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


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Doctor Who: Robot [1974] [DVD] [1963] + Doctor Who: The Ark In Space - Special Edition [DVD] + Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks [DVD] [1975]
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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NVI2C4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,017 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The newly regenerated Doctor (Tom Baker), assisted by Sarah, Harry and the Brigadier, has to track down the theft of the components for a powerful new laser gun, and the death of a prominent politician. Sarah investigates the mysterious Think Tank, where it becomes clear that robot K-1 is being misused by its political extremist masters and the Doctor has to prevent the robot from being used to start an atomic war. Tom Baker's first story as the Doctor.

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Wilberforce on 4 Aug 2007
Format: DVD
Story: 3/5 - Extras: 4/5

"Robot", by Terrance Dicks, is a transitional story designed to ease the viewer from the earthbound UNIT era into the new era of the show, which would see the Doctor and his companion(s) freed from the established Earth ties of the Jon Pertwee years. The newly regenerated Doctor, played for the first time by Tom Baker, and established companion Sarah Jane Smith (Elisbeth Sladen) are joined in their travels by the old-fashioned and highly British UNIT medic Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter), a likeable character making his first appearance in this story.
The first episode is devoted partly to the aftermath of the Doctor's regeneration, with ample clownery by the boggle-eyed Tom Baker in his scenes with the exasperated Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), interspersed with Sarah Jane undertaking her own investigation into goings-on at the scientific organisation Think Tank. It is Sarah Jane's investigations at Professor Kettlewell's lab that leads the Doctor and UNIT into contact with the robot. After that, the robot takes centre stage in the story, along with its creator (an eccentric performance by a flyaway-haired Edward Burnham).
Unlike the Cybermen, however, the robot is a much more "human" creature, and we actually feel a certain amount of sympathy for the confused machine, as it wrestles with instructions to kill that are contrary to its prime directive. After Sarah shows it compassion, the story takes on "King Kong"-like overtones that play out in the story's crazy fourth episode (I shan't spoil it, but it involves some very bad CSO special effects!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Timelord-007 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Sep 2014
Format: DVD
Doctor Who: Robot (DVD).

DVD Info.
Format: PAL
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Region 2
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: U
Studio: 2entertain
Running Time: 98 minutes

Special Features.
· Commentary by Tom Baker, Elizabeth Sladen, Terrance Dicks & producer Barry Letts
· "Are Friends Electric?" Documentary
· "The Tunnel Effect" is a 13-minute interview with graphic designer Bernard Lodge
· Blue Peter, which was broadcast from the set of Robot
· Photo Gallery
· Production Notes
· Coming Soon Trailer

Cast.
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Companions
Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)
Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan)
Others
Nicholas Courtney -- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
John Levene -- RSM Benton
Edward Burnham -- Professor Kettlewell
Patricia Maynard -- Miss Winters
Alec Linstead -- Jellicoe
Michael Kilgarriff -- The Robot
Timothy Craven -- Short
Brian Fellows -- Soldier

Production
Writer - Terrance Dicks
Director - Christopher Barry
Script editor - Robert Holmes
Producer - Barry Letts
Season 12
Length - 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Originally Broadcast.
28 December 1974 - 18 January 1975

Trivia.
1)This story had the working title The Giant Robot.
2)This is the last time that the Third Doctor's lab is seen.
3)Benton is promoted to Warrant Officer. This is not reflected in the closing credits, which continue to give his rank as Sergeant.
4)This is the first story which makes note of the Brigadier's full name: Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Prior to this story, his middle name had never been revealed.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Hector Lerbioz VINE VOICE on 2 Jun 2007
Format: DVD
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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