THE ROBOTS OF DEATH
by Chris Boucher. The TARDIS, carrying the Doctor and his new companion Leela, arrives aboard a huge sandminer on a deserted world.The small human crew rely almost entirely on robots to carry out their every task and whim while they mine the planet's rich minerals. Suddenly, one by one, members of the team start to disappear. The time travellers discover that someone or something is murdering the sandminer crew - but, of course, nobody believes it could possibly be the robots...
Commentary#1 Original release commentary by producer Philip Hinchcliffe and writer Chris Boucher. Commentary#2 New commentary by Tom Baker (the Doctor]
, Louise Jameson (Leela], Pamela Salem (Toos], and director Michael E Briant. The Sandmine Murders Cast and crew look back at the making of the story. Robophobia Toby Hadoke - SPECIAL - takes a humorous look at the history of robots. Studio Sound An example of a studio. FEATURES - scene before the robot voice effects were added. Model Shots Black and white time-coded recordings of the original model insert film. Studio Floor Plan An interactive view of the studio layout. Continuity - Off-air continuity for the original transmission of Part One plus a mute continuity slide. Radio Times listings (DVD-ROM]. Production information subtitles. Photo gallery. Coming Soon trailer. Digitally remastered picture and sound quality.
The Robots of Death was one of the earliest Doctor Who stories to be released on BBC Video, and also one of the earliest releases for the DVD range. Here it is revisited, remastered and given brand-new extras and commentary. Although the title of this Doctor Who story does tend to give the game away, The Robots of Death is a great example of the series taking a classic whodunit plot and applying it to a world involving a Time Lord and his companion. Unashamedly borrowing ideas from Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None' for the set up, the rest of the story is inspired by core ideas from the science fiction novels I Robot by lsaac Asimov and Dune by Frank Herbert. At short notice, Chris Boucher was chosen to write this set of episodes featuring sadistic killer robots when another serial unexpectedly dropped out of production. Boucher had written the previous story, The Face of Evil, which introduced Leela, and without a concrete character brief for the new companion available for other writers, the production team considered Boucher the best candidate for the job of writing her second story. The art deco robots, with their sing-song voices and distinctive style, are unlike any robot to feature in Doctor Who before and [almost] since-although there's a definite homage to the Vocs in the Heavenly Host robots from the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas special,Voyage of the Damned. The base-under-siege style story, coupled with interesting characters and a chilling central menace, makes The Robots of Death one of the most
memorable, popular and scary Doctor Who adventures.
Original release commentary by producer Philip Hinchcliffe and writer Chris Boucher. Philip Hinchcliffe was producer of Doctor Who from 1975 to 1977, overseeing arguably some of the most successful seasons of the show. During his time as producer the show took a decidedly darker tone, leaning towards gothic horror, and producing many stories that continuously rate in Doctor Who's all-time top ten in fan polls. He novelised several Doctor Who stories for Target Books, adapting The Keys of Marinus, The Seeds of Doom and The Masque of Mandragora. He continued producing after Doctor Who with the independent feature films An Awfully Big Adventure, starring Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman, and Total Eclipse, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. As Executive Producer for Scottish
Television, he oversaw series including the highly acclaimed Taggart and Rebus. Chris Boucher is a writer with three classic Doctor Who stories to his name-The Face of Evil, The Robots of Death [both 1977] and Image of the Fendahl . After this, he went on to be script editor of another cult BBC science fiction series, Blake's 7. He also wrote for Blake's 7, including the final episode that [allegedly] killed off all the lead characters. Other television credits include Shoestring, Juliet Bravo and Bergerac plus his own BBC science fiction creation, Star Cops.
New commentary by Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Pamela Salem and director Michael E Briant. Tom Baker became the Fourth Doctor in 1974, and stayed in the role for a record-breaking seven years, during which time Doctor Who reached new levels of public popularity and cemented its place in the BBC's much-vaunted 1970s Saturday night schedule. After leaving Doctor Who, Tom Baker appeared as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles, and featured in such productions as The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Medics, Randall & Hopkirk [Deceased] and Monarch of the Glen. He was also the voice of ZeeBad in the film version of The Magic Roundabout and narrated the hit BBC comedy series Little Britain. Louise Jameson made her debut in Doctor Who in 1977's The Face of Evil. She was the Doctor's savage companion Leela for just over a year until The Invasion of Time in 1978. Since leaving Doctor Who, Louise has enjoyed a successful television career with leading roles in The Omega Factor, Tenko, Bergerac and EastEnders. She has also enjoyed a successful stage career in productions such as Alan Auckbourn's Confusions and Gerald Moon's award-winning Corpse! Aside from acting, Louise works as a teacher of drama, a writer and director, and also runs the Sunday Drama College. Pamela Salem studied at London's Central School of Speech and Drama. For Doctor Who, she auditioned for the role of Leela, but got a part as one of the voices of Xoanon in The Face of Evil instead, returning for the next story, The Robots of Death, to play the character Toos. Pamela has made numerous television appearances including Blake's7. The Professionals, All Creatures Great and Small, Howards Way, ER and The West Wing, and on film in Never Say Never Again, The Great Train Robbery and Gods and Monsters. Pamela returned to Doctor Who in 1988 for Remembrance of the Daleks. Michael E Briant first worked on Doctor Who in 1965 as an Assistant Floor Manager on The Crusade. He went on to be Production Assistant on The Daleks'Master Plan [1965/66], The Power of the Daleks［1966] and Fury from the Deep (1967], before being asked to direct Colony in Space in 1971. He went on to direct another five Doctor Who stories, his final one being The Robots of Death in 1977. His extensive list of credits includes Blake's 7, Secret Army, One by One, Howards Way and EastEnders. The Sandmine Murders - Cast and crew look back at the making of the story, with actors Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Pamela Salem, David Collings (Poul], Brian Croucher (Borg], director Michael E Briant, producer Philip Hinchcliffe and costume designer Elizabeth Waller. Robophobia- Toby Hadoke takes a humorous look at the history of robots, with particular reference to their appearances in Doctor Who. Studio Sound - An example of a studio scene before the robot voice effects were added. Model Shots - Black and white time-coded recordings of the original model insert film. Studio Floor Plan - An interactive view of the studio layout via the original floor plan drawings. Continuity - Off-air continuity for the first episode's original transmission plus mute continuity slide. Radio Times Listings - Episode listings and features about The Robots of Death from the BBC listings magazine Radio Times - ［DVD-ROM only-to be viewed on PC/Mac]. Production Subtitles - Subtitles provide the viewer with cast details, script development and other information related to the production of The Robots of Death. Photo Gallery - A selection of production, design and publicity photographs from this story. Coming Soon - An exclusive new trailer for a forthcoming Doctor Who DVD release.