4R. Doctor Who - The Robots Of Death

Season Fourteen

  • Script Editor: Robert Holmes
  • Writer: Chris Boucher
  • Produced by: Philip Hinchcliffe
  • Director: Michael E. Briant
  • Designer: Kenneth Sharp
  • Incidental Music: Dudley Simpson

4R. Doctor Who - The Robots Of Death

The TARDIS materialises inside an intake duct on board the Sandminer, a mining and refinery vehicle. With no obvious way out the Doctor and Leela are almost torn to pieces during a sandstorm, but the duct is closed just in time.

Returning to the TARDIS they find it has been moved to another part of the vehicle. The Doctor and Leela are captured and accused of the murders of crew members.

Why is it that every body that has been found has a red corpse marker on it? What does it symbolise? The Doctor discovers that the robots that serve the crew are slowly being reporgrammed to kill, and one of the non-speaking Dumb robots, D84, is actually a spy and can speak.

The Doctor manages to uncover the person who is in charge of the reprogramming, and is saved from death by D84. The Doctor hides Leela in a ventilation duct with a canister of helium. As she lets the gas escape the man voice of the man doing who had been doing the reprogramming, Taren Capel, changes pitch. The robots, not recognising his voice print, turn on him.

Regular Cast

  • Leela: Louise Jameson


  • Commander Uvanov: Russell Hunter
  • Pilot Toos: Pamela Salem
  • Chief Fixer Dask/Taren Capel: David Balie
  • Chief Mover Poole: David Collings
  • SV7: Miles Fothergill
  • D84: Gregory de Ponlay
  • V14/V21/V46/D62: Mark Blackwell Baker
  • V16/V19/V68: John Bleasdale
  • V6/V32: Mark Cooper
  • D33/D39/D64: Peter Langtry
  • V2/V4/V9/V17/V28: Jeremy Ranchev
  • V3/V5/V8/V45: Richard Seager
  • Borg: Brian Croucher (1-2)
  • Zilda: Tania Rogers (1-2)
  • Cass: Tariq Yunus (1-2)
  • Chub: Rob Edwards (1)
  • Kerril: Peter Sax (1)

Showings on the BBC

First showing

Channel Episode Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 444 Part One Friday, January 28, 1977 6:20 PM - 6:45 PM 12.8M 62%
BBC 1 445 Part Two Saturday, February 5, 1977 6:20 PM - 6:45 PM 12.4M
BBC 1 446 Part Three Saturday, February 12, 1977 6:20 PM - 6:45 PM 13.1M
BBC 1 447 Part Four Saturday, February 19, 1977 6:25 PM - 6:50 PM 12.6M 57%

Repeat showings


Outside Locations

No location details are available


  • Ealing FIlm Studios
  • Television Centre Studio unknown



No blooper details are available


  • With the exception of SV7 and D84, the robots are not credited individually.

Working titles

  • War of the Robots