Posted in films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

Robots of Death

The first exciting episode of the classic Doctor Who story The Robots of Death was broadcast on 29 January 1977. It sees The Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela (Louise Jameson) arrive on an inhospitable and 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 a crew of nine humans led by Commander Uvanov, Dask and Poul who work alongside numerous robots – black ‘Dums’ that cannot speak, pale green ‘Vocs’, and a silver ‘Super Voc’ who control all the ‘Dums’ and ‘Vocs’ who perform all the hazardous tasks aboard the Sandminer which would be too dangerous for humans to do.

However The peace is shattered when one of the crew members is found dead. Tension mounts and Accusations fly as the two new arrivals are suspected of murdering the deceased crew member and incarcerated. However the Doctor has a completely different theory and suspects something else may be happening. Then the Mineralogist is found dead, and the Driver of the Sandminer is also found strangled. Then the controls of the Sandminer are sabotaged and it starts running out of control endangering the lives of everyone onboard.

The Doctor eventually convinces The crew that he is not responsible for the murders, and they ask Him for help, so he suggests that the robots are responsible and that somebody may be reprogramming the Robots in order to clobber people. However the disbelieving crew reject the idea citing Asimov’s first Law of Robotics which states that “No robot shall kill a human being”. So the Doctor suggests they may be malfunctioning and agrees to help before more rogue robots start running amok clobbering people.

The Doctor then discovers that One of the robots, D84. and Poul are in fact undercover agents for the mining company, who were placed on board the miner as a precaution after learning of threats of a robot revolution by a Mad scientist called Taren Capel. Taren Capel was raised by robots and dislikes the way Robots are treated as slaves and has decided to end Robot servitude and maltreatment at the hands of human beings and free them, so that they can rule the world.

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