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29 MIN READ TIME

PARROT SKETCH

One of Douglas Adams’ original notes about the robot bird he initially called the Polyphase Avitron.
The Polyphase Avatron sits on the shoulder of the Pirate Captain (Bruce Purchase) in The Pirate Planet (1978).
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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Doctor Who Magazine - The Essential Doctor Who: Robots
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About Doctor Who Magazine

Robots have been an essential part of Doctor Who for six decades. The latest issue of Panini’s lavish Doctor Who bookazine includes features on classic robot stories such as Galaxy 4, Pyramids of Mars and The Robots of Death. Other highlights include interviews with the actors, writers and directors who helped to create some of these episodes. Packed with exclusive content and rare images, this 116-page bookazine is a must-have for fans

Other Articles in this Issue


Doctor Who Magazine
Doctor Who has embraced many genres since it began
The Doctor’s complex relationship with robots has been tested in numerous perilous encounters…
In the mid-1960s the robotic Mechonoids made a brief but memorable bid for supremacy over the Daleks, both on and off the screen.
A SPACESHIP CREWED BY A DOZEN RILLS AND THEIR multi-function
The novelisation of Galaxy 4 was first published by Target Books in 1985. Four years later Doctor Who Magazine visited the writer, William Emms, to discuss some of the ways the novelisation departed from his original script.
THE YEAR IS 1966. THE TARDIS ARRIVES IN LONDON, where
In 1990 Ian Stuart Black spoke to Doctor Who Magazine about his seminal 1966 story The War Machines. These are highlights and previously unpublished extracts from that conversation.
PROFESSOR TRAVERS FIRST ENCOUNTERED THE robotic Yeti
Quarks are just some of the memorable robots to have menaced the Doctor in his numerous comic-strip incarnations.
AS THE DOMINATORS’ WAR FLEET HEADS TOWARDS Epsilon
In the surreal first episode of The Mind Robber, Jamie and Zoe are assailed by robots that had their origins in another BBC series…
UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE TIME LORDS, the TARDIS takes
Several years after creating the Chumblies for Galaxy 4, writer William Emms submitted another story to the Doctor Who production office. This time, however, the robots he devised were rather more sinister…
ASENTRY GUARDING A MINISTRY OF DEFENCE weapons research
Many actors have played robots in Doctor Who, but Michael Kilgarriff brought a touching humanity to the definite article.
FORCED TO FIND A NEW WORLD TO INHABIT, THE Kraals of
The 1977 classic The Robots of Death was written by Chris Boucher. In 1993 Chris recalled his brief but acclaimed tenure on television Doctor Who in an interview with the fanzine The Hourly Press. Here are highlights of that conversation.
ON THE DISTANT COLONY WORLD OF a robot-dependent civilisation
Several months before his death in March 2007, writer Dave Martin described how he and his colleague Bob Baker created their famous robot dog, K9. The interview is published here for the first time.
ON THE PLANET TARA, THE CORONATION OF a new king is
Douglas Adams’ notes reveal his original intentions for the Polyphase Avatron in The Pirate Planet.
MONARCH DRAGGED HIS FROG-LIKE PEOPLE FROM the slime
The Doctor’s second robot companion suffered a short, troubled and over-ambitious journey.
THE DOCTOR AND PERI VISIT RAVOLOX, A PLANET in the
Award-winning visual effects designer Mike Tucker began his career as a Doctor Who crew member in the late 1980s. He reflects on some of the most memorable robot designs from that era.
POLITICAL EVENTS HAVE TAKEN AN UNUSUAL TURN on the
A chance encounter in a London pub brought actor John Leeson the defining role of his long career.
THE DOCTOR AND ROSE TYLER TAKE MICKEY SMITH on his
They may be the stuff of nightmares, but the repair droids from The Girl in the Fireplace were inspired by historical fact…
IN THE RIM OF THE GUSEV CRATER ON MARS, THE Doctor
Paul Tams was a teenage Doctor Who fan when he first encountered K9. Since then he’s co-created the robot dog’s television comeback, and now has plans for a feature film…
IN 1938, A JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TESELECTA ANDROID assumes
Writer Tom MacRae trapped Amy Pond on the planet Apalapucia for 36 years, prisoner of an automated system that only meant well…
THE DOCTOR TAKES AMY POND AND RORY WILLIAMS to Apalapucia
Kate Walshe recalls some of the awesome automata that have emerged from the workshop of Millennium FX.
THE DOCTOR DETECTS AN ALIEN PRESENCE IN EAST London.
As the director of two stories that pitted the Twelfth Doctor against mechanical adversaries, Paul Murphy has first-hand experience of the challenges posed by the series’ robots.
VISITING THE HUMAN COLONY MENDORAX DELLORA, the Doctor
There can be few better examples of the ingenuity employed by Doctor Who’s robot-builders than the device that captured subjects for The Sontaran Experiment.