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18 of 20 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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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who's answer to Psychedelia!, 6 Mar. 2003
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 19 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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Axos Clause (Review of the 2013 Special Edition), 23 Oct. 2014
By 
Number13 (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
If golden aliens arrive bearing gifts and offer a deal that seems too good to refuse, read the small print carefully (what you might call `the Axos clause'!) ... their price is very high - your life, your species and your world ... 4*+1* (Amazon have bundled together reviews of all versions of `The Claws of Axos'; this reviews the 2013 Special Edition and the new Special Features.)

If you're new to this era of `Doctor Who', it might be better to start with one of the true classics from this season like `The Dæmons' or `The Mind of Evil'. But if you enjoy the Jon Pertwee / UNIT years as I do, then reach out a tentacle for this Special Edition with new extras (which I've reviewed at the end) and improved picture quality. The middle two episodes benefit from new colour processing and look very good indeed. Episodes 1 and 4 look great, remastered from the original colour materials, and the soundtrack is also excellent with Dudley Simpson's futuristic score.

`Axos' lands on the bleak shingle landscape of the south coast, right next to the `Nuton Power Complex'. But what is it? A ship, a living thing or (judging by the amazing interior) a groovy alien commune left over from the 1960s? UNIT go to investigate, but by the time they arrive something very unpleasant has already happened to the eccentric local tramp `Pigbin Josh', a great name and a fun performance by Derek Ware. Exactly how unpleasant was partly cut from the story, but the special features include the cut material which is an impressive special effect in a story that's full of them.

The alien presence brings with it some hastily-scripted "Freak weather conditions" to explain the random weather that covered four days of location filming - fog, ice, snow, rain and sunshine! On the special features, the cast and crew explain at enjoyably comical length just how difficult filming was because of this, but the results are excellent. Director Michael Ferguson makes the same fine use of landscape as on `The Ambassadors of Death'; the weather, wild coast, lonely roads and the nuclear power station at Dungeness provide a splendid backdrop for the action. The studio sets for the interior of Axos are very inventive and so is the camera work that makes the 60s' weirdness of Axos come alive.

The Axons (very well lead by Bernard Holley in the best guest performance, he's also the voice of Axos) offer a deal - some energy and a chance to rest in exchange for miraculous energy-transmuting Axonite. Human greed does the rest; the gift is too good to refuse but the Doctor has his suspicions and starts to analyse the Axonite in the light accelerator lab at the power complex. It's not giving much away to say that before long Axons and Axonite start to run amok; in close-up they are impressive, a mass of nerve tendrils and muscle and as the camera draws back they're still good as lumbering monsters with a great line in explosive tentacles. UNIT (and the always excellent HAVOC stuntmen) are soon fighting to save the world, again, but only the Doctor can really save us, using the science of the Time Lords - though he can't do it alone.

*** SPOILER Paragraph! ***
While the Axons want to take energy from the planet, the story is given terrific energy by Roger Delgado, popping up again as the Master did in every show this season. It's a superb performance right at the centre of events, well written and essential to the plot. The Master may be (as usual) at least partly to blame for the situation, but he also offers the way out - the Doctor has a brilliant plan but can't make it work because of his exile; the TARDIS is grounded and the Time Lords have blocked some of his knowledge. But if the two of them work together ... The ending is clever and we even get to see Jon Pertwee's Doctor fly the TARDIS (just about) for the first time. There's part of a very good sub-plot here, about the Doctor wanting to use the powers of Axonite and the nuclear power complex for his own ends, to get the TARDIS working again - just how far is he prepared to go to regain his freedom? The novelisation has this in detail but in the final screen version much of it was cut, which is unfortunate because it was a great idea. As it is, some of the ideas surrounding the ending come too suddenly to make their full impact.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

The characterisation and subtle relationships between the Doctor, Jo and the UNIT regulars aren't really brought out, especially in comparison with the immediately preceding story, `The Mind of Evil'. The Brigadier, Captain Yates and Sgt. Benton have their action moments and all the regular actors give their usual reliable performances, but Katy Manning in particular isn't given much to do as Jo Grant except get frightened, captured and rescued - all nicely done but a contrast with Jo's more active role in her previous stories.

I felt one problem was the inclusion of UNIT agent Bill Filer from Washington. Paul Grist plays him well as an intelligent action man - but wasn't that the point of Richard Franklin as Captain Yates, introduced just two stories earlier? Filer's role could have been replaced with Yates throughout, giving more prominence to the regulars; one of his subplots especially would have had far more impact if the character had been a familiar face. `Mr. Chinn from the Ministry' is yet one more pompous bureaucrat at a time the show seemed full of them. I suppose that was meant to be a satirical comment on 1970s Britain, but I thought the character was annoying (which is partly deliberate) and slowed the story down.

