New to Doctor Who or returning after a break? Check out our guides designed to help you find your way!


Nestene Consciousness Talk

The Nestene Consciousness, also known as the Nestenes, Crown Consciousness, (PROSE: Revenge of the Nestenes) Mother Consciousness to its Autons, (AUDIO: Brave New Town) and the Consciousness to UNIT, (PROSE: Operation Mannequin) was a disembodied life force, a hive mind race and a singular entity existing as energy with the ability to possess plastic. The Third Doctor described the Nestenes as "ruthlessly aggressive [and] intelligent", (TV: Terror of the Autons) while the Eleventh Doctor thought of them as "vindictive". (PROSE: Strangers in the Outland)



The Nestene Consciousness could manifest itself either as the same solid plastic an Auton was made out of, as it did in its first invasion of Earth, or as a creature of "pure force and energy", as it did during the second invasion. Its appearance was of a many-tentacled monster which was "something between spider, crab and octopus". (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons) According to the Third Doctor, the Nestenes manifested themselves as a "disembodied, mutually telepathic intelligence", (TV: Terror of the Autons) and according to Channing, the way the Nestenes appeared on their home planet did not resemble the plastic manifestation that was grown on Earth. (TV: Spearhead from Space) The Nestenes' molecular structure had a close affinity to plastic, polymers of high molecular weight, some partially amorphous. (PROSE: Autonomy) The polymer chains of both thermosetting and thermoplastic resonated along their psychic wavelength. (PROSE: Synthespians™)

Because of its nature, "humanly speaking" a Nestene manifestation served as the brain or nervous system, (TV: Spearhead from Space) although it could also be defined as the heart, or appendix, or duodenum, or other terms. (PROSE: Autonomy) This body would be made out of plastic, allowing it to manipulate its surroundings, (TV: Spearhead from Space) though a Nestene's original body was large enough to dwarf a radio telescope. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons) The stresses of the Last Great Time War caused the Consciousness' biology to change drastically, leaving most of its form to be made of plastic. The effects of the Time War rewrote the Nestene's nature, rewriting much of what it used to be. (PROSE: Rose) It manifested as a more liquid form with a humanoid face. (TV: Rose) As one UNIT lieutenant speculated, it was potentially vulnerable to radio signals given that the activation trigger was now also a "cross-frequency jamming wave". (PROSE: Operation Mannequin)


Nestene Consciousness Target cropped

The body of the Nestene. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons)

Physical manifestation for the Consciousness was conceptual, being more than just a brain in flesh; it could exist in various forms, various places, and even various times. (PROSE: Autonomy) Because of their molecular affinity, the Nestenes had the ability to possess plastic, animating it and making it quasi-organic, "almost like flesh and blood". (TV: Terror of the Autons) It existed within everything it controlled, with the more significant of these manifestations including the energy units which transported the Consciousness, the Auton robots used as soldiers, and the Nestene creature that served as the central brain/nervous system of the Autons, created from the collected intelligence of the energy units. (TV: Spearhead from Space)

While they were fragments of the Consciousness, Autons had degrees of individuality depending on the portions of intelligence given to them. Channing, a Swarm Leader, could directly control another Auton and was unaware of another's destruction. (TV: Spearhead from Space) The Nestenes could speak through their Autons (TV: Terror of the Autons) which they directed via the astral plane, (PROSE: Synthespians™) although to control larger numbers the Nestenes required a relay station or transmitter. (TV: Rose) Over the course of its invasions it possessed shop-window dummies, the more advanced Autons (TV: Spearhead from Space, etc.), inflatable chairs, dolls, telephone cords, plastic daffodils designed by the Master, (TV: Terror of the Autons) and wheelie bins. (TV: Rose [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 1 (BBC One, 2005).)

