Osirans had expanded brain-cases and a cerebrum like "a spiral staircase", which meant they particularly liked puzzles. They had a wide variety of advanced psychic powers, including mental and physical projection, mind control and telepathy. (TV: Pyramids of Mars, PROSE: The Sands of Time) One Osiran, Sutekh, looked somewhat like the traditional depictions of Set. He had grey skin, a jackal or donkey-like head with large, square ears and bright green eyes. (TV: Pyramids of Mars) Another Osiran, Horus, had the face of a bull. (PROSE: Scarab of Death)
Osirans could live for thousands of years, even without sufficient food or water. (TV: Pyramids of Mars) They did need air to survive and could suffocate. (PROSE: The Sands of Time) Osiran curry was best served close to absolute zero. (PROSE: UNIT Christmas Parties: First Christmas)
Traces of Osiran culture could be found in that of the ancient Egyptians because of the species' influence on them. Their technology was very stylised, taking the appearance of such things as sarcophagi, canopic jars and mummies. When they came to Earth, the Egyptians picked up many of these influences in their architecture and culture.
The Fifth Doctor described the Osirans as a "noble race of superbeings", but also said they had their "wayward members". He stated the Osirans fell into three categories — "the good, the bad and, forgive me, the ugly." (AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon)
Although spread across the cosmos, Osirian culture was principally focused on two sites: the Throneworld and the Ship of a Billion Years, the immense vessel which carried Ra, Nut and their attendant pantheon through the heavens. (AUDIO: The Ship of a Billion Years)
Osiran technology was based on the mathematics of topology, positioning and shapes. They would be specially aligned to the stars in order to work. For example, the Osirans set up the Pyramids on Mars and Earth as power receivers, directing energy to the Great Sphinx, which would power all the Osiran technology on the planets. When moving away from the Pyramids, these buildings would need to be rebuilt or smaller collectors would have to be brought there. The Osirans also relied heavily on psi-projectors, which would allow them to travel in space using only the power of their mind. These too required precise mathematical skills, as well as powerful minds to control the ships. (PROSE: The Sands of Time) The basis of Osirian science stemmed from the fact that their homeworld lacked a magnetic field. This led to them developing their technology on the principles of monopolar magnetic fields. (PROSE: GodEngine) Despite the unusual design, the Osirans had technology that rivalled the Time Lords. (TV: Pyramids of Mars)
Lodestones were a type of time travel technology used by the Osirans, generally embedded into a sarcophagus. These lodestones created a Time tunnel, allowing the Osirans to travel backwards and forwards in time. Unlike Time Lord technology, these lodestone produced a lot of time spillage, which would be absorbed by the traveller. If someone went backwards in time or forwards in time by a thousand years, the traveller would also age a thousand years. This was not an obstacle for the Osirans, due to their long lifespans. These lodestones would draw in vortex energy, which could pull in TARDISes. (TV: Pyramids of Mars, PROSE: The Sands of Time)
Another example of Osiran technology were the Osiran service robots. They were thin robots with a wire framework to give them a more humanoid shape and were powered by a cytronic particle accelerator in the shape of pyramids. They had immense strength and could be controlled by a special ring. These robots were covered in specially treated wrappings which gave them the appearances of mummies. (TV: Pyramids of Mars, PROSE: The Sands of Time)
Other Osiran technology included Osiran generator loops in the shape of canopic jars, the ability to increase a human's lifespan by thousands of years, a rocket in the shape of a pyramid, traps using mobile Shabti and psychic typhoons and technology activated by certain signs. (TV: Pyramids of Mars)
At least one Osiran, Anubis, was an excellent medic and cloner, and relished the challenge more than actually saving lives due to his extreme cynicism and ego (having lived for countless centuries, he had become bitterly tired of the Osirans' long lives); he successfully converted the broken fragments of Osiris' biodata cache into a viable lifeform, more for the fact a full resurrection had never been tried before and thus would make him the best Osirian scientist ever than for Osiris' revival stopping a massive civil war among the Osirans. (AUDIO: Words from Nine Divinities)
When Osiris founded the Court, he removed it from history, (AUDIO: Words from Nine Divinities) causing it to sometimes exist, like Gallifrey, in a special relationship to the timeline of the wider universe. Its past sometimes overlapped with Gallifrey's future (AUDIO: Coming to Dust) and Earth's ancient myths sometimes recorded events which had yet to transpire for the Court (AUDIO: The Ship of a Billion Years).
