Doctor Who (1963–1989)
3 user 1 critic

Terror of the Autons: Episode Four 

The Doctor discovers the plastic daffodils are designed to fire a spray that asphyxiates people, causing havoc prior to the Nestene's arrival, but before he can alert anyone he and Jo are captured by the Master.





On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode complete credited cast:
Auton Leader
Hayden Jones ...
Auton Voice (voice) (as Haydn Jones)


The Doctor discovers the plastic daffodils are designed to fire a spray that asphyxiates people, causing havoc prior to the Nestene's arrival, but before he can alert anyone he and Jo are captured by the Master.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 January 1971 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The BBC's Head of Serials Ronnie Marsh objected to the Doctor's final line about the Master, in which he avows that the Master will stay on Earth "until I destroy him. Or until he destroys me". Instead, the Doctor would suggest that he was looking forward to their next contretemps. See more »


The Master: Good afternoon, Doctor. I hope I'm not interrupting anything important.
Doctor Who: No, no, indeed not. You've come here to kill me, of course.
The Master: But not without considerable regret.
Doctor Who: How very comforting.
The Master: You see, Doctor, you're my intellectual equal. Almost. I have so few worthy opponents. When they've gone, I always miss them.
See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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. The Master and his plan to bring back to Nestenes, with 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 predecessor featuring the Nestenes, 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.

Jon Pertwee remains on top form along with an excellent guest cast and all 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 a very endearing character but Liz Shaw was the better companion for The Doctor in my opinion with a strong intellect as well as bravery. The addition of Captain Mike Yates is great but perhaps they transferred the strength and intelligence of Liz Shaw onto Yates and passed the glamour and warmth of Liz onto Jo Grant. That is an unfortunate decision for gender equality. I liked having all those aspects combined within the one female companion. In saying that I do really like Katy Manning as Jo.

The story is not necessarily perfect, if you nitpick you can find a few minor faults in a scene here and there but even then it still stands up against any TV show of any era. The great new villain added to top class thrills, excellent acting, cracking dialogue and good amounts of action make this a classic. Written by Doctor Who legend Robert Holmes and well directed by admirable showrunner/producer Barry Letts, this is a must watch for all fans.

My Ratings: All 4 episodes - 10/10

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: