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Doctor Who: Robot [1974] [DVD] [1963]

Tom Baker , Elisabeth Sladen    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
Price: 7.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Doctor Who: Robot [1974] [DVD] [1963] + Doctor Who: The Ark In Space - Special Edition [DVD] + Doctor Who - The Sontaran Experiment [1975] [DVD] [1963]
Price For All Three: 21.84

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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Ian Marter, Nicholas Courtney
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Jun 2007
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NVI2C4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,789 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Tom Baker's reign as the venerable British science fiction hero Doctor Who began with this four-part serial from 1974-75; it also marked the dawn of what was arguably the most popular period in the program's history. Written by Terrance Dicks, Robot also introduces the late Ian Marter as the Doctor's companion-to-be Harry Sullivan, a UNIT medic who is pulled into the adventure after treating the Doctor, who is recovering from his fourth regeneration (third Doctor Jon Pertwee appears briefly at the beginning of the first episode). Meanwhile, Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) and the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) investigate a series of robberies involving a top secret weapons project that seem to have been carried out not by humans, but a colossal object. Could the mysterious "Think Tank" and its robotics division be involved? Robot is a terrific launching point for "The Baker Years"--the star himself is charming and amusing, and the story itself is brisk, involving, and quite suspenseful at times. In short, it's an excellent point for Who newcomers to introduce themselves to this most well-loved of Doctors.

The single-disc DVD includes commentary by Baker, Sladen, Dicks, and producer Barry Letts, as well as a 40-minute documentary titled "Are Friends Electric?" which recalls the production of Baker's first serial via interviews with the cast and production team, including producer Phillip Hinchcliffe and director Christopher Barry. "The Tunnel Effect" is a 13-minute interview with graphic designer Bernard Lodge on how he created the memorable "infinite tunnel" titles for the Baker stories, and there's a clip from children's program Blue Peter, which was broadcast from the set of Robot. The by-now standard photo gallery, production notes, and a PDF of the Radio Times listings round out the extras. --Paul Gaita

Product Description

With the newly-regenerated Doctor (Tom Baker) behaving erratically, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT have to contend with the theft of the plans for the new disintegrator gun by what seems to be a mechanical monster. However, the theft is only the beginning of a plot to hold the world to nuclear ransom.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Begins. 23 April 2012
Tom Baker, at this point in his illustrious life was a bad tempered, chain smoking, irreligious, binge drinking, bricklayer on a construction site somewhere in London. Then he met Doctor Who's producer, Barry Letts, the man who would quite literally change his life forever and make Baker one of the most well-remembered and iconic people of the 20th century. Now, as a huge fan of the devilish Jon Pertwee and his 3rd incarnation of the titular character, I found Tom Baker quite different to say the least. As Mark Gatiss puts it in the preceding story's DVD release "Planet of the Spiders" main documentary, it took him some time to warm to this bizarre man and his portrayal of The Doctor and I felt quite the same. That said, Tom is an instant natural, his alien-esque-ness is evident from his first word and there is no doubt in my mind that Tom was born to play The Doctor. So then, after 5 years of Pertwee mania, Tom Baker fulfills his destiny by laying on the floor {trying not to laugh} and regenerating into the most exciting and popular Doctor we have seen to date.

As stated above, My Doctor is Jon Pertwee, but its almost two close to call between the two of them. The main reason I've always marked Tom's Doctor down is the fact that he just stayed too long and the stories were just becoming utter nonsense. The show goes on but Tom wanted to carry on carrying on with it, and so after 7 exhaustive years of new producers, new companions and 178 weeks of episodes to record, Tom departed the role that made him a true household name, in March 1981, {completely shattered I wouldn't wonder}. Anyway, that's 7 years away, I'm more interested in the first few stories that made Tom so infamous.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "The nose is a definite improvement..." 2 Jun 2007
By Hector Lerbioz VINE VOICE
To appreciate the effect Tom Baker's debut as Doctor number 4 in late December 1974 might have had on a contemporary audience, it's necessary to remember all the qualities that made up his predecessor's Doctor. Pertwee was dignified, aristocratic, smartly (if eccentrically) dressed and although occasionally ill-tempered and patronising was at least someone who would give a straight answer to a straight question. Suddenly, after 5 years of this Doctor (yes odd, but reassuring) from the leftist of left fields comes this scruffy, scarf-wearing, boggle eyed basket case who's apparently subject to massive mood swings and can't even sit or lie down in a conventional manner. At times he's just plain silly. One imagines that many people at the time would have just hated this new spin on a much loved TV hero.