Early history Edit
The Osirans were evidently an ancient species, having been a major power since at least 150 million BC. They were involved in the Millennium War, in which they were able to stop the creation of a wormhole in the Horsehead Nebula which would have caused massive damage. They were also involved in the final attack on the Mad Mind of Bophemeral. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel) The Osirians were noted for having taken a special interest in the quadrant where the planets Earth and Mars were located, with the latter serving as a bridgehead for their activities in the area. During that time, they used the native Martians as labourers for their construction efforts. The Ice Warriors and others noted them as callous beings that cared little for the creatures that worshipped them. Despite this, around seven thousand years before the 22nd century, the Ice Warriors crafted a religion around them but retooled aspects of it from their race memory and legends to create a religion that practiced peace and compassion. This led to the founding of the Order of Oras. (PROSE: GodEngine)
Around 6100 BC, Sekhmet, the lioness, was banished in a salt spacecraft, landing on the planet Peladon where she lay for ten thousand years. She was held in her tomb by four blood locks, which could only be broken by the blood of four royal women, including one that was displaced in time. (AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon)
The rise of Horus Edit
Sutekh lured Osiris into a space capsule. Sutekh and his sister/wife Nephthys were able to propel the capsule into space and stop Osiris from mentally projecting himself. He suffocated in the vacuum of space and was unable to project his mind over the great distances. While Isis was searching for Osiris, he was eventually able to project part of his mind into the pilot of her ship, giving birth to his psi-child Horus. (PROSE: The Sands of Time)
After the death of Osiris, Sutekh and Nephthys escaped to Earth, destroying Phaester Osiris along the way. The 740 remaining Osirans were led by Horus in battle against Sutekh, finally defeating him in Egypt. They could not stoop to Sutekh's level by killing him. They trapped Sutekh in Egypt, having a pyramid on Mars relay a beam to paralyse him, stopping him from moving or projecting his mind. They also set the methods to free himself just out of his reach in order to make the punishment that much more tortuous. (TV: Pyramids of Mars, PROSE: The Sands of Time)
Nephthys was also captured, but was thought more dangerous than Sutekh. Because of this, her mind was split up for safety. Her instincts were stored in a woman who was mummified alive, while her reasoning was stored in a canopic jar. Both of these were sealed up inside another pyramid.
In order to stop the criminals from escaping, the Osirans modified the civilisation of ancient Egypt. Between 8000 and 6000 BC, the Great Sphinx was built as a dispersal unit. They had the humans make the Pyramids, precisely made to be used to power the Osiran technology. The Pharaohs were changed, making them smarter and taller, so that they would follow the plan and build the proper pyramids. They also set up similar pyramids on Mars as receivers. They employed the alien Scaroth, the last of the Jagaroth race, to help design the pyramids and convinced him that it was needed to develop humanity. (PROSE: The Sands of Time)
Unfortunately, in 2000 BC, grave robbers broke into Nephthys' tomb. The canopic jar was broken, though her reasoning wasn't able to escape. It was decided that a new place was needed, so Nyssa was chosen as a host for Nephthys' mind, since she was of a pure mind and incapable of being bent to Nephthys' will. She was put into hibernation for the next 4,000 years. (PROSE: The Sands of Time)
Another account states that Sutekh killed Osiris and buried his corpse beneath a cache of Faction Paradox reproductive technology. The ruined technology interacted with Osiris' biomass and caused it to be remade in fractured and partial forms. (AUDIO: The Ship of a Billion Years)
With Osiris now gone, Sutekh laid claim to the court. His opponents, including Anubis and agents of Faction Paradox, attempted to reconstitute Osiris, but lacked one vital piece of his biodata. Cousin Eliza of the Faction offered herself as an alternative donor (AUDIO: The Ship of a Billion Years) and became the entity then known as Horus. (AUDIO: Words from Nine Divinities)
The court split between those who still trusted Sutekh and those who accepted Horus' divinity. In the resulting war, agents of both House Lolita and the War King influenced the factions, as the struggle for control of the Osiran court had become the lynchpin of their own power struggle for control of the Time Lord home planet Gallifrey. (AUDIO: Words from Nine Divinities)
The last of the Osirans Edit
In 1911, Sutekh was finally discovered by Marcus Scarman, and Sutekh was able to control him. He used Marcus and several service robots to construct a missile, with which he would destroy the pyramid on Mars, freeing him to destroy all life in the universe. Although his plan succeeded, he was stopped by the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith, who used the two minutes between the destruction of the Eye of Horus and its signal ceasing to extend the time corridor Sutekh was using to escape into the far future. (TV: Pyramids of Mars)
In 1996, Nyssa was set to awaken from her hibernation, allowing Nepthys' instinct- now restored in a clone of her original body- to reclaim her reasoning. Luckily, she had been switched with her double, the Lady Ann Cranleigh, to make it seem as if the reasoning had dissipated in 1926, the Doctor claiming that Nyssa had "woken up" into a more conventional coma at that point. The instinct then attempted to go back in time to when the reasoning had left, but soon ended up caught in a loop, travelling between 1926 and 1996 while acting purely on instinct, with no reason to realise what was happening to her, until the time differential eventually killed her as her repeated 140-year-round trips aged her to death. (PROSE: The Sands of Time)
In the 41st century, Sekhmet was awoken by trisilicate mining works. She killed Queen Elspera of Peladon, Princess Pandora of Earth and Princess Alixlyr of Mars and drank all their blood to break her blood locks. However, her attempt to kill the final lock, the temporally-displaced Earth pharaoh, Erimem, was stopped when Erimem poisoned her blood. Sekhmet was held in place by Alixlyr's twin brother, Prince Zixlyr, and Zixlyr killed Sekhmet with a Xanthoid volataliser. (AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon)
At some point, the Osirans created a gateway to enable them to depart their native universe for a higher one of four dimensions rather than three. Anubis was left behind by his comrades, both to oversee the gate and as a precaution against Sutekh's escape. The Tenth Doctor would later encounter him after Dorothy Bell merged with the Osiran quantum harvester. (COMIC: Spiral Staircase, Sins of the Father)
Behind the scenes Edit
Though the word Osiran is used consistently throughout Pyramids of Mars and the overwhelming majority of stories in other media, the novelisation to Pyramids favours the spelling "Osirian", as does the novel GodEngine.