the terror of the autons

Looking back, I love how instantly the Doctor and Jo’s relationship is solidified. At the beginning of Terror of the Autons the Doctor yells at her and calls her a ham fisted bun vendor and then in the very next serial they’re playing checkers in a locked cell together and shushing the Master. 

ittigerburningbright-deactivate  asked:

I'm curious where you see Delgado in Missy? To me one is sane, a gentleman, even polite to Miss Grant. Missy is batshit crazy, thinks that giving the Doctor a Cyberman army is actually a /good/ idea, and certainly doesn't have the companion rapport with Clara that Delgado did. They're just too different to me.

It really depends on how you look at it.

Michelle Gomez’s mannerisms, expressions, and delivery are often similar to Delgado’s—she can pull the exact same sneer—but it’s more than that. There’s her semi-friendly attitude towards the Doctor, mirroring Delgado and Three’s fairly amiable relationship. There’s her concern for the Doctor, which Delgado frequently displayed. And yes, there’s politeness.

Delgado will always be the best at the whole charm thing—he was capable of murdering people and being impeccably polite about it—but it’s a trait most of the Masters have shared, and Missy is no exception. She invites Clara over for tea while holding the world’s planes hostage and politely asks about her boyfriend, knowing full well he’s dead. That’s exactly the kind of thing Delgado would do (I think an underrated part of Delgado!Master’s character is his sense of humour—the “he sat in this chair and just slipped away” line of in Terror of the Autons kills me every time). Like Delgado, Missy calls everyone “my dear” and generally speaks to people in a civil manner. She just has a tendency to suddenly switch to her “bananas” side, which isn’t my preferred thing, but I’m pretty sure it’s a calculated act on her part to throw people off balance. It’s not something Delgado would do, because he’s very invested in the gentlemanly image he presents, but a lot has happened to the Master since Delgado which has caused them to shed that image to a certain extent.

You’ll notice, though, that Missy does try to present a similar image at times, except she plays the role of the old-fashioned lady rather than the old-fashioned gentleman, and she’s more willing to toss the facade aside when it suits her.

As for the Cyberman army gift, it may seem like a weird thing for a supervillain to do, and if taking over the universe was the Master’s only motive, it would be completely out of character, but there’s more to the Master than that. They want the Doctor to acknowledge that they’re right, and that’s exactly what accepting the army would mean. It would be the Doctor agreeing that yes, the Master was right—conquering the universe is the best way to get what you want, and the Master knew it all along and the Doctor was wrong. When she kneels to him in the graveyard scene, it isn’t a gesture of submission, because if he accepts power over anyone—including her—it proves she was right and puts her in control of the situation, because he’d be doing exactly what she wanted.

The Master has always needed the Doctor’s approval to a certain extent, which is why they felt this scheme was necessary. They need the Doctor to acknowledge that they really are superior, and they need the Doctor to admit he was wrong and should’ve joined them from the start. The whole thing was about forcing the Doctor’s hand. If he accepted the army, the Master won, and if he refused, the Cybermen would kill all the Doctor’s precious humans and the Master would still win.

So how is all that like Delgado? Well, I rewatched Colony in Space yesterday, and I can see a clear parallel there. After the Doctor guides the Master to the Primitive city, the Master has no further use for him, but he keeps him around anyway and then offers him joint rulership of the universe. There is absolutely no reason the Master needs to do this. He isn’t the Doctor’s prisoner, trying to bargain a way out. He’s already in control and could kill the Doctor at any time. But he still tries to convince the Doctor to join him, and simply cannot understand the Doctor’s refusal. He offers the Doctor the exact same thing Missy offers him: the chance to help people. All the Doctor has to do is accept that the Master is right and that using the superweapon to conquer the universe would be in everyone’s best interests. It’s a very similar scenario to Death in Heaven.

You mention Delgado’s relationship with Jo vs. Missy’s relationship with Clara, but it’s important to note that the Master/Jo relationship is pretty much unique. Most other companions absolutely despise the Master. Jo is the only one who really comes to close to getting along with him, and Clara actually comes closer than others like Tegan and Martha do.

Basically, if you focus on the “batshit crazy” parts of Missy’s personality, then it’s easy to say she isn’t much like Delgado, but she has plenty of calmer moments filled with cold, calculated evil, and she can turn on the politeness when it suits her. I would also argue that Delgado has a lighter, zanier side, which often gets overlooked. There’s his sense of humour, which I already mentioned, plus other things like murdering people with daffodils, having way too much fun as a cult leader/vicar (including reciting Mary had a little lamb backwards to summon a demon), watching The Clangers, using ridiculous aliases, and taking people calling him evil as a compliment. He’s more reserved than later Masters, certainly, but he enjoyed himself immensely in his evil escapades.

I’ve just started to watch Terror of the Autons and Jo Grant is just. so. damn. cute. Like, I can’t handle this. She’s going to kill me with cuteness.

JO: “And I’ve chased those electronic spares you wanted! They promised delivery tomorrow, without fail.”

