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Auton 3: Awakening

UK 1999
produced by
Bill Baggs for BBV, Reeltime Pictures
directed by Patricia Merrick, Bill Baggs
starring Jo Castleton, Bryonie Pritchard, George Tefler, Michael Wade, Graeme Du Fresne, Andrew Fettes, Helen Baggs, Peter Trapani
screenplay by Nicholas Briggs, additional material by Paul Ebbs, Autons created by Robert Holmes, music by Alistair Lock, special effects by Benjamin Smith

Autons, Auton Trilogy, Doctor Who spin-off

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A direct sequel to Auton 2: Sentinel: Driving away from the scene of the last movie, psychic Natasha (Jo Castleton) wonders whose side professor Lockwood (Michael Wade), a psychic affected by the Nestene intelligence, is on, and the mere fact that Lockwood isn't all sure himself doesn't make it any easier. Still, he tries to fight the Nestene intelligence (the force that controls the Autons) - but then none other than Natasha lures him into a trap, as she, too, has been taken over to some extent by the Nestene intelligence.

It seems the Autons have taken over a small town somewhere in the English countryside, where they perform tests on Lockwood. Natasha soon gets control over her mind again, escapes her Auton captors and runs around the village to look for help. In the meantime, Professor Sally Arnold (Bryonie Pritchard) and the psychic Palmer (Graeme DuFresne) have hit town in search of Lockwood, and so has UNIT soldier Ramsay (Andrew Fettes). Somehow everybody knows that the Nestene intelligence plans something massive with Lockwood, and once they meet up, Palmer and Natasha try to prevent this ... but when trying to mentally reach Lockwood, they also open their minds for the Nestene intelligence, and while Lockwood manages to close his mind to the Nestene's intrusion, the others are less lucky.

Ultimately, the Nestene intelligence breaks Lockwood's mental defenses and use him as a gateway to the world's entire computer system (or something), but now it's the non-psychics Sally and Ramsay who remind him he's still human by way of their friendship, and ultimately he kills himself this way not only sabotaging the plans of the Autons but destroying the Nestene intelligence (and the Autons with it) for good.


This conclusion to the Auton Trilogy is a bit of a mess, mainly because it does not work at all as a stantalone film. All the events in this movie are based on things that happened in the previous episodes, especially Auton 2: Sentinel (which worked rather well on its own by the way), none of the characters are properly introduced, just taken over from earlier stories, and the plans of the Autons and the Nestene intelligence are never properly explained - so if you haven't got the benefit of having seen the previous episodes before this one, you'll be lost, and even if you have, Auton 3: Awakening is not a very good film, id's basically a very feeble story padded out to one hour of running time by some people running around. The whole thing is not all bad though, it's got some old fashioned low budget alien invasion charm rarely seen in the 1990's anymore, it just would have worked a whole lot better with a more coherent script.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD