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Characters / Doctor Who Robots

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"I've met robots. Lots of robots."
Sarah Jane Smith, "School Reunion"

The various robots and machines the Doctor has encountered in Doctor Who. For specific members of these groups, see their respective character sheets.

As with all Doctor Who characters, they also appear in the various Expanded Universe branches.

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Classic Series Debut


Mechanoids (First Doctor)

Large, spherical robots originally built by the human colonists of Mechanus, which were abandoned and left forgotten on the planet.


Chumblies (First Doctor)

Diminutive robots that serve the Rills, the Chumblies are named after the "wobbly" sound they made while moving.


Yeti (Second Doctor)

Giant, clawed, fur-covered robots which act as servants of the Great Intelligence, the Yeti are considered to be some of the most iconic monsters of Patrick Troughton's tenure, despite only appearing in three stories in the whole series run.


Quarks (Second Doctor)

These guys were originally intended to replace the Daleks. Really. The Quarks first appeared as robotic servants to the titular race in "The Dominators", and later showed up as independent villains of their own in Sixties comic strips.

  • Cute Machines: It looks like they just want a hug. The high pitched voices don't help.
  • Mecha-Mooks: For the planet conquering Dominators.
  • Merchandise-Driven: As Terry Nation was keeping the Dalek rights to himself in the late Sixties, the Quarks were created to appeal to children in the same way the Daleks had. Needless to say, the Quarks didn't have quite have the same staying power as the pepper pots from Skaro.
  • Tin-Can Robot: Just look at that picture.

    K 1 

K1 Robot (Fourth Doctor)
"Go! Go now! Or I will destroy you all!"
The Experimental Prototype Robot K1 Robot was created by Professor Kettlewell to perform tasks in hazardous locations in place of humans, but he winds up being reprogrammed to steal the nuclear launch codes.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Well, the poor guy is under a lot of stress.
  • Crush. Kill. Destroy!: "YOU ARE AN ENEMY OF HUMANITY! I MUST DESTROY YOU!" Given that the K1 is fighting his programming the whole time, this could be justified as the robot constantly reminding himself why he is doing so.
  • Humongous Mecha: Becomes this after the Brigadier shoots him with the disintegration gun.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Brigadier shooting K1 with the disintegration gun causes the robot to grow due to his living metal body absorbing the energy.
  • Oedipus Complex: The Doctor believes he's suffering from this after he accidentally kills Kettlewell and kidnaps Sarah Jane Smith.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: K1 is programmed to protect humanity, but he can kill anyone who he sees as a threat to humanity.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Even though he tries to start a nuclear holocaust, K1 comes off as surprisingly sympathetic.

    Osirian Mummies 

Osirian Mummies (Fourth Doctor)

  • Beware the Silly Ones: The mummy robots do look pretty silly, with their slow gait and their apparent lack of intelligence. Then they go and crush the poacher's head.
  • Expy: The mummies are a bit of an expy of the aforementioned Yeti — robots disguised as a stock gothic monster.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The mummies or "servicers" as Sutekh refers to them, are just robots wrapped in bandages. Good versions in the employ of Horus appear on Mars.
  • Uncanny Valley:invoked The mummy service robots wrapped in bandages. There's a particularly zombie-like scene involving one with its leg stuck in a bear trap.

    Sandminer Robots 

Sandminer Robots (Fourth Doctor)

  • Elite Mooks: SV7 is the leader of the Robots.
  • Killer Robot
  • Machine Monotone: Bizarrely, the robots' voices sound a bit more sing-song-y, making them just that little bit creepier.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The robots gain red eyes when they're about to kill someone.
  • The Speechless: The robots are usually sorted into two groups: The Dums, who cannot speak, and the Vocs, who can speak. D84 lampshades this:
    D84: This is a communicator. It can function on either human or robot command circuits. Would you like to use it? I cannot speak...
    • In addition, Super Vocs such as SV7 command the lesser robots.


Movellans (Fourth and Twelfth Doctors)
"We are infinitely superior."

The Movellans are androids who warred with the Dalek Empire.

  • Achilles' Heel: The major weakness of the Movellan design is each android's external power pack which, being carried on their belts, is easily removed to completely shut down the android. Not to mention they can easily be modified, reprogramming the android to obey human orders.
  • Deceptively Human Robots: The Movellans outwardly resemble physically attractive humans of various ethnicities and both genders. All of the Movellan androids wear white, form-fitting uniforms and their hair in silver braids resembling metallic dreadlocks. Being androids, the Movellans are stronger than humans. Because they do not wish to reveal their mechanical status to others, they do not allow aliens to see them in death, claiming such a thing would be against their code of honour.
  • Long Bus Trip: Nobody was expecting them when they appeared in "The Pilot", 38 years after their last appearance.
  • Plaguemaster: The Movellan Virus was developed by the Movellans to attack Dalek casings and tissue.

    Raston Warrior Robot 

Raston Warrior Robot (Third and Fifth Doctors)

A silver, lightning-bolt firing android found in the Death Zone on Gallifrey, the Third Doctor described it as "the most perfect killing machines ever devised."


