Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 1/23/18 8:36 pm
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Looking for a stabilizer for the TARDIS, the Fourth Doctor and Leela land on a deserted spaceship on an alien world. There are no humans onboard but there are some other beings that are very familiar to them: the Voc robots from the planet Kaldor who are in the process of trying to keep something out of the ship that shouldn't be there. As the Doctor and Leela are once again split up and discover more about what's going on, it appears the pair have landed in the middle of a war with an opposing force who want change on their home world by any means necessary. The titular Sons of Kaldor have found them and the Doctor and Leela are going to have to pick a side or die.....Something I need to get off my chest right off the bat: I'm not a big fan of the story that the robots in this one originated from, the Fourth Doctor TV story "The Robots of Death". The reason I say that is because I feel that your attachment to that story is very much going to temper how you feel and react to this one as a whole. It's a good story by itself and I would say that it's one you can enjoy OK without that prior knowledge but I also feel that that connection is somewhat unavoidable considering how popular this foe seems to be with fans. It also toys with many different ideas of AI properties, machine sentience, and some strong philosophy especially when we get to meet the Sons themselves but it feels almost like window dressing on a story that honestly could've used a rewrite or two. Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are as good as always in their characters with a strong rapport and chemistry but each gets a good separate moment all to themselves as well. The Doctor serves in his usual role in this kind of a situation which Baker continues to perform admirably while Leela gets a nice little moment centered around the robots themselves and their humanity that I was surprised to see her character get. She easily becomes the highlight of the story in that regard and I hope we get to see more of that in the future with her stories. The side cast is unfortunately not the greatest with a standard no-nonsense commander played by Martha Cope who unfortunately plays the exposition fairy for most of the plot, a somewhat boring group of fighters, and a standard robot presence that didn't do much to impress me. This is where my personal views come into play as fans of 'Robots of Death' will certainly like it more than I did because of the robots themselves. The soundscape is fine with a standout synthetic 70's score that feels very appropriate and perfect for the story and it more or less delivers exactly what you would get with the premise and details. However it tend to bore me at times and I wasn't as invested as I probably could've been. Overall, 'Sons' is an OK story and a good one for Four and Leela and it's one that many other Classic Who fans will get a kick out of but I wasn't the biggest fan of it personally.