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TME > Video > Commercial Releases

The Claws of Axos

A mysterious object approaches Earth, alerting the Doctor and UNIT that they face another possible threat from outer space. Are the gold-skinned aliens who claim to bring great gifts to humanity as peaceful and benevolent as they first appear? And why is the Doctor's arch-enemy the Master on board their spaceship?
-- from the DVD release, 2005

This DVD release heralded the first commercial use of "RSC" - Reverse Standards Conversion - a new technique employed to get the best out of stories that now only existed as low quality NTSC conversions.

Episode timings on DVD: 23'50", 24'00", 24'09", 25'20"
Episode timings on PasB: 23'51", 24'00", 24'05", 25'16"


VHS releases

05/05/1992: UK - BBC Enterprises - BBCV4742 [reissued 14/2/1994 at lower price]
20/10/1992: Aus/NZ - PolyGram - BBC47422 [not pictured]
25/06/1996: US - CBS/FOX - 8374 [renumbered E1323 in 2000 by Warner Home Video]

Cover art by Andrew Skilleter.

DVD releases

25/04/2005: UK - BBC Worldwide - BBCDVD1354
06/06/2005: Aus/NZ - Roadshow - Cat# Unknown
08/01/2005: US - Warner Home Video - E2398
06/11/2006: UK - BBC Worldwide - B00015YDIW

For Christmas 2006, Amazon UK arranged for the six Pertwee DVDs available to date (Spearhead from Space, Inferno [2 discs], The Claws of Axos, The Three Doctors, Carnival of Monsters and The Green Death) to be packaged together as 'The Third Doctor Collection'. A similarly themed Cyberman set was also released on the same day. No extra features were added to either.

Cover art by Clayton Hickman for UK/Aus.

DVD Bonus features

Deleted and Extended Scenes (27'00")
A compilation from the existing studio recording, originally made 22nd January 1971, with optional text commentary. Although the full 70-minute long reel still exists, its complete release on DVD is unlikely at this time.
Producer: Richard Bigell
BBC Worldwide (C) BBC MMV

Now and Then Featurette (6'35")
Another in the occasional series of featurette examining the changes that the original filming locations have undergone in the years since production.
Narrated by Katy Manning
Thanks to Robin Thornton & Haf Morris - British Nuclear Group - Dungeness A Power Station
Thanks to Colin John Francis, Brian Lawrence, Sheila Boxer, Barbara Palmer
Music: Dudley Simpson
Producer: Richard Bignell
BBC Worldwide (C) BBC MMV

Reverse Standards Conversion (10'09")
A short feature on the new restoration method used for the first time with this DVD.
Presenter: Jack Pizzey
Technical Consultant: James Insell
Executive Producer: Ralph Montagu
Produced & Directed by John Kelly
BBC Worldwide (C) BBC MMV

Information Text
By Martin Wiggins.
Directing Who (14'43")
A discussion with director Michael Ferguson, in which he talks about the imaginative set pieces, the enthusiasm of the camera operators, using colour as much as possible, the filming schedule and location shooting logistics, the story of Axos, working with HAVOC and freak weather conditions, CSO's pros and cons, the unsophisticated audience, the other visual effects techniques, the pressures of studio recording, casting the non-regulars with the input of the producer and using the same actors repeatedly, working with Roger Delgado and Jon Pertwee's desire to be inventive and try new things.   
Interviewer: Paul Vanezis
Producer: John Kelly
BBC Worldwide (C) BBC MMV

Photo Gallery (10'46")
92 colour and b/w pictures from the story, and 13 from the commentary recording.
Photographs supplied by BBC Photographic Archive, Derek Handley, Richard Bignell, Brian Lawrence

By Katy Manning, Richard Franklin and Barry Letts, recorded in Television Centre in 2004, to make use of one of Katy's rare trips to the UK - this caused Mark Ayres problems as it was recorded against an unrestored version of the episode. Fortunately Dave Hawley was able to provide him with a list of all the removed frames, which Ayres was able to take out of the audio track.

Restoration Notes

This story saw the first use of RSC - a technique used to enhance the conversions back from NTSC to PAL of recordings that had originated in the latter format - episodes two and three were able to benefit from this.


22/04/1992 - Passed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK.
15/09/1992 - Passed as 'G' by the OFLC for Aus/NZ.
03/02/2005 - All bonuses barring the Directing Who and RSC featurettes passed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK.
03/03/2005 - Remaining bonuses passed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK.
01/04/2005 - Menus passed as 'U' by the BBC for the UK.
14/04/2005 - Passed as 'PG' [Mild horror, Low level violence] by the OFLC for Aus/NZ

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