Horus (in reality, just Eliza pretending to be Horus) begged Sutekh to finish the battle, complaining about being tired of fighting and Sutekh's boringness. Angered, Sutekh ripped out Horus' heart.
Elated at killing his opponent and winning the contest, Sutekh told Nephthys that he planned to erase Horus' name from the universe. However, she claimed that Faction Paradox would always remember and resist Sutekh's claim to the throne. Though Cousin Justine had gone into hiding, Sutekh read from Nephthys' mind that the Faction had allies in the 18th century.
On 16 October, 1764, Sutekh forced John Pennerton to direct the Society of Sigismondo di Rimini to declare war on Faction Paradox and seek out its members. Though the society had found no trace of Justine by 8 November, Sutekh felt an "intrusion" in Volanto. There he found Abelard Finton, who he tortured ruthlessly until he divulged that the timeship was in the Mediterranean Sea and Justine had returned to the Osirian Court. Sutekh then brought Finton to Pennerton and released them both from his control; Finton died shortly thereafter.
Going to the Mediterranean, Sutekh found not Justine's timeship but the barge of Geb, who was investigating Corwyn Marne's claim that Sutekh had left for Earth. When confronted, Geb said that he'd found Sutekh's body on Mars, barely alive, and buried him in a pyramid while a proper prison was built. Angry and outraged, Sutekh attacked Geb and dumped him in the Temple of Geb, just in time to watch an earlier version of Sutekh kill Horus.
Above the Osirian Court, Sutekh confronted the simulacrum copy of Justine, accompanied by an earlier version of Finton, in the Ship of a Billion Years. This simulacrum had been trained to resist Sutekh's mind control, and when he opened a direct channel between their minds during his attack, she lashed out with her shadow-weapon, revealing herself to be the real Justine, hidden behind a bio-screen built by Anubis. (AUDIO: The Judgment of Sutekh) The ensuing duel saw the two "wrestling in the oxidised dirt" of Mars, knocking the very world from its temporal foundations, making it "uncertain"; this caused the existence of the native species of Martians, who had been worshipping the Osirians as gods, to be reduced to a state of flux forever after; they "existed one moment, and did not the next," as Gustav explained. (PROSE: Going Once, Going Twice)
Ultimately, Horus succeeded in severing some of Sutekh's neural connections, dumped him on Mars, and called Geb to tell him to look there. At Sutekh's funeral, almost the entire Osirian Court came to pay its respects. Justine and Horus agreed to tell the Court that Sutekh had been cornered on Earth by Horus' seven-hundred-and-some fellow warriors. This version of events was repeated in the official records and legends of Earth and throughout the galaxy. (AUDIO: The Judgment of Sutekh)
The Fourth Doctor repeated this claim to Sarah Jane Smith, saying that 740 Osirans led by Horus had cornered and defeated Sutekh on Earth. Sarah recognised the name from the 740 gods recorded in the tomb of Thutmose III.
As both the Doctor and Professor Marcus Scarman would later discover, Sutekh was entombed but alive in a pyramid in Saqqara in Egypt. The Doctor claimed that Horus left Sutekh in the tomb for seven thousand years by 1911. The Eye of Horus on Mars beamed a signal to suppress Sutekh's powers and hold him prisoner. The tales of the Osirans were remembered in Egyptian mythology. Sutekh still retained a cult of followers, such as Ibrahim Namin; (TV: Pyramids of Mars) after his imprisonment, he had taken on the name of "the Red God" and was recognised, though reviled, in the cults of ancient Egypt as a god of evil. The Legend of Sutekh, passed down through generations of worshippers of Horus, claimed that Sutekh's worshippers were invariably "dissolute of heart" and that they could be recognised by the reddening of the whites of their eyes. (PROSE: Background)
Freed by Scarman
In 1911, the archaeologist Professor Marcus Scarman excavated the inner chamber of the pyramid beneath which Sutekh was imprisoned, discovering Sutekh and thereby accidentally allowing him a chance of escape. Sutekh controlled Scarman's corpse, using it and Osiran service robots to construct an Osiran war missile in an English priory aimed at the Eye of Horus on Mars. The Fourth Doctor and Sarah were able to destroy the missile, but the Doctor fell under the psychic control of Sutekh's will as a result. He was made to take Scarman and the robots to Mars in his TARDIS.
