‘The Robots of Death’ (TV)

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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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2 thoughts on “‘The Robots of Death’ (TV)

  1. Love the pic with Louise mate she’s very kind to her fans.

    This is a bonafide classic basically Agatha Christie in space, Tom Baker gives a phenomenal performance as the Doctor & dominates every scene he’s in, Louise Jameson is wonderful as Leela & i like the teacher/pupil relationship she has with the Doctor.

    I love the robots voices the “you will kill the doctor” line chills my bones because it’s said so calmly & the depressed Vox robot has me in hysterics every time i watch this classic story.

    Another well executed review Tim, you nailed the tone of this story perfectly mate & i thoroughly enjoyed rading your review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Timelord Simon.

    Glad you like my pic with Louise Jameson. She’s very nice to me and knows my name now at conventions like Sarah Sutton and Sophie Aldred do.

    I liked this story, being a Agatha Christie styled murder mystery. It works well as a story and I used a similar story-telling like this one in my own fan fiction with the Fifth Doctor; Nyssa and Billy called ‘The Space Hotel’.

    I enjoyed Tom Baker and Louise Jameson as the Doctor and Leela in this one too. They both interact with each other very well and have some great scenes when they’re on their own or together in solving the mystery. I liked the end scene when Leela spoke like a mouse and the Doctor kept calling her a mouse at the end. That was funny.

    I liked the robots in this story too. I enjoyed that ‘Robophobia’ documentary with Toby Hadoke and when he had a Voc robot working for him. In the story, it was funny when D84 kept saying ‘I heard a cry’ and the Doctor told him, ‘That was me!’

    Thanks for your comments, Simon. Glad you enjoyed my thoughts on this story; how I rated it and am pleased you found I ‘nailed’ this story in my review. Tim. 🙂


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