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Friday, December 17, 2010

Doctor Who Retrospective - Villains: The Autons

By this point, I've covered all of the The Doctor's most dangerous adversaries: the Daleks, the Cybermen, The Master, the Ice Warriors, and the Sontarans. As far as The Doctor's gallery of villains is concerned, the Autons are certainly not very high up there, but since they have been involved in some of the series' milestone episodes, I felt it prudent to at least give them a passing mention.

The Autons are actually drones of living plastic, brought to life by a central intelligence called the Nestene Consciousness. The Nestene, itself, is mostly created out of living plastic, and animate anything else that is made of plastic by transmitting a psychic signal. However, commonly, the Nestene utilizes shop window dummies to do its bidding, although it can also create passable human replicates out of plastic and control those as well. All Autons are equipped with powerful projectile weapons, capable of completely vaporizing their victims, hidden in their hands. However, like I said before, the Autons are only drones, and when cut off from the Nestene Consciousness, which can be done with The Doctor's ever useful sonic screwdriver, they are rendered completely useless.

The Autons were introduced, along with John Pertwee as the Third Doctor, in the 1970 episode "Spearhead from Space":

Eww... for a second there, I thought Doctor Who was going to go into hentai territory... Anyway, they return the very next season in "Terror of the Autons", in which The Master collaborates with the Nestene in his debut episode:

The Autons were benched for the rest of the classic Who era, only to resurface in the very first episode of the new series, starring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, entitled "Rose":

Lousy disabled embeds... anyway, the Autons haven't been featured since "Rose", also they do play a fairly significant role in season five's 2-part finale "The Pandorica Opens", but no significant enough for me to go into full detail (especially without revealing spoilers). Nevertheless, even though they are very minor villains in the Whoverse, since they were the main villains in three major Doctor Who episodes, I felt it prudent to give them a nod, and anyway, who knows - maybe they'll grow to be a larger threat in future episodes!

Besides, the whole point of this retrospective is to not only cover the major villains, but to also dover interesting, if obscure, villains casual fans might not be aware of. Speaking of which...

Next time: Omega!

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