The Shaak Taar temple
Sand Devil
Writer: Mark Gatiss
Story number: 5.8
Enemy: The Enemy of All Things
Setting: Shaak Taar
Format: 1x45 minute format
Previous Story: The Lonely Heart
Following Story: Time Slip

"Sand Devil" is the eighth episode of the fifth series of Doctor Who. It first aired on 28th August 2010.


I sense death within him. - Shaak Ziun.

The tribal people of Shaak Taar have finally made contact with their guardian and god, who channels itself through a young Shaak Tarrian. But the Doctor, Martha and Kale soon learn that this is not their god - but something of unquestionable evil.


Several tall alien creatures wearing tribal uniforms are standing behind an elder alien who is kneeling to an unknown idol. It asks for the 'spirit of Shaak Turri' to reveal itself. The idol is revealed to be a young male who seems to be possessed by some unknown force. The elder chants louder for Shaak Turri to arise. Soon, the screaming of the boy stops and suddenly speaks in a loud, booming and deep voice - proclaiming itself as Shaak Turri and that Shaak Tuk will now commence.

Within the TARDIS, the Doctor contemplates on where to go next. Kale suggested to turn on the 'Intuition circuits'. The Doctor gleefully does so and the TARDIS vioently shakes and makes a heavy jolt that knocks everyone to the ground. They pick themselves up and exit the TARDIS and find themselves in a desert planet, with a valley of huts in the distance. There was loud music and shouting from it and the Doctor, Martha and Kale decided to go check out the festivities.

Once they arrived, they found themselves within a mass of dancing, drinking and chanting around an enormous bonfire. Martha asked what the party was all for and one alien said it was to honour 'Shaak Turri'. The Doctor (and Kale) instantly knew that they were on Shaak Taar, a planet filled with alien devoted to a more primitive, tribal way of life but also were incredibley skilled in creating energy weapons without heavy use of machinery, using only complicated equations spoken fast enough that they could manipulate raw energy. These equations were mistaken as chanting. Shaak Turri, was apparently a god that existed within their star - Yamagel. The Doctor looked up and saw the black and yellow flames of their sun, and a look of dark realisation came to his eyes. Martha noticed this and questions him about it. The Doctor merely states that Yamagel is actually the fabled 'the Black Star'. At that point, a couple of robe wearing Shaak Tarrians approached the three and told them that Shaak Turri wanted to see them.

They arrived at a large temple, which was empty except for a throne and a large statue of what was possibly the 'true' appearance of Shaak Turri - which was a large humanoid with gigantic avian wings. On the throne was the possessed Shaak Tarrian. The elder then appeared, introducing himself as Shaak Deru, the elder and high priest of Shaak Taar. The boy is Shaak Krue, a young soldier who was apparently possessed a couple of days ago. The Doctor notes that they say Shaak Terru was once within Yamagel. A Shaak Tarrian general, Shaak Ziun, confirms this but appears a bit sceptical in his tone. Shaak Deru asks what species the Doctor was from, as they noticed that despite looking human, he knew a lot about Shaak Taar (Kale was clearly shown to be a Gandrian). After hearing he was a Time Lord, Deru changed tone and informed him that they know what was really within the Black Star. However, they still believe Shaak Terru exists, but within the planet itself, not the star. Martha asks why they would lie, to which Ziun says that they did so because they needed to 'drive something out' of the star, and the belief of the people that it was in Yamagel helped with that. The Doctor tells them that whatever is up there was a legend and that it does not really exist.

As the Doctor says this, Shaak Krue addresses the Doctor. It sounds less godly and more gravelly and demonic. It also states that it is ' very real'. Kale asks the Doctor if the creature is lying, but the Doctor darkly proclaims that this is - the Enemy of All Things. A malignant wraith of invisible destruction that devoured many galaxies in the Dark Times. It was the Time Lords who sealed it within the Black Star and left it to starve with a planet full of warriors acting as the Enemy's jailer. The Doctor stated that this was a history lesson on a myth and didn't think of it as real. The Enemy relished at the 'fall of the Time Lords' as the decimation of their race caused Yamagel's power to crumble slightly and release some of his destructive essence on Shaak Taar. The elders built this belief that their god was anrgy with being in the star and demanded release. Deru and the generals, including Xiun fashioned a way of driving out the mind of the Enemy and planting it in a mortal body and keep it there until they 'sacrifice' the body and finally kill the entity. The Doctor found this plan to be disgusting as it would cost the life of an innocent needlessly. Deru asserts that they tried to use himself as the vessel but the Enemy managed to possess an innocent boy as it might hinder their plans with compassion for the vessel.

The Enemy stated that it could kill them all with a single thought if it was within its own form. Deru stated the sacrifice was held as a way of 'releasing Shaak Terru' to defeat Yam Tukka, their form of the devil (which turned out to be the Enemy itself). He then attempted to stab Krue but the Enemy broke from its restraints and drained Deru of his life force and reduced him to bones. Xiun send a burst of energy to try to disintegrate the Enemy but it got away and then went out in public and proclaimed itself as Shaak Terru to the Shaak Tarrian crowds. They knelt before it and it stated that everyone should 'look inside his head' and recite the chant with him to defeat Yam Tukka. They complied and they were all chanting which sent out a burst of energy which created a beam which was bringing the flaming star, Yamagel closer to Shaak Taar. The Doctor states that they have to stop him because if he destroys the planet, he will send out enough 'destructive energy' (which he feeds on) to recreate his physical form and continue devouring the Universe. Xiun states that while the Shaak Tarrians chant and praise him, killing him now would send a riot which would kill innocent people. The Doctor looks on as the Enemy brings the blazing sun closer to the unsuspecting natives.



  • The design of the Enemy's apparent physical form was based on Gustave Doré's Depiction of Satan for Paradise Lost.
  • The Enemy is very similar to Fenric, however the Enemy clearly shows itself to have far more power as it took most of the Time Lords of the Dark Times to contain him.

See Also

Phoenix Saga - Series 5
Red Scar  • Prime  • Trial By Fire  • The Fear  • His Return  • Pentagram  • The Lonely Heart  • Sand Devil  • Time Slip  • Ripples In The Lake  • Ragnarok  • Tree Of Life  • Vengeance Sevenfold

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