Doctor Who Concordance Wiki

"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 One[]

Episode Two[]

Episode Three[]

Episode Four[]

Background information[]

  • 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 references[]


Uncredited performers[]

  • Bill Barnsley as a laboratory technician (2)
  • Bob Blaine as a UNIT soldier (4)
  • Roy Brent as a UNIT soldier (1-2)
  • Geoff Brighty as an Axon man (2)
  • Mildred Brown as elderly Jo Grant (3)
  • Jack Cooper as a UNIT soldier (1-2)
  • Victor Croxford as a laboratory technician (3)
  • Steve Emerson as a UNIT soldier (1-2)
  • Stuart Fell as
  • Eden Fox as an Axon (2)
  • Brian Gilmar as a UNIT soldier (4)
  • Paul Grist as Bill Filer (replica) (2)
  • Reg Harding as a UNIT soldier (1-2)
  • Emmett Hennessy as a UNIT soldier (4)
  • Nick Hobbs as a UNIT lorry driver (2-3)
  • Bernard Holley as Axos (1-4) (voice only)
  • Peter Holmes as
    • Axon (3-4)
    • Laboratory technician (2)
  • George Howse as
    • Civil servant (1)
    • Regular army soldier (2)
  • Bill Hughes as a UNIT soldier (1-2)
  • Brian Justice as a UNIT soldier (4)
  • Derek Martin as a UNIT corporal (1-3)
  • Pierce McAvoy as
    • Civil servant (1)
    • Regular army soldier (2)
  • Roger Minnis as an Axon man (2)
  • Clinton Morris as
    • Axon (2)
    • Corporal (3)
  • Stuart Myers as an Axon (2)
  • Paul Phillips as a laboratory technician (2)
  • Douglas Roe as an Axon (2-4)
  • Clive Roger as an Axon (3-4)
  • Steve Smart as
    • Axon (3-4)
    • Regular army soldier (2)
  • Gloria Walker as a secretary (1)
  • Unknown performers as


  • Written by Bob Baker & Dave Martin
  • Directed by Michael Ferguson
  • Produced by Barry Letts
  • Title Music by Ron Grainer and BBC Radiophonic Workshop
  • Incidental Music - Dudley Simpson
  • Special Sound - Brian Hodgson and BBC Radiophonic Workshop
  • Action by HAVOC
  • Film Cameraman - A.A. Englander
  • Film Editor - Bob Rymer
  • Visual Effects Designer - John Horton
  • Costumes - Barbara Lane
  • Make Up -
    • Jan Harrison
    • Rhian Davies
  • Lighting - Ralph Walton
  • Sound - David Kitchen
  • Script Editor - Terrance Dicks
  • Designer - Kenneth Sharp



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