Doctor Who: Robot (Story #75)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Tom Baker takes the stage as the Doctor

Baker's still finding his feet in this episode


Introducing the Doctor (Version 4.0)

There’s a new Doctor (Tom Baker) in town!  When the Doctor (Jon Pertwee) sustains mortal injuries, he undergoes his fourth regeneration to become the new Doctor.  As the new Doctor adjusts to his body, he and Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) find themselves on the trail of a killer which leads them to an inventor Professor J.P. Kettlewell (Edward Burnham) and his robot at the Think Tank.  When it is revealed that the robot is in control of the Think Tank director Hilda Winters (Patricia Maynard), the Doctor and Sarah Jane must stop the out of control robot.

Doctor Who:  Robot kicks off the twelfth season of Doctor Who by introducing the new Doctor.  It was a four episode serial running from December 28, 1974 to January 18, 1975.  It followed Doctor Who:  Planet of the Spiders and has released as part of The Tom Baker Years collection of DVDs.  It is listed as Story #75.


Now, who the hell are you again?

Robot represents the first appearance of what would be considered one of the most popular Doctors of the Doctor Who series.  Tom Baker’s Doctor really enveloped what made Doctor Who great.  His natural curiosity seemed to come out, but here, Baker seems to really be finding the direction of the character.  He does establish his trademark look with the colored scarf, trench coat, and floppy hat.  He is a little too goofy and over-the-top in this collection.

Regenerations are always fun because it allows the Doctor to have new interactions with characters he already knows like Sarah Jane and the Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney).  It is just a really smart writing technique by the original creators to get past time and cast changes without restarting the series.  While current series deal a lot with how the companion characters deal with the change, here they just accept it at face-value.  Doctor Who:  Robot also represents the joining of Sarah Jane and the Doctor with Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) as a companion.


Damn…Everytime I think hanging with the Doctor can’t get worse

The robot of Doctor Who:  Robot is pretty goofy.  It looks like a kid made it and moves really badly.  It gets really fun in the last act when it gets super-sized (and suddenly becomes blue-screened).  It isn’t a bad story, with betrayals, etc., but it is pretty rocky with the new Doctor, the bad looking robot, and re-establishing relationships.  I do like the maniacal Hilda and the crazy looking Professor Kettlewell.

This is a must for fans of Doctor Who simply because of the introduction of one of the greatest Doctors.  Doctor Who:  Robot is unbalance but fun…make an effort to see this episode if you are a fan of the series.  Doctor Who:  Robot is followed by Doctor Who:  The Ark in Space.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Planet of the Spiders (Story #74)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Ark in Space (Story #76)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response