Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Androids of Tara: Part Four 

The Count has offered the throne to the Doctor, just before killing the android King and riding off with the, once again, captured Romana, all under a flag of truce. As the Doctor and K-9 ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
... Doctor Who
... Romana / Princess Strella
... Count Grendel
Simon Lack ... Zadek
Neville Jason ... Prince Reynart
Paul Lavers ... Farrah
... Archimandrite
Declan Mulholland ... Till
Martin Matthews ... Kurster
... K9 (voice)
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Storyline

The Count has offered the throne to the Doctor, just before killing the android King and riding off with the, once again, captured Romana, all under a flag of truce. As the Doctor and K-9 plan a rescue effort for Romana and the King, Count Grendel plans to marry Romana to the King, kill the King, marry Romana, then kill her, as well, inheriting all of the King's land and powers... Written by Moviedude1

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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16 December 1978 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Fisher liked Count Grendel so much that he had the villain escape at the end of the story in the hope that he could be used again. See more »

Quotes

[as K9 quietly cuts a hole in a panel of wood with his blaster to allow the Doctor ingress to the castle, bells start ringing]
Doctor Who: Hear that, K9? Wedding bells or a funeral knell, hmm? Do hurry up! A hamster with a blunt penknife could do it quicker.
K9: You ordered me to make no noise, Master.
Doctor Who: Just get on with it!
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Connections

References A Night in Casablanca (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

S16: The Androids of Tara: Knockabout fare that has messy convenience in the writing, and sits awkwardly between fun adventure or peril-focused sci-fi
8 April 2017 | by See all my reviews

The next part of the Key of Time looks like a doddle, so the Doctor decides to go off fishing instead, leaving Romana to go and get it. Unfortunately, both are taken in by different groups with their eyes on the throne; what follows is a dangerous game of doppelgangers, androids, swords, and deception.

It all sounds like a great romp, and indeed there are parts of the serial that are quite fun and do capture the feeling of an adventure with swords, and scheming. Several of the performances get the right tone too – with some 'big' performances to add to the sense of a romp. The problem is that, in the end, the plotting didn't engage mainly because of how filled with convenience and contrivance it all was. The android device was a big part of that, and although it is interesting as an idea, we never get close to this being a Westworld where you're not sure who is real and who is not. At points it feels like the androids are just there because they had already used the 'Romana's a dead ringer for that character' device, so they could use that again for other characters.

It is all jolly enough to get by though – but it is never better than that, some amusing moments with K9 aside. Better writing and plotting and this could have been more fun or more of an adventure, but it is the writing that drags it down and limits it to being a reasonably but still ho-hum affair.


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