Sunday, 29 April 2012

Big Gay Longcat reviews Doctor Who: Robot Part Four

I am glad this episode starts by showing Robot disappearing the tank again, since it gives me a chance to see if Gamma Longcat was right when he said it's only a model. I still think it must be a real tank, because a toy tank would be smaller.

The story carries on with obvious baddy Miss Winters wanting to blow up the world to make a new and better one, but Professor Kettlewell isn't sure if that is a good idea or not. He makes up his mind when Harry comes in and knocks out a baddy. Professor Kettlewell stops the countdown.

They go outside and Robot disappears Professor Kettlewell. This makes it go blargh; it says "I have killed the one who created me!" and then falls over. Benton nicks off with Robot's pewpewpew gun.

Miss Winters starts the countdown again, but the Brigadier goes around and arrests her. Seeing as Professor Kettlewell has been disappeared, the Doctor tries to stop the countdown. He says:
"The trouble with computers, of course, is that they're very sophisticated idiots. They do exactly what you tell them at amazing speed, even if you order them to kill you. So if you do happen to change your mind, it's very difficult to stop them obeying the original order..."

"But not impossible!"

The Doctor stops the countdown with 2 seconds to go. The Doctor's quote about "sophisticated idiots" suggests that he has been to the future and seen the internets.

Sarah wanders off and bumps into Robot, then in the next scene the Doctor, the Brigadier and Benton are looking for them. The Brigadier muses on how he will stop Robot when he finds him:
"You know, just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that wasn't immune to bullets."
Nobody bothers to tell him that Robot isn't an alien. Benton mentions Professor Kettlewell's metal virus from the last episode, and the Doctor rushes off to a chemistry lab to make it. This makes Benton look smug.

Meanwhile, Robot starts the countdown again. Luckily it goes back to 300 instead of starting at 2 where it left off. Maybe the countdown is really like an internets loading bar? This time it gets stopped with 10 seconds left by a "Fail Safe mechanism" which isn't nearly as dramatic as the last time the countdown was stopped (or even the time before that). I like countdowns, but maybe you can have too much of a good thing.

Robot comes out and the Brigadier shoots at it with the pewpewpew gun (holding the gun in an odd way to do so).

But instead of making Robot disappear it makes Robot giant. It becomes so big that it picks up Sarah and puts her on a roof, then goes around standing on mannys and houses and things until the Doctor and Harry drive along and see it. Harry says "Curiouser and curiouser."
"Said Alice," replies the Doctor. Gamma Longcat says this is a literary reference to Alice being big like Robot. Possibly after she got shot by a pewpewpew gun, we're not sure.

Professor Kettlewell's metal virus turns Robot red, then it gets little again and goes

The threat is over, and the next scene is back at UNIT HQ.

"Would you like a jelly baby?"

Sarah is too sad to nom a jelly baby. The Doctor is about to leave in the TARDIS.
"The Brigadier wants me to address the Cabinet, have lunch at Downing Street, dinner at the palace, and write 17 reports in triplicate. Well I won't do it. I won't, I won't, I won't!"
The Doctor hits a brick but it doesn't break, which is a subtle callback to him breaking a brick at the beginning of the story and shows he is a new Doctor - one who can't always break bricks with his hands.
Sarah says "Doctor, you're being childish." To which she gets the wonderful reply:
"Well of course I am! No point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes. Are you coming?"
Sarah noms a jelly baby.

They are about to leave in the TARDIS when Harry comes in and, after also noming a jelly baby, is persuaded to go into the TARDIS. "Oh I say!" he says.

The three of them go off on more adventures...

This is a remarkable story because, although I have seen lots of stories with Tom Baker as the Doctor, on videos and DVDs and in books, this was his first! This makes it very special, but if I had not seen Jon Pertwee turn into him at the very start then I don't think I would have known it because Tom Baker is a perfect fit for the Doctor straight away.

I think Tom Baker is my favourite Doctor now - he has a scarf just like mine!

The story of Robot is quite good - with enough exciting elements to keep me happy and enough countdowns that it could have been written by Terry Nation - but it doesn't stand out. There was a film made a couple of years ago which has a similar story to Robot, it is called Endhiran (which translates as "Robot") and instead of the robot becoming giant at the climax, it makes lots of other robots and they all join together so they become a giant robot made of lots of normal-sized robots.

Other than that, the story is very similar except it doesn't have Tom Baker in it so it is not as good. It is a long film and has lots of silly scenes (such as the song about Kilimanjaro) but some of the best bits have been posted on YouTube so we don't have to watch the whole film if we don't want to.

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