Doctor Who (1963)

Season 12 Episode 4

Robot, Part Four

Aired Saturday 5:15 PM Jan 18, 1975 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
45 votes

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Episode Summary

Robot, Part Four
England, the near future. The Robot grows to gigantic proportions and goes on a rampage. The Doctor finds the solution in a test tube.

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  • Important but weak.

    (This a review of all four parts of Robot)

    Retrospectively, Robot is an important Doctor Who story as it marked the debut of Tom Baker, the longest serving and most popular Doctor in the show's long history. As such Robot is essential viewing for dedicated Who fans despite not being very rewarding.

    Weak plotting and terribly dated special effects let these episodes down. As well as the lack of overall quality, the producers insistence on including characters and settings from the Pertwee era in order to ease viewers into the start of a new lead star mean that this episode doesn't set the era up as well as it should (that task would fall to it's brilliant follow up, The Ark in Space).

    The only thing that stops this four parter from being a wasted viewing is some unusually showy and flamboyant dialogue for The Doctor, which is delivered memorably by Tom Baker.

    For purists only.moreless
Patricia Maynard

Patricia Maynard

Miss Winters

Guest Star

Michael Kilgarriff

Michael Kilgarriff


Guest Star

Edward Burnham

Edward Burnham

Professor Kettlewell

Guest Star

Ian Marter

Ian Marter

Harry Sullivan

Recurring Role

John Levene

John Levene

Sergeant Benton

Recurring Role

Nicholas Courtney

Nicholas Courtney

Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Plot Hole: The plot continues to contradict itself when it is revealed that the SRS's plan of using the nuclear codes to blackmail the world can be cancelled with a simple fail-safe.

    • Revealing Mistakes: Several scenes make obvious use of a toy tank and a rag-doll Sarah.

    • The proportions of the robot, relative to its surroundings and the people around it, change constantly. Look particularly at when it first grows where its foot is longer then Sarah Jane and it appears about 60' high, but later it's no more then 20'. But then it goes back to 60' again when it puts Sarah Jane on the chimney, and then back and forth several more times.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Harry: Come along, Doctor, we're both reasonable men. And we both know that police boxes don't go careering around all over the place.
      The Doctor: Do we?
      Harry: Of course we do, the whole idea's absurd!
      The Doctor: Is it? You wouldn't like to step inside a moment, just to demonstrate it's all an illusion.
      Harry: Well, if you think it'll do any good.
      The Doctor: Oh yes, it'll make me feel a lot better.
      Sarah Jane: Doctor…

    • Sarah Jane: You can't just go.
      The Doctor: Why not, it's a free cosmos!
      Sarah Jane: The Brigadier…
      The Doctor: The Brigadier wants me to address the Cabinet, have lunch at Downing Street, dinner at the palace, and write 17 reports in triplicate. Well, I won't do it. I won't, I won't, I won't!

    • Sarah Jane: It was insane and it did terrible things. But at first it was so human.
      The Doctor: It was a wonderful creature, capable of great good… and great evil. Yes, I think you could say it was human.

    • Brigadier: I think just for once, we're not going to need the Doctor!

    • Brigadier: You know, just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that isn't immune to bullets.

    • Winters: You won't shoot, Brigadier.
      Sarah Jane: Maybe he won't, but I will!

    • Sarah Jane: Doctor, you're being childish.
      The Doctor: Well of course I am. There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes.

    • The Doctor: The trouble with computers, of course, is that they're very sophisticated idiots. They do exactly what you tell them at amazing speed, even if you order them to kill you. So if you do happen to change your mind, it's very difficult to stop them obeying the original order. But…not impossible.

  • NOTES (0)


    • Harry Sullivan: Curiouser and Curiouser.

      Doctor Who: Said Alice.

      This is from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), written by Lewis Carroll.  In the story, Alice changes sizes several times and is very startled by the changes.