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

The Doctor and the Brigadier head to Farrel's factory but the Master and the Autons have already left and are distributing plastic daffodils around the country.





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Episode complete credited cast:
Roger Delgado ...
Richard Franklin ...
Dermot Tuohy ...
Michael Wisher ...
Barbara Leake ...
Mrs. Farrell
Norman Stanley ...
Telephone Mechanic
Bill McGuirk ...
Policeman (scenes deleted)
Terry Walsh ...
Auton Policeman
Pat Gorman ...
Auton Leader
Hayden Jones ...
Auton Voice (voice) (as Haydn Jones)


The Doctor and the Brigadier head to Farrel's factory but the Master and the Autons have already left and are distributing plastic daffodils around the country.

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Release Date:

16 January 1971 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Auton invasion was much different in the original script. The daffodils (and the troll dolls) would be animated when the temperature reached a certain level - a level which would be obtained thanks to a fortuitous oncoming heat wave in Britain. Terrance Dicks felt this was illogical, as it would make more sense for the Master to carry out his plan in a tropical locale. It was decided to replace this with a broadcast activation signal. See more »


It is stated that the Troll dolls are made entirely of plastic but as one of them rolls over on the floor, a zipper is clearly seen on the doll's back showing that this is a costume. See more »


Jo Grant: Doctor, stop being childish.
Dr. Who: What's wrong with being childish? I like being childish.
See more »


Featured in The Culture Show: Episode #2.9 (2005) 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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