We present evidence for the viability of “auto-ionizing” shocks as the dominant ionization mechanism in extended emission-line regions (EELRs) in two radio galaxies, PKS 0349–27 and PKS 2356–61. The application of this model, rather than the nuclear photoionization hypothesis of unified schemes (Barthel 1989), is motivated by observed EELR properties: large line-of-sight velocity widths (up to δv ≃ 500 km s–1 for nearby objects and ≳ 1000kms–1 at higher z); kinematics/excitation relationships (Baum et al. 1992); the EELR/radio axis alignment (Chambers et al. 1987, McCarthy et al. 1987); and the correspondence between the brighter EELR and the shorter radio lobe (McCarthy et al. 1991), suggestive of jet/gas interactions. We show that the flux, excitation and kinematics across the gas is self-consistently accounted for in terms of shocks as a single physical mechanism, requiring fewer unknown parameters than nuclear photoionization.