Autumn was the third story in the audio anthology, Circular Time, which comprised the ninety-first release in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Paul Cornell and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa.
It was notable for being the story which explored Nyssa's first, tentative steps into the world of romantic love. It was further significant for being Big Finish's first foray into Stockbridge, England, a fictional hamlet that had been introduced in Doctor Who Magazine comic strips.
The Doctor ponders over circular and linear time while watching a cricket match of which he is a participant in September in Stockbridge with the Stockbridge Cricket Club, drawing parallels between them, real life and the game as he has brought himself and Nyssa here for a vacation. Nyssa approaches him and laments that she can't seem to finish her novel but the Doctor tells her to keep at it.
Over the next few days, Nyssa continues to try writing her novel in a bar but is continually interrupted by Andrew Whitaker, slowly becoming more and more annoyed by his intrusive inquiries while the Doctor practices with the Stockbridge Cricket Club team for an upcoming match. Later Andrew drives Nyssa to Traken, which turns out to be a village farther out from Stockbridge, thinking he is taking her home after she told him where she was from. She reveals to him that she is an alien, and although perplexed he has other intents on his mind and kisses her. Nyssa reveals this is her first kiss. Meanwhile, the Doctor attends the pub with the team to discuss strategy but slowly they reveal their racist attitudes, especially Jack, the team coach. The Doctor, disgusted, leaves the pub and ends up bumping into Nyssa and Andrew in the forest on his way back to the inn, questioning Andrew's intentions and then leaves them (it is very heavily implied that Nyssa and Andrew have had sex). She finds she has fallen in love with Andrew despite her best efforts not to.
The next day they attend the big match, after Nyssa reveals to the Doctor she has decided to go the village Cricket Club ball, having earlier expressed displeasure at the thought. At the match, she sees Andrew in a new light, becoming upset with his candid attitude and simple-minded pursuit of her, and explains to him that she understands now what it is she doesn't like about him. She explains that he has no regards for consequences and that this will come back to hurt him down the road. She then tells him it's time they get ready for the ball and they set off.
The final stretch sees the Doctor's Stockbridge team win, however, Don, one of the runners, dies in the process having been under the weather throughout the game. Andrew, returning to the bar to pick up Nyssa after getting ready, finds that the ball has been cancelled because of Don's death and that Nyssa is nowhere to be found. Instead, on the table she had been working at throughout her stay, he finds her completed novel and begins to read it.
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
- Andrew - Jamie Sandford
- Jack - Toby Longworth
- Anton - Jeremy James
- Don - John Benfield
- When Nyssa tells Andrew Harper that she is from Traken, he assumes that it is in Ireland.
- Though she falls in love with him quite uneasily, Nyssa is clearly implied to have had sex with Andrew.
- The Doctor and Nyssa have met P. G. Wodehouse.
- Andrew jokingly refers to Nyssa's book as being fantasy like "The Lord of the Rings".
- The Doctor speaks Estonian through the TARDIS translation circuit.
- When Nyssa expresses an interest in going to the village ball, the Doctor jokingly says "You shall go to the ball", a line from the movie Cinderella.
- Nyssa wears jeans.
- This story is set in the recent past (relative to the publication date of 2007), and involves no science fictional elements other than the Doctor and Nyssa themselves. Thus it is technically a "pure historical" episode, however short the hop back in time is.
- According to a 20 November 2006 blog post, Paul Cornell wrote this story without the assistance of Mike Maddox.
- This story is set between Time-Flight and Arc of Infinity.
- Andrew's surname here is "Whitaker", but it mysteriously changes to "Harper" by AUDIO: The Eternal Summer.
- The Doctor and Nyssa would later return to Stockbridge several times, in 1899, 1199, 2009 and the 45th century. (AUDIO: Castle of Fear, The Eternal Summer, Plague of the Daleks)