When is the Doctor?
It was back in the Dark Times – the times of the Racnoss, the Carrionites and the Great Vampires – that the Nestene Consciousness gained sentience. An elastomeric life form, it grew and reformed multiple times, monomerising with the atmosphere to become a living thermoplastic. The Nestene developed as a large hive mind – whilst being able to separate pieces of its main physical form, it retains a central intelligence that each piece is connected to. When separated, these parts of the consciousness settle into rough cephalopodic shapes, large plastic tentacles spreading out from a central core. It was these pieces of consciousness that were to become the invasion force of the Nestene. Sealed plastic meteors, thermoset in the coldness of space, were used to transport pieces of consciousness between planets. The Nestene began colonising nearby worlds, converting them into food planets, producing monoxides, dioxides and chlorofluorides for its consumption, before spreading throughout the galaxy. The
Consciousness managed to develop the telepathic link between all things Nestene, giving it the ability to control anything with a roughly similar chemical structure, namely plastic. This allowed it to create instant armies on any planet it invaded.
The Nestene first attempted to invade Earth during the time the Doctor was exiled on the planet. It was during this invasion attempt that the Consciousness invented their ultimate weapon, the Auton. The Nestene infiltrated the toy manufacturer ‘Auto Plastics’, and influenced the company to switch their output to shop window dummies. These were to become Autons. Animated by the Consciousness, the plastic dummies were a perfect army. They were difficult to damage, could be thrown from heights, hit by cars, even have their head melted and they would keep moving towards their target. They were also armed with a phased energy weapon in their right hand (their fingers fold down to reveal the weapon) for killing or vapourising their targets. The Nestene also used Facsimile Autons, covered with plastic skin replicating a real person perfectly, with just a slight sheen to the skin. In order to maintain the Facsimile, the real subject must be kept alive for voice replication. During the first invasion of Earth, the Nestene attempted to use these Facsimile Autons to replace key government figures, however the Doctor foiled this by disrupting the telepathic link of the Consciousness, essentially killing it.
It was during this first invasion of Earth that the Nestene food planets were destroyed in the Time War, severely limiting the Consciousness and sending it into hiding. It was in this state when it received a rogue signal, the Timelord known as the Master having forged a link between the Consciousness and its remaining technology on Earth. In its desperation to secure new food planets, the Nestene attempted a second invasion of Earth, this time demonstrating its ability to control anything plastic – killing by plastic doll, telephone cord and armchair. They also used Nestene Autojets: disguised as small plastic flowers, these weapons shot a film of plastic over the respiratory system of any living creature, killing it in a particularly nasty way. They were thwarted in this attempt when the Doctor convinced the Master to repel the invasion force on route to Earth, depleting even further the limited resources of the Nestene.
For many years there was little sign of the Nestene throughout the universe. The Nestene Consciousness was biding its time and forming its next plan. Using warp shunt technology it transported the majority of its physical form to the planet it knew produced the most pollutants – Earth. The stress of the warp shunt mutated the Consciousness, destroying its ability to hold a physical shape. It became a gelatinous blob of living plastic in a huge vat under the banks of the Thames, using the London Eye as an antennae to control its forces. The Doctor foiled this plan with a vial of anti-plastic, which, when introduced to the Nestene, destroyed its molecular bonding and its plan for survival. However, while there is still a part of the Consciousness on Polymos there will always be plans for future invasions being developed.