Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Robots of Death: Part One 

The TARDIS materialize aboard a sandminer, a mining ship on a desert planet run by a robot labor force headed by a fairly small but sniping human crew. As one crewman is discovered ... See full summary »


Michael E. Briant


Chris Boucher (by)

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Baker ... Doctor Who
Louise Jameson ... Leela
Russell Hunter ... Uvanov
Pamela Salem ... Toos
David Bailie ... Dask
David Collings ... Poul
Brian Croucher Brian Croucher ... Borg
Tania Rogers Tania Rogers ... Zilda
Tariq Yunus ... Cass
Rob Edwards Rob Edwards ... Chub
Gregory de Polnay Gregory de Polnay ... D.84
Miles Fothergill Miles Fothergill ... S.V.7
Mark Blackwell Baker Mark Blackwell Baker ... Robot
John Bleasdale John Bleasdale ... Robot
Mark Cooper ... Robot


The TARDIS materialize aboard a sandminer, a mining ship on a desert planet run by a robot labor force headed by a fairly small but sniping human crew. As one crewman is discovered strangled to death, the Doctor and Leela arrive just in time to become the prime suspects. Written by statmanjeff

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Release Date:

29 January 1977 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the time this episode was set, Louise Jameson wore brown contact lenses as Leela. During the scene in the lounge, the right lens slipped out of place, showing her real blue eye. See more »


Doctor Who: To the rational mind nothing is inexplicable, only unexplained.
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Referenced in The Sandmine Murders (2012) See more »


None But the Weary Heart
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Arranged by Dudley Simpson
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User Reviews

Traditional Horror Fare Helped By A Good Cast
30 October 2013 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

Immediately after materialising upon a sandminer vehicle the Doctor and Leela find themselves suspected of a motiveless murder . After another murder is committed the Doctor tries to solve the mystery but will he live long enough to do so ?

Yet another story that frequently appears in the top ten of classic Who fan surveys one has to answer the question of its validity as an undisputed classic . It's very much n the tradition of what the classic show was remembered for - a quasi horror show broadcast at tea time that sent a generation of children hiding behind the sofa but there's not a lot here to differentiate amongst its horror peers . There's an element of an Agatha Christie style whodunit but nothing that makes it standout and I wonder how well regarded it would have been if it'd appeared a year earlier ? Certainly several of the stories of season 13 developed bone chilling terror and imagery to much better effect

Not to be too negative the story is engaging enough and the cast of well known television faces namely Hunter , Salem , Croucher and Collings make the most of the material , more so when you see them perform in some laughably eccentric costume design , but the robots themselves are well realised on screen helped greatly by the always efficient directing from Michael E Briant . The voices especially are well done as the robots commit murder against a rapidly dwindling band of humans

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