The second volume of Doctor Who spin-off series The Robots expands on the success of the first, while also pushing it forward in big ways.
Last month saw the release of the second volume of Doctor Who audio spin-off The Robots. Expanding greatly on the world originally depicted in the classic Tom Baker serial The Robots of Death, the series kicked off to a strong start last year with its first volume. The first three episodes established a clear tone to the series, and developed its leading characters of Liv Chenka and her sister Tula extremely well. Does the following volume continue that level of high quality?
There are two key elements that are gradually brought in to volume 2. Neither of these is new – at least, not in the universe of Doctor Who – and yet at the same time, these are elements that are going to have a big impact on this series.
The first is the Sons of Kaldor. They’re a very dangerous political group that wants real change on Kaldor. They’re keen to see the return of “the Founding Families” ruling the planet once more. Initially, they only seem to have a small presence on Kaldor – but that presence is growing…
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New enemies, old friends
What’s interesting about the Sons of Kaldor is that, for long-term listeners, we already know where events are heading. Back in 2018, the group first appeared in The Sons of Kaldor, where they encountered the Fourth Doctor and Leela. More than that: we found out that they had won the revolution and achieved their aim of a second republic on Kaldor. So seeing the movement’s earliest days and knowing where it’s heading adds a nice feeling of tension to The Robots as a whole.
But it’s not all doom and gloom that The Robots 2 brings. The middle episode sees the return of Toos and Poul – two of the only survivors from the original TV serial. At this point, they’re kept entirely separate from the rest of the ongoing narrative, but that works well in their favor. They’re given a little story of their own, but we also get to find out a lot more about them. Particularly where they are now and what they plan to do next.
As a whole, The Robots 2 does an excellent job of continuing to explore the themes and ideas that made the first volume so successful. But, more than that, it significantly expands on its world and develops closer ties to the original TV story, too. By the time you reach the end of the final episode, you get the sense that events are rapidly escalating on Kaldor, and that it’s only a matter of time before disaster strikes on a horrific scale. As such, we really can’t wait to listen to the third volume of this exciting spin-off series.
Have you listened to audio spin-off The Robots yet? Are you a fan of the original TV story The Robots of Death? Do you think it’s a world that should be expanded on? Let us know in the comments below.