On the very blue planet Indigo 3, the Doctor and Lucie find a monastery in the midst of the planetary desert – and they find themselves beseiged within its wills when someone starts shooting at them. The monks and nuns there, however, are too busy trying to cover up a grisly murder – possibly more than one – to really extend any hospitality to the time travelers. When reptilian warriors begin to manifest themselves in the lower levels of the monastery, the Doctor deduces that they are the killers – and that they’re just warming up to doing something really nasty. It turns out that the warriors represent two factions who have been at each other’s throats for hundreds of years, dating back to the beginnings of their hostilities on the feudal planet Sobek. One of the alien combatants decides that the Doctor will be his chosen champion, whether he wants to be or not. The other picks an even more unlikely champion – Lucie – and pits the two against each other in a ritual fight to the death.
Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Art Malik (Abbot Absolute), Barbara Flynn (Sister Chalice), Giles Watling (The Old Prince); Sean Biggerstaff (Snabb), Mikey O’Connor (Dannahill), Katarina Olsson (Sister Thrift)
Timeline: after Brave New Town and before Grand Theft Cosmos
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: A lot about The Skull Of Sobek is traditional, familiar Doctor Who fare – all the characters are trapped in an enclosed space as an unknown enemy closes in, there’s an isolated religious order and a seemingly magical alien artifact, all staples of ’60s and ’70s Doctor Who.
The secret ingredient that keeps things fresh in this case, however, is Lucie Miller. The Doctor, for his part, does exactly what you’d expect him to in this situation, but Lucie is allowed to go a little further with her sarcastic observations, a revelation of a strange phobia (crocodiles!?) and finally getting herself into trouble in grand style.
The supporting cast is marvelous in its portrayal of the monks and nuns of an isolated monastery, helping to sell the whole endeavour, and the villains of the piece sound suitably nasty. But a lot of what makes Sobek enjoyable is down to Sheridan Smith, and she makes it worthwhile.