Monday, 30 May 2011

Dr. Who: Terror of the Autons

'Terror Of The Autons' was the first story of Jon Pertwee's second series as The Doctor, and it introduced two of the show's most memorable characters, plucky Jo Grant and the Doctor's arch enemy, former friend and fellow Timelord, The Master.

The story itself is very good: The Master comes to Earth and immediately sets about trying to destroy it, seemingly for fun and just to annoy The Doctor. He is aided and abetted in his mission by The Nestene Consciousness from 'Spearhead From Space' and, of course, by the various lumps of plastic that the Nestene can bring to life and program to kill. In the Auton world, everything is deadly: toys, flowers, phones, policemen, chairs. I can't say I remember watching this at the time, but I can only imagine it was fairly terrifying, in a fun sort of way, and shoddy special effects aside it's certainly it's one of the most entertaining of all the Pertwee stories.   

The Master is a fantastic creation: an old school super villain with an incredible intellect and absolutely no conscience whatsoever. The Doctor always beats him in the end, but it's usually pretty close. Roger Delgado is a fine actor - smooth, courteous, deadly - and his arrival gave an already good show a further boost. I also like Katy Manning as Jo Grant, one of the most personable of the Doctor's assistants, and a great screamer. 

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