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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who's answer to Psychedelia!
I will have my critics, but I just can't get enough of this Doctor Who adventure!
Ok, so it is flawed, but that does not stop this story being enjoyable. I find the overall visual aspect of the adventure to one of the best on offer.
The alien spacecraft 'Axos' was not built, but grown! It is an organic entity, and the scenes inside the spacecraft are...
Published on 6 Mar 2003 by jamiesixteenmm

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Axing for Trouble
When the seemingly benign golden-skinned Axons arrive on Earth and offer the government an endless supply of the miraculous energy source 'Axonite', The Earth's authorities are taken-in. However, The Doctor, stranded on Earth and currently working as UNIT's scientific advisor, is suspicious, and his concerns are realised when his old enemy 'The Master' appears on the...
Published on 12 May 2009 by The Keeper of Fang Rock


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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who's answer to Psychedelia!, 6 Mar 2003
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Claws of Axos [1971] [VHS] [1963] (VHS Tape)
I will have my critics, but I just can't get enough of this Doctor Who adventure!
Ok, so it is flawed, but that does not stop this story being enjoyable. I find the overall visual aspect of the adventure to one of the best on offer.
The alien spacecraft 'Axos' was not built, but grown! It is an organic entity, and the scenes inside the spacecraft are particularly well realised.
The use of the very 70's C.S.O. (Colour Separation Overlay) 'blue screen' effects work well to define the experience of being inside a living, thinking, alien. This combined with the voice of 'Axos' create an at times almost 'hypnotic' effect. The whole experience is probably like a bad psychedelic trip!
So my advice is to plug in your sound system! The sound has a real part to play when you 'feel' the inside of 'Axos'.
For these reasons I think that this story is unique. Most people forget that there are far worse stories from the John Pertwee 3rd Doctor era. There are in fact worse stories from the other Doctor Who eras than this!
OK so, some of the acting is not very good, played for the most part as if it were straight out of a comic-book. The script ain't up to much either, but there is much fun still to be had!
If you want sci-fi - you've got it! Organic aliens interfacing with computers!
I think that if you liked stories like the Tom Baker 4th Doctor adventure 'Warriors' Gate', then you will probably like this story for the same visual reasons.
If you enjoy the earlier Jon Pertwee 3rd Doctor adventures, then you should give this one a try.
The 'Claws' of Axos are certainly dug into me!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic!, 6 Jun 2009
By 
Basil (Middlewich, Cheshire) - See all my reviews
Simply one of the best examples of early UK colour TV.
I love 'Axos'. One of the highlights of the Pertwee era.
If you are a fan of experimental electronic effects and wonky electronic music this is a must for you. Yes, to the contemporary viewer the effects may look a bit ropey but think how old this programme is - its 38 years old! How exciting it must have been to have all the new technology of the era and to really let loose and be creative.

One of the best ways to watch this type of story is to sit back and think "how would I feel if something like this really happened?" In that frame of mind, the Axon spaceship coming into land is quite terrifying!

Oh, and The Master is in this one - and that makes it even better!
"You will obey me!"
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable story from the Pertwee years., 21 Aug 2006
This is a very good 4 part adventure from Jon Pertwee's second season as Doctor Who. In it, a group of seemingly peaceful, gold skinned, and humanlike aliens come with a substance in order to benefit earth. However, beneath the surface lies something much more sinister. Furthermore, at the centre of it all is the Doctor's arch-enemy the Master.

This is another of the adventures set during the third Doctor's exile to earth. It contains all the usual elements of this era - UNIT, Jo Grant, aliens invading, and the Excellent Roger Delgado as the Master.