DOCTOR: [desesperately trying to fire her] “Miss Grant, I, errrr… I, hmmm. Well, I don’t…”

JO: [waiting for the rest of the sentence, looking cute] (✿◡‿◡)

DOCTOR: “This is, errrr, a bit difficult for me to say but… Hm.”

JO: [maximum kawaii unleashed] (✿´・v・)

DOCTOR: “…Thank you, Jo. I can see you’re going to be of great help to me.”

JO: ( •⌄• ू )✧


Doctor Who episodes | Story: 055 | season 8 [1/5]
↳ Terror of the Autons

“Nonsense, what you need, Doctor, as Miss Shaw herself so often remarked, is someone to pass you your test tubes, and to tell you how brilliant you are.”


From ‘Terror of the Autons’ to ‘Into the Dalek’

Good luck getting your ‘Carer’ to tell you how brilliant you are, Doctor.

“Jo Grant is useless!” “Jo Grant is a sexist stereotype!” “She’s just there to tell the Doctor how clever he is!” “All she does is scream and need to be rescued by the Doctor!”

If you know anything at all about Jo you’ve probably heard at least one of the above statements at some point. People will often compare Jo to the two powerful, overtly feminist companions she comes between (Liz Shaw and Sarah Jane Smith) and decide she falls short and must be there simply to look pretty and act dumb

All those people are totally, completely wrong.

Here’s the thing: Jo did replace Liz for really sexist reasons. The writers thought Liz was “too smart” because she was the Doctor’s equal rather than someone who would just follow along asking questions. So Liz was dropped (though Caroline John would’ve probably left anyway due to her pregnancy). The character of Jo was created to replace her, and established as someone who definitely wasn’t on the same scientific level as the Doctor.

However, in spite of the sexism behind this, Jo is still a very strong character and I would argue that while she may not surpass the Doctor in the intellectual fields, she’s consistently shown to surpass him in pretty much everything else. She’s kinder than him, braver than him, more determined than him, and less dependent on him than he is on her.

And while she’s no scientist, she’s not stupid either and we see her gradually grow more knowledgeable in scientific matters (in The Time Monster, for example, when she guesses exactly what the device the Doctor built does).

She’s resourceful (remember that she does happen to be a fully qualified UNIT agent who has studied escapology) and frequently gets the Doctor out of tight jams. She doesn’t hang around waiting for someone to tell her what to do—she uses her own initiative many times, sometimes with good results (such as when she frees the Doctor in The Sea Devils) and sometimes with bad results (when she tracks down the Master on her own in Terror of the Autons—though note that she does succeed in finding him, and by Frontier in Space she’s become immune to his hypnotism).

She has far more agency than she gets credit for. She knows what she wants and isn’t shy about getting it. In her first episode we learn she got her job with UNIT by asking her well-connected uncle for it, but she’s also immediately willing to do all the hard work involved. The first thing she does is try to put out a fire—no screaming involved, she just grabs the fire extinguisher and puts it out. It turns out she’s actually ruined one of the Doctor’s projects, but her eagerness and sweet personality win him over so quickly that he doesn’t have the heart to fire her. In The Mind of Evil, during a prison riot, she grabs the gun from the prisoner holding her hostage and turns the situation around, covering the prisoners with it and then casually handing them over to the governor.

In The Curse of Peladon, King Peladon offers her a life of luxury as his queen, but she turns him down. She also turns down Latep in Planet of the Daleks—who asks her to stay with him on Skaro—because she’s more interested in her own life on Earth. When she accepts Cliff’s offer of marriage in The Green Death, it’s not on a whim but something she genuinely wants. She isn’t willing to settle for just anyone.

When she and the Doctor visit the sexist Draconians in Frontier in Space, one of them tells her to not to speak, and her response is simply to tell him to be quiet so she can carry on talking. Later she remarks, “I think it’s about time women’s lib was brought to Draconia.” And yet people claim she’s less feminist than Sarah Jane.

Jo is passionate above all else, and it shows in everything she does. She throws herself into her work, she enjoys life very much, and she’s incredibly compassionate and driven to do good. In The Mind of Evil she takes care of the Doctor after his ordeal with the Keller Machine and treats the prisoner Barnham very kindly, showing more concern for him than anyone else does. She brings a captured Ogron a banana in Frontier in Space, showing kindness to a species even the Doctor treats with contempt. Her compassion is so strong that she tries to sacrifice her own life in The Daemons to save the Doctor, asking Azal to kill her in his place. This action is what ultimately saves them all, because Azal can’t comprehend her behaviour. And finally, she chooses to leave the Doctor because she wants to save the planet the old-fashioned way—not by going into space and fighting aliens, but through simple ground level activism.

Perhaps the most profound example of her strong spirit and her bravery is The Time Monster, when the Master’s actions threaten to destroy the entire universe. She’s trapped aboard his TARDIS, and the only way to stop him is for the Doctor to time ram the two vessels, which will kill all three of them. The Doctor threatens to do it, but the Master calls his bluff, pointing out that the Doctor doesn’t have it in him to destroy Jo. Jo has no such qualms and time rams the TARDISes herself, even though she knows it’ll kill her and her best friend. She believes it’s worth it to save the rest of the universe. “Think of all those millions of people who’ll die,” she says. “Think of all those millions of people who’ll never be born!” The three of them do survive through the intervention of Kronos, but that doesn’t take anything away from Jo’s decision to destroy the two TARDISes—a decision the Doctor himself wasn’t able to make.