Nestene language Auton BBV

The Nestene language (HOMEVID: Auton)

Although they had become pure energy, (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion) the Nestenes could still transition into physical forms, either through energy conversion or by constructing plastic bodies for themselves. They were able to absorb the psychic energy of willing humans, (HOMEVID: Auton 2: Sentinel) and could convert complete human bodies into energy. One Nestene that was absorbed into a human mind was capable of teleportation, projecting energy barriers, and materialising Autons, although it may have converted the humans to do so. (HOMEVID: Auton 3: Awakening)

While the Consciousness was a group mind, it could transport sections of its mind through radio waves, (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons) separating parts of the Nestene Mind for invasions so as not to risk the entire Consciousness. With this, if an invasion failed the rest of the Consciousness would know about it. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion)

Nestene matter may have been capable of performing Block Transfer Computations, as they required morphologically unstable living organic matter to do so. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark)


A Nestene tries to hypnotise Natasha Alexander. (HOMEVID: Auton 3: Awakening)

Invasion strategy[]

The Nestenes invaded planets either for colonisation, using them for sources of plastic and protein, or to destroy them. At first they sent several plastic meteors to a planet. These asteroids could telepathically control specially created plastics, but were more effective when combined. The Consciousness would next control people to create Auton forces to help with further waves of invasions. Some of the planets which the Nestene Consciousness took over included Cramodar and Plovak 6. (PROSE: Synthespians™)

On some worlds, its takeover strategy was as follows: portions of the Consciousness would travel through space in hollow spheres known as energy units, making planetfall in formation but appearing like normal meteorites to indigenous lifeforms. When they became active, the spheres would pulse with light and ring with electronic beeps. The first spheres could place a local being under mental control. The Swarm Leader unit either created a facsimile of a native or an original native-form from scratch, (PROSE: Synthespians™) and would proceed to construct other Autons and collect the other spheres. The Autons could replace key authority figures. Once the Consciousness within them recombined in an environment tank, the Consciousness would take on a form that it believed perfectly adapted for conquest of the planet on which it had landed. (TV: Spearhead from Space)



According to some accounts, the Nestenes were originally an ordinary telepathic species, whose natural appearance was cephalopod-like, before "transcending their bodies to become pure energy", merging into a singular hive mind. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion)

According to other accounts, however, the Nestene Consciousness was born as a singular being. It was the progeny of Shub-Niggurath, one of the Great Old Ones, members of the earlier race of Time Lords who had ruled their own universe until it was destroyed (PROSE: Millennial Rites) by the Gods of Ragnarok, three of their own number. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties) To escape their end, these beings "shuttled themselves sideways, into a parallel universe" before "jump[ing] back" into the new universe moments after the Big Bang. In the process, they all gained godlike powers due to still playing by the physical laws of their original universe. (PROSE: All-Consuming Fire, Millennial Rites) Shub-Niggurath was already pregnant when she entered the new universe; she directed herself to the planet of Polymos. Her child infused into the entire planet and became the Nestene Consciousness. (PROSE: Synthespians™) In another universe, the Para-Nestene came into existence instead. (COMIC: Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth)

Early history[]

The Nestenes once fought the Time Lords, who managed to contain them in the Illia Galaxy. Rassilon then destroyed the Nestenes there using the Galaxy Eater, aware that some would survive, but knowing they would never again be at the power they once were. (PROSE: Pandoric's Box) Indeed, the Eleventh Doctor later wondered if the Nestenes could only control a certain number of Autons, as he'd never seen legions of them. (PROSE: Strangers in the Outland)

The Consciousness, lead by the Nestene High Command, (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons) had been invading planets for a thousand million years. When they first arrived on Earth, Mankind had yet to evolve and so they made "deposits", burying a billion Nestene creatures along the planet's ley lines. Although some were destroyed over time, these sites would become holy, being worshipped, feared, or revered by Man. (HOMEVID: Auton 2: Sentinel, Auton 3: Awakening)

During Greek times the Nestenes returned, realised there was nothing to take control of, and left promising to come back in a few thousand years. They left behind a pan-polymeric protoplasm, which Scaroth had sculpted into a mask for himself. (PROSE: City of Death)

20th century[]

Nestene attack

A Nestene attacks the Third Doctor. (TV: Spearhead from Space)

The Nestene's first attempt to invade the Earth in the 20th century, using human-looking Autons to replace key government figures, was thwarted by UNIT with the help of the Third Doctor. The remains from this attempt were stored by UNIT. (TV: Spearhead from Space)

In their next attempt, the Master obtained one of the Nestene meteors and took over a plastics company. Using the company to create fake daffodils, disguised Autons would hand out these flowers for free. Eventually, once millions had been distributed, the Nestene would activate them by remote radio signals, causing them to suffocate and kill millions of people. The Master also created dolls, inflatable chairs and telephone cords to kill difficult individuals. The Third Doctor was able to figure out this plan. He convinced the Master that the Nestenes were too dangerous to be reliable allies, and they reversed the radio beam the invasion force was coming in on, sending it back into space. (TV: Terror of the Autons)

