Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Claws of Axos




50dw50@50dw50 i have never understood why fans turned against Axos over the years, i think it is great fun.

I always enjoy it.

Tim@parks8472 Agreed, if it wasn't for Curse of Peladon it would be my favourite Pertwee story

Dan Talks Doctor Who@dantalksdrwho I'm afraid Axos will always be the episode that almost switched me entirely off the Pertwee/UNIT era ...

Nigel Jennings@Jennings2Nigel I've always liked it, especially as the location filming was in Kent.



An alien spaceship is detected by UNIT HQ, headed for Earth!
Tim@parks8472 It's very generous of so many aliens to come to Earth during the time of the Doctor's exile on Earth.

We're into that period of properly wibbly music here. Love it.
James VHS Gent@jamesgent76 I love it, it's like Aphex Twin!

We glimpse aboard the strange organic looking "ship"...

No idea why they just blow the Axon reveal in such an odd way like that.

You can even see blond/gold hair sprouting from one. Totally gives the game away.
Davad@davadsteel Looks like Colin Baker does now!

Mark off "pompous civil servant" on your Pertwee-era bingo card...


...as man from the Ministry, Chinn, demands to know why UNIT's scientific advisor hasn't been properly screened and scrupulously filed.

You can imagine how that goes down with the Doctor.

Jo catches up with CIA man Bill Filer, who's in town on the trail of the Master. 

The Doctor has no time for Chinn's policy on illegal aliens. "England for the English, good heavens, man!"
Davad@davadsteel You can tell the Doctor is hating the exile right now. Straining at his chains!

"I keep telling you, the Master's left Earth. He definitely won't be in practically every episode this season."
Tim@parks8472 Pfft the Master as the villain of every story this season... yeah, cos how likely is that?

Whereabouts will the alien craft land? Somewhere within a 30 minute radius of Television Centre, I should imagine!

And now mark off "comedy tramp" on your Pertwee-era bingo card.

 Round of applause for Pigbin Josh.

Chinn's missile launch seems a bit of an over-reaction as a first response!
Tim@parks8472 It's Pertwee's WTF look during most of his scenes with this guys that does it for me :D

Corporal Bell reports freak weather conditions...

...which Pigpin Josh can atest to!
Davad@davadsteel There is real tension in the UNIT HQ scenes. Very well played and directed.

At the last minute, the alien craft changes course to land, but Chinn's missiles are still in the air.

"What goes up must come down; Abort, man!"

The Doctor informs them that the alien ship has arrived.

Pigbin Josh is nearly incinerated as it comes into land...

...and takes a dive into a half frozen pond.

Chinn orders Filer to mind his own business...

...so he goes anyway.

"Oh ar? Oh ar?"

That's "Freak weather conditions" & Death by Special Effect also for Pertwee-era Bingo!

Nuclear Power Plant? House!

Filer makes it to Axos before the others. 

Will he suffer the same fate as "valueless" Josh?
Davad@davadsteel Sounds like Axos have captured the Clangers as well as Josh!

You can tell they're working with the Master! :-D

At the mobile HQ, the Doctor & his UNIT chums meet scientists Hardiman and Winser, who aren't too keen on the aliens on their doorstep either.

They hear a heartbeat, and suddenly Axos is calling for help...

Does the Brig *really* need to assign Yates, a Captain, to "keep an eye on Miss Grant"? 

How dangerous is she?

Suddenly everyone can't wait to visit the silky voiced aliens.

It seems that only the Doctor thinks there's more to this than meets the eye.

When Benton reports a corpse has been find, Jo uses the distraction to get away.

Mike and Benton examine the drained husk of Pigpin Josh...

...which disintegrates before their eyes.

As the Doctor and co. wend their way deeper into Axos...

...the Doctor is affected by disorientating forces.

Jo sneaks after the Doctor into Axos. You're rubbish, Yates!

Guess what? The Master *is* in this one! Whodathunkit!

The Doctor shakes off his bad trip...
Eric Klieg@BullittWHO Even when watching as a youngster, I thought the look of this story was a bit batshit crazy.

...and the Axons appear, in the form of a golden family.

Dad quickly getting to grips with the local lingo.

Axos offers a gift, a payment: Axonite, the source of all their organic growth technology.

But the Doctor's sceptical: if they absorb radiation, why were they crippled by solar flares? How did they run out of fuel?

The Master directs Filer to shoot at an Axon nerve, promising him freedom.

The Axon sales pitch suffers a culinary faux pas. "This is, I presume, one of your food animals?"

Looking for Filer, Jo's confronted by a nightmarish creature that melts out of the wall!


The Doctor and his friends rush to Jo's aid...

...while Chinn stays behind to eye a deal for Axonite.

The Axon man claims that the power source deep in Axos can make people hallucinate.

But Jo's right, she did hear Filer's voice. 

The American is busy teaming up with his quarry to make an escape.

"Minister? Will you scramble, or shall I, sir?"
"Just your report, Chinn. I'm sure that will be quite garbled enough."


