From the people who brought you Flight Through Entirety.

Saturday 2 January 1971

Terror of the Autons

Establishment Drag

New Beginnings, Episode 3
Sunday 28 April 2024.

It feels like only a year ago that Doctor Who underwent a strange and cataclysmic soft reboot, and it looks like it’s happening again this week. Or is it?

Notes and links

Paul Cornell’s negative review of Terror of the Autons was originally published in DWB Issue 112, way back in April 1993. Here it is republished in the old Usenet forum rec.arts.drwho (or at least the version of it to be found on Google Groups right now).

Jeremy Bentham (yes, a relation) was the co-founder of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society back in the 70s. To us, he was more famous for contributing a section to Peter Haining’s 1983 coffee-table book Doctor Who: A Celebration, a section which briefly covered every Doctor Who story up to the final story of Season 20, The King’s Demons. We mentioned it last week; it wasn’t just a source of information about the history of the show, but a massive influence on received fan wisdom for years afterwards.

There exists a three-minute training video from 1972 in which Doctor Who producer Barry Letts talks about how CSO works. It can be found on the Carnival of Monsters DVD release and on the more recent Doctor Who: The Collection Season 10 blu-ray box set.

According to this story’s TARDIS Fandom page, stuntman Terry Walsh was actually hit by one of the cars during the scene in the quarry, but he just got up and continued with the scene, so it made it into the finished episode. Barry Letts’s recollection is somewhat different, however.

And inevitably, we end up talking about the eccentric way the Pertwee Era was shown in Australia in the late 1970s, so you might want to jog your memory by re-reading the shownotes for last week.

Flight Through Entirety discussed Terror of the Autons in Episode 23: Increasingly Baroque and Stupid.

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Nathan is on X as @nathanbottomley, Simon is @simonmoore72, and James is @ohjamessellwood. The 500 Year Diary theme was composed by Cameron Lam.

For now at least, 500 Year Diary shares a social media presence with Flight Through Entirety. So you can follow us on Mastodon and Bluesky, as well as on X and Facebook. Our website is at Please consider rating or reviewing us on Apple Podcasts, or we’ll put on big plastic masks and leap out at you from behind a fixture the next time you’re test-driving couches at IKEA.

And more

You can find links to all of the podcasts we’re involved in on our podcasts page. But here’s where we’re up to right now.

Flight Through Entirety will be back at Christmas in July to discuss The Return of Doctor Mysterio, and we’ll be covering Peter Capaldi’s final year on the show after that, concluding with Twice Upon a Time at Christmas.

The Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire will be back in just over two weeks, soon after the screening of the first two episodes of the 2024 season on 11 May. In the meantime, you can hear our hot takes on the four episodes we’ve seen of Doctor Who’s second RTD era.

Last week, Brendan and his friend Bjay returned to the mic for another episode of their gaming podcast, The Bjay BJ Game Show. This month, they enjoyed There is No Game: Wrong Dimension, a surreal and metatextual point-and-click adventure with a surprising amount of heart.

There’s also Startling Barbara Bain, our Space: 1999 commentary podcast. We should have Episode 5 to you in about a week, so you can prepare by watching the first of Sir Brian Blessed’s appearances on the show in Death’s Other Dominion.

Maximum Power will be back later in the year to talk about the final series of Blakes 7.

And finally there’s our Star Trek commentary podcast, Untitled Star Trek Project, featuring Nathan and friend-of-the-podcast Joe Ford. This week, we cheered ourselves up by watching a scary episode of Strange New Worlds called All Those Who Wander.

New Beginnings, Episode 3: Establishment Drag · Download · Open in new window · Duration: 1:05:48 · Recorded on Sunday 17 March 2024
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