Doctor Who briefly featured Kamelion, an android who was “played” by an actual robot. Unfortunately, the writers had to kill the character off when the robot’s inventor, who was the only one who knew how to control it, died in a boating accident.

Kamelion

When Kamelion changed shape, it was played by the actor whose character’s form it took. However, when in its default form, it was a true computer-controlled robot prop. The reason why the Kamelion robot was used fully only in two serials was that it was very difficult for the Doctor Who production team to control. It malfunctioned frequently, and things were only made worse when its inventor, Mike Power, died in a boating accident without leaving behind the knowledge of the complex codes that controlled it. A third appearance by the character in the serial The Awakening, designed to bridge the gap between its appearances and to remind viewers of its existence and the fact that it had been ‘hiding’ all this time somewhere in the TARDIS,… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

9 thoughts on “Doctor Who briefly featured Kamelion, an android who was “played” by an actual robot. Unfortunately, the writers had to kill the character off when the robot’s inventor, who was the only one who knew how to control it, died in a boating accident.”

  1. nerbovig

    Where was Kamelion when the accident occurred, and who was controlling who?

  2. TheBirdBytheWindow

    It looks terrifying.

  3. MyOtherLoginIsSecret

    During Smith’s last episodes, I couldn’t help but think the cyberman head he lugged around was originally written to be Kamelion’s until someone remembered he died and a cyberman head was used instead.

    At least that’s the impression I got as the doctor kept treating it like an old friend.

  4. metalunamutant

    The “robot” was built for another tv show. John Nathan Turner heard of it and thought wow an actual robot, we can use this. He got it & wrote it in. Then he saw it was basically a ventriloquist dummy which barely worked anyway & realized he grossly overestimated its utility. Planet of fire showed an OK workaround as it was a shape shifter. But it was still basically a ventriloquist dummy with some electronics & lights.

  5. MrPadster

    So.. mac and C.H.E.E.S.E ?

  6. InvaderWilliam

    And by control it they mean prevent it from killing the cast and crew.

  7. iamchairs

    Happens all the time. When my colleagues die in boating accidents I always start by deleting their code.

  8. gamerdude69

    Note: Kamelion died on the way back to his home planet

Leave a Comment