List of Doctor Who robots
The long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who has featured many robots. The Daleks and Cybermen are not listed as they are organic beings that become cyborgs and therefore not true robots.
Adherents of the Repeated Meme
A small robot that delivers junk mail to advertise events, as in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy. The advertising satellite was able to use the TARDIS' viewing screen to show the advertisement.
Androids created by Sharaz Jek.
Two androids created by the Cybermen to guard a bomb. The androids are defeated with concentrated fire and Adric's help.
Blue androids portrayed as the police and servants of Karfel.
These androids were created by the Kraals for an invasion on earth by duplicating people such as Harry Sullivan. The androids contain a gun inside their fingers.
Appearing in "Bad Wolf", Anne Droid is a satire of television presenter Anne Robinson and is voiced by Robinson herself. Anne Droid hosts The Weakest Link in the year 200,100 and disintegrates the losing contestants. However, this is later proven false; it's a transportation beam that sends the losers to the Daleks for conversion into their species. Anne Droid was later employed as a security measure against the invading Dalek Empire, and destroyed several Daleks with her energy ray before being destroyed herself.
Also known as Clockwork Men, they are repair robots from the 51 century that are equipped with a short range teleporter, scanners, tranquilizers, and various tools. They can heat themselves if they get frozen and can drain excess fluid from their system. While they can blending by using guise of a different era's style, the operation of their clockwork parts makes a constant ticking sound along with their inability to breathe.
The Tenth Doctor first encountered the Clockword Droids on board the spaceship that is later revealed to be SS Madame De Pompadour during the events of "The Girl in the Fireplace". When the ship broke down in the Dagmar Cluster, the droids used the ship's crew for body parts when they lack the necessary parts to make repairs. They then disguise themselves in masquerade costumes after using their ship's quantum drive to open time windows to 18th Century France to obtain the brain of a 37-year old Madame de Pompadour. But they end up being a reoccurring element in the woman's childhood before shutting down with lack of purpose as a result of the Doctor disconnecting the time window that led back to the ship.
While Steven Moffat expressed an interest to bring back the clockwork androids in the 5th series, he reintroduces them in "Deep Breath" when another group from the SS Madame de Pompadour's sister ship, the SS Marie Antoinette, crashed on Earth in prehistoric times while on a mission to reach "The Promised Land". With the crew dead, the lead Clockwork android that becomes the Half Faced Man begins adding human body parts to themselves over the ages. Now human-like cyborgs in Victorian London, they use Mancini's restaurant as a front while harvesting human organs and destroying the remains. However, unable to properly remember their SS Madame de Pompadour counterparts, the Twelfth Doctor manages to deactivate the clockwork cyborgs with the apparent death of the Half Faced Man.
Robots in the fictional world created by the Master of the land of fiction.
Gadget was a robot invented and controlled by junior technician, Roman Groom, for the Bowie Base One Mars station. After the Doctor saved Gadget, along with Adelaide Brooke, Mia Bennett and Yuri Kerenski, the robot stopped working due to loss of signal.
|Doctor Who alien|
|Type||Armoured war robot|
|Affiliated with||Celestial Being|
|First appearance||Warriors' Gate|
The Gundans were war robots encountered by the Fourth Doctor in the 1980 story Warriors' Gate by Stephen Gallagher. They were designed by the human slaves of the Tharils and used as a spearhead in the revolution which overthrew the Tharil empire. Designed with the primary purpose to resist and kill Tharils, the Gundans could travel the time winds like their prey and butchered many during the revolt. Each Gundan was armed with an axe and decorated with horns to make the robots seem more frightening. The revolt began on the day of the Great Feast. Several inert and decaying Gundans were found by the Doctor when he visited the feasting hall in the Gateway between the universes. The skeletons of their defeated enemies remained in their seats around the feasting table. The Doctor repaired the memory wafers of a Gundan to discover what had caused the decay of the Gateway.
The Host were golden robotic angels who gave information to passengers aboard the Titanic space cruiser. Initially thought to have been malfunctioning, the Host were controlled by Max Capricorn who instructed them to kill all remaining passengers after a meteor collided with the ship. They used their halos as weapons and had the ability to fly. After Max Capricorn was killed, the Host obeyed the next highest authority on board the Titanic—the Doctor.
