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Auton (BBV video)

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Auton
Dr Sal Janice energy unit BBV Auton
Main character(s): Lockwood
Sally Arnold
Featuring: UNIT
Main enemy: Autons
Main setting: UNIT storage facility, Earth
Key crew
Publisher: BBV Productions
Writer: Nicholas Briggs
Director: Nicholas Briggs
Producer: Bill Baggs
Release details
Release date: 1997
Format: 57 minute, VHS
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Auton was the first video story in the Auton Trilogy of video dramas produced by BBV in the late 90s. It was a sequel to the first Nestene/Auton story Spearhead from Space. Like most video drams of this era this story features aliens and concepts from Doctor Who without any main characters from the series, although Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart was to have appeared Nicholas Courtney had to withdraw from the project due to health concerns.

Synopsis

The United Nations Intelligence Taskforce was set up to tackle human contact with the extraterrestrial and paranormal - especially when that contact proved dangerous. But when the battles were over, when the top-secret 'clean ups' were completed, where was all the alien technology taken?

The Warehouse... UNIT's highly classified storage and research establishment. Here lie the dead, forgotten relics of past battles and encounters.

But what happens when one of these relics is reactivated?

UNIT has only one way of dealing with its mistakes. The Containment Team has been summoned... and the outcome is far from certain...

Plot

Doctor Sally Arnold is a research scientist working in one of UNIT's forgotten storage facilities. She has put together a communications device to communicate with an unknown artifact part of AAA/RH/2961. She subjects it to UNIT's most powerful deep space satellite. The object, the energy unit receives something from deep space and begins to communicate with it.

Energy unit goo transition BBV Auton

Energy unit transitioning.

Doctor Arnold, realising what she has done; allowing the energy unit to communicate with deep space ends its satellite uplink. The energy unit explodes as the communication link is ended.

UNIT Containment team BBV Auton

UNIT containment team.

A UNIT Containment Team is called in to clear up Dr Arnold's experiment. However, as UNIT's expert Lockwood begins to investigate they discover that the energy unit did not explode, it absorbed energy and changed its state. Shifting between an ooze and a solid state, killing and communicating with other Autons and a duplicate of one of the UNIT archivists Graham Winslet.

Whilst interviewing Sally Arnold he and the UNIT Containment team discover other crates relating to the AAA/RH/2961 and a sectioned off portion of the UNIT Warehouse that contains items relating to the Nestene's first invasion attempt.

As Lockwood and Dr Arnold make their way to the sectioned off location Autons are being activated throughout the Warehouse to fight the remaining UNIT personnel. The sectioned off area is protected by a retina scan and code, the latter of which Lockwood, at least initually does not know. He is however able to grant them access after a moment's "thought", inside they find several items including a UHF transmitter used against the Autons in their first attempted invasion and another energy unit.

Pair of Autons firing BBV Auton

Autons attacking.

The duplicate Winslet forces Lockwood to allow it access to the sectioned off part of the facility in order to gain access to the remnant of the Nestene body it attempted to create during its first invasion attempt.

Whilst Lockwood is engaged with Winslet Sally Arnold utilises "Dr John Smith's UHF transmitter created to combat the Autons during their first invasion attempt to fight back against the Autons active inside the warehouse.

Having gained the remnant the energy unit changed shape once more, shifting to a gel-like ooze, escaping through the ventilation systems.

Cast

Production crew

References

  • UNIT headquarters is in Geneva. UNIT also owns several deep space satellites, one of which is the most powerful such satellite yet developed.
  • Lockwood is the head of a UNIT containment team.
  • Lockwood uses the call sign Greyhound Leader, which is usually used by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
  • UNIT's containment teams are for dealing with (extra-terrestrial) contamination risks. A risk of contamination is afforded a Code 7 categorisation - UNIT automatically prepares the death certificates of any personnel involved in advance, as a precaution.
  • Ramsay uses the call sign Greyhound One when requesting back up.
  • When Lockwood examines the Doctor's UHF transmitter, he refers to UNIT's scientific adviser as "Dr. John Smith".

Story notes

AAA-RH-2961 case BBV Auton

Packing crate with AAA/RH/2961.

  • Nicholas Briggs originally planned for this story to feature Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, but Courtney had to drop out at the last minute due to health issues. The character of Lockwood was created to replace the Brigadier.
  • The crates containing the other energy unit and the Autons are coded AAA/RH/2961 (AAA is the story code for Spearhead from Space and RH is the initials of Robert Holmes, the creator of the Autons).
  • In the credits it states:
"We gratefully acknowledge the co-operation of Dr M K Thompson and Shirley Thompson"
"Thanks to Vetrepharm Ltd for their help in this production"

Myths

to be added

Filming Locations

to be added

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

to be added

Continuity

DVD and Video releases

  • Released on Video in 1997 by BBV Productions.
  • Released on DVD as a double sided DVD for PAL and NTSC formats. DVD Authoring by MERV STATION. DVD release included:

External links

TVStub

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