Terror of the Autons episode 1 was broadcast 3 January in 1971. It starts when The villainous timelord The Master (Roger Delgado) arrives on Earth and steals the sole surviving Nestene energy unit from the National Space Museum, he then hijacks the Beacon Hill radio telescope, kidnaps Professor Phillips, one of the Ministry of Technology’s research scientists and takes over a nearby plastics factory called Farrel Autoplastics, as part of a sinister scheme.
So the Doctor (Jon Pertwee), his new assistant Jo Grant (Katy Manning) and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) investigate. However Jo finds herself in danger. UNIT eventually trace the whereabouts of the missing Professor Phillips to Rossini’s Circus at Tarminster where The Doctor and Jo soon find themselves in even more peril but manage to escape and hide in a quarry.
Meanwhile At Farrell Autoplastics The Master manages to create an army of autonomous plastic killers called Autons, by using the Nestene Energy Unit and Soon a group of Autons, disguised as Carnival clowns, are causing deaths from asphyxiation, shock, and heart failure. The Master, meanwhile, infiltrates UNIT headquarters disguised as a telephone engineer and causes chaos. Elsewhere the Brigadier and the Doctor investigate the Farrell Autoplatics Plastics Factory.
Later the Master unsuccessfully tries to clobber the Doctor and Jo remotely, but when this fails he breaks into UNIT HQ again and takes Them both as a hostage to a nearby quarry. Meanwhile The Brigadier is planning an RAF airstrike on the Autons. UNIT troops engage the Autons, while the Doctor and the Brigadier pursue the Master to Beacon Hill radio telescope to prevent him from completing his villainous agenda and summoning a Nestene invasion….