Handbots were the medical personal on Apalapucia in The Girl Who Waited. Their real name is unknown however, referred as Handbots due to the fact that the organic skin, grafted on their hands, allows them to "see" and even detect bacteria, however if 2 of their hands are touched together, the feedback "knocks it out". Despite their ability to detect bacteria, the Handbots had limited intelligence compared to humans, unable to tell different species or what medicines cured them (species without 2 hearts would die if they got the medicine, and Chen-7 would die if they consumed it). Handbots could be re-programmed to be docile by sonic devices, but Older Amy had to cut off "Rory's" hands, suggesting that even when re-programmed, they can still be dangerous.
In Robot, K1 was a robot designed in the 20th century to replace humans in dangerous environments, but was subverted by a group of intellectuals who wanted to take power for themselves.
The Doctor's faithful robotic dog companion, from the middle to end of his fourth incarnation. The original model was acquired by the Doctor during The Inivisible Enemy, while he built replacements till near the end of his life.
The MK III was left with Sarah Jane Smith, but was replaced by the MK IV.
A shape-shifting android acquired by the Fifth Doctor as a companion after The Five Doctors. Kamelion was weak-willed, so the Master was able to take control of him twice. Kamelion asked for death to avoid betraying the Doctor again; he sadly complied.
|Doctor Who universe character|
|Home planet||Terra Alpha|
|Appears in||The Happiness Patrol|
|Portrayed by||David John Pope|
The Kandy Man (or Kandyman) was a pathological, psychopathic robotic killer from 1988's Seventh Doctor story The Happiness Patrol (written by Graeme Curry). Employed by the egocentric Helen A, the Kandy Man delighted in creating methods of torture and destruction using confectionery, such as drowning people in sugary solutions like its "fondant surprise". It was sadistic and had a warped sense of humour, claiming it liked its victims to "die with a smile on their faces" by making candies that were so sweet the human body was unable to cope with the pleasure.
Composed of things like sherbet, marzipan and caramel, it was created by Gilbert M, with whom it shared an almost symbiotic relationship. The Doctor stuck the Kandy Man to the floor using lemonade—it had to keep moving or its constituent ingredients would coagulate. The Kandy Man died when its external candy shell was dissolved in a pipe by fondant released by the oppressed Pipe People.
Although it resembled the trademarked character of Bertie Bassett, the BBC's internal investigations revealed the resemblance was entirely coincidental, though they promised Bassetts that the character would not return.
The Seventh Doctor encountered the Kandy Man again on the planet Tara in The Trials of Tara, a short story by Paul Cornell from Decalog 2 written entirely in iambic pentameter. In that story, Count Grendel rebuilt the Kandy Man after its charred body crashed on Tara.
Robots that allied with the Sheriff of Nottingham; in exchange for doing his bidding and helping him takeover England, he gathered gold for them to repair their nuclear engines. They sought to reach the Promised Land; however, they were unable to listen to the Doctor's warnings that it would be dangerous to attempt piloting the ship away, ended up being destroyed by their own engine self-destructing in space.
An unintelligent robot, used by Drathro to recapture the Sixth Doctor. However, the Tribe of the Free damage it beyond repair, believing it to be the legendary "Immortal".
A humanoid robot, with a horseshoe-shaped head. It was charged with overlooking the habitat of survivors underground on Ravalox; in time it called itself Drathro and took the two brightest of the humans ever couple of decades to help with repairing the computers.
|Doctor Who alien|
|Affiliated with||Human Colonists|
|First appearance||The Chase|
The Mechonoids were large, spherical robots originally created to serve humans in The Chase. Sent to prepare the planet Mechanus for human colonisation, they kept stranded astronaut Steven Taylor prisoner as he did not have their control codes. Daleks, pursuing the TARDIS crew, engaged the Mechonoids in battle. Which side was victorious is not shown, although the Mechonoids never appeared in the Doctor Who television series again.