However, please don't be put off from encountering `The Claws of Axos', because there's much to enjoy in the story and the Special Features.

This Special Edition gets four golden blobs of Axonite for the story, but do keep them dormant ... too late, they've spawned a fifth blob for me to award to the very enjoyable Special Features! 4*+1*

DVD Special Features (some new features for the Special Edition are on Disk 2):
On Disk 1:
The commentary is entertaining, with Katy Manning, Richard Franklin and producer Barry Letts, but not always very illuminating on the details. For example, nobody remembered they had (impressively) filmed in the actual nuclear power station. They were probably too cold on location to remember anything else!
`Deleted and Extended Scenes' (27 minutes) - the edited first studio recording with the UNIT HQ scenes and some location film inserts, very interesting with optional production subtitles, a couple of short, extra scenes and cut special effects and to see some of the actors' craft. The highlight is at the end in a short sequence of Roger Delgado at work, transforming himself into the Master in literally the blink of an eye.
An Easter Egg, found from the `Special Features' submenu. (10 minutes) This is interesting, describing the origins of the Reverse Standards Conversion process used to return parts of the story from NTSC to PAL colour for the original release.
On Disk 2:
`Axon Stations' (27 minutes) - the new, excellent and often very funny `making of' feature, with Michael Ferguson, Paul Grist, Bernard Holley, Derek Ware, co-author Bob Baker and script editor Terrance Dicks. Best of all are Katy Manning's wonderfully hilarious comments and memories of a happy (if sometimes freezing) story.
`Living with Levene' (35 minutes) - Toby Hadoke spends a weekend in Salisbury chatting with John Levene, his mum and an old friend, plays some golf and enjoys breakfast cooked by `Sgt. Benton'.
`Now and Then' (7 minutes) - narrated by Katy Manning, comparing the locations from 1971 to 2005, even the wonderfully named `Dengemarsh Sewer' where Pigbin Josh dives in on his bike! Watch to the finish for some good pictures of the original location filming.
`Directing Who' (15 minutes) - memories of directing `The Claws of Axos' from Michael Ferguson.
`Studio Recording' (73 minutes) - the complete, unedited recording of the first studio session.
`Photo Gallery' (11 minutes) - a large photo gallery including very good pictures of the cast and crew taken on location (they do look cold!), also some pictures from the commentary recording.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A really Good Pertwee-Era Story, 23 Sept. 2010
By 
Andrew Morton "Andrew At The Croft" (Lockerbie Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I vaguely remember "Claws Of Axos" from its original screening and recall enjoying it. I enjoyed it again on DVD. Very much. In this outing Pertwee is at his magisterial best; his characterisation of The Doctor - always more acerbic and abrasive than Troughton, hs predecessor, and Baker, his successor - is particularly well drawn. Constantly chafing against the military and against bureaucracy, The Doctor has plenty of both to get on his wick in this outing.
Bureaucracy takes the form of Chinn, a civil service mandarin, whose greed and unquestioning nationalism almost bring the world to destruction. A different kind of greed - for scientific prestige - inspires others who welcome a gift of "axonite" from extraterrestrial visitors.
In support, Nicholas Courteney turns in a polished performance as the Brigadier and Roger Delgado reminds us why he remains, for a generation, the Master of choice. Katy Manning still can't act, but her skirts are pleasingly short.
Direction is good and the pacing keeps one glued to the seat. "Monster" costumes are, well, Dr Who monster costumes; but they are some of the better ones and they eschew bubble-wrap. The script contains some good ideas - especially that of the Axons, their "ship" and axonite all being part of the same organism.
I would quite happily give this 5 stars if the bonus material was a bit better. The short documentary explaining the conversion of recordings from PAL to NSTC and back was interesting, but rather fell between the two stools of technical language and layman's terms.

Altogether, though, well worth having.
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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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisited for a reason, 5 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
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 Axing for Trouble, 12 May 2009
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 Sept. 2000
By A Customer
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Doctor who: Attack of the spaghetti creatures, 31 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic, 2 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
I've got a real soft spot for Claws of Axos as it's one of the first older Doctor Who's I'd seen at a convention where they had a room showing older episodes. I then got the VHS back in the 90's and I finally now have the DVD. We were always treated to the same old repeats on the tv back in the 70's and 80's and back then we were a bit confused as to why some of the older ones weren't being shown. I finally found out in the mid 80's about the amount of missing episodes and I always wondered why Claws of Axos was only available in NTSC American format. Then I watched it at a convention in 1989 and saw why it was the case. But on this , the colour has been totally restored and sound remastered and it's just brilliant. One of my all time favourite Pertwee stories
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