However, it's established fact that Tom Baker became one of the most popular and iconic Doctors within a matter of serials and with hindsight it's easy to overlook the jarring change that had just taken place to the show. The writer of ROBOT, Terrance Dicks attempts to reassure the audience by wrapping up the potentially bitter pill of the change of leading man in the sugar coating of familiarity. A fairly uncomplicated plot heavily reliant on the staple ingredients of the Pertwee shows: UNIT, Sarah Jane's career as an investigative journalist, the Brigadier, a monster that is impervious to light artillery means that the audience is gently cajoled into accepting this bizarre stranger as the nation's favourite Time Lord. In fact, regulars Nicholas Courtney and Elizabeth Sladen do a terrific job here and ROBOT boasts some stalwart performances not only from them but also from Patricia Maynard and Edward Burnham - whose hairdo has to be seen to be believed.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but not a classic. 6 July 2007
This story is firmly situated in the middle of what I regard as the golden age of Who (1970-1977). However, it has to be said that it is a bit on the weak side. The special effects suffer from the usual 1970s CSO problems, and the model shots are particularly embarrasing (my wife laughed at the Sarah model & the tank). The plot itself is a mixture of King Kong, Beauty & the Beast and Frankenstein. The 'secret' SRS meeting in episode 3 is lifted wholesale from the Dicks/Hulke early Avengers story 'The Mauritius Penny' (Sarah substituting for Cathy Gale). However, there are some good moments, such as the post-regeneration scenes. The new Doctor comes across as being arrogant and self-congratulatory, something which seems to have been changed very soon afterwards.

The extras are entertaining & worth watching.

So overall this is one of the weakest pre-Invasion of Time stories, and not the greatest introduction to a new Doctor, but still well worth buying if you like the fourth incarnation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly Good! 24 Jan 2008
I didn't expect a lot from this tale but was pleasantly suprised to find that this is one of the best old school Doctor Who tales I have viewed in some time. Tom Baker is excellent as The Doctor and comes out of the starting blocks with a fully formed character right from the start.

I would reccomend this one to fans of the new series who would like to check out the old stuff as the feel is quite similar in tone. We have Sarah Jane Smith on her own quest much like the modern Sarah Jane Adventures and the Doctor's eccentric behaviour after his regeneration reminded me a lot of David Tennant's performance in 'The Christmas Invasion'. Harry is introduced to the team (yay) and the Brig is left behind as the doctor leaves earth at the end of episode 4.

Great extras, and it's interesting to listen to Tom Baker in the Commentary as it is the first time he has actually seen the show himself!

All in all - this is great fun and full of energy - well recommended!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great first adventure from Tom baker look forward to whats to come
Published 22 days ago by jamie machin
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of the great years
A great start to the Tom Baker era. The adventure contains all the great elements of Tom. I remember seeing it as a child and thoroughly enjoyed it,. Read more
Published 29 days ago by ctdlondon
1.0 out of 5 stars Defective DVD
Not a problem with the content, but after watching the other DVDs, we wanted to look this one up and none of our players were able to read it, our brand new LG player kept... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Marcel
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have for any fan
Tom baker's first story as the fourth doctor. Out of all the doctor's first storys this is easily my favorite. Read more
Published 5 months ago by joshuaconnor
5.0 out of 5 stars can,t beat the oldies
These dvds are great tom baker is brilliant and when the robot grows is so funny worth buying to take you back to your youth
Published 5 months ago by the reader
5.0 out of 5 stars doctor who _robot
My son was very happy with this DVD....he is 14 and has loved the return of doctor who and has been very interested in watching some of the past doctors....
Published 7 months ago by Mrs Joanne McBride
5.0 out of 5 stars For a Dr Who Addict
My granson will love this. Posted quickly. He is compiling all the episodes available of Dr Who, so I will be back.
Published 10 months ago by Janti
4.0 out of 5 stars Bring on your tin man
'And I hate mummies and daddies too!' quoth Michael Kilgarriff the only time I ever saw him live on stage; it was Stanley Baxter's Jack and the Beanstalk in Manchester 1978, and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Alex Lyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who - Robot (1974-1975) - Farewell to the 3rd Doctor and a...
In 28th of December 1974, Tom Baker came onto Doctor Who with great enthusiasm, and both producer Phillip Hinchcliffe and script editor Robert Holmes brought the new 4th Doctor to... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr G Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Building the series!
Any books on Dr Who appeal to my son, this series especially seems to appeal, he has never read so much!
Published 11 months ago by Ms. A. J. Longley
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