The Sixth Doctor helped UNIT to defeat another Nestene invasion. This did not appear to tax him overly, as he found time to take dance lessons during a lull in the crisis. (PROSE: Teach Yourself Ballroom Dancing)

In 1989, the Nestene Consciousness tried to take over Earth using the computer company SenéNet. The Sixth Doctor, Mel and the Brigadier prevented the Consciousness from taking over the Earth. (PROSE: Business Unusual) At the same time, it established a front operation called Galaxy Plastics Inc, and was still operational and undiscovered in August 1990. (COMIC: Business as Usual)

Nestene Consciousness remnant BBV Auton

Nestene remnant. (HOMEVID: Auton)

In 1996, Doctor Sally Arnold, whilst attempting to discover an energy unit's function, reactivated it using UNIT's deep space satellite, it in turn communicated with the Nestene Consciousness and provided it power to activate several Autons from the Nestene's first invasion attempt. The energy unit was forced to adapt to the new environment allowing the energy unit to move around the facility and locate the remnant of the Nestene body from its first Earth invasion attempt. (HOMEVID: Auton) It eventually escaped the UNIT warehouse (HOMEVID: Auton 2: Sentinel) and attempted to invade Earth again during the Millhampton Event of 1998. The invasion was thwarted by UNIT's cybernetically enhanced agent Lockwood and his team. (HOMEVID: Auton 3: Awakening)

Nestene (Plastic Millennium)

The Seventh Doctor and Melanie Bush discover the Nestene in Hammerson Plastic PLC. (COMIC: Plastic Millenium)

Circa the 1990s an Auton replica known as Alisha Hammerson set up the Hammerson Plastic PLC company. On New Year's Eve, 1999, she planned to replace several key figures in the plastic industry with Auton replicas, in order that the Earth could be dominated and absorbed. The Seventh Doctor and Mel, gate-crashing the party, broke the Nestene link which de-activated her. (COMIC: Plastic Millenium)

21st century[]

This section's awfully stubby.

Information from Sargasso and Extinction need to be added

In 2008, the Nestene Consciousness contacted the Autons of Thorington, Uzbekistan so they could destroy humanity, but the Eighth Doctor broke the connection so they could live their lives in peace. (AUDIO: Brave New Town)

Part of the Nestene Consciousness from the 1980s resurfaced in 2013, taking over through Hyperville, but was foiled by the Tenth Doctor. (PROSE: Autonomy)

In the 2010s a set of energy units fell to Earth. (AUDIO: Vanguard) The Nestene used Simon Devlin's company in their plans. (AUDIO: Earthfall) In this invasion, they used the internet to combine their energy (AUDIO: Bridgehead) and used Josh Carter to infiltrate UNIT. They could convert humans into plastic. (AUDIO: Armageddon)

Far future[]

The Nestene Consciousness made a deal with the Krillitane Empire, supplying an Auton to infiltrate the Maldovarium to aid the Krillitane spy Agrakos in return for the Krillitanes not attacking the Nestene. (PROSE: The Heist)

A set of energy units were sent to infiltrate Omnia Forum ahead of its opening. The planet-sized store failed as a business however and the ion cloud around it stopped the units from withdrawing, leaving the Nestene only able to prey on passing tourists that could be lured there. Eventually the Nestene lured River Song there to steal her vortex manipulator to transport the energy units, however they were destroyed when the units tried to use the manipulator to travel through the ion cloud all at once. (AUDIO: Black Friday)

In the 101st century, the Nestene Consciousness was attempting to completely leave Polymos after an invasion by the Time Lords. It chose the New Earth Republic and attempted to transport its entire body to Reef Station One with the help of Walter J. Matheson. It was stopped by the Sixth Doctor, who trapped it in the body of an advanced Auton. (PROSE: Synthespians™)

During the Time War[]

The Nestene was approached by Rassilon during the Last Great Time War, who bargained to have an Auton copy of the War Doctor constructed to inspire his troops into agreeing to a suicide mission. However, the War Doctor intercepted the deal and won over the Nestene into allowing him to control the Auton, and a second one made in his likeness, by agreeing to fighting for the Nestene in the future. (PROSE: Decoy)

