By the time I got to Robot, I already had a few post-regen stories under the belt. Coupled with the fact that Tom Baker is meant to be the best Doctor, I had high hopes for Robot. I agree, it is a great story, but personal preference really brings it down when you look at special effects and things like that. Given that this was the 70s (or 80s lol), it's understandable that the effects would be lacklustre, but when stories like Power of the Daleks, Castrovalva and Spearhead from Space can manage, then why not Robot? The robot looked stupid. And the effects even more so.
The story on the other hand does a great job of introducing the maverick Fourth Doctor and instantly manages to convince viewers that the authoritative Third Doctor Era was over forever! Four is here to play, act brilliant when the situation calls for it and make jabs about how the word 'impregnable' is overrated. Oh and he might hand out jelly-babies every now and again when he's not jumping rope.
Unfortunately, as exciting as the urban thriller plot is, it does suffer from quite a few things that spoil it. The Robot breaking into a vault to steal a gun that can do something the robot already knows how to do makes no sense. There's also the linchpin in the story that doesn't really add up to anything and the TWO (not one, but TWO) countdowns that can both times be defused by the people the villains are rebelling against (the UN).
Tom Baker has so many establishing moments in his first story that it's hard to pick one, but ask any fan and most would tell you about the Doctor's infamous quote to Harry Sullivan: "You may be a doctor. But I'm the Doctor. The definite article, you might say."
A great moment for the Fifth Doctor comes in when he is trying to escape Castrovalva and utters that first 'Must Dash!' Let's not forget the 'that's democracy' jab he utters a few moments earlier.
Although it is generally regarded as a bad move in the history of Doctor Who, the Sixth Doctor's attempted murder of Peri near the beginning of this serial more than establishes what kind of Doctor we're dealing with this time.
Join me next week when we finish with The Time and the Rani through The Eleventh Hour. Thanks for reading. If you like to read more, subscribe and get the latest the earliest!