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The Autons Want Revenge in Russell T. Davies' New Doctor Who Short Story

The Doctor, captured by the Autons in “Rose”.
The Doctor, captured by the Autons in “Rose”.
Image: BBC

Turns out it wasn’t just a prequel to “Rose”, the episode that kicked off Doctor Who’s revival 15 years ago last night, that former showrunner Russell T. Davies shared to celebrate the anniversary live-tweet/rewatch fun. In a surprise move, he also dropped a follow up exploring the plastic villains’ next moves and their motivations.


Performed by The Stranger and Medici’s Jacob Dudman, “Revenge of the Nestene” sees Davies pick up immediately after the seeming destruction of the Nestene Consciousness in the climax of “Rose”, undone by the vial of anti-plastic the Doctor had brought to the party. Turns out, at least part of the Nestene, the sentient plastic being that controlled all the Autons in their rampage across London’s shops, survived, worming its way out of the underground lair beneath the London Eye on a quest to try and track down the meddling Time Lord and Human that stopped its plans.

The story is fascinating not just for the added nuance it gives to the Autons, but for how Davies dives into the species’ backstory. The brief tale explores not only Nestene society, but how its homeworld was ravaged by the Time War—right down to how that even worked, given the Time War was fought across different realities and timelines. There’s even a cheeky implication that the Conciousness used the last of its duplication abilities to transform itself into a duplicate of a certain U.K.’s classic Davies-style Who, through and through!


It’s a really intriguing slice of Doctor Who history, and a perfect treat to cap off last night’s anniversary celebrations. If you’d prefer to read the short story instead of watch Dudman perform it, you can check out the full thing on Davies’ Instagram account.

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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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