Despite his strong desire to be free of his exile, the Doctor is clearly the most dependent one in their relationship. He worries that she might choose to stay with Peladon, and when he finally gets his freedom in The Three Doctors, Jo is sad but willing to accept that he probably wants to leave, but he instead chooses to remain with UNIT (which shows some great character development for Three, who lied to Liz to get her to give him the TARDIS key in his first serial and tried to abandon them all). In the end, it’s not the Doctor who leaves Jo but Jo who leaves the Doctor. She makes the decision to part ways, and he is clearly the one most affected by it, and can’t even stay for the rest of the party. It’s such a simple companion departure—no tragedy involved, just leaving to get married—and yet it remains one of the most heart-breaking moments in Classic Who. We rarely see the Doctor so upset over a companion’s exit.

I don’t understand how anyone who’s seen Jo’s episodes can say she’s a useless character. This is so obviously false when you examine her actions. She may not be Ace beating a Dalek with a baseball bat or Rose absorbing the time vortex, but she doesn’t have to be. She has a quiet, gentle heroism that’s just as valid. Dismissing her as the epitome of the sexist “screaming girl” stereotype misses everything important about her character.

One thing I really respect about Jon Pertwee was how much he hated bullies, and how protective he was of his friends. In an interview in one of the DW magazines, he speaks of hating bullies ever since childhood because of the messed up British school system which allowed and even encouraged that kind of behaviour, and he talks about it a lot throughout the interview.

There’s this:

“I felt quite protective of Roger. There is a scene in The Sea Devils where they needed to shoot Roger floating in water to get an establishing shot. Now, Roger was terrified of water. It took a lot of persuading by me to get him to do it and a lot of Katy talking gently to calm him down enough to actually get in the water. Just as we had done that, the idiot assistant director shouted out: ‘Come on Roger, for God’s sake, you’ve wasted enough time already!’

“I was furious. I said to the AD, ‘Can’t you see how much it takes for him to do this? You shouting like that just ruins his confidence. Why don’t you stop being such an arse and jump in the sea yourself?!’ I never could stand anyone bullying people.” — Jon Pertwee, DWM 457.

And this, from an article about the filming of Terror of the Autons:

“The short-sighted Manning sprained her right ankle when she ran into a rock on the rough terrain, and started to worry that she might have to be replaced. When production assistant Nicholas Howard John—the brother of Caroline John—joked about this, he received a stern reprimand from Pertwee about upsetting his new co-star.” — DWM 311.

And Jon used to hold Katy’s hand whenever they were running because of her short-sightedness, and he would wrap his cape around her to keep her warm when they were filming on location.


And on the continent of Wild Endeavour, in the mountains of Solace and Solitude, there stood the Citadel of the Time Lords. The oldest and most mighty race in the universe. Looking down on the galaxies below, sworn never to interfere, only to watch.

- The Doctor, The Sound of Drums.

So I have this theory that the Time Lord messenger in Terror of the Autons is an earlier incarnation of Brax. 

As we discovered in season 5 of Gallifrey, Braxiatel was given burn edict against his brother (for those that don’t know, Brax is the Doctor’s older brother, and a burn edict is basically an official order for assassination). The Doctor escaped with Susan, and you know the rest.

Many years later, this man shows up “to warn the Doctor about the Master”:

The Doctor recognises him and appears unwilling to talk: the man has to ask the Doctor not to go away, and when he asks the Doctor if he has a moment or two, the Doctor responds, “sarcasm was always a weak point with you, wasn’t it." When the man says, "The tribunal thought that you ought to be made aware of your danger,” the Doctor drily responds, “how very kind of them." 

It’s funny that the man mentions the tribunal, though, acting as though he’s there on their request. He seems to arrive without a TARDIS, materialising in front of the Doctor like so:

During the conversation, the Doctor comments on the man’s clothes being "ridiculous”, which the man responds to by saying he’s incognito. But clearly, he’s not trying to hide from humans, since he actually materialised in the sky, and he’s probably not trying to hide from the Master, since the latter would realise that someone literally arriving out of thin air would have to be a Time Lord. So this was probably an informal visit, a backhanded sort of apology made as soon as Brax learned of his brother’s exile on Earth and had an excuse to go see him.

So is there solid proof? No! Is there probably a lot in the EU that disproves this? Yes! But it is a fun little theory that makes this random little scene at least 20 times more interesting and emotional.

*Watching classic episode of Doctor Who with the sun in my eyes*

“Oh, a small figure in a rounded black helmet shot somebody! Maybe it’s a classic Sontaran episode, awesome!”

*Space prison under siege, orders are given to destroy “the prisoner” should it be taken.*

“Hm, I wonder why the Sontarans would be interested in a pri- no. No, no, it couldn’t be. Surely I can’t have gone straight from Genesis into…”

*An entire wall explodes.*

“It’s them.”

*Daleks trundle through their new door*