View Poll Results: How would you rate Robots of Death?

Voters
17. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: Please do not throw hands at me

    10 58.82%
  • 9: If people see you mean them no harm, they never hurt you... nine times out of ten...

    5 29.41%
  • 8: Now you're showing off

    1 5.88%
  • 7: Traces of Lucanol!

    0 0%
  • 6: You did it Uvanov!

    0 0%
  • 5: Do not kill me!

    0 0%
  • 4: V6, I am not the Doctor

    0 0%
  • 3: A bit garish for my tastes

    1 5.88%
  • 2: The second principle os humans can't harm robots.

    0 0%
  • 1: The classic example of the inverse ratio between the size of the brain and the size of the mouth

    0 0%
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  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: Robots of Death



    On Storm Mine 4 the unthinkable happens... the robots turn on their human masters. Death stalks the crew, as one by one they are marked for death.

    What do you think of this Season 14 adventure?

  2. #2
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    Just one of the greats. Other than maybe a couple of the lesser guest actors not being very good, I don't think I'd want to change anything about this one. I remember the first murder from watching it as a kid, and those robots.... Just a great example of script, design, direction, acting (most of it!) coming together.

  3. #3
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    I've given it a nine - purely because there's a few confusing moments. (Though this may be because I've only seen the VHS edited-together version).

    Everything else is wonderful. The design is as expensive as it needs to be to tell the story, which is a long way round of saying it looks great. The sandminer looks wonderful, far more effort and thought has been put into the sets than usual.

    I'd love to see this for the first time again - I remember the murder mystery aspect really kept me guessing at the time!

  4. #4

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    It's a 10! And you know what that means...

    1. FIRST DR WHO VIDEO!

    AirrrrrRRRR/ Dibbiid dit derbbiider/ derburder derbiider derburder derbiider /derburder derburder /Dibbiid dit derbbiider/ derburder derbiider!

    2. NOT ONLY WILL THE FUTURE BRING ROBOTS! IT WILL BRING ROBOTS... FROM ESSEX!

    "Kiwll!.. Kiwll!... Kiwll!..."

    3. AND THE WINNER OF THE BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR... DAVID COLLINGS!

    "NO! Puh-Please no! Ohhhh!"

    4. IT MADE MY COUSIN CRY TEARS OF FEAR WHEN I SHOWED HIM THE VIDEO WHEN HE WAS STILL AN INFANT!

    Cousin: What's going to happen?
    Me: Oh the Doctors going to get his brains melted out by a laser probe.
    Cousin: (Slowly raising in alarm) I don't think I want to see this?...
    (The 1977 BBC visual effects do their magic as Tom Baker does his silent in pain acting. Nephew in floods and this is noticed by his mother who asks me to take the video off which I do so he could watch a video of MASK, which amazingly seems more violent!)

    5. I FIRST HEARD OF IT MENTIONED IN PRIMARY SCHOOL!

    Ok, it was the late 70's a few years later, but in a primary school play session we looked through catalogue and saw Doctor who toys. A child next to me says "I like the one where the robot goes 'Give me your neck!' ". I had no idea what he was talking about until all those years later when I saw the video. I never saw this at the time. But seeing the cover reminded me of this conversation, so that made me start buying the videos.

    6. LOOKING TO BULLY YOUR YOUNGER SISTER? USE THE UVANOV METHOD!

    Me: Go to bed, now! That... is an or-der!
    Her: (The second time I did it) Stop doing Robots of Death! *more tears

    (QVC CHANNEL THAT SOMEHOW EXISTED IN ALTERNATE LATE 80'S HOSTED BY COMMANDER UVANOV.)
    UVANOV: Of course, this foolproof method is only effective until your sister manages to see The Robots Of Death properly and put two and two together. No money back guaranteed!

    7. SHOCK TWIST!

    Probably the strongest shock twist I can remember from Tom Baker's era. Some of you might have seen it coming. Was going to quote it but hopefully you'll know what sequence I'm referring to. (It involves a lot of banging against a door)

    8. THE SANDMINER!

    Fantastic model landscape. The Sandminer on it's own deserves a point at least for it's design. The use of limited robot costumes is handled excellently. And of course the costume department makes another point! But I'll condense all the design including sound, to unfairly count as one point.

    9. ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIRGROUND!

    The scoop that picks up the TARDIS.

    10. THE DOCTOR LOVES POETRY!

    "By the prickling of my thumbs
    Something wicked this way comes!"

    Extra vote I didn't count was quite sexist of me so I won't put it here.

    EXTRA VOTE 11. I USED TO WISH MY BLACK DOG SONNY COULD TALK LIKE D.84!

    Aww... making this list reminded me! I've never had another dog either.

  5. #5
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    So, you're quite fond of this one then?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    So, you're quite fond of this one then?
    Yeah, didn't want to make it obvious! But if anyone here present has an objection to it being one of the best Dr Who stories, then speak now and I'll shrug and go "Well, that's your opinion..."