New Series Debut


Roboforms (Tenth and Eleventh Doctors)
Played by: Paul Kasey (2005–06), George Cottle (2005)

Roboforms were scavengers who travelled alongside invaders who took anything on the planet of value to them before the main threat arrived. They seemed especially prone to attacks on Christmas, dressing up as killer Santas whose presence became the "pilot fish" that precluded another holiday season down the tubes. Due to their heavily robotic biology, they could be reprogrammed and manipulated by a remote signal for use as minions.

    Clockwork Droids 

Clockwork Droids (Tenth and Twelfth Doctors)

"We did not have the parts."

The Clockwork Droids are servile droids used in the 51st Century, notably on ships like the SS Marie Antoinette and the SS Madame de Pompadour. They have an unfortunate tendency, when the ships have no available spare parts, to use living beings, including humans, as suitable replacement parts.

  • Admiring the Abomination: The Tenth Doctor openly admits they're beautiful, before quickly adding that it's not going to stop him breaking them.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: These droids seem overly literal. When the crew of SS Madame de Pompadour instructed the robots to repair the ship, they did not anticipate that they'd have to tell the droids that they could not use the crew as spare parts.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: When the Pompadour droids shut themselves off after they realise there's no way back to their ship, it's quite poignant. They were just following their programming, after all.
    The Doctor: How many ticks left in that clockwork heart?
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: The droids wear swanky outfits to blend in with the periods they time-travel to. Out of universe, it also hides their mechanics, saves money for the effects budget, and allows them to wear their disturbing masks.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder
  • Clock Punk
  • Clockwork Creature: They're literally wind-up droids powered by clockwork, and have a distinct ticking sound when they move.
  • Costume Porn: The SS Madame de Pompadour droids are possibly the best dressed Doctor Who villains ever.
  • Creepy Monotone
  • The Croc Is Ticking: A literal ticking sound signals their presence.
    The Doctor: No one notices the sound of one clock ticking, but two... […] you'd start to wonder if you were really alone.
  • Driven to Suicide: In their first appearance the droids simply give up when they realise they can't return to their ship. The Half Face Man may have jumped to his death in a crisis of faith, or the Doctor may have simply pushed him.
  • Emergent Human: The Half Face Man is rapidly approaching this state.
  • Face Stealer: In "Deep Breath".
  • Gone Horribly Right: The SS Madame de Pompadour was nearly wholly repaired, though the crew did not live to see it.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: In 18th century France.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: The Half Face Man gained emotions and even faith due to the sheer amount of human parts he replaced himself with.
  • Human Resources/Organ Theft: No one told them they weren't allowed to use human parts.
  • Humanity Ensues: The Half-Face Man gains faith (in the Promised Land), appreciation of beauty, anger and perhaps even depression in his conversion to a semi-organic state.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The whole reason the ones from the SS Madame de Pompadour went after their namesake, smashing holes through time to get there. They believed that her brain was what was needed to repair their ship, and specifically her brain when she was the same age as the ship. Using the time-windows to get back to Earth their time and fetch help apparently never occurred to them.
  • Just Following Orders: The crew of the SS Madame de Pompadour.
  • Kill It with Fire: How the Half-Face Man hides his actions, destroying everyone it steals from with vast amounts of fire.
  • Literal-Minded: An incredible design flaw.
    • For example, the droids aboard the SS Madame de Pompadour believed that only the brain of the ship's namesake would serve as a replacement for the ship's computer.
    • When a man called Alfie talks with the Half-Face Man and mentions his eyes are his "greatest gift", Half Face Man assumes he's offering them as a gift. Eye Scream quickly follows.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Only when in 18th century France. When stuck in Victorian London, the droids flay their victims and wear their faces.
  • Marionette Motion: Both variants move with stiff, unnatural motions.
  • Obliviously Evil: The droids are incapable of perceiving the life of a human as more valuable than a box of machine parts, apparently as they were not programmed with it.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Madame de Pompadour droids are especially bad about this. Intending to hide in pre-Revolutionary France, they don the appropriate disguises, which are completely undone by their Machine Monotone voices, stiff and jerky movements, and the constant ticking, clicking and whirring that follows their every movement.
  • Perpetual Smiler: In their masquerade masks.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: If the Half-Face Man is accurate, he's been working at repairing his ship for tens of millions of years, and is still expecting it to fly.
  • Slasher Smile: The Pompadour droids wore creepy, smiling masks.
  • Theme Naming: The ships the clockwork droids work for are named after famous women from history.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: Horribly averted. The Droids follow Rules 2 and 3 (obeying the orders of humans and preserving their own existence, respectively) while ignoring Rule 1.
  • Time Abyss: The Antoinette droids, encountered in the 1890s, are implied to have been stuck on Earth since the late Cretaceous period, over 65 million years.
  • Walking Transplant: Not them, but everyone else is fair game, even a T. rex isn't safe.
  • Wetware CPU: Why Reinette was the target of a kidnapping.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Averted with the Pompadour droids, if only because little Reinette wasn't "compatible". Inferred with the Antoinette droids, what with that remark about the "children's menu".