Episode 1 looked amazing but I must admit I'm not *totally* convinced the Colour Recovery on the other episodes is superior to the last version, sadly.

Lots of b&w grey breaking through the very orange-y wash, a bit like The Ambassadors of Death.
M.R.Michael ‏@The_Cybermatt Was it colour recovery? I thought the SE was the b&w recordings "recolourised" with the RSC'd NTSC tapes

Ah, you may be right. I'd thought for the special edition they'd gone back & done some Colour Recovery as it has that 'orange with bits of b&W' effect. It's most noticeable on Pertwee's hair and Delgado's forehead, though not particularly in this scene because of the actual orange set lighting.
Davad@davadsteel It looks like some of it has been restored using material from the studio recording that survives.

Chinn is granted special powers. Now he can run faster than a speeding locomotive and leap tall buildings at a single bound.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Although he only uses these powers to jump the queue at the canteen.
Davad@davadsteel Chinn is an asshole isn't he.

Classic Pertwee-era blustering and incompetent civil servant!

What he doesn't see is that the minute the deal's done, the golden Axons are reabsorbed into the whole.

Filer and the Master don't get very far before they're recaptured.

Chinn is very proud of his deal, but the Brigadier has other ideas and nicks the Axonite to take back to their mobile base...

...but once there, they discover the regular army have moved in,and Chinn reclaims his prize.

Aw, look at baby Tim Piggott Smith!
Chris@KosmicKris “Soldiers are ok, but when will I ever get cast as a minor noble man in Renaissance Italy

The Master bargains with Axos, and Filer goes in their wibbly photocopier!
Davad@davadsteel That's a brilliant effect!

Jo gives Chinn a piece of her mind, while the Doctor manages to wangle an invite to the Nuton reserach facility from Winser.

Lots of heads on blocks all of a sudden.

The Master promises Axos a good distribution deal for the Axonite...

...but the Axon leader is peeved that the Master neglected to mention that the Doctor is also a Time Lord.
Chris@KosmicKris What a grumpy chap the head scientist is!

He's descended from Lieutenant Carstairs, by the looks of him...

Maybe the Doctor can get the TARDIS working. Never one to give up an opportunity is he?

Axonite must be distributed worldwide in 72 hours. They should just give it to Marcelo Camargo.

Axos refuses to let the Master have his TARDIS back so he has to make his way on foot.

Filer (the real one) is hot on his heels.

The Doctor's plan is to analyse the Axonite by shoving it in the particle accelerator.
50dw50@50dw50 nothing could go wrong...

The Master engages in a bit of car-jacking.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Jumps on the back of a truck, climbs onto its side and hypnotises a soldier via rear view mirror. This Master got game.

When Axon Filer arrives to drag the Doctor to Axos, it seems he's immune to Venusian Aikido!

But not to the particle accelerator.

The Master wants to use his puppet to broadcast a great international sale on Axonite! Free shipping and everything!

The Brigadier doesn't like the thought of two Filers, and the Doctor is confined to the lab.

When the Doctor tries his experiment behind Winser's back, Axos goes into spasms.

The Doctor's prematurely activated the sample of Axonite with his meddling.

When Winser throws a wobbler and tries to shut down the accelerator, he's killed, drained of all energy just like Pigbin Josh.

Bit of a Billy fluff from JP there: "Till I ah-till I activated it."
FinlayHS@11thDoctorComic "Well, can't ye staahp iit?"

The Axonite grows into the monster Jo saw earlier and looms over them!



With Filer stunned...



...the Axons "re-personalize" and take the Doctor & Jo away.
50dw50@50dw50 parents friends have the surname Axon, as a kid i told them all the time that they were Who monsters, must have been thrilled.

Meanwhile in Didsbury... 

The Brig's back in charge.

The Axon man claims that they came to help when they detected someone interfering with the Axonite but were too late to save Winser.

With Jo & the Doctor imprisoned within Axos...

...Filer is muscling in on the Doctor's territory, hogging a coma all to himself.
KrynoidPodCast@KrynoidPodCast "Must naht distriby't..."

Axos reveals its' plan at last: "Slowly we will consume every particle of energy, every last cell of living matter. Earth will be sucked dry!"

"Catastrophic security leak? CAMARGO!!!!"
50dw50@50dw50 Skype predicted by Who!
Davad@davadsteel I wonder if the guy playing the Minister has actually ever acted before.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly In a cut scene it's revealed Chinn doesn't have a video link and was just imagining his father as his disapproving boss.


Obviously the Master, even from behind. Poor effort, Benton.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Be fair, this is Benton. He can't tie his own shoes and needs written permission to handle scissors.

Love the way Delgado gets himself settled in here!

The Doctor backchats Axos, calling it "cosmic bacteria"!

The Master is horrified to see what a "botch up" the Doctor has made of his stranded TARDIS.

Axos wants the power of time travel and threatens to age Jo to death.

They reverse the process when he agrees to give them the equations they need.
50dw50@50dw50 pity they could not fix her horrible frock while they were at it.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Love how unfazed Old Jo is by the event.

