Doctor Who - The Claws of Axos [DVD]
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Another adventure for everyone's favourite Time Lord. The arrival on Earth of a UFO brings with it the Axons - golden-skinned aliens who offer the gift of Axonite to mankind. The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) is suspicious, especially when he discovers that his old enemy the Master (Roger Delgado) is on board the Axon craft.
An approaching alien spaceship is detected on monitoring equipment at UNIT HQ, where the Brigadier is entertaining two visitors - Chinn, a civil servant making a security inspection, and Bill Filer, an American agent sent to discuss the threat of the Master. The ship lands in England and the UNIT team, joined by Hardiman and Winser from the nearby Nuton power station, meet its occupants: beautiful golden-skinned humanoids called Axons.They claim that they need time to repair their damaged ship, but the Doctor is dubious and investigates the real reason for their visit.
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Top Customer Reviews
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!Read more ›
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!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic Dr who at its best and jon pertwee is superb in my opinion better than new who or is it me showing my agePublished 9 months ago by G T Poole
You can't beat the old Doctors. John Pertwee was my second favourite after Tom Baker. Always liked Katy Manning.Published 10 months ago by D. M. Warner