Doctor Who - The Androids of Tara
Graham Williams for BBC
directed by Michael Hayes
starring Tom Baker, Mary Tamm, John Leeson (voice), Peter Jeffrey, Neville Jason, Paul Lavers, Simon Lack, Lois Baxter, Declan Mulholland
written by David Fisher, music by Dudley Simpson, script editor: Anthony Read
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Tom Baker), Doctor Who (classic series), K9, Key to Time storyarc
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The search for the fourth segment of the Key to Time takes Doctor Who
(Tom Baker), his companion Romana (Mary Tamm) and his robot dog K9 (voiced
by John Leeson) to the planet Tara, a planet that's still stuck in
midieval times on one hand but also has androids and electronic weapons on
the other. The good news is that the segment is quickly found and
retrieved without a problem, the bad news is that Romana is soon enough
kidnapped by evil Count Grendel (Peter Jeffrey), who needs her because she
is a splitting image of Princess Strella (also Mary Tamm, naturally),
while the Doctor is apprehended by good Prince Reynart (Neville Jason) and
his men, who need him to repair their android splitting image of the
Prince to save him from an assassination attempt during his coronation by
Count Grendel and his men. The Doctor manages to repair the android, but
soon enough, Grendel's men kidnap the real Reynart, and now its upon the
Doctor to have the android crowned, counter Grendel's foul play at every
step along the way, free Romana, the real Reynart and Princess Strella
from Grendel's dungeon and set everything right on Tara again - which all
culminates in a bit fencing duel between the Doctor and Grendel in the end
- and wouldn't you know it, the Doctor wins ...
Obviously inspired by the novel The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony
Hope, The Androids of Tara is actually an enjoyable if a tad silly
and not all that original blend of science fiction and midieval motives.
Of course, if you watch it closely there are numerous plotpoints in the
film tht simply don't make sense, but if you just take it as a mindless
little romp you will find it very entertaining and slightly amusing. Plus
sets and acting are very decent indeed.