Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos

The Doctor Who episode “The Claws of Axos” from the Jon Pertwee era features aliens who remind me of golden gods, perhaps from Greek mythology. And the story actually echoes, in a sense, a famous mythic story from that tradition, but on this occasion it is godlike beings who bring the treacherous gift.

The Axons offer axonite, which allegedly can help solve the world’s food problems, but in fact is part of the same living substance that the Axonites themselves and their ship consist of. Their technology is entirely biological, and in fact they are part of one collective entity which will devour and incorporate the Earth and all that lives on it.

While unity can be a positive aim, what Axos represents is an extreme of collectivism, reflected in the statement made at one point, “No one is irreplaceable.” One might contrast with the Doctor’s repeated expressions of the conviction that every individual is irreplaceable, and that every death represents something valuable lost.

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  • goodacre

    I’m fond of this story. The special edition DVD has a delightful feature in which Toby Hadoke spends a couple of days living with John Levine (Sergeant Benton).