Doctor Who and the Robots of Death was a novelisation based on the 1977 television serial The Robots of Death.
1979 Target Books edition
Inside, the humans relax in luxury, while most of the work is done by the robots who serve them.
Then the Doctor and Leela arrive – and the mysterious deaths begin. First suspects, then hunted victims, Leela and the Doctor must find the hidden killer – or join the other victims of the Robots of Death.
1994 Target Books edition
'MY COMMAND PROGRAMME HAS BEEN RESTRUCTURED' EXPLAINED THE ROBOT PLACIDLY. 'ALL HUMANS ARE TO DIE.'
On a desert planet the giant sandminer crawls through the howling sandstorms, harvesting the valuable minerals in the sand. Inside, the humans relax in luxury, while most of the work is done by the robots who serve them. Then the Doctor and Leela arrive – and the mysterious deaths begin. First suspects, then hunted fugitives, Leela and the Doctor must find the hidden killer – or join the other victims of the Robots of Death.
- Corpse Marker
- Death Trap
- The Hunter
- Robot Detective
- Killer Robot
- Robot Rebellion
- The Face of Taren Capel
- The Sevateem do not use a monetary system but instead barter over goods.
Deviations from televised story
- Dum, Voc and Super-Voc and their function on the Sandminer is expanded upon.
- The background of the 20 Founding Families is expanded upon.
- Uvanov has feelings for Zilda, adding 'we could be friends' to their conversation, and stroking her hair after she is found dead.
- The Doctor's explanation of dimensional transcendentalism is changed slightly, with him placing the small box on the console and taking the large one away from Leela rather than the other way round.
- Leela tries to take her crossbow from the TARDIS rather than a Tesh gun.
- There are several minor dialogue changes. Among the most notable, SV7's line about "the human in the rear section" being unaccounted for (referring to Kerril) is changed to "the two new humans in the rear section", referring instead to the Doctor and Leela. Leela's line about the person Toos spoke to not being SV7 is omitted, suggesting SV7's uncertainty about her identity was simply the result of him no longer being in the command programme. D84's famous line "Please do not throw hands at me" becomes "Please do not throw things at me", since Leela simply reaches for her knife with no mention of her using V6's severed limb as a weapon.
- Two of Zilda's lines are reassigned: Her suggestion of ore raiders is given to Uvanov and her comment about an increased share being no consolation for the deaths is given to Toos.
- There is no mention of a robot eavesdropping on the Doctor and Leela in the crewroom.
- When Uvanov looks over his crew prior to interrogating the Doctor, Cass is mentioned as being present, despite the character having been killed already and his death being mentioned several times in the scene.
- The Doctor provides a further explanation as to why a dead stowaway is more suspicious than a live one by noting that the former cannot assert his innocence and would be automatically assumed guilty, lending support to his theory that this was the reason his assailant trapped him in the ore hopper.
- It is Dask rather than Leela who stops Borg attacking the Doctor.
- The Doctor and Dask cut the zeta links together, rather than Dask stopping the Doctor and then taking over.
- Toos manages to dodge V6 for some time before he grabs her, making her survival more realistic.
- The reader learns that Poul and D84 are undercover agents when the Doctor does rather than the information being withheld.
- The characters' ranks and positions are not mentioned except for Uvanov's.
- It is made clear that SV7 recalls V6 from the attack on Toos because his assistance is needed to deactivate V4.
- Uvanov is not knocked out in the final confrontation with SV7 and the Doctor indicates the surviving crew have already sent up a beacon and are awaiting the arrival of a rescue ship when he and Leela leave; on screen, they appear to slip away while the crew are unconscious and simply assume this is what will happen.
- Uvanov states that the death of Zilda's brother happened "a couple of tours ago" rather than on his first command. Poul indicates that all of the now-dead crew were on board but didn't get the full story, adding credence to his theory that Uvanov is the murderer.
- Poul does not give Leela a tablet for her water.
- Robophobia is referred to as Grimwold's syndrome rather than Grimwade's Syndrome.
- Unlike the televised serial the Robots are all described as 'Silver' and no mention of different liveries to distinguish class (Black = Dum, Green = Voc, Silver = Supervoc)
Additional cover images
Writing and publishing notes
to be added
British publication history
- W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
Editions published outside Britain
- Published in the USA by Nelson Doubleday in 1986 as a combined Hardback edition, it comprised this story, Doctor Who and the Deadly Assassin and Doctor Who and the Face of Evil. The introduction by Harlan Ellison was included.