“Impossible! They’ve taken control. No-one can stop them now. Your precious little planet is finished!” The Master [Referring to the impending Nestene Auton invasion of Earth]
The Nestene Consciousness is one of the oldest known life forms in the galaxy. It is an octopoid like lifeform of unknown appearance with tentacles, in the third Doctor episode Spearhead From Space – 1970. The Nestene consciousness travelled to Earth via means of hitching a ride in a spherical plastic asteroid.
The Nestene itself is pretty immobile as a creature, apart from being able to attack lifeforms which get close enough with its tentacles. It does however, possess an ability to affect plastic objects and bring them to life and control them via a hive mind inference.
Having taken over a nearby toy factory, (handy!) the Nestene was along with some human slaves create plastic humanoid lifeforms as foot soldiers, dubbed the Auton’s (after the toy factory – Auto Plastics).
The Auton’s take on the appearance of mannequin’s, which means they can hide in plain sight in shop windows – perfectly immobile.
However, when the Nestene orders them, they come to life and attempt to take over the Earth – by killing humans with their concealed built in flipdown hand lazers, which can kill or completely vapourize.
The Third Doctor was able to thwart the Auton’s by destroying the Nestene which was controlling them, ending its contact with the Auton units and paralysing them.
The Auton’s returned in Terror Of The Auton’s – 1971 being aided in a return to Earth by a first appearance of the Master – (Roger Delgado). The Master, using one of the plastic sphere’s (in which the Nestene came to Earth in Spearhead From Space – 1970) to animate random plastic objects to kill people.
The Auton’s use everything from their usual Mannequin forms, (this time in the guise of a popular fictional Ice Cream character) – a telephone extension cord which strangles the Doctor, a range of plastic daffodil’s which fire suffocating gas, a Chuckie style doll which kills and a couch which eats someone!
The Master is also attempting to use a deep space satellite dish, to signal to the spacefaring Nestene Conciousness, which is controlling the new Auton attack. The Doctor eventually manages to use the satellite array to push the Nestene Consciousness into deep space, breaking contact with the Auton’s on Earth.
The Autons and the Nestene only made two appearances in the show but are still fondly remembered, as one of the more memorable monsters in Doctor Who.
Season Seven – 1970
Spearhead From Space⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