Right around Christmas last year I purchased a small stack of Doctor Who DVDs from B&N online which had been marked way down, but I’m not necessarily watching them in order. Last week I posted a reaction to “Carnival of Monsters” (66), but I didn’t care for it much. I followed that up with the earlier “The Claws of Axos” (57), and I must say (two episodes in) that that’s much more like it. The set and special effects demands are rigorous, but they did what they could on a limited budget and I feel quite certain I would have been captivated by this one when I look at it through my ten year old eyes.

My only real complaint is that “The Claws of Axos” appears to be very much a follow-up to “Terror of the Autons” and “The Mind of Evil” (which aren’t yet available on DVD), so I feel as if I’m missing some antecedent action (which, of course, I am).

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I wouldn't worry too much about that, Jeff. All you really need to know is that the Master and the Doctor have a long history (most of which is still completely undisclosed to this day), the Master has recently resurfaced on Earth and is proving to be a thorn in the Doctor's side.

If you want something to worry about, worry about Paul Grist's horrendous "American" accent!
The old show never did "American" accents well. Wait'll "The Gunfighters" comes out....
Karen and I loved the design of Axos. The production guys played to their strengths with gorgeous fabrics and colors that reminded me of another sentient ship, Moya from Farscape.
I read the Target novelisation some years before seeing this one, and particularly liked it. When I saw the serial, it didn't seem as good as I'd imagined it'd be.

The Doctor was stranded on Earth by the Time Lords in Spearhead from Space. In that story when he tries to leave in his TARDIS it won't go anywhere. In Terror of the Autons the Master comes to Earth. The Doctor steals the dematerialisation circuit from his TARDIS, but finds it won't work in his own. In The Mind of Evil the Master gets it back, and at the end of the story phones the Doctor to gloat about it before leaving.

In addition to the Master, Terror of the Autons introduced Mike Yates and Jo. Claws of Axos was the first script by Bob Baker and Dave Martin, who became mainstays of the show for the rest of the 70s.

I love the bit where The Master sneaks into The Doctor's TARDIS, intent on stealing it, only to find The Doctor has made a mess of it, trying to "fix" it (despite the fact that a vital piece of it is either missing or not working at all).

 

"What does he think he's playing at? Oh, well... I suppose it-- COULD be made to work..."

 

And then you have the scene where, incredibly, The Master talks his way out of being arrested, so that HE can save the Earth (since The Doctor is missing).  And they go for it!

You forgot one of my favourite quotes from the Master:

 

Overweight, underpowered and a museum piece. No proper stabiliser.Oh... let's try again. Might as well try to fly a second hand gas stove.

Wow. I had forgotten I started so many Doctor Who discussions (albiet old rather than new DVD releases).

 

"Might as well try to fly a second hand gas stove."

 

OH yeah!!!

 

 

It's sad, Anthony Ainley never got writing this good.  (Although, I have been writing more stories lately with a character based on him... and boy is he fun to write!)

Watched this last night. More thoughts in addition to the above...

1)Wow, this show really had it in for public servants back then, didn't it?

 

2)I gather the bit about "freak weather conditions" was to cover up the fact that it unexpectedly started snowing.

 

3)In Pigbin Josh, we get another trademark Doctor Who rural defective, speaking the British equivalnet of "authentic frontier gibberish".

 

4)Cliffhangers:

  • Episode One: Jo is startled by an orange Krynoid Axon!
  • Episode Two: The Axons invade the lab!
  • Episode Three: The Doctor and Jo struggle to escape the Axons!
  • Episode Four: "It seems that I'm some kind of a galactic yo-yo.:

 

Overall: Watchable, with some good dialogue, but not one of my favorite UNIT stories.

 

I watched this one again last night after having recently listened to the Sixth Doctor audio adventure "The Feast of Axos." ("If you want something done right, don't leave it to one of your former selves to sort out.") My comments above are so out of date! We (and I) have come a long way since 2010.

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