One of the lesser known Doctor Who villains was a robot by the name of Voc. Reprogrammed by an evil scientist, Vocs became killers. The Robots of Death was voted as one of the best Doctor Who stories.
This description is reprinted from the BBC VHS video box:
Doctor Who starring Tom Baker in The Robots of Death by Chris Boucher, first broadcast in 1977. The Doctor faces a horrific army of merciless machines… On a desolate planet rich in metal ores a huge sandminer crawls over the barren wastes scraping the surface for lacunal, one of the most valuable substances in the Universe. The skeleton crew are served by their robot staff; efficient, expendable and totally obedient. Until now. One by one the human crew are brutally and mysteriously eliminated and suspicion shifts from the crew members themselves to the Doctor and Leela, who have accidentally landed on the planet. But, as the true enemy is revealed, the Doctor, Leela and the remains of the terrified crew find themselves prey to a horde of killer robots answerable only to an evil scientist determined to see them seize absolute power.
The postcard was presented free with Marvel Comics’ Doctor Who Magazine.
My favourite television programme way back in the 1960s was Thunderbirds, the Gerry Anderson puppet series. At primary school a group of us became characters from the show (we didn’t think of them as puppets). I wanted to be Scott Tracy (whose puppet was apparently based on Sean Connery) but had to be Virgil, as Scott had already been taken! Two of the girls in our class of 10 year olds were cast as Lady Penelope and Tin Tin, but I don’t think they were really interested . . . they just had the correct hair colouring!
I regularly bought the TV 21 comic which accompanied the series, and even had the annuals for Christmas. I gorged myself on sweet cigarettes so that I could collect all the Thunderbirds cigarette cards (which I still have in the loft), even buying a 100 pack of the pretend smokes because it had more cards inside. I’m lucky to still have my teeth.
But despite this massive interest, I really can’t recall the robot that was in the series of programmes. Because Thunderbirds was set in the future, with a space station and rockets launched from under swimming pools, I guess I just accepted the robot as part of the scenery. You can find out more about the Thunderbirds robot here.
The two postcards on this page show the Robot Guard from episode 7, 30 Minutes After Noon, and Braman the Robot from episode 11, Sun Probe. Braman is obviously very intelligent because he is able to challenge the character Brains (based on the real life Anthony Perkins of Psycho fame . . . yes, really) to a game of Chess.
Now I know that it’s a children’s programme, but I have to admit to being rather excited that Thunderbirds is making a come back this Easter on ITV. The puppet strings have gone and the effects have got much more professional. Have a look at the trailer below, I’m sure it will be a massive hit.
“Plugged In” by Terry Pastor
Here is the fourth postcard in the series of collectable postcards. What do you think is going on here? My first impression was that it was some kind of electric cocktail bar for robots, but then I’m not sure . . . ideas on a postcard please!
The postcard was printed in Karlstad, Sweden in 1985 by Pictura Graphica AB.
Terry Pastor produced the album artwork for David Bowie’s Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust, as well as book covers for best-selling authors Arthur C Clark, Jeffrey Archer, Mickey Spillane and many more. There are some great examples of his work on his website.