In addition the DVD contains some interesting extras, including some behind the scenes footage and a look back at the location filming. It may be queried as to why this story was released before others. Personally, I think that Terror of the Autons, the Sea Devils and Frontier in Space are better Master stories. However, there's no denying that if your a fan of the old series of Doctor Who, this is very enjoyable viewing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Axing for Trouble, 12 May 2009
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Claws of Axos [1971] [VHS] [1963] (VHS Tape)
When the seemingly benign golden-skinned Axons arrive on Earth and offer the government an endless supply of the miraculous energy source 'Axonite', The Earth's authorities are taken-in. However, The Doctor, stranded on Earth and currently working as UNIT's scientific advisor, is suspicious, and his concerns are realised when his old enemy 'The Master' appears on the scene. Is The Master a free-agent or is he really being held prisoner by The Axons as he claims, and are the benevolent aliens really as genuine as they seem? The blobby monsters and organic Axon spaceship are definitely of their time, and the serial is a pretty generic early 70s Jon Pertwee effort.
This VHS version (story is now available on DVD) drops down to 3 stars because the picture quality is not quite up to scratch - I believe it has been rectified for the DVD version.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The usual Pertwee romp with the odd surprise, 30 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Claws of Axos [1971] [VHS] [1963] (VHS Tape)
This story marks a peak, in part, in the Pertwee era. It has the landmark of becoming 'typical Pertwee'. You have all the usual protagonists, The Doctor, Jo Grant, Unit and the Master and of course you have the interfering government. This story is by no means the greatest, but it manages to hold its own amongst its closest peers. The acting is quite good, especially UNIT, which by this point have reached their element. The characterisations of Jon Pertwee and Jo grant have settled fully into their parts and the story shows them visibly relaxed in their roles. If the story has a downside, it is the underdevelopment of the Axions and Axonite, both conceptually and visually, but even this is reasonable with regard to the age of the story and the effects. All in all a quite enjoyable romp and recommended viewing
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisited for a reason, 5 Mar 2013
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I quite often see complaints about these 'Special Editions', people saying the BBC are just ripping everyone off etc.
'The Claws of Axos - Special Edition' puts these complaints to shame. It's a wonderful collection of things - the episodes themselves look really quite amazing, and I doubt any improvement could be made on the picture quality as it is now. In addition to this, the new special features included are really rather excellent - thorough, thought through and brilliantly produced. My highlight was 'Living with Levene' - another Toby Hadoke one. These really are very good ('Looking For Peter' on The Sensorites DVD was one of the best DVD features I've ever seen on ANY dvd).
As well as that, Claws is a very fun, very entertaining story, with everything any big Pertwee fan could ask for.
I physically cannot fault this DVD. Bravo.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Doctor who: Attack of the spaghetti creatures, 31 Aug 2014
Long ago in the 1970's a giant mysterious chicken drum stick landed on Earth. The Doctor and UNIT decide to enter it only to find some strange golden humanoids who were secretly giant spaghetti people in disguise. The aliens offered a weird substance to them which makes things grow. But really it was part of a terrible plan to drain the Earth of power. To make things worse an evil man with a goatee called the Master was helping them. Conveniently though, the weird substance didn't leave Britain so it couldn't drain any power from the other parts of the world until later episodes. However their terrible plan is thwarted by the Doctor at the last minute ensuring the survival of the Earth and the continuation of the series, just like every other episode in this T.V show.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In two minds about Doctor Who "Special Editions"., 7 July 2013
By 
Adie Barrett (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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"The Claws Of Axos" is an outrageously fun story from the pens of Bob Baker and Dave Martin, whom Terrance Dicks remembers as wildcards in the writing pack. This story has gone through various generations of restoration, each noteworthy in themselves. The BBC retained the original episodes one and four but the other two were wiped, and only returned from Canada as inferior NTSC tape copies.

Each release of this story has focussed chiefly on what can be done with the problematic middle episodes. Having been transferred from 625-line, 50 fields-per-second PAL into 525-line, 60 fields-per-second NTSC in the 1970's using the best analogue technology available at the BBC, the tapes were not in the best of health on their return. A few technology advances in the intervening years aside, reversing the standards conversion a second time, from NTSC back to PAL, was never going to result in a return to the quality of the original PAL tape. With special circuits maxed-out to reduce the effects as far as possible, another loss of quality was inevitable and in the case of "Axos" episodes two and three all sorts of artefacts especially in moving objects was plainly visible.

First up we had the VHS video release, which was great to get our hands on, and as dedicated fans of the programme we forgave these technical imperfections, indeed at one time it seemed we would never get the chance to see them at all. Nevertheless, it was a slightly distracting experience compared to the clean episodes at either end. Ironically, a clean studio quadruplex recording of as-recorded scenes and film inserts from episodes one and two still existed but would never be made available to the Team at the time with a view to improving episode two. The risk of damaging the tape would have been considered as outweighing any potential benefits to sales at the time. Even if they were used, those pristine segments would jar badly against the rest of episode two. Use of this tape would wait until another series of technological advances had taken place.

When the first - and probably at that time the only - DVD release was planned, much had changed. The Restoration Team's track record with quality control and the time, care and attention each member involved invested into each project meant they were eventually allowed access to the best-quality base elements available to realise maximum success, something we viewers could easily appreciate with each advancing step in developing their techniques. Using computers increasingly upped the ante: James Insell (I believe it was) worked out a way of reverse engineering the original standard converted NTSC tapes in a way that would identify the frame and fields information contained within the 60 fields in one second of the Canadian tape. This would then be used to recover and re-build the correct picture structure, as it was in the original PAL configuration. Reverse Standards Conversion as it became known was born.

