Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Robot: Part One 

Can the Doctor, now in his fourth incarnation, recover from his post-regenerative trauma to save the Earth from Think Tank and their plot for world domination?


Christopher Barry


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Episode complete credited cast:
Tom Baker ... Doctor Who
Elisabeth Sladen ... Sarah Jane Smith
Ian Marter ... Harry Sullivan
Nicholas Courtney ... Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart
John Levene ... Sergeant Benton
Patricia Maynard Patricia Maynard ... Miss Winters
Michael Kilgarriff ... Robot
Edward Burnham ... Professor Kettlewell
Alec Linstead Alec Linstead ... Jellicoe


Can the Doctor, now in his fourth incarnation, recover from his post-regenerative trauma to save the Earth from Think Tank and their plot for world domination?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-G | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 December 1974 (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?


This story was largely inspired by King Kong (1933) in its portrayal of sympathetic monster. Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot" also served as an inspiration. See more »


[first lines]
[after brief recap of the previous episode's regeneration scene]
Brigadier: [dials operator on telephone] Get me the medical officer.
[the Doctor mumbles something]
Brigadier: Lieutenant Sullivan, emergency. Come to the lab at once, please.
The Doctor: ...human history.
Brigadier: What's he talking about?
Sarah Jane Smith: It's something that happened when we first met.
The Doctor: [sits up rapidly] I tell you, Brigadier, there's nothing to worry about. The brontosaurus is large and placid.
[the Doctor collapses again. Harry Sullivan enters]
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Featured in A New Body at Last (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Tom Baker arrives with a bang!
18 November 2014 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review of all 4 episodes:

In the first episode of this story we see the regeneration from Jon Pertwee's third Doctor into Tom Baker's fourth Doctor. Baker arrives in full exuberant form with no effort to allow viewers time to adjust to the huge change in personality for their hero. There is a lot of humour and mad eccentricity on display and Baker is marvellous right from the start. Throughout the story he displays hilarious wit and energy but also a good dose of brilliant intelligence and grit.

The story itself is of secondary importance to the introduction of the new Doctor and the re-drawing of his relationships with Sarah Jane and the UNIT team. All the regulars are great as usual and new arrival Harry Sullivan is a very good addition.

The Doctor and UNIT have to deal with a powerful robot that is being used by scientists to give them the opportunity to gain control of the world's nuclear weapons so they can take control and run the world the way they believe it should be run. There are some strong guest characters, all very well acted and there is plenty of action and fun. The robot itself while not appearing that special to look at, is actually a very impressive creation as it moves and acts quite effectively. The robot is also given a lot of character as it struggles with its orders which contradict its prime directive not to harm humans.

There is a lot of good dialogue, both funny when required and serious the rest of the time. However, not all the characters actions are entirely consistent or logical and that one problem alone starts to reduce the overall quality of the story a little as it goes along. From the excellent first episode and the really strong second and third episodes, by the fourth episode the story becomes a little less impressive with the slightly silly and pointless idea of the robot increasing to giant size. Still good and exciting but not as great as it could have been.

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