3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Begins.
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...
Published 19 months ago by M.B.E. Of Tooting
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but not a classic.
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 &...
Published on 6 July 2007 by Greg
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fabulous Baker Boy,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  (DVD)Whilst the Doctor is recovering from the effects of his regeneration, someone or something is stealing components for a dangerous disintegrater gun. Once he recovers, The Doctor helps the Brigadier in trying to find the culprit. A very large footprint is the only real clue. Meanwhile, Sarah Jane is investigating the National Institute for Advanced Scientific Research, and when she sneaks back in later, she discovers a huge robot which communicates with her. The trail leads to the robot's creator Professor Kettlewell, a sinister orgainsation called the Scientific Reform Society, and ultimately the threat of a nuclear war...
This is a very enjoyable debut story for Tom Baker. He fits effortlessly into the part, and is a joy especially in the scenes where The Doctor attempts to come to turns with his new appearance. Of course there was another debutant in this story. Ian Marter, who played U.N.I.T Medical Officer Harry Sullivan makes his first appearance here, although Marter had previously appeared in the Third Doctor story 'The Carnival Of Monsters'. Of the guest stars, well Edward Burnham is terrific as the outwardly scatty Kettlewell and Patricia Maynard is suitably icy as Miss Winters.
The main problem with this story is that it feels very much a leftover from Jon Pertwee's era. Not a problem in itself, but the Earthbound story with the heavy involvement of U.N.I.T was very much a staple plot for the previous Doctor's tenure, and it was important that with the next story 'The Ark In Space', a new era had arrived properly. The feel of the previous era the story has is not suprising considering outgoing show producer Barry Letts was still in charge at this point.
The design of the robot is a bit of a triumph. Not so much in the mixture of Giant Robot and models towards the end of the fourth episode. Especially silly is the Sarah Jane doll. This is a minor grumble, however, in a story with an excellent script from Terrance Dicks full of sparkling dialogue and fascinating concepts such as the robots inability to comprehend the altering of its prime objectives leading to its eventual 'madness'.
A very enjoyable story that was not only a showcase story for the new Doctor but a very interesting little tale in its own right. Nice, cosy commentary from Tom Baker, Liz Sladen and writer Dicks.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Doctor, new dangers,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  (DVD)Tom Baker's first story in the role of Doctor Who, a four parter broadcast from late 1974 to early 1975, is presented here on a single disc dvd.
After years of the Doctor being part of UNIT, the transition between Doctor's was made easier for the viewers by keeping the format much the same. Once recovered from the change, the Doctor helps the Brigadier investigate thefts of valuable material and murders of prominent scientists. All clues point to a group of elite scientific minds who have their own agenda for the future of humanity. And an experminental robot. The latter is being given conflicting programming that betrays it's original purpose and makes it more dangerous than it would be otherwise.
And time could be running out for the world as people know it, unless the Doctor can save the day...
Never dwelling on the regeneration for as long as some other first stories for new doctors have done, this doctor isn't up and running immediately, but after a few amusing scenes in part one to show he's now ready and needs to choose an outfit, he's soon out there investigating. Tom Baker makes an instant impression creating a totally unpredicatable character and you can never be sure what he will do next. It's a commanding performance.
There are a few nice character moments in part one as the other regulars react to the change. The story also introduces Doctor Harry Sullivan. UNIT medic played by Ian Marter, he also becomes a companion for the Doctor. Harry is somewhat uptight and a little bit of a fish out of water but very well meaning, and he's a very appealing and well played creation.
The second episode isn't as pacy as the others. And the third has a very long reprise. There is also one rather misjudged use of a model in part three. But the supporting cast of characters are all decent creations. And so is the robot, who is a very three dimensional character.
At the end the TARDIS heads off into the unknown once again. A whole new era began here. And this was a good way to start it.
This is a single disc dvd.
The only language and subtitle options are in english.
It has a photo gallery of pictures from the story and it's production.
Production information subtitles.
A commentary from Tom Baker, the scriptwriter, and Elisabeth Sladen who played Doctor's companion Sarah Jane.
The radio times listings for the story can be found on the disc as PDF Files.
Other extras are a thirty nine minute long documentary about the making of the story and the start of this era for the show. It's very involving and very good.
A fourteen minute long look at the creation of the title sequence used for this season of the show.
And two minutes from an edition of the children's show blue peter that was recorded on the set of this story due to the usual blue peter studio not being available.
For an easter egg, watch the disc on a computer and move the pointer over the doctor who logo in the top left of the main menu screen. This will then light up. Click it and you will get to see the bbc announcements from before the original broadcast of part one and the end of part four.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Workman-Like Start,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  (DVD)This was the first of Tom Baker's stories so obviously, no-one had any knowledge of how Tom would develop the role.
There's little evidence of the eccentricity that he would bring to the role very quickly after this and that had attracted the production staff to him in the first place. Sarah, as always, was in fine fettle as she investigated the mysterious disappearing equipment and we're introduced to Ian Marter as permanent companion Harry Sullivan who actually gets to play the role in a serious fashion - later stories would see him sinking to Mickey like comedic side kick.
There are a number of interesting extras ranging from how the new Doctor was cast and the rest of the cast assembled round him to how the various title sequences were constructed (this *was* interesting - honest!).