The Host (Tenth Doctor)

Angelic robots on the starliner Titanic intended to help the guests, they were secretly programmed by disgraced former company CEO Max Capricorn to kill everyone on the ship when the orders were given as part of his plan to crash the ship and take revenge on the board of Max Capricorn Cruiseliners.


Smilers (Eleventh Doctor)

Booth-mounted clockwork automatons, with three faces and one hell of an angry grimace, who act as surveillance for the secret police onboard the Starship UK. Certain agents of the police force, referred to as "Winders", were actually half-Smiler, half-human androids.

  • Clockwork Creature
  • Face-Revealing Turn: An unusual example — the Smilers have three faces, smiling, frowning and GAAH!
  • Nightmare Face
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: The Smilers don't appear to do anything of note except look a bit grumpy. They're eerie enough, fitting three faces on a two-sided head, and they appear in some very creepy scenes, but it's never clear whether they're actually causing trouble or they just happen to be there at the time. The closest they come to participating in the plot is marking a child's homework in the cold opening.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: It turns out neither the Smilers nor the Winders are actually evil. They were acting on the Queen's orders.
  • Uncanny Valleyinvoked
  • Schizo Tech
  • Zeerust: They look very retro for droids from the 33rd century.


Handbots (Eleventh Doctor)

Medical robots encountered by the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory at the Two Streams Facility on the planet Apalapucia. Following an outbreak of the lethal Chen-7 virus, the Handbots now patrol the facility with the aid of synthetic, organic skin grafted onto their hands, determined to administer their anaesthetic "kindnesses" via hypodermic syringe ... whether their patients like it or not.

  • Auto-Doc: The Handbots are doctors. Too bad they're designed for patients with two hearts, and would unintentionally kill any single-hearted patient.
  • The Blank: The Handbots have no faces. They "see" with their hands.
  • Companion Cube: Rory the Handbot, Older Amy's faithful pet.
  • Just Following Orders: The handbots aren't trying to hurt anyone, it's just that their medicine isn't made for humans and would be lethal to Amy. This was the second time in Series 6 a literal-minded medical program unintentionally caused problems.
  • Medical Horror: The Chen-7 plague has led to Handbots aggressively administering medicine to anyone in their facility, even those it would be lethal to.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: The handbots are nice enough to stop and let Older Amy tell Interface about this nice boy on Earth before swarming in to kill her.


Emojibots (Twelfth Doctor)

A group of robots who are put in charge of one of the first interplanetary human colonies, their primary functions are to mantain structural integrity, pollinize and water crops, and ensure that no inhabitant of the colony is ever dissatisfied.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: They're supposed to keep the colonists happy... so after one of the setup crew dies, they end up assuming grief is a lethal disease, and anyone feeling it must be euthanized immediately to keep it from spreading. Yeah, that'll do it.
  • Cute Machines: They're adorable-looking, when they haven't put on their skull-faces of doom.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Doctor fixes the above problem by rebooting them so they don't remember anything of what happened, or even the colonists' existence.
  • The Worm That Walks: The Emojibots' bodies and conciousness turn out to be part of a sentient hivemind formed by nanomachines called the "Vardies".


Smartsuits (Twelfth Doctor)

High-tech spacesuits built by Ganymede Systems and given to the staff on the Chasm Forge space station. They provide oxygen to the wearers (provided they can pay for it), but in certain situations they will "deactivate" their organic components (i.e. wearers) and attempt to do the same to anyone else.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: This is the Doctor's initial assumption. Subverted. They're doing exactly as they've been ordered by the Ganymede Systems executives, who want the "inefficient" workers dead and not using up valuable oxygen.
  • Animated Armour: The suits can move on their own, even with nobody inside.
  • Exact Time to Failure: When still being worn by living people, the suits list the average number of breaths of oxygen that they have left. (Not the time they have left, because you breathe faster under stress, say if you're being pursued by your dead colleagues in those same suits...)
  • Have a Nice Death: "Please remain calm while your central nervous system is disabled. Your life is in our hands."
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Walking corpses with a Zombie Gait that create more of themselves from those they kill? Yes, but these corpses are just being puppeteered by the suits they're wearing.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The suits are programmed to exterminate their wearers because Chasm Forge's mining operation has become unprofitable. The suits can keep doing the work while the useless humans stop wasting oxygen that the company can resell.

    Kerblam! Men 

Kerblam! Men (Thirteenth Doctor)

The well-known robotic mascots of Kerblam!, the largest retailer in the galaxy, they deliver the company's products and are also omnipresent throughout the Kerblam! warehouse.

  • Teleportation: The ones that serve as delivery bots have impressive range, with one catching up to the TARDIS in the Time Vortex to deliver the Doctor's package.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-Universe. They look slightly like ventriloquists' dummies, and Graham, Ryan and Yaz find their appearance unsettling, for which the Doctor tells them off for being "robophobic".


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