The Mechonoids (spelt 'Mechanoids') next appeared in the TV21 comic strip story The Eve of War, the story running from December 1965 to January 1966. They are depicted as the sworn enemies of the Daleks. A race of blue-skinned humanoids subtly interfere with events using a robot called K2 in order to prevent a war. This was followed by a further comic strip appearance (where they are again termed 'Mechanoids') in the story The World That Waits, included in the 1966 The Dalek World annual. The narrative depicts a Dalek attack on Mechanus which results in the destruction of the Mechanoid city.
War of the Daleks (1997), an Eighth Doctor BBC Books novel written by John Peel, features a Mechonoid identified as Mechon 179. It works as a gardener on the planet Hesperus and is destroyed helping to defend it against a Daleks invasion.
The third issue of Doctor Who - Battles in Time magazine (2006) featured a two page Dalek Wars image and accompanying text entitled The Battle for the Planet Mechanus, depicting a battle inside the Mechonoid city.
In the comic story The Only Good Dalek (which featured a number of classic Dalek references) the Mechanoids were depicted as having been destroyed by the Daleks, with some of their remains making their way to a human space station where research was conducted on the Daleks in the hopes of finding a way to defeat them. This station was subsequently destroyed by the Daleks during their hunt for a Dalek who had been genetically altered to remove hatred from it.
Megara justice machine
Men In Black
Men In Black are androids that first appeared in the animated Tenth Doctor serial Dreamland. In The Vault of Secrets, Mister Dread and the Alliance of Shades attempts to incinerate the gang, for they refused to hand over a disc required to enter the Vault of Secrets as well as Androvax, who wanted to revive the last survivors of the Veils. Clyde tricks two Men In Black at one point by jumping away from two incineration blasts both fired at, causing the blasts to destroy each other. The gang were able to get Mister Dread to allow Androvax and his race to leave in their ship without any harm by having him beam them into outer space.
Nanogenes are 'flocking' nanobots that repair damaged tissue. In The Empty Child, nanogenes inadvertently use a dead child as a template, reproducing the same injuries on anyone the child touches. The nanogenes restore those it converted after they are provided with a complete human template.
Osirian service robots
The Osirian service robots made appearances in:
- Pyramids of Mars, a Fourth Doctor serial with Sarah Jane Smith and Sutekh an Osiran, written by Stephen Harris, Robert Holmes and Lewis Greifer.
- The Sands of Time, a Fifth Doctor novel with Tegan Jovanka, Nyssa and the Osirans, written by Justin Richards.
|Doctor Who alien|
|First appearance||The Dominators|
The Quarks were used on Dulkis by the Dominators to enslave and terrorise the indigenous Dulcian population to ensure the drilling of bore holes through the planet's crust. The Dominators planned to use their technology to fire seeds down the holes which would force the core to erupt, thus providing a new fuel source for their fleet.
The Quarks were rectangular, with four arms: one pair which folded into the body, the other pair being retractable. On the end of each arm was a solitary claw. The spherical head was divided into octants; the upper four octants formed the sensory hemisphere, which detected changes in light, heat and motion. At five of the corners of the octants were directional crystal beam transmitters (the sixth corner joined with the robot's extremely short neck). Quarks communicated by means of high-pitched sounds. Their tendency to run out of energy quickly was their primary weakness.
Quarks are also referred to in the Big Finish Productions audio drama Flip-Flop. When they attacked the space yacht Pinto, the Seventh Doctor and Mel sought leptonite crystals in order to defeat them. It is not known whether the Doctor defeated the Quarks on that occasion. The Quarks were also mentioned, and mocked viciously, in the Doctor Who Unbound audio play Exile.
Quarks can be seen on the VHS cover of The Five Doctors, although they did not appear in the story because they were drafted out at an early stage. They were replaced by a Raston Warrior Robot, encountered by the Third Doctor.
On the BBC website, Captain Jack's Monster Files entry for the Vespiform mention that they may have been at war with "Quark rebels".
The Quarks were portrayed by children.
Additional information on the Quarks can be found in:
- Harris, M. The Doctor Who Technical Manual 1983. Severn House London/J. M. Dent Pty Ltd Boronia/Australian Broadcasting Corporation Publishing, Sydney.
