Suddenly Monday Review: Classic Doctor Who – ‘Robot’
Discovering Classic Doctor Who
Season 12, Episodes 1-4, ‘Robot’
Series: Doctor who, Season 12 (Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor)
Episode/ Broadcast date/ Run time/ Viewership (in millions)
“Part One” /28 December 1974 / 24:11 / 10.8
“Part Two” / 4 January 1975 /25:00/ 10.7
“Part Three” /11 January 1975 / 24:29/ 10.1
“Part Four”/ 18 January 1975/ 24:29/ 9
Watch it here: WATCH ONLINE (no download needed)
DT’s Rating: 7/10
I love Doctor Who – lots and lots. But unfortunately I only ever saw the newest rebooted series (Christopher Eccleson as the 9th Doctor and David Tennant as the 10th) so, in a spate of boredom and after some googling found the wonderful site www.doctorwho-episodes.com I decided that I would end my ignorance once and for all!
While I had all the episodes available to me, I thought I ought to start with the most famous Doctor (and the one who my parents grew up watching) -Tom baker aka Doctor number 4.
The episodes centre around the Doctor (and everyone else) getting used to his new regeneration, which I am happily falling in love with. He’s so bizarre you can’t help but like him – for example, when deciding what to wear he actually emerged out of his TARDIS in a Viking outfit, innocently asking why it was odd, then a clown one, before finally settling on his iconic long scarf and hat combo. but his kookiness doens’t detract form his usual brilliance, which is just as well, as soon the Doctor, Sarah-Jane Smith (yep, THAT Sarah-Jane Smith new-who fans ) and UNIT are tested by a rouge robot that soon leads to a threat of global nuclear war! But all is not as it seems…..
The episode itself was surprisingly good (I was a bit dubious when approaching the old series, but you can clearly see why it was popular – the writing is still great). Also another layer of charm is in the special effects. Sometimes they work well enough – and you still have that feeling of familiarity and realism as it looks like everyone’s running around suburbs and allotments (after all England always looks small haha) which for some reason seems to work. At other times, the effects (and some of the acting) is laughably bad, but for me that adds charm. look out for ‘robot vision’ and how wobbly the robot looks (even if his design is pretty neat on paper). the king-kong esque green-screen work in the final episode is also awful most of the time, but yet again i can’t help but love it. The icing on the cake for me was when they used what was obviously a cheap kid’s toy tank in place of a real one that the robot blows up. hilarious! If you’re anything like me, it’ll make the viewing experience better for you and more entertaining, not worse.
All in all, I was really happy with it – and couldn’t wait to carry on the story. It’s still Doctor Who right down to it’s core – and it’s surprising how much the new and old series have in common. I’d recommend it to any fans – new or old. Check it out
And finally a quote. Cos quotes make me happy
The Doctor: Never cared much for the word “impregnable.” Sounds a bit too much like “unsinkable.”
Harry: What’s wrong with “unsinkable”?
The Doctor: Nothing. As the iceberg said to the Titanic.
The Doctor: Gloop, gloop, gloop, gloop, gloop, gloop, gloop.