The Claws of Axos

The Claws of Axos
The Claws of Axos.jpg
Season: 8
Episode: 3
Vital statistics
Air date 13 March - 3 April 1971
Written by Bob Baker & Dave Martin
Directed by Michael Ferguson
Episode guide
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The Mind of Evil Colony in Space

The Clowns of Axos is a story in the popular TV series Doctor Who and the Aliens that Missy Brought to Dinner, featuring those popular recurring aliens the Axons.


Agent CIA is visiting the UK to try to get some intel out of UNIT on this Mattress fellow in case he ever decides to invade somewhere besides London, while a Tory MP is inspecting UNIT, because everyone has forgotten what the UN in UNIT stands for, when suddenly they learn that an alien spaceship is coming.

The aliens of course decide to land at a nuclear power station near London. First they're greeted by a hobo named Pigbin Josh, but they decide they're not going to talk to the Doctor's stunt double, so they drain him and dump him in the woods.

Then UNIT drives along in front of a blue void because someone forgot to do the CSO, and they arrive to greet the aliens. The aliens are shiny golden people. They've run out of petrol, and they just need enough to get back to the last service station, where their pregnant wife is waiting for them, so if you've got a few bucks to spare they'll give you some of their Axonite. See, Axonite is the secret to all their technology, just like Earthite is the secret to all of ours, and Gallifreyite to the Time Lords', a thinking molecule that can be used to replicate any substance infinitely, except petrol, I guess, and that'll solve all the UK's power problems even though it obviously hasn't solved the Axons' power problems or they wouldn't be asking for fuel.

Meanwhile, Agent CIA sneaks onboard the ship because Americans, amiright, and gets himself captured, and they throw him in a cell with the Mattress.

Jo runs onboard because she hears Agent CIA screaming, and then she runs into a monster, and then she runs away to tell the Doctor and his UNIT buddies, but they all decide it's probably just her uterus making her see things.

The Regular Army are afraid that UNIT might share Axonite with the whole world instead of just keeping it for the UK, because at least someone remembers what the UN part stands for, so they arrest all of UNIT and force to Doctor to assist two scientists in analysing Axonite.

The Axons, meanwhile, actually want to share Axonite with the whole world, because that's their secret evil plan. They're not a bunch of cool-looking golden people, or even a bunch of tentacle monsters in disguise, they're one telepathic creature named Axos, and the Axonite is part of its body just like the individual Axons and even the spaceship, so if Axonite gets everywhere Axos will be everywhere and he can eat all the petrol.

So, they send a duplicate of Agent CIA to kill the Doctor. How does that help their plan? Who knows. It's not even a cliffhanger; he gets killed by real Agent CIA, who escapes and pushes the duplicate into the scientists' science machine, and shortly after that the Doctor figures out the secret of the Axons, and then they show up to capture everyone, and that's the cliffhanger.

Axos figures out that the Doctor is a Time Lord and demand the secret of time travel. Didn't they just capture a Time Lord, and one with a working TARDIS? Yes, they did. Also, they had time travel in episode 1, but apparently everyone's forgotten that. Just as well, because everyone forgets the whole Axonite plan from here on out, and getting the secret of time travel is now the plot instead. Anyway, the Doctor is easier to manipulate than the Mattress, because he cares about people, so they age Jo until she turns into Iris Wildthyme to force him to cooperate.

The Doctor also figured out that the Master was behind the whole thing, but he's wrong about that; the Master was a prisoner, and they only let him go because he promised he could ensure worldwide distribution of Axonite if they did, and as soon as they did he ran off to steal the Doctor's TARDIS and escape. Of course he knows the Doctor's TARDIS is broken, but he figures if he plugs it into the nuclear plant that'll fix it. Which doesn't work. Unfortunately for him, Axos controls the nuclear plant, and also UNIT controls it because apparently they're no longer under arrest, so he has to choose between them. He chooses to help UNIT turn the power of Axonite on Axos and blow them up—and also the Doctor and Jo. His plan doesn't do anything, but it's a nice try.

The Doctor and Jo escape because of course they do, and return to UNIT, and now the Doctor and the Master have to work together. Who would have ever thought we'd be working together? Except for the two separate times we just did in the previous story, it's unprecedented!

The Doctor's plan is to pretend to give the Axons time travel in exchange for helping him destroy Gallifrey as revenge for exiling him, but actually trick them into a time loop. For some reason, even though the Mattress wanted to do the Doctor's real plan, the Doctor instead tricks him into believing the lie he's telling the Axons. And he tricks everyone else into believing it too, just to troll his best friends and all of humanity. So the two Time Lords repair the Doctor's TARDIS together.

Meanwhile… the Axons can seriously destroy Gallifrey? If so, why are they fucking around with a backwater planet like Earth? If not, why are they agreeing to help the Doctor attack them and get their arses kicked? Either way, Axos is stupid. So Axos gets tricked, the Doctor escapes, and somehow the Mattress recovers his TARDIS and escapes too.

The Doctor is happy, because he has his TARDIS working now too. Jo yells "What about our relationship, Otto?" and he yells back, "Fuck that!" and flips the switch to take off. Only to land right back at UNIT headquarters, because the Time Lords did a thing to either his TARDIS or his brain and he's now a galactic yo-yo.


Basically Terror of the Autons but without the Autons. At least it's only a 4-parter, so not much padding. But still, not exactly a must-see, just a decent Pertwee story (as long as you don't think about the plot too much).

Except for one really cool bit: When the Master is filling in as UNIT's science advisor, he's exactly like the Doctor, except a bit more likeable. That does kind of make you see the whole UNIT era differently. And also makes Delgado's character even cooler.

Viewers at the time really liked the Axons, so there were constant teases about bringing them back, but nobody got to see them again until a comic 39 years later.


Remember when the press was all talking about how Amy's skirts were too short for a children's TV show, and some guy went and estimated the lengths of all the skirts in the history of the show to prove that most of the classic companions wore shorter ones? This is the one where Jo wears the shortest skirt in the history of Doctor Who, unless you count Leela not wearing a skirt at all (which… why wouldn't you count that?).