Auton trilogy

Auton trilogy

"The Auton trilogy" is a series of direct-to-video spin-off productions based on the long running BBC science fiction series "Doctor Who". The three films in the series are "Auton" (1997), "Auton 2: Sentinel" (1998) and "Auton 3" (1999). They were produced by the independent BBV company and are sequels to the Third Doctor stories "Spearhead from Space" and "Terror of the Autons".

Like all spin-off productions the canonicity of these films is uncertain. However, all story elements relating to "Doctor Who" were licensed from their respective authors. These videos are therefore not considered “fan productions”.


When a Nestene energy unit and several Autons are reactivated at a UNIT facility, a plot for world domination that predates mankind is set in motion.



Written and Directed by Nicholas Briggs

At a top secret UNIT facility known only as the Warehouse, Dr. Sally Arnold has been studying a Nestene energy unit with no results. As a last resort, she subjects the artifact to cosmic signals from UNIT’s most powerful deep space scanning satellite. This causes a violent energy release that kills her assistant, Janice. The energy unit has disappeared.

A containment team, led by a psychic UNIT operative named Lockwood, has been dispatched. Among Lockwood’s abilities is the ability to access all information from any computer mainframe in the world with his mind.

They soon learn that the Nestene energy unity has taken on a mobile form, and that there is an Auton copy of senior archivist Graham Winslet. The real Winslet is still alive, his mind being used by the Autons as a resource of information. The energy unit then merges with the Auton Winslet.

Several dormant Autons in the Warehouse come back to life and the building becomes a battlefield. They are eventually defeated with the weapon created by the Doctor and Liz Shaw in "Spearhead from Space". The Auton Winslet then liquefies and escapes through a ventilation shaft.

"Auton 2: Sentinel"

Written and Directed by Nicholas Briggs

Two years have passed since the Warehouse incident.

A lorry transporting Autons from the Warehouse to another UNIT facility is hijacked by its own cargo. Meanwhile, Lockwood is troubled by extremely active dreams. UNIT learns that the transfer of the Autons was authorized by Lockwood. When he later remembers signing the transportation docket, it becomes evident that the Nestene Consciousness is using Lockwood's psychic abilities to their own ends.

UNIT’s Internal Security Division launches an investigation on Lockwood, pairing him with another psychic operative named Natasha Alexander. While Lockwood’s abilities are owed to an alien implant, Natasha claims to have been psychic since birth.

The escaped Autons are traced to Sentinel Island. There the Auton Winslet has installed himself as the local vicar. He has brainwashed most of the island’s inhabitants and the Autons have killed those who resisted. They are using the combined mental energy of the church’s congregation to awaken a Nestene creature buried beneath.

There are dormant Nestenes lying underground around the world. They were put in place before the development of the human race. Their locations have become known to humanity as holy sites and are connected by ley lines.

When Lockwood and Natasha arrive at the church, they succeed in reviving the Nestene. The Nestene attempts to awaken the others. Lockwood tries to defeat it, but instead absorbs the creature into his own mind.

"Auton Awakening"

Written by Nicholas Briggs (as Arthur Wallis) and Paul Ebbs and Directed by Bill Baggs

Lockwood and Natasha have returned from Sentinel Island, coming on shore in the town of Millhampton. Computers around the world are failing. They are being invaded by the Nestene Consciousness through Lockwood’s implant.

Meanwhile, the entire population of Millhampton has disappeared. They have been absorbed into the mind of another revived Nestene below the city. The only survivor is the real Winslet, who is still being used by the Nestenes at the local psychiatric hospital.

Lockwood and Natasha are both being used by another psychic UNIT operative named Palmer to lead them to the heart of the Nestene activity. Palmer monitors their movements through a constant link with Natasha’s mind.

Meanwhile, Natasha is used by the Nestenes to lure Lockwood to the hospital, which the Autons are using as the centre of their operation. There the Auton Winslet is trying to free the Nestene energy from Lockwood's mind so it can infect every computer in the world and revive all the dormant Nestene creatures. Lockwood resists by convincing himself that everything he sees is a dream.

When Dr. Arnold arrives, his resolve is broken. He is then forced to sacrifice his own life to destroy the Nestene plan.


"Auton" was originally intended to include the Brigader, but actor Nicholas Courtney had to decline due to the fact he was ill during production. The character of the Brigader was replaced by Lockwood, who would also appear in the next two films.

Two spoofs are known , one on the "Auton 2" video(and DVD) called "The Auton Diaries" in which an out of work Auton finds new employment in BBV; and its sequel "The Auton Diaries 2" which appears on the "Auton 3" DVD. Note BBV's "Do You Have A Licence To Save This Planet" includes an "Auton 3" style Auton.


*The Auton Trilogy video set
* [ Official BBV web site]
*Doctor Who RG|id=auton1|title=Auton
*Doctor Who RG|id=auton2|title=Auton 2: Sentinel
*Doctor Who RG|id=auton3|title=Auton 3: Awakening

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