TV Club: Doctor Who (Classic): “The Robots Of Death”

Doctor Who can sometimes be a little mired in its own stock formula, which is to pit the Doctor against some relatively narrow set of science-fictional menaces—a megalomaniacal mad scientist, an army of alien monsters, or some combination thereof. 1977’s “The Robots Of Death” has both. Since the mid-1960s and up to the present, it’s been rare for the series to break away completely from that formula, which has after all proven to be what fans will reliably tune in to watch again and again in whatever new iteration. There’s value in breaking that cycle, and some of the best stories in Doctor Who‘s history have been the ones that offer up something completely fresh. But it’s not the only way to go. During the first few Fourth Doctor seasons especially, the preferred way was to use the standard Doctor Who formula as a …

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