The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Jo grow suspicious when soft-spoken aliens arrive on Earth with the Master hidden aboard their craft.DVD Features:
The Claws of Axos are embedded in the Earth's carcass!
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 02/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The landing of a variable-mass object on Earth nearly proves to be the planet's undoing. The gilded humanoid aliens tell a half truth when they say they need to replenish the energy and nutrition cycle of their organically grown ship. What they don't tell is that they intend to drain all living energy from Earth and leave it a dry husk. The Brigadier, Doctor, government bureaucrat Chinn, and two scientists from the nearby nuclear plant that supplies Britain its electric power, meet the Axons, who give them a gift of Axonite, described as the chameleon of elements, which causes anything injected with it to increase in size. It thus has the potential to solve world hunger and energy shortage problems. Chinn is a typical "England for the English" jerk who wants to keep Axonite only for his country despite the fact that for the Axons' plan to destroy Earth, the substance needs worldwide distribution.Chinn, under the Emergency Powers Act, overrules the Brigadier in authority and in a petty show of power, calls in regular army troops and has the UNIT troops arrested. The captain is played by a young Tim Piggott-Smith.The Master has led the Axons to Earth and acts as their agent to get the Axonite distributed throughout the world. This action gets Chinn in hot water and reduces his authority for the rest of the story. The Axons have the Master's TARDIS so he tries to steal the Doctor's, which gets him caught. The Master has the best lines. When he tries to fly the Doctor's TARDIS, he mutters, "Might as well try to fly a secondhand gas stove." During a time when he temporarily aids UNIT, Hardiman, the nuclear plant administrator, asks him if he intends to channel the Axons' power into a police box. To which the Master nods with a mocking smile on his face. He also gives them a flippant advice: "Oh you might want to take the normal precautions against a nuclear blast, like sticky tape on the windows."Compared to Terror Of The Autons and The Mind Of Evil, Jo doesn't seem to have too much of a role here. She's overshadowed by too many key players in this story. So is Sergeant Benton. The Brigadier and Yates are the most effective here.The organic interior of the Axon ship is a masterpiece of the BBC set design, replete with bubbles, tentacles, claws, and parts that seem to breathe. The Axon monsters look like orange coloured canvas bags with a mass of thick, spaghetti-like tentacles sprouting from them. The psychedelic images overlaid over the picture is a real trip back in time. The beginning of Episode Four, when the ship is under attack and undergoes a nervous breakdown, is a wow as humanoid faces and Axon monsters float around in a chaotic mess. And the appearance of the Eye of Axos hanging from the ceiling has subtle sexual overtones.The flaws of nationalistic unilateralism, the importance of having enough fuel, and the dangers of nuclear power, the latter very relevant in the Cold War days during which the story was made, is key to The Claws Of Axos. Maybe the warning: Beware of Axons bearing gifts, is also apt here."
In the September 13, 2005 review here..........
C. C. Cotham | Austin, Tx United States | 10/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I wouldn't take the comments below, about the picture quality, too seriously - since the review was posted almost two months before the DVD's actual release date. Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, but it kind of ruins your credibility, reviewing a release that won't be available for several more weeks.
These episodes have been out on VHS in the US, and on DVD in the UK, already - but there's no way a review of *this* DVD's picture quality could be made yet. I'm already buying it based on the feature, and I'm definitely curious about how well the picture restoration will look. But if the picture restoration is part of *your* buying decision, I suggest waiting 'til it's actually released so someone can comment on it accurately."
"It seems I'm some kind of Galactic yo-yo!"
Daniel J. Hamlow | 03/11/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An unidentified flying object has landed near the Nuton power complex, supplying Britian with safe, cheap energy. The Axons, aliens form the "far side of the galaxy", intend to suck the Earth dry of all its energies and leave nothing behind. A good UNIT story. Lots of action, people blowing up, and some of Who's most disgusting lookin aliens. Pertwee and the regulars are great, although Fyler's accent is a little iffy. And why, in a majority of Pertwee stories, when a person is in hospital or sedated, they start to wail on about stopping the Master(see the Daemons)? The story itself might be a little silly for casual viewers, but all in all, a great action-packed psychedelic Who Adventure!"
