To celebrate the re~release of The Robots of Death on DVD (out this Monday in the UK as part of the Revisitations 3 box set) I thought it might be fun to do a Top 10 list of robots from Doctor Who. Then I thought, “No, that doesn’t sound like that much fun”. Then I thought, “Well, I’ve started thinking about it, I may as well as do it.” And here it is! Visit the lists page HERE.

10. Quarks

Considering their utterly ridic appearance, all~round uselessness and the fact the story they starred in is slightly dull (The Dominators), you may be wondering exactly why The Quarks are in this Top 10 (poor Drathro). But just check out how cute these little guys are! Erotic doesn’t quite cover it…

9. The Robot robot

OK, I know he’s called K1 but I always call him the Robot robot, after the robotular story he appeared in, Robot. (Am I saying “Robot” too much?) This chap was unique in the respect that he managed to grow, just like a real boy! For me, K1 is the ultimate in DISCO with his shiny domed head and stylish ribbings. Until the giant Cyber King stomped over London in 1851, Tom Baker’s first tin foe was the biggest (though, technically, the CyberBot probably wasn’t a “proper” robot). Oh, and wobot…

8. The Anne Droid
Phwoar! She only went and killed a flippin’ Dalek!!! And also, Phwoar!

7. Kamelion

Ah, so many possibilities. Actually, the above picture makes the Eighties love~bot look like the real deal but due to his immobility poor Kam got stuck in a cupboard for the majority of his time in the TARDIS (a facet that should have been utilised on some other companions). The idea was solid enough, a robot that could change its appearance (you know, like a chameleon) but aside from his introductory story, The King’s *yawn* Demons, this trait is never really explored to its full potential until his final story, Planet of Fire. A missed opportunity and evidence that producer John Nathan-Turner’s vision was larger than his belly, so to speak.

6. Roboforms

Robots don’t often get a second crack at the whip, but the Robot Santas followed Doctor Who about on two consecutive Christmases; once while the Earth was being invaded and then the next when a bride was running away. Granted, they were only guising as Mr Claus but they showed off considerable skill by playing Crimbo tunes together. Points off for poor shot skills and choice of evil Empress to get involved with. Amazingly, there’s still no action figure.

5. Clockwork Droids

To quote Davey T, and he should know, these wind~up automatons are bah~utiful. Mind you, dressed up in 18th century garb, even I would look attractive (ok, I maybe went too far there). Clothing aside, the Clockwork Droids not only had exquisite design work (shinycogs~dot~com) but their back~story was full of emotional resonance – not just your simple run-of-the-mill baddies. Their plight was as heart~breaking (SteeMo™) as the differing journeys taking place between The Doctor and Madame de Pompadour.

4. Rory the Robot

Or, as I call him, The Rory~Bot 5000. I don’t think an inanimate object has ever had life breathed into so cheaply as we see in The Girl Who Waited. A robot with some marker pen graffiti. Literally, smiley face. Troublingly, for Arthur Darvill, he ran the risk of being acted off screen when the two Rorys shared a scene. Of course, there are some other unspoken ideas as to just why Amy needed a robotic chum…

3. Dums & Vocs

No, that’s not that name of the latest band sweeping the nation with their brand of tight~trousered pop, but the names of THE ROBOTS OF DEATH! Dun~dun~duunnnnn! Perhaps the most striking looking ‘bots in the Top 10, their synchronised movement haunted whilst the voices chilled with their calming tones and helpful manner. MANNER OF DEATH!! These guys have the added bonus of starring in one of the greatest Doctor Who stories of all time. TIME OF DEATH!!! Sadly, that was their one and only appearance. APPEARANCE OF DEATH!!!! (That’s quite enough of that – Ed.)

2. Raston Warrior Robot
I’ll say it again, phwoar! Now that’s what I call destroying a helmet! #bulge

1. K-9

Well, it had to be didn’t it? Often thought of as Doctor Who’s answer to Star Wars’ Artoo~Detoo (though hideously incorrectly as filming on The Invisible Enemy, his first appearance, took place a month before George Lucas’ space opera even hit US cinemas), the Tin Dog still manages to enthrall millions. I had the pleasure of meeting K9 last year at a wonderful event at the University of Hertfordshire. To my disappointment, he ignored my request for an interview; the bitch! Anyway, my favourite K9 moment has to be the title sequence for his first spin~off, K9 & Company. Not a day goes by without me singing the theme tune to myself. Now how many other robots have that honour?

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