Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Terror of the Autons: Episode Two 

Attempting to find out where Jo encountered the Master, the Doctor heads to the circus where he falls foul of Rossini.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Roger Delgado ...
...
Richard Franklin ...
...
Michael Wisher ...
Harry Towb ...
Stephen Jack ...
Farrell Senior
Barbara Leake ...
Mrs. Farrell
John Baskcomb ...
Christopher Burgess ...
Professor Philips
Roy Stewart ...
Strong Man
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Storyline

Attempting to find out where Jo encountered the Master, the Doctor heads to the circus where he falls foul of Rossini.

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9 January 1971 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The troll dolls originally played a greater role in the story's climax and explained the Master's interest in the circus, which would have been used to distribute the toys. See more »

Quotes

The Master: He sat down in this chair here and just slipped away.
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Connections

Referenced in Tomorrow's Times: The Third Doctor (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Master of Thrills
25 September 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review of all 4 episodes:

The most notable aspect of this story is the arrival of The Master as an arch nemesis for The Doctor. This fellow renegade Time Lord is like Moriarty is to Sherlock Holmes, an equally brilliant, intelligent regular adversary who is a bit like 'the other side of the same coin' with The Doctor. The idea of this character and the performance by Roger Delgado is absolutely fantastic. Even in this first story with the character though they do not get it perfectly right as he seems to change allegiances too quickly and easily without a fully satisfying reason. This is a minor quibble though and overall The Master and his plan to bring back to Nestenes, and their ability to turn plastic items into deadly living plastic Autons to attack humanity, provides terrific entertainment.

There is a level of terror and horror in this adventure, similar to its similar predecessor Spearhead From Space. Attacks by an inflatable chair, a telephone wire, plastic daffodils and especially a creepy child's doll are sinister and thrilling, creating some very memorable 'hide behind the sofa' moments that have lived in the minds of viewers ever since. Also the Auton dummies disguised as people have some great moments. In particular there is a great, spectacular stunt when an Auton is knocked down and falls dramatically, careering down a huge slope, apparently to its death, only to just get straight back up.

The regulars do well although it is sad that the character of The Doctor's 'assistant' Liz Shaw is replaced. Her replacement character Jo Grant goes on to be an endearing character but Liz Shaw was the better companion for The Doctor in my opinion.

The story is not perfect but the essence of it and the great new villain added to top class thrills, excellent acting and dialogue in general and good amounts of action make this a classic.


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