‘THE ROBOTS OF DEATH’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Best of the Doctor with Robots
I love ‘The Robots of Death’!
It’s one of my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ stories with Tom Baker as the Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela. It’s a great classic adventure from the series that is a murder mystery adventure with robots.
I’ve had the special edition DVD cover of ‘The Robots of Death’ signed by Louise Jameson, at the ‘Pandorica 2014’ convention in Bristol, September 2014. Louise is a lovely lady to meet and chat to.
This story was originally released on DVD in 2000. The DVD was appalling with badly designed menus and very few special features. I’m glad they re-released the story in the ‘Revisitations 3’ DVD box set.
‘The Robots of Death’ is a four-part story by Chris Boucher. Chris wrote Leela’s debut in ‘The Face of Evil’. ‘The Robots of Death’ was produced by Phillip Hinchcliffe and was directed by Michael E Briant.
The Doctor and Leela visit a huge sandminer on a deserted alien world. They meet the human crew and are drawn into a murder mystery as the crew get killed off one by one by their robot servants.
This story has elements of Agatha Christie in it as it has elements from the novel called ‘And Then There Were None’. The story also makes use of the first three laws of robotics made by Issac Asimov.
Tom Baker as the Doctor is really good. I enjoyed how he and Leela are accused for murder and he points out that the robots could have done it. I liked it when the Doctor knows about Robophobia.
Louise Jameson as Leela is equally good. I liked her first scene in the TARDIS with the yoyo. My favourite moment is when the Doctor explains why the TARDIS is big inside and Leela says ‘it’s silly’.
The murder suspects are as follows. There’s Russell Hunter as Commander Uvanov; Pamela Salem as Toos; David Collings as Poul; David Bailie as Dask; Brian Croucher as Borg; Tania Rogers as Zilda; Tariq Yunus as Cass and Rob Edwards as Chub. Could one of these people be the murderer aboard the sandminer?
The ‘robots of death’ are splendid! The Sandminer Robots have the look of Edwardian servants. They have elegant and unnerving voices and sound so polite and friendly, before they’re about to kill you.
The DVD special features are as follows. There’s a making-of documentary called ‘The Sandmine Murders’. There’s also an amusing documentary called ‘Robophobia’ about robots, presented by Toby Hadoke.
There’s also a ‘studio sound’ scene; ‘model shots’; a ‘studio floor plans’ and a ‘continuity’ announcement and slide. There’s also a photo gallery and a ‘Radio Times Listings’ PDF of the story.
There are two commentaries. The first is with producer Phillip Hinchcliffe and writer Chris Boucher and the second is with Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Pamela Salem and director Michael E. Briant.
There’s also an info-text commentary option to enjoy and a ‘coming soon’ trailer for ‘The Face of Evil’ with Tom Baker and Louise Jameson. I’m impressed with the special edition of ‘The Robots of Death’.
I’ve enjoyed ‘The Robots of Death’. It’s definitely one of my favourite stories from the Tom Baker era as well as ‘City of Death’. This is such a great story full of murder-mystery and intrigue with robots.
Just be careful you don’t have a robot serving you in the house!
‘The Robots of Death’ rating – 10/10
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