4A. Robot

Season Twelve - 1974/1975

Script Editor: Robert Holmes
Writer: Terrance Dicks
Produced by: Barry Letts
Director: Christopher Barry
Designer: Ian Rawnsley
Incidental Music: Dudley Simpson


After his latest regeneration the Doctor is left to recover in the sick bay. While he is resting a huge robot enters a secret laboratory and steals the plans, and components, for a disintegrator gun.

Sarah Jane Smith finds that the robot was invented by Professor Kettlewell whilst he was working for Think Tank. On leaving the group he had ordered the robot destroyed. Sarah and the Doctor visit Think Tank, and find that the director, Miss Winters, had not destroyed the robot, and had in fact reprogrammed it.

The Think Tank group used the robot, and the disintergrator gun, to obtain nuclear missile codes from a government official. Members of the group hide away in a nuclear missile bunker, and plan to use the missile codes to start a nuclear war, destroying all life on the planet. They could then emerge as the new rulers of the world.

The Doctor manages to get into the bunker and halt the countdown, and the missiles are later disarmed. Professor Kettlewell had also developed a metal virus, and this is used by the Doctor and Harry to destroy Kettlewell's robot.

Regular Cast

  • Sarah Jane Smith: Elisabeth Sladen
  • Harry Sullivan: Ian Marter
  • Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Nicholas Courtney
  • RSM Benton: John Levene

Guest Cast

  • Hilda Winters: Patricia Maynard
  • Arnold Jellicoe: Alec Linstead
  • Professor J.P. Kettlewell: Edward Burnham
  • K-1 Robot: Michael Kilgariff
  • Short: Timothy Craven (2)
  • Think Tank Main Gate Guard: Pat Gorman (1,3)
  • Doctor Who: Jon Pertwee (1)
  • Security Guard: John Scott Martin (1)
  • Dead Guard: George Howse (1)
  • Stretcher Bearers: Nigel Stevens (1), Leslie Weekes (1)
  • Robot Arm Operator: John East (1)
  • Joseph Chambers: Walter Goodman (2)
  • SRS Guard: Terry Walsh (3)
  • Extras: Nancy Adams, Bill Bingham, Tim Blackstone, Elizabeth Broom, Christopher Carrington, Alan Crisp, Noel Crowder, Pamela Dale, Douglas Domino, David Eynon, Geoff Farbell, Brian Fellows, Eric French, Fred Garratt, Colin Hamilton, Alan Hinton, Alex Hood, Peter Isley, Ray Knight, Penny Lambirth, Norman Littlejohns, Dennis Lycett, Richard Martin, Leon Maybank, Jay McGrath, Barry McDonald, John Milner, Brian Moorhead, Maureen Nelson, David Parker, Jack Parker, Derek Parks, David Patterson, Roy Pearce, Pat Pelton, David Playton, Douglas Read, Michael Reynel, Steve Rivers, Raymond Savage, Roger Squires, Donald Stratford, Alan Thomas, Desmond Verlini, Gordon Wall, Hugh Ward, Geoffrey Witherick, Ian Young

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 382. Part One Saturday, December 28, 1974 5:35 PM - 6:00 PM 10.8M 53%
BBC 1 383. Part Two Saturday, January 4, 1975 5:30 PM - 5:55 PM 10.7M 53%
BBC 1 384. Part Three Saturday, January 11, 1975 5:30 PM - 5:55 PM 10.1M
BBC 1 385. Part Four Saturday, January 18, 1975 5:30 PM - 5:55 PM 9.0M 51%


  • Television Centre Studio 3

Outside Locations

  • BBC Training Centre, Wood Norton, Hereford and Worcester


The Doctor hurriedly types out a letter to leave for the Brigadier and Sarah-Jane, and pins it to the TARDIS. Later when Sarah-Jane reads the note, you can clearly see it's been handwritten!

Working Titles

The Giant Robot


A slightly changed title sequence makes its first appearance, the fifth version, again designed by Bernard Lodge.

John Levene is credited as Sergeant Benton throughout the story, even though the character is promoted to Warrant Officer during Part Two.