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Unique ID Code: 0000010782
Added by: DVD Reviewer
Added on: 12/11/2000 23:02
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Doctor Who: The Robots Of Death (UK)

8 / 10
5 votes cast
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Inline Image

The Tom Baker years 1974-81
Certificate: PG
Running Time: 95 mins
Retail Price: £19.99
Release Date:

On a distant, barren planet, Storm Mine 4 trawls across bleak deserts and through fierce duststorms in search of rare and valuable metals. Onboard the Sandminer is a small skeleton crew, who alternate between indulgent relaxation and skilled mining work. The mundane, day-to-day duties of the mine are attended to by a much larger compliment of servile robots.

This is a society that is dependent on robots for all areas of life, the people comforted by the knowledge that the strictest safeguards are built into each and every robots programming. So when one of the miner crew is murdered, suspicion fails on two new arrivals...

The Doctor and Leela arrive on board, and are immediately accused of being the prime murder suspects. But the Doctor soon realises that perhaps the killer isn`t human. More deaths occur - can he persuade the remaining crewmembers that the killer may be a robot.

Special Features:
Interactive Menus
Scene Access
Writer and Producer`s Commentary
Photo Gallery
Model Shots
Plans of the set

Video Tracks:
Standard 1.33:1

Audio Tracks:
Dolby Digital Mono English

Subtitle Tracks:
CC: English

Tom Baker


Your Opinions and Comments

9 / 10
This is an excellent Dr Who story with good video quality for something that`s over 20 years old. A fair amount of extras with good sound. If your a Dr Who than get this. I cannot wait for the Spearhead from Space and Remberence of the Daleks to come out on DVD.
posted by David Garner on 14/11/2000 23:59
9 / 10
I must say I`ve had this disc for a while now and is a good buy on my part. Being a Doctor Who fan I will be biased in my review. The restoration team pick a solid Tom Baker outing and as such expose it onto DVD. The picture is reasonably good and sound clearer than the VHS version I have as well.

The Leela companion played by Louise Jameson is probably one of the best and one of Chris Bouchers finest stories to date.

The extras are lacking in imagination but the menus are impressive. The commentary is boring but never the less worth listening to.

Overall a must buy.
posted by D.stent on 29/3/2002 11:16
9 / 10
The Robots of Death was the first release in the series of BBC Worldwide Doctor Who DVD releases after the market was tested with The Five Doctors. Commercially it was a smart move as it is one of the most-popular four-part stories, features the most recognisable actor to have played the part (Tom Baker), and comes from the period when the show was at its peak in the public consciousness.

It is a strong story though its appeal as a murder mystery is perhaps a little overstated (it is obvious who is orchestrating things - instead we follow the Doctor trying to deduce what is occuring). Principally this is down to a cracking Chris Boucher script (Boucher was one of the driving forces behind Blakes Seven, another British sci-fi legendary series). That script is superbly realised by the director and designer who give the location a bizarre yet effective art deco look (probably inspired by the Agatha Christie elements of the script - the story is based upon the story "Ten Little Indians").

The final piece of the puzzle is the acting talent which is certainly there in force here with Russell Hunter being a central driving force to the story and the regulars, Baker and Louise Jameson, turning in some of their best performances of their tenure with the show. It all comes together in what is definitely one of the strongest stories of the period. It is great then that we get a commentary with the writer and producer of the story in which they explain the artistic decisions made (for instance we learn that the art deco look was far from intended but that the producer felt it was so striking that they ought to go with it). It`s dry certainly, but there`s a lot of information packed in here and was good for a relatively early effort in the DVD series.

The other extras are sadly much poorer. The photo gallery is a click through selection of stills which take up a small fraction of the screen, there are ten minutes or so of model sequences (again far from essential and pretty geeky to be honest) and some fairly interesting but hardcore zoomable studio floor plans. The inadequacies of the extras though are only a small detraction from one of the finest stories of Doctor Who ever produced.

To finish on a point of note - I have rated video and audio for the quality we might reasonably expect of television of this age - the soundtrack is mono and the visual clean-up is very good indeed.
posted by Aidan Brack on 19/2/2005 05:16