The TARDIS turns up next in Ancient Egypt, but what we see is a far cry from the sober historicals of previous years. Here, the backdrop of the pyramids is simply that – a backdrop which provides the Doctor, the Monk, Chen and the Daleks a colourful location to do battle against.
Whilst the Doctor repairs the lock of the TARDIS, Steven and Sara set off to find the Monk – but run into Chen and the Daleks instead. The Daleks then tangle with the Egyptians (no surprises for guessing who comes out on top).
One of Douglas Camfield’s favourite actors, Walter Randall, turns up as Hyksos, whilst the presence of Derek Ware as Tuthmos implies that some action took place (although the lack of pictures makes it hard to know exactly how athletic the Egyptians’ deaths were).
To be honest, the Egyptians are rather pallidly portrayed. Even though they have a fair amount of screentime in this episode and the next, we never get much of a sense that they’re individuals. Instead they come across as little more than cannon-fodder for the Daleks (and it’s notable how the Doctor has zero interest in their fate).
The first meeting between the Monk and the Daleks is amusing. “Good morning my son” says the Monk cheerily to the Daleks, before attempting to beat a hasty retreat. But he reluctantly finds himself forced to serve the Dalek cause.
Hartnell and Butterworth share another entertaining scene, which is one of the highlights of the episode. Although we’ll have to wait until the next episode to discover exactly what fate was meted out by the Doctor to his fellow time-traveller.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with Golden Death. It’s diverting enough, but ultimately it’s also a little forgettable as well as being a good example of twenty-five minutes of running on the spot.