Good old school sci fi
James McDonough | Portsnouth NH | 07/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think the story was well written. The special effects are good even though they were dveloped 35 years ago. Just becuse a show is old doesn't make it bad.
The alens, and their spacecraft, are colorful and reflect the times in wich the show aired.
John Pertwee and the Master were great togeather.
The last serail of the program aired on my date of birth wich is cool.
in My opion is you can't go too wrong with pertwee Davidson or Tom Baker they did a great job with the Doctor who series.
The Kattie Manig Chracter Jo Grat, is pretty enough; although The damsel in distress role she plays can be a little iritating at times.
The extras are good enough. I am just glad to have this episode since a number of them have been lost and this one is cool to have given the date it aired.
Picture and sond are of good quality. just wished they could have nade a movie mode on these dvds so you can watch it like a movie instead of see it in the original seriealized form
Anyone familiar with the show would like this episode"
"Overweight, underpowered museum piece"
Crazy Fox | Chicago, IL USA | 02/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In a wonderful scene from "The Claws of Axos", the Master is attempting to make off with the Doctor's Tardis (a space/time vehicle, if you don't follow the show regularly) and, frustrated by its ramshackle, unusable state, fumes that it's an "overweight, underpowered museum piece." Unkind viewers now might draw the same conclusions about this "Doctor Who" storyline as a whole, and they wouldn't be completely off base.
Of course, museum pieces have their own charm. That's why we go to museums, after all. And one of the coolest features of this storyline is the funky, organic design of Axos itself and the plethora of different psychedelic effects as he/she/it metamorphosizes, cajoles, threatens, freaks out, and interacts with the other characters in general. Certainly it's redolent of a late '60's/early '70's zeitgeist (perhaps Axos hails from a star in the Aquarius constellation?), but it's also incredibly inventive and well designed and really does look like some unimaginable form of alien technology/life (instead of just another metal spaceship with little green men). Some of the blue-screen effects used to realize Axos don't quite fool the eye nowadays, but they were cutting edge at the time and are interesting (museum-wise) in that regard--as an early stage in the special effects revolutions that we now take for granted. And anyway they get the point across, which is the main thing.
Axos tempts humankind with the bait of limitless energy, and while human greed is perennial and universal, this particular ploy is also clearly influenced by the contemporary blossoming concerns and worries about energy shortages and the sustainability of resources (which we also see in "Inferno" in a somewhat more sophisticated treatment). Nor is this a problem that we've solved in the 21st century, so the plot premise still sort of speaks to us directly. The plot itself is rather underpowered, though, and the actual sinister intentions of Axos are given away far too soon to generate the level of suspense the writers were probably shooting for. Some of the ideas and actual scenes seem a bit recycled from "Spearhead from Space" too, sometimes with improvement (the scene when Axos is detected on radar) and sometimes not (the hapless poacher/scavenger type who first encounters the incoming alien).
Jon Pertwee's portrayal of the Doctor has always been one of my favorites, and seeing him do his thing here makes up for any retrospective shortcomings. There are great scenes like when the Doctor berates the humans for jumping the gun and trying to shoot Axos out of the sky without ascertaining its intentions, but then catching several inconsistencies in its/his little spiel of an explanation and getting increasingly skeptical of its/his intentions while the humans fall all over themselves for the promise of infinite resources (and the chance to corner the market on these). Furthermore, this is the only DVD to date to feature Roger Delgado's classic, incredibly compelling portrayal of the Master. I've written before about how the mechanized, identical Daleks and Cybermen work well as a foil for the eccentric, individualistic Doctor, but the Master is less a foil than a shadow, a sort of dark version of the Doctor himself, a glimpse of what the Doctor could have been if you tweaked his personality just a little. After all, the Master is a renegade Time Lord too, wandering time and space at will, eccentric and individualistic in his own manner, possessed of a brilliant scientific mind with a healthy streak of arrogance not unlike the Doctor's; all he lacks is his rival's warm-hearted ethical gyroscope, but this one key ingredient makes all the difference. This also makes him a very formidable foe, of course, and Delgado pulls this off so well that you almost find yourself rooting for the bad guy. Almost. So break out your lava lamps and your Carl Jung paperbacks and enjoy this trip back in time flying a secondhand gas stove!"