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Introducing Tom Baker,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  (DVD)First broadcast in 1974, Robot was the story that would introduce the 4th and longest serving Doctor Who, as memorably played by Tom Baker. Despite its important role in Doctor Who's history, Robot is not one of the better debut stories for a new Doctor. It lacks the excitement and grittiness of Jon Pertwee's debut, Spearhead from Space. It certainly is nowhere near as stronger opener as the debut stories of the most Doctor's were, although is still superior to Sylvester McCoy's dire opener, Time And The Rani, and Colin Baker's much maligned The Twin Dilemma. In introducing a new Doctor, the outgoing production team opted for a fairly straight forward story, clearly influenced by King Kong. In tone and style it is rather like a later Jon Pertwee story, and it is in no way reflective of the more adult horror style programme that it would become under the leadership of Philip Hinchcliffe, who would make his debut with the very next adventure. It is generally accepted that Jon Pertwee's last season was the weakest of his 5 year run, by the this point the concept of The Doctor working for the army UNIT in modern day Earth and helping to prevent aliens or organisations taking over the Earth had runs its course and the series certainly needed a new direction which as stated Hinchcliffe would bring in. Robot can be seen then as the beginning of the end for the Unit era. The organisation would feature only 3 more times after Robot during Tom Baker's tenure, disappearing completely and not even getting mentioned during the latter part of his era. Tom Baker himself was a largely unknown out of work actor when he was appointed to the role, working on a building site when he was offered the position. It is hard today to imagine one of the top parts in television been offered to an actor the public are unaware of. Tom Baker gives an energetic performance similar to how he would play the role during the comedy influenced Graham Williams's era. After the suave and sophisticated Jon Pertwee, it is hard to imagine what the public would have made of Tom Baker's somewhat scruffy, Doctor, with his long scarf and coat. We are also introduced to a new companion, Harry Sullivan, excellently portrayed by the late Ian Marter. Harry was brought into the series, in case the new Doctor was played by an older actor, allowing Harry to take on the action sequences. Although of course the appointment of the relatively young Tom Baker, meant that he could undertake such sequences.
As well as the story itself, as usual there are some excellent additional documentaries on the disc.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the TARDIS Mr Baker...,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  (DVD)I already own this and found it thrilling and exciting especially when the Robot starts to grow bigger but to find out how the Doctor destroys it you will have to buy this DVD watch it and find out.
I would recommend this DVD to any Doctor Who fan as it marks the debut for Tom Bakers time in the TARDIS.
I wouldn's say this is the best story but it is a must have for Doctor Who fans of all ages...
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Begins!,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  (DVD)That's right, Tom baker's era as The Doctor begins here. This is back when Tom baker was an un-heard of actor, struggling for any role at the time.
Robot, as a story, works very well with the 'mostly' convincing effects. I was never much a fan of Terrance Dick's writing on Doctor Who. However, here, Dick's pens a truely brilliant opening story for Baker. The contrast from Pertwee is immediate and a chemestry between Baker and Sladen is almost immediately established.
Robot is a quaint and rewarding story, showing from the (very) later days of The Doctor's career with UNIT. Also, just as a point, watch out for the action man 'tank' at the end of Part Three. It's BBC budgeting at its absolute best.
The Documentary, 'Are Friends Electric' is a good, thirty-nine minute affair, pading out the extras nicely. I'm sure after such a good serial as Robot, extras can only seem like a 'sweetener'.
So, finally, all to be said is: 'Enjoy Baker's first day'.
5.0 out of 5 stars For a Dr Who Addict,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  (DVD)My granson will love this. Posted quickly. He is compiling all the episodes available of Dr Who, so I will be back.
5.0 out of 5 stars Building the series!,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  (DVD)Any books on Dr Who appeal to my son, this series especially seems to appeal, he has never read so much!
4.0 out of 5 stars Prime Directive - I must watch this DVD.,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  (DVD)Not a bad story to introduce Tom Baker's Doctor. The Robot does provide for some thrilling moments particularly those where it advances on Sarah and the Doctor. That said, the story I feel is let down dreadfully by some awful sfx (the tank scene!!). I know it was made on a tight budget but the sfx did it no favours. The story as usual is rescued by the performances of the cast. Baker quickly makes the part his own, ably supported by Sladen, Courtney, and Marter. Patricia Maynard makes an excellent villain, Alec Linstead is good as her side-kick. Edward Burnham makes his 2nd and final appearance in the show (previously in the last Troughton Cyberman story "The Invasion") as the dotty Professor Kettlewell. (As far as I know Edward Burnham is still alive - he must be in his 90's now if he is). And last but by no means least, Michael Kilgarriff as the eponymous Robot.
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Baker's First Adventure as Dr Who. Corny but Good.,
This review is from: Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  (DVD)To me Tom Baker is Dr Who; it was he who was the incumbent Time Lord when I was a kid and enjoying watching these episodes every week. Back then they seemed all the more real and, in some species, frightening. Watching them now I realise how dreadful some of the acting was (not, I am glad to say on the part of Mr Baker), and the sets and special effects are pretty lame (watch for the action man tank!), yet it still has a nostalgic magic to it.
In this set of 4 twenty-five minute episodes we see the Dr battling a dangerous robot who has been ordered to steal Top Secret equipment and information for a crack-pot "we want to rule the world" organisation.
This was Tom Baker's first outing as Dr Who and for me will always stick in my memory as the real Dr Who. I hate the way the series has gone today; too much showy special effects and poor choices of actors playing the part of Dr Who. Still, I guess the kids of today who like the current Dr Who will say the same thing later in their lives about the then Dr Who.
There are a few extras on this DVD; commentary by Tom Baker and other members of the cast, a short documentary on Tom Baker's introduction as Dr Who and the making of his first Time Lord adventure. There is also an insight into the making to the famous `time tunnel effect' seen in the opening sequences of the Tom Baker episodes. The visual quality of the programmes themselves is good considering the age of the episodes.
For those of you who enjoyed watching Dr Who as a kid in 1974-1981, and to the die hard Dr Who fan, this DVD will be a great addition to your DVD library.
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Doctor Who - Robot  [DVD]  by Tom Baker (DVD - 2007)