Sunday, October 02, 2005

'Terror of the Autons' episodes II - IV


Or 'Lack of the Autons' to be honest - whatever this story might have meant for the future of Doctor Who, by no stretch of the imagination is it really an Auton story. Undoubtedly, it is an effective vehicle to introduce the Doctor's eternal nemesis the Master, charming new companion Jo Grant, and solidify the UNIT 'family' with Captain Mike Yates filling the rather large ranking gap between Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart and Sergeant Benton. The Doctor's early description of Jo as a "ham-fisted bun vendor" is so inexplicably worded and hilarious it never fails to make me laugh when I think of it, but from this inauspicious start Miss Grant quickly establishes herself as a useful sidekick for the Doctor. The introduction of another Time Lord character means the enemy is for once on something of an equal footing with the Doctor, and in a way it is a shame this is diluted by his opening story being shared with the returning threat of the Nestene Consciousness. I can see why 'living' armchairs, telephone cables and Auton policemen would have been more than averagely unnerving for the young fans of the time, but the psychological horror of the expressionless mannequins roaming the countryside in their debut appearance is lost due to their infrequent sightings this time round - although those giant costume heads are quite freaky. There is one great moment where an Auton takes an enormous plunge down a quarry side, only to rise to its feet and doggedly begin to ascend again, but all in all this seemed to fall between stools too much for my liking - and the Master gives in far too easily at the end!


Episodes watched: 174
Episodes still to watch: 548

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