Region 1

(for North America)
Region 2

(for Europe)
VHS Video
(Doctor Who Story No. 75, introducing Tom Baker)
  • written by Terrance Dicks
  • directed by Christopher Barry
  • produced by Barry Letts
  • music by Dudley Simpson
  • 4 episodes @ 25 minutes each
Story: The Doctor transforms into his fourth incarnation at UNIT Headquarters. New companion Harry Sullivan is introduced, and joins Sarah, the Brigadier, and Sgt. Benton in helping the Doctor thwart the misuse of a large robot by a group of scientists at Thinktank. Led by icy guest villain Miss Winters, the Thinktank group plan to dominate the world with their strict new order.

DVD Extras include:

  • Audio commentary by Tom Baker (The Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), writer Terrance Dicks, and producer Barry Letts.
  • "Are Friends Electric?" making-of documentary (39 min.) adding Patricia Maynard (Miss Winters), Edward Burnham (Kettlewell),
    Michael Kilgarriff (The Robot), Alec Linstead (Jellicoe), director Christopher Barry, production unit manager George Gallaccio, and
    in-coming producer Philip Hinchcliffe.
  • "The Tunnel Effect" interview with title designer Bernard Lodge (14 min.)
  • Blue Peter segment from the sets of "Robot" (2 min.)
  • Pop-up Production Note Subtitles
  • Photo Gallery sound effects montage (4 min.)

Buyer's Guide Review

by Martin Izsak

(A more in-depth analysis, containing "SPOILERS" and intended for those who have already seen the program, can be accessed here.)

Although this is a thoroughly fun and enjoyable tale, North American TV stations often call upon "Robot" to act as a surrogate "pilot" story for Doctor Who, and it is somewhat lacking in this respect. Instead of introducing the Doctor as a whole character, the script focuses more on how the fourth version now played by Tom Baker will be different from his predecessors. The key vehicle of the series - the TARDIS - also remains unexplained and poorly demonstrated, particularly the interior.

The fourth Doctor does fair excellently when he gets to confront the current challenge of investigating the Robot. The story also benefits from the larger cast of regulars and the UNIT atmosphere. Though much of the action could have been blocked out a little tighter, the ambitious sequences in the final episode are far more satisfying than many similar ones in "The Daemons" (story no. 59).

Dudley Simpson's musical score for this story is quite creative and more memorable than usual. As with so many of his Doctor Who scores, the original recordings have been lost, and this music is only available as part of the final audio mix on the video.

While being classic for its humour and its position as Tom Baker's first story, this tale is not big on dramatic tension or the exposition key to understanding the world of Doctor Who.

This story has become available on DVD and VHS video. Click on the Amazon symbol for the location nearest you for pricing and availability:
DVD NTSC Region 1
for the North American market:
in the U.S.
in Canada
DVD PAL Region 2
for the U.K.
VHS Video
NTSC in the U.S.
PAL for the U.K.

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Read the Buyers' Guide Review for the next story: "The Ark in Space"

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