Production Code: GGG
1 - 13/03/1971 17:15
2 - 20/03/1971 17:15
3 - 27/03/1971 17:15
4 - 03/04/1971 17:15
An approaching alien spaceship is detected on monitoring equipment at UNIT HQ, where the Brigadier is entertaining two visitors - Chinn, a civil servant making a security inspection, and Bill Filer, an American agent sent to discuss the threat of the Master. The ship lands in England and the UNIT team, joined by Hardiman and Winser from the nearby Nuton power station, meet its occupants: beautiful golden-skinned humanoids called Axons.
The Axons claim that their ship, Axos, is damaged and that they need time in which to repair it. In return, they offer Axonite, a substance that can cause animals to grow to enormous sizes and thus end food shortages. The Doctor is suspicious, and rightly so: Axos, Axonite and the Axons - whose true appearance is hideous - are all part of a single parasitic entity brought to Earth by the Master to feed on the planet's energy.
The Doctor manages to materialise his TARDIS, with the Master on board, at the centre of Axos. He offers to link the two ships together to make one giant time machine, on condition that Axos in return helps him to take revenge on the Time Lords for exiling him to Earth. This is merely a trick, however, and Axos is locked in a time loop from which it can never escape.
The Doctor returns to Earth in the TARDIS, where he reluctantly admits to the Brigadier that the Master may also have escaped.
The Doctor, the Brigadier, Chinn, Hardiman and Winser are all being 'entertained' by the Axons. Jo is meanwhile searching elsewhere in Axos for Bill Filer, whose voice she has heard. She screams as from the wall behind her emerges a horrific monster.
In the lab at the Nuton complex, the Doctor tells Jo and Filer that Axos, the Axons and Axonite are all part of the same creature. Suddenly tentacled Axon monsters arrive and advance on the Doctor and his friends.
The Master, in return for his freedom, is helping UNIT to deal with a potentially catastrophic build-up in power being channeled from Nuton's nuclear reactor to Axos. He plans first to store the power in the Doctor's TARDIS and then to boost it into Axos all in one go.
The Brigadier is concerned that this could cause the deaths of the Doctor and Jo, who are held prisoner in Axos. The Master however presents a stark choice: either they destroy Axos, or Axos destroys the world. The Brigadier gives the go-ahead and the Master puts his plan into action. In Axos, the Doctor and Jo are buffeted about as they try to escape.
The Doctor realises that the Time Lords have programmed the TARDIS so that it will always return to Earth. It seems that he is some kind of galactic yo-yo.
Quatermass and the Pit.
The Iliad (Axons/Greeks bearing gifts).
Fantastic Voyage (Axon designs).
Lost in Space ('The Golden Man').
Invaders from Mars.
George Pal's War of the Worlds.
Axos : "Data confirms space/time travel possible using additional power from complex. You see, Doctor, we can call upon the additional power of the complex whenever we need it."
The Doctor : "How? You can't just walk in there and take it!"
Axos : "On the contrary, Doctor. We can."
The Doctor : "The claws of Axos are already deeply embedded in the Earth's carcass."
The Master : [On the Doctor's TARDIS] "Overweight, underpowered museum piece... Might as well try to fly a second hand gas stove."
Pigbin Josh : "Furge thangering muck witchellers rock throbblin' this time o' day Ur bin oughta gone put thickery blarmdasted zones about, gordangun, diddenum? Havver froggin' law onnum, shouldnum? Eh? Eh? Arn I?"
Pigbin Josh : "Oh ar? Oh ar? Aargh!"
The Doctor : "It seems that I'm some kind of galactic yo yo."
Chinn is an MoD official, currently in charge of a security check at UNIT (the Brigadier says that the Doctor is his personal responsibility). It is never stated who Bill Filer ('from Washington HQ') works for [presumably UNIT or possibly the US CIA (a front organization for the Gallifreyan CIA?)].
Axos' arrival causes freak weather conditions. The organic ship has a variable mass and limited time technology (assuming it to be an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, Chinn orders warheads launched against it: Axos promptly time jumps). The Axons state their home planet is light years away 'on the far side of the galaxy' and was crippled by solar flare activity. But the Doctor quickly discovers that they are lying and that Axos is a cosmic parasite, sucking planets of their energy.
Axonite is 'the chameleon of elements. It is a thinking molecule. It uses the energy it absorbs not only to copy but to recreate and restructure any given substance.'
Lethbridge Stewart, Yates and Benton are arrested by the regular army (again).
Nuton Power Complex and surrounding area (Nuton supplies nuclear power to all of Southern England), [c. November 1970].
The interior of the TARDIS is seen for the first time since The War Games.
Distinguished actor Tim Piggot-Smith makes an early television appearance as Captain Harker. He would later appear as Marco, friend to Duke Giuliano, in the season fourteen story The Masque of Mandragora.
Z Cars actor Bernard Holley appears as the golden lycra-clad Axon Man and the uncredited voice of Axos.
Winser's particle light accelerator cyclotron is a primitive electromagnetic tachyon field. The Doctor traps Axos in a time loop but escapes it himself by 'simply boosting the circuits and breaking free'.
As the Brigadier and his men leave the room where they've been held captive in episode two the wall shakes.
In episode four, after the TARDIS dematerialises from the Nuton lab, it is still there during the UNIT gun battle.
There's a very unconvincing blue cloth hanging behind Benton and Yates' jeep when attacked by Axons, and then behind Filer's car. Perhaps a CSO backing with no CSO?
UNIT mobile HQ is a BBC Outside Broadcast van.
Why is a replica of Filer made?
The Nuton complex powers half the UK, but explodes without loss of life (Characters return to it only seconds after it has blown up).
Jo wears purple suede boots and a purple mini skirt. (Her knickers - also purple - are briefly seen. Cor.)
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Jon Pertwee
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart - Nicholas Courtney
Captain Mike Yates - Richard Franklin
Jo Grant - Katy Manning
Sergeant Benton - John Levene
1st Radar Operator - Michael Walker
2nd Radar Operator - David G March
Axon Boy - John Hicks
Axon Girl - Debbie Lee London
Axon Man - Bernard Holley
Axon Woman - Patricia Gordino
Captain Harker - Tim Piggott-Smith
Chinn - Peter Bathurst
Corporal Bell - Fernanda Marlowe
Filer - Paul Grist
Hardiman - Donald Hewlett
Pigbin Josh - Derek Ware
Technician - Royston Farrell
The Master - Roger Delgado
The Minister - Kenneth Benda
Winser - David Savile
Director - Michael Ferguson