Raston Warrior Robot
The Raston Warrior Robot was found in the Death Zone on Gallifrey; it could move faster than lightning and was capable of taking out a troop of Cybermen (The Five Doctors) in seconds. It moves so fast that it appears to just teleport from place to place, only visible when it remains stationary. Its own targeting systems are primarily based on detecting movement. Physically, the robot is very lithe, always moving around to scan its environment for targets, and jumping around almost like a ballet dancer when attacking (the actor portraying the robot wears a silver ballet bodysuit, in contrast to the clunky and slow-moving Cybermen). Its face is smooth with no visible eyes. In combat, it launches spike-like projectiles from its hands. The spikes are carried internally, apparently capable of collapsing down to a very small size to fit inside, but when fired they expand out to about three feet long. The spikes are launched out of the hands using a flicking motion directed at a target, and the robot is capable of firing many spikes in rapid succession. The spikes are capable of tearing apart Cybermen with ease. The robot is also capable of holding onto the spikes and wielding them as a melee weapon; it did this to decapitate a Cyberman that was already disabled. The robot is ruthlessly efficient, but apparently also somewhat sadistic: when it encountered the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane, who were unarmed, it could easily have killed them but instead fired spikes at the ground near them then ran around in circles, prompting the Doctor to state that it was toying with them. However, as soon as the well-armed Cybermen arrived, the Raston warrior robot shifted to attacking them with quick volleys of spikes. The Third Doctor considers them to be "the most perfect killing machine ever devised". The Doctor himself could find no means of disabling the robot, but simply avoided it by fleeing past it while it was distracted by a squad of Cybermen. According to the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Eight Doctors by Terrance Dicks, the robots were built by an ancient race, older than the Time Lords, who were ultimately destroyed by their own weapons. However, the novel Alien Bodies by Lawrence Miles claims this was false advertising on the part of their manufacturers. It uses atomic radiation as a power source, drawing it from the atmosphere, and locks onto electrical impulses in the brain of its victim, but can become confused if it meets two beings with the same brain pattern. A Raston Warrior Robot appears in the Past Doctor Adventure World Game, also by Dicks, and in the game Destiny of the Doctors.
Russell T Davies, in the March 2008 issue of Doctor Who Magazine, expressed interest in bringing the Raston Warrior Robot back in the new series of Doctor Who, citing the battle between the Robot and the Cybermen in The Five Doctors as one of the finest in the show's history. This has thus far not transpired, and Davies has since left the series.
Robots 1 and 2
Two identical robots belonging to Solomon the Trader who appeared in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. Having entered the ship with Solomon, these two robots assisted him in the murder of its Silurian crew and cared for him after he was wounded. The pair were known for having rather snarky, obnoxious personalities, and were short-circuited by the Doctor and destroyed along with their master.
Robots of death
In The Robots of Death, there were three types of slave Robots, created by a distant human society. The robots were originally built to perform menial tasks. In at least one instance these robots took to raising a human child, Taren Capel. He eventually learned to reprogram the robots to kill humans, and attempted to stage a Robot Revolution.
There were three classes of robots:
- D-class, colloquially known as Dums, were incapable of speech and merely followed orders.
- V-class or Vocs were capable of verbal response and performing slightly more complex tasks, but ultimately no more intelligent than the D-class.
- SV-class, or Supervocs were capable of reason and decision-making, and were used to co-ordinate the other robots in an organisation. Supervocs have been utilised in detective work.
These robots made appearances in:
- The Robots of Death, a Fourth Doctor episode with Leela, written by Chris Boucher
- Corpse Marker, a Fourth Doctor novel with Leela written by Chris Boucher
- Kaldor City: Occam's Razor, a Kaldor City audio play, written by Alan Stevens and Jim Smith
- Kaldor City: Death's Head, a Kaldor City audio play, written by Chris Boucher
- Kaldor City: Hidden Persuaders, a Kaldor City audio play, written by Jim Smith
- Kaldor City: Taren Capel, a Kaldor City audio play, written by Alan Stevens
- Kaldor City: Checkmate, a Kaldor City audio play, written by Alan Stevens
- Kaldor City: Storm Mine, a Kaldor City audio play, written by Daniel O'Mahony
- Robophobia, a Seventh Doctor audio play, written by Nicholas Briggs
Robot bus conductor
Robot Doctor Who
A duplicate of the First Doctor, created by the Daleks to infiltrate the TARDIS crew.
