Which One : Tom Baker in a Pertwee UNIT adventure.
Cast : The Doctor : Tom Baker
Sarah-Jane : Liz Sladen
Harry : Ian Marter
Brigadier : Nicholas Courtney
Benton : John Levene
Professor : Edward Burnham
Miss Winters : Patricia Maynard
Jellicoe : Alec Linstead
The Robot : Michael Kilgarriff
Short : Timothy Craven
Written By : Terrence Dicks
Produced By : Philip Hinchcliffe
First UK Broadcast : 28 Dec 1974 – 13 Jan 1975.
Length : 4 x 25 minute parts.
Plot : The newly-regenerated Fourth Doctor is not quite himself and is put under the care of UNIT Doctor Harry Sullivan. Meanwhile, UNIT are investigating a series of break-ins, involving the loss of robotic equipment.
Whats good : Tom Baker’s first outing. New regeneration erratic behaviour. Harry joins the crew.
Whats bad : Very un-memorable Pertwee cast-off UNIT adventure. The last regular appearance of UNIT. Some of the robot SFX are poor.
Review With Spoilers : Robot is a very average firdt episode opener, to Season 12 and Tom Baker’s first outing as the Doctor.
Watching, what in effect feels like a very pedestrian Pertwee adventure; gives little indication of how good the rest of Season 12 – will turn out. With the excellent; Ark In Space, Sontaran Experiment, Genesis Of The Daleks & Revenge Of The Cybermen to follow.
“A new body is like a new house… takes a little bit of time to settle in. As for the physiognomy? Well… nothing’s perfect. Have to take the rough with the smooth. Mind you… I think the nose is a definite improvement. As for the ears? Well I’m not too sure. Tell me quite frankly… what do you say to the ears?” The Doctor
In this respect, Robot is the definite weak link in this chain. It’s not that it is bad though, it’s just not that good; alongside the other gems of Season 12.
Robot has also become a bit of a by-word for really naff Who special effects. Namely, the scenes with the Robot after it grows to super-size proportions.
The bad bluescreen effects, toy tanks and bad Sarah-Jane doll (which the robot grabs – King Kong style!) have all aged really badly.
It’s not the worst Who episode ever, but it certainly won’t be mentioned in the greatest ever poll.