75) ROBOT

28 December 1974 - 18 January 1975

Average Viewing Figure: 10.2M

Plot

Shortly after regenerating, The Doctor discovers a plan to hold the World to Ransom, as a series of mysterious burglaries leave the authorities baffled. The culprit couldn't possibly by a Giant Robot created by ThinkTank could it? 

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart)

Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Alec Linstead (Jellicoe), Patricia Maynard (Miss Winters)

Edward Burnham (Professor Kettlewell), Michael Kilgarriff (K-1 Robot), Timothy Craven (Short)

Uncredited Cast

Leslie Weekes, Nigel Stevens (UNIT Stretcher Bearers), John Scott Martin (Ministry of Defence Guard)

Pat Gorman (Think Tank Guard), Bill Bingham, Steve Rivers, David Parker, Fred Garratt, Norman Littlejohns, Allan Hinton

Douglas Read, Roger Squires, Christopher Carrington, Peter Isley, Gordon Wall, Brian Fellows, David Pelton, Brian Moorhead

Ian Young, Desmond Verini, David Patterson, David Playdon, Hugh Ward, Raymond Savage, Dennis Lycett, Allan Bicini

Norman Colson, Richard Martin, John Milner, George Bayliss, Geoff Franall (UNIT Soldiers)

Jay McGrath (SRS Scientist), Walter Goodman (Joseph Chambers MP), Clive Barrie (Think Tank Scientist [Phillips])

Terry Sartain (SRS Bouncer), Terry Walsh (Bouncer), Penny Lambirth, Elizabeth Broom, Nancy Adams, Maureen Nelson

Pamela Dale, Pat Pelton (SRS Audience), Ray Knight (UNIT Soldier [Bunker]

John East (Double for Robot [Hands]), Elizabeth Cassiday (Double for Sarah Jane Smith)

Crew

Terrance Dicks (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Bernard Lodge (Title Sequence),

Peter Grimwade (Production Assistant), George Gallaccio (Production Unit Manager)

Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound)

Nigel Wright, John Mason (Lighting), John Holmes, Trevor Webster, Vic Godrich (Sound)

Clifford Culley (Visual Effects Designer)

James Acheson (Costume Designer), Judy Clay (Make-Up), Robert Holmes (Script Editor), Ian Rawnsley (Designer)

Barry Letts (Producer), Christopher Barry (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Geoffrey Posner (Floor Assistant), Colin Reid (Senior Cameraman), Gordon Phillipson (Grams Operator), Derek Thompson (Technical Manager)

Ann Edward, Gail Fraser (Make-Up Assistants), Graham Giles, Fred Law (Vision Mixers), Dave Jervis (Inlay Operator)

Bob Varans (Props Buyer), Sarah Newman (Producer's Secretary), Joy Sinclair (Director's Assistant)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • BBC Engineering & Training Centre, Wood Norton, Here/Worc

  • BBC Wood Norton

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 7

Deaths

  • Professor Kettlewell [killed by the K-1 Robot]

  • K-1 Robot [disintegrates into rust metal]

  • Soldier [killed by K-1 Robot]

  • UNIT Soldier [killed by the K-1 Robot]

  • Reading Guard [killed by the K-1 Robot]

  • Joseph Chambers MP [killed by the K-1 Robot]

  • UNIT Soldier [stepped on by the K-1 Robot]

  • Soldiers [killed when their tank is destroyed by the K-1 Robot]

Production Days

  • 15 Days between Sunday 28 April - Thursday 24 October 1974

Production Errors

  1. When The Doctor chops a brick in half. It sound like balsa wood when falling to the ground

  2. After growing to giant size, the Robot's height is very inconsistent 

  3. After emerging from Professor's Kettlewell's lab, the Robot loses its footing and almost falls over

  4. Miss Winter's views on feminism don't accord with SRS' views on women [the two seem to have different agendas]

  5. Whilst stampeding through an area, the K1 robot is obviously holding a doll Sarah Jane Smith 

  6. After growing to full size the K1 Robot's legs keep vanishing

  7. When Sarah Jane beings reading the note The Doctor left for her in episode two, she begins reading it aloud with her own name, her name doesn't appear on the note. 

Working Titles

  • The Giant Robot 

Verdict

An action-packed thriller with a tall, rampaging Robot who is being controlled by a tyrannical group of humans who are hungry for power. The Fourth Doctor is introduced as a fun-loving, childish, eccentric goof-ball which will continue throughout his seven long years as the travelling Time-Lord. The plot takes a leisurely stroll with some sharp and witty writing and action-packed sequences right to the very end. Little by little the plot moves from one incident to another as The Doctor investigates and pieces the jigsaw together. The villains, intelligent scientists who use the titular Robot for their own greedy needs come across as weak juvenile delinquents who just cannot be told ‘no’ as an answer. Mrs Winters is perhaps one of the poorest humans villains of all time. Episode four seems totally disinterested in them that they are simply arrested never to be seen again. Really? They supposedly would not go down without a fight. The CSO and action set pieces are an improvement to previous years and the Robot itself is a marvel despite the obvious flaws. ‘His’ claws clearly could not harm anyone, and his shoulder plates are clearly falling off. You just have to love the efforts of the BBC. Despite some heretic moments Robot is an action-packed affair which sets off Baker’s tenure on the right path. ****