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UNIT attempt to get into the bunker to stop Miss Winters setting off the world's nuclear missiles but first they have to get past the K1.

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Patricia Maynard ...
Michael Kilgarriff ...
Edward Burnham ...
Alec Linstead ...
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UNIT attempt to get into the bunker to stop Miss Winters setting off the world's nuclear missiles but first they have to get past the K1.

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18 January 1975 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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This episode was watched by 9 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »

Quotes

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: You know, just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that wasn't immune to bullets.
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Connections

Featured in Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

S12: Robot: Ropey effects and some plot holes, but well paced and with good ideas at the core
26 September 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A new Doctor and a pretty good start to a new season this one, albeit not a perfect serial by any means. The plot involves someone stealing weapon parts, but then leads into a secret society representing a global threat, with a powerful (if conflicted) robot being utilized to do their bidding – all in four nicely tight and efficient episodes. In a very traditional way, the serial provides cliffhangers of peril, UNIT soldiers ineffectively firing at an advancing "monster", and a terrible plot that can only be stopped by the Doctor. In this way the serial is all fine and well; okay the effects are very dated, but it is enjoyable enough and the 4-episode run means it never feels like it is padded out or stays beyond its ability.

The plot does contain some holes of course, and some moments of silly convenience just to move things along, but mostly it works. It does so because it builds well, playing different cards as it goes; but it also works because it does have a good base of ideas behind it. The idea of a robot fighting Prime Directive logic is pretty well done, and the 'monster' of the serial is far from being just a lumbering beast. This is unfortunately not to say that it is as smart as I would have liked, or really gets the viewer to struggle with moral conflict over its fate and nature, however it is at least interesting compared to how it so easily could have been played out.

The cast are decent and fit the narrative pretty well. Baker makes an immediate impact with a much lighter touch than Pertwee, and a nice sense of the wild edge of childishness. I will be honest and say his flippantness did put me in mind of the recent incarnations, and it worried me a little and did seem silly for the sake of it – although the change of pace was nice. Sladen in support was good, and worked well with the robot (which had decent voicework from Kilgarriff). Courtney and his UNIT usual are solid (although Levene never has much of a character). I was not a fan of Marter, so it did bug me to see him (I assume) become the new companion to make a trio again. Burhham is good in a so-so character, and generally the supporting roles do what they should (including those UNIT soldiers being killed with abandon).

A solid serial then, with good pace, some nice aspects, and generally a lively start to a new season and a (slightly too silly) new Doctor.


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