Doctor Who Season 14: Who is Sutekh?

Jessica Cullen
Susan Twist as Susan Triad in The Legend of Ruby Sunday

‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ brings Sutekh back into the world of Doctor Who, so here’s what you need to know about this returning villain.

One might have expected Doctor Who Season 14 to end in the hands of Susan Twist or another Doctor Who villain. However, some of the biggest Doctor Who Season 14 theories pointed to Sutekh making his return.

‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday‘s climatic ending brought the creature back to life in an unexpected way, though many newer fans of the sci-fi series may not know who he is.

Luckily, we’re here to break down Sutekh and what he’s known for. Here’s what you need to know about the strange figure who turns up in the new episode. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Who is Sutekh?

Sutekh is a God-like being and Doctor Who villain who first appeared in the 1975 serial, ‘Pyramids of Mars’.

He just made his reappearance as the main Doctor Who Season 14 villain in Episode 7, ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’.

He was played by Gabriel Woolf in the original Doctor Who episodes, who reprises the role in Season 14 Episode 7. (If you recognize his voice, he also played the Beast in ‘The Impossible Planet’ and ‘The Satan Pit’.)

Also known as Sutekh the Destroyer, he is a member of the alien race known as the Osirans. A power-hungry and vengeful figure, he’s a formidable foe and makes it known that he’ll undo any being who might challenge him.

His character was inspired by the Egyptian god Set, and the aesthetic of ‘Pyramids of Mars’ is very much modeled after horror movies of the kind. (Think The Mummy, but with a sci-fi twist.)

What are Sutekh’s powers?

Sutekh has the ability to change the course of history, making him a very tricky foe for the Doctor indeed.

He can also destroy entire star systems and has an incredibly evil and destructive personality.

The Doctor once noted that the Time Lords weren’t able to stop Sutekh when he had gained full power. All this makes him one of the deadliest beings in the universe. Basically, it’s not good news.

Sutekh is also incredibly cunning and intelligent, making him an intellectual foe just as much as anything else. In the past, he’s tricked other gods into teaming up with him, only to betray them when the job is done.

What episodes is Sutekh in?

Sutekh only had one television appearance until now, and that’s in ‘Pyramids of Mars’, though he does show up in novels and other fiction.

Aside from the novelization of ‘Pyramids of Mars’, he was also featured in some short stories, including ‘Background’, ‘Return of the Red God’, ‘Going Once, Going Twice’, and ‘The Enigma of Sisterhood’.

He’s also appeared in audio stories, too. The most notable instance is the audio drama anthology ‘The Triumph of Sutekh’. He’s also been mentioned in comics and webcasts over the years.

Now he’s shown up in ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’, it’s possible we’ll be seeing a lot more of Sutekh as time goes on. In the new episode, it’s revealed that Susan Triad (previously referred to as Susan Twist) is an anagram for Sutekh.

Rather than being Sutekh himself, though, it seems as though she’s one of his foot soldiers since she refers to him in the third person.

For more, check out our ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ review. You can take a look at our guides to Mundy Flynn and Rogue, or see all the best new TV shows to watch now.