"The Claws of Axos" is the third story of the eighth season of Doctor Who.

The Claws of Axos
Season 8 (1971), Episode 11 to Episode 14
Air date 13 March - 3 April 1971
Written by Bob Baker and Dave Martin
Directed by Michael Ferguson
Episode guide
The Mind of Evil
Colony in Space


Episode OneEdit

Episode TwoEdit

Episode ThreeEdit

Episode FourEdit

Background informationEdit

  • In an earlier draft of the serial, Chinn was just a civil servant. However, a civil servant could not convincingly take charge of the situation as Chinn does, so writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin were asked to make him an influential right-wing Member of Parliament.
  • In the script, Chinn demands the Doctor's suspension from his duties because, with no records for him, he has no official existence. "How do you suspend someone who doesn't exist?" asks the Doctor mischievously.
  • The earliest version of the serial was set in central London, with Battersea Power Station the object of the Axons' interest. It began with an extended space battle: Axos is forced out of the sky and crash-lands in Hyde Park one lunchtime, burying itself in the earth. The spacedome that remains visible above ground eerily resembles a human skull: it has two holes above, like eye sockets, and a larger, mouth-like entrance at ground level.
  • The Ministry of Defence felt that early 1970s Doctor Who portrayed the British Army in a positive light, so it often helped out with the loan of army personnel and equipment. For "The Claws Of Axos", the production team had the use of a mounted Wombat gun, a Land Rover and ten soldiers, all supplied by Risborough Barracks in Shorncliffe, near Folkestone.
  • In the authors' draft script, the Axons are revived with radioactive isotopes. However, script editor Terrance Dicks pointed out that two 1970 Doctor Who serials had featured similar events: in "Doctor Who and the Silurians", the Silurians are revived with radiation from a nuclear reactor, and "The Ambassadors Of Death" featured a race of isotope-dependent aliens. Dicks therefore proposed that the Axons should just wake up spontaneously, as Axos begins to suck the energy and life-force from its immediate environment. This is, says the script, "the ad-man's dream 'Coca-Cola' family." They are described as wearing silver spacesuits, and being grouped in "a rather emotional Victorian-type pose." The "father" has difficulty speaking: he is "gradually getting used to the 'alien' tongue." His accent is said to be "colourless" and "mid-Atlantic."
  • Some of the scripted exposition about the Master's involvement with Axos was cut during production. The Master originally told Bill Filer that the Axons captured him on Antares Four and forced him to bring them to a living world. He explained that the Axons have no home planet of their own, being "the scavengers of the universe."


Links and referencesEdit


Uncredited performersEdit




air transport liaison; artillery; Atlantic Ocean; Axon; Axonite; Axos; Baikonur; bazooka; beaver; bloodhound; brigadier; British Army; British currency; camera; Cape Kennedy; captain; car; chameleon; comet; commander; computer; corporal; cyclotron; dematerialisation circuit; "Doc"; Earth; electromagnetic field; Emergency Powers Act; England; faster-than-light travel; Flynn, Errol; fourth dimension; frog; the Galaxy; ganglion; grenade; Greyhound; gun; Hawaii; High Council of the Time Lords; Holmes, Sherlock; Houston; humanoid; interceptor; intercontinental ballistic missile; Land Rover; laser gun; Laws of Time; light accelerator; Lop Nur; lorry; magnifying glass; the Master's TARDIS; Met Office; Minister of Defence; Ministry of Defence; missile; molecule; New York Mounted Police; nuclear bomb; nuclear reactor; Nuton Power Complex; Ottawa; particle accelerator; the Pentagon; police box; professor; pure mathematics; radar; radiation; radio; Royal Artillery; scanner; scientific adviser; scrambler; sergeant; solar cell battery; solar flare; spectroscope; speed of light; telephone; television; time field; time loop; Time Lord; time travel; Trap One; UFO; UNIT Central Command; United Kingdom; United Nations; United Nations Intelligence Taskforce; UNIT HQ, London; UNIT HQ, Washington; UNIT Mobile HQ; video conference; Washington, D.C.; Women's Royal Army Corps; Yankee

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