A cliche of Dr Who is of children ducking behind the sofa at the approach of the Daleks. Whilst it would doubtless seem cheesy to a generation of children bought up on Pokemon and gun toting computer games, the image of the totally impersonal robots, with blank faces and bland voices unchanging when they commit their murders, is one that deserves to be recognised as truly scary. 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.
One by one, the crew of a huge sandminer on an alien world are being systematically butchered by an unknown slaughterer. Leela + the Doc are treated with the utmost suspicion by the few survivors upon their arrival, but the Doctor is able to reveal the true killers - the crew's robotic servants. Someone has bypassed the three laws of robotics (one being that a robot can never allow harm to come to a human), allowing them to reprogramme the droids into massacring machines. Teaming up with a secret agent and an undercover company robot, the Doc sets out to find out who... 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! James
What can i say this story is truly a Dr Who classic. Louise Jamieson shines as new companion Leela and the story presents a stage of the Dr/Leela relationship where Baker's Doctor is warmer than what is to come. the dialogue is sharp witty and clever. Great characterisation all round. With a stronge supporting cast including the delightful Pamela Salem. The elegant killers in this story will send a shiver down your spine.
I watched my tape of Robots of Death again last night. Such a tightly focussed story! The Doctor and Leela (who must be one of the sexiest characters on British TV ever) land on a huge mining vessel crossing the sands of a desert planet. They quickly become caught up in a series of ongoing murders; someone is trying to finish off the crew. Clearly as outsiders they come under suspicion. Its superb stuff from beginning to end and its a shock to recall that at one time Saturday early evening TV rose to this level of intelligence and above all imagination. The depiction of a futuristic, technological society is very colourful (the costumes are amazing) and the action dramatic and exciting. For Whovians, you even get to see the alternative control room which looked very convincing. In some ways it is more atmospheric than the normal one. I strongly recommend this to anyone as it will give a good idea of how strong British TV SF can be given a chance.
This is one of the classics. It has a brilliant storyline, the action is at a fast pace, and the Robots are very scary despite their soft calm voices. Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are both at their brilliant best. This is an enjoyable episode from start to finish, and I would recommend it to any Dr Who fan. A great episode.