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Doctor Who and the Giant Robot was a novelisation based on the 1974 television serial Robot. The first edition utilised a unique variant of the Doctor Who logo, incorporating an image of the Fourth Doctor within the O in Who (Otherwise, the Doctor is absent from the main art, the first time this had occurred since the first edition of Doctor Who and the Crusaders nearly a decade before).

Although the idea of incorporating the Doctor's face into the logo was later dropped, the books continued to use this version of the series logo for the rest of the decade. The first hardcover edition did not appear until more than eleven years later.

Publisher's summary[]

1975 Target Books edition[]

`Look, Brigadier! It's growing!' screamed Sarah.

The Brigadier stared in amazement as the Robot began to grow ... and grow ... swelling to the size of a giant!

Slowly the metal colossus, casting its enormous shadow upon the surrounding trees and buildings, began to stride towards the Brigadier. A giant metal hand reached down to grasp him ... Can DOCTOR WHO defeat the evil forces controlling the Robot before they execute their plans to blackmail — or destroy — the world?

The first adventure of DOCTOR WHO's 4th incredible incarnation!

1992 Target Books edition[]


Still weakened by this third regeneration, the Doctor, along with Sarah, the Brigadier, and Harry Sullivan, faces the threats made by a group of dissident scientists, including the icy Miss Winters, to enslave the world - or perhaps to destroy the planet entirely.

Written by Terrance Dicks and broadcast in 1974, this story was first published under the title The Giant Robot. It was the first television story ever to feature the Fourth Doctor, as played by Tom Baker - regarded by many as the definitive Doctor. Robot also introduced Harry Sullivan to the TARDIS crew.

Chapter titles[]

  1. Killer in the Night
  2. Something More than Human
  3. Trouble at Thinktank
  4. Robot!
  5. The Killer Strikes Again
  6. Trapped by the Robot
  7. The World in Danger
  8. In the Hands of the Enemy
  9. The Battle at the Bunker
  10. The Countdown Begins
  11. The Kidnapping of Sarah
  12. The Giant Terror

Deviations from televised story[]

  • When the Third Doctor regenerates, he is described as writhing and twisting in agony.
  • The Fourth Doctor spends several days in sick bay, rather than a few minutes.
  • In the televised story, Harry drives Bessie towards the Robot so the Doctor can pour the metal virus on it. In the novelisation, he drives the Brigadier's Land Rover to do it instead.
  • The novelisation effectively omits the first scene, although parts of it are used as flashback when the Brigadier visits the Doctor's laboratory, opening with the K1's first robbery.
  • Jellicoe and Chambers' first names are not mentioned. Short is not named at all, but does replace Jellicoe letting Kettlewell into the meeting.
  • Conversely, Kettlewell's first name is given as Jeremiah, expanding on the televised version giving his first initial as J.
  • Benton is referred to as a sergeant several times before he tells Sarah about his promotion; on television, he wears his new rank insignia and is referred to as "Mr. Benton" throughout.
  • Jellicoe is said to be Thinktank's Public Relations Officer rather than Hilda Winters' assistant.
  • Jellicoe tries to talk Miss Winters out of letting the SRS members attack Sarah.
  • The K1's pursuit of the Doctor at Kettlewell's house goes on longer.
  • The Thinktank gate guard lets Sarah into the building rather than her sneaking in.
  • Sarah passes out after her first encounter with the Robot.
  • Harry is knocked out by an anonymous security guard rather than Jellicoe and Phillips (the latter does not appear at all in the novelisation).
  • UNIT raid the Thinktank and find it deserted before going to the bunker.
  • The K1 places Sarah on the roof of the bunker rather than a rooftop.
  • There is a sequence of RAF jet fighters unsuccessfully attacking the giant K1.
  • At one point, the Doctor addresses Harry as "my boy", a phrase not normally associated with his fourth incarnation.
  • The K1 hides himself and Sarah in a secret compartment at the bunker, where Sarah helps herself to the supplies.
  • There is a brief battle between UNIT and the Thinktank troops when they storm the bunker.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • The cover logo for the first edition uniquely used the Fourth Doctor's face in the "O" lettering in WHO. Disregarding this modification, this was the first Target novelisation to feature the then-current diamond logo (although only the lettering, not the diamond itself). Prior to this release the line had used a unique logo reminiscent of the one used between 1970 and 1973.
  • The inside cover of the original edition notes: “THE CHANGING FACE OF DOCTOR WHO. The cover illustration of this book portrays the fourth DOCTOR WHO” !

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

  • Hardback
W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
  • Paperback

Editions published outside Britain[]

  • Published in the USA by Aeonian Press in 1978 as a hardback edition; despite this being one of only two novelisations published in the 1970's Aeonian Press would publish a further seven novelisations in the mid-1980's.


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 5 November 2007 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Tom Baker.

The cover blurb was retained in the accompanying booklet with sleevenotes by David J. Howe. Music and sound effects by Simon Power.

It was later reissued as an MP3-CD alongside action figures of a Weeping Angel and a Cyberman as part of Character Options' Panodrica wave. Additionally, it was broadcast on BBC Radio 7 that same year, serialised in 8 parts from 5th-9th and 12th-14th April 2010.

The audiobook version was re-released in October 2018 as part of The Second UNIT Collection box set.

Junior edition[]

Main article: Junior Doctor Who and the Giant Robot.

In 1980, Terrance Dicks published a shorter version of this novel aimed at younger readers; it was one of two such experiments; the other was The Brain of Morbius.

External links[]