Doctor Who: Terror of the Autons (Story #55)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Creepy creatures, First Master, First Jo

Some bad effects


Why kids hate clowns

The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) has been assigned a new aide in Jo Grant (Katy Manning) by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney).  Jo is coming at a dangerous time.  The Doctor learns his nemesis known as the Master (Roger Delgado) is on Earth and is leading an invasion of the Nestene Consciousness and the Auton forces.

Doctor Who:  Terror of the Autons was the first episode of the eight season of Doctor Who.  It was a four part serial that ran from January 2, 1971 to January 23, 1971.  It followed the events of Doctor Who:  Inferno and has been collected in The Jon Pertwee Years as Story #55.


Jo…you’re going to be a problem, aren’t you?

Doctor Who:  Terror of the Autons has a lot of first for the Doctor.  It is the first appearance of his new companion Jo Grant.  She always seemed to be the ditsy hippy-ish companion.  Her companionship runs from this episode to Doctor Who:  The Green Death (Story #69).  She has also made a modern appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures:  Death of the Doctor.  Also appearing for the first time in the episode is Captain Mike Yates (Richard Franklin).  As an agent of U.N.I.T., Yates makes a lot of appearances throughout the series until his last appearance in Doctor Who:  Planet of the Spiders.  The other first appearance has been a thorn in the Doctor’s side for years and is the Master who appears in the form of Roger Delgado in these early episodes.

Doctor Who: Terror of the Autons is a pretty entertaining episode.  The story has the creepy Auton plus a killer toy that comes to life and kills.  This spawned some complaints from parents that the show was too scary for kids.  The Master is such a fun villain.  He is essentially Professor Moriarty to the Doctor’s Holmes.  Pertwee’s Doctor is kind of prissy and the idea that someone is even smarter than him also frustrates him into almost having fits in this episode.


Oh yes Doctor, I will be the death of you!

The Autons first appeared in Doctor Who:  The Spearhead from Space (Story #51) and were a fun enemy with the whole living plastic aspect (I love in this one how the man gets eaten by the plastic chair in this episode).  They later returned in the new relaunched series in 2005 in the first episode called “Rose” when the new Doctor saves London from another invasion.

Doctor Who:  Terror of the Autons is one of the better Doctor Who episodes.  It has a bit of creepy scariness that I like and it also is significant since it introduces so many important players in the Doctor Who arena.  Doctor Who:  Terror of the Autons is followed by Doctor Who:  The Mind of Evil.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Inferno (Story #54)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Mind of Evil (Story #56)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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