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Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

The Claws of Axos originally aired in 1971.

Are you trying to tell me you can absorb the total output of this complex in a police box?

Yes.

– Hardiman and the Master discover that self-confidence is a genetic Time Lord trait

The Claws of Axos tends to come in for a fair bit of criticism for pretty much being the quintessential Earth-based Jon Pertwee story, with very little exceptional to distinguish it from the pack. Personally, I’m actually quite fond of it, perhaps precisely for that reason. I think you’re hard-pressed to find an adventure in the early part of Jon Pertwee’s tenure that so effectively and so efficiently captures the spirit of the show – both good and bad. That kind of makes The Claws of Axos stand out if only because it so perfectly embodies those early Pertwee years.

Eye see you…

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