February 26, 2024

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Doctor Who “Terror Of The Autons Part 3”

The Third Doctor. "Terror of the Autons," Episode Three.

I watched this episode during a snow day from my job, and part of that time, the groundskeepers for my apartment complex were running a loud snowblower.  Given I already have bad hearing, there was a chunk in the middle where I couldn’t really hear what was going on.  I think I got the gist of it, so I’m pushing on anyway.

Besides, color is not a friend to Doctor Who‘s special effects budget.

So, yeah, Jo and the Doctor were grabbed by some Autons posing as cops, but they did manage to slip out when the Doctor hit the one driving with a well-aimed karate chop that caused the car to veer a bit into a quarry.  The Doctor and Jo run for cover, and fortunately the Brigadier and Captain Yates show up with the UNIT equivalent of a red shirt to save them.  True, having soldiers shoot back at the Autons may help a little, but bullets can’t stop an Auton.

Hitting one with a car and knocking it down a cliff does slow them down.

So, everyone except the dead red shirt manage to get away, and while the Doctor continues to grumble about how much the Brigadier is a stiff idiot or something, Jo does something sensible and points out that the Brigadier did save their lives, so maybe the Doctor should thank him.  And the Doctor will…if he has time.  He probably doesn’t.  Heck, he took the dematerializer from the Master’s time machine and hopes it will allow his own TARDIS to leave.  Of course, the Master has a newer model and its incompatible.  And the Master is also now stuck on Earth.

Isn’t he at all concerned about the Master doing whatever it is the Master is doing?  All UNIT has accomplished so far is arresting the circus, and the Doctor is convinced they were just pawns in the Master’s schemes.

But then a minister comes in with a new case, and while the Doctor snipes at him, it comes out that people all over Britain are dying for unknown reasons.  I mean, the audience knows the reason.  Autons are handing out plastic daffodils all over Britain and they’re killing people.  But two people have a connection:  that Irishman who got eaten by the chair in the previous episode, and the retired owner of the same factory.

So, the Doctor and Jo go see the old man’s widow and get that ugly killer doll from there.  Sure, they don’t know it’s a killer, but the Doctor is suspicious.  And while he and Brigadier go search the plastics factory’s main office, Yates and Jo stay behind and Yates leaves the doll too close to a lit Bunsen burner.  And it comes alive when it gets hot.  Fortunately, bullets do blow this little one into bits and that keeps Jo alive.

Oh, and while the office is deserted, there is an Auton in the man-sized safe.

So, yeah, the Doctor and Brigadier manage to bring back one plastic daffodil, but while they were out, the Master switched the line on the Doctor’s phone.  And if you thought the Master was upset the Doctor got out of that earlier death trap, you are wrong.  He actually likes it when the Doctor gets away so that his eventual death will be all the more fun.

I think I am liking the Master’s brand of evil.

So, when the Master actually calls the Doctor on that phone and blows a whistle, causing the phone line to try and kill the Doctor as the credits roll, I know I will be back for the last episode very soon, hopefully when there isn’t a snow plow blowing outside.