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13 March - 3 April 1971

Average Viewing Figure: 7.4M


The Axons arrive on Earth with a substance that could end world hunger but in reality they plan to drain Earth of its energy


Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Roger Delgado (The Master)

Richard Franklin (Captain Mike Yates), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Peter Bathurst (Chinn), Paul Grist (Filer)

Donald Hewlett (Hardiman), David Savile (Winser), Derek Ware (Pigbin Josh), Bernard Holley (Axon Man)

Kenneth Benda (The Minister), Tim Pigott-Smith (Captain Harker), Michael Walker (1st Radar Operator)

David G March (2nd Radar Operator), Fernanda Marlowe (Corporal Bell), Patricia Gordino (Axon Woman), John Hicks (Axon Boy)

Debbie Lee Gordon (Axon Girl), Nick Hobbs (Nuton Driver), Royston Farrell (Technician)

Uncredited Cast

Mildred Brown (Jo [Old]), Roger Minnis (2nd Axon Man), Geoff Righty, Steve King, David Aldridge (Humanoid Axon Men)

Clinton Morris (Corporal), Gloria Walker (Nurse), Eden Fox, Stuart Myers (Rolling Axon Globs), Douglas Roe, Clinton Morris (Globby Axons)

Douglas Roe, Clive Roger (Axon Globs), Peter Holmes, Steve Smart, Clinton Morris, Mark Boyle, Jack Cooper, Stuart Fell

Reg Harding, Derek Martin, Steve Emerson, Nick Hobbs (Axon Monsters), Roy Brent, Bill Hughes, Douglas Roe, Clive Roger

Pierce McAvoy, Michael Stainer, Stuart Fell, Steve Emerson, Derek Martin, Jack Cooper, Reg Harding, Brian Gilmar

Emmett Hennessey, Bob Blaine, Brian Justice (UNIT Soldiers), Pierce McAvoy, George Howse (Civil Servants) 

Bill Barnsley, Paul Phillips, Peter Holmes, Victor Croxford (Laboratory Technicians)


Bob Baker, Dave Martin (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Brian Hodgson (Special Sound)

HAVOC (Action), AA Englander (Film Cameraman), Bob Rymer (Film Editor), John Horton (Visual Effects Designer)

Barbara Lane (Costumes), Jan Harrison, Rhian Davies (Make-Up), Ralph Walton (Lighting), Dave Kitchen (Sound)

Terrance Dicks (Script Editor), Kenneth Sharp (Designer), Barry Letts (Producer), Michael Ferguson (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Bill Paget (Grips), Les Collins (Film Sound Recordist), Alec Christison (Film Sound Assistant), David Evans (Film Camera Assistant)

Peter Logan (Effects Assistant), Andrew Rose, Robert Springett (Wardrobe Assistants), Linton Howell Hughes (Grams Operator)

Peter Granger, Alec Wheal (Camera Supervisors), Geoff Higgs (VT Editor), Mike Catherwood (Vision Mixer)

Judy Kaine, Vicky Thomas (Make-Up Assistants), Bernard Fox (Technical Manager), Ray Warwick (Props Buyers)

Dave Havard, Colin Mapson, Jim Ward (Effects Assistants), Sarah Newman (Production Secretary), Chris Fox (Floor Assistant)

Sybil Cave (Artists Booker), Jennie Betts (Location Booker)


Filming Locations

  • Television Centre: Studio 7

  • Dengemarsh Road, Lydd, Kent

  • Dungeness Road, Lydd, Kent

  • St Martin's Plain Camp, Shorncliffe, Kent

  • Dungeness 'A' Nuclear Power Station, Dungeness, Kent

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 4


  • Hardiman [killed when Axos reverses its power]

  • Winser [absorbed by Axos when its nutrition cycle is triggered]

  • Pigbin Josh [drained of his energy]

  • UNIT Soldier [killed by an Axon Monster]

Production Days

  • 10 Days between Tuesday 22 December 1970 - Saturday 6 February 1971

Production Errors

  1. When Jo Grant is 'aged' by Axos during episode three, Jo Grant and Mildred Brown's eyes do not match

  2. The Axon which clings onto the bonnet of UNIT jeep explodes before the grenade destroys the vehicle 

  3. After killing the UNIT Guard who guards Axos, his beret flies off after the Guard collapses to the ground. However as The Master moves away, the beret is still on the Guard's head

  4. Despite the fact that the Tardis dematerialised from the Nuton lab during episode four, the ship is still there during the UNIT fight moments later

  5. If the Nuton Complex supplies power to half of the UK, why isn't there a massive loss of life when it explodes?​​

Working Titles

  • The Axons

  • The Friendly Invasion

  • The Gift

  • The Vampire from Space


​Lacking in freshness, with poor production values, horrible design, special-effects mishaps, questionable science, questionable science-fiction, and a lack of enthusiasm from everyone involved results in a poorly realised generic Doctor Who story that should have been so easy to get right. There are far too many recycled troupes from previous serials, and they are reused inadequately here, which is painful to watch, and only reaffirms the blandness that seeps into every corner of the serial. 
Underneath the bland execution is a working plot about seemingly innocent aliens having malicious ideas of their own, but the budget just wouldn’t stretch far enough to realise the larger-than-life ideas from the Bob Baker/Dave Martin duo; it wouldn’t be the last time the pair overwrite for the show over the subsequent years. Axos is more like a malfunctioning fairground playhouse than a threatening space parasite; everything inside is basically an obstacle to get around. The centre plot and backstory of Axos itself is blown wide open for scrutiny in episode 1; The Doctor remains suspicious throughout, effectively ruining the plot twist later on.
   It’s such a shame that The Claws of Axos marked Michael Ferguson’s last contribution to the show; he tried his best, and that’s all that can be said, but any potential golden nugget is sadly clawed out of the finished product; great conception, muddle direction, awful execution; a real thorn in the side of the Third Doctor era. *

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