Chinn has overcome his earlier setback by appointing himself chief of Axon Amazon.
Davad@davadsteel It's very nice of Filer to tell us what's happening in case anyone isn't paying attention.
50dw50@50dw50 the Tardis control room is looking a bit lacklustre when you consider it is two years since it was last seen.
Davad@davadsteel You can see how the Doctor would be tempted. If they're powerful enough to remove the blocks on his memory.

"Might as well try to fly a second hand gas stove!" Brilliant.

Axos plans to enslave the power of the reactor to give it the power it needs for the time travel experiment...

The Axon "man" starts to lose his form as he's recalled...

...and happily shambles through the power station... 

...before making short work of some UNIT stalwarts.
Davad@davadsteel This is all actually very exciting. A cracking script!

The Brig catches the Master red-handed.

Love all this with the Brig having to trust the Master...

"I suppose you can take the normal precautions against nuclear blast, sticky tape on the windows and that sort of thing."

Axos starts to feed off the reactor, and relaxes its grip on the Doctor.

The Master prepares to overload Axos, giving it all the power of the reactor in one go.

The Brig is powerless as the Master prepares to flick the switch that will surely kill the Doctor & Jo...
Davad@davadsteel Delgado is excellent isn't he. So cool.

"Either we destroy Axos, or Axos destroys the world. Which is it to be, Brigadier?"

A flick of the wrist and the Master condemns the Doctor to death...


Luckily, the Doctor's able to escape Axos...

...by having Jo recite her times tables. Obvs.
Davad@davadsteel The visuals are a total trip! Great work from Michael Ferguson and his team. Real imagination at work.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Doc should give all his companions surprise maths tests.

They're soon free of Axos' clutches.
50dw50@50dw50 The Brig must have been tempted to keep The Master, just as clever but without all the moralistic snarking.

Axos isn't beaten yet, though, and feeds the power back at the reactor. 

Hardiman volunteers to disconnect it.

Sure enough, Hardiman is killed by an energy surge.

The Master makes a break for it, but is recaptured by the recovered Filer.

"The Claws Of Axos are already buried deep within the Earth's carcass!" Ooh, the Doctor does go on, doesn't he?
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly "What do we do, Doctor?" "Well, I don't know about you but I'm going to start looting."

Filer is horrified when the Doctor plans to continue making the most of the Master's services, but he promises he'll keep him in line.
Davad@davadsteel That's Mike's own camera. Nudge nudge.

Jo thinks Filer looks like a disappointed bloodhound. Probably smells like one too.

Seems Filer's right to be suspicious, as the Doctor recruits the Master to help him repair the TARDIS enough to escape.

This does mean admitting, however, to the blocks the Time Lords have placed on his memories.

The Master has the solution.

As Axos prepares to initiate its' nutrition cycle, it recalls all its' blobs.

Impressive little action sequence even with the rubbish sky background.
50dw50@50dw50 ok, no idea why they are fighting in a blue void, i guess they ran out of time to CSO on the background.

Think it was just meant to be sky, not CSO, but "freak weather conditions" meant it didn't match the location.

The Doctor betrays them all! "Goodbye, Jo, I shall miss YOU!"
But the Doctor's tricked the Master...

...they've only gone as far as Axos.

The Doctor's gone nuts, trying to persuade Axos to attack the Time Lords!

The Master initially wants out, but Axos still won't give up his TARDIS.

UNIT are pinned down, with Axon creatures burning their way through the door to the reactor room.

The Doctor works feverishly to link Axos to the TARDIS.

"Stop pestering me!"

The Master realizes too late that the Doctor is up to no good...

...but is at least able to do a runner in his TARDIS.

As the Doctor links his TARDIS to Axos...

...the creatures attack the reactor.

UNIT put up a fight.

Axos dematerializes...

...as the Doctor uses his patched up TARDIS to drag it into a time loop.

Now he just has to break free.

This is the shot of the TARDIS that appears in the Tom Baker title sequence, isn't it?

The reactor is about to go kablooey. 

I'm sure they'll all be fine if they just crouch round the corner.
  Davad@davadsteel First TARDIS landing since Spearhead?!

Must be, yeah. Of the police box exterior, anyway - the console does go sideways in time in Inferno, I guess.

The Brig should be happy anyway, Axos is defeated and there's a lovely big explosion.
50dw50@50dw50 a pertwee story ending in a big bang? i do not think that trend will catch on...

The Doctor returns, totally on purpose.

The Brig struggles to grasp the concept of a time loop.

The Doctor has to come clean and admit that the TARDIS is anchored to Earth at the behest of the Time Lords.

"It seems that I'm some kind of a galactic yo-yo!" 

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Wa-wa-wa-waaaaaah!!!!


An underrated little gem that, doesn't have the flab of so many 6 parters.
Davad@davadsteel Rattles along! Great characters and visuals.


Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Stuffed full of cool ideas, mad imagery, knotty sub plots and vertigo inducing direction. Loved it.
50dw50@50dw50 that was jolly, i know all the faults with Axos but i do not care, it is fast paced, colourful and never boring!
TTFN! K.
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