Robot Dracula, Robot Frankenstein's Monster and Robot Grey Lady
Lifelike humanoid robots created from the Festival of Ghana 1996. They mimicked characters from horror films to frighten visitors of a 'haunted house'.
A knight-like robot created by the Sontaran, Linx.
The Pilot Fish (as described by The Doctor) first appeared at Christmas 2006 in "The Christmas Invasion" (broadcast 2005). The pilot fish wanted the Doctor's regenerative energy and so tried to kill Rose, Jackie and Mickey as they were in the way. They were disguised as Santas in a brass band, and attacked using weapons concealed within the instruments. They remote controlled a Christmas tree that swirled at high speed, cutting through nearly anything in its path. The Doctor indicated that pilot fish indicated that something bigger was coming; their presence preceded the arrival of the Sycorax.
In "The Runaway Bride" (2006), the pilot fish, still disguised as Santas, were controlled by the Empress of the Racnoss who referred to them as "roboforms". The Doctor said the pilot fish were "mercenaries". They used bombs disguised as Christmas baubles that could fly and then swoop at a target before detonating. They were revealed to have golden faces, featureless except for black eyepieces. The Roboforms later makes a brief appearance in "The Pandorica Opens", as part of the alliance of aliens who join forces to imprison the Doctor in the Pandorica.
Seers of the Oracle
Sontaran surveillance robot
|Doctor Who alien|
|Home planet||Starship UK|
|First appearance||"The Beast Below"|
Smilers are a security task force that were employed on the Starship UK in "The Beast Below" They resemble carnival fortune telling robots and are there to monitor the population of the ship from thousands of booths aboard the spaceship. The population is terrified of Smilers due to their relationship with the "beast below" whom citizens who displease them are sacrificed to. They have three faces that they can change to depending their mood ranging from Smiling to Warning, and finally Angry. Cyborg version of Smilers referred as "Winders" also exist, although they are much rarer.
After the Doctor's adventure in Starship UK, it's left to wonder if the Smilers are decomissoned or still operational.
They are small robots with four tentacle-like appendages and two saucer-shaped body parts. The top part has a red 'eye' which can emit light. Individually, they are not very strong or dangerous, but can be formidable in large groups. They were transported as metallic orbs, which were in turn transported by the Adherents of the Repeated Meme.
In "The End of the World", the spider robots were used by Cassandra to disrupt the systems of Platform One (namely the sun filter systems) so that she could claim the insurance money to pay for her plastic surgery bills. In "New Earth", they were used for spying around the eponymous planet.
The Teselecta, first shown in "Let's Kill Hitler", is a robot with the ability to change its appearance. It is commanded by humans, who are shrunk by a miniaturization ray and kept at that size by a compression field. Teselecta are sent through time by an organization called The Justice Department, to remove people it judges deserving of punishment from their established time stream just before their death so they can be tortured, a task they regard as a responsibility that comes with the capability of time travel. In "Let's Kill Hitler", Amy and Rory are trapped within a Teselecta and chased by its robotic "immune system". Wrist-bands worn by the crew serve as reverse antibodies, preventing the "immune system" from attacking them, and anybody not wearing one with proper identification status is incinerated. Later in the episode, the crew of the Teselecta is evacuated by what appears to be a trans-mat beam.
The Teselecta reappear in the Series 6 finale "The Wedding of River Song". The Doctor is supposed to be killed at Lake Silencio, Utah, but he hides with his TARDIS inside the robot, which takes his form, making it appear that he is killed.
War Machines (WOTAN)
- Paul Parsons (2006), The Unofficial Guide: The Science of Doctor Who, Icon Books
- "Doctor Who - Let's Kill Hitler - News & Features". BBC. 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2011-12-08.