Despite the Doctor's attempt to stop them after surviving an attempt on his life by one of Sutekh's robots, Scarman destroyed the Eye and freed Sutekh. Hurrying back to Earth, the Doctor defeated Sutekh by delaying his trip in a time corridor to the priory by moving the corridor's threshold to the far future, thus effectively ageing him to death; the Doctor thought he had lived for seven thousand years before succumbing. (TV: Pyramids of Mars)
Imprisoned in the Eternals' Void
However, Sutekh survived by "stepping sideways" at the last moment, remaining trapped in a sort of limbo state in the Void, alive and unaging, but once more unable to move, let alone leave. However, a fragment of Sutekh's mind whom he had planted in the biodata of his son Anubis before his imprisonment managed to take over Anubis's body and put into motion a plan to free Sutekh and remerge with him to recover his original body. While in the Void, Sutekh struck reluctant bargains with many of the other horrors banished there to have them follow him into the universe, to which, being a native of it, he was still more tethered than they. (COMIC: Old Girl)
Escape & return to power
After emerging back into the universe through the Circle of Transcendence, Sutekh spent some time hunting down two the abominations which whom he had bargained: he destroyed the King Nocturne altogether and cast the Destroyer back into the Circle. In truth, expecting the Tenth Doctor, who was present on the Shining Horizon when Sutekh reemerged, to try and reverse the dimensional conduits to suck Sutekh back into the Void, Sutekh had deliberately "plugged" the Circle with the biomass of the Destroyer. Hence, when the Doctor tried to spring his trap, Sutekh redirected the energy towards himself, using it to rejuvenate his physical form. (COMIC: Old Girl)
A war of gods
Draining some of Anubis's psyche to stabilise the result, Sutekh merged back with Anubekh and returned to his full power. However, before he could destroy the Doctor, the Time Lord addressed the other released gods (who included one of the Gods of Ragnarok and the Dragon). He pointed out how Sutekh had already betrayed two of the eternals he had bargained with in the Void, also noting that so long as they existed in the physical realm, the gods counted as "life", and were thus the natural enemies of Sutekh. In the end, Dorothy Bell herself revealed her identity as the mortal incarnation of his own Hand of Sutekh to him. She used her abilities as the Hand to partially merge with Sutekh, trapping him in her embrace, and then pulled him back into the Void with her, giving up her own freedom for the universe and to save the Doctor from making this sacrifice in her place. (COMIC: Old Girl)
Later confrontations with the Doctor
Only the body of Sutekh was defeated by the Doctor. Years later, his consciousness found a way into a new body created for him using an Osirian flesh loom. (AUDIO: The Pyramid of Sutekh) He escaped from Mars and travelled back in time to the reign of Hatshepsut, in order to coerce Tutmosis to usurp his mother's throne and start his reign of terror on the world. (AUDIO: The Eye of Horus) He thought he had destroyed the world by the time of the 21st century which surprised Russell Courtland who had predicted it. He went across the Earth devouring in his wake but left his worshippers till last. The Seventh Doctor tricked him by showing him the solar flare ravaged Earth in the 29th century. He went back in time to start over again, and this created an ouroboros loop. (AUDIO: The Tears of Isis)
Sutekh later encountered the Fourth Doctor and Leela on the planet Drummond. Sutekh was using the Rene.net to control the populace to "Kill the Doctor!" and to transform Drummond into the new home of the Osirans. (AUDIO: Kill the Doctor!, The Age of Sutekh)
Sutekh was somewhat paranoid, fearing that all lifeforms might potentially rise up against him. This paranoia led to his decision to destroy all life wherever he found it. Despite this, he was extremely intelligent and patient. (TV: Pyramids of Mars)
Even the Mal'akh he had enslaved, whose will he broke until they told him that they loved him, were but a means to an end for Sutekh, (AUDIO: Coming to Dust) as they were to Upuat after he freed them from Suteh's control. (AUDIO: The Ship of a Billion Years)
Powers and abilities
Sutekh possessed immense power: he could change the course of history and destroy entire star systems. The Fourth Doctor once took Sarah Jane Smith to an alternate 1980, where the Earth had become a ruined and abandoned wasteland orbiting a dead star due to Sutekh's destruction. According to the Doctor, not even the Time Lords could stop Sutekh when he was in possession of his full powers. (TV: Pyramids of Mars) Lolita said that if he became king of the Osirian Court, he would become the single greatest threat to life in the universe. (AUDIO: The Judgment of Sutekh)
Even when he was trapped and his powers limited, he was able to contain the explosive force of gelignite from miles away, although this was difficult and could be easily disrupted by a simple distraction. He had telekinesis, enabling him to levitate the TARDIS key. He boasted that he could keep his victims alive for centuries in excruciating pain, and his mental abilities allowed him to easily dominate others, making them puppets to his will. He also appeared to be able to telepathically read other beings, even those established to have psychic defences, (TV: Pyramids of Mars, AUDIO: The Judgment of Sutekh) and he could monitor progress several thousand miles away with the aid of Osiran computer technology. This included reanimating corpses for servants, as he did with Marcus Scarman. He could focus his power through these servants, enabling them to burn people to death with a touch, and was able to destroy the Eye of Horus on Mars from Earth when Scarman was within a few metres of it. Whenever he used his powers, his eyes glowed green. He could project a mental image of himself anywhere, easily breaking through the defensive mechanisms of the Doctor's TARDIS to do so. (TV: Pyramids of Mars)
Despite other Osirians needing a barge to handle the heat of the star Ra, Sutekh could safely stand next to Ra without any protection. (AUDIO: The Ship of a Billion Years) He was also able to stop and reverse the materialisation of Mortega's timeship. (AUDIO: Body Politic)
Behind the scenes
- In ancient Egyptian mythology, Sutekh is one of the many names for Set, the god of the deserts.
- When Pyramids of Mars came out on DVD, included in it was a pseudo documentary called "Oh Mummy!", which told the fictional account of how Sutekh landed the role in the story and his life afterwards.