Posted in films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

The Robots of Death

imageI have recently watched the classic Doctor Who episode The Robots of Death in which
The fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela (Louise Jameson) arrive on a distant inhospitable, barren planet, where a huge sandminer vehicle, Storm Mine 4, is slowly scraping the surface in search of precious minerals. The sandminer is manned by nine humans and numerous robots – black ‘Dums’ that cannot speak, pale green ‘Vocs’, and a silver ‘Super Voc’ which controls all the ‘Dums’ and ‘ Vocs’.

However the harmony aboard the Sandminer is rudely disrupted when a meteorologist called Chub, is later found dead and the crew discover the Doctor and Leela wondering about and accuse them of being stowaways and murdering Chub and incarcerate them. However the Doctor suspects something far more sinister may be happening. Then another crew member is found dead so The crew ask The Doctor for help and he suggests somebody may be reprogramming the Robots to clobber people. However the Sandminer crew reject the idea citing Asimov’s first Law of Robotics – No robot shall kill a human being.

Leela then discovers a third dead man (Cass) and a ‘Dum’ robot (D84) which can secretly speak. Commander Uvanov orders them to be locked up in the robot storage bay, on suspicion of killing all three humans. However One of the crew members, Poul, thinks the Doctor and Leela are innocent, so he frees them and learns that a robot may have killed the mineralogist. Then Another crew member named Zilda is found murdered, and Commander Uvanov is confined to quarters, accused of murdering her. Then the engineer Borg is killed and the Sandminer’s controls are deliberately sabotaged by somebody and it is almost destroyed until The Doctor aided by Dask repair the damage.

The Doctor then meets the Dum robot, D84 which reveals that it and Poul are in fact undercover agents for the mining company, who were placed on board the miner as a precaution to threats of a robot revolution by a mad scientist called Taren Capel, who was raised by robots and is intent on releasing the robots from bondage to human dross. They uncover a secret workshop where the robots’ are being reprogrammed to kill humans. So Dask shuts down all of the robots whose programming has not been changed, leaving just the killer robots and D84 operational. However Dask is not what he seems and is hiding a big secret. It is not long before the Doctor, Leela and everyone else is in danger from rampaging killer Robots and the Doctor must find away to destroy the robots, stop Taren Capel’s mad scheme and save the remaining crew of Storm Mine 4 before it is too late.

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