Done digitally also meant they would maintain as much picture quality as possible, removing the nasty motion artefacts (as present on the original analogue double-standards conversions) and, with judicious digital clean-up and boosting processes (which included using digital noise reduction circuits to the max) they provided the best result possible. The episodes looked pretty impressive, so much so that scenes from the previously-mentioned clean studio recording now available to the Team were re-inserted where possible. Despite some differences in sharpness, these did not look too much out-of-place up against the newly-restored scenes, a superb testament to the Team generally and their Reverse Standards Conversion Process. Viewing was a revelation back in 2005.

Seven years on and this "Special Edition" has improved "Axos's" middle episodes' picture quality again, mainly by tackling that sharpness issue. This was achieved by revisiting the earliest technique whereby the sharp monochrome film recording picture was combined with an NTSC colour tape, as on "The Daemons" VHS in 1993. A far cry now from those pioneering experimental days. Nowadays, the monochrome telerecordings film are scanned in high definition for maintain maximum picture quality before processing, and will later be down-scaled to standard-definition and cleaned-up for DVD. For "Axos" the colour sub-carrier (the chroma dot patters used in the Colour Recovery process, such as on "The Mind Of Evil") was removed to leave a cleaner luminance picture. This was then warped to match the correct dimensions of the reverse-standard-converted colour tapes, and VidFired to restore the original video-motion look. Both the scanned film and digitised Reverse Standard Converted NTSC tapes were combined to provide full colour episodes which were much sharper than before, needing less noise reduction. Dropping into episode two the studio-recorded scenes still in existence maintained maximum quality. Knowing the processes behind it, I can say the resultant images on episodes two and three are pretty stunning.

The geek in me applauds all this to provide what is currently the best possible viewing of this story. Despite this, and hard as I try to be forgiving to how the marketing of a favourite series of mine must be done, I surprisingly find myself in a slightly cynical position - while I applaud each and every advance in remastering and restoration techniques, there is a limit we fans of classic Who can be milked to fund the next stages of releases. With the obvious limitations of standard-definition, will this mean specially advanced processing for re-re-mastered Blu-Rays one wonders? The thought of replacing all these beloved DVD's with another potential round of upgrading is actually starting to bother me. Until I see the results, who knows. If this was the only DVD release of this story, 5 stars would be automatic. Because of what I feel, I can only afford this release four.

Am I stingy? I don't think so in this particular case. As it is a mere twenty years since that first VHS release of the re-colourised Pertwee Story "The Daemons", I wonder what technological advances in restoration techniques will bring us in twenty years' time...
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 70's Doctor Who, 29 Aug 2007
By 
David (SPECTRE Island) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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Forget the negative comments about this story - it's great. The special effects (for its time) are excellent especially the tenticled Axon costume and the Axon ship. The Axons are one of my faverite Doctor Who monsters and I wish that they would return in the new series.

This story also features The Master superbly played by the late great Roger Delgardo. To date this is the only dvd with Delgardo's Master released which is a shame. Come on 2Entertain how about releasing The Sea Devils, Terror Of The Autons or The Daemons. There havnt been any Jon Pertwee dvds released for a while now (I am looking forward to The Time Warrior dvd next week).

This dvd also benefits from excellent special features including a "now and then" location doccumentary and an entertaining commentary track. So if you enjoy 70's tv nostalgia or classic Doctor Who at its best then this dvd is for you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Quite good., 26 Dec 2000
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Claws of Axos [1971] [VHS] [1963] (VHS Tape)
'The Claws Of Axos' is another story from the UNIT era of the programme. All the classic characters are here, of course: Jon Pertwee's Doctor, Jo Grant, the Brigadier and his crew, the Master plus some monsters called the Axons. They arrive on Earth and appear benevolent, offering the British government the brilliant Axonite material. The Doctor is the only character who suspects something is misleading, and he is right! This is not regarded by many as a great Pertwee story and they are right, it is one of the poorer serials. However, it was a brilliant era for the programme and 'The Claws Of Axos' is a perfectly good adventure. At least we don't get any of the Doctor's silly Venusian Karate!
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Doctor Who - The Claws of Axos [1971] [VHS] [1963]
Doctor Who - The Claws of Axos [1971] [VHS] [1963] by Michael Ferguson (VHS Tape - 2000)
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