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The Claws of Axos

TV Review by Alden Bates

The Claws of Axos is, in my opinion, one of the best stories of the Pertwee era. It has suspense, a decent plot, and some fairly good effects in places.

To begin with, I'm going to point out some things which I didn't like:

Firstly, the 'scanner screen' was simply one of the roundels painted blue with an exterior view CSO'd onto it.

Second, there were a number of little things that got my attention. The dial for the particle accelerator looked like there was someone behind it, turning it around. The triggered Axonite looked suspiciously like someone under a sheet. There was the terrible acting as the Axons vanished in episode four - they were obviously CSO'd onto the picture; the scene where the Doctor returned in the TARDIS and the lab starts 'disintegrating', and Jo's hysterical screaming as Axos convulses.

The only two other things are the missing sky in episode four and the TARDIS entryway. You may have noticed that in the scenes where the Doctor and the Master left the TARDIS, there was a piece of corridor visible just beyond the large double doors. In Colony in Space part one, there's a scene where Jo looks straight through the double doors, and the desert outside comes right up to them. Can't they have at least some continuity? Notably, the scanner screen is back in the right-hand wall.

Oh yes, one last gripe. The Jelly Baby Award for acting goes to Paul Grist for his portrayal of Bill Filer. Aside from that, The Claws of Axos was quite good.

Some of the good points were the ageing of Jo Grant, the blobby Axons, the Master's wit, and the Doctor behaving as if he has turned against his friends.

I give it a rating of seven and a half ferrets out of ten.

TV Review by Terry Shore

This story is one of my most remembered Pertwee stories from when it was first screened (in NZ) in 1985. Eight years later, I regard The Claws of Axos to be a semi-classic from the excellent Season Eight.

Roger Delgado was indeed excellent in the role of the Master. I loved the way in which he hypnotised the UNIT guards and later grudgingly assists UNIT in an attempt to destroy Axos.

The Axons proved to be good monsters in both humanoid and 'alien' form. I was amazed at the effect of the tendrils shooting out at the soldiers, and also found the gold paint make-up impressive.

As for the characters, Paul Grist as Bill Filer was okay - for a second when the fake Filer got killed in the particle accelerator I thought it was the real Filer! The character I disliked the most was of course Mr Chinn.

The story also had some pretty good visual and sound effects, especially in the scenes inside Axos. The stunts were good too, particularly when Benton and Yates were under attack from the Axons in their jeep.

All in all, The Claws of Axos was four great episodes of action, adventure, wit and science.

This item appeared in TSV 33 (April 1993).

Index nodes: The Claws of Axos