After many years of war, the Nestene abandoned its conquesting ways, and made a new home for itself on Nestenia, where it ruled the Plastic Conjunction and developed rapport with the Embodiment of Gris, which observers described as a romance. However, Nestenia would fall victim to fallout from the Last Great Time War which briefly penetrated the normal universe, with the Nestene de-aged by a wave of Early, the food stocks destroyed by cloud of Late, and the Embodiment driven insane by a blizzard of Tick-tock. (PROSE: Revenge of the Nestene)

After the Time War[]

Escaping to 2005 using warp shunt technology, the Nestenes infiltrated London once more. The Nestenes had lost their food planets in the Last Great Time War, so their intention was to overthrow and destroy the human race, as Earth was ideal for their consumption needs, being filled with smoke, oil and various pollutants. (TV: Rose [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 1 (BBC One, 2005).) They also planned to absorb the Ninth Doctor, so they could gain knowledge on how to pilot the TARDIS and invade other planets. (PROSE: Rose [+]Russell T Davies, adapted from Rose (Russell T Davies), Target novelisations (Target Books, 2018).) Rose Tyler eventually defeated them by knocking a vial of anti-plastic solution that one of the Autons had confiscated from the Doctor into the vat of molten plastic which housed the main bulk of the Consciousness, causing it to explode, (TV: Rose [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 1 (BBC One, 2005).) though a piece of the Nestene survived, with ambitions of revenge on the Doctor by forming an alliance.

Also establishing a new plan for Earth, it merged with a blonde politician in Westminster. (PROSE: Revenge of the Nestene) While UNIT dealt with the subsequent clean-up, with active officers acknowledging the Consciousness but covering-up the incident with numerous explanations, (PROSE: Operation Mannequin) Box knew the prime minister in 2019 was a "plastic duplicate". (PROSE: Out of the Box) The Nestene's dream for an alliance was (PROSE: Revenge of the Nestene) also realised through the Total Collapse Event Incident. (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual)

The Nestene and the Alliance came to Stonehenge in 102 and imprisoned the Eleventh Doctor in the Pandorica in order to save the universe. As well as the obvious spaceships, they also created a legion of Autons disguised as Roman soldiers. These Autons, believing themselves to be genuine Roman soldiers, tricked the Doctor, who realised too late what they were, and imprisoned him in the Pandorica. (TV: The Pandorica Opens) When the plan failed, the Autons and the Nestene were turned to dust and erased from the universe along with the rest of creation, except for an Auton copy of Rory Williams, who rebelled against his nature and tried to help the Doctor. They were restored when the Doctor managed to "reset" the universe. (TV: The Big Bang)

The Siege of Trenzalore[]

The Nestene Consciousness sent a hit squad of Autons to Trenzalore without weapons in their arms to sneak past the Papal Mainframe's technology barrier. It initially planned to parachute the Autons directly into the Eleventh Doctor's residence of Christmas to grab the Doctor and take him to his death, but upon the crosswinds blowing the Autons miles off course, the Nestene improvised a plan to lead the Doctor into a trap in Devil's Elbows Canyon in the Outland. This plan ultimately failed when the Autons were sunk beneath the surface of Lake Lagda while they were aboard the Lifeboat after the Doctor set off boronite explosives on board the Lifeboat. The Doctor speculated that the Nestene was still in Trenzalore's orbit, having used the Autons to hijack one of the spaceships, and believed that the Autons were likely the only thing the humans on Trenzalore were likely to see of the Consciousness. (PROSE: Strangers in the Outland)

Undated events[]

The Nestene attempted to invade London in the year 1969 only to be confronted by the Tenth and Thirteenth Doctors who attracted a Weeping Angel to the Consciousness' lair, the Angel banishing the Consciousness to Earth's past, hopefully to an era before plastic. (COMIC: A Little Help from My Friends)

Other realities[]

During the ultimate war, a Zygon informed the assembled incarnations of the Doctor, in an attempt to convince them to stand down, that the Nestene Consciousness was rumoured to be "no more" as a result of attacks waged throughout history by time travelling Sontarans. (GAME: "Enter... the Zygons!")

Other references[]

A robot duplicate of Rose Tyler erroneously recalled that the Nestenes attempted to blow up the Earth while disguising themselves as journalists. (GAME: Robot Rose)

Behind the scenes[]

Other matters[]