- Actors: Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Michael E. Briant
- Format: VHS
- Studio: BBC
- VHS Release Date: 13 Feb. 1995
- Run Time: 91 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00004CIQT
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,766 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Doctor Who - The Robots of Death  [VHS] 
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Another adventure for everyone's favourite Time Lord. The Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela find themselves under suspicion of murder when the TARDIS lands on a Sandminer, a craft designed to mine valuable ores on alien planets. The vessel is manned by a huge staff of robots and a handful of humans, who are being killed off one by one. After preventing an attempted sabotage of the miner, the Doctor realizes that someone has managed to override the robots' programming, turning them into relentless killer machines.
By Tom Baker's third season in the role the actor had become firmly established in the minds of many fans as the definitive Doctor. First broadcast in early 1977, "Robots of Death" follows on directly from "Face of Evil", which was writer Chris Boucher's debut and also that of Louise Jameson's Leela, the Doctor's most shapely companion (a kind of Neanderthal Seven of Nine if you will). Boucher's second Who story concerns an isolated mining ship on which a series of inexplicable deaths take place--although as the Doctor opines, "nothing is inexplicable, only unexplained". The Doctor and Leela inevitably become embroiled in events, which soon turn into a sci-fi murder-mystery: imagine Isaac Asimov crossed with Agatha Christie in a Frank Herbert Dune-like setting. Add an undercover robot sent by "the company" and the claustrophobic, not to say deadly setting of the mining ship and there is a fascinating foreshadowing of Alien, too. It is tightly plotted, intelligent Saturday teatime entertainment (something that was possible then but is now an unthinkable oxymoron) with a typically strong cast of redoubtable thesps in supporting roles (not to mention extravagant costumes and garish make-up). There may be no Daleks or Cybermen, but this is vintage Who nevertheless.. --Mark Walker
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Nothing to do with the episode I know, but I as absolutely astonished by the amount of packaging for a single DVD! (Check the pic)
That apart, even the special effects don't let the story down too much, as they aren't the driving force behind this classic, and the Terra cotta army like robots are used to excellent effect.
Anyone actually DISLIKE this story? It's universally recognised as one of Doctor Who's all time greats, with the Voc Robots coming over as truly chilling, speaking in their calming voices as they are asphyxiating someone. The characters are great (and for once we have actors from ethnic minorities), with Toos and Uvanov standing out particuarly, and it was with this story that Louise Jameson really gets into her stride as Leela. The real star, though, is the incredible incidental music which accompanies the assassinations, being both classy and chilling. So, what are ya waiting for? Order it now!
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