  7. #7
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    A genuine classic.

    The guy who voiced D84 also did the "Please go to counter number 3" for Lloyds Bank, which has on occasion been quite unnerving. Sadly they've changed the voice-recording now.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino View Post
    2. NOT ONLY WILL THE FUTURE BRING ROBOTS! IT WILL BRING ROBOTS... FROM ESSEX!

    "Kiwll!.. Kiwll!... Kiwll!..."
    Oh, come now, are you sure you want everyone thinking that everyone from Essex is a psychopathic automaton?

    Well Darren is...

    Give or take a couple of the actors, this story's nigh-on perfect. The overall design, the make-up, the costumes, the performances, the scripts, the dialogue... Are you sure you want me to go on all day? (Yes I know nothing's stopped me before!)

    10/10

  9. #9
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    We're having an argument about what the first line of 'Robots of Death' is.

    "Storm mine IV is now under Robot control." is my guess.

    "There was a Voc therapist in Kaldor city..." is Si's.

    Without looking it up, are either of us right?

  10. #10
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    "Turbulent Sector. Vector Seven."

  11. #11
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    Blazing rods! We've put the DVD on now.

  12. #12
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    I'd forgotten just how brilliant the modelwork is on this story.

  13. #13
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    I just don't think Doctor Who gets better than this. I remember loving it as a child, and I still do.

    In absolute honesty this is probably my favourite Doctor Who story ...
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  14. #14
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    Never mind what the first line is, what's the best line?

    I like "Please do not throw hands on me" and also "Bit garish for my tastes".

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    Never mind what the first line is, what's the best line?
    "I don't have to explain myself to you, you're just a mechanical man - you're not real "

    "You're not the robot your father was"

    "Please don't say 'I told you so' "

    "I heard a cry" - "That was me" - "I heard a cry" etc.

    And too many others
    Bazinga !

  16. #16
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    It's in my top 3. Nuff said.

  17. #17
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    Not just the line & context, but also the childlike-glee Louise brings to it: "Because they have no feelings."

  18. #18
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    "The second principle is humans can't harm robots. I know, I've tried and they don't bleed."

  19. #19
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    "Of course, there's a third possibilty... the robots killed them."

  20. #20
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    Who gave The Robots of Death a three?!

  21. #21
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    fantastic story. It's a must to show to anyone that is not yet into classic Who

  22. #22
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    Another fantastic story from a brilliant season. 9/10 from me.
    Iím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?

  23. #23
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    This story is just simply superb - it's absolutely everything that a Doctor Who story should be. Tense, dramatic and with a sense of mystery. Oh, and extremely quotable.

    But that's not the real joy. The problem with the episode of Torchwood called Countrycide is that once you know who did it, it's difficult to ever enjoy it as much as you did the first time round. But with Robots of Death, that's just not the case. It's just as enjoyable on the tenth viewing as it is on the first, despite knowing who did it.

    Everything about it is brilliant - the sets, the actors, the costumes. I'm honestly not surprised that the design of the Vocs was pinched by the designer of the Host on Voyage of the Damened. The whole story has a gorgeous art deco feel about it, which really fits in with the rest of Season 14.

    Doctor Who doesn't get much better than this, kids! 10/10

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  24. #24
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    I agree about the costumes. Taken individually the Sandminer crews' clothes look ridiculous, but because everyone is wearing similiar things, it works really well. Too often in Doctor Who there's no design ethic as a whole, so the sets and costumes and the make up are pulling in different ways, but here everything works together to create a picture of a society. When you add the hints of the wider world outside with the mention of the founding families, Kaldor City and other storm mines, you really feel this is part of something bigger- a small snapshot of a larger world. Fabulous stuff!

    Also moving the robots at the same tempo throughout is a genius idea. Everything is measured, which makes their stalking of the humans all the more chilling. They're coming to get you, at their own pace, but you know they'll get you in the end.

    Dudley Simpson really rises to the occasion for this one too.

  25. #25
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    For the second story in a row Chris Boucher develops a credible off world society, but unlike some other writers he gives us glimpses and hints within the dialogue, rather than info-dumping us to death. There is again brilliant dialogue (though I don't like Leela using contractions - I thought it much better when her alienness meant that she did not do it), though there are a few clumsy scenes. The characters are well drawn and for the most part the guest actors do well with them - esp. Russell as Uvanov.

    I knock off a couple of points for (a) some poor acting at times (you know who) and the odd poorly realised scene (Toos fighting off a robot with a tiny china vase) , (b) the way the robots' eyes look different so they can be CSO'd - much better to have stuck with , say, the all black look all the way through.

    The last mark off is for a simple mistake which meant that, as a precocious 9 year old I knew who the murderer was from Episode 2. If only they hadn't shown someone's distinctive trousers when he gives the order for Zelda to be killed - a pretty fundamental mistake for a murder mystery. Maybe distinctive costuming was not such